The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
C. L. Young (Barge), U33915, aground, 1 Nov 1896

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      Canal Boats MAY, SIDWAY and RAWLINS Pounded to Pieces at the Foot of Georgia Street.
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Last night was a night of terror of lake mariners. The storm which had been gathering north of Lake Superior for several days had moved down towards Lake Erie. Here, at the one end, it was found by another, and the two uniting forces tore up the shallow lake and lashed it into giant waves.
The wind began in earnest yesterday afternoon, but it worked overtime. It gathered strength as it blew; it raged and roared and ripped up things in a way that made marine men shudder. The wind reached a velocity of 68 miles an hour last night. But that was the beginning. At 5 this morning the velocity was 72 miles an hour, the strongest wind of the year.
Naturally much damage was done. The extent is not known yet. Nor will it be for some time. Barges, canal boats and other craft are missing. Three boats are ashore in the harbor. The water-front has been torn in many places. Lives were saved by narrow margins. In short, it was a regular November storm of the first magnitude. The Weather Bureau knew it was coming. On Wednesday they foretold heavy westerly winds, and yesterday's bulletins had a special warning to marine men to keep port and not to venture the storm. But, for all that, several boats went out. Some are back, some are ashore and some are missing. "The winds," says Sargt. Cuthbertson, "will continue in force all day, but the rain will moderate. We will have colder weather for the next few days. The barometer is steadily rising, but the high winds will prevail for some time and keep the boats in harbor."
The worst disaster reported is the wrecking of the lumber barge C. L. YOUNG, from Escanaba, Mich. It lies easily on Horseshoe Reef, and the extent of the damage is not known. This morning it looked as though she had held well together, although she may be in worse straits than appearances indicate. All her crew were rescued.
The YOUNG was in tow of the GEORGE A. KING of Bay City, Mich. The two battled against the combing, white-topped waves for two hours from Dunkirk to Buffalo. The captain of the YOUNG saw that the storm would be a fierce one when it first struck the boat, and every bit of canvas was taken in and everything made ready for a stern fight. The vessels came reeling down the lakes and the lights of Buffalo were sighted safely.
According to the men of the YOUNG, Stony Point had been rounded safely, but with the heavy load of lumber on the deck, the boat was becoming strained. However, all went well, when the boat began to round the outer lighthouse.
Then, according to the people on the YOUNG, the KING cast off the two tow lines suddenly and without warning. The KING rounded the breakwater and steamed placidly into the harbor. The YOUNG, helpless, drove with terrible speed towards Horseshoe Reef.
      No canvas was up on the fated boat; nothing was in readiness. The thing came like a blow. Nothing could be done, and the YOUNG with eight human beings on board, drove on the rocks while the great crested waves beat furiously on and over the barge. The KING sailed on to safety.
The watcher in the life house tower saw the vessel make for the rocks. He pulled the alarm bell, and the crew rushed to the life boat. At the same time the tug BABCOCK, running before the wind, saw the YOUNG. The sturdy little tug put about. The YOUNG was smashing toward the reef at a terrible rate. The tug overtook her and managed to get a line aboard her. But the rope drew taut, stretched a bit, then snapped. It was too late, the YOUNG crunched against the rocks.
A small boat was manned at the life house and the strong-armed crew pulled the boat around to the YOUNG'S starboard quarter and the frightened, bruised and water-soaked crew, with Annie Pfeiffer, the cook, and Capt. Kobel, were taken off in safety. It was difficult work, but there was not a slip. The waves beat on the brave little craft as it made for the harbor again, but the saved people were landed safely.
      The YOUNG carried 545,000 feet of lumber consigned to Tonawanda. No reason has been given for the casting off of the lines by the KING.
Early this morning another barge, the SAM FLINT, in tow of the steamer FLETCHER, went ashore at the beach at the lighthouse pier. The FLINT became unmanageable and pounded on the beach, and this morning, as soon as it was possible, a fleet of tugs went out and fastened lines to her. It is thought she will soon be released.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Friday, November 6, 1896

      . . . . .

      The lumber barge C.L. YOUNG was wrecked on Horseshoe Reef, Niagara River.
      Toronto Globe
      November 7, 1896

      . . . . .

      Tugs are still at work on the lumber schooner C.L. YOUNG, which went on Horseshoe Reef, Niagara River a few days ago. Her bottom is in none too good shape, it is said, and the wrecking bill will not be a light one. She is one of the class that have for many years been in the lumber trade out of the Saginaw Valley.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      November 18, 1896

      . . . . .

      Barge CLARA L. YOUNG,Which Went Over Horseshoe Reef Last Fall,
      Now Afloat in the Channel.
The lumber barge CLARA L. YOUNG, which went on Horseshoe reef in the big gale last fall was released from the rocks by the high water and the 60-mile gale which prevailed last night, and is now bobbing about in the channel in the heavy sea.
Her two anchors are out and apparentry holding, so the vessel is in no particular danger, and as soon as the sea goes down and orders are received from the owner, Francis of Marine City, the vessel will be towed to shelter. About half of the YOUNG's lumber cargo is still on board of her and will keep her afloat even if she is waterlogged.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, January 18, 1897

The lumber barge C. L. YOUNG, which was blown onto Horseshoe reef by one gale and blown off by another, will probably be towed to Marine City, water logged, as she is, to unload the lumber in her and make repairs. Capt. Thomas M. Ryan has a libel for $1000 against the YOUNG, which must be satisfied before the vessel can leave the Erie Basin, where she has been lying.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, April 13, 1897

Schooner C.L. YOUNG. U. S. No. 33915. Of 382.34 tons gross; 363.23 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1872. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 155.7 x 29.8 x 10.6
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1895

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.881111 Longitude: -78.915833
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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C. L. Young (Barge), U33915, aground, 1 Nov 1896