The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 19 Dec 1891

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Daily British Whig, Dec. 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 1891

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Weekly British Whig, Dec. 24, 1891



The Accidents To Vessels and the Sailors Who Have Been Drowned.

[Toronto Globe]

Disasters have not been beyond the average of other years on the great lakes, but the mortality from accidents among sailors has been larger than for some years. In all fifty-nine have lost their lives since the season began. Passengers have been exempt this year, not one having been drowned. The latest mishap was that to the steamer Oregon, which grounded on Cross Over Shoal in the St. Lawrence river, and was wrecked by the Donnelly Bros. of Kingston. She carried 70,000 bushels of oats from up the lakes for Montreal, and both vessel and cargo are much damaged. The schooner Herbert Dudley went aground near the same place during the summer and was released with difficulty. The schooner Wave Crest ran hard aground on Four Mile Point but was released and repaired. The str. Sovereign foundered in Lake Superior, the schr. City of Erie went to pieces near Leland, Mich., and the schr. James D. Sawyer was wrecked at Avon Point, Lake Erie, all in one gale on Oct. 26th. The schr. Persia sank off Point Peter Light, Lake Ontario, in 200 feet of water; the C.P.R. steamer Athabaska collided with and sank the str. Pontiac in Sault Ste. Marie river on July 14th; the str. Thomas Hume disappeared on Lake Michigan with all on board, no trace of her turning up; the schr. S.C. Pomeroy took fire and sank off Oak Orchard, Lake Ontario; the barge Helena was sunk by the str. Mariska in the Sault River; the prop. Pease (late California) caught fire while lying at her dock in Buffalo, and the engineer and fireman lost their lives; the schr. Flora Carveth was driven ashore at Whitby, coal-laden. These were among the most prominent casualties, though there were a number of minor ones which it is not necessary to repeat. The sunken schr. Charger was blown to pieces with dynamite and completely removed from Pelee passage, and the Susan E. Peck was got out of the Lake George Flats passage after causing much loss of time and money to other vessels.

Wrecked In Lake Huron - Tobermoray, Dec. 23rd - A wreck has evidently taken place off Cape Hurd, Lake Huron, as large quantities of wreckage, including the yawl of a vessel named the Oswegatchie, of Detroit, have come ashore at that place. A life preserver stamped "Passenger steamer Austin, of Picton" was also found.

Building Whalebacks

West Superior, Wis., Dec. 23rd - The keels were laid today, in the yards of the American steel barge company, for two, of a fleet of six, mammoth whalebacks under contract for the Canadian Pacific railway. These vessels will be of improved model 320 feet long, forty-two feet beam, twenty-five feet depth, and will be of greater capacity and much swifter than other whalebacks so far constructed. The railway will have a line of whalebacks to run in connection with the Soo line from its eastern terminus, at Gladstone, to lower lake ports. Its expectation in the matter of handling the bulk of North-West wheat and flour has not been realized, as a great portion of it still continues to go east via Chicago. In the whaleback fleet the road believes it has found a necessary adjunct for a monopoly in flour transportation.

p.3 The prop. Saginaw Valley has laid up at Buffalo, owing to the rough weather. She was fifty-two days on her last trip from Kingston to Duluth and Ogdensburg to Buffalo.

p.4 District Dashes - Robert Pye, light-house keeper at the Scotch Bonnet, closed up for the season on Friday. He found it exceedingly difficult to reach shore. He says he has not known so much rough weather during any fall since his appointment fifteen years ago, nor has the water been so low.

p.8 Deseronto Doings - Dec. 22nd - ......What remains of the steamer Southern Belle, at the shipyard, looks very much like the leavings of an Christmas dinner, a Toronto firm having bought and are removing her for the scrap what's in her. She was 200 feet long, iron hull, and did excellent service as a blockade runner during de wah. Her general expression was that of a devil-may-care kind, and in her prime she was the hustler of her set.....John Rice, engineer on one of the Rathbun company's steamers, has "laid up" at his winter quarters, the Kennedy house, Kingston, for the winter.

Weekly British Whig, Dec. 31, 1891

p.2 Incidents of the Day - The schr. Hanlan is being converted from a fore and aft vessel to a three and aft, with the addition of another spar. This change will curtail expenses considerably.

p.2 An Old Time Captain - Capt. Chambers, Smith's Falls, now past eighty years of age, had a paralytic stroke and is reported in a critical condition. The captain was well known along the Bay of Quinte and in Kingston forty years ago and more. He commanded several steamers on the bay and on the Rideau. He was the first captain of the old "Bay of Quinte," then the finest steamer on these waters. He has been living at his home in Smith's Falls for the past twenty years.

p.5 Cape Vincent Tidings - Dec. 30th - ....Thursday the citizens hold a meeting at Quinlan's hall to devise some means of influencing the government to build a breakwater at this point. The meeting was called by the president of the village. The breakwater scheme is not a new one. Almost forty years ago an effort was made to have congress appropriate the necessary sum to build a harbor here sufficient for the protection of shipping. A good harbor is needed at this point, in fact, it is one of the most important places on the chain of lakes and the St. Lawrence river. A big share of the lake and river traffic passes this point. In case of storm all vessels lying at this port are obliged to find shelter elsewhere. It is to be hoped that some good will come out of the meeting and that this congress will see the necessity of a harbor at this point and appropriate a good sum for the same.

p.8 To Wipe Out Napanee - Deseronto, Dec. 29th - .....The Resolute came in on Christmas day and has left again with a cargo for Oswego......Capt. Christie, Ella Ross, after a very successful season has laid up the craft. He is a good looking, popular and efficient officer. Frenkle's men engaged dissecting the Southern Belle, have finished and left for Toronto.

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19 Dec 1891
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 19 Dec 1891