The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Thursday, Aug. 9, 1917


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Twelve Drowned in Lake Ontario - Schooner George A. Marsh Foundered Near Pigeon Island Yesterday Morning - Two Saved - Steambarge Ashore.

Kingston, Ont., Aug. 9. - A thirty-five mile gale swept over Lake Ontario Tuesday night and out in this unusual August storm the coal laden schooner, George A. Marsh of Belleville, battled and was finally overcome about five o'clock Wednesday morning, midway between Nine Mile Point and Pigeon Island. Twelve of the fourteen persons on board perished, eleven by drowning and one, a child, from exposure, while two others were making for land in a small boat. The schooner was coming from Sodus.

Those who perished were: Captain Smith, his wife and five children. Mr. and Mrs. McClennan and one child. William Watkins, mate. George Cousins, deckhead. All were Belleville residents. Four were able to enter a small boat, but in the tossing and rolling one was lost overboard, and Mr. McClennan, Jr., and William Smith, aged ten, son of the captain, were rescued by fishermen, who had gone out to lift their nets and came across the skiff. McClennan had the dead form of a child in his arms when rescued.

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Rescued-Sailors at Amherst Island.

Kingston, Ont., Aug. 9. (Special.) -- The survivors of the schooner George A. Marsh, which foundered Wednesday morning, are William Smith, a brother of Captain Smith, and Mr. McClellan Jr., the latter from Toronto. William Smith, the ten-year-old son of Captain Smith, was drowned, his body being recovered floating in the lake about six miles west of here.

The survivors were taken by the fishermen, who found them in the boat, and landed at Amherst Island, where they now are. The report sent out that Captain Smith's ten-year-old son was saved, was erroneous.

News that a vessel had foundered reached here only yesterday afternoon, when D.J. Millan received a phone call that the lighthouse keeper at Simcoe Island had reported a schooner sinking about two miles above the lighthouse. It was found that the Katie Eccles was in Oswego; that the Merrill had run through a storm and was safe here; and that the St. Louis was anchored in Prinzers Cove. The Marsh was also at first reported there, but later this was found to be a mistake, and at last news of the disaster was confirmed by the finding of the survivors.

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The Marsh was owned by Captain Smith, who had taken his family and the invited McClennans to go with them on a pleasure trip, it was said here today. The vessel was valued between five and six thousand dollars and represented the owner's entire possessions. Monday they loaded at Sodus, taking on between three hundred fifty and four hundred tons of anthracite, and sailed away sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

There was no evidence of the blow, but when it came it is thought that the seams of the schooner opened and filling with water, she foundered. She was built in 1882 and was regarded as a staunch and seaworthy boat. She was 135 feet keel, 25.6 feet beam and had a draft when loaded of nine feet. Her carrying capacity was 375 tons. She was a frequent caller at this port and Captain Smith had a large number of friends here.

Members of Captain Smith's family have frequently visited with Mr. and Mrs. James Jacobs, 11 West Fourth Street. Horace, one of Captain Smith's sons, who is about seventeen years old, was here three weeks ago and spent a few days. He was probably aboard the schooner when she foundered. Captain Smith was twice married, his second wife and their baby being on the boat with him on this trip.

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Barge Whittaker Ashore.

During the gale of Tuesday night the steambarge Byron Whittaker, 190 feet long and of Canadian registry, bound light from Montreal to a Lake Erie port for coal, became unmanageable and was beached. In trying to get behind the breakwater at Cape Vincent the wind caught her and sent her against the concrete abutments, punching two holes in her side. Captain Joseph Temple got her on the beach, thus saving a more disastrous wreck. Divers patched her up yesterday and she will proceed to her destination.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Thursday, Aug. 9, 1917
Local identifier:
GLN.4603
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Richard Palmer
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Thursday, Aug. 9, 1917