The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 22 Jun 1899

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The schooner Acacia cleared today for Oswego.

The tug Bronson left for Montreal last night with five grain laden barges.

The S.S. Bannockburn and consorts are expected tonight from Fort William.

The schooner Freeman arrived this afternoon from Oswego with coal for Crawford & Co.

The tug Edmond and barges from Bedford Mills, and the sloop Peruvian, from Deseronto, unloaded wood for Crawford & Co.

Welland Canal Report.

Port Colborne, June 21st - Down: steamer Bannockburn, Minnedosa, Melrose, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

Port Dalhousie, June 21st - Down: steamer Bannockburn, Chicago to Kingston, corn; barge Dunmore, Chicago to Kingston, corn; barge Minnedosa, Chicago to Kingston, corn.

p.6 The Minnedosa Injured - Last night as the barge Minnedosa was entering lock No. 10, Port Dalhousie, bound down, her bow line parted and she struck the abutment, which caused her to spring a leak. A diver worked at her all night and stopped the leak. The vessel proceeded on her journey through the canal this forenoon and left for Kingston at noon in tow of the steamer Bannockburn.

Incidents of the Day - The steamer Hero arrived here from bay ports with an excursion party.

The schooner Fabiola arrived this afternoon from Sodus with coal for Swift & Co.

The propeller Ocean called at Craig's wharf this morning on her way up the lakes.

The steamer Spartan passed down this morning and the Corsican came up this afternoon.

The steamer Columbian arrived from Niagara last night and will remain until Monday to take an excursion to Ogdensburg. While here the steamer will be inspected.


The Fireman And A Deckhand Drowned.

There was great excitement in marine circles this morning when a telegram was received from Alexandria Bay by Capt. Gaskin, of the M.T. company, containing the terrible intelligence that the tug Bronson, which left here last evening with five grain-laden barges for Montreal, had been burned to the water's edge at two o'clock this morning, and that two of the crew, James O'Neil of Elgin, and Albert E. Hastings, this city, had been drowned. This was all the information given and no satisfactory particulars could be learned until the arrival of the steamer New York here at noon, when Capt. Miller related what he had learned during the short stay of his steamer at Alexandria Bay.

The calamity occurred this morning at two o'clock, but just how the fire originated is not known. However, it spread very quickly and all efforts made by the crew to subdue the flames were unavailing. Capt. Joseph Murray, Kingston, was in command, and soon had the tow separated from the burning tug. The accident occurred quite close to Alexandria Bay, and Capt. Murray headed the tug for O'Loughrin's dock. In the meantime the deck became a mass of flames, and fireman Hastings and James O'Neil, deckhand, slid over board, holding on to the tow rope. When near the wharf the captain and the other men jumped, but Hastings and O'Neil must have lost their hold of the rope and sank, for nothing more was heard of them. The Bronson struck the wharf, and blazed there furiously. Several buildings in the vicinity commenced to catch on fire, and it was feared that much damage would result. However, the fire engine at the bay arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire after it had burned the tug to the water's edge and damaged the hull to considerable extent. R.W. Hepburn, engineer, was badly burned about the arms. Capt. Miller, of the steamer New York, says that the fire could not have happened in a better place. The barges were uninjured, and lie just off the bay. At half-past eleven o'clock this morning the tug Hall left for the scene of the disaster, and will take the barges to their destination. As soon as possible the Bronson will be brought up here. Up to noon the bodies of the two drowned sailors had not been recovered. Mr. Hastings resides on James street and leaves a wife and family.

The tug Bronson was originally constructed in 1870, and was rebuilt about eight years ago. The M.T. company have been very unfortunate, having now lost two tugs since last summer. It is just seven months today since the tug Walker was sunk off Nicholson's Island.

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22 Jun 1899
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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), 22 Jun 1899