The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., Dec. 20, 1902

Full Text
Captain Savage Tells of the Wreck of the Noyes
Trunks Found on the Beach and a Photograph of Two Little Girls - First Impression Was That the Stranded Boat Was the Hall.

The tug Ferris, Captain Charley Ferris, left port this morning for the purpose of trying to discover some trace of the steamer John E. Hall. The Ferris will cruise about the Main Ducks and the False Ducks and the other small islands at the foot of the lake.

All hopes for the safety of the Hall or her crew have been practically abandoned, although the members of Captain Timothy Donovan's family entertain the faint hope that in some way the boat reached an anchorage behind some island from which it has been impossible to communicate and are still safe.

When it was seen that the sea outside was subsiding and it would be possible for the Ferris to start out this morning members of Captain Donovan's family were desirous of going on the tug, but Captain Ferris objected and no one but the tug's crew went. Unless something unforeseen happens the Ferris should be back here some time tonight.

Wreckage at Henderson

The following telegram was received by W.D. Allen at noon today:

HENDERSON, Dec. 20. - Reported here that pieces of wreckage with the name " Hall" upon it have come ashore. No doubt it is from the steamer Hall. Report is that bedding and pillows came ashore with wreckage.


The opinion of local marine men is that the Hall's machinery broke down about the time that the barge Noyes was cut adrift; that the heavy seas stove in the after cabin, that she shortly filled with water and foundered, having no way to free herself because of the disabled machinery.

The Wreck of the Noyes.

The following letter was received by John S. Parsons this morning from Captain James Savage, of the schooner Rutherford, and gives the first detail of the wreck of the schooner John R. Noyes on Salmon Point reef. The letter reads:

WELLINGTON, Dec. 18th, 1902.
Mr. John S. Parsons, Oswego, N.Y.:

Dear Sir - I was called to the telephone the 17th by the Rathbun Company, of Deseronto. They told me they had just received a telephone message from the lighthouse keeper of Salmon Point that there was a vessel ashore at Salmon Point reef about a half mile from shore and they wanted me to go over at once and render all assistance I could possibly do, as Mr. Rathbun said it must be the steam barge Hall, Captain Donovan; we ordered out the lifeboat and crew and hooked four horse on her and drew the boat about twelve miles, and when we got there the vessel had broken all up and washed on shore.

Her spars, sail and rigging and some lines and the vessel's stern and both quarters are on shore, and on her stern is "John R. Noyes, of Oswego," in white letters. The lighthouse keeper saw her for the two hours she lasted on the reef, but he thought it was a steam barge, as she was shut in forward like one, but he could see no smokestack. I called the Rathbun Company up this morning and told them that the wreck proved to be the John R. Noyes, but the company said they thought it could not be, as the Noyes was ashore above Charlotte. But John, my opinion is that the Noyes never was ashore above Charlotte, and when the wind shifted to the South'ard it carried her over on Salmon Point reef.

Of course, her captain and James Ryan will know whether she was ashore or not. One Toronto paper stated in a telegram from Charlotte that the Noyes was seen to sink, but, John, the Noyes was all right when she struck Salmon Point reef Wednesday morning, the 17th, and she lasted till ten o'clock that day before breaking up. If I had not read the name I would not have believed it was the Noyes. There was also a photograph of two little girls and two trunks and a small package of candies found on the beach, in fact the beach is strewn with wreckage.

John, we went over fully prepared with a good boat and crew to rescue the crew of the steam barge Hall, and I was sure it was her. I am very sorry for the loss of the Hall, as Captain Donovan and I were great friends, and I saw him the last time I was in Cleveland. He was there loaded with stone. In fact we have been watching for the barges Hall and Noyes this week and we would have saved the crews if we had had a chance to do so. John, please publish this letter in the Palladium and please send me a copy of the Palladium. Tell Captain Donovan, of the Noyes, that if there is anything we can do or any information wanted regarding the wreck of the Noyes, we will give it to him.

John, I struck luck by laying up the Rutherford. I got rid of a lot of cold weather and expenses. Please remember me to the boys, and wishing you the compliments of the season, I remain,

Yours respectfully,

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Sat., Dec. 20, 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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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., Dec. 20, 1902