The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Bytown (Steamboat), aground, 19 Oct 1837

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The Gale - On Thursday night and yesterday morning, we were visited by one of the most violent gales of wind that have for many years have experienced in this part of the country. The wind came form the south, or nearly south, blowing directly into our harbour. The steamer BYTOWN, which was lying on the west side of Counter's Wharf, and ready to proceed to Bytown yesterday morning, was driven on shore and totally wrecked, the upper cabin and deck being entirely carried off. Capt. Bowen of the BYTOWN, we regrett to learn, has lost nearly £200, which he had in his trunk and a parcel containing about £1,000 belonging to the Commercial Bank has been lost.
A barge belonging to the Ottawa Company, loaded with a large quantity of flour and potash was sunk. The barge has since been taken up and is now on the marine railway undergoing the necessary repairs. The extent of damage suffered by the BYTOWN cannot yet be ascertained, but we are happy to learn that the machinery is uninjured.
The COMMODORE BARRIE had a narrow escape. She lost one of her paddles, and received some slight injuries otherwise. She will be ready, however, to proceed on her regular trips on Monday evening.
      The loss of property at Counter's Wharf in consequence of this gale is estimated at
$1,500. - King. Chronicle
      St. Catharines Journal
      October 27, 1837

A severe gale was experienced on Lake Ontario on Thursday and Friday of last week. The loss of property in the neighbourhood of Kingston was estimated at £5,000. The steamboat BYTOWN was driven ashore, by which the deck saloon was carried away, and the Captain lost his trunk containing L2,000 of this own money, and £1,000 belonging to the Commercial Bank.
Two barges were sunk, one laden with flour and the other containing 137 barrels of potash. The steamboat COBOURG was driven ashore. - Kingston Paper
      St. Catharines Journal
      November 9, 1837

GALE AT KINGSTON -- On the night of the 19th. inst. Kingston, U. C., was visited by a tremendous gale, going considerable damage. The Steamer BYTOWN was driven ashore and totally wrecked, the cabin and deck being entirely carried off. The trunk of the Captain containing L 200., and a package containing L1,000 belonging to the Commercial Bank were lost. A barge loaded with a large quantity of flour and potash was sunk. The Steamer COMMODORE BARRIE was also slightly injured. The Chronicle estimates the damage done in the harbor at L1,500.
      Daily Herald & Gazette, Cleveland
      Saturday, November 1, 1837

Media Type:
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Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
William R. McNeil
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Bytown (Steamboat), aground, 19 Oct 1837