The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Monarch (Steamboat), aground, 29 Nov 1856


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Steamer MONARCH, (C), cargo merchandise, ashore near Toronto, C.W. Total loss.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 31, 1857 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

      The new steamer MONARCH, Captain Sinclair stranded about 5 o'clock on Saturday morning, on the other side of the Island, opposite this city. The snow was falling heavily, with a strong sea from the east and it was very dark. The Captain who was on deck, Judging of his location by the length of time which he took to come from his last stopping place, conceived that he was west of the Light house Point, and turned the boat towards the City, when discovering his mistake, he endevored to turn out towards the lake again. A heavy sea drove her on to the shelving clay, where she since has stuck fast.
      Her deck load was completely washed off and her hold filled with water, and it was with difficulty the crew got ashore. The boat lies in a bad position, but as the weather is moderating she will suffer no great harm for a day or two.
      In the meanwhile, the agent of this city, of the North Western Insurance Co. has telegraphed to Oswego for a steam tug and pumps, by which means she will likely be got off.
      The cargo which will be a total loss, consists mainly of groceries, and hardware for this City. Both vessel and cargo are insured to a considerable extent. The insurance on the boat ($24,OOO) expiring yesterday (Sunday). She was built at Kingston at the commencement of the season and is owned principally by Messrs.
J & D. Shaw, Kingston and the Captain.
      from the Toronto Daily Globe
      December lst. 1856

      . . . . .

      In our yesterdays issue we noted the loss of the steamer on the Island opposite the City, it is an unusual occurance to have a wreck so near our own door, in fact within view from our street's. We sent a reporter to visit the scene of the disaster, from whom we gather, the steamer lies ashore immediately in rear of Glendinnings Tavern, not more than15 yds, from the beach, the hull which inclines outwards, the bow pointing to the west, does not appear to have suffered any material damage, at least on the side towards the shore. On the other side, however, part of the bulwarks have been washed away.
      The shore for about one and a half miles to the west, is strewn with the remains of the goods which formed the deck load, empty sugar hogsheads, barrels of fish, bales of dry goods, cases of stationary, packages of books and furniture, straw beds, life seats and many other things. Among them, are several cases addressed to the Legislative Assembly, which, from the fact of there being sealed, appears to be of some importance.
      The cargo of the MONARCH consists chiefly of sugar and fish, belonging to Messrs. Mitchell, all of which was insured, the loss of the other goods, would be divided among a great many, Messers Hires, McCraig & Co. of Hamilton had also a quantity of goods aboard. We did not learn whether they were covered by insurance.
      The sea must have been very high at the time the steamer went ashore. The purser, who had a narrow escape from being washed overboard, suceeded, though not without difficulty, in the absence of any light, the lamps having been all extinguiched, in saving his most important books.
      Mr. Rough, the flour inspector, had all his furniture aboard, covered, we understand by insurance.
The surveys held on the MONARCH, by the agent of the insurance Co., show that the vessel, is not so much injured as was anticipated, and it is expected that the Tugs, steam-pumps, which were to arrive from Oswego last night, will pump the water out of her hold in a few hours, the scows are ready to take off her cargo at the same time which should lighten her sufficently to come off, as there is five and a half to six feet of water outside of her.
      The value of the vessel is estimated at $40,000 and she was insured for $30,000.
      (there follows a long list of the steamer's cargo, not extracted.)
      from the Toronto Daily Globe
      December 2nd 1856
     
      . . . . .

      A letter from Toronto, dated yesterday, to Captain Bagnall, states that the steamer MONARCH ashore near that place, is fast going to pieces. The schooners LIVE YANKEE and CANADIAN are ashore at Port Credit. The crew of the latter were seen in the rigging. The schooner J.G. BEARD was run ashore near where the
MONARCH lies. Cargo of coal. Another vessel - name unknown - is ashore three miles east of Toronto. Another is aground on the bar opposite Queen's wharf.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Thursday, December 4, 1856

      . . . . .

      The gale of Tuesday night and yesterday, was one of the most severe, ever known on Lake Ontario and has resulted in great damage to shipping interests, the full extent is not yet known. The wind which was from the east, commensed to blow about 9 o'clock on Tuesday night very strongly and continued increasing until about 4 A. M., yosterday, when the weather slightly moderated, although there was aheavy sea on the lake all day yesterday.
The wind was most unfavourable for the steamer MONARCH, wrecked on the other side, opposite the City and there is every possibility that both vessel and cargo will prove a total loss.
Two of Worthingtons steam pumps belonging to the North Western Insurance Co., were washed overboard during the night and are not yet recovered. The violence of the sea, has caused the hull to sink deeper into the sand, and it is feared that her decks will be lifted off by the waves. A survey will be made today and efforts
renewed to get her off.
      Toronto Daily Globe
      Thursday, December 4th. 1856

      . . . . .

