The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, NY), August 12, 1908

Full Text
Accident in Charlotte harbor, Lake Ontario, Through Heroic Work of rescuers, Probable Free From Fatalities.

ROCHESTER, N. Y., Aug. 12. -- With decks crowded with passengers the large steamer KINGSTON of the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Company, was rammed about 11 o'clock last night by the excursion steamer TITANIA, a boat that plies in Charlotte harbor. That no lives were lost seems probable, although in the crash it is yet possible that someone may have perished. Investigation so far leaves the question an open one.

One woman is missing this morning and it is feared she was on the TITANIA and did not escape. She is the wife of Capt. Roscoe of the ALGONIA.

The KINGSTON runs from Toronto, Canada, to Thousands islands, touching at Lewiston, Charlotte and other points on Lake Ontario. The boat, which is one of the largest on the lake, was making the Charlotte port on her way from the islands to Toronto last night, with 450 passengers aboard.

The TITANIA, which runs from Sea Breeze to Charlotte, had 15 passengers aboard, a regular excursion crowd.


Both crafts came into collision about 50 feet from the Charlotte Lighthouse pier, when the TITANIA in the lead, tried to cut across the bow of the KINGSTON, to make a dock in advance of the large steamer. The larger boat was rammed on the port side, the smaller craft sinking in about two minutes. The accident will be investigated by the Government Lighthouse Inspection Corps.

The scene along the beach and aboard the two boats was one of confusion intensified by the cries of those precipitated into the water, the shouts of warning from the big boat's decks and the frantic attempts of the small craft in the river to pick up the drowning.

Capt. Henry Esford of the KINGSTON endeavored to slow up when a collision was seen to be inevitable. Capt. Patrick Thorp, of the TITANIA leaped aboard the excursion boat, followed by several of his passengers. In the meanwhile the sailing yacht JULIA, owned by E. H. Nash of Rochester, went to the rescue, together with the boats of the Life-saving station. A lifeboat from the KINGSTON picked up six women and four men.


Among those rescued by the Life-saving crew were Miss Pena Maxon; J. C. Wile; William H. McQuinway and Peter Hona, of this city, and W. H. Fannins of Boston. Joseph Scoroski of Rochester swam from the west pier and brought one passenger ashore. Five passengers were rescued by Steven Hitchell's launch. Miss Esther Prozeller of Rochester was sinking for the third time, when Miss Elizabeth Abeles of Cady Street, seized her by the hair and held her up until William McQuinvey could pull the two aboard the KINGSTON. She remained in a semi-conscious condition for several hours.


The TITANIA lays in about 12 feet of water. The TITANIA was built in 1877 by H. C. Jewett of buffalo and was purchased a few years ago by Ficht Brothers of that city. Capt. Thorp has command of the boat for four or five seasons.

If the two boats had collided a short distance further from the pier there would undoubtedly have been loss of life.

This morning it was declared among boat owners at the lake front that the steering gear of the TITANIA was defective at the time she crashed into the KINGSTON.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
August 12, 1908
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, NY), August 12, 1908