The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Etta (Barge), aground, 22 Nov 1883

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the Barge ETTA Tow of the Tug ECLIPSE, which had been cast adrift in a November storm, with only one man aboard, John Drew, he alone was the only survivor, the ETTA drifted ashore at Little Pike Bay, on the Bruce Peninsula November 23, 1883, and John Drew stepped ashore, the ECIPSE and her crew of seven had foundered during the night off Pine Tree Harbor. (extracted)
      from Shipwrecks of the Saugeen
      by Patrick Folkes

ETTA of Wallaceburg. Scow, built 1873 at Lambton, Ont. of 49 Tons Reg. 72 x 31 x 4.1 Owned by Nathan Ward of Lambton.
      Government of Canada Vessel Register, 1878

      Description of the `ECLIPSE' Reported
      Lost on Georgian Bay
      Wiarton, Nov. 26.-- The steamer ECLIPSE, which left Wiarton for Sarnia, was caught in a gale on Wednesday night of Pine Tree Harbor and is supposed to be lost with all hands, as a part of the wreck and three bodies came ashore with life preservers marked ECLIPSE. The papers found on one of them identified his as Capt. Wm. Bush, of Sarnia, and Jas. Moore of Thessalon, engineer. John Drew was cut loose from the steamer, alone on a scow, which drifted ashore at Pike Bay, and he is saved -- the only known survivor.
Hamilton, Nov. 27.-- The steamer ECLIPSE, which is reported lost on Georgian Bay, was formerly owned here and known as the JULLIETTE, she was built in Hamilton by Mr. Cooper of Buffalo, and ran three seasons between this city, Oakland and the Beach. When first built
she was so narrow and crank that she was liable to topple over. As she lay in Simcoe St. wharf one holiday she careened so far that but for touching the next dock she would have turned upside down, and a terrible calamity would have been reported, for many people were on board. The steamer was given more beam by false sides which were attached, and was afterwards known as the`ECLIPSE'.
      She was sold and went to Sarnia, where she ran as a ferry, and afterwards was bought by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The vessel was taken to Algoma Mills, and ran on the Serpent and Spanish Rivers with supplies.
Wiarton, Ont. Nov. 27.-- The statement of John Drew, the only known survivor of the steamer ECLIPSE, is that the steamer left Algoma Mills on Nov. 15 for Sarnia, with the barge ETTA in tow; ran into Rattlesnake Harbor, Manitoulin Island, and left there Wednesday Nov. 21, intending to make Southampton. Capt. Bush of the barge, left me alone on the barge and went aboard the ECLIPSE. About 4 a. m. I dressed and went on deck, and could see nothing of the ECLIPSE, and realized that I was cast adrift and alone on Lake Huron, and a fearful gale raging. After awhile I heard the steamers whistle several times, then I saw and heard no more of them. At daylight I saw land about a miles distance, and about 4 p. m. the barge went ashore on the beach at Little Pike Bay, and I jumped ashore and started for Wiarton, sixteefl miles distant.
I do not know the names of the crew. There wqere seven men on the ECLIPSE. Some fishermen were out in a boat at Pine Tree Harbor, and saw three bodies floating near the shore with life preservers on, marked 'the ECLIPSE' and what appeared to be the upper works of a steamer. One of the bodies had a watch and $22 and another $8:95. By papers found I identified one as Capt. Bush, of the barge ETTA, and another as J. Moore, engineer of the ECLIPSE.
      Meaford Monitor
      Friday, December 7, 1883

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: ?
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.902777 Longitude: -81.359444
William R. McNeil
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Etta (Barge), aground, 22 Nov 1883