The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 4 Sep 1894

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p.1 Incidents of the Day - Kingston got another black eye when the propeller Varuna went to Deseronto for repairs. Kingston foundries should do something to bring work here, and their first duty is to call off the dominion government for local injury through the dry-dock charges.


The scow Two Brothers is in from Charlotte with slack coal for J. Swift & Co.

The schr. Fabiola is on Davis' dry-dock being repaired, principally caulking.

Called at Gunn's wharf: str. Ocean, Hamilton; str. Cuba, Montreal; str. Melbourne, Toledo; str. Alexandria, Charlotte.

On Thursday at Charlotte, N.Y., a lamp exploded on the str. Bon Voyage, and before the flames were extinguished the woodwork of the boat was scarred.

The str. Passport, from Toronto, turned round at Brockville, today, after transferring her passengers to the Bohemian and proceeded again to Toronto.

The Port Hope Guide says: "The North King today was somewhat late leaving port owing to some necessary repairs being required to her machinery. Engineer Hickey is exceedingly careful of his pet and will not allow a loose pin to bother him. The King's steady-going record for this season speaks volumes for his watchfulness and efficiency."

The steamyacht Ruth, owned by S. Conde, Oswego, ran on a reef near Cleveland's dock, Cape Vincent, Sunday evening. The signal of distress brought boats from the shore and the ladies aboard were taken ashore. The steam tug Thistle, lying here, went to the assistance but failed to get the yacht from the reef. Early Monday morning the yacht was gotten off and left for Oswego. The damage is not known.

Appointed Boiler Inspector.

p.A. Thompson, chief engineer of the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co., has been appointed boiler inspector in Kingston to replace Edward Adams, promoted to the chief inspectorship with residence in Ottawa. Mr. Thompson will report this week for duty. Mr. Adams and wife leave tomorrow for Ottawa to reside.



A passenger by the Varuna writes: "A large number of passengers came on board at Trenton. On Saturday it was very smoky; we could scarcely see land and progress was slow and difficult. After stopping at Bath to land a passenger, we were about passing the gap when a crash nearly shook the passengers off their feet. We had struck a sunken log. A rush was made for blankets and other materials to stop the leak, as water was coming in fast. There being three feet of water in the hold passengers were instructed to put on life-belts, and very little time was lost in the operation. The general impression that the vessel was sinking created a panic. Danger signals were made by the steam whistle repeatedly, but only a small scow came to the rescue. A hawser was attached to her, keeping the vessel slightly on her course. After a time the str. Corsican, en route to Toronto, came to our assistance, and with some difficulty a number of the passengers were taken on board and landed at Belleville, to reach home by train, well fagged out but grateful for safety."

Two of the passengers on board were making the second futile attempt this season to reach Kingston by the Varuna. On the first occasion she broke down near Trenton. It is the prevalent opinion that they are not mascots.

The str. Corsican which left here Saturday afternoon ran across the Varuna near the upper gap in a sinking condition with about seventy passengers with life preservers on. Capt. Hicks of the Varuna said that they had struck a log which had carried away his wheel and knocked a hole in her which was letting the water in very fast. The Varuna had been in this helpless condition for two hours before the arrival of the Corsican. Capt. Esford took all on board who wished to come, leaving about a dozen who said they would stand by the boat. It was one of the most moving sights ever beheld on the Bay of Quinte when the passengers reached the Corsican. Some prayed, others laughted and cried at the same time. One lady cried for one and one-half hours for joy to think that she had been saved. The experience of the passengers would fill a whole paper. Your correspondent will never forget it. In due time we arrived in Belleville. Many of the rescued got off there.

The excursionists were from Wooler and Trenton. Some of them who stopped here took the Magnet for home Sunday night and met with another misfortune by the steamer running on a shoal near Baker's Island. The smoke from the terrible bush fires was the cause of the mishap. A tug and lighter went to the rescue of the steamer Magnet.

p.4 Excursion Steamer Aground - Buffalo, Sept. 4th - The str. Pilgrim, returning to Niagara Falls, Ont., with seven hundred excursionists from that town and St. Catharines went aground in the Niagara river about half past ten last night. There is no danger. Anxious enquiries are being received from the falls and St. Catharines.

Mackinaw City, Mich., Sept. 4th - Navigation is so dangerous on account of the dense pall of smoke from the forest fires that vessels cannot proceed through St. Mary's river except at great risk.

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4 Sep 1894
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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), 4 Sep 1894