The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Nov 1900

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And Steamer Persia Burned at Toronto.


And All Escaped Safely Save the Stewardess.

Toronto, Nov. 28th - At eight o'clock last night, while a watchman of the steamer Persia, laid up for the winter at Geddes' wharf, was in his cabin a lamp exploded and the flames spread with the utmost rapidity. There were some ten members of the crew on board, including the stewardess, the intention being to pay all hands off to-day. All escaped without difficulty except the stewardess, who had to be carried ashore overcome with smoke. The fire brigade was delayed on its way to the wharf by some freight trains on the tracks. And when the firemen arrived the flames were bursting from the aft state room windows and the main deck was all alight.

As the wharves were in danger the Persia's stern was swung out from the dock and after about three quarters of an hour's fight the flames were subdued. The hull of the vessel is sound; her engines are not badly damaged, but her passenger accommodation is a wreck.

Mr. Geddes, the agent of the Toronto and Montreal line, is ill and his papers are not readily accessible, but his assistants state that the Persia is worth about $18,000 and that the loss by the fire will be from $8,000 to $10,000, fully covered by insurance.

The Vessel Has Disappeared - Kingsville, Ont., Nov. 28th - Arthur Brown has just arrived here by small sail boat from Pelee Island. He reports that the sunken schooner off Middle Ground has entirely disappeared, having apparently broken up and gone down the lake with the heavy wind, and undoubtedly the crew are all drowned. No signs of wreckage are to be seen. The tug Home Rule sailed around the spot for hours and found nothing.

Vessel And Crew Safe - Oswego, Nov. 28th - A despatch from Fair Haven states that the schooner W.J. Suffell and crew of seven, supposed to have been lost, is safe in that harbor and arrived there Saturday.

p.2 Personal Mention - Capt. Scott was a part owner of the steamer Persia. His many Kingston friends regret very much to learn of his loss in the destruction of his popular steamer.


The schooner Acacia arrived at Crawford's to-day with coal.

The steamer Glengarry and four coal-laden barges arrived from Charlotte this morning.

The steambarge King Ben arrived at Folger's wharf from Montreal this morning with a general cargo.

The steamers Melbourne and Cuba are now on their last trip to Montreal. Their return to Toronto will finish the season.

The schooner Hiawatha, owned by the Collins Bay rafting company, isashore on Round Island, a few miles below Clayton. Her bilge is damaged, but she is not leaking, at least her hold, while she is high and dry, is free of water. Wreckers are at work effecting her release.

p.4 Affairs of the Hour - The schooner wrecked off Point Pelee is believed to have been the Maumee Valley with coal from Buffalo. All on board perished.

Thousand Island Park Notes - Nov. 26th - During the gale on Wednesday the river rose over two feet. The sloop Swallow, belonging to Capt. Slate, Grindstone Island, which had been at anchor several days under the lee of Hub Island, dragged her anchor and went ashore in Crystal bay here. She sustained the loss of part of her centre board and rudder, and also had several planks started at the bow. She is almost high and dry, but will be taken off this week, weather permitting. The sloop Dolphin, which went ashore during a previous gale at Wilson Island, has been released and towed to Slate's ship yard, Grindstone Island, where she will be repaired.



Michael O'Rourke, Stella, Fell Out Of His Boat.

A message was received from Stella this morning, stating that Michael O'Rourke, lighthouse keeper at The Brothers, had been drowned on Tuesday evening about six o'clock, while crossing from the lighthouse to the island in a small boat. It is supposed Mr. O'Rourke fell out of the boat after taking a weak spell to which he was subject. The boat was found this morning, but the body has not been recovered, and no search is being made for it, as this is considered utterly useless.

The deceased has been lighthouse keeper for some time and was a resident of Stella. He was about sixty-five years of age. A daughter is a nurse in Rockwood hospital, and she left for her home this afternoon.

p.6 Incidents of the Day - The steamer D.D. Calvin arrived at Garden Island today. She had been windbound at Port Dalhousie for some time. The Calvin will enter the government dry dock for repairs.

Some think that the schooner wrecked in Lake Erie was the Frank C. Leighton, with a Clayton, N.Y., crew. S.B. Barker, Clayton, N.Y., owned her. No one was saved.

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28 Nov 1900
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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), 28 Nov 1900