The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Belle (Steamboat), aground, 20 May 1852


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BELLE, Steamer, wrecked on an Island in Georgian Bay. Property loss $15,000.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      Dec. 25, 1852 (casualty list)

      . . . . .


      WRECK OF THE STEAMER "BELLE"
We regret to have to announce the wreck of the steamer BELLE on Sunday night last, the 16th.inst, on Cape Croker (sic), in Georgian Bay, when 'en route' to Owen Sound, and about 30 miles out. We are informed by Capt. McGregor (sic), master of the steamer, that about 4 o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday, a strong breeze commenced to blow from the north east, and continued so till about eight o'clock when it lulled. At this time the weather became very thick and foggy, and the Captain put the vessel one point to eastward of the usual route, for the purpose of keeping well off Cape Crocker and Griffith's Island. The weather still continuing to thicken, a consultation was held a few minutes previous to ten o'clock, with the mate, as to the proper course to adopt under the circumstances, when it was concluded that the vessel should stand off into Georgian Bay until morning. At the moment that the Captain was giving the order to the engineer, the vessel struck on what was, on Monday morning, found to be Cape Crocker, or as it is sometimes called Cape Montressor.
The Bell cost about $22,000, and was insured for $14,000. About $5,000 will probably put her all right again. On Monday morning, the passengers, crew, &c. were landed on the Cape, where they no doubt made themselves as miserably comfortable as possible. The captain, mate and engineer reached our port about ten o'clock on Monday night, and on Wednesday sent a schooner to relieve those at the Cape. Last night the Captain with some of his crew started for the Bruce Mines, (which they expect to reach in two days) to inform Charles Thompson, Esq who chartered the boat from Buffalo, of the sad catastrophe.
      Owen Sound Comet
      Friday, May 21, 1852

      . . . . .
     
      WRECK OF THE STEAMER BELLE.
      [From the Owen Sound Comet]
      We regret to have to announce the wreck of the steamer BELLE on Sunday night last, the 16th instant on Cape Croker in Georgian Bay, when en route to Owen Sound, and about thirty miles out. We are informed by Capt. McGregor, master of the steamer, that about four o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday, a strong breeze commenced to blow from the north-east, and continued so till about eight o'clock, when it lulled. At this time the weather became very thick and foggy, and the Captain put the vessel one point to eastward of the usual route, for the purpose of keeping well off Cape Crocker and Griffith's Island. The weather still continuing to thicken, a consultation was held a few minutes previous to ten o'clock, with the mate, as to the proper course to adopt under the circumstance, when it was concluded that the vessel should stand off into Georgian Bay until Morning. At the moment that the Captain was giving the order to the engineer, the vessel struck on what was on Monday morning found to be Cape Crocker, or as it is sometimes called Cape Montresser. The BELLE cost about $22,000 and was insured for $14000. About $5,000 dollars will probably put her all right again. On Monday morning the passengers, crew, &c., were landed on the Cape, where they no doubt made themselves as miserably comfortable as possible. The captain, mate and engineer reached our port about ten o'clock on Monday night, and on Wednesday sent a schooner to relieve those at the Cape. Last night the Captain with some of his crew started for Bruce Mines,(which they expected to reach in two days,) to infonm Charles Thompson, Esq. who had chartered the boat from Buffalo, of the sad catastrophe. There is no certainty when a boat will be on this route, but we feel confident that the enterprise of Mr. Thompson will secure one at the earliest possible date. We need not expect any arrangement that can give the route a boat however, sooner than two weeks.
      Toronto Globe
      May 27, 1852
     

      WRECK OF THE BELLE
      When our last number was issued, hope was still entertained that this vessel would be in a condition to be repaired, though at a considerable expense. Now however, all hope has vanished - her larboard side is destroyed, and the northern winds since her stranding, have made her an entire Wreck. The Engineer, instead of going with the captain to the Bruce Mines, as was intended on leaving here a few days ago, on arriving at the Cape found the winds and waves making such sad havoc, determined to remain and save what he could.
      CAPTAIN MACGREGOR AND THE STEAMER BELLE
We have great pleasure in giving place in our columns to the generous statement of the "' passengers on board the ill fated BELLE at the time of running on Cape Crocker, as to the noble and seamanlike conduct of their worthy Captain M. McGregor, Esquire. This mead of praise he highly merits. To him it comes unexpectedly - being drawn up and signed at Sydenham, while he was on his way to the Bruce Mines, and will therefore be duly appreciated;-
      TO THE PUBLIC
We the undersigned persons, having, been passengers on board of the steamer BELLE, en route from the island of Manitoulin to Owen Sound, in Georgian Bay, do hereby testify and subscribe the following;- That on the 16th day of May instant, about 4 o'clock P.M., a strong breeze commenced to blow from the north-east, and continued to blow until about 8 o'clock, when it lulled, at which time the weather became very thick and foggy, and continued so far the entire night. So dense was the fog that any object could not be perceived at a greater distance than half the boat's length; and that at about 10 o'clock the vessel struck on what was ascertained, on the following morning, to be cape Crocker, or which is sometimes called Cape Montressor.
      We further state and testify that the commander, Captain Alexander M. McGregor deserves the very highest praise for his courteous and gentlemanly conduct to us whilst under his care as passengers aforesaid; and for his coolness, decision, activity, and masterly conduct as a seaman and commander, in the hour of danger; and that we consider it an act of justice to publicly tender to Captain M. McGregor and his manly crew, our hearty acknowledgments and thanks for their conduct on the occasion referred to above.
      Owen Sound Comet
      Friday May 28,1852
     
