It appears that the schr. MIDLAND ROVER was entering Toronto by the Western Channel when she went aground. A heavy sea was running and the wind was blowing about 35 miles per hour. The tug finding it impossible to get her off, let go the line, and the schooner kept drifting inward. A large crowd of seamen soon collected on the wharf and in answer to loud appeals for help a boat was quickly manned by a crew of 6 hardy mariners. They put out in the vessel and succeeded in taking off part of the crew, including the captain and cook, but the second mate and 2 other men refused to quit the ship, prefering to remain in her rather than trust themselves to the frail boat. On her way back the boat capsized and the cook Hattie Haight and a sailor named James Feenan were drowned. The others after a desperate struggle safely reached shore. The second mate and sailors who stayed on the ROVER all night landed in the morning.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
December 7, 1882 p. 3
Toronto, Ont., Dec. 4. -- While the schooner MIDLAND ROVER, from Cleveland for this port was entering the harbor today she encountered a heavy wind, and signaled a tug which went out and took her in tow. The heavy gale made the vessel unmanagable when rounding the point, and, the tug fearing damage, cast her loose, and she went on a shoal. Her load shifted she partly turned on her side. her condition being noticed from the shore the harbor-boat was manned and dispatched to her assistance. Five persons were taken from the schooner. On the return trip to shore, and when about one hundred yards from the stranded schooner, the harbor-boat upset. Captain Crocken, of the ROVER, made a desperate effort to keep the cook, Hattie Haight, above water, but she was forced from his grasp by the high running sea and drowned. The others of the crew, as well as the crew of the harbor-boat, succeeded after a severe struggle in reaching shore. At midnight the wind is still blowing at the rate of forty miles an hour. The opinion prevails among lake men that if the blow continues all night the ROVER will go to pieces. [ Special Telegram to the Inter Ocean]
J.W. Hall Great lakes Marine Scrapbook, No. 2. December, 1882
Schooner MIDLAND ROVER. Official Canada No. 71120. Of 353 tons gross. Built Cleveland, O., 1863. Home port, Collingwood, Ont. 140.0 x 30.0 x 12.4. Owned by Thomas Marks, of Port Arthur, Ont.
List of Vessels on the Registry Books of the
Dominion of Canada on Dec. 31, 1886