The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 2 Jun 1892

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p.1 General Paragraphs - The present str. Pierrepont was built in 1871 by A.R. Milne and registered under his name.

After an examination of the Glengarry's cargo today, Capt. Gaskin rejected the wheat and it is now in the hands of the insurance companies.

Cutting Rates - It is understood the rate on canal vessels for the government dry dock has been lowered to $20. R. Davis is indignant over this turn of affairs and says it is a strange thing if private enterprise is to be so snowed under. His rate for the same vessel is $30 for twenty-four hours dockage.



The prop. Glengarry is an unfortunate boat. After losing her tow of two barges, twice on Lake Superior, part of her machinery was disabled at the Welland Canal, and she finally arrived here to meet with a more serious disaster, that of being partially burned.

She had on board over 21,000 bushels of Manitoba wheat, which she was to take to Montreal as soon as her machinery was repaired. The boat was moored at the wharf of the locomotive works, and yesterday men worked at her and continued their labors until twelve o'clock last night. They wanted the work done as soon as possible. When the workmen left the boat there were no signs of fire, and they were astonished on learning, this morning, that she had been partially destroyed.

At about three o'clock this morning watchman Davy discovered smoke pouring out of the after cabins. He alarmed the crew. The first up was Mary Lamb, and she ran out of her room and into the room occupied by the ladies' maid, Theresa Barratt. Miss Lamb had only her night clothes on, and wanting to save something in her room ran back. When she got in the cabin she could not get out before the flames surrounded her. Her screams were terrible and heard blocks off. Finally the side fell off the cabin and as soon as the woman got air she rushed to the side of the boat furthest from the dock, jumped into the water and her lifeless body was found soon after, floating near the bow of the steamer.

A young man, A. Watson, saw the cook floating in the water after she jumped overboard. He thinks she lived for some time after she was in the water.

In the meantime there was great excitement on board the boat, and the ladies' maid shouted for help. She jumped into the arms of the captain and was carried by him to the dock. When the firemen were notified the blaze looked to them as if the locomotive works was on fire. When they got to the steamer the cabins in the afterpart were under the control of the flames. The Chatham engine was run out and four or five streams turned on the flames.

Through their efforts the boat was saved from being entirely destroyed. The fire started in the machinery department and burned away all the woodwork at the stern to the water's edge. The damage to the boat and cargo is estimated at $10,000.

After the body of the cook was pulled out and placed on the dock it was removed to Drennan's morgue in the ambulance waggon. A reporter looked on the charred remains. The face was drawn up in such a way as to give some idea of the terrible suffering of the victim. Her legs were badly burned and her toes were roasted off. Coroner Mundell was notified of the death and took the affidavits of Capt. McMaugh and others as to the fire. He decided the evidence did not show cause for an inquest. Miss Lamb was about forty years of age and has friends in Georgetown to which place her body will likely be forwarded.

After the fire the steamer Glengarry was towed by the tug Active to the M.T. Co.'s dock. The reporter visited the boat and found about twenty men working desperately at the pumps to keep her afloat. The water was rushing in at the stern. After several hours hard work the water was cleared.

Capt. McMaugh superintended the work. Only the charred frames of the engine room and cabins remained and the machinery looked as it had received serious damage.

The captain said: "It was about three o'clock this morning when the watchman called 'fire.' I jumped out of bed, pulled on my pants and rushed on deck. I saw the ladies' maid and she was leaning over the railing. I shouted to her to jump. She did so and landed in my arms. I think that Miss Lamb, after alarming the ladies' maid, went back to her cabin to get a diamond ring, and was caught in the blaze. There was a diamond ring on her finger when found. As soon as the fire was discovered A. Barton started the pony engine, and threw a stream on the flames, keeping the fire in check until the firemen came. The prop. Glengarry was the steamer Argyle at first, and ran under that name from 1872 to 1884, when she was rebuilt and called the Glengarry. She was formerly purchased from J.D. McLennan, one of the contractors of the North Shore branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway. She is worth between $30,000 and $40,000, and has a first-class rating."

