The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 18 Jul 1892

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Clearances: schr. Eliza Fisher, Oswego.

The steam yacht Electric, of Toronto, passed through for the islands yesterday.

The str. Varuna carried her first excursion of the season from Trenton to the Islands Saturday.

The str. Bon Voyage was delayed by the storm on Friday night and did not make her usual Sunday trip.

The str. Ocean passed down yesterday with a large crowd of passengers on board. The str. North King carried to the islands a great many people.

The str. Princess Louise was prevented, yesterday, from taking an excursion party down the river. A great many young people were disappointed.

One of the numerous yachts out sailing in the harbor yesterday upset off Point Frederick. All hands received a good ducking and the young men were obliged to postpone their outing.

During the gale on Friday night the barge Mills, owned by Hall & Co., of Ogdensburg, broke away from the tug Proctor and ran ashore near Oswego. She is laden with coal and insured.

The schr. Lady Macdonald, loaded with coal, tried to get into Fairhaven during Friday night's gale. She struck a pier and sank. She is owned by Eward Bros., of Cobourg, and is not insured.

Capts. Donnelly and Adams, government steamboat inspectors, are in Peterboro on an official visit. They will spend three days inspecting the lake steamers. From there they will go to Lindsay and Bobcaygeon on a tour of inspection.

The barge Lapwing was launched at Garden Island, on Saturday afternoon. It is finely constructed and will be used by the Kingston and Montreal forwarding company for service between Duluth, Kingston and Montreal. The craft is 177 feet long.

At Portland, on Thursday, customs officers Stayner and Simpson seized the steam yacht H.R. Clark, belonging to a Chicago gentleman named Southgate, formerly of Alexandria Bay, for failing to report at Kingston. The yacht is now cruising the lake under bond of $500.

Arrivals: Schr. Oliver Mowat, Toronto, 8,200 bushels wheat; tug Thompson with schrs. Gaskin and Glenora, Fort William, wheat; schr. D. Freeman, Belleville, 7,000 bushels peas; str. Algerian, Toronto; str. Corinthian, Montreal; str. North King, Charlotte; prop. Ocean, Hamilton; str. Corsican, Montreal.

The Canadian steamer Clinton arrived at Astabula on Saturday with about four feet of water in her hold aft, and gaining constantly. When about twenty five miles out, light, and towing the schooners Lisgar and Grimsby, she came up against the gale, and it was soon necessary to drop her tows. Shortly afterwards she sprang a leak. The captain and crew are of the opinion that she could not have stood it outside an hour longer.

The schr. Gulnair went ashore at Astabula on Saturday and will be a total wreck. The Gulnair left Cleveland about Friday in command of Capt. William Skelton, loaded with coal and stone for Hamilton, Ont. She was nearly opposite port when struck by the gale. Both the schooner's anchors were dropped, but they failed to hold, and she went on the beach. The boat rocked so that the stone shifted from one side of the deck to the other, making it impossible to leave the cabins. She filled with water, and at one time it looked as if there was no hope of the crew's escape. The crew, consisting of seven men, the captain's wife and daughter and little son, were taken off by a tug about noon. The Gulnair is an old boat and is valued at about $5,000. She is owned by Thomas Myles & Sons, of Hamilton, Ont. She will be a total loss.

The str. Chieftain, of Garden Island, left Fairhaven on Friday morning at seven o'clock with four barges belonging to the K.M. & F. company and loaded with coal. When about twenty five miles outside of Oswego the storm struck the boats. The storm was so great the tow line broke and the barges drifted ashore three miles below Oswego. Two of them are on a rock bottom and the others are fast in sand. If the wind blew as hard yesterday where the boats are as it did here there will not be much chance of saving them. The Chieftain arrived yesterday at Garden Island, and, after being loaded with a steam pump and wrecking apparatus, left for the relief of the barges. The barges are not insured.

The barges were Siren, Cherokee, Dakota and Bismarck. Mr. Stewart went to Oswego yesterday.

The Story of The Night.

[Oswego Times]

When the tug Chieftain and tow left Fairhaven a light south wind was blowing. The wind, however, shifted round to the west and then northwest and a heavy sea was running. The Chieftain held on to her tow for some hours, but eight miles out her line parted and the barges were adrift at the mercy of the waves. The Chieftain came into port and the barges were driven ashore about half a mile east of St. Paul's cemetery.

