The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Oct 1893

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Rescue Of The Steambarge Colonial Going On.

The water in the vicinity of Pigeon Island is very shallow and care should be taken by mariners when they get in that district to keep well out from shore. There is no shelter there, and if a vessel gets on the rocks during a heavy gale she is liable to go to pieces. When the steambarge Colonial, with 70,000 bushels of grain, ran on the reef on Wednesday morning she was going at the rate of eleven miles an hour, and shortly afterwards a strong gale blew from the south-west and prevailed all day, moderating in the evening. During Wednesday the Colonial was rocked on the shoal by the high winds, and waves, like ocean billows, swept over her decks. As soon as possible after the accident Capt. H. Stover struck out in a yawl boat for Cape Vincent and on reaching there telegraphed his employers for orders. In his absence the tug Petrel, belonging to the Collins Bay rafting company, started out from here and an hour afterwards the steamer Pierrepont tried to go up the lake. The Petrel succeeded in getting within speaking distance of the Colonial, but the Pierrepont could not breast the waves and had to return. The captain of the Petrel offered to relieve the boat, but the mate, in the absence of the captain, would not make a bargain. Capt. McDonald learned the name of the owners of the boat, Messrs. Moore, Gilchrist and Barton, and telegraphed them for the work.

He was notified to proceed with the job. He returned to the city yesterday, got a lighter, elevator and pumps and began lightening the Colonial at two o'clock in the afternoon. The weather was just what was needed. It was calm and no trouble was experienced in handling 35,000 bushels dry grain which was put in a barge. Of this 23,000 bushels were oats and 12,000 bushels corn. This was brought to Portsmouth early this morning and the Petrel came to Swift's wharf. Here she took in tow the barge Victor, loaded with coal, called at Portsmouth for the elevator and started again for the Colonial.

There were 70,000 bushels of grain in the boat. Over 14,000 more of dry grain will be elevated today. The balance of the cargo is wet. About nine feet of corn in the hold is soaked and the boat is leaking rapidly. She ran over the rocks and listed. Her forefoot is broken and she is considerably strained.

This is the first trip of the Colonial in this district. Capt. Moore, one of the owners, arrived here today from Cleveland, and said they did not know until lately the Colonial could go through the canal. He was sorry now that she had taken the trip. She was built about ten years ago by the Republican Iron Mining Co., to carry ore between Cleveland and Marquette. She cost $100,000 and is insured for about $75,000. The cargo is insured, and Capt. G. McLeod, of Buffalo, was to have arrived here today to represent Smith, Davis & Co., who hold the risk.

The Colonial is so firmly fastened that the Petrel could not move her after she was lightened. The hawser, one of the largest on any tug boat in this district, and used the first time was broken.

Capt. Moore says he expects the Colonial will reach Ogdensburg tomorrow. She will likely be placed in the dry-dock here for repairs. He went on board the Petrel, and will report to his partners the condition of the steamer.

Owing to high wind the elevator could not work at the steambarge Colonial, and had to be brought back to Portsmouth.

General Paragraphs - The schr. Fleetwing is loading lumber for Oswego.

The steamer Magnet will receive a pair of new wheels.


The storm drums are up today, indicating a gale from the east.

The schr. Ella Murton cleared for Oswego today to load coal for Kingston.

After this week the mail steamers Passport, Algerian and Corsican will be withdrawn from service.

The steamers Oregon, Nirvina and Marquette are en route to the city from Chicago with 140,000 bushels of corn.

Capt. VanVlack has sold out his interest in the str. Varuna to Capt. Alfred Hicks, who will run and command the little vessel for the rest of the season, with Jacob E. Rathbun as mate.

On Wednesday F. Grant, while stepping off the barge Kildonan at the M.T. Co.'s dock, fell into the water. His head struck the wharf and he was injured. He was rescued by Capt. Hewitt, of the S.S. Rosedale.

The str. Magnet was towed into port, yesterday afternoon, by the str. Algerian. While going down the river one of the Magnet's wheels collapsed. The arms were defective and could not stand the resistance of the water. The wheel was completely destroyed and a new one will be put in the boat here. The arms of the new wheel were to have arrived today from Montreal.

Capt. Donnelly returned from Cornwall yesterday, where he has been for several days conducting an investigation in connection with a charge against Capt. Gillespie, of the str. Rocket, for carrying more passengers than the law allowed and for sailing without an inspector's certificate. After hearing all the evidence magistrate Bethune dismissed the case. The department of justice will likely appeal against the decision.

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Date of Publication:
6 Oct 1893
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Geographic Coverage:
  • 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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Oct 1893