The Maritime History of the Great Lakes

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Schooner Starling Burned.

Toronto, Jan. 30th - A Belleville vessel lying at the foot of Cherry St. was destroyed by fire last evening. Capt. Michael Mullen and his wife, who live aboard, left the boat at about seven o'clock to visit friends and on their return found their vessel on fire. It was an hour before the blaze was extinguished. The schr. Starling hails from Belleville, Mrs. Mullin, of that place, being the owner. The value of the boat was about $4,000, which will be a total loss, as there is no insurance.


Telling of a Wonderful Ice Boat.

The old residents of Cape Vincent are just now retailing stories about a wonderful ice boat called the Snow Bird that flew about that village over half a century ago. She could carry from fifteen to sixty persons according to the different stories. She flung out 600 square yards of canvas. Her skates were twelve feet in length and made at Cape Vincent foundry. One man tells of a trip from Kingston to Marysville, and avers that she covered the distance of four miles in 2 1/2 minutes. To use the narrator's own words "the ice was as smooth as a bottle, and yet the snow flew so badly that I could not see and we cut down all the stakes that marked the road from Kingston to the ferry." Another trip is spoken of, a run from Cape Vincent to Clayton in eleven minutes. The distance is sixteen miles.

Semi-Weekly British Whig, Feb. 7, 1895

p.3 Kingston In Brief - Capt. James Delaney, St. Catharines, has been appointed captain of the str. Lake Michigan for the coming season.

Big improvements are being made to the str. Pierrepont this winter. New glass is being put in her throughout and better arrangements are being made in her cabin. Some of the old fixtures of the Maud are being used in fixing her up.

W.H. Godwin purchased the ladies' cabin of the steamer Maud. He will remove the cabin to an island owned by him on Loughboro lake, and will, with his family, spend summer vacations there.

The boat to take the place of the str. Maud will be entirely new excepting machinery removed from the Maud. The woodwork of the Maud was sold and not a vestige of it remains on the new boat which will be called the America. She is 160 feet long and as large as the str. St. Lawrence.


A Notable Winter Trip.

The Chicago papers have devoted columns to a trip of the tug Wm. Dickinson last week from Chicago. At noon she left for St. Joseph, to then start out in search of the hull of the lost Chicora. She was in charge of Capt. Thomas Barry, with Capt. John McAvoy, of the Baltic, as companion. For five miles the sturdy boat plowed through ice five inches thick, then clear water appeared, then miles of floating ice, through which the boat plunged, trembling from stem to stern. Foot by foot the tug fought its way, and when about thirty miles out there seemed to be no break in the endless field of ice. The coal would not last until St. Joseph was reached and the boat had to turn back after a brave fight and ran home to Chicago in the darkness. It was one of the pluckiest trips on record and it is fortunate that the tug was staunch and true.

The crew of the tug had four from this district. Capt. Barry and brother belong to Wolfe Island; J. McAvoy and J. McCormack to Kingston.



Daily Whig, Monday - Between four and five o'clock this morning those moving about Wolfe Island noticed that the schooner Julia, lying at the dock, and Dawson's storehouse were in flames. By the time the villagers got down to the scene the fire had spread over the entire vessel and it was impossible to save her. Luckily there was no grain in the barn. It had been formerly used by the Cape Vincent seed company for storing purposes, but last fall the company moved all their stuff from the island. Incendiarism was undoubtedly the cause of the fire.

The vessel was insured for $1500. Folger Bros. held a lien against her for this amount. The Folgers purchased her from Capt. J. Savage, of Picton, and later on handed her over to Horn Bros., of Wolfe Island. The vessel was built at Smith's Falls in 1875 by William O'Mara. Her register was 108 tons.

The storehouse was burned to the ground. It was empty. The vessel will be a total loss.

Mr. Dawson's barn was partly insured. Some people think the fire may have originated from young fellows playing cards in the cabin. This is often the case, as there is considerable of this sort of thing going on in the cabins of barges and vessels about the harbor without the knowledge of the owners.

Semi-Weekly British Whig, Feb. 11, 1895

p.1 An Immense Tow Barge - Chicago, Feb. 6th - The contract for the largest tow barge ever constructed on the lakes, if not in the world, has been taken by the Chicago shipbuilding company. The boat will be built for eastern capitalists, whose names as yet have not been divulged. It will be a 352 foot keel, 365 feet over all, 44 feet beam and 26 feet depth of hold. On the present draft of fourteen and one-half feet of water in the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, the new boat will carry 4,500 tons. On the eighteen feet of water when the twenty feet channel between the great lakes shall have been completed, it will carry easily 6,000 tons. The vessel will have no sparsail for the use of canvass, and will be towed exclusively. It will be of the best steel construction throughout. The largest schooner or tow barge now afloat on the lakes carries less than 2,000 tons.

p.5 Kingston In Brief - Capt. James Martin, late of the tug Jessie Hall, will have charge of the tug Myra, owned by an Ogdensburg company.

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4 Feb 1895
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  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
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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