The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Mocking Bird (Schooner), U17575, aground, 1 Oct 1876

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A dispatch this morning from Port Colborne reports the schr. MOCKING BIRD ashore at Long Point.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 11, 1876 3-4

The tug DALTON left for Long Pt. last evening to render assistance, if desired, to the schr. MOCKING BIRD, ashore at that place.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 12, 1876 3-5

Yesterday's dispatches reported the schr. MOCKING BIRD, ashore at Long Pt., in bad shape and probably a total loss. The tug DAYTON which went to render assistance has not yet been heard from.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 13, 1876 3-5

      . . . . .

The schooner MOCKING BIRD is on Long Point, a total wreck, and her cargo a total loss. From Lewis Nelson, one of her crew who arrived in the city yesterday, it is learned that she sailed from Buffalo, on Saturday, September 30th, bound for Chicago with a cargo of coal. Owing to rough seas she cast anchor off Long Point the following night, where, after several ineffectual attempts to go on her course, she lay on Sunday night last. At this time she started on her way. On Monday afternoon about 3 o'clock, when about 50 miles out, while reefing sail in a heavy wind, the main boom lift broke and fell, striking Frank June, one of the crew, breaking his collarbone, crushing his shoulder, and otherwise injuring him. About the same time she sprung a leak, a misfortune which, added to the loss of the mainsail, gave things a dark aspect. She immediately put about, and, as best she could, headed for Long Point again, where she arrived about 11 o'clock the same night, having drifted most of the way in the trough of the sea partly on her side. The water was coming in rapidly and the pumps had to be kept working energetically all the time to save her from sinking. There was no light on board, except in the cabin, and no help in sight, the sea being so heavy as to prevent persons leaving port anywhere along the lakes. The moon shone on the distressed seamen the latter part of their perilous journey, but its light was faint and the only hope was that the ship might reach some beach before she would settle. This hope was the stimulus which caused the sailors to work while their failing strength permitted, and they managed to hold out until within a short distance from her present position. She is now so imbedded on the beach of sand and clay, that there is no hope of her recovery.
Though only a ship's length from the shore, it was impossible to disembark without help. Distress signals were kept up all night, and although thirty or forty vessels lay in sight, no help came. The exhausted seamen remained in the cabin all night, with the breakers dashing about them, threatening at any moment to complete the wreck, and it was not until about 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning that they were helped from their perilous situation. At this time they were discovered by the Point Lighthouse keeper, who came to their assistance in a small boat.
The value of the vessel, the amount and value of her cargo, and the amount of insurance on either, could not be learned.
      Cleveland Herald
      Friday, October 13, 1876

The bark MOCKING BIRD sank at Long Point, a total loss. She was bound from Buffalo to Chicago with coal.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, October 13, 1876

Capt. Cleland, of the schr. MOCKING BIRD, says the vessel will be a total loss. She is owned by Capt. Wm. Cleland, Capt. J. Cleland (sailing the schr. T.Y. AVERY) and Mr. John Kissing. She was built in Tonawanda in 1868, by F.N. Jones, measured 476 tons, was classed A2, and valued at $18,750. She had an insurance policy for $15,000, which expired last Saturday, and on Monday she went ashore; consequently the owners will lose the whole amount.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 14, 1876 3-5

Capt. John Rice telegraphed yesterday that he had decided to abandon the schr. MOCKING BIRD, ashore near Long Point. Three pumps had been placed on board her, but failed to produce any effect. It is quite probable that the storm of yesterday has broken her up.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 17, 1876 3-6

      The wrecking party which left this port to go to the rescue of the schr. MOCKING BIRD, which went ashore at Long Point, have abandoned the enterprise and returned to this port. They report that the schooner is broken through and is resting on the wreck of the old MIAMI.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 21, 1876

      The schr. MOCKING BIRD, ashore at Long Pt., has been broken to pieces. The wrecking party sent to her relief has returned.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 24, 1876 3-5

The wrecking schooner PHANTOM has arrived at Buffalo from Long Point with the effects of the schooner MOCKING BIRD.
      Detroit Tribune
      Monday, April 30, 1877

      Schooner MOCKING BIRD. U. S. No. 17575. Of 476.60 tons. Built at Tonawanda, N.Y., in 1868 by F. N. Jones. 174.0 x 30.6 x 12.5
      Herman Runge Notes

RIG: Schooner
GROSS: 476.60 (Third Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876)
HOME PORT: Buffalo, NY (Third Suppl; 1870; 1871); Chicago, IL (1872; 1873; 1875; 1876)
YEARS LISTED: Third Suppl; 1870; 1871; 1872; 1873; 1875; 1876.
      MVUS, Pre-list to 1885

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.555833 Longitude: -80.197222
William R. McNeil
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Mocking Bird (Schooner), U17575, aground, 1 Oct 1876