Dying in each other's arms
Terrible fate of the Belle Sheridan's crew as related by the sole survivor.
James McSherry Jr., the sole survivor of the schooner Belle Sheridan, wrecked near Consecon Ont. Says his father and brother Edward perished onboard about one o'clock Sunday afternoon from the cold and exposure to the heavy breakers that were washing completely over the vessel from the moment she struck, the vessel going ashore broadside, heading to the north. The father and son Edward died together, the latter in his brother James' arms and both bodies were washed overboard. The survivors clung to the shrouds of the foremast together until about four o'clock, when James left the group and worked his way along the rail to the mainmast, where he secured a plank, and then leaped into the water, and after being washed around for about fifteen minutes, he was picked up by the boat sent out from shore. Had the others done the same thing they might have been rescued, as the small boat could not get to the vessel for the breakers. About five o'clock the mainmast broke and a portion of the deck broke down, the remaining four men still clinging to the forward rigging. They remained there until about seven o'clock the same evening. When the vessel parted and the foremast fell which was the last of the poor fellows who were still clinging to the wreck. The body of John Hamilton was picked up along the shore abut a half mile below the wreck, with his skull smashed-in fact, the whole top of his head was gone. The heart and lungs of another of the victims were also picked up on the shore. The other bodies must have been lashed to the rigging and torn to atoms
The distress of the widowed mother when she received the news was indescribable. The family have been residents in Toronto many years, and Capt. McSherry was generally esteemed an honest well meaning man. He was a ship carpenter but took to sailing as a calling. He had the misfortune to lose his vessel, the West Wind, about thirteen months ago, not far from the spot which was the scene of his death
The Belle Sheridan sailed from Toronto Friday, the 29th of October. She had been in harbor for some time, getting a new centreboard box and went from Toronto to Wellington to take on barley. She returned to Toronto to complete her cargo, and sailed on the day named for Oswego. See reached Oswego all right went up to Charlotte and took on a cargo of coal, and was on the way back to Toronto when the storm of Saturday night struck her. The Belle Sheridan was built at Oswego in 1852 by Miller. After a varied career she was brought to Toronto and was lying for several years in the slip at Sylvester's wharf sunk. Two years ago she was bought by Mr. Lamb for between $900 and $1,000. Later she was bought by Capt McSherry, who raised the vessel and set to work to put her in sailing order. New decks and a new mainmast were put in, which, with other improvements, gave her a good standing and she was put into commission this summer with a rating of B 1 in the Canadian register. She was valued at $4,000, and insured for $2,600. Her capacity was about 12,000 bushels.