The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Bonnie (Steamboat), aground, 1 Oct 1869

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BONNIE Steamer, ashore at Kincardine and Total loss.
      Marine Disasters on the Western
      Lakes during 1869, Capt. J.W. Hall

      . . . . .
      Kincardine, Oct. 15. -- The steamer BONNIE, from Goderich to Southampton, went ashore at this place, at seven o'clock last night. As she was entering the harbor, her rudder chain broke, and the wind blowing a gale at the time, she drifted past the north pier into the breakers, and was driven ashore. She had a large quantity of goods on board and five passengers. The passengers and the book of the boat were saved. She is fast breaking up, and the goods are washing ashore.
      Meaford Monitor
      Friday, October 22, 1869
      . . . . .
      In July of 1869 the steamer SILVER SPRAY was sunk by collision on Lake Huron. She served the way-ports of the Saugeen coast out of Goderich and to take her place the sidewheeler BONNIE MAGGIE was pressed into service. The MAGGIE was built at Huron, Ohio, by Joseph M. Keating and launched Oct. 23 1859 as the
BONNIE BOAT. In 1865 she was sold into Canada to M. Dickey and James McDougall of Quebec City by George B. Smith of Plasterbed, Ohio, and renamed BONNIE MAGGIE. The engine of 70 horse-power came from the sidewheeler FREMONT, launched in 1851 and scrapped in 1859; the boiler came from the works of Neil Moore, Sandusky, Ohio.
      The BONNIE MAGGIE recorded one of the briefest careers in the coastal trade. On Oct. 14 1869 she cleared Goderich with forty tons of merchandise and five passengers destined for Kincardine and Southampton. Sailing without her captain, J.G. Thompson, she was in command of Robert Rowan, a native of Kincardifle. At
seven o'cIock that evening the BONNIE MAGGIE swung in to the east and prepared to enter Kincardine harbour. A freshening gale was blowing at the time and just as she wallowed toward the narrow entrance a powerful following sea snapped the rudder chain . As the steamer fell off into the sea and drifted past the North
Pier the engine was reversed and a jib quickly hoisted in order to bring the stern to windward and thus back out into the lake. But so rapidly was she carried off before the wind that the attempt proved futile. Within minutes the BONNIE MAGGIE was swept into the shallows where "she grounded about 150 yards from the north pier, and 30 from the shore, precisely on the wreck of that ill-fated barque, the RICH.
      The MAGGIE lurched into the rocks and gouging her bottom out on the wreck of the A.J. RICH was soon lying on the lakebed. With the superstructure raked by cresting seas it was with the greatest difficulty that those on board escaped. The last boat to leave the wreck swamped halfway to shore and those on board, including a woman and a small child, were thrown into the water. From the large crowd gathered on the beach several volunteers dashed into the surf and pulled the unfortunate travellers to safety.
      Within twenty-four hours the BONNIE MAGGIE went to pieces, scattering her cargo along the beach and into the gravel at the water's edge.
      Shipwrecks of the Saugeen
      by Patrick Folkes p. 13 & 14

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Reason: aground
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.18339 Longitude: -81.63307
William R. McNeil
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Bonnie (Steamboat), aground, 1 Oct 1869