The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John Gerkin (Canal Boat), death, 25 Nov 1885

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A sad accident occurred yesterday morning at Baker & Dimmers's Canal Drydock, which is situated at the foot of Charles Street near the Terrace Station, resulting in the almost instant death of Albert L. Dimmers, eldest son of Charles A. Dimmers, part proprietor of the dock. The accident appears to have been more on account of the snowy and slippery ground than anything else. The canal boat JOHN GERKIN had been repaired on the ways, and was being lowered into the slip in the usual manner, by chains attached to the capstans on shore. The boat stuck on the ways and then started with a rush, so that the men were unable to hold the capstans. The slippery ground afforded but slight foothold , and as a consequence the heavy sweeps spun round with the capstans at a frightful rate. The men, on seeing that they could not hold the boat, made all haste to get out of the way, but one of the sweeps came out of its socket and struck Dimmers on the back of the head crushing his skull, and, it is stated, breaking his neck. He was taken to Mr. Baker's house near by and afterwards removed to his home, No. 221 Front Ave. The deceased was 15 years old, and is everywhere spoken of as a bright youth of excellent habits.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      November 25, 1885 8-2

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Reason: death
Lives: 1
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
William R. McNeil
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John Gerkin (Canal Boat), death, 25 Nov 1885