The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lake Tragedy Stuns Oswego
Syracuse Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), Thurs., Dec. 18, 1902

Full Text
Seven of Its Popular Citizens Given Up as Lost
Vessel Ashore on Salmon Point Proves to Be the Noyes, Whose Crew Was Rescued After Heroic Work - No Tidings Whatever Are Received of the Steamer Hall - Tug Will To-Day Search the Duck Islands - Crew of the Isaac Stevenson Safe.

Special to The Post-Standard.

OSWEGO, Dec. 17. - Almost the last ray hope for the ill-fated steamer John E. Hall was blotted out to-night when the new came that the vessel ashore on Salmon Point was the schooner John R. Noyes and not the steamer Hall. She had rolled her masts out in the gale and thus deceived those who saw her from a distance into the belief that she was the Hall.

To-night a telegram from Picton, Ont., to Captain Thomas Crimmins of the Oswego Towing Association says that wreckage in great quantities has been coming ashore all afternoon and among it is a piece of a schooner with "John R. Noyes" on it. The message further says the vessel was a total wreck and has been broken into pieces by the tremendous seas. A life-saving crew from Toronto, which went on a special train and then by boat to the wreck, reports it positively to be the Noyes.

Friends Give Up in Despair.

The report that came in this morning to the effect that the wreck on Salmon Point was the Hall raised the almost vain hope that Captain Donovan and his crew might have survived all the terrible experiences of the week and still be alive aboard the wreck. To-night they give up in despair.

There is only one home and that a slim one. The Hall may be ashore on the Duck Islands and may have been missed by the steamer Avon last night in the darkness and thick weather. if she is not there, vesselmen say she is surely at the bottom of Lake Ontario with her crew of at least ten. The tug Charley Ferris will leave this port as soon as weather permits to search the Ducks.

The Hall left Charlotte with the Noyes in tow one week ago to-morrow morning, both laden with coal for E.W. Rathbun & Co., Deseronto. The crew of the Noyes was taken from the vessel by the Charlotte life savers Monday afternoon off Lakeside and thirty miles out in the lake.

An Heroic Achievement.

It was the most heroic achievement of the life saving service on the lakes in many years. The exact make-up of the crew of the steamer Hall is not known here. It is known absolutely, however, there are seven Oswego persons aboard her. They are: Captain Timothy Donovan, First Mate Jerome Donovan, First Engineer John Donovan, Second Engineer James Donovan (all relatives); Thomas Cochrane, wheelsman; Daniel Bigelow, wheelsman; John Dixon, fireman. There are also aboard Thomas Tyler, fireman, and Mrs. Brown, cook, both of Buffalo.

Captain Donovan and First Engineer Donovan owned both boats, which were valued at about $35,000. The cargoes are valued at $5,000 and there is no insurance on vessels or cargoes.

The tragedy has cast a gloom over this city. The sailors of the Hall are all well known and popular here and their probably fate is being discussed everywhere.Telegraph offices, police headquarters and vessel offices are deluged with inquiries for news, but nothing of a cheering nature can now be given.

Stevenson Crew Safe.

The barge Isaac Stevenson, which broke away from the steamer Avon at 5 o'clock yesterday near the Galoup Islands, is ashore on Stony Island and a telegram announces that the crew is safe. The captain of the Stevenson is J. Mallet, Jr.

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Date of Original:
Thurs., Dec. 18, 1902
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.8575 Longitude: -77.243888
Richard Palmer
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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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Lake Tragedy Stuns Oswego