The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Severn (Schooner), aground, 8 Oct 1895

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It is feared that the steamer AFRICA of Owen Sound, is lost with all on board. Monday night was the last heard from her, and wreckage bearing her name has been picked up. She had a crew of 10 men. The consort SEVERN is a total loss ashore 5 miles north of Lysle Island. Some foshermen saved her crew.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, October 10, 1895

      Found Floating Off Pike Bay By The Tug LOGIE--Supposed To Be Engineer Forrest.
Stokes Bay, Ont., Oct. 11. - The crew of the tug JOHN LOGIE of Southampton picked up a body off Pike Bay with a life preserver attached to it, on which was the name "Steamer AFRICA."
      It is supposed to be the body of Edward Forrest, second engineer of the AFRICA.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Friday, October 11, 1895

On the 5th of October 1895 the steamer AFRICA, with the schooner SEVERN in tow, sailed from Ashtabula, Ohio, with 1,270 tons of coal for Owen Sound. By the evening of the 7th they were wallowing in the foaming seas of a Lake Huron gale southwest of the Tobermory straits. Captain H.P. Larsen of the AFRICA was having a bad time of it and at 7 o'clock, about twenty miles southwest of Cove Island Light, he was forced to release the SEVERN in order to save his own ship. The crew of the schooner caught sight of the steamer only for a few minutes, but long enough to see her rolling dangerously. The she vanished.
      During the next three hours the SEVERN, her three masts shredded of canvas, was blown out of control through the night. At 10 o'clock she fetched up on a ledge off Bradley Harbor, north of Stokes Bay. Capt. James Silversides and his crew of four men and one woman clung to the battered hulk for twenty-four hours before being rescued by local fishermen. The 620 ton SEVERN, launched at Welland, Ontario, in 1872, went to pieces in shallow water, becoming a total loss.
      The worst fears of Silversides were confirmed within a few days when the body of John King, an AFRICA deck hand, was found on the beach at the Lyal Island lighthouse. A smashed and capsized lifeboat was also found at the island along with several life-preservers. No trace of the AFRICA was ever discovered. All on board, eleven in number, were lost. Built at Kingston in 1873 by William Power the AFRICA sailed for many years on the passenger route between Owen Sound and Sault Ste. Marie. In 1886 she burned at Owen Sound and was subsequently rebuilt as a bulk carrier. At the time of her loss she was owned by the Christie estate of Toronto and valued at $12,000. The last evidence of the wreck was found in the summer of 1896 when two bodies were found, one near Stokes Bay, the other at Sauble Beach.
      "Shipwrecks of the Saugeen"
      by Patrick Folkes
      Schooner SEVERN. [ no number] Of 536 tons register. Built at Welland, Ont., in 1872. Home port, Toronto, Ont. 151.0 x 27.5 x 12.7 Owned by Robert Moat, of Montreal, Que.
      List of Vessels on the Registry Books of the
      Dominion of Canada on December 31, 1886

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.987777 Longitude: -81.377777
William R. McNeil
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Severn (Schooner), aground, 8 Oct 1895