The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Three Bells (Bark), sunk, 22 Nov 1862

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THREE BELLS Bark, cargo coal and wood, struck the Pier and sunk at the mouth of the Genesee River.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      January 26, 1863. Casualty List 1862

      . . . . .

      The British brig THREE BELLS, though in the harbor, is in worse condition. She lies alongside of the west pier, about 30 rods inside the pier light and the water is over her deck. She has a cargo of coal and cordwood. The coal she
took on at Montreal, and the cordwood at a river landing, and she was bound for Toronto. In attempting to make this harbor she struck the pier and sunk after getting in. She is an old vessel and has been in the ocean trade. She is somewhat exposed to heavy north easterly storms, and, if not removed this fall, may not be worth much by Spring. Her crew were engaged yesterday in stripping her of canvas, which was badly shattered. Her rigging is a complete net-work of cordage.
      Rochester Union and Advertiser
      November 26, 1862 2-2

      . . . . .

      A steam pump was taken to Charlotte by the cars on Saturday afternoon to relieve the British brig THREE BELLS, sunk in the harbour alongside the west pier. It is thought that she will be raised without great difficulty, as she did not sink rapidly. It appears that the master of this vessel did not use due dilligence to save his craft, but allowed her to sink at a place where she is exposed to the northeasterly storms. After he hauled over to the west pier, he went to the captain of the propeller lying inside to be towed up the river. The captain declined to go to his assistance, as his vessel was heavily loaded. The master of the brig did not seek assistance from the steamer BAY CITY, which he could have readily obtained had he known the situation of his craft.
      Rochester Union and Advertiser
      December 1, 1862 2-1

      . . . . .

      The bark THREE BELLS has been discharged at Charlotte so far as to bring the hole by which she filled above water. She swung upon a sunken pile of the east pier in attempting to get into the harbor in a gale some two weeks since.
A reference made in this paper to the management of the vessel has brought the following card from the master, by which it will be seen that he did his duty in the matter:
      Eds, Union: - My attention having been called to an article in an edition of your paper published several days since which does me great injustice, allow me to contradict the statements in said article.
      After my vessel struck, and as soon as I could get her hove off the sunken piles, I immediately made urgent application to the master of a propeller lying here to tow me into shoal water as my vessel was leaking badly and would soon go down. He refused, as he said it was blowing so hard and weather so thick he was afraid of getting on the sunken piles himself.
      I then applied to an officer of the BAY STATE for relief, and was told it was no use to see the captain, as the weather was so thick it was impossible to help me.
      The above facts I have made oath to in my protest, and can be substantiated by my crew and other prominent citizens of this place, who will certify to the same.
      John McCann, Master Bark THREE BELLS
      Charlotte, December 9, 1862
      Rochester Union & Advertiser
      December 9, 1862 2-1

      . . . . .

COLLISION-- Damage to Vessel-- The British bark Three Bells ran into the steamer Bay State yesterday while getting underway to leave the harbor. The bark had her jib boom carried away and head gear damaged. She will have to
lay by a few days for repairs.
This vessel ran into the pier and sunk here last fall, laden with coal. Her cargo was taken out and the bark was taken to Oswego where she was thoroughly repaired. She returned to port on Monday and took her coal for
Toronto. Before getting out of port she met in the accident stated. The high water and strong current doubtless had something to do with the disaster.
      Rochester and Union Advertiser
      April 16, 1863

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $2,900
Cargo: $350
Freight: coal & wood
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.2584 Longitude: -77.60222
William R. McNeil
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Three Bells (Bark), sunk, 22 Nov 1862