The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sat., 5 Nov, 1870

Full Text

A HEROIC LAD. - One of the most interesting incidents of the recent fearful storm on Lake Erie is related by the Buffalo Express and connected with the careers of the barges Sam Ward and Shiawassee.

The propeller Iron City left Buffalo bound to Saginaw, with the barges M. B. Kean and the two others named above in tow. When near Rondeau the gale was blowing with such fury that the barges Sam Ward and Shiawassee were cast loose from the tow. The Sam Ward, which had the lead, was commanded by Captain K. M. Large, a mere lad of sixteen. But young as he is in years, he proved a man of judgement and discretion. Resolving to save both barges if possible, he retained the line of the Shiawassee, and setting what little canvas he had, put his crank old craft before the wind with the other in tow. They drove in this manner nearly one hundred miles, the rudder in the meantime becoming so badly disabled as to be nearly unmanageable. As the barges approached Long Point the sea was running mountains high and the wind blowing a hurricane, and it was found necessary to cast off the tow. The Sam Ward weathered the Point, as well as Point Abino, under the lee of which latter she came to anchor. On Tuesday her signal was seen and the tug Geo. Maytham went to her relief and took her into Buffalo in safety. During the entire run the gallant commander remained cool and self-possessed, reassuring the the men of the crew by his calm words and bearing.

Media Type:
Item Type:
The SHIAWASEE reportedly also survived the ordeal. She was a brand-new barge, out on her first or second trip, while the WARD was a former steamer and barkantine.
Date of Original:
Sat., 5 Nov, 1870
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sat., 5 Nov, 1870