The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Thursday, Dec. 18, 1902

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News From Steamer Hall
Friends Entertain Fears For Safety of Crew
Reported Steamer Ashore on Salmon Point Shoal Proves to be the John R. Noyes - Life Savers Patrol Beach in Search for Hall.

Grave fears are entertained this afternoon that the steambarge John E. Hall has been lost with all hands. The report yesterday that the barge was on the Main Ducks and that the crew was safe on the island does not appear to have any foundation.

The barge found on Salmon Point and reported by the light keeper there to have been a steamer proved to be the John R. Noyes, abandoned about fifteen miles in the lake last Monday afternoon when the crew was rescued by Captain Gray and the life saving crew at Charlotte. At that time the was drifting in a northeasterly direction, being helped along by the Southwest wind. it transpires that she went on the beach at Salmon Point light sometime between five o'clock Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Dispatches received today by Commodore Crimmins and John S. Parsons state that the stern and spars of the barge are on the beach and that she has gone to pieces.

While discussing the parting with the Hall yesterday Captain George Donovan said that he did not know just where they were Saturday morning at eight o'clock when the steamer let go, but he thought somewhere outside the False Ducks. Friday, he said, they had been close in on the North shore all day and within sight of land. Despite the fact that they were under the shore the Northeast gale kicked up a tremendous sea and the boats pitched badly. Friday night and Saturday morning it snowed hard and the gale kept increasing.

While Captain Donovan does not say so, others who were on the Noyes say that the machinery of the Hall became disabled, and that finding he could do nothing for the Noyes Captain Donovan directed that the tow-line be cut and in the blinding snow squall the boats parted with a blast from the whistle of the Hall. Had the latter been driven ashore or had any of the crew reached land in safety it is believed that word would have reached friends in this city before now.

The crew of the missing steamer are: Captain Timothy Donovan; his son, Jeremiah, first mate; his cousins, John and James, first and second engineers, respectively; Thomas Corcoran, son of the late Patrick Corcoran, formerly a resident of the First ward; Daniel Bigelow, 206 East Fifth street, wheelsman; John Dixon, brother of Henry Dixon, of 6 Porter street, and Thomas Tyler, Buffalo, fireman. Mrs. Brown, the cook, was from Buffalo.

The inability to get any word from the Hall or her crew has cast a deep shadow of gloom over the the men who follow the lakes for a living, as well as citizens generally. Captain Donovan was an able seaman, an upright man, a kind husband and an indulgent father. His son was a young man of excellent habits who had been with him on the barge for several years. Another son, John, is in Chicago, while George, Frank and Ella are living in this city with their mother at 132 East Seneca street.

John Donovan, the first engineer, was married, but has no family. James and Jeremiah were unmarried. There is a slight possibility that the crew is safe, but the chances are against that theory.

Members of Captain Donovan's family say that as soon as the weather moderates the Ferris will start for the Ducks on a searching tour.

No News of the Missing Crew.

Kingston, Ont., Dec. 18. - (Special.) - Within a distance of forty miles of the city life saving crews have been searching for the crew of the steamer John E. Hall, but up to noon there was no sign of the missing seamen. Mr. Donovan, of Oswego, has requested the Donnelly wrecking firm to make enquiries and forward information.

It was the light-house keeper, McDonald, that sent out the message to the effect that the Hall was ashore at Salmon Point shoal, which extends out about two miles from the lighthouse and is very dangerous. Life saving crews from both Consecon and Wellington, the latter sent out by the Rathbun Company, were sent to the wreck which is fast going to pieces. Captain Donnelly was wired by members of the Wellington crew that had returned to land that the vessel aground is not the Hall, but the barge Noyes, of Oswego.


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Thursday, Dec. 18, 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), Thursday, Dec. 18, 1902