The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 2 Oct 1901

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The schooner Two Brothers cleared for Charlotte.

Craig's wharf: steamer Persia from St. Catharines.

Swift's wharf: steamers Toronto from Toronto; Hamilton from Hamilton.

M.T. company elevator: tug Thomson cleared with five laden barges for Montreal.

The steamer Kingston made her last regular trip of the season yesterday. The R. & O. navigation company directors are still thinking of using her for the royal trip down the river. The heating of the Kingston is not yet completed, and unless the day be a fine one, the steamer Toronto will have to be used.

The steamer Kingston yesterday made her last trip of the season. The Toronto will make five more trips, after which she will remain here to take the royal party to Brockville. The Toronto will go down the Canadian channel and will pass close to Gananoque, if the water is deep enough.



Foundered In Lower Gap At Noon Today.

The steamer Richelieu, running on the Bay of Quinte route, between Kingston and Picton, foundered while crossing the lower gap at noon today. She was bound down from Picton on her regular daily trip, and had a cargo of fifty tons of tomatoes on her deck, consigned to a Rochester, N.Y. firm. Long swells were rolling as the Richelieu entered the gap. Suddenly the steamer gave a lurch to one side, the cargo shifted, and the vessel began to fill rapidly. The fate of the vessel was sealed; nothing could save her. The crew were on deck in an instant, two life-boats were swung out, and all aboard the doomed vessel jumped into them. There was no time to waste for the Richelieu sank inside of two minutes after making the lurch which heeled her over. The life-boats reached here about half past one o'clock.

There was but one passenger aboard, J.A. Lalonne, traveller for the Reinhardt manufacturing company, Montreal. The steamers' officers consisted of: Capt. Van Vlack; S. Newman, mate; H. Windel, purser; George Boyd, chief engineer; M. Redmond, assistant engineer; T. Harrison, fireman.

The deckhands were H. Danard, W. Robinson, and H. Newman; maid, Annie Switzer; cook, Jane Perry. E.E. Horsey, of the Bay of Quinte navigation company, was also aboard. Most of the officers and crew belonged to Kingston.

So quickly did the whole affair occur that the captain and those aboard could tell nothing beyond the bare facts. They simply made for the life-boats, cut away, and that's all there was about it. On arriving here the depositions of those aboard were taken separately by J.L. Whiting, K.C.

The place where the Richelieu foundered is 100 feet in depth. This afternoon the Donnelly wrecking company were to send a steamer to see if the Richelieu can be located, and to determine if she can be raised. The Richelieu is owned by Capt. Filgate, Montreal, and was chartered last spring by H.H. Gildersleeve. She ran during the summer from Toronto to Oakville. Last May she was partially rebuilt above decks. Her value would be about $8,000.

"We haven't anything to say," said a member of the crew. "We had a most miraculous escape, and hardly yet realize the terrible danger we passed through. You can see how quickly we had to leave the steamer. We hadn't time to pick up a hat or coat."

The men appeared on the streets in their shirt sleeves and bare heads afterwards going to outfitters to get enough apparel to keep out the weather.

The Richelieu was built at Montreal in 1845. She was very light draught. Mr. Gildersleeve has been very unfortunate this season with his boats, the Hero having been burned at Belleville last year.

Had Terrible Experience.

Capt. William Manson, of the ill-fated steamer Saturn, that foundered in Lake Huron a few days ago, was in the city yesterday. Himself and crew had a terrible experience in the storm before reaching land. He states that in the midst of the storm the arms of the air pump, connected with the engine, broke, leaving the boat almost helpless. An attempt was made to work the steamer at high pressure, but the engines did not have power enough to make headway against the heavy gale. The crew stood by the sinking boat for thirty hours and did their utmost to save her, but their efforts were in vain. With eleven feet of water in the steamer's hold the crew realized that it was useless to longer stand by her. They took to the yawl and after being buffeted about in the storm for seven hours, landed safely at a point ten miles west of Southampton. Capt. Manson will ship as mate on the steamer Bannockburn.

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2 Oct 1901
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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), 2 Oct 1901