The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Henry Folger (Schooner), U95209, aground, 30 Nov 1882

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A despatch from Oswego this forenoon states that the schr. HENRY FOLGER has stranded on Long Pt. at the head of Lake Ontario, and all the crew, numbering 8 men are lost. The vessel will also prove a total wreck. The FOLGER was commanded by Capt. James McDonald of Clayton, who has many friends in this city. The FOLGER put in this port last week with her sails all split, having been out in the gale and obliged to run down past Port Colborne as she could not make that port. She was owned by Folger Bros. of Cape Vincent, and is valued at $12,000 and insured for $10,000 in the Aetna. The place where she stranded is one of the worst on Lake Ontario.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      December 3, 1882 3-3

      . . . . .
      The FOLGER Takes Down Her Whole Crew.
      Hidden away under a caption, " Here and There," in the Inter Ocean of Saturday morning was a dispatch announcing the wreck of a vessel at Salmon Point reef and stating that fragments of the craft were drifting ashore. The name of the unfortunate craft or the fate of the crew were unknown. Under the same caption was news of the disaster to the schooner GEORGE M. CASE and the wreck of the schooner MAPLE LEAF, the latter on Lake Superior.
      The vessel lost on Salmon Point Reef [ a later dispatch from Picton, Canada, says ] was the canal schooner HENRY FOLGER. The dispatch continues: She went on Salmon Point Reef in the snowstorm and gale Friday night, and when first seen Saturday morning was about three quarters of a mile from shore, with her mizzen-mast gone and her stern apparently stove in. Two men could have been seen, one of whom was lashed to a boom. A volunteer crew launched a fishing boat, and made several fruitless attempts to reach the ill-fated vessel, the gale and breakers proving to much for their strength. About 9 o'clock the mainmast went down. A few minutes later the foremast toppled over, and almost immediately after, the vessel broke completely up, and disappeared from sight. The FOLGER was commanded by Captain James W. MacDonald, and had a crew of eight men, all of whom were lost. The following are the names as far as known:
      James W. MacDonald, Captain
      Watson Wiley, First Mate.
      Charles MacDonald, the Captains son, aged 15.
      William Connell, seaman.
      Nelson Lougton, seaman.
      These all belong to Clayton, N.Y., where Captain MacDonald leaves a wife and three children. Two bodies have come ashore. One of them is supposed to be the captain's. The HENRY FOLGER cleared from Cleveland Nov. 23, laden with 693 tons of coal, bound for Brockville, Ont., consigned to P.D. Conger for the Grand Trunk railway Company. She is a large three-master, square rig and stern; was built at Clayton, N.Y., in 1873; was 326 tons burden. her owners are T.W. Dennis; C.A. Ellis, and J.W. MacDonald, of Cape Vincent, N.Y. The bodies that came ashore were badly mangled by being beaten upon the rocks by the surf. They were coffined and buried Saturday morning. The HENRY FOLGER was valued at $15,000, and was insured for $10,000 in a Buffalo Office. large quantities of the coal is washing ashore. Another body is reported to have come ashore Saturday night.
      [Special telegram to the Inter Ocean]
Picton, Ont., Dec. 3. -- The schooner reported to have gone ashore on Salmon Point reef proved to be the H. FOLGER, from Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 23, with 693 tons of coal, consigned to P.D. Conger, for the Grand Trunk Railway Company. She was commanded by captain McDonald, who with a crew of eight men, is lost. A volunteer crew secured a fishing boat and made several attempts to reach the vessel, but without success, and she went to pieces about 9 o'clock yesterday.
      The FOLGER was a large three-master, square rig schooner, built at Clayton, N.Y., owned by T.W. Dennis' C.A. Ellis, and J.W. McDonald, of Cape Vincent; was valued at $15,000 and insured for $10,000. Captain Dennis, his brother, Captain Ostrander, and Mayor Wilson have just returned from the scene of the wreck. They report nothing left of the vessel but the anchors and chains. Captain Dennis says he never saw such a complete wreck. They brought with them the bodies of Captain McDonald and the first-mate Watson Wiley. Captain Dennis leaves here tonight with the bodies on the steamyacht SHOECRAFT for Clayton, where their families reside. The mate leaves a wife. Captain McDonald leaves a wife and three children. He will be buried in Clayton with Masonic honors. These are the only bodies which have come ashore yet and are badly mangled.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, No. 2, December, 1882


AN American schooner of 526 tons, registered at the port of Cape Vincent N. Y., while bound from Cleveland to Brockville, while overladen stranded on Salmon Point Nov. 30, 1882 with the loss of 8 lives, she was a total loss, estimated at $5,000 on the hull and $2,000 on her cargo
      Statement of Wreck & Casualties for 1882
      Dept.of Marine & Fisheries

HENRY FOLGER, American schooner of 526 tons, built Clayton 1875 by S.G. Jobnsen, owned by Johnson & Folger and registered at the port of Clayton, valued at $10,000 and classed A 2. -- 3 masts
      Marine Classification Insurance Index 1878

HENRY FOLGER, three masted schooner of 362 tons, registered at the port of Clayton N. Y. Built 1873 at Clayton and bound from Cleveland to Brockville with 695 tons of coal, on Nov. 30, 1882 she failed to clear Wicked Point and went ashore on Salmon Point Reef, with the loss of eight lives, all on board.
The bodies of her master, Captain McDonald, the mate and stewart were washed ashore and were buried in the burying ground near the place of the casualty.
She was valued at $5 ,000, and the loss on the cargo $2,000, part of the cargo has from time to time been washed up by the waves and has been saved in a damaged condition.
It is the general impression that she was overladen and had become unuanagable in a heavy gale, as her tonnage was 362 tons register and she had on board 695 tons of coal.
      Report of the Chairman
      Steamboat Inspection 1882
      Dept. of Marine & Fisheries
      TOTAL LOSSES, 1882
      [Inter Ocean Casualty List]
Dec. 1. -- Schooner HENRY FOLGER, off Salmon Point, Lake Ontario. Part of the crew drowned.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, December, 1882

Schooner HENRY FOLGER. U. S. No. 95209. Of 326 gross tons. Built Clayton, N.Y., 1873. Three masted schooner built by S.G. Johnson
      Herman Runge List

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: 8
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.933888 Longitude: -76.892777
William R. McNeil
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Henry Folger (Schooner), U95209, aground, 30 Nov 1882