The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Columbia (Steamboat), sunk, 12 Dec 1858

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Steamer COLUMBIA, sunk in River St. Clair. Property loss $500
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 15, 1859 (1858 Casualty List)

      . . . . .

      DISASTER TO THE STEAMER COLUMBIA. - On Sunday, 12th instant the steamer
FOREST QUEEN, when bound down, and about 50 miles above Port Huron, discovered
the steamer COLUMBIA with her colors at half mast, union down. On reaching her it
was found that she was leaking fast, and the sea, which was very heavy at the time, was
breaking her up and giving her the choice between two evils - to sink or to go ashore.
The water was so near the fire that the engines had nearly stopped. After considerable
difficulty and even danger, from her proximity to the beach in such a sea as was then
running, the QUEEN succeeded in getting her astern and towed her down into the river.
It appears that the COLUMBIA had gone up to Thunder Bay, where she encountered
ice which cut a hole in her bow. As she was leaking fast, Captain Cole deemed it safe to
ground her on Scare Crow Island, where she lay some time; and then, getting off she
steamed to where the QUEEN found her.
The passengers award great credit to Capt. Darius Cole, for his efforts to save the boat
and their lives. He must have been a bold man to venture into those stormy regions with
a small boat like the COLUMBIA - some twelve years old at that.
      Sixty barrels of fish were jettisoned, being all the freight on board. The COLUMBIA
is aground in Sarnia Bay. - Detroit Tribune.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Thursday, December 16, 1858

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $500
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.978888 Longitude: -82.409722
William R. McNeil
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Columbia (Steamboat), sunk, 12 Dec 1858