The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Wed., Aug. 15, 1888

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The Broken Bridge
A lively Discussion in Relation to it in the Board of a Public Works Last Evening.

The board of public works held a meeting last evening for the purpose of talking over the question of the damage to the iron bridge by the collision of the schooner Lady McDonald. Captain Hargrove was present and Mayor McCaffrey was in attendance. There was a discussion in regard to the amount of the damage. Superintendent Curtiss thought the damage would be about $500. Mr. J.K. Smith would not place it at less than $1,000 at present. Commissioner O'Brien would not place it at more than $400 or $500 at the most.

Captain Hargrove was very pleasant about the matter. He did not say anything in regard to the liability of his schooner but said that he did not want any lawsuit and was willing to pay a reasonable proportion of the damage done. He has so far refused to have anything to say to marine lawyers who claim that they can readily clear the vessel of any liability in the matter. He seems inclined to compromise and everything can be reasonable done to make the affair light to him will be done.

While the meeting was in progress Alderman Higgins drifted in and wanted to know if this was a private meeting. He was answered in the negative and at once took a hand. He seemed to think it an outrage that an attempt should be made to saddle this damage upon the schooner. The city had no right to do anything of the kind. He took the mayor severely to task for commencing a suit without being ordered to do so by the common council and declared that this action on the part of the mayor was illegal and would not amount to anything.

The mayor replied that he was acting on the advice of the city attorney, Mr. S.M. Coon and on the whole would prefer his advice on law questions to that of even Alderman Higgins.

This little interlude added spice to the meeting which otherwise was not productive of great results. As an agreement as to the amount of the damage could not be reached, it was decided to send to Rochester for a bridge expert to decide on the amount of damage. In the meantime the bridge will be repaired temporarily so as to permit the passage of teams.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Apparently the matter was settled, as the Lady McDonald cleared Oswego for Hamilton with 515 tons of coal on Aug. 25, 1888 according to the Oswego Daily Times for that date.
Date of Original:
Wed., Aug. 15, 1888
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Richard Palmer
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily Times (Oswego, NY), Wed., Aug. 15, 1888