The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mail (Toronto, ON), Friday, September 6, 1872
Full Text

(The Oswego Palladium gives the following:)

"From a conversation with Capt. Daniel Pease, of the lost vessel, we gather the following particulars: The ORION had a cargo of freestone from Cleveland, Ohio, for Brockville, Ontario, and was running down this lake with a free wind over the port quarter, under foresail, mainsail, fore stay-sail and jib, the Mizensail (she being a three masted fore-and-after), gaff-top-sails and other jibs furled. The night was what seamen term a dirty one, and the Captain had been on deck during the whole night, and as morning broke grey in the east, was congratulating himself upon passing safely through, and the near approach of his destination. At 6 o'clock yesterday morning Capt. Pease went into the cabin, roused the cook, and while lighting his pipe at the fire started in the stove, the vessel gave a lurch to the starboard, and as she did not righten, the Captain stepped out of the cabin aft to the man at the wheel and asked him if the vessel was on course, and being told that she was, at once concluded that something was wrong, and ran forward, and called the men from the forecastle. When the men came on deck the pumps were tried, and water was found in plenty. The Captain descended into the forecastle and found that the water had reached the floor, and was rising rapidly. He saw that all hope of saving the vessel was gone, returned to the deck and gave orders to luff the vessel up into the wind, and to lower the yawl. The latter order was obeyed not a moment too soon, as the crew had only time to get into the boat and cut the stern davit tackle, while the captain unrove the bow tackle, and the ORION with another lurch, made a plunge and went down head first.

The pressure was so great when she went down that it burst the decks and hatches with a report as loud as a gun, and sent splinters and pieces of wood flying in all directions. At the time she went down she was about ten miles this side of Long Point, on Lake Ontario, and about 7 miles from land. The depth of water it is impossible for the captain to state, suffice to say that the trucks were not even in sight when she struck bottom. Now came the tug-of-war for the crew; afloat in an open boat, no sails but two cars, with the waves rolling mountains high, and white caps constantly breaking over it's sides, to run before the wind was their only safety. Once a sail was sighted, and with a signal of distress flying they made an effort to attract the attention of the passing vessel, but without avail.

Bailing and rowing in turns the crew passed their time as best they might, still running down the lake until Nine Mile Point, below this city, was sighted and shortly after, a safe landing was affected in the bay, just below the Point at 1:30 yesterday afternoon. After the crew--eight men in all--, were safely landed and the boat pulled up high and dry, and getting something to eat, they started for New Haven station, where they took the Rome train to this city. The crew saved nothing except the clothes they wore, the Captain losing even his books and money. The ORION was owned by Captain Edward Zealand, of Hamilton, and was of considerable age, although she was rebuilt some four or five years ago. The Captain does not know whether there was any insurance, but thinks there was.

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Friday, September 6, 1872
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William R. McNeil
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Mail (Toronto, ON), Friday, September 6, 1872