The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 May 1901

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p.1 Ready To Launch - Oakville, Ont. - The much talked of yacht Invader has been released from the tightly locked workshop and now stands gracefully on the ways ready for launching, a perfect model of design and workmanship, polished like a piano. She is the prettiest craft that ever has been turned out of the shipyard of Capt. James Andrews. The boat will be launched on the arrival of Commodore Gooderham and party. The commodore's yacht is in the river gaily decorated for the occasion and everything is in readiness for the event.



Was Floated After Seven Hours' Pumping.

The steamer Empire State, beached at Brockville on Friday morning, to prevent her sinking, arrived here at noon on Sunday, and took her place alongside the ferry wharf. Behind her was the steamer Pierrepont, which the Empire State towed up. 'Twas the fastest run the gunboat ever had. The boats left Brockville about seven o'clock Sunday morning, and arrived up in splendid time.

During Saturday all preparations were made for pumping out the Empire State. She lay in twelve feet of water at the stern, and five and a half feet at the bow. The main deck aft was submerged about two feet. At 7:10 o'clock on Saturday evening pumping began, the Pierrepont's steam being used, and at 2:30 o'clock on Sunday morning the beached steamer was clear of water, and floating. On the trip to Kingston no pumping was required, as the steamer took in no water during the run of sixty miles. When the diver went down on Friday he failed to find any place of leakage, except through the two open dead lights at the stern. In order to satisfy the steamboat inspectors (both Canadian and United States) the company, and also the public as to the exact condition of the Empire State's hull, the steamer will be placed in the government dry dock tomorrow morning, and a thorough inspection will be made.

From Capt. Allen it was ascertained that he knew nothing of the condition of affairs until he landed the steamer at the Brockville wharf. Passengers crowded on, but when the captain received the report from the fireman that the water was coming in faster, he no longer hesitated. His mind was made up in an instant - he would clear from the wharf where the water was quite deep, and beach the steamer in a shallow spot. Many captains would have tried to get the passengers off first, but said Capt. Allen, "I knew that if I lay at the wharf and did that, there would be a terrible panic. You can imagine what the result would be when 400 passengers were informed that the steamer they were on was slowly sinking." So Capt. Allen blew the whistle, pulled the bells, and the steamer swung out before all the passengers were aboard. No one except the crew and the captain knew what was the matter, and did not know until after the steamer was beached.

Capt. Allen has been sailing for forty three years, and this was his first experience in a misfortune. He exercised the greatest presence of mind and did all that possibly could be done - he saved the steamer and the passengers from what might have been an awful catastrophe. Old and experienced mariners accord him the warmest praise.

The Thousand Island steamboat company has requested the United States and Canadian hull inspectors for these waters to be present on Wednesday morning at the government dry dock to examine the Empire State, and make a public statement as to her condition.

p.4 Sad Drowning Accident - deck hand William Potts, of str. Pierrepont, drowns while scrubbing stern.


Mooers' elevator - steambarge Chub from bay ports.

Crawford's wharf: schooner Acacia arrived from Oswego with coal.

The steamer Pierrepont is being painted, and the steamer America is still on the ferry.

Craig's wharf on Sunday: steamers Persia and Lake Michigan from Montreal; steamer Ocean from Toronto.

M.T. company wharf: tug Thomson arrived light from Oswego, and cleared for Charlotte with two barges.

Michael Lawless will ship as first mate on the steamer Caspian. George Little will be second mate. The first named has sailed on the steamer North King for many years.

The steamer Hamilton came into port on Sunday evening a day behind time. The steamer had her paddle wheel damaged on the last trip east and was delayed twenty-four hours in Montreal in making repairs.

Next Monday the steamer Rideau Queen makes her first trip of the season to Ottawa, and after that date there will be four trips a week between Kingston and Ottawa by the Rideau Lakes navigation company steamers. The Queen appears this season in even better condition than last, a number of improvements having been made.

p.5 Incidents of the Day - The steamer Islander is in Davis & Sons' dry dock, receiving repairs.

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27 May 1901
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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), 27 May 1901