The Burning of the Ellsworth
Hon. A. C. Mattoon returned from Stony Island last evening. It appears that the steam barge Ellsworth lay at anchor off Stony Island in about 21 feet of water when she burned Tuesday evening. She had landed the party from this city, and they had gone into camp on the island. The fire occurred about 10 P. M. The captain and engineer had gone in a boat further down to a minnow pound after minnows for bait.
Mr. Mattoon had rolled himself up in his blanket and turned in, and the steward was in the cabin. They were aroused by cries of fire, which they afterwards found came from fishermen who had discovered that the boat was afire and were rowing out towards a her. Mr. Mattoon awoke to find the cabin full of smoke. he sprang up and found the fire in the after part of the boat burning furiously and appearing to have originated in the kitchen. He saw that, situated as they were, it would be impossible to stop the flames and he ran to the wheel house after his books and papers. He seized the compass and what he supposed was the marine glasses, but afterwards found that he had only the empty case, and also got hold of the hatchet, when the fire and smoke became so hot and thick that he was obliged to get out, leaving the boat's books and papers, which were destroyed.
The Ellsworth burned between three and four hours, lighting up the whole region, and finally sunk. Yesterday Mr. Mattoon got a sail boat and made for Sackets harbor, where he took the train for Oswego. We understood that all the things belonging to the excursionists had been removed from the boat. How the fire originated is no known. Mr. Mattoon says the Ellsworth's insurance ($7,500) was about three-fourths of her value. The fishermen on the island, led by Mr. Sprague and son, were promptly on hand to render any possible assistance, but could not get on board.