The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Paragon (Schooner), gale damage, 1 Oct 1868

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The Gales on the Lakes.
From the Detroit Post of yesterday (says the 'Leader') we copy the following additional particulars. It will be seen that the officers of the gunboat PRINCE ALFRED behaved nobly throughout the disaster:-
      "Captain Wilson Searls, who commanded the barge PARAGON, which suffered disaster and loss of life on Lake Huron, arrived in this city yesterday, and from him we learn the following relative to that sad affair:- The PARAGON, with five other barges, left Bay City, laden with lumber, on Thursday last, in tow of the tug W.A. MOORE. When off Point Au Barque the Hercules, the last in tow, pecame waterlogged, which impeded the progress of the tow. When near Lexington the tow line of one of the barges parted, which placed nearly all of them in a confused state, and at the mercy of the elements. The tug, while engaged in righting matters, ran afoul of the PARAGON, causing her to leak and waterlog. At this period the weather became rough, and the seas breaking over them, they were obliged to seek refuge in the rigging. On board) besides the captain, there were three men, Margaret Darby, aged about 40, and her daughter, aged about 10 years.
One of the men, named Thomas Darby, was a son of the woman named. The scene of horror and suffering baffled description, until young Darby, unable longer to sustain himself, bade all farewell, and plunged into the lake and shortly disappeared. Another of the crew was washed overboard, while another was lost in a manner unknown. The child died in the captain's arms, while the mother, through exhaustion and suffering, also expired. After all this had transpired, the Canadian gunboat PRINCE AFLRED hove in sight, and discovering their condition, repaired at once to their rescue, and right nobly was their service rendered. After receiving on board the dead, and almost famished
survivors, they were kindly cared for; the barge was also taken in tow and brought to Sarnia. Capt. Searls desires us to express his warm gratitude to the officers of the above-named steamer for the prompt aid rendered by Capt. Pearson, Mr. James May, warrant officer, Mr. Lindsay, and Mr. Jackson, engineer, all of which will be kept in grateful remembrance.
      Goderich Signal, Semi-Weekly
      Thursday, October 29, 1868

Schooner PARAGON.* Built Oshawa, Ont., 1853. 95.0 x 20.6 x 9.2
      * Renamed KEEWATIN - Canada - C 94933. [ Paragon total wreck at Sarnia 1868, later rebuilt as Keewatin]
      Herman Runge List
      Schooner KEEWATIN. Of 300 tons. Built at Lakeport in 1888 by Tait. Owned by Campbell. Home port, Port Hope. Value $9,270. Class A 1½ REMARKS. -- Built on bottom of schooner PARAGON.
      Inland lloyds Vessel Register
      Canadian Hulls, 1890

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: gale damage
Lives: 5
Remarks: Rebuilt as KEEWATIN
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.640833 Longitude: -81.768055
William R. McNeil
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Paragon (Schooner), gale damage, 1 Oct 1868