The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William Crosthwaite (Schooner), U80344, aground, 1 Aug 1874

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During the fresh wind down the lake last night the tug CRUSADER, which had the schrs. CROSTHWAITE, WELLS, BRUCE and ROBERTS in tow, became disabled off Long Pt. and let the vessels go. The schooners were driven back on to one another before they could get under sail, and the CROSTHWAITE and ROBERTS scraped each other pretty hard. The BRUCE and the WELLS got their canvas up first and succeeded in working out. The CROSTHWAITE before extricating herself was too near the shore to get clear and she let go her anchors. But the bottom was rock and she soon dragged ashore and went hard on. The ROBERTS finally got out into the lake.
The captain of the stranded vessel came here for assistance, and the tug INGRAM and GIBNEY will go to her assitance with cables &c., this afternoon. When the captain left the CROSTHWAITE she was not making any water.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 20, 1874 3-5

The latest advice from the CROSTHWAITE are to the effect that she is still on. The water was low yesterday, and the combined efforts of the tugs failed to move her.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 22, 1874 3-5

Schooner, CROSTHWAITE, no cargo, ashore at Point Abino, August 1874. Loss
      Casualty List for 1874
      Chicago Inter-Ocean, Dec. 25, 1874

      . . . . .

      The schr. WILLIAM CROSTHWAITE, ashore at Point Abino still resists all efforts to get her off. The wrecking party are waiting for a breeze to blow in shore which will raise the water, but although the wind has changed several times the depth of the water has not been increased sufficiently to float her.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 28, 1874

      . . . . .

      There is no better place and none where one is more needed than Point Abino on Lake Erie, for the establishment of a light to guide steamers or vessels bound for the Niagara River or Buffalo Harbor. This place is located on the Canada side, 12 miles from Buffalo and 8 miles below Port Colborne, and we hazard nothing in stating there are few more dangerous places on the whole chain of lakes. Its approaches are very dangerous, abounding with craggy rocks which in the event of a vessel striking, her fate is well nigh sealed. Some of the finest vessels that ever floated fresh water have here found their last resting place; prominent among others may be mentioned the fine brig MANHATTAN, owned by O. Newberry, of Detroit, which was driven upon the coast in a blinding snow storm late in the fall season, which period is more dangerous than all others.
The property damaged and lost there during one season would afford means for the erection of one of the best lights on the lakes. It is hoped the importance of this undertaking will be urged by the press throughout the lakes. - Detroit Free press.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 28, 1874

(The schr. WILLIAM CROSTHWAITE which went ashore at Pt. Abino a few days
earlier precipitated this article.)

      . . . . .

      The brisk wind from the west, accompanied by rain, yesterday succeeded in disaranging the braces &c, for raising the schr. CROSTHWAITE and the wreckers have adopted another process for getting her off by neans of screws. The job promises to be a tedious one, as she has got to be moved 200 ft. before she can be set afloat.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 4, 1874

      . . . . .

The expedition sent out to rescue the schr. W.S. CROSTHWAITE which went ashore at Pt. Abino on the night of August 19, succeeded in accomplishing their task Thursday, and the vessel arrived in port last evening in tow of the tug INGRAM. The vessel ran on the rocks close to the shore and the work of getting her off has been a difficult one. She presents anything but a bright appearance above water, and it is likely that her bottom is badly damaged as she pounded on the rocks considerably. She will be put into drydock as soon as possible, and then the full extent of damages will be ascertained.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      September 12, 1874 3-4

      . . . . .

      The following decision in the case of Jno. Kelderhouse and W.H. McGilvray vs. the tug CRUSADER is from the Detroit Free Press of yesterday:
      Five years ago the tug CRUSADER, became partially disabled on Lake Erie off Point Abino, and, after notifying the nearest schooner of the four in tow of her intention, cut them adrift. Out of the tow but one, the CROSTHWAITE, was damaged by being set adrift. Her owners brought suit, and yesterday Judge Brown, of the United States District Court, rendered a decision. The Judge stated that the tug was in fault for abandoning her tow on a lee shore " I am satisfied there was no such breaking down of the machinery as would result in an immediate disablement of the tug. This is demonstrated, not only by the nature of the injury, but by the fact that the tug itself found no difficulty in going into the lake two or three miles to repair her machinery. If she was able to take such good care that she herself would not drift ashore, it seems to me that she might at least have turned her tow around in such a position that they could have taken the wind upon the starboard tacks, and gotten off the shore without incurring the hazard of dragging the anchors." The Judge added that there
seemed a preponderance of testimony to the effect that the weakness in the cylinder was known at Buffalo, before the tug with her tow left that port. No fault was found with the CROSTHWAITE, although she was the only one of the tow that was injured. In conclusion: "The facts seem to put a clear case of negligence against the tug. There must be an interlocutory decree for the libelant, and a reference to the clerk's commissioner to report and assess the damages."
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, June 4, 1879

      . . . . .

      Schooner W.S. CROSTHWAITE. U. S. No. 80344. Of 673.20 tons gross; 639.54 tons net. Built East Saginaw, Mich., 1873. Home port, Sandusky, O. 197.0 x 34.0 x 13.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Hull damage: $9,000
Cargo: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.836111 Longitude: -79.095277
William R. McNeil
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William Crosthwaite (Schooner), U80344, aground, 1 Aug 1874