The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 Oct 1893

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The Vessels On The Lakes Had Some Lively Experiences.

Although the storm abated somewhat yesterday, still the weather was sufficiently severe to prevent many steamers reporting at Kingston. Propellers due from Montreal had been delayed in one way or the other and did not arrive while the steamer North King and others, due from up the lakes, did not get here. The wharves were generally sought yesterday by mariners in search of news of their friends. As a rule, a storm rarely occurs that false reports are not set afloat, but the work of a milkman yesterday morning was not to be commended. When distributing milk to his patrons he apparently took delight in asserting that he actually saw the steamer Hero disappear from view under the waves and that she was surely gone.

Manager Gildersleeve, however, was in receipt of news, yesterday afternoon, that the Hero had laid at Stella all night and proceeded to Belleville Sunday morning and was uninjured. It was also reported she had lost a lifeboat. The Hero left Gunn's dock at her usual time Saturday afternoon, and must have experienced rough weather in getting through the first gap. Relatives of the crew were caused not a little trouble and fear over the reports.

The str. Glengarry came into port yesterday morning as if she had a broken back. It seems that the Glengarry and her barge Minnedosa struck bad weather on Lake Ontario. The vessels had been to Charlotte and loaded coal for Fort William. They left Charlotte late in the afternoon. At the time the storm signals were up, indicating a blow from the north-east. Capt. Mawdsley knew a wind from this section would be favorable to his voyage and started out. The storm came directly from the east at first, however. The Glengarry kept on but when the wind shifted around to the south-west the captain saw it was no use and decided to turn back. He was then about thirty miles off Port Dalhousie but could not have made the port. In turning the Glengarry got in the trough of the sea and remained there half an hour. Her cargo shifted considerably and laid the vessel well on her side. The Minnedosa was retained until about one hour's run this side of Long Point when the tow line broke and both boats had to look out for themselves. Capt. Mawdsley felt confident the Minnedosa would be all right and came on to Kingston. The Minnedosa sailed down and dropped anchor off Snake Island. She split her foresail and when Capt. Gaskin went up on the tug Thompson yesterday morning he brought down the sail for repairs. There is nothing at all the matter with the Minnedosa and she is as well lying at Snake Island as in Kingston. Her cargo did not receive any damage.

A despatch received states that the steamer Iron King foundered in Lake Superior. The Iron King is engaged in the iron ore trade. It was the Iron Queen, the barge of this vessel, that Capt. Mawdsley assisted with the tug Walker last spring.

The schr. Hanlan, lying at Crawford's dock, had her foregaff topsail carried away. It is not necessary to be out at sea to have damage done a vessel.

The schooner Annie Falconer is in the rushes at Wellers Bay. She dragged ashore, Saturday afternoon, and broke her foregaff. Capt. Cornwall thinks as soon as the storm ceases he will be able to heave his vessel off without assistance.

A couple of barges of the tug Cummings are aground at the Sister Lights, down the river. The barges are either from Fair Haven or Oswego. The barges look as if they had been towed in there for shelter. The tug went on to Brockville.

Capt. Mawdsley says the steamer Glengarry is one of the best boats he was ever on in a gale. She acted like a whaleback in the recent storm.

The prop. Lake Michigan is ashore at Presque Isle with a cargo of general merchandise on board. Her master is Capt. John Clifford.

Part of the roof of the grain elevator at Ogdensburg was blown off on Saturday evening.

During the gale the str. Empire State broke away from the moorings at the water works dock, and collided with Mr. Roney's pleasure yacht. It was badly disfigured and valued at $400.

On Saturday the wind blew in the side of a boathouse on King street, containing Mr. Hewton's sailing yacht, which was badly damaged by being tossed about.

The steamer Corsican arrived at Swift's dock last night, after a rough time of it. Capt. Ada left Montreal on Friday afternoon and put in a terrible night on Lachine lake. No damage was done, however, and on account of good management the vessel reported at Kingston last night. The storm was quite as severe, if not worse in the vicinity of Montreal, as here.

The Whig received a despatch Saturday evening that the schr. B.W. Folger had been out in Friday night's gale and arrived in Big Sodus early Saturday morning with part of her canvass gone and two feet of water in her hold. Capt. Bates is considered one of the luckiest mariners on fresh water. He had great nerve to brave the storm and make his destination. The Folger is a pretty old boat and while staunch is not the strongest boat on the lake by any means. She does not carry any insurance and has been most fortunate. She left a few hours before the Falconer for Sodus. The water in her hold does not signify that she has sprung a leak.

The tug Petrel left for Weller's Bay this morning to go to the assistance of the schr. Falconer. Capt. Taylor, owner of the schooner, was on board. He does not think that the Falconer is damaged to any extent. Her canvas is disarranged and part of it carried away. The Falconer is high on shore. The Petrel will set her afloat again.


