The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Maggie Hunter (Schooner), C72954, sunk, 10 Oct 1876

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Another Shipwreck.
      Portions of a Vessel's Cabin and Cabin Furniture Found on the
      Beach at Coe's Landing - What is the Name of the Ill-Fated Craft?
There can no longer be a doubt that there has been a shipwreck on Lake Ontario below this port and that a large schooner has gone down to the bottom, doubtless carrying with her the crew. Soon after the Palladium, containing information of the finding of portions of a wreck at Coe's Landing, six miles below this port, was issued, the news spread like wildfire, and a thousand idle guesses were afloat in a short time. This morning Dr. E. A. Mattoon, who was out of town last night, drove to the place where the wreck was discovered to satisfy himself whether it belonged to the steam barge ELLSWORTH or not - idle rumor having been busy during the night associating the wreck with the steambarge. About noon Mattoon returned to town, (soon after the telegram had been received that the ELLSWORTH passed Ogdensburg Tuesday all right,) bringing a panel from the ill-fasted vessel. The panel is grained in imitation of white oak, the frame painted dark brown, and is from the inside of a vessel's cabin. The wood is new and dry and the paint is fresh. The piece may be seen at this office.
      Dr. Mattoon says that he saw on the beach near Coe's landing, sections of cabin doors and side paneling, six whole doors with hinges that project three inches, piece of cabin scuttle, canvass covering of the cabin deck, painted a bluish white, part of the cabin deck, window sash - oval top, two pails, a bed, piece of washstand, part of bedstead, two large capstan bars, a section of one of the hatches marked "AVII." The farmers told Dr. Mattoon that an oar had been found and that wheat had washed ashore at several places. it is evident that the schooner was a large one, grain laden. The mark on the hatch shows that the vessel must have had four hatchways. We do not know of any large vessel overdue here. The panel will be kept here for identification and sailors are invited to inspect it.
      Oswego Palladium
      Thursday Oct. 12, 1876

      . . . . .

      The Wreck.
      More of the Wreck Brought to the City
      Probable Loss of the Schooner MAGGIE HUNTER With all Hands.
The Palladium office was thronged by Canadian seamen yesterday afternoon and evening to look at the piece of wreck brought from Coe's Landing by Dr. E. A. Mattoon, and the majority of them said that the panel undoubtedly belonged to the schooner MAGGIE HUNTER. This morning Harbor Master Fitzgeralds and Alderman Stone drove down to the scene of the wreck and brought back a door, a scuttle, two blinds, a window sash, a portion of the after part of a cabin, with binnacle hole and three pieces of cross trees. On the cross tree pieces is written in lead pencil: "James Dugan, Wm. Hunter, Master James Thompson, Canada West, Picton, Ontario." A wheel box cover was found on the beach yesterday with the letters "S.H." cut in it. There was no wheat on the beach and but a few kernels in the crevasses of the wreck. The portion of the wreck brought up this morning is on exhibition at the store of Alderman Stone.
      Captain Jackman of the schooner J.G. WORTS and Captain Lennon of the schooner JULIA say that there is no doubt the pieces belonged to the schooner MAGGIE HUNTER. Both captains were in her cabin several times and recognize the oval window sash and blinds.
      The HUNTER left here Monday afternoon with 272 tons of coal, shipped by A.G. Cook, for P. Burns, Toronto. She was very deep in the water - in fact overloaded. She had old canvas and when the gale struck her at night she doubtless became disabled and was driven before the gale until the seas washed her cabin off when she filled with water and went to the bottom with her crew. She was rebuilt last winter at Mill Point from the old schooner J. S. CLARK of Port Dalhousie and was owned by Samuel Hunter of Toronto. We learn that she was not insured.
      Captain Frank Nixon, one of the best seamen on the lakes, commanded the HUNTER. He leaves a wife and several children at Toronto. A man named Sharp was mate on the schooner, but the names of the four seamen and cook we cannot learn. It is reported that the Hunter had a passenger but it is impossible to verify the report.
      The unfortunate craft, which has been a coffin for at least seven men, must have foundered about midnight. The news that has been flashed to Toronto to-day will carry trouble to many a loving heart.
      Oswego Palladium
      Friday, Oct. 13, 1876
      . . . . .

