The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Orontes (Barge), U18890, aground, 21 May 1883

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Port Huron, Mich., May 21. -- The marine interest has suffered considerable loss by the heavy gale from the northeast, with pelting hail. At noon today it blew at the rate of sixty miles per hour. Four lumber barges went ashore this afternoon near the river. The WYOMING, with a crew of six, struck the Canadian beach at 4:30 o'clock. She is lumber-laden from Bay City. Up to dark the crew were in the rigging. The weather is cold and blowing hard. The ORONTIS let go both her anchore near Port Sanilac and dragged ashore at Lakeport. Her crew was taken off. Captain Meiveel, of the tug J.P. CLARK, rescued the crews of the barges C.G. MELVILLE and St. JOSEPH, and great credit is due to this gentleman for his heroic work today. While the tug CLARK was rescuing the crew of the St. JOSEPH a heavy swell struck the barge which swept the captain and cook over the side into the lake. The woman was drowned, and the captain saved. She lived at marine City. he captain was badly hurt about the head. The crews of the ORONTIS and MELVILLE were saved.
      Detroit, Mich., May 21. -- The barge ORONTES is ashore on the Canada side four miles above Sarnia. The barge Wm. RAYNOR, water-logged, is lying above Lexington. The crew aboard have not been rescued.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, May 1883

      Sarnia, Ont., May 22. -- The severe gale which commenced blowing on Sunday night last abated at 6 o'clock this evening. This morning a heavy snowstorm raged for three or four hours. The beach above Point Edward is strewn with lumber, lath, pieces of vessels, and boat furniture, and the river here bears down large quantities of loose lumber. The barge ORONTES, which struck on the beach above Point Edward yesterday evening, has gone to pieces. She was one of the three tows of the tug CLARK. The parting of the tow line caused the disaster. The crew were rescued at great risk by the CLARK. Pieces of the barge CLEMATIS floated past here about 4 o'clock this afternoon. She was in tow of the steambarge LOWELL, and loaded with lumber. The tow line parted during the storm, and the rudder-shaft broke, leaving a hole through which the water poured into the hold. The crew arrived at 8 o'clock this morning opposite Point Edward in a thirteen foot yawl, after thirty hours of intense suffering.
      Port Huron, Mich., May 22. -- The wind from the northeast still continues to blow heavy. The tug CHAMPION went outside this morning and returned at 4 p. m. The captain reported that while he was alongside of the CLEMATIS she commenced to break up while at anchor. At 5 o'clock the forward part of her deck with the foremast, part of her deck load and part of the rail came into the river. The CLEMATIS was lumber-loaded for James ray, of Detroit.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, May 1883

Barge ORONTES. U. S. No. 18890. Of 551.34. Home port, Cleveland, O.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

The Barge ORONTES and her cargo has been turned over to the insurance Companies as a total loss. Detroit Report
      Marine Record
      May 26, 1883

Jasper Leuhrs, son of Patrolman Paul Leuhrs, was on board the Barge ORONTES, which went ashore near Lexington, on Lake Huron, Monday morning. Officer Leuhrs received a dispatch from the Chief of Police of Port Huron, yesterday afternoon, stating that his son has been saved, with the remainder of the crew. Although but sixteen years of age, this is the second wreck in which young Leuhrs has been during his experience on the Lakes.
      Marine Record
      May 26, 1883

ORONTES of 588 Tons, and 27 years of age. Valued at $6,000. Became a total loss on Lake Huron during 1883.
      Lost Tonnage on the lakes in 1883
      Marine Record, December 27, 1883

NOTE :- ex Propeller ORONTES built 1856 at Buffalo by F.N. Jones

Steam screw ORONTES. U. S. No. 18890. Of 711.55 tons gross. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S. 1871

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $6,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.983611 Longitude: -82.411944
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Orontes (Barge), U18890, aground, 21 May 1883