The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Tonawanda (Propeller), U24110, sunk, 18 Oct 1870


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The wind on Monday night did a great deal of damage. The prop. TONAWANDA was sunk and the schr. LILLIE PRATT driven upon the old breakwater where it still lies.
      Buffalo Evening Post
      October 19, 1870

      . . . . .

      This section of the country was visited last night by a severe northwest storm which caused considerable damage to our lake marine. The schr. DAVID D. WELLS, of Chicago, which cleared here Sunday afternoon light, was driven ashore near Silver Creek. Two more schooners are reported ashore at or near Port Colborne. The schr. LILLIE PRATT, in attempting to enter the harbor last night, went on the pier, where she now lies. A large amount of lumber is said to be afloat in the Bay this morning. The barge CLEMENT, Capt. Coyne, was riding at anchor in the South Bay at the time our reporter left the dock, and this lumber is supposed to be a part of her deck load. A large propeller supposed to be the TONAWANDA, was lying in the the offing all the morning flying a flag of distress. Two tugs went out to her assistance and up to 12:30 had succeeded in towing her quite a distance towards the Canada shore, when she rolled over onto her beam in which condition she now (1:25 P.M.) lies. The prop. IDAHO, which left here this morning, and another propeller bound down, are lying near the disabled vessel. It was feared that she would sink before she could be got into port.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 18, 1870 2-6


      About 9:00 P.M., off Long Pt., wind was southward, squally and rainy. About 1:00 A.M., on the 18th, wind shifted suddenly and with great violence to the westward, with a heavy seas. About 2:00 A.M. the vessel broached to; she lay in the trough of the seas laboring heavily; her gangways were washed out and she shipped heavy seas; set the jib and attempted to get her before the wind, but did not succeed until about 3:00 A.M., when the
crew got her head to wind; kept her so about a half hour when she broke off again, heading to the southward, and laid in the trough of the seas until 7 A.M.; got her head to again, heaving to the northward; by letting go the anchor and letting her pony run made pretty good weather on this tack, but the water kept gaining on us, and at 8:15, still heading to the northward, the water reached the grates and put out the fires; commenced throwing off the deck load; at 9 A.M. sent a boat ashore to report that the vessel was sinking; about 10:30 A.M. the tugs HARRISON and BRYANT came to the vessel; gave them a line with instruction to tow the vessel into shoal water on the Canada side; they towed the vessel
till about 12:30, when she sank in 6 fathoms of water off Windmill Pt.
      The TONAWANDA was valued at about $45,000 and insured for $35,000. Her cargo was valued at $40,000 and insured for about that amount.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 19, 1870 2-6


The TONAWANDA, a wooden package freight steamer, built in 1856 by B.B. Jones of Buffalo for the Western Transportation Co. Weighing 822 tons, the TONAWANDA measured 202 feet in length, 32 feet in width, 13.3 feet in depth. With an engine and boiler made in Buffalo's Shepherd Iron Works, the TONAWANDA served Western Transportation until she foundered on October 18, 1870 off Windmill Pt., Ontario. Contrary to popular belief, the ship's hull was never raised.
      by Jack Messmer
      Lower Lakes Marine Historical Soc.
     
      . . . . .

TONAWANDA prop. of 822 tons. Official U.S. No. 24110. Built at Buffalo in 1856. essel foundered October 18, 1870, 15 miles west of Buffalo, N.Y. No lives lost.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      1790 - 1868 The Lytle - Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

      The Coast Wrecking steamer RESCUE, Captain Cotton, arrived at this port Wednesday night from Port Huron with a quantity of freight just recovered from the prop. WABASH, lost over a year ago off Lexington....The RESCUE left here this morning to visit and recover if possible a number of wrecks sunk in Lake Erie, among them the schr. QUICKSTEP at Long Point Cut, and W.S. KEITH there also; the prop. TONAWANDA, which was sunk off Buffalo last fall; the prop. ACME off Dunkirk; the schr. SARAH E. HUDSON (new) off Point Abino, and the brig OXFORD, with a cargo of railroad iron sunk near Mohawk Island by collision with the prop. SPAULDING. - Detroit Tribune.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      July 24, 1871
      . . . . .