Wellington, Oct. 16th - The fearful gale of Friday night made those in comfortable homes think of the poor sailors, and as morning dawned every eye was turned toward the lake. Lying about three miles out could be seen a large steambarge evidently in a helpless condition. With all haste Capt. McCullough, of the lifeboat company, assembled his crew and the lifeboat was placed on the truck. Teams were in waiting and everything got in readiness in case the vessel should be driven ashore by the fearful wind which seemed to be increasing every moment. Soon it was observed that the anchor of the barge had taken hold and it was hoped that the storm might abate. During the afternoon, however, it became evident that the barge would be driven ashore near the Sandbanks and a little before dark she struck. The life saving crew were soon there and although the sea was very high they managed to land every man before morning. They were brought to this place and soon found themselves not much the worse for their terrible experience. Your correspondent gathered the following particulars: The barge was the Hecla, of Ogdensburg, commanded by Capt. Morgan and had a crew of fourteen and one passenger; was on her way to Charlotte when the gale struck her, and blew away her smokestack and disabled her engine. The captain did his utmost to save the vessel and not until her "horse-pipes" were torn away, and the vessel became in danger of being cut in two by the anchor chains were they severed, and an effort made to beach her. She now lies in about ten feet of water, and if she can be successfully pulled off will be but slightly damaged.


The tug Thompson will enter the dry-dock today to have a new wheel adjusted.

The penitentiary buoy, which broke loose Saturday morning, has been recovered.

The str. Empire State, laying at the water works dock, broke her fastenings but that was about all.

The str. Columbian is moored behind Swift's storehouse and has one of the best shelters afforded at this port.

Arrivals: tug Hall, Montreal, five light barges; strs. Corsican and Persia, Montreal; str. Ocean, Hamilton.

The str. Bannockburn left Fort William for Kingston yesterday. She has 66,000 bushels of wheat and oats.

The str. Monahassety and barge Aberdeen and strs. Columbian and Arabian cleared for up the lakes today

The str. Magnet did not receive much damage Friday night. Probably $50 or so will cover the amount. The damage to the esplanade will be the largest bill.

D. Mills, mate of the str. Algerian, has arrived home for the winter. The Algerian is now being repaired at Montreal but will probably be taken to Sorel for the winter.

The schr. Grantham was laying at the spile dock during the recent storm and had a rough time of it. Capt. Crawford had put out every line he had on board but every one of them broke like thin pipe stems. The Grantham was twisted around and forced into a little corner, where she was safely sheltered for the remainder of the night.

There was opposition in the bidding for the damaged grain of the cargo of the str. Colonial. The bidding opened at 11 cents and was raised to 17 1/4 cents. Buffalo and Cape Vincent firms were represented. The Buffalo firm raised the price to 17 cents and Mr. Richardson went a quarter of a cent better. There was no put up job, but rather foolish competition. The corn was bought for the Edwardsburg Starch Co., Cardinal.

p.4 To Recognize Bravery - Leamington, Oct. 16th - The Collector of Customs has requested the captain of the little steamer Louise, of Detroit, who saved the crew of the wrecked schooner David Stewart last Saturday, to send him the names of all his crew. It is thought the Dominion government intends to officially reward the crew for their heroic conduct.


Another West Indian Hurricane Spreads Death And Destruction.

Chicago, Oct. 16th - The severity of the north-west gale that has swept the great lakes has not been exceeded during the season of navigation for the past ten years. The list of wrecks in proportion to the number of vessels which were out in the gale is longer perhaps than in the history of the latter day marine.

That there has been large loss of life now seems certain, but it may be several days before it is known just how many perished.

Following is the list of wrecks thus far reported: Yacht Enterprise, ashore at Lion's Head, Ont.; steamer C.F. Curtis, schooners Isabel Reid and Nelson Holland, barges Sweepstakes and Knight Templar ashore at Cheboygan, Mich.; lake tug Acme foundered in Lake Huron; schooner Volunteer stranded at Port Austin, Ont.; schooner Falconer ashore on Lake Ontario; schooner Minnehaha ashore near Manistee; schooner John T. Mott sunk at Fairport, Ohio; schooner Amboy ashore at Buffalo (released since); schr. Mont Blanc waterlogged at Buffalo; steamer Schuylkill stranded at Bar Point; steamer Maritana stranded at Elliott Point; schooner Ironton ashore at Bay Mills, Lake Superior.

A Crew of Sixteen Drowned.

Buffalo, Oct. 16th - A report from Dunkirk details the loss of the propeller Dean Richmond, which went to pieces six miles west of that place last night. The boat left Toledo with a cargo of merchandise and a full crew of 18, one of whom, the stewardess, was a woman. The entire crew were drowned. They all hailed from Toledo except Engineer Hilton, who belonged to Port Huron. Six bodies have been picked up along the shore of Dunkirk, but none are so far identified.

The Storm At Hamilton - Oct. 16th - ....The ferry scow at the piers broke away from the cable last night and nothing has been seen of it....Three of the yachts belonging to the Hamilton Yacht Club were sunk at their moorings and damage of a more or less serious nature was done all along the docks.

Vessels Missing.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Oct. 16th - The gale from the north-west was felt severely on Lake Superior. Three boats are missing and one ashore. The Canadian steamer D.D. Calvin, with barges Ceylon and Augusta, laden with some 110,000 bushels of wheat, left Fort William before the storm bound for Kingston. The steamer Alberta left twenty-four hours after them and arrived last night. Her captain says he saw nothing of them. The Alberta had a tough experience in the blow, which her captain declares was the worst he was ever out in.

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16 Oct 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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 16 Oct 1893