      The Names of the Crew and the Passenger Lost on the Unfortunate Vessel.
      There can no longer be a doubt that the schooner MAGGIE HUNTER foundered off this port last Monday night and carried with her to the bottom of Lake Ontario seven men. Yesterday afternoon the mate of the schooner MARYSBURG, who had been mate on the hunter, identified the wheel cover, a box about three feet long and two feet wide placed over the steering gear, as having been on the unfortunate schooner two trips ago. Captain Nixon of the HUNTER leaves a wife and six children at Toronto, and Sharp, the mate, leaves a wife and children at Port Credit. One of the sailors was a young man named Walter Post of Ferry Point, near Belleville. He was employed in A.S. Page's saw mill several years and last winter he was married. We are informed by Mrs. Roach, who formerly lived in Belleville, that two of the crew and the passenger boarded with her at her residence, West Bridge street, between Second and Third,. Their names are Thomas and William Martin, (brothers) and John Newman, all of Belleville. The former were sailors and the latter a passenger. They were young men and leave widowed mothers in Belleville.
      Oswego Palladium
      Sat., Oct. 14, 1876

      . . . . .

      Relics of Lost Vessel
      A Trunk and Other Articles supposed to be from the MAGGIE HUNTER
      Found Floating in Lake Ontario.
      About half past four o'clock Sunday morning Henry and John Featherstonhaugh started down the lake in a boat after drift wood. On their way back about 7 a.m., between Baldwin's and Baldwin's bluff, they discovered an object afloat about one hundred yards off shore. Rowing up they found it to be a wooden chest or trunk covered with canvass which was painted lead color. It was bottom side up, and on righting it the cover was found to be gone, though it was provided with a lock and two strong leather straps. It was lined with yellow paper and inside they found three books with covers gone and about a dozen small wooden beads painted red and blue, and perhaps some other colors. Two of the books are alike, being entitled the "Common School Grammar of the English Language," by Samuel Kerl. On the fly leaf of one is written in pencil the name "Willard H. Laurell," or "Lanrell," and on the fly leaf of the other, also in pencil, "W.H. Laurell," or "Lanrell." The names are plainly legible, being written on inside fly leaves - those covered with other leaves. The third book is a mental arithmetic, with a bit of the back (black cloth) hanging to it.
Inside one of the books was a torn piece of common writing paper with writing on both sides. On one side were the following written with a pencil on successive lines:
"Beat, to strike."
"Bell, a hollow"
"Belle, a gay young"
"Bin, a box"
"Been, existed"
"Birth, act of"
"Berth, a sleeping"
      The first line written on the side is in pencil but over it is written in ink "Mrs. Ann Wallace," which makes it impossible to decipher the pencilled line underneath. The succeeding lines, also in penciling, are written as follows: "it as it distinguishes that entire thing or class from everything else." The writing is cramped and that of one unused to it. Below the above statement are the figures "22," "15" and the footing "37."
The Featherstonhaughs brought the trunk and contents home. The books were in a sticky, semi-pulpy sort of state, but they dried them out carefully, after which the leaves opened readily. They are at this office where they may be seen by any persons interested in identifying them. Yesterday some boys out in a boat found the cover of the trunk floating, further down the lake, in the locality known as "Nigger Bay."
The wind was northerly when these things were found, and the theory is that they are relics from the schooner MAGGIE HUNTER, which foundered off this port in October last and was lost with all on board. At that time we could obtain only a partial list of the crew, who were Canadians, and the name of one passenger. Consequently we are unable to determine whether the name written in these books is that of any one who was aboard of that vessel.
      Oswego Palladium
      Tuesday, April 10, 1877

      Schooner J.S. CLARK. [C] 213 tons. Built 1856 at Milford by Johnston. Owned by Quackenbush & Reid. Home port, Port Dalhousie. Value $4,500. Class B 1. REMARKS. -- formerly HAMILTON, large repairs in 1859.
      Board of Lake Underwriters
      Lake Vessel Register, 1860
NOTE: Rebuilt and Renamed MAGGIE HUNTER in 1876

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 6
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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Maggie Hunter (Schooner), C72954, sunk, 10 Oct 1876