Loss of the tug HARRISON, Wreck of the Propeller NEPTUNE
and the Schooner MARY RANKIN. - Six Lives Lost.
The storm which began Sunday night and continued through the greater part of Monday, is said to have been the most terrible that ever visited the waters of Lake Erie.
The propeller NEPTUNE while endeavoring to enter Cleveland harbor, struck upon the west pier, and the stern swung round against the east pier with terrible force, the wind and waves throwing her back on the pier every time that she receded, until the seams in her hull opened, and she commenced sinking rapidly. Two tugs were despatched to her and commenced towing her up-river, they succeeded in getting her above the first bridge, when one of the tugs became unmanageable, and the propeller floated down the harbor, until stopped by the bridge where she remained, striking against the piles. She sunk at daylight yesterday. She was owned by the Erie Transportation Company.
Schooner MARY RANKIN.
The schooner MARY RANKIN was discovered Monday morning upon a reef about a mile above Port Colborne. The news of her danger having reached Capt. Dorr, he despatched a life-boat in which three vain efforts were made to reach the schooner, the first time the boat was swamped, and three brave men, Edward Simpson, John Mills and A. McGregor, lost their lives in their endeavors to rescue their fellow seamen. At last Capt. Noble of the HIPPOGRIFF, jumped into a clumsy yawl, and called upon the crowd upon the beach to come to the rescue, but there was no response and the noble captain despatched a horseman to the crew of his own vessel. Four men soon appeared and entered the boat without hesitation with their daring leader, and struck out for the wreck. The reached the schooner in safety, and took aboard the half-dead crew of the RANKIN with the exception of the cook, who was washed overboard the night previous.
The tug HARRISON while endeavoring to get off the schooner DAVID A. WELLS, which was ashore at Silver Creek, caught her line in the wheel which totally disabled her. She was taken in hand by the tug COMPOUND, but leaked so badly that she sank off Sturgeon Point. Her crew were taken on board the COMPOUND.
A number of vessels suffered minor accidents; also four vessels are reported ashore at Erie and two at Dunkirk.
The U. S. Revenue cutter COMMODORE PERRY anchored inside of the breakwater last night, and reports having rescued the master and four of the crew of the schooner LEVIATHAN. A boat belonging to the PERRY while going to the rescue was upset among the breakers and two men lost.
Tuesday, November 1, 1870
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Vessel casualties in the gale of October 31
Schooner LEVIATHAN is ashore at Port Burwell. Likely Total.
Schooner W.W. GRANT of Port Burwell, ashore at Port Elgin with 5,000 bushels of barley.
Schooner WILLIAM JOHN, 4,000 bushels of wheat from Cobourg, wrecked on Water Works wharf, Kingston
Tug SARAH ashore at Point Frederick (Kingston)
A large white vessel, name unknown, is ashore on the north side of Salmon Point. Total loss.
Schooner MARY ANN RANKIN is on Sugar Loaf Reef, Lake Erie. Breaking up
Schooner W.G. KEITH is ashore at Long Point.
November 1, 1870
Port Elgin, Oct. 31st - The schooner W.W. Grant, of Port Burwell, owned by G. Craig & Co., of this place, is ashore with five thousand bushels barley a part of cargo. Both vessel and cargo insured.
Port Burwell, Oct. 31st - A gale set in from the south east, changing to south west, and has been terrible. The schooner Leviathan is ashore here, and is likely to prove a total loss.
ANOTHER GALE - MORE DISASTERS
Lake Ontario was visited on Sunday night and today (Monday) by another gale - the roughest experienced this year - which adds to the long list of marine disasters already recorded. The new steamer Corsican, which replaces the ill-fated Grecian, on the Royal Mail Line, arrived at Swift's wharf on Sunday evening about 7 o'clock on her first trip westward, and carries a full load of passengers and general freight for Toronto, Hamilton and intermediate ports. She remained at the dock until this morning, when there being no signs of a moderation of the storm, Captain Fairgrieve run her for shelter alongside the railway track, Market Battery. About midnight the little schooner John Williams, of Whitby, bound down from Cobourg to Ogdensburg, with a cargo of 4,000 bushels wheat, was driven before the wind against the Water Works Company's wharf, which she struck with such violence as to completely split her open from bow to stern. She swung out into the harbour, and sunk in about twenty feet of water, the topmasts and spars being alone visible. The John Williams was entered in the registered list at a valuation of $2,000; cargo worth about $4,000 - both a total loss. No insurance. The American propeller Belle P. Cross, on her way, light, from Ogdensburg to Saginaw, run into the harbour this morning from Nine Mile Point, where she lost two barges, by the line snapping, while lying at anchor, unable to proceed further against the head wind. Her captain reports one barge to be an entire wreck; the other is supposed to have gone ashore on one of the islands in the Lower Gap. The propeller St. Lawrence, from Montreal, reached Kinghorn's wharf, with no damage other than having some sundries on the upper deck wet by the sea in rounding Point Frederick. The steamer Rochester, from Charlotte (port of Rochester), due on Thursday last, did not arrive until yesterday morning. The body guard and stauncheons of the starboard paddle-box were badly damaged by the jamming received against the south side of the St. Lawrence wharf last night. A three masted vessel, said to be the barque Pride of America, is reported to be ashore at Four Mile Point, which cannot be the case, as that craft sailed out of the harbour on Sunday morning about 10 o'clock, and had sufficient time to pass the above point before the gale set in. A barge is also reported ashore at the same place.
Later in the afternoon, one of the barges, the Leader, which broke loose from the propeller Belle P. Cross, last night, and the barque Pride of America, and steam barge Carlyle, were found anchored between the Brothers and Simcoe Island. A despatch from Presque Isle, says the schooner Emperor, laden with lumber, and another vessel, name and cargo unknown, both bound for Oswego, are ashore there. A tug leaves Oswego to the assistance of the former, as soon as the weather permits.
The tug Sarah, only launched from the Marine Railway a few days ago, broke from the shipyard wharf, and grounded on the rocks at Point Frederick.
Ran Ashore - During the brisk S.W. by W. gale on Friday, the schooner Andrew Stephens, bound down with a cargo of lumber, ran ashore on Snake Island. The steamer Hiram A. Calvin was sent to her assistance and succeeded in towing her off. The schooner proceeded to her destination on Saturday evening.
Nellie Brown Capsized - We learn that the schooner Nellie Brown, Capt. Reynolds, is capsized off Stoney Island, near Sackets Harbour, and that her cargo, consisting of 200 barrels salt and 525 bushels of oats is lost. She cleared from Oswego on Tuesday last for Ogdensburg. The vessel is owned by Leynes and George Hees, and is insured. The Captain has telegraphed for a tug.
The schooner Advance, stranded near Oswego, has been sold for $600. About 1,700 bush of her cargo of barley were secured in good condition. The remainder, 2,863 bush, which was wet, was purchased and sold again for $467.50.
Daily News , (Kingston )
October 31, 1870
Contributed by Rick Neilson
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The schooners MARY ANN RANKIN, W.W. GRANT, LEVIATHAN, and Bark SIR E.W. HEAD are all reported ashore on Lake Erie.
Port Huron Daily Times
Friday, November 4, 1870
Schooner LEVIATHAN, of Port Burwell, of 91 tons, classad as A t. and valued at $4,000, while on a voyage from Port Burwell to Buffalo with a cargo of cordwood, stranded and went to pieces at Port Burwell on October 30, 1870. Loss to hull $4,500. loss to cargo $500. No lives lost.
Statement of Wreck and Casualties during the year of 1870
Dept. of Marine & Fisheries. Sessional Papers,(No. 5) A.1871