The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 Dec 1899

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The tugs Thomson and Hall were hauled out today on the M.T. company's marine railway.

The schooner Maggie L. from Wolfe Island unloaded grain at Richardsons' elevator this morning.

The steamer Tecumseh and consort with timber from Toledo to Collins Bay is passing through the Welland canal.


The Snowcloud Is A Real Beauty.

Report comes from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., that Howard S. Folger's ice yacht, Snow-cloud, just turned out of the shop of the most expert builder in the world, and built from plans drawn by the highest recognized authority on ice yachts, is the finest yacht in the world. After her completion the new yacht was inspected by John A. Roosevelt ? and other experts of the Hudson river ice yacht club, who were unanimous in saying that the new yacht was the finest they had ever seen and predicted that she would be exceptionally speedy.

The craft is 36 feet 6 inches over all, and is 20 feet from runner plank to rudder, with a nineteen feet beam. White basswood is the material used in her construction, and there is not a flaw to be seen anywhere. Her sail is twenty-three feet on the boom, 44 feet hoist, 14 1/2 feet gaff and 13 1/2 feet leach. The jib is 9 feet on the foot and 13 feet hoist. The total area of her sails is 394 square feet. The sails are cross cut. She is fitted throughout with hollow spars and her rigging is perfect. It is of steel wire rope and fitted with the finest patent blocks.

The cockpit of the new craft is of the oval pattern. It is seven feet long and three feet wide, with a fine railing and hand rails.

Experts who have examined the set of runners for Mr. Folger's boat say they are perfect in every respect. They are 5 1/2 feet in length, and their lines are very graceful. The runner shoes are of polished iron, 2 inches thick and with 3 feet bearing.

A new departure used in the making of Mr. Folger's boat is the runner guides. Heretofore they have been made of wood, the same as used on all the Hudson river craft. In this instance the runner guides are of angle steel. They give the runners a perfect chock and also a fine finish in the boat. They are especially desirable for their strength, and do not allow the runner to work to starboard or port. This is the first time they have been used in this vicinity, and promise to become permanent. The turn buckles are made of new manganese bronze. She is valued at $500.

Beyond doubt she is the finest ice yacht in America. The craft is finished in natural wood, and is rubbed to a piano finish. John A. Roosevele ?, an expert ice yachtsman, says she was a revelation in ice yacht building. If the boat does not surpass all previous records she will be a disappointment to the maker and owner. She probably will be seen in races on the Hudson this winter, as Mr. Folger intends to try for the national championship.


The Old Steamer Rothesay.

The old derelict keeps cropping up every little while. Now some Montreal parties have been endeavoring to purchase the wreck of the steamer Rothesay, which lies in the bottom of the St. Lawrence just above town, but can easily be seen from the surface of the water. In fact so close to the top of the water is the top of the paddle wheels that a number of sailing skiffs were somewhat damaged the past summer in collision with the projecting irons. They also wanted the steamer Cariboo, lying on the bottom of the boneyard at the Massena railway. Both were wanted for their machinery to be sold as old iron, owing to the advance in the price of iron. It is quite probable the cost of moving the engines would prove too expensive.

[Prescott Messenger]



While at first little trust was placed in the reported foundering of the steamer Niagara, the truth has now been forced home, and the belief is now strong that the steamer is no more. As to the fate of her crew, the darkest outlook is the only one to accept. The storm was a fierce one and besides very few vessels were in commission at the time, which lessens the chances of the crew being saved should they have taken to the boats and sought rescue.

This morning William Davey, Barriefield, whose son was wheelsman aboard the Niagara, received a telegram from Carter Bros., Port Colborne, tug owners, in reply to one sent, that they had no doubt but that the Niagara had foundered. They did not hold out any hope; the steamer was overdue and floating wreckage pointed to the confirmation of the belief that the steamer had gone down. It was cheerless news to send a grief-stricken father.

Some weeks ago Mr. Davey wrote to his son to come home. He did not want him to sail so late in the season; there was too much at risk and the danger was too great. The son, however, was anxious to put in as long a season as possible and did not respond to his father's request.

There was a rumor current in marine circles this morning that the crew of the Niagara were safe aboard the steamer Mohawk, at anchor under the lee of Long Point. The rumor, however, lacked confirmation. It is hoped the rumor will turn out to be correct.

p.5 To Rescue A Schooner - On Saturday the Donnelly wrecking and salvage company sent the steamer Donnelly with wrecking apparatus, to the rescue of the schooner Wave Crest, ashore near Niagara village. The schooner is laden with coal from Charlotte to Toronto. The steamer Donnelly got up as far as Belleville when it was found she could not get through the Murray canal on account of ice. A return was made and the steamer hove to at Macdonald's cove, where the arrival of favorable weather will be awaited. The Wave Crest is said to be in a bad condition.



Buffalo, Dec. 11th - Sunday afternoon a small boat, the same size and color as those carried by the Niagara, was found pounding on the rocks at Cassaday's point, a few miles below Port Colborne. The supposition is that some of the crew of the Niagara managed to launch this boat, but that they were washed overboard, or that the boat had capsized. The pilot house of the Niagara was also found floating in the lake.

Greatest Disaster of the Season.

Chicago, Dec. 11th - The loss of the Canadian steamer Niagara, with her entire crew, on Lake Erie, brings the total death list for the season in navigating the great lakes to 100. Of these fifty-one were lost by the foundering of ships and thirty-two were lost overboard. Six received fatal injuries by falling through open hatches. The season, although far below any other during the last decade in losses of property, exceeds its immediate predecessors in the number of lives lost. The record is as follows: 1896, 66; 1897, 68; 1898, 95; 1899,100.

The Niagara furnishes the largest number in any one disaster. Other losses were: June 29th, steamer Margaret Olwill, foundered on Lake Erie, nine lives; Aug. 20th, schooner Hunter Savidge, foundered on Lake Huron, five lives; September 6th, schooner Lisgar, foundered on Lake Huron, five lives; October 14th, schooner Typo, sunk by collision on Lake Huron, four lives; May 11th, schooner Nelson, foundered on Lake Superior, seven lives.

The season has seen the lake steamers become a favorite place for suicides, six passengers having jumped overboard.

Into Port Today.

The schooner Fleetwing, about which so much anxiety was felt, arrived in port from Charlotte at noon today. She had fair winds on the way across. Her crew say the schooner Wave Crest cannot be saved. She is breaking up and will soon go to pieces in the prevailing storm.

Incidents of the Day - The schooner Trade Wind, coal laden from Charlotte to Toronto and forced to run in here on account of the storm, has been stripped and is in winter quarters at Craig & Co.'s wharf.

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11 Dec 1899
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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), 11 Dec 1899