The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
W. J. Preston (Schooner), U26563, aground, 1 Nov 1888

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"A Wrecked Schooner -- Capt. McGuire and crew of the schooner WILLIAM I. PRESTON reached the city yesterday evening after having had a most exciting adventure on Lake Ontario. The vessel had 17,000 bushels of wheat en route from Detroit to Ogdensburg. During the gale on Saturday night entrance was had to Charlotte harbour. On Sunday morning, with a fresh south-east breeze blowing a start was made for Ogdensburg. The wind increased, and the sails were reefed, but at 8 o'clock on Sunday night a gale from the south came up and was immediately succeeded by a blinding snow storm. Nothing could be seen and the crew lost entire control of the vessel. The lake was in a boiling state, the cold icy water sweeping over the deck by the ton. Tossing and tumbling about the craft dashed ahead and with a crash went upon the rocky coast of Wolfe Island on the south-west side, known as "The Sow and Pigs," one of the most treacherous points on the whole of Lake Ontario. She speedily filled with water, the crew (totalling seven) took to the boats, and at midnight were landed on Wolfe Island. Shelter was secured. The vessel is now lying easy, but her cargo is destroyed. It is insured and owned by Lapham & Co., Detroit. The vessel is owned by George Goble, Oswego, and is uninsured. Capt. McGuire is here to await orders from the owners as to her rescue. The vessel was struck by the gale when off the Galloup Islands. The steamer Chieftain left this morning to rescue the schooner. She is lying on a rocky bottom, and pounded so hard during Sunday night that it is feared that all her bottom planks are stove in."
      British Whig, (Kingston);
      November 20, 1888)

Schooner WILLIAM I. PRESTON. U. S. No. 26563. Of 278.73 tons gross; 264.79 net. Built Oswego, N.Y., 1861. Home port, Oswego, N.Y.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1884

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.170277 Longitude: -76.408055
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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W. J. Preston (Schooner), U26563, aground, 1 Nov 1888