The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Jessie (Schooner), gale damage, 6 Oct 1864

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Damage to Shipping. -- The Detroit 'Free Press' of the 9th says: The heavy squall which took place on Thursday afternoon in this locality, resulted in more or less disaster to the shipping outside. On Lake Huron, near Point au Barque, a number of vessels, chiefly from Lake Superior, encountered it in all its fury, and many of them had their sails torn to ribbons, which were sent flying through the air like so much brown paper. It is feared that more or less of them became seriously disabled, as they have not yet, with two or three exceptions, made their appearance. One or two captains with whom we conversed, conceded it to be the most violent hurricane they have experienced for many years. One vessel, the bark 'MONITOR', was thrown on her beam ends while under bare poles. She was laden with iron ore and hassince passed down. On Friday night, during the heavy gale, an unknown black fore-and-after was driven ashore in the river at Fighting Island and is well out of water. She is an upward bound craft, and apparently without cargo. When last heard from, the tug 'JONES' ( better known as the 'Greenback') was endeavoring to get her off. The Detroit 'Tribune' of Monday, the 19th, adds the following particulars:- "The gale appears to have made a pretty clean sweep with the downward fleet.
      We learned Sunday evening of the following disasters, but it is feared the list does not comprise one half. The AUSTRALIA lost all her sails, the COMMODORE FOOTE lost her headsails and bulwarks, the schooner JESSIE lost two jibs and her squaresail, the schooner CORNELIA lost both masts and bowsprit, the bark GEN. SIGEL lost her foreyard, the schooner PLOVER lost her mainmast head, the RESOLUTE lost half her sails, the HUNGARIAN lost her head sails and foresail, the CZAR lost her big anchor and chain, the schooner HUBBARD is ashore four miles from the lighthouse on the Canada side, Lake Huron, two other vessels are also ashore in that vicinity. The bark CITY OF BUFFALO lost her topsail off Presque Isle, and ran back to the river. The ALVIN BRONSON lost her big anchor off Point aux Barque. The bark FLYING MIST is hard aground at the Flats. The brig STARLIGHT is aground at the Flats. She is lightering. The vessel reported ashore at Middle Island reef is said to be the JAMES NAVAGH. She is reported to have gone to pieces. Two or three vessels report seeing a propeller broken down and labouring in the trough of the sea about 12 miles off Point aux Barque. The IDAHO and BRADBURY have got off. It will be almost a miracle if we do not yet have to record some fearful disaster, with loss of life, as the result of the terrible gale."
      Goderich Signal, Semi-weekly
      Friday, October 14, 1864

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Item Type:
Reason: gale damage
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.640833 Longitude: -81.768055
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Jessie (Schooner), gale damage, 6 Oct 1864