The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Messenger (Sloop), aground, 1 Nov 1863

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Sloop MESSENGER, cargo wheat, aground on Bar Point, Lake Erie. Total loss.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, January 20, 1864

      . . . . .

ASHORE - The Canadian sloop MESSENGER, we learn is ashore at Bar Point, Lake Erie, with a cargo of wheat. She is bound for this port, having taken on cargo at Gosfield, on the lake shore. Assistance has been sent to her, and she will probably be got off without serious damage. - Detroit Free Press.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, November 11, 1863

      . . . . .

      The sloop MESSENGER, that recently went ashore at Pigeon Bay, has gone to pieces.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Monday, November 16, 1863

      . . . . .

      From a hasty glance at the records of marine disasters we find the difficulties have their origins somewhere about 1854. The schooner BUTLER, deep laden, struck an unknown obstruction and sunk, but was subsequently raised. The cause was supposed to be that of some sunken wreck. The accident took place in May. In the month of October, 1855, the propeller ILLINOIS, commanded by Capt. Wm. Dickson, of long experience on the lakes, having a full load of merchandise, struck and sunk. The entire cargo was damaged, and the loss to the steamer and cargo amounted to $85,000. The propeller CUYAHOGA, with a cargo of wheat, in October, 1856, run on the same spot, worked herself off, and was run ashore, the damages amounting to $3,000, the damage to cargo and vessel slight. In July, 1857, the schooner ALICE was stranded near there, and became a total loss. The schooner DREADNAUGHT, with a cargo of grain, struck in 1858, and sustained damages amounting to $100. In 1859 the bark LONDON run on the same place,, damages $150. The bark INDIANA, in November of the same year, dragged her anchor and grounded in the same spot, but was lightered off damaged $200. The scow E. S. TAYLOR, laden with coal, was sunk near there in 1860 and became a total loss. In April, 1861, the schooner WYANDOTTE, laden with coal, met with a disaster at the same place, the damage amounting to $300. The propeller DETROIT struck there in 1862, and sprung a leak, damages $100. In May, 1863, the steamer MORNING STAR struck on what was supposed to be an anchor, but the real cause was doubtless one of the wrecks above alluded to. The sloop MESSINGER, with a cargo of wheat, grounded there and damaged her cargo $3,000. The propeller MARQUETTE, cargo of merchandise, sank there in 1865, but subsequently got up; cargo badly damaged. In September of the same year the propeller PITTSBURGH struck and went ashore, and lightered off. Soon after the propeller WENONA grounded and was lightered off, and the steamer CANADA, of 166 tons, sunk and became a total loss there in September of 1865. In November, 1871, the propeller POTOMAC stove a hole in her bottom on the same obstruction and returned to Detroit, damages not stated. Soon after the propeller CHINA sustained a like disaster. The disasters of 1872 from the same cause were as follows: In May, the propeller MERCHANT, cargo merchandise, sunk, raised, and taken to Detroit. In August, bark C. K. NIMS, cargo grain, struck and sprung a leak. Bark RED, WHITE and BLACK (sic), stove hole in bottom, damaged cargo and brought to Detroit. In November schooner OWASCO, cargo corn, all damaged and vessel ashore but got off. Propeller BURLINGTON sunk and got up. Propeller PHILADELPHIA stranded but got off. Schooner SAM FLINT, cargo grain, stranded and got off. In December, propeller RUSSIA, cargo grain, struck and sunk, raised and brought to Detroit.
      Detroit Free Press
      July 11, 1873

Sloop MESSENGER (C) of 68 tons. Built Wolfe Island 1853 by James Leary. Owned by Frinkle. Home port, Kingston. Value, $1,200. Class, B 2.
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Marine Register for 1863

Register Number: 95
Description: Sloop
Where she belongs: Kingston
Tons: 57
When Built: 1852
Where Built: Wolfe Island, at Dawsons Ferry
Present Master: Gordon W.Finkle
Builders Name & Date of Certificate: James McRae, April 19,1861
Description of Vessel:-
      Length: 72 feet & 9/IOths.
      Breadth: 14 feet & 7/IOths.
      Depth of Hold: 6 feet & 4/IOths.
Masts: One
Square or Round Stern:Square
How Built: Carvel
How Rigged: Sloop
Standing or Running Bowsprit: Standing
Figure-Head: None
Decks: One
Subscribing Owners:- Gordon W.Finkle sole owner,sold to Overton S. Gildersleeve of Kngston
dated June 5, 1862, who sold to Philo Bennet of Wolfe Island Dated April 27, 1863 or 1865 ?
      Port of Kingston Vessel Register
      1854 to 1867, Volume 206, P1115

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $1,200
Cargo: $3,000
Freight: wheat
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.055277 Longitude: -83.116388
William R. McNeil
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Messenger (Sloop), aground, 1 Nov 1863