The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sam Cook (Schooner), U11586, aground, 2 Jul 1882


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American schooner SAM COOK, of 318 tons register, while bound from Ogdensburg to Ashtabula, Ohio, stranded in Jones' Narrows, 3 1/2 miles above Brockville, St. Lawrence River, July 2, 1882. The wind fell when she was caught in the strong current and went aground. Considered a total loss with a hull value of $15,00 and $3,000 cargo. Vessel registered at port of Ogdensburg and 9 years of age.
      Statement of Wreck & Casualty, 1882
      Department of Marine & Fisheries

      . . . . .

Brockville, July 3.- The schooner SAM COOK left here for Cleveland yesterday with ore. About 2 1/2 miles west of here, in Jones; Narrows, the wind changed suddenly and the COOK drifted ashore. Her anchors would not hold and she lies with her stern in 15 feet of water and her forward deck out of water, insurance not known.
      Toronto Globe
      Tuesday, July 4, 1882

      . . . . .

      THE SAM COOK DISASTER
Of the circumstances of the disaster to the fine schooner SAM COOK, the Kingston Whig says: "On Sunday morning the schooner SAM COOK cleared from Ogdensburg for Ashtabula with iron ore. She sailed up the river finely. Upon reaching the head of the Narrows the breeze dropped completely, and fearing that she would drift on the shoals, the captain threw out the anchor. It failed to stick on the rocky bottom, however, and in a few moments the vessel drifted to the reef just at the head of the Narrows. She went on broadside, but the current soon swung her off again only to place her in more peril. She finally drifted down the stream until she went bow on to the shoal between Black Charlie and Picnic Islands, where she rapidly filled and sank, being deserted about four and a half hours after first striking. The vessel has about sixty feet of water under her stern and is hard on at the bow. She was fully insured. The vessel lays with the knight-heads forward and her mizzen cross-trees aft out of water. It is doubtful if she will be raised, as the expense would equal the value of the Cargo." The COOK was built by Goble & Macfarlane, Oswego, came out in August, 1873, rated A 2, registered 318 tons. and was valued at $12,500. She was recently sold by Mitchell Bros., of Oswego, to Captain McKee, of Clayton, and Mr. Griffin, of Potsdam.
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes marine Scrapbook, July, 1882

      . . . . .

      Kingston, July 4. - The schooner SAM COOK, sunk at the "Narrows" in the River St. Lawrence lies with eight heads forward and mizzen crosstrees aft, out of water. It is doubtful if she will be raised as the expense would not be equal the value of the cargo.
      Toronto Globe
      Wednesday, July 5, 1882

      . . . . .

      Capt. Donnelly has returned from the sunken schooner SAM COOK, he made an inspection along with Capt. Kinney, Marine Inspector, from the Buffalo Underwriters. Capt. Donnelly thinks it will coast all that the cargo and vessel are worth to move them. The schooner is loaded with rich black ore from Ogdensburg.
      Toronto Globe
      Friday, July 7, 1882

      . . . . .

      Capt. James Allen, Calven & Sons, Wreckers, has been down to see the SAM COOK. He made an offer to raise her.
      Toronto Globe
      Monday, July 10, 1882

      . . . . .

      The only wrecking company offering to raise the sunken schooner SAM COOK, is that of which Capt. Donnelly is Superintendent. He has made an offer to the Underwriters, to deliver her in Kingston, and if he fails to do that, asks for no monetary consideration.
      Toronto Globe
      Tuesday, July 11, 1882

      . . . . .

      The schooner SAM COOK, lately wrecked off Brockville was insured for $12,000. Capt. Donnelly offered to raise her for $5,500
      Toronto Globe
      July 18, 1882

      . . . . .
     
      Capt. McLeod of Buffalo, was in the city today, he represents the company is which the SAM COOK is insured. He visited the wreck and says it will cost as much as her insurance amounts to.
      Toronto Globe
      July 18, 1882

      . . . . .

      Sme time ago the schooner SAM COOK sank at the Narrows. She was purchased by George Hall & Co., of Ogdensburg, who have since stripped her of her sails, rigging, anchors, blocks, etc. The price paid was $500. The COOK cleared from Ogdensburg for Cleveland with 500 tons of ore. When it became apparent that she would prove a wreck Captain McKee abandoned her. She was insured for $12,000. The insurance companies propose contesting the claim, alleging non-fulfilment of the rules on the part of the Captain in not securing a pilot. Captain Fitzgerald is of the opinion that the cargo had not shifted; that the vessel has been injured only where she struck. An attempt will be made next season to raise her. The cargo is valued at $2,500.
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, No. 2, October, 1882
     
      . . . . .
     
