The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 21, 1847

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Singular Phenomenon - The following extraordinary account was communicated to the editor of the Cobourg Star by Mr. Thomson Miller of the Grafton steam mills in a letter dated Jan. 9, 1847. The editor has every confidence in his correspondent, whose report was afterwards contributed by A.G. Allan, Esq., proprietor of the above mills, in a letter.

"A most singular phenomenon occurred at this place yesterday afternoon about three o'clock, which may be through worth a place in your paper. The lake was calm, and the wind in the north, when suddenly the lake receded from the shore in one immense wave, upwards of 350 feet, leaving the beach perfectly dry for that distance; it seemed to gather itself into a vast cone and immediately returned in one unbroken wave four feet higher than it usually is, burying the wharf completely, and overflowing its usual boundaries upwards of a hundred yards, sweeping everything before it, accompanied by a dreadful noise. This happened 8 or 9 different times, gradually decreasing in violence until the lake resumed its usual appearance. You know the position of the wharf yourself, and you would hardly credit the fact, that at the end of it, where there is generally 12 feet 6 inches of water, admitting the largest steamboat, there was only 2 feet of water left; and on its return the water stood a foot deep in the engine house, which is over two hundred yards from the beach. Do you suppose this singular phenomenon was general or do you suppose it might possibly be connected with some volcanic action working its way to the surface at this particular place? The only sufferer here was Mr. Davis, whose boat lay as he supposed, high and dry along side the harbor company's scow, which latter was lifted bodily and went smash up on top of the boat."

The editor adds: "Our readers will remember that in 1845 we chronicled an occurrence similar to the above, as having taken place in our own harbor. The same convulsion that affected the lake at Grafton Harbor on Friday, ran along the coast from that place to Port Hope. It was, however, unattended with the heavy thundering sound heard at Grafton."

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January 21, 1847
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Peter Warwick
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 21, 1847