The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Wed., Dec. 17, 1902

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Believe Crew is Still Aboard Stranded Steamer.
Toronto Life Savers on Way to the Wreck With a Life Boat - Rumor Made This Morning That Steamer was on the Main Ducks.

Early this morning a telegram was received from Cape Vincent saying that Captain Kiah, of the steamer Avon, reported seeing the Hall on the South side of the Main Ducks and that the crew was safe on the island. That information was not correct, it was learned later. Captain Kiah was in shelter with the Avon behind the breakwater at Cape Vincent, but a messenger could not reach the boat on account of the storm. It appears that the report was received from Ogdensburg by telephone and was part of a report sent from here last night to John Hanna by Commodore Crimmins of the Oswego Towing Association.

Mr. Hanna asked that a lookout be sent for the barge Stevenson that broke away from the Avon near Gallup Islands last night. Commodore Crimmins had been called up by Mr.. Hanna to cause a watch to be kept for the Stevenson. In reply Mr. Crimmins said that the Ferris had been chartered by Captain Dan Hourigan, Captain Thomas Beggs, John S. Parsons and others to go in search of the Hall, which was thought possible was on the Main Ducks and that they would keep a sharp lookout for the Stevenson.

The story was repeated to Captain Kiah by Mr. Hanna from Ogdensburg and finally became corrupted in the report that the Hall was on the Main Ducks and that the members of the crew were safe on the island. The Ferris did attempt to get away from here at six o'clock this morning, but was forced to return by the heavy seas. Later in the morning it began to snow and the weather in the lake was thick all day.

From the best information at hand at 2 P.M. today, the opinion was that a steamer reported ashore on the South side of Salmon Point on the North shore, near the entrance to the Bay of Quinte, was theJohn E. Hall of Oswego, Captain T. Donovan. A dispatch from the Donnelly Wrecking Company, Kingston, contained the announcement that the steamer ashore was a total wreck. Nothing was reported regarding the crew.

At twelve o'clock Mr. C.H. Bond, of E.W. Rathbun & Company lumber firm, received the following from Deseronto:

"Schooners Emerald and Minnis arrived at Prinyerds. Couldn't get into Bay on account of ice; have gone to Kingston. Keeper at Salmon Point light reports steamer ashore on south side of point. Believes steamer John E. Hall, Oswego. Trying to arrange with Wellington and Consecon lifesaving crews to go to the steamer's assistance."

From the above it is inferred that the crew is still on the barge, else why should it be desired to send life crews to their assistance.

A dispatch to the Palladium from Kingston, later than either of the above, says that the Hall is ashore on the Main Ducks and that it is likely the crew is lost. The latter dispatch is without doubt made up from rumors and the conclusions of those who discussed the matter. The chances are that the dispatch received by Mr. Bond is the most reliable, and more will be known from the station when the life savers have sighted the stranded steamer and reported upon her condition. If the steamer had held together, it is believed that the crew will be found safe on board.

Crew on the Boat.

Consecon, Ont., Dec. 17. - (Special.) The Toronto Life Saving Crew and boat is on a special train bound for Wellington, from whence they will go to the rescue of the crew of a steamer, supposed to be the John E. Hall, ashore about two miles from Salmon Point lighthouse on the shoal. It is reported that the steamer is fast going to pieces. Salmon Point light, the keeper of which reports a steamer ashore on the South side, is almost due North from Charlotte. It is about twenty-five miles East of the entrance to Weller's Bay and about ten miles from the light and fog whistle at the Scotch Bonnett.

The place indicated where the steamer is ashore is about sixty miles from Oswego light. There is a long stretch of shoal water to the south'ard of the point, but it would seem that if the steamer reached there that the water in a northeasterly gale would have been comparatively smooth.

A careful consideration of telegrams received by the Palladium up to 3 P.M. today from Cape Vincent, Kingston, Consecon, Brighton, Wellington and Toronto leads us to believe that the steamer John E. Hall, Captain T. Donovan, is ashore on Salmon Point and going to pieces fast in the Southeast gale. The conclusion is also reached that the members of the crew are on the wreck and that life savers are on the way to rescue them.

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Wed., Dec. 17, 1902
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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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Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Wed., Dec. 17, 1902