      LILLIE PARSONS --- UNKNOWN WRECKS --- SAM COOK.
      Captain Merryman, the wrecker, intends looking after the schooner LILLIE PARSONS, which sunk some years ago near Brockville with 500 tons of coal. he believes that she can be raised without difficulty. It was generally supposed that vessels sunk for a length of time rotted or went to pieces, but this idea is an erroneous one. captain Merryman states that in his experience he has raised vessels which had been under water for thirteen years and found them still in a good state of preservation.
      Captain Merryman says that while working at the wrecked propeller St. CATHARINES, sunk in 125 feet of water, the men found the hulls of several craft which no one seemed to know anything of, and several which were as sound as when lost. When a wreck goes down out of sight in deep water it is located by means of grappling weights attached to enormous towing lines and dragged about one mile behind a tug. While working in this way last season to locate the St. CATHARINES many curious finds were reported, including anchors, chains, towing ropes, wheels, spars, etc. One of the wheels brought up must have been a relic of the pioneer days of steam boating, as the blades were fitted into the hub separately instead of being cast all in one piece as at present.
      regarding the wreck of the SAM COOK, work will begin as soon as possible. It will likely be a week or more, however, before they get rightly at work, as they are not allowed to use their own apparatus, and will have to secure what they need from Canadian ports. The hoister will be procured in Kingston. Two divers will be brought from Port Huron, and two more will probably be secured in Ogdensburg, while the majority of the men employed will belong to Brockville. It is expected that it will take about six weeks to raise the vessel.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, July 1883



      A Port Huron wrecker has contracted to raise the sunken schooner SAM COOK, for Hall & Co., of Ogdensburg. He is now awaiting a permit from the Canadian Government before proceeding with the work. The necessary machinery for the work is now at Ogdensburg, and will be taken to the scene of the wreck. It is proposed to sink an old barge directly in front of the COOK in order to break the force of the current. The raising will be done by pontoons, and it is likely several divers will be employed. Before the actual work of raising commences, however, most of the ore now in the wreck will be taken out, so that the hull will not be injured when being brought to the surface. If success attends the work the craft will be converte into a lumber barge.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, July 1883


     
      One of the divers at the sunken schooner SAM COOKE (near Brockville, Ont., St. Lawrence R.) related that in raising a pile of lumber he disturbed some of the boards and immediately was surrounded by myriads of eels. He said they swam around and against him, and did not exhibit the slightest fear. He has a good idea now of what is meant by saying "as slippery as an eel." He would catch them in his hands, but they slipped out as though he was trying to grasp a lot of quicksilver. There will be a lively time when the vessel is raised, as the diver says that thousands of the snaky fish will come up with her.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      August 11, 1883
     
      . . . . .

The second steam pump belonging to the Dominion Wrecking Company left today for the SAM COOK. The company has one at work there at present, but it is insufficient to raise her, -- Kingston News.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, October, 1883
     

The schooner SAM COOK, which was sunk in the St. Lawrence River some time ago, has been raised eighteen feet, and divers are at work patching her bottom, with a view to saving her.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes marine Scrapbook, October, 1883


      The SAM COOK is now above water. She will be taken to Ogdensburg for repairs. It is thought that at the end of a week she will be ready to sail.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes marine Scrapbook, October, 1883

     
      Brockville. - Another disastrous chapter in Mr. Merryman's history of the sunken SAM COOK, has been recorded. The vessel suddenly canted over on her side and put a stop to further work for the time being. She now rests with her spar resing on the barge alongside and her broadside clear of the water. Two of the pumps have been sent back to Kingston, as it has been practically demonstrated that one pump will only be required to keep her clear of water. It is thought, however, she will have to again be let down and then raised by means of the jack screws.
      Marine Record
      November 8, 1883

      . . . . .

      It appears that the Dominion Salvage Company did not get paid for the services of Capt. Donnelly in connection with the unloading of the sunken schooner SAM COOK. As the money was not forthcoming the case was put in Dr. Smythe's hands, and he has seized the ore which was taken out of the boat, and which is now lying at Brockville.
      The ore is valued at $1,600, and is owned by Hall of Ogdensburg, and the company's claim amounts to $950. It appears that it was Captain Merryman who engaged Captain Donnelly, hence the difficulty about the money.
      Marine Record
      February 7, 1884

      . . . . .

      Another attempt to raise the sunken schooner SAM COOK is to be made. A wrecking expedition has left Port Huron for that purpose.
      Marine Record
      June 5, 1884

      . . . . .


The schr. SAM COOK, wrecked a year ago on Lake Ontario, and 3 times abandoned, will be got up if possible. She is valuable if raised, and nearly new.
      Detroit News
      June 5, 1884 4-1

      . . . . .

      D.N. Runnels of Port Huron has received a dispatch from Capt. F.I. Merryman stating that he has succeeded in raising the schooner SAM COOK, sunk in the St. Lawrence River 3 miles above Brockville and is towing her to Ogdensburg. The COOK was wrecked 3 years ago, loaded with iron ore, in 60 feet of water.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      July 19, 1884 3-6

      . . . . .

      The schooner SAM COOK, which has been sunk in the St. Lawrence River for three years, has been raised and towed to Buffalo, where she will be repaired and put in commision again. The COOK went down when ore laden, and repeated attempts have been made to bring her up, but without success, untill by mere accident the wreckers succeeded in floating her on the 16th.
      Marine Record
      July 24, 1884

      . . . . .
     
Schooner SAM COOK. U. S. No. 115186. Of 318.56 gross tons. Built Oswego, N.y., 1873. Home port, Ogdensburg, N.Y. 137.0 x 25.0 x 11.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885


      The SAM COOK has had her name changed to that of " WILLIAM WHEELER."
      Marine Record
      June 11, 1884


Barge Wm. WHEELER. U. S. No. 62873. Of 309.06 gross tons; 309.06 net tons. Built Ogdensburg, N.Y., 1884. Home port, Ogdensburg, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List U. S., 1892
      . . . . .

NOTE :- The Wm. WHEELER foundered Lake Ontario, Aug. 13, 1893. Total loss.




Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: iron ore
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
1882
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.16391
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.58341 Longitude: -75.68264
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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Sam Cook (Schooner), U11586, aground, 2 Jul 1882