     
      " WRECK OF THE "BELLE."
      When our last number was issued, hope was still entertained that this vessel would be in a condition to be repaired, though at a considerable expense. Now, however, all hope has vanished - her larboard side is destroyed, and the northern winds since her stranding, have made her an entire wreck. The Engineer, instead of going with the captain to the Bruce Mines, as was intended on leaving here a few days ago, on arriving at the Cape found the winds and waves making such sad havoc, determined to remain and save what he could.
      ALSO
     
      CAPTAIN MACGREGOR AND THE STEAMER BELLE
      We have great pleasure in giving place in our columns to the generous statement of the passengers on board the ill fated BELLE at the time of running on Cape Crocker, as to the noble and seamanlike conduct of their worthy Captain M. McGregor (sic), Esquire. This mead of praise he highly merits. To him it comes unexpectedly - being drawn up and signed at Sydenham, while he was on his way to the Bruce Mines, and will therefore be duly appreciated:-
      TO THE PUBLIC.
We, the undersigned persons, having been passengers on board of the steamer BELLE, en route from the Island of Manatoualing (sic) to Owen Sound, in Georgian Bay, do hereby testify and subscribe the following:-
That on the 16th day of May instant, about 4 o'clock P.M., a strong breeze commenced to blow from the north-east, and continued to blow until about 8 o'clock, when it lulled, at which time the weather became very thick and foggy, and continued so for the entire night. So dense was the fog that any object could not be perceived at a greater distance than half the boat's length; and that at about 10 o'clock the vessel struck on what was ascertained, on the following morning, to be Cape Crocker, or which is sometimes called Cape Montressor.
      We further state and testify that the commander, Captain Alexander N. McGregor (sic) deserves the very highest praise for his courteous and gentlemanly conduct to us whilst under his care as passengers aforesaid; and for his coolness, decision, activity, and masterly conduct as a seaman and commander, in the hour of danger; and that we consider it an act of justice to publicly tender to Captain McGregor and his manly crew, our hearty acknowledgments and thanks for their conduct on the occasion referred to above.
And that in belief that all which human nature could effect, and ingenuity and seamanship conceive and execute, was done by the captain, officers and crew of the ill-fated vessel, for the purpose of extricating her from her perilous position, but unfortunately without effect, although at the time the vessel struck she appeared to us to be moving at a comparatively slow rate.
Given under our hands at the town of Sydenham, Owen Sound, the 18th of May, 1852.
      Harriet A. Chase, Buffalo;
      Mary A. Beaman, Goderich;
      Eli Beaman, Goderich;
      W.N. Beaman, Goderich;
      George Smith, Sault Ste. Marie;
      D.J. Mitchell, Montreal;
      Archibald McNabb, Owen Sound.
      Owen Sound Comet
      Friday, May 28, 1852

      . . . . .
     
      STEAMER BELLE. - The steamer BELLE is a total wreck. Her engine and machinery are being taken out as speedily as possible. A letter from the clerk gives details of the casualty and shows that Capt. McGregor was free from blame The boat struck on a rock, running too near the shore in the dense fog and with a heavy sea rolling. All hands got ashore in the boats. No censure is attached to any person. - Cleveland Herald.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, May 31, 1852

      . . . . .

We have no certain intelligence, as yet, of a steamer on Georgian Bay to take the place of the BELLE. It is reported here that Mr. Thompson has left the Bruce Mines and gone down Lake Erie, to get a boat to supply the great desideratum we now feel. Parties 'en route' to this place are obliged to engage open sail boats to bring them from Penetanguishene, consequently more travel is thrown upon the land route than the stage, which runs only twice a week, can accommodate.
      Owen Sound Comet
      Friday, June 5, 1852
     
      . . . . .
     
      We learn by the Owen Sound 'Comet' that all hopes of getting the steamer BELLE off Cape Croker has vanished. Her larboard side is destroyed, and the northern winds since her stranding have made her an entire wreck.
      Goderich Huron Signal
      June 17, 1852


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1852
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.438
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.971111 Longitude: -80.985833
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Belle (Steamboat), aground, 20 May 1852