The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Sep 1893

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Captain Thompson Tells About the Singapore's Loss.

Capt. Thompson, of the schr. Singapore, arrived from Oswego, yesterday afternoon, on the prop. Alcona. The captain had a rough time of it Tuesday morning, but if he could only have sailed his vessel when the time came the Singapore would not now be on the beach at Forest Lawn, a summer resort, six miles below Rochester. After beating about all night the captain found himself not over three-quarters of a mile from shore when daylight dawned again. The wind was high and although in an average gale it was quite possible to bring the schooner out again, still in the hurricane that blew Capt. Thompson lost all control of his boat, as far as making a desired point was concerned, and was obliged to wait until his vessel was dashed on the shore. Every stitch of canvas the boat could carry was rigged, but to no purpose. High and dry she must go no matter the consequence. This did not occur, however, until after the anchor chains had been broken. The minute the captain saw that he could not make out to sea again he let go both anchors in the hope that the course of the schooner would be checked. The large chains might just as well have been small wires. Both chains snapped in two and the Singapore was left at the mercy of the waves. As soon as the chains broke the vessel turned round sideways and was tossed up on the beach. Capt. Thompson does not think the vessel is greatly damaged. He is here to secure the services of a tug to go over and pull her off. If he cannot agree satisfactorily for this he will get apparatus and go over and free her himself. She can be jacked off. The captain was at no time afraid that the storm would turn out any more seriously to his boat. The Singapore is on a good bottom but a bad one to get off. He could not say how long it would take to release the boat. Capt. Thompson purchased the Singapore from A. Gunn & Co. only last fall for $2,700. The vessel is a staunch one and the captain got a good bargain. He put about $500 repairs on her, in new sails and rigging and after the present mishap will have to be prepared to stand the blunt for a few hundred more. Capt. Thompson lives in Toronto and up till last week had his wife and family on board the boat. The schr. Bullock is ashore six miles on the west side of Charlotte. The schr. Wheeler foundered just a mile out from where the Singapore went ashore.

The prop. Alcona came over from Charlotte yesterday afternoon, but only spent an hour here when she turned back and headed for Wilson, N.Y., across from Port Dalhousie, to recover her consort, the Alta, which broke away in the recent storm. The Alcona had gone to Charlotte when the gale cleared away in hopes that the schooner had been blown ashore there, and Capt. Anderson was not a little surprised when reaching here to ascertain that the Alta was so far away. The captain was glad to hear of her being anywhere, however, as upon not finding her at Charlotte he had given up all hopes and concluded that the boat and crew had gone down. The telegram from Wilson, N.Y., explained that the Alta had lost her steering gear. The Alcona took a couple of sets up with her last evening. The Alta is at anchor off the village. She will probably have gone to Port Dalhousie by the time the Alcona arrives.

The captain of the steamer Manitowac did a lot of kicking, last night, because the M.T. Co.'s men could not be kept on all night to finish unloading his vessel. The men had been up several nights in succession and were pretty nearly played out. The Manitowac had to call at Oswego and did not want to be held in the canal over Sunday.

The str. James Richard, Chicago to Kingston, corn; prop. Algonquin, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; str. Vail and barge Baltic, Kingston to Buffalo, light, passed Port Colborne last night.

The schr. Barnes was towed out from the M.T. Co.'s dock by the str. Pierrepont yesterday afternoon. She is bound up the lake.

The grain trade is becoming slack now. The forwarding companies have not many more boats on the bay.

The Calvin Co. have sent ten rafts down the river this year. There will be at least two more this fall.

Arrivals: str. James Swift, Ottawa; schr. Zapotec, Chicago, 57,000 bush. corn.

Loss of Connolly's Dredge - Quebec, Sept. 1st - The tug Eureka, from St. John, N.B., put back into Gaspe. The captain reports that during the storm, on Wednesday morning, the dredge St. Joseph which he was towing to Quebec became unmanageable and sank. The Daberg, which he also had in tow, went adrift.

The dredge was the property of Messrs. N.K. and M. Connolly, the well-known contractors, and cost, it is said, $60,000.

General Paragraphs - The steambarge Quebec and schr. Snowbird are being painted.

The river trade is about ended for this year. The str. Empire State had but a few over 50 passengers in the city today.

The str. Lorelei was in port all day for the first time in a month. Business is now falling off and the steamer will be painted.

The str. Columbian had 735 passengers on her excursion from Brockville to Cornwall yesterday. The steamer came up the Galops rapids at eleven o'clock last night.



A reporter saw Capt. Langan at Charlotte while he was breaking his long fast of nearly twenty-four hours, and he leaned back from the table and told the story of the double wreck of the barges Mills and Wheeler in tow of the tug Proctor.

"My son and I were together on the top of the cabin of the Mills," said the captain. "I knew she was going down, and about the last lurch my son and I dived together. We stripped just before jumping, so as to run no more chances than necessary. I took a board under my arm. We kept together in the water and I got on to a piece of the cabin roof about six feet square and tied myself fast with a rope. Then I called to my son and he got onto the strip of roof with me. The Bryan boys, Joe and Will, were near me before I jumped, and I said to one of them, 'Take this board; you can't swim.' He took it and was the first man hauled on board the Proctor.

"There were two men in the crew whose names I don't know; had just taken them. They were both quite young. One was from Buffalo; the other belonged to Valleyfield. The Buffalo man was swimming near me in the water for several minutes, so close that we struck. I got away from him and he went down. The other man acted as though he was hurt and he went down. I didn't see the cook when the vessel struck. Her name was Mary Seguin and she was from Oswego, and was about fifty years old.

"An awful time of it! Boat tumbled over to the side; masts went out about three o'clock; mizzen and mizzen boom fell over the cabin. Proctor saw us going, cut the line and swung around. First swimming I've ever been obliged to do. Pretty narrow escape? Yes, darn narrow, Johnny."

The value of the cargoes of the three boats was about $6,000, and the boats themselves were worth about $35,000. [Rochester Morning Herald]

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1 Sep 1893
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 Sep 1893