The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 30 Sep 1893

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The storm drum with inverted cone was hoisted today, and indicates a heavy gale from the east.

The str. Bohemian went down the river this morning with a good number of passengers. She took the place of the str. Passport in dry-dock.

The str. Columbian will make a special trip from Toronto on Oct. 3rd to carry about 100 members of the Worcester board of trade to Montreal.

Arrivals: str. D.D. Calvin, 25,449 bushels corn; barge Augustus, 57,968 bushels corn; barge Ceylon, 55,000 bush. corn, all from Chicago.

Departures: tug Walker and barges Gaskin and Glenora, Oswego, light, to load coal for Montreal; tug Active, six barges, 148,000 bushels of grain for Montreal.

The Toronto and Hamilton mail boats will be withdrawn about Oct. 3rd, but the line to Kingston will be continued as long as business warrants it. This may be until December, as the freight business is brisk.

Sailors sued the captain of the str. Myles for wages due. The captain claimed the men had to unload the boat. The men claimed the agreement ended on the arrival of the boat at Hamilton. They said the agreement had been tampered with. The magistrate examined the document under a microscope and discovered such evidence of the fact that the agreement had been written in sections that he gave judgement in favor of the sailors for full amount of their claim.



The Passengers On The Columbian Have A Fright.

[Montreal Gazette]

The Richelieu & Ontario navigation company's steamer Columbian had a narrow escape, Thursday, and but for the coolness of her captain would probably have now been classed in the list of casualties. She left Cornwall with 160 passengers and a general cargo, and had proceeded as far as Lancaster in Lake St. Francis, when owing to the sheeting around the smokestack becoming overheated, the smoke penetrated into the life-preserver room, and coming through the woodwork soon filled the social hall. The smell of fire was caused by the asbestos, which was thickly lined around the pipes, and as soon as the water was poured on, smoke rushed out in thick volumes, but fortunately there was no flame, and the only damage done was by smoke and water, which will amount to about $200.

Col. Knox Livingston, who is the general counsel of the Charleston, Sumter & Northern railroad, South Carolina, and one of the passengers by the steamer Columbian, stated in the Balmoral hotel that the first intimation the passengers received that something was wrong was in Lake St. Francis, by a strong odor of wood burning and the crew moving quickly through the vessel. They then noticed smoke issuing from the life preserver room on the opposite side of the boat, where the linen was kept. There were no flames, but the woodwork surrounding the smokestack was considerably scorched and charred. The captain had gone below to look after the steering apparatus, and in the meantime the water was turned on the asbestos from the hoses, which, besides causing a great deal of smoke, was also the means of cracking the large and handsome mirror which hangs in the social hall. In reply to a question, Col. Livingston stated that the majority of the passengers were cool and collected and had every confidence in Capt. Batten, who proved himself a cool and brave commander. His coolness and the manner in which the crew obeyed his orders inspired confidence amongst the passengers and was the means of saving a panic. As soon as the smoke was seen issuing from the woodwork some of the passengers got scared and asked the captain to beach the boat at once, but the captain assured them that if there was any danger his first thoughts would be to land the passengers in safety. On arrival at Coteau Landing, a few of the more timid ones landed and came to the city by rail, but the majority remained on board until Lachine was reached, which was at 6 o'clock, and as it was too late to shoot the rapids, the passengers landed, after congratulating Captain Batten for the skilful manner in which he controlled what might have been a serious catastrophe.

The Columbian arrived in port, and, although there was a strong odor of charged wood prevailing on board, the vessel looked little the worse for her adventure. The carpets were damp with water from the hoses and one or two panels had been torn down by the crew to show to show the passengers that there was no fire. She was inspected last evening by N.K. Connolly and Julien Chabot, who gave instructions as to necessary repairs.

The Columbian sustained so little damage that she will leave today on her upward journey to Toronto.

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30 Sep 1893
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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), 30 Sep 1893