The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Saronic (Propeller), aground & fire, 21 Aug 1916

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      The steamer SARONIC, which was destroyed by fire Monday at Cockburn Island, near Detour, was owned by the Northern Navigation Company and was running between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Arthur, carrying package freight. She was insured to the extent of $100,000 and is a total loss.
      The SARONIC was bound down when she sprang a leak shortly after leaving the Soo, and soon after she was beached she caught fire. She was built in 1882, a wooden hull, 253 feet length of keel and 36 feet deep.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      August 23, 1916

      Str. Saronic Burned Near Cockburn Island
      The old time lake liner Saronic was a totally destroyed by fire Sunday morning off Cockburn Island. The steamer was one of the fleet of the Northern Navigation Company and was east bound with a cargo of wheat from Fort William to Port McNicole. The crew of twenty-one men and Capt. J.D. Montgomery escaped in the two boats and landed on the island later making their way to Thessalon where they are being cared for. On Saturday the freighter passed down at
Sault Ste Marie and was there reported by wire to Sarnia. According to the story the boat took fire some time Sunday morning the flames breaking out amidship and spreading with great speed to all parts of the boat which was of wooden construction. The skipper seeing that he had no chance to save the boat drove her on the beach where she burned to the waters edge. The Saronic was built at Sarnia in 1882 and was formerly the United Empire. She was 1961 tons
gross and 252 feet in length. She has been out of the passenger service about three years when the Company's new steamer Normic was placed in commission. Since then she has been on the St. Lawrence and last spring was badly damaged in the fire that destroyed the Str. Majestic at Sarnia. This season the Saronic was utilized in the freight business exclusively, carrying grain and package freight. The disappearance of the Saronic from the lakes marks the removal of another of the staunch wooden steamers which performed splendid service on the upper lakes during the early days of the large number of these boats which once comprised the fleet of the Northern Navigation Co. The Str. Germenic is the only wooden steamer remaining.
      Owen Sound Sun
      August 25,1916
      [courtesy Bill Hester]

Schooner Barge W.L. KENNEDY.* U. S. No. 215206. Of 1,014 tons gross; 1,014 tons net. Built at Sarnia, Ont., in 1882. Home port, Marquette, Mich. 251.5 x 36.0 x 14.5 crew of 1.
      *Formerly British steam screw SARONIC.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1918

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground & fire
Lives: nil
Remarks: Rebuilt as barge W.L. KENNEDY
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.924444 Longitude: -83.370555
William R. McNeil
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Saronic (Propeller), aground & fire, 21 Aug 1916