The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 8 Dec 1898

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The Craft That Suffered In the Inland Lakes.

The storms that have swept over the lakes this season have been the most disastrous for shipping in the history of navigation. A cursory estimate places the total losses to underwriters and vessel owners on the lakes for the season of 1898 at $2,500,000. This may be increased though before the close of navigation, but without any more casualties it will hold first place for losses in the history of lake navigation. The year 1895 had hitherto held the record with a total loss of $2,097,000. It will stand as the closest rival with the memorable season just brought to a close. On an average the boats lost have been more important and larger than usual. There have been almost one hundred accidents during the past two months. A great deal of freight has been recovered from some of the sunken vessels, while others are a complete loss. The storms of October and November have made this an extraordinary year. Lake Superior has had a share of the wrecks, with the Straits of Mackinac and narrow passages of the north to increase the totals. Three steamers went down with a loss of $375,000. Only one mishap occurred on Lake Ontario during the past season, but several vessels have been wrecked. The accident happened to the schooner St. Peter, which, laden with a big cargo, bound for Duluth, went down with all on board, including the captain's wife. The following is a list of the important disasters that have occurred during the last two months:

Steamer Doty - Lost on Lake Michigan October 25th, and crew of seventeen drowned. Value $110,000.

Steamer Tampa - Total loss on Lake Superior.

Steamer A.B. Orr - Total loss on Lake Superior.

Steamer Henry Chisholm - Wrecked on Isle Royale and a total loss.

Schooner Iron Cliff - Total loss in Lake Michigan. Value $70,000.

Schooner S.J. Luff - Total loss off Grosse Pointe.

Schooner S. Thal - Wrecked off Glencoe and five men drowned.

Schooner Alaska - Abandoned off Chicago.

Schooner Aloha - Abandoned off Chicago.

Schooner H.A. Tuttle - A total loss at Michigan City.

Schooner D.S. Filer - Abandoned off Racine.

Schooner Minnehaha - A total loss at Sheboygan.

Steamer E.F. Gould - A total loss at Osceda, Mich.

Schooner Fassett - Total loss off Sand Beach.

Steamer Sibley - Total loss, sunk off North Fox Island.

Schooner Ida - Sunk off Long Tail Point and entire crew missing.

Tug T.P. Smith - Sunk in Cleveland harbor.

Schooner Bavaria - Total loss at Byng Inlet.

Schooner T.B. Sheppard - Total loss on Lake Michigan.

Schooner St. Peter - Captain's wife and seven of the crew drowned in Lake Ontario.

Schooner Aberdeen - Wrecked off Sand Beach, Lake Michigan.

Steamer Portland - Foundered and sunk off Truro Point, Cape Cod, crew and passengers numbering 135 drowned.

Schooner May Everett - A total loss, sunk off Providence bay, Manitoulin Island.

Steamer Harlem - Wrecked off Menagerie Light, Lake Superior.

Whaleback 104 - Sunk off Sand Beach, Lake Michigan.

Schooner Emery - Wrecked off Frenchman's Bay, Lake Ontario. Cargo and vessel saved.

Tug Walker - Sunk off Prince Edward shore, Ontario, and barges Kildonan and Hector stranded.



Capt. Irvine, of the steamer Bannockburn, says that the heaviest storm he ever witnessed on Lake Ontario he passed through Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. For some hours he had to round the Bannockburn head to the storm and remained in that position until there was a lull in the wind. He passed the steamer Arabian and says that steamer was tugging hard at her anchor chains, but was not moving. At times half of her would be buried from sight, only to rise triumphant on the crest of the next sea. There must have been three feet of water continually sweeping over the decks of the Arabian. Capt. Irvine rounded up in rear of the Arabian and spoke to Capt. Patenaude, promising to send assistance. Capt. Irvine would have taken the Arabian in tow, only all his lines were frozen stiff, leaving them unworkable.

Marine Notes.

The steamer Rosemount, Fort William, with 75,000 bushels of wheat, was expected to arrive at the M.T. company's elevator this afternoon.

The steamer Bannockburn and consort Minnedosa, Fort William, with 145,000 bushels of wheat, arrived last evening at the M.T. company's elevator. As soon as discharged they will go into winter quarters.

Ice Yacht Club Officers.

The annual meeting of the Kingston ice yacht club was held last evening with a splendid representation of members. These officers were elected: Commodore, Francis H. Macnee; vice commodore, E.C. Gildersleeve; secretary-treasurer, J.C. Strange; measurer, C. Parker; regatta committee, Messrs. J. Conway, Capt. James Dix, A. Horn, J.C. Strange, F. Strange, Dr. Black and W.D. Hart.

The club has a small surplus of money on hand. Several new members were received.

Lost Two Fingers - lad working on str. Johnston of Calvin Co.

p.3 Abandoned Till Spring - Deseronto, Dec. 8th - Donnelly wrecking company was busy during the last couple of days in raising the barge Puritan, which sank with iron ore some few weeks ago in the harbor. The effort has been definitely abandoned until spring.

p.6 The Arabian Released - This afternoon the captain of the steamer Rosemount, which arrived at the M.T. company's elevator, reported that while passing the Arabian this morning the tug Thomson succeeded in taking the disabled steamer in tow and started for Prescott.

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8 Dec 1898
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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), 8 Dec 1898