The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Nov 1897

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The Building Owned By The Grand Trunk R.R. Co.


A Heavy Gale Was Blowing At The Time.

Goderich, Nov. 6th - Fire broke out last night in the Grand Trunk elevator, completely destroying it, along with a large quantity of grain. The fire communicated with the lumber yard of N. Dyment, of Barrie, and burned along the water front, consuming Dyment's yard and the lumber belonging to the yard of William Rutson, of Goderich. A gale was blowing at the time, and but for a change in the wind the probabilities are the buildings and lumber belonging to the Goderich lumber company, the dredge Arnoldi, with tug and scows, belonging to Allan & Fleming, of Ottawa, the schooner Todman belonging to Captain A. Lawson, Goderich, and a fleet of eight tugs belonging to the Buffalo fish company, would have been consumed, as they were hemmed in in the corner of the harbor and could not make their way out through the burning lumber which was floating in the harbor. As it was the schooner Todman was badly scorched, her masts and rigging being destroyed and the hull damaged. The tug Evelyn made her way out with difficulty and is safe. Some damage is done to the tugs in moving them about and two are scuttled and sunk. The steam barge St. Andrews, which was unloading wheat at the elevator, moved away when work was stopped the preceding evening, and is unharmed. The fire extended for 300 yards along the wharf. The cause of the fire is unknown and the loss is heavy.

The following is a summary of the losses so far as can be obtained: G.T.R. elevator and four freight cars, loss and insurance unknown; 65,000 bushels of wheat, valued at $23,000, insurance unknown; M. Dyment, Barrie, 3,500,000 feet of lumber, valued at $35,000, no insurance; W. Rutson, Goderich, 1,500,000 feet of lumber, valued at $15,000; schooner Todman, Capt. Lawson, Goderich, damaged to the extent of $300.

A City Firm Heavy Losers.

Early this morning the Goderich elevator was destroyed by fire. The elevator was of one million bushels capacity, and owned by the Grand Trunk railway company. This year J. Richardson & Sons, of this city, were the only grain dealers who used the elevator, and it is estimated that 50,000 bushels of wheat were in storage when the fire broke out. Richardson Bros. were asked this morning what their loss would amount to, but they were not prepared to give any statement to the public. Adlerman H.W. Richardson left for Goderich this morning. Their loss is supposed to be a heavy one.


Ottawa, Nov. 6th - There are likely to be some interesting developments before the old war vessel Yantic reaches Detroit. It has been announced on the authority of the officers who had her in charge that she draws more water than is at present to be found in the Canadian canals. If this report be true, the Yantic will be blocked at the very outset of her proposed trip to Detroit. There are fifteen locks between Montreal and Kingston, with less than nine feet of water. Mr. Blair, minister of railways, says that the government will not interfere with the Yantic if she can go through the locks, but each canal superintendent has his instructions, and before permitting the war vessel to pass through the lock gates he must assure himself that the Yantic is not likely to block the canal.



Twenty-four years ago last night the R. & O. navigation company's steamer Bavaria was burned to the water's edge off Whitby. The terrible disaster is remembered by many in the city, for by it twenty-two persons lost their lives, including some Kingstonians. Dusk was just setting in as the Bavaria was passing Whitby, some distance from the shore, with a small load of passengers. With terrible suddenness flames burst from the lower part of the steamer and spread with a fierceness that defied quenching. The life boats were lowered and passengers taken from the doomed boat first. Capt. Carmichael, who was in command, remained at the wheel to the last. A passing boat with two men in it wanted to take him away, but he ordered the men to rescue two ladies, who were seen on the bow deck, and then to return for him. The skulks, however, rowed away and left all to perish. One of the ladies was Miss Ireland, sister of our city treasurer. The captain placed himself in a life float, when everyone else was off the burning steamer or dead, and threw himself overboard. The wind being off the shore, carried him out on the lake, and his lifeless body was found later, just above Charlotte. The steward, W. Spence, who then resided in Williamsville, was lost, and also the engineer, Mr. Finucan. A.J. Lee, barber, assisted in rescuing the passengers. The hull of the Bavaria was brought to Kingston and pulled out on the marine railway by Capt. Powers. She was rebuilt and named the Algerian, which is now commanded by Capt. Dunlop, Rideau street. The Algerian was originally the Kingston, but having been partly damaged by fire, near Brockville, she was re-named the Bavaria. (Bavarian - ed.)


The Cape Vincent boat took her course today around the foot of Wolfe Island.

The tug Walker reached here last night with four light barges from Montreal.

The steamer Hamilton, due to arrive here yesterday, did not get down until late today on account of the storm.

The tug Edmund and the barge Columbia arrived in port yesterday from Bedford Mills with wood for R. Crawford.

The schooner Acacia, from Oswego, is unloading coal at Booth & Co.'s yards. Her cargo completes the company's supply for the winter.

The sloops H.M. Ballou, Pilto, Echo, Monitor and Madcap, from Bay of Quinte ports, unloaded peas at Richardson's elevator last night and today. They are awaiting cessation of the gale to clear up the bay again.

The steamer Saturn with consorts Muskoka and Waubeshine, bound up, encountered the storm about midnight last night. The Waubeshine was left at the foot of Wolfe Island and the Muskoka brought up here. The steamer sought shelter at the dry dock and the Muskoka at the Mutual wharf.

About midnight last night as the schooner Muskoka tried to make the Mutual wharf for shelter she collided with the sloop Riddle, tied up at the same wharf. The peak of the jibboom and the main boom of the Ripple were smashed and the little sloop received quite a severe shaking up. The Ripple is owned by C. Cole, Milford, and was laden with salt and other miscellaneous freight at the time.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Dalhousie, Nov. 5th - Down: steamer Samoa, Chicago to Ogdensburg, corn; barge Celtic, Chicago to Ogdensburg, corn; schooner Thomas Dobbie, Detroit to Cape Vincent, wheat; steamer C.A. Street, Duluth to Oswego, lumber; barge J.B. Lozen, Duluth to Oswego, lumber; barge J. Godfrey, Duluth to Oswego, lumber.

Port Colborne, Nov. 5th - Down: steamer C.A. Street and barges, Duluth to Oswego, lumber; Bannockburn and barges, Fort William to Kingston, wheat.

p.6 General Paragraphs - The whereabouts of the steamer Orion is unknown. She left Port Dalhousie a day or two ago, bound to this port from Fort William with a cargo of wheat, and has not since been heard of.

During last night's storm a schooner that had cast anchor in the lee of Ferguson's Point, Wolfe Island, dragged anchor and drifted down the river about a mile from her moorings. She did not appear to have suffered any damage. Her name could not be learned.

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6 Nov 1897
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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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Nov 1897