The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of London (Propeller), fire, 20 Aug 1874

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Propeller CITY OF LONDON, burned and total loss at Owen Sound, August 1874, one life lost. Loss $23,000.
      Casualty List for 1874
      Chicago Inter-Ocean
      December 25, 1874

      . . . . .

A telegram from Owen Sound Saturday says that the prop. CITY OF LONDON was burned Thursday night while lying at the dock at Collins' Inlet. She plied between Chicago and Collingwood. A deck hand named Campbell perished, but the pssengers escaped, losing, however, all their personal effects. The cause of the fire is not stated in the dispatch.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 24, 1874 3-5

      . . . . .
      PROPELLER BURNED. -- We regret to announce the fact of the burning of the propeller CITY OF LONDON at Collin's Bay on Thursday night last. The fire caught about 9 o'clock as some of the passengers were retiring to bed; all, however, got off excepting the poor fireman, named Campbell, who was burned to death. There was an excursion party from the Sound on board, on the way to Chicago and had not the fire occurred while the boat was lying at the dock, the loss of life might have been great. The LONDON was owned in the Sound and is the second boat lost by the Georgian Bay Transportation Company within two years.
      Meaford Monitor
      Monday, August 24, 1874
      . . . . .
Owen Sound, Aug. 22. -- The steamer SILVER SPRAY arrived this morning, from Sault Ste. Marie, and reports as follows: - At 9:30 p.m., of Thursday, the propeller CITY OF LONDON, while lying at the dock in Collins' Inlet took fire from somewhere in the engine room, and in a few minutes she was a mass of flames. She had about thirty passengers on board, who were in bed at the time, and barely escaped with their lives, so rapid was the progress of the flames. Nearly all the passengers and crew lost their personal effects and a great number jumped on to the dock in their night clothes. A tug was sent to Killarney to procure blankets and other necessaries for the sufferers. A deck hand, named Archie Campbell was burnt to death. The SILVER SPRAY brought the CITY OF LONDON's passengers here this morning. The purser of the LONDON had not gone to bed when the alarm of fire was given and cannot account for the origin of the disaster. Within five minutes after it was discovered it was enveloped in flames. The officers and others lost everything they had on board, and only escaped with what clothing they had on at the time. A man named Johnson, with his family, eight in all, from the Township of Arran, was removing to Michigan, taking with him his household effects, stock and implements. He has lost everything and had to borrow clothing from the mill hands to cover his family. The boat was insured with the Western for $18,000. She is burnt to the water's edge, and lies in eleven feet of water. About 100,000 feet of lumber on deck was also burned.
      Barrie Northern Advance
      August 27, 1874
The hull of the burnt propeller CITY OF LONDON has been raised and on Monday last was towed into this port by the wrecking tug MARY ANN. The tug also had in tow a very large barge, which had on board the engine of the CITY.
      Owen Sound Advertiser
      October 29, 1874
      [courtesy Bill Hester] . . . . .

      The wreck of the steamer CITY OF LONDON, which last Summer was burned at Collin's Inlet, and subsequently sold to Smith & Wyatt of Toronto, where it will be rebuilt. A company has been formed at the latter place for the establishment of a dry dock and shipyard, and they will be ready for business in a short while.
      Meaford Monitor
      Friday, November 13, 1874
      . . . . .

The wreck of the stm. CITY OF LONDON, which last summer was burned at Collingwood and subsequently sold to Smith & Wyatt of Toronto, has been raised and taken to Owen Sound, where it will be rebuilt. A company has been formed at the latter place for the establishement of a drydock and ship yard, and they will be ready for business in a short time.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      November 7, 1874 3-5

      . . . . .

      ... We notice the hull of the CITY OF LONDON lying in the river just in front of the new vessel, CITY OF OWEN SOUND now building. Of course this will require to be taken out before the CITY can be launched; but it should be removed now, it is an eye-sore where it lies, but that is not the worse of it. It lies very much in the way of other vessels, it will be almost impossible for any vessel to turn round opposite to the hulk. It should be removed at once.
      ? Advertiser
      April 29, 1875
      . . . . .

      Steamer CITY OF LONDON, 307 Tons and 8 years of age, bound from Collingwood to Chicago, burnt at Collins Inlet, Georgian Bay, August 20, 1874, from causes unknown. No lives lost but vessel a total loss. Home port, Port Stanley.
      Statement of Wreck & Casualty for 1874
      Deptartment of Marine and Fisheries

      . . . . .
NOTE:-- Engine and boilers put in CITY OF OWEN SOUND.

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Item Type:
Reason: fire
Lives: 1
Hull damage: $23,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
William R. McNeil
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City of London (Propeller), fire, 20 Aug 1874