The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Oct 1898

Full Text

p.1 Pith of the News - The schooner St. Peter, coal laden, Oswego to Toledo, foundered four miles west of Sodus Point yesterday morning. It is believed she carried a crew of seven men, all of whom are reported drowned except Capt. John Griffin, the owner.

The steamer Gogebic ran into Milwaukee, Wis., on Wednesday night and reported that while off the Two Rivers point, 100 miles north of Milwaukee, the tow barge Biwabik broke its tow line and is adrift with its crew of seven men.



The steamer Ralph and consort Harold cleared for the canal last evening.

The sloop Laura D. with peas from bay ports, unloaded at Richardsons' elevator this morning.

The steamer Viking, for the canal, and schooner Emerald, for Oswego, windbound here, got away last night.

The S.S. Rosemount and tow and S.S. Bannockburn and consorts are in the Welland canal on their way down.

The tug Shickluna arrived from Montreal last evening with two light barges to load grain at Richardsons' elevator.

The steamer Niagara, from Toledo with 24,000 bushels of wheat, was expected to arrive at the M.T. company's elevator this afternoon.

The tug Jessie A. Hall arrived in port from Montreal last evening with three light barges, and returned to-day with four barges, grain-laden.

The Persia arrived here at four o'clock Thursday afternoon from Toronto. She experienced a heavy west north-west gale on the way down, accompanied by a snow storm from abreast of Port Hope to the Main Ducks.

The big steamer Simon J. Murphy was taken through the St. Lawrence rapids yesterday without once touching bottom. She is one of the big steamers of the fleet being taken to the seaboard by the Donnelly wrecking and salvage company.

The wind to-day was from a favorable quarter for beginning the wrecking work on the M.T. company's stranded barges, Hector and Kildonan. The tug Active and schooner Grantham left Brighton bay this morning, having a quiet run to the barges, about fourteen miles below.

The steamer Rosedale, that went ashore last year near Kingston in one of the severest gales of last fall, and was abandoned by her owners to the insurance companies, and which was afterwards sold to Dr. Reid, of the Edwardsburg starch company, has been purchased by Messrs. Haggarty & Crangle, Toronto. The price paid is said to be $55,000. The Rosedale is at present engaged carrying grain from Chicago to Kingston.

During the heavy gale which swept over Lake Ontario yesterday the schooner St. Peter, well known in this port, foundered at a point seven miles west of Oswego. She was coal-laden from Oswego to Toledo at the time. C.J. Southard, Toledo, was her principal owner, though Capt. Griffith, who commanded her, had an interest in the vessel. The crew of seven perished. The captain's wife was also aboard. This is the same vessel that last year collided with the steamer Glengarry at one of the Welland canal flats. The Glengarry was bound down and the schooner up after having discharged a cargo of grain at Richardson & Sons' elevator.

Welland Canal Report - Port Colborne, Ont., Oct. 27th - Down: Steamer D.R. Van Allen, Midland to Oswego, lumber; schooner Clara Youell, Port Pelee to Kingston, wheat; steamer Bannockburn and barges, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; Rosemount and barges, Fort William to Kingston, wheat; schooner F.C. Leighton, Detroit to Ogdensburg, wheat.



With the foundering of the schooner St. Peter on Lake Ontario yesterday Kingston lost one of its old residents in the person of James McCreight, mate of the ill-fated vessel. On Tuesday, 18th inst., the schooner St. Peter discharged a cargo of wheat at Richardsons' elevator, but was delayed in port until the following Friday. When leaving for Oswego to load coal for Toledo, Capt. Griffin was obliged to ship new men, being short-handed. James McCreight was engaged as mate, and another young man, home unknown, shipped as sailor. Mrs. Griffin, wife of the captain, who was also aboard, was very fond of pet goats, and one was purchased here, she intending to take it home with her. The St. Peter reached Oswego Saturday and was detained there by contrary winds.

James McCreight was widely known here as a competent ship carpenter, a master sailor and a hard working man. He was born near Belfast, Ireland, and came out here with his parents when a young lad, Portsmouth being the home of his boyhood days. After working awhile at ship carpentering, he began a sailing career, which in one sense was a marked success. He was recognized as a master mariner on the inland lakes, and sailed in command of several vessels. While following his shore occupation he worked in the shipyard formerly controlled by Capt. W. Power, and also for the M.T. company, and was recently employed in the yards of the company here. Like many sailors he possessed a wandering disposition and travelled extensively. He worked in Deseronto, Toronto, Cleveland, Buffalo and other American cities. Since his wife died some years ago he has knocked about from place to place, and prior to his connection with the St. Peter he boarded at the Provincial hotel, Brock street. He was about sixty years of age, had a robust constitution, and in the terms of his shipmates was a good natured old man. One brother still lives in the state of Ohio, and two married daughters also survive, one residing in Sydenham and the other in Newburg. James Bryson, University avenue, is a brother-in-law.

The captain of the St. Peter was picked up in an unconscious condition. He was found lashed to oars. He was delirious and kept talking of his wife. After spending half an hour looking for the other members of the ill fated crew the tug sent out to the rescue started for Sodus Point, where medical assistance was secured for the captain.

Eight or ten persons at least perished. The captain will recover. Olen Jelley and Jacob Vosburg were standing on the shore when the St. Peter went down. They saw two men standing at the mast when the waters swallowed them. The two gentlemen claim that the boat was not more than a half mile from the shore. It is thought that the St. Peter lost her rudder and that the heavy seas caused her to spring a leak.

The schooner showed signals of distress early Thursday morning as she drifted past Charlotte. The tug Proctor, after a little delay, put out after her, but after cruising about for four hours returned without getting a glimpse of the distressed vessel.

Word was sent to Charlotte that the distressed vessel had been sighted near Pultneyville, and the tug Proctor started with the life-saving crew for the second time. When within a mile of the St. Peter the crew on the Proctor were horrified to see the distressed ship sink. In ten minutes the tug was cruising.

The schooner St. Peter was built in Toledo, Ohio, in 1873, her dimensions being 135'7 feet long (sic), 26 feet wide, 12 feet in depth, with 289.97 gross tonnage.

Late Afternoon Events - Owing to the shallowness of water in the harbor the steamer Hamilton ran aground on Thursday at Trenton. She will remain until the wind ceases and the water rises.

This afternoon the steamer America carried from this port to Cape Vincent 130 head of cattle and horses. The horses were all fairly good carriage animals. Most of the cattle were young stock.

Last night the steamer Ocean was towed into port by the steamer Sir L. Tilley. While coming up the river the Ocean's propeller struck an obstruction, breaking a blade. A new blade was added here to-day.

The schooner Two Brothers arrived from Oswego this morning and is discharging coal at the hosiery mill.

Struck By Falling Timber - man killed at head of Farran's Point canal while unloading timber from barge.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
28 Oct 1898
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
Creative Commons licence:
pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Oct 1898