The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lilly Dancy (Schooner), lost anchor, &c., 6 Oct 1864

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      FURIOUS STORM ON LAKE HURON. -- Within the memory of that ancient individual, "the oldest inhabitant," we have not had such a storm early in October as that which has swept Lake Huron during the past few days. On Thursday evening the 8th inst., a hurricane cane raging in from the West, accompanied by a perfect deluge of rain. The wind veered during the night to the N.W. and blew with increasing violence all day, Friday. On Friday night the storm, instead of abating as was expected, seemed to gather strength, and Saturday morning broke bleak and dismal over a scene of awful grandeur. The Lake was lashed into a perfect sheet of foam, and many a brave tar glanced from the deck of his vessel to the dreaded coast-line with forebodings of evil which were soon to be realized in all their horror. All day Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday morning the blow continued, the perils of Lake navigation being increased by a blinding storm of hail and finally snow, which on Sunday morning covered the ground with a white mantle. We have not learned the particulars of all the casualties on the Upper Lakes, but the damage done to shipping about the head of Lake Huron and on Lake Michigan must have been immense, and since Friday many a brave fellow has gone to his last home. We are informed that several vessels are ashore between here and Saugeen. The schooner 'WILSON', completely dismantled, went ashore near Kincardine, and it is supposed that all hands, including the three Wilson brothers, have been drowned.
The schr. LILY DANCY was lying at Kincardine partially laden with wheat when the storm burst upon her. She attempted to ride it out at anchor but one of the cables broke, and she was forced to put to sea or go ashore. Accordingly Capt. Campbell determined to steer for Goderich, which he did, fairly flying through the water, although the vessel had hardly a stitch of canvas to the gale. when the LILY neared our harbor an anxious crowd stood on the shore, and many fears were expressed that she would never get in. But Campbell was equal to the occasion. Hoisting additional sail at the right moment, he contrived to run the gallant little bark between the piers in beautiful style, amidst three rousing cheers from all spectators. Old sailors declare that a vessel was never brought into Goderich harbor in a living gale of wind in a cleverer manner. The only loss sustained by the schooner was that of her boats and portions of the bulwarks:
The Steamer CANADIAN, when last heard of on Saturday, was lying at anchor behind Stoney Island, endeavoring to weather it out. we trust she will turn up all right.
On land the storm did much damage, shaking down apples and in many instances uprooting the trees, leveling fences and felling forest trees in all directions.
      Goderich Signal, Semi-Weekly
      Tuesday, October 11. 1864:

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Reason: lost anchor, &c.
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.18339 Longitude: -81.63307
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lilly Dancy (Schooner), lost anchor, &c., 6 Oct 1864