The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William Cowie (Propeller), fire, 20 Oct 1870

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Oswego, Oct. 21. - The propeller WILLIAM COWIE, of Detroit, was burned at her dock at this port last night.
      The Buffalo Evening Post
      Saturday, October 22, 1870 3 - 6

      Fire in the Harbor. -- About half-past ten o'clock last night the propeller WILLIAM. COWIE took fire while lying on the east side of the harbor, and considerable confusion was created for a time in the efforts to prevent the flames from spreading to the surrounding shipping and reaching property on shore. The harbor master was promptly at the scene, and through his energetic management the burning boat was speedily swung clear of the wharf and other craft and the MAJOR DANA (tug) taking her in tow she was anchored out in the middle of the stream.
The fire originated about the boiler, and the flames raged through the cabin and upper works at the stern of the propeller. The Captain had the pony engine at work with the force pump, and was in a fair way of getting the fire under subjection when the hose was burnt off. After The COWIE was anchored in the stream, hose was taken out to her by the tugs from No. 7 steamer and from a hydrant on Water street, and the fire was soon extinguished.
The COWIE had on board a portion of a cargo of wheat which she had been discharging, about 2,200 bushels remaining in the hold. This was badly damaged by fire and water, and the loss will amount to about $2,000.
      The damage to the propeller, which is owned at Saginaw, was confined to the after part. All of the upper works and a portion of the deck were burned away, and the engine and boiler were nearly if not entirely destroyed. The loss will reach three or four thousand dollars. It was found after the fire was extinguished that the top of the boiler had bulged out several inches, from the great heat, and it was providential that an explosion did not attend the disaster.
There was a gale of wind blowing last night, and it was a narrow escape from a destructive conflagration in the harbor. Great praise is due to the excellent management of the harbor master, the officers of the COWIE and others in the emergency.
      Oswego Advertiser & Times
      Saturday, October 22, 1870
      . . . . .
The steambarge WILLIAM COWIE caught fire while lying at Oswego, N. Y. with a load of wheat. Her upper works were destroyed and the hull somewhat damaged. The COWIE was built at Marine City and was owned by Mr. Leech of that city and James Morrison and others of Detroit. She was worth about $20,000 and was insured.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Friday, October 28, 1870

      Steam screw WILLIAM COWIE. U. S. No. 26910. Of 208.18 tons gross; 173.75 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1868. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 133.4 x 25.0 x 9.8
      Merchant Vessel List U. S., 1891

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Reason: fire
Remarks: Repaired
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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William Cowie (Propeller), fire, 20 Oct 1870