The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 13 Oct 1902

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Steambarge Owen of Kingston A Total Wreck.

The steambarge Owen, owned by Capt. Simmons, Kingston, is a total wreck. She went to pieces on Sunday on Gull shoal, a few miles east of Point Petre, on the Prince Edward shore.

The Owen was on her way from Wellington to Kingston with 5,000 bushels of wheat and rye for Richardsons' elevator. When near Long Point, on Saturday, her stack toppled over. In falling it broke the steampipe, and left the vessel powerless in a rough sea. Anchors were thrown out, but they failed to hold the Owen, which gradually drifted on to the shoal where it pounded by the force of the waves.

On Sunday morning, the Donnelly wrecking apparatus, in charge of E. Charles, went to the scene of the accident. A steam pump was placed in the Owen, but all efforts to save here were powerless. The pump was removed, and soon after, the steambarge went to pieces. Previously, the steambarge John Milne took off about 600 bushels of the Owen's cargo, some of it damaged. There was no insurance on the grain, the loss of which falls on Richardson Bros.

The Owen was valued at $5,000. There was insurance on her against fire, but not against other accidents.



Raged On Sunday at Collins Bay.

The most disastrous fire in the history of Collins Bay occurred on Sunday morning. The little village's chief industry, the old established plant of the Collins Bay Towing and Rafting company, of which William Leslie, this city, is the energetic manager, was completely destroyed. The blow is not only a hard one to the company, but an equally severe one to the pretty little village, whose prosperity depended to such an extent on that of its chief and almost only industry. It is doubtful if the village will ever recover from the set back it has just received.

Between ten and eleven o'clock in the morning, the company's building were discovered to be on fire. The fire fighting appliances in the village were far too insufficient to cope with such a fire. The small hand engine and the bucket brigade were soon on the scene, and, aided by the villagers, worked hard in a vain endeavor to conquer the fast spreading flames. A gang of Italians who were working on a railroad, rendered good service, as did also a number of Kingstonians, who were spending the day in the village. Mr. Lesslie, recognizing the futility of the fight the little force was making, telephoned to the city for assistance. The steamer Merryweather and a hose cart with 400 feet of hose were at once despatched to the scene. Relays of horses were in readiness to meet the city's fire appliances, and the five members of the local brigade who accompanied them. The firemen had got but five miles out when they were met by Mr. Lesslie's messenger, who informed them that the plant was doomed and that they might as well return to the city. This they did.

The fire originated in the blacksmith shop from some unknown cause. The flames spread rapidly to the machine shop on the right and the store-room on the left. Unable to cope with the situation, the villagers were compelled to stand by and see the plant burned to the ground. The machine shop was the most valuable of the three buildings. Lathes, vises, and all the other articles of equipment were destroyed. Two large new boilers, which had been built for the tug Petrel, were removed from the shop only a couple of days ago, and were thus saved from destruction. A large number of people from Kingston, as well as from the surrounding country, gathered in the village during the day to view the smoking ruins and comment upon the loss.

Mr. Lesslie estimates his loss at from $40,000 to $50,000. The company has carried no insurance on the property during the past ten years. It is next to improbable that the plant will ever be rebuilt. About forty villagers are thrown out of employment as a result of the fire.


Along The Harbor.

Swift's wharf: steamer North King from Charlotte.

The propellor Lake Michigan cleared for Hamilton with her damaged cargo.

The steamer Hecla, Ogdensburg, has arrived at the government dry dock to undergo general repairs.

Craig's wharf: steamers Ocean down and Persia up, on Sunday; steamer Alexandria down this evening.

Richardsons' elevator: steambarge King Ben from Wellington; schooner Pilot from Howe Island; the tug Nellie Reid and grain laden barge for Montreal.

p.5 Incidents of the Day - Capt. Gaskin assisted at the wreck of the steambarge Owen on Saturday and Sunday.

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13 Oct 1902
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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), 13 Oct 1902