The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Thomas A. Scott (Propeller), C116847, sunk, 2 Sep 1914

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      Capt. Murdock McDonald and two others did not reach lifeboat in time
      and were rescued from water. --- Boat went down off Cabot Head.
      The steam barge THOS. R. SCOTT bound from Cockburn Island to Owen Sound went down off Cabot Head on the Bruce peninsula, on Wednesday afternoon and the crew of nine barely escaped with their lives. The steamer sank so quickly that only one boat could be lowered and only six succeeded in getting into it. The three others were picked up by the boat later.
The steamer SCOTT was heavily laden with a cargo of lumber from Cockburn Island consigned from Mitchell Bros. of Listowel, to the Standard Lunber Co., of Owen Sound to which Mr. W.A. Rowland is manager.
On Wednesday she got in some of the roughest weather of the season after entering the Georgian Bay from the North Channel. After passing Lonely Island she headed for Cabot Head for shelter, but while still some distance away the boat sprang a serious lead and commence to fill. All hands went to the pumps and worked desperately and the steam pumps were kept going but the vessel continued to fill rapidly. It was at 2;30 p. m. that the boat took a sudden plunge and in less that two minutes had disappeared below the surface. One boat was put off and six managed to scramble into it, Capt. Murdock McDonald who was in charge and one man and the woman cook were unable to get in the boat in time and were picked up after the boat went down. There was no time for them to get their personal effects, and Capt. McDonald did not have time to save the ship's papers.
      The deck cargo of lumber of the boat remained afloat and the survivors in their little boat remained in the shelter of this until they were picked up a few hours later by the steamer NEWONA, of which Capt. Moles is in charge and taken to Depot Harbour.
The steamer SCOTT was owned by the Peninsula Tug & Towing Co., of Wiarton, and was a familiar figure in Owen Sound harbour. She was 149 feet long and was considered a seaworthy craft. Only two weeks ago she was on Port Huron dry dock and was thoroughly overhauled. She was in charge of Capt. Murdock McDonald of Owen Sound, who is still in Depot Harbour, with his crew. Mr. J.D. Byers, Sec. of the Peninsula Co., told the Sun this morning that the boat was partially covered by insurance. The SCOTT was registered at Owen Sound.
      The cargo of lumber is valued at about $6,000. The Standard Lumber Co., to whom it was consigned will not lose by the wreck, as the cargo was still in the hands of shippers.
      The point where the SCOTT went down is within four miles of Cabot Head and in the district known as the graveyard of the lakes. Although Wednesday's storm was not serious about Owen Sound it is said that it was very severe at the entrance to the Georgian Bay. The escape of Capt. McDonald and his crew under the circumstances is surely fortunate, for the boat sank so rapidly that practically no warning was given.
      Owen Sound Sun
      September 4, 1914 [courtesy of Bill Hester]
      Steam screw THOMAS R. SCOTT. Official Canada No. 116847. Built at Grand Haven, Mich., in 1887. Of 258 tons. of 138 x 28 x 8 Ex U. S. until 1907. DISPOSITION:-- Sank Georgian Bay 1914
      Prelim. List of Canadian Steamships
      Inland & Coastal, 1809 to 1930

      Steam screw THOMAS R. SCOTT. U. S. No. 145452. Of 268.00 tons gross; 212.60 tons net. Built at Grand Haven, 1887. Home port, Cleveland. Ohio. of 129.0 x 28.0 x 7.6 of 300 indicated horse power.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891

The long lost wreck of the steamer THOMAS R. SCOTT was discovered in 1994 by Canadian Coast Guard divers during a deep-water geological research study in Georgian Bay.
The venerable old lumber hooker rests upright in about 350 feet of water off Cabot Head, at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. The ship appears intact, looking just as it did on the day it sank on Sept. 2, 1914. Canadian marine historian Art Amos told reporter for an Owen Sound newspaper.
The SCOTT was carrying lumber from Cockburn Island, at the west end of Manitoulin Island, to Owen Sound when it got caught in a storm after entering Georgian Bay from the North Channel. In spite of the storm. Capt. Murdock McDonald of Owen Sound, brought the 129-foot steamer across the bay. After passing Lonely Island, the boat began taking on water so McDonald headed for shelter behind Cabot Head.
All hands manned the ship's pumps and worked desperately to keep it afloat, but the leak got worse. Then at 2:30 p.m. the ship took a sudden lurch and sank. Six members of the crew had just enough time to launch the life boat. McDonald. one other crew member and the female cook were picked up swimming in the water.
For several hours the crew huddled in the boat, sheltered by the cargo of lumber that floated off the SCOTT's deck. They were picked up by the passing steamer NEWONA and taken to Depot Harbor.
The SCOTT operated under Canadian registry for the last seven years of its 27 years career. It was built at Grand Haven in 1887 for Chicago lumber dealer Thomas R. Scott and John O. Pierson, a Michigan businessman.
The oak hulled hulk freighter spent most of its time carrying lumber.
      Port Huron Daily Tribune
      (James Donahue's shipwreck column)

Media Type:
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Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.240555 Longitude: -81.3
William R. McNeil
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Thomas A. Scott (Propeller), C116847, sunk, 2 Sep 1914