The spot where the barges are beached is favorable. The shore is free from rocks. The barges were all apparently laying on even keels, and were not pounding any. The Dakota lies farthest to the west and broadside, about fifty feet out from the shore. The Siren is just astern of her and she is lying quartering - north-east and south-west. Astern of her are the Cherokee and Bismarck - both broadside to the shore. The Dakota was slightly sheltered from the seas, but the waves were dashing a heavy spray over the decks of the other barges.

The life-saving crew started out after the Chieftain entered port. A heavy sea was running and when about a mile out the life boat was struck by a wave that washed George Gray, the stroke oar, overboard. He was carried about fifty feet from the boat before he was picked up. While the rescue of Gray was in progress the barges were beached. Capt. Chapman and the life-saver had a hard time in getting to the leeward of the Bismarck, and while doing this Horace Wilcox, one of the crew, was partially washed overboard. His body was overboard, but one of the crew seized him by the leg and he was drawn aboard again. The life-savers finally got to leeward of the Bismarck and took from her the captain, cook, four men and two children. They were safely landed and the life-savers then took twelve persons and then four from the Siren. From the Dakota eleven persons were taken. The baggage of the men was taken from the Dakota by the barge crew, who got a line ashore and used the barge's boat.

The Dakota had 700 gross tons, and on board were the captain, cook, six men and four children. The Siren had 506 gross tons of coal, and on board were the captain, cook, four men and five children. The Cherokee had 538 tons of coal, and on board were the captain, cook and four men. The Bismarck had 428 tons of coal, and on board, beside the captain and cook, were four men and two children.

General Paragraphs - The crew of the schr. Madeline report seeing a huge sea-serpent, between Buffalo and Toledo, in Lake Erie. They say it was 50 feet long and about four feet in circumference.

The schr. Severn, bound for Toronto with stone from the upper lakes, supposed to have been lost, reported at Port Dalhousie last night.

The str. Carmona left Toronto, today, with an excursion party for the Thousand Islands. She called at Oshawa and other lake ports. She entered the Bay of Quinte by means of the Murray Canal, and on arrival here will give the passengers a short time to view the sites.

The schr. Singapore, in entering Oswego, ran against the pier, damaging her bow so that she had to go on the dry-dock.

The schr. Hanlan is in with coal for Richardson & Sons own use.

The tug Cummings and tow are lying at Cape Vincent until the wind goes down.

Would Say Nothing - deputation of board of trade went to Montreal to interview the president of the M.T. Co. respecting the erection of a large elevator here.

p.2 New Range Lights at Kingston - The marine department has issued a notice of the two range lights recently established by the government on Barriefield common, near the junction of the great Cataraqui creek and the St. Lawrence river, at Kingston, to guide between Four Mile Point and Kingston harbor. The buildings are iron skeleton towers, triangular in plan, with oval slatted targets or beacons at their tops and sheds at their bases. The beacons are white, the iron frame work red and the sheds brown. The lights are fixed white, shown from locomotive headlight lanterns hoisted to the top of the tripods, and visible twelve miles over a small area on each side of the line of range.

p.4 Thought To Have Foundered - Oswego, N.Y., July 18th - Nothing has been heard here of the tug Booth and her tow of four coal-laden barges that left Oswego Friday night before the big storm, bound to Montreal. The tow carried crews aggregating 32 persons. The barges were small and heavily laden, and the tug could not tow them more than four miles an hour in fair weather. Sailors here fear they are lost.

Sea Serpent in Lake Erie - Toledo, Ohio, July 18th - Early on Wednesday morning, while the schr. Madeline Dowing, on its way from Buffalo to this city, was passing the Dunning, about 150 miles east of here, in Lake Erie, Captain Patrick Woods saw about half a mile ahead the waters of the lake lashed into a foam. Drawing near, to the surprise of the captain and all on board, a huge sea serpent wrestling about in the waters, as if fighting with an unseen enemy, was seen. It soon quieted down and lay at full length on the surface of the water. Captain Woods estimates it to be about fifty feet in length, and not less than four feet in circumference of body. Its head was projecting from the water about four feet. He says it was a terrible looking object. It had viciously sparkling eyes and a large head. Fins were plainly seen, seemingly sufficiently large to assist the snake in propelling itself through the water. The body was dark brown in color, which was uniform all along.

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18 Jul 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), 18 Jul 1892