      TO BE RAISED. - We learn that the propeller TONAWANDA, formerly of the Western Transportation Company's line, is to be raised. The wrecking steamer RESCUE, which recently visited the wreck to ascertain her condition, has gone to Port Huron after pontoons necessary for raising her. The TONAWANDA was found to the westward of Buffalo, some six miles on the Canada side, and directly off Windmill Point. Aside from some disarrangement of her cabins, she is in good condition and can be raised without difficulty.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, July 27, 1871

      . . . . .

      THE TONAWANDA. - The work of raising the propeller TONAWANDA, sunk off Windmill Point about a year ago, is progressing satisfactory. If nothing adverse occurs it is probable that she will be brought to the surface in the course of a day or two. Later - More pontoons have been sent for from Detroit.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, August 14, 1871

      . . . . .

      THE TONAWANDA. - The statement made in the morning papers to the effect that the propeller TONAWANDA, which lies sunk off Wind Mill Point, had been raised, is premature. She has not been raised. The RESCUE found it necessary to bring the floats into port on Saturday, which fact probably gave rise the impression that the propeller had been raised.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, August 21, 1871
     
      . . . . .

THE TONAWANDA.- The situation at the wrecked steamer TONAWANDA is practically unchanged. The work is progressing, but we understand that the captain of the RESCUE thinks she is the heaviest hulk that he ever made fast to. She lies north and south on a sand and gravel bottom, and has probably been partially filled with sand by the swell from the west, which accounts for her weight.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Monday, August 28, 1871

      . . . . .

THE TONAWANDA. - When the late storm commenced the tug RESCUE attempted to detach the floats from the wreck of the TONAWANDA. A part of them were loosed and brought into the harbor, but for some reason four of the floats could not be detached. Two of these broke loose during the storm, and, with considerable cable attached, were blown into shoal water on the Canadian shore. They were recovered yesterday.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Friday, September 1, 1871

      . . . . .

      THE TONAWANDA. - Operations on the sunken propeller TONAWANDA have been temporarily suspended. The captain of the tug RESCUE has gone to New York on business, but is expected to return today. The floats are being repaired, and everything is being put in readiness to resume work as soon as the captain returns to the city.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Saturday, September 2, 1871

      . . . . .

      THE TONAWANDA. - As we stated on Monday, the wrecking tug RESCUE returned to the wreck of the TONAWANDA Saturday afternoon. She continued hard at work until Tuesday morning, when for some reason everything was cast loose, and the tug came into port with all of the floats. About noon the RESCUE, with two floats, again started for the scene of operations. In the afternoon we visited the wreckers, and after a good deal of interviewing, satisfied ourself that the prospect of recovering the TONAWANDA this season are very small. It will be remembered that previous to the late storm the wreck had been lifted out of her sand bed. During the blow she rolled back again, and now lies on her beam ends with a large quantity of sand in her. The chains which were passed under the
vessel have been covered by sand, and it will require considerable searching to find them. It looks very much as if the wreckers were worse off than when they commenced operations.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, September 6, 1871

      . . . . .

      WRECKING MATTERS. - As we predicted some days ago, work on the propeller TONAWANDA has been abandoned for this season. The chains are still under the wreck, but the ends have been securely lashed to the rail, so that when operations are resumed in the Spring this tboublesome work will be saved. We learn from the caotain of the RESCUE that his vessel has been ordered to Port Huron, at which place she will be stationed for the remainder of the season.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, September 12, 1871

      . . . . .

Masters of vessels are warned to beware of the wreck of the propeller TONAWANDA, which lies nearly in the track of vessels entering Buffalo Harbor.
      Toronto Daily Globe
      Saturday, August 14, 1875
     
      . . . . .

      The boiler of the wrecked propeller TONAWANDA has been raised and brought into port.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 17, 1875 3-5

      . . . . .

Steam screw TONAWANDA. U. S. No. 24110. Of 935.62 tons. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1870
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.13463
Language of Item:
English
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.868333 Longitude: -79.008333
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Tonawanda (Propeller), U24110, sunk, 18 Oct 1870