The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Glenfinlas (Propeller), burnt, 17 Aug 1883

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St. Catharines, Ont/. Aug. 22. -- The steamer GLENFINLAS, in the Montreal and Duluth trade, was burned to the water's edge in the Welland Canal last night.
      The GLENFINLAS measures 447 tons. She was built at St. Catharines by Shickluma in 1851, is owned by Turner and others, of Hamilton, rated A 2½, and was valued at $20,000. She was formerly the CALABRA, and was rebuilt in 1873 and again in 1880.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, August, 1883

The Propeller GLENFINLAS, destroyed by fire near St. Catharines Friday Night, was owned by Captain H. Zealand, her master, and Turan & Co. of Hamilton, Ont. Her cargo of over 20,000 bushels of corn, and hides and liquors, is a total loss. Captain Zealand and the engineer left the vessel about 10 o'clock after giving orders to put the fires out. The fire broke out about half an hour later. The Captain and engineer lost all their clothing except what they had on, and some of the crew had barely time to get ashore. The boat had stopped at St. Catharines to get some repairs done to her engine. How the fire originated or in what spot is not known, but it was somewhere in the stern near the engine or boiler. The ship burned steadily until about 9 o'clock this morning, when, having burned to the waters edge, she sank. The GLENFINLAS measured 447 Tons, was built at St. Catharines by Shickluna in 1851, and was then known as the BRANTFORD. Some years afterward a Montreal house bought her and changed her name to CALABRIA. Later her name was changed to GLENFINLAS. Owing to her large size she never could pass further up the old canal than St. Catharines. She was valued at $25,000 and her cargo at $30,000. ---- St. Catharines Report.
      Marine Record
      Aug. 23, 1883

St, Catharines, Ont., August 22. - While Mr. Wardell was engaged in unloading coal from the hold of the burned steamer GLENFINLAS this morning he came across a human skull. This find created considerable excitement, and, on query being made it was found that none of the hands were missing, and as the Glenfinlas carried no passengers the name of original possessor of the skull is shrouded in mystery. It is learned that several boxes of miscellaneous freight were shipped on the boat at Chicago for Montreal, and the position of the relic when found would lead to the belief that it was contained in one of those boxes. Dr. Sullivan examined the skull this morning and expressed the opinion that it is a part of a corpse which had been buried, particle of clay still adhering to the cavities of the jaw. No other bones have yet been found and no further information has been obtained about it.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      August 24, 1883

GLENFINLAS propeller of 425 Tons Register.of 8 years of age. Home port, Hamilton. Bound from Port Arthur to Montreal, burned in the Welland Canal at St. Catharines, August 17, 1883, and became a Total loss. Valued at $20,000. Cause of fire was coal gas.
      Depertment of Marine & Fisheries
      Statement of Wreck & Casualty for 1883

GLENFINLAS of 447 Tons, and 32 Years of age. Valued at $30,000. Became a total loss in the Welland Canal during 1883.
      Lost Tonnage on the Lakes in 1883
      Marine Record, December 27, 1883

Capt. Zealand proposes to send the GLENFINLAS over the Niagara Falls, on fire, about the first of October. -- Kingston Report
      Marine Record
      Sept. 27, 1883

The Hull and machinery of the burned GLENFINLAS has been sold to Captain Murray, Port Dalhousie, for $950. -- Duluth Report.
      Marine Record
      Sept. 27, 1883

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: burnt
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $20,000
Cargo: $30,000
Freight: corn, hides, liqu
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.16681 Longitude: -79.24958
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Glenfinlas (Propeller), burnt, 17 Aug 1883