      THE MONARCH --- It was discovered yesterday that the violence of the storm during Tuesday night and wednesday, had caused the hull of the MONARCH to break in three places and all hope of getting her off are at an end. Her engine will be saved and that will be all.
      There is no doubt that had there been a steam tug and pumps, at this port, as there should be, the hull might have been got off, on Monday and Tuesday, and a great deal of property saved, although great promptness was displayed by the North Western Co., in sending over their tug and pumps, yet, time was consumed and little was accomplished before the violent gale precluded all possibility of sucess.
The greater part of the machinery of the pumps, washed overboard from the MONARCH, have been recovered,
      Toronto Daily Globe
      Friday, December 5th.1856
     
      . . . . .
     
      The schooner J.G. BEARD of Toronto with 2OO tons of coal from Oswego, went ashore a few hundred yds. west of the MONARCH on Tuesday 2nd. December, after mistaking a light on the wrecked steamer MONARCH for the Toronto Lighthouse Point. The J. G. BEARD was released on the 13th. December, 1856
      Toronto Globe
      December 5th., 8th., and 13 th. 1356

      . . . . .

      THE STEAMER MONARCH. - The Toronto Leader, of Tuesday, says surveys have been made of her by the agents of the Insurance Companies, by which it has been ascertained that she was not so much injured as was anticipated. Contrary to the general expectation, her hull was not damaged, owing to the softness of the
bottom on which she grounded, and it is expected that her pumps which were to arrive from Oswego, last night, will clear her hold of water in a few hours. Scows will also be in readiness to take her cargo. She will thus be lightened sufficiently to get her off, as there is some five or six feet of water not far from where she
stranded. The probility is, that if the weather continues fine today, (Tuesday) she will be got into port, and put into dry-dock immediately. She was valued at $44,000 and insured for $30,000. Of her cargo, very little can be saved, with the exception of the 500 bbls of fish she had on board.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, December 6, 1856

      . . . . .

      The Toronto Colonist says the MONARCH is now a hopeless wreck, the recent gale having broken her up. Her engines will be saved. The steam pumps of the North Western Insurance Company, which were washed overboard, have been recovered.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Wednesday, December 10, 1856

      . . . . .
     
      The steamer MONARCH which was wrecked opposite Toronto last Fall was sold on the 24th. ult, for 375 pound to Mr. P. Benady, agent for the North Western Insurance Co., Oswego, and Mr. William Murray, Manager of the Montreal Insurance Co., both of whom acted on behalf of the companies which they represent. The hull lies embedded in the sand and the engine and boiler are on the beach, having been raised during the winter by Capt. Packard, from Buffalo. - Buffalo Courier.
      Detroit Free Press
      April 3, 1857

      . . . . .

      WRECK of the MONARCH. -- The disaster occured off Toronto Island about 5 o'clock in the morning of Saturday 29th. November 1856.
      A heavy storm had arisen, and, in the darkness, Capt. Sinclair, misjudging his position, turned the vessel towards the city. Discovering his mistake, he endeavored to turn out towards the lake again, but a heavy sea drove the freighter on to the shelving clay in rear of Privat's Hotel, not more that 15 yds. from the beach, and she stuck fast, her deck load was completely washed off, the hold filled with water, and it was with difficulty that the crew got ashore.
      On the Tuesday and Wednesday following a violent storm broke the Monarch's hull in three places, and all hopes of saving her was abandoned. A part of her machinery was removed, but the cargo was almost a total loss. In l862 Capt. Hugh Richardson, then Harbour-master, reported that the breach in the late peninsula was about a mile wide, and that the old line of the beach had moved away, so far that the boiler of the wrecked MONARCH, once high and dry, on the beach, was then in deep water about 100 yds. out in the lake.
      The Monarch was a freight and passenger steamer, plying between Montreal and Hamilton, stopping at Toronto.
      from Landmarks of Canada
      J. Ross Robertson Collection No. 923

NOTE:-- a print of the MONARCH, ashore on the Island is available from the Torononto Central Library, in the J. Ross Robertson Collection.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $35,000
Cargo: $20,000
Freight: merchandise
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1856
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.2876
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.634444 Longitude: -79.370833
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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Monarch (Steamboat), aground, 29 Nov 1856