The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
M. Ballard (Schooner), aground, 1 Dec 1866

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M. BALLARD Schooner, cargo corn, wrecked on Galloo Island reef. Crew all lost. Vessel total loss. Property loss, hull $12,000 cargo $18,500 December 1866.
      Casualty List for 1866---Buffalo
      Commercial Advertiser, Feb. 26, 1867

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M. BALLARD Schooner of 288 Tons, owned at Detroit by Hugh Coyne. Bound from Chicago to Oswego, went ashore on Galloo Island, lake Ontario, December 1866. loss to ship $12,000 insurance $10,000 loss to cargo $18,500 insurance $12,600 Seven lives lost.
      Marine Casualties on the Great Lakes
      1863-1873 U. S. Coast Guard Report

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      Vessel Wrecked - Crew Lost - The Bodies of Three Of The Sailors Brought To Oswego. - On the 30th inst., the keeper of the light house on Galloo Island, Lake Ontario, with two men, saw a schooner going down toward the St. Lawrence, probably bound for Ogdensburgh. When opposite the Island, and one and a half miles to the northwest of the light house, she struck a shoal, and was unable to get off.
She struck about 9 o¹clock A.M. At twenty minutes of 11 the mainmast fell over and at 11 the foremast also fell. The wind was blowing a gale and a heavy sea running, so no boats could be sent from the island with any hope of reaching the imperiled crew of the schooner. The vessel hung in the same position till 1 P.M., when she also sunk out of sight. her small boat drifted ashore about an hour after she went down.
The lighthouse-keeper and his two companions remained on the beach till dusk. Shortly before night-fall three or four of the crew were seen floating on the hatches. One of them came so near that an oar was handed to him. he caught it, but a heavy sea washed him back and he was not seen afterwards.
      One of the crew was picked up that evening on the shore, about three miles from the head of the Island, and two more were found the next morning.
      A board was picked up with the name "BALLARD" on it, and the vessel is supposed to have been the "M. BALLARD," of Detroit, with a crew of ten men, all of whom are probably lost. The schooner E.B. GANNETT, Capt. E. Wilder, of Sackets Harbor, came in this morning, bringing the bodies of the three men picked up on the island. Captain Pierce is holding an inquest, the result of which we will announce tomorrow.
      Oswego Advertiser & Times
      Monday, December 3, 1866

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A telegram to Capt. Weber states that the schooner M. BALLARD struck on Gallow Island Reef on Friday last, and immediately sunk -- all hands being drowned.
Oswego, N. Y., Dec. 3. -- The schooner M. BALLARD, laden with wheat, was wrecked off Calve Island, Lake Ontario, Friday morning. The captain and crew of 11 men were drowned. Three of the bodies were recovered and were brought here this morning.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Tuesday, December 4, 1866

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The following dispatch was received yesterday morning:
      Kingston, Dec. 3d, 1866 - E.P. Dorr, Buffalo
      Schooner BALLARD, of Detroit, struck on Balloo Island Reef Friday, noon, and went down. All hands lost.
      The BALLARD was built at Cleveland in 1857, by Messrs. Stephens & Presley, and owned by Mr. Coyne of Detroit. She received large repairs in 1864; registered 288 tons old measurement; classed B1, and was valued at $7,000.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      December 4, 1866 3-4

The M. BALLARD of which mention was made yesterday morning, as having been lost on Balloee Island Reef, was laden with 14,000 bushels of corn, and bound from Toledo to Ogdensburg.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      December 5, 1866 34

The Bodies Of The Sailors Brought To Oswego By The E.B. GANNETT - We learn that a telegram has been received here from Mr. Hugh Coyne, of Detroit, saying that he would leave that place, Monday, to take charge of the bodies of the three sailors brought to this port, who perished in the wreck of the "M. BALLARD." A telegram has also been received from a person in Kingston, requesting that the body of John King, one of the sailors, be sent to Cape Vincent. The body was accordingly sent forward on the 5:40 train last evening.
The body found on the lake shore Sunday morning has been identified as being that of Alvin Becker, of Port Round, County of Norfolk, C.W., who was lost from the schooner MAYFLOWER, several days ago.
Much credit is due to Coroner Pierce for his energy and efficiency in obtaining evidence of identification, and also in securing money to defray the expenses of burial, which, in several instances occurring lately, would otherwise have been charged to the county.
      Oswego Advertiser & Times
      Wednesday, December 5, 1866

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      LOSS OF THE SCHOONER M. BALLARD -- FURTHER PARTICULARS. - The BALLARD cleared from Toledo on the 24th November with a cargo of 14,000 bushels of corn for Ogdensburg. She was owned in Detroit by Capt. H. Coyne, and commanded by his brother, Capt. John Coyne, a young man about twenty-five. He was unmarried, and formerly resided in Cleveland. The BALLARD was built in Cleveland in 1857, by Messrs. Presley & Stephens. She received large repairs in 1864, registered 288 tons, old measurement, and was valued at $12,000, and insured for $10,000.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Friday, December 7, 1866

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The Schooner BALLARD. - Our readers will recollect the circumstances connected with the loss of that unfortunate vessel, the M. BALLARD, which was wrecked off the Galloo Islands some weeks ago, going down under with her captain and crew of ten men.
The Detroit Post says, Capt. Hugh Coyne has returned; his efforts to recover the body of his brother who was lost by the wreck of the schooner BALLARD on Galloo island, having been entirely fruitless. No traces of any of the bodies, except the three which were found the next morning after the gale, could be discovered, and the season is now so late that it is impossible to make further search. The names of the crew, as well as their residence, is unknown. Capt. Coyne was a young man, and attended school in Detroit last winter. His untimely death is lamented by a large circle of friends.
      Oswego Advertiser & Times
      December 21, 1866

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 7
Hull damage: $12,000
Cargo: $18,500
Freight: corn
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.90562 Longitude: -76.41633
William R. McNeil
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M. Ballard (Schooner), aground, 1 Dec 1866