Miss Barrett was very nervous when the reporter spoke, and seemed to feel keenly the effects of the shock. She said: "The first I knew about the fire was when the cook came to my room and shouted, "Get up, Theresa, the boat is on fire." I hurried out of the cabin and saw Miss Lamb on her way back to her room. I did not see her alive afterwards. I was very much afraid and thought I would be burned. When the captain told me to jump I fell into his arms and he carried me to the dock. I will feel weak from the shock for several days."

The cook was only re-engaged yesterday. Her trunk was not on board. It was left at the office of the M.T. Co.

The steamer was insured against marine disasters, but whether against fire the manager, Capt. Gaskin, did not know.

The steamer Argyle was known as an old Welland canaler.

This morning Capt. McMaugh telegraphed particulars to the friends of Miss Lamb, asking for instructions as to the disposition of the body.

Capt. Gaskin telegraphed particulars of the fire to the head office of the M.T. company at Montreal, and asked for instructions as to what must be done with the cargo.

The Glengarry will be put on the ways immediately and be rebuilt.

Upon the Glengarry's arrival about a week ago, Miss Lamb, the unfortunate cook, was one of the crew interviewed by a Whig reporter. He found her a very pleasant and easy going person and although against having her name appear in print was ever ready to give any information in her power.

One of the Shedden company's men fished out this morning a corded silk dress floating near the G.T.R. dock, which belonged to one of the women on the Glengarry.

The cargo of the steamer Glengarry is consigned to Ogilvie, of Montreal, and was insured.

When the fire was first discovered A. Barton ran to the pony engine, and, while in the act of starting her, was badly scorched by the flames. His face, hands and legs bear fire marks. His watch, lost in the hold, was found by J. Gaskin, jr.

It is believed the boat is not insured against fire. Her cargo will be unloaded as soon as possible.

The prop. Glengarry was to have gone into the dry-dock this afternoon for examination.

A. Barton, the engineer, had a narrow escape from death. His hair was nearly all burned off his head, and his position got so critical, he had to jump into the water to save his life. J. Meagher, watchman at the dry-dock, lent Mr. Barton an overcoat and other clothing after he got out of the lake.

The hair was burned off the cook's head before she cleared the boat.

Messrs. J. Meagher and Geogehan were at the steamer a few minutes after the fire started and rendered all the assistance they could. Officers Bateson, Ballantyne and other policemen did good service.


The scow Jessie, Gananoque, was caulked at Davis' dry dock yesterday.

The name of the str. Kathleen has been changed to that of the City of London.

Str. Armenia and barge, light, and schr. Dunn, Kington to Toledo, passed Port Dalhousie last night.

The steam yacht Lotus Seeker, considered the fastest boat on the St. Lawrence River, and owned by Mr. Holden, New York, is now en route to the great metropolis.

Arrivals: schr. Robert McDonald, Consecon, 4,000 bush. buckwheat; str. Fleetwing, Oswego, coal; schr. Eliza Fisher, Oswego, coal; str. Ocean, Montreal; str. Spartan, Toronto.

Clearances: prop. Seguin ?, Marine City; schr. Ogarita, Port Huron; prop. Armenia, Toledo, with barges Norway and Dunn in tow; schr. Emerald, Oswego; prop. Pueblo, Charlotte.

Mr. Doran's steam yacht Siesta, has been thoroughly overhauled at Davis' ship-yard. A new platon has been inserted in the cylinder, new rings as well as valves, and she has been thoroughly painted and caulked throughout.

The steam yacht Ingomar, owned by C.C. Newton, Montreal, left Davis' dry dock, yesterday, and is now in readiness for cruising among the islands. The improvements to the yacht during the winter have been extensive, a compound engine adding much to her speed. It is expected she will now make a steady run of twelve miles an hour.

The price of coal advanced 25 cents in Oswego on Wednesday. The schr. Fleetwing was towed over Tuesday night in order to get a cargo before the advanced occurred. Capt. Shaw says that the coal combine will be broken at all hazards. Poor people in New York are now paying 15 cents a pail for coal, and this is to be advanced 5 cents in a couple of days. He says it is outrageous. If the combine continues coal will sell in Kingston at $7.50 next winter.

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2 Jun 1892
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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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 2 Jun 1892