The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William John (Schooner), aground, 31 Oct 1870

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The schr. WM. JOHN went ashore near Edwardsburg. Port Colborne: the RANKIN a total loss. Crew of the RANKIN ?
On Sunday night there was a severe storm and vessels were ashore all along the south shore of the lake.
BRITANNIA. -- Canadian schr. BRITANNIA, Capt. H. Brock, bound from Vermilion to Toronto with cargo of grindstone went ashore near here, near the Peninsula lighthouse this morning. Alonza Grant, one of her crew was injured in the gale. His leg has been amputated. It is not expected that he will live. Four others in the crew succeeded in reaching shore early this morning....(followed with more on this and ELYRIA)...a barque in distress drifted past here this forenoon. The PERRY has gone in pursuit. The gale exceeds the violence anyone has known for many years.
      Cleveland Daily Herald
      October 31, 1870

      . . . . .
Vessel casualties in the gale of October 31schooner:
      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.
      Toronto Globe
      November 1, 1870

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. 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.
      Daily News, Kingston
      October 31, 1870

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Reason: aground
Remarks: Got off
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
William R. McNeil
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William John (Schooner), aground, 31 Oct 1870