The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Fred Mercur (Propeller), U120513, fire, 3 Jul 1925

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The steamship freighter FRED MERCUR was originally built for the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company. She was out-fitted with an engine so massive - 800 tons and capable of delivering 99 horsepower - that she was constructed with an 18-inch triple thick hull in order to withstand the engine's oscillatory vibrations.
      Having been acquired by W. E. Lawlor of HawkesbUry, Ontario the ship was being operated by the George Hall Coal Company of Montreal when she embarked on her final voyage. She was carrying a 1200-ton cargo of soft coal from Ashiabula, Ohio bound for the Canada Cement Company of Montreal.
      On the morning of July 3, 1925 the FRED MERCUR'S captain, J. W. Scarrow of Hamilton and the first mate, Charles McDonald of Port Dover were on the bridge when McDonald
noticed smoke wafting from the chain box. He investigated and found a fire in the coal bunkers. It was so serious he raced through the ship awakening the crew of 13 men and two women.
      Scarrow sounded the ship-in-distress signal on the whistle however there was no answer. He changed course and beached his ship on a rush bed just west of Stanley Island.
A few minutes later the fire burst through the deck. Scarrow continued to blow the distress signal hoping to attract the attention of people on shore.
      Rene Cargrain vacationing at a nearby summer cottage heard the distress signal. He rowed out to the burning ship to rescue the crew. He made six trips before he had everyone safely on shore.
      The entire superstructure of the ship was burning when a boiler exploded, probably blowing out the stern of the ship. She sank with her stern in 45 feet of water and six feet below the surface.
      Over the years ice carried away the charred remains of the superstructure until today nothing appears above the surface of the water.
      Location:- The FRED MERCUR wreck is marked on the Canadian Chart 1413 at cordinates - N 45º 02' 03" W 74º 37' 18" and lies about half a mile west of Stonehouse Point on the north side of the main shipping channel.
      Bill McNeil
      . . . . .

Steam screw FRED MERCUR. U. S. No. 120513. Of 1224.37 tons gross; 966.24 tons net. Built Buffalo, N.Y., 1882. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 232.0 x 35.0 x 18.0.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885
      . . . . .

      Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
      Great Lakes Vessels Index
      Registry & Rig Information
      Item: 04835
Vessel Name: MERCUR, FRED
Nationality U.S.
Official Number: 120513
Rig: Propeller
      Dimensions & Tonnage
Vessel Length: 232.00
Vessel Width: 35.42
Vessel Height 18.16
Gross Tonnage 1224
Net Tonnage 966.24
Hull Material: Wood
      Builder Information
Place of Build: Buffalo, NY
Builder: Union Dry Dock Co.
Date of Build 1882

      Name Changes
Vessel Name: Date: Registry Official #
MERCUR, FRED 1919 - 1925 CANADA 141374

      Rebuild History
Canadian measures, 1919 (237.33 x 35.5 x 17.33; 1293 gross - 781 registered).

      Burned to a total loss near Cornwall, Ontario, off Stanley Island, St. Lawrence River, on July 3, 1925.
First enrollment issued at Buffalo, NY, October 19, 1882.

      . . . . .
FRED MERCUR Built 1882 Bulk Propeller -Wood
U. S. No. 120513 1224 gt -966 nt 232' x 35' x 18'
      (b) FRED MERCUR - Can - 1919 (C 141374)
Burned July 3, 1925, near Cornwall, Onto
      Union Dry-Dock, Buffalo. Shipbuilding Master List
      Institute for Great Lakes Research
      Perrysburg, Ohio


Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.01809 Longitude: -74.72815
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Fred Mercur (Propeller), U120513, fire, 3 Jul 1925