The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Times (Orillia, ON), May 13, 1880

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The Waubuno Disaster


As announced last week, a party consisting of Mr. John Rowland, of Collingwood, whose son was purser on the lost steamer, - and Messrs, A Starkey and Wm. Ireland, jr, of this place, left here on Monday morning of last week, for the scene of the wreck of the Waubuno, for the purpose of searching for the bodies of the ill-fated crew and passengers. The party left in Mr. Starkey's yacht, in tow of the Northern Belle. We were towed to the vicinity of "Lone Rock" from which point we were compelled to "pull" to the wreck, there being no wind. Upon reaching the hull of the boat we found it had shifted from the position in which we found it last winter, and had turned completely round, out into deep water. We pitched our camp in a cosy nook on an island near the wreck, and after making everything as comfortable as the wet weather would permit, at once commenced the search which was continued till dark. The rain continued during the greater part of the night, but on Tuesday morning the weather became fine and the search was renewed, and continued throughout the day and also on Wednesday. All the islands within about five miles of the wreck, - wherever anything could possibly drift ashore-were carefully searched, but not the slightest sign of any of the bodies could be found, although almost every island was strewn with pieces of the wreck. When it is remembered that there are thousands of islands along this shore some idea may be formed of the difficult task before us. On Wednesday afternoon the tug Mittie Grew arrived at the wreck, having on board Mr. J. O. Miller, M. P. P. and Mrs. Miller, Captain and Mrs. Stewart, Judge McCurry, and Messrs, William Beatty, F. Strain, and Hugh Mackay. A thorough examination of the hull was made, and the fact ascertained that the outside planking was quite sound but some of the "knees" were decayed. The whole of stern is out down to the keel, and the hull more broken up than was supposed. A large hole was cut in the bottom thro' which could be seen a number of slabs, rendering anything else she contains in visible. A tow line from the tug was fastened to the hull with the object of turning it right side up if possible, but after floating cut about sixty or seventy feet the wreck struck against a shoal which prevented her from moving further. Having arrived at the conclusion that nothing more could at that time be accomplished, we "struck camp" and joined the party on board the tug, which started for Parry Sound, where we arrived at about seven o'clock. Further efforts to find some of the bodies will be made soon, full reports of which will appear in these columns. Parry Sound North Star.

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May 13, 1880
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Bill Hester
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Times (Orillia, ON), May 13, 1880