The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Jul 1856

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p.3 Destruction of the Burlington Lighthouse - This useful building was totally destroyed by fire on Friday evening, also the house of Mr. Thompson the light-house keeper, and we believe other property. An informant states that a steamer was observed about a mile away when the flames were first seen, she having passed through the canal, and the light-house being composed of wood, it is probable some sparks from the funnell had fallen on and ignited it, especially as woodwork now is so dry that the least spark will almost light it like tinder.

We have procured the following information from Captain Maddox, of the schooner Dexter Calvin, of Kingston:-

On the night of the destruction of the steamer, he was coming from Port Dalhousie with his craft, and met the Tinto about two miles to the southwest of Nine Mile Point Lighthouse - about ten or fifteen minutes after passing her, his son remarked - "Father, I think that boat is on fire," at the instant he saw the flames rush up from her deck immediately downed helm and made for the steamer, in one stretch got to the windward of her, and quite close; could see distinctly her hull; there was a little sea running; came across a boat as if rowing from the steamer, with two men in her, found they were men from the shore who informed him that they saw nothing of the crew; then it was impossible for a person to have remained on the steamers deck -this was about half-past eleven o'clock. He lay in the wind, and drifted through some portions of burned wood work, belonging to the steamer. The steamer Wellington came up at this time, and lay to for some time. The Dexter Calvin then left as there was no sign of anything about; and no assistance could be rendered.

We are in possession of some additional particulars of the burning of the Northern Indiana on Lake Erie. It appears that the fire originated in the wood-work around one of the chimneys. The vessel burned to the water's edge in fifty minutes; and yet, notwithstanding the rapidity of the conflagration, every passenger could have been saved but for their recklessness in jumping overboard. The reports are conflicting as to the number lost; but the worst fears regarding the missing passengers are confirmed. The propeller which assisted in the rescue arrived at Detroit yesterday, but she had only two or three passengers on board. The clerk of the Northern Indiana is of opinion that at least fifty lives were lost, and the captain of the propeller is of the same belief.

Imports - July 22nd - Sloop Rough & Ready, French Creek, 21 cords firewood, J. Roderick.

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24 Jul 1856
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Weekly British Whig, 24 July 1856 Weekly British Whig, 24 July 1856
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Weekly British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Jul 1856