The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 15 Dec 1902

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Toronto, Dec. 15th - A Globe special from White Fish Point, Mich., says: The first authentic evidence bearing on the fate of the steamer Bannockburn, which sailed from Fort William over a month ago and never again was seen, came to light yesterday, when the captain

of the Grand Marais life saving station found a life preserver from the missing boat on the beach. Search of the vicinity in which the canvas was found disclosed pieces of wreckage and the beach is being patrolled with a view to further developments. The life-preserver found bears seeming blood stains on its shoulder straps, which are tied. This condition is taken to indicate that the preserver had been washed from the dead.

An Important Statement.

Kingston, Dec. 14th - (To the Editor): As regards the loss of the ill-fated S.S. Bannockburn I was the M.T. company's blacksmith, and braced the rudder quadrant, as the hub was split. I have no doubt that it broke and the combined efforts of her crew were insufficient to handle her rudder in a storm when the quadrant gave way, and the vessel, being at the mercy of the sea, foundered.

JOHN MOLONY, 153 Clergy street.


Entertained For Safety Of Vessels.

Toronto, Dec. 15th - Grave fears are felt for the steamer John Hall and schooner Noyes, of Ogdensburg, and the schooner Amy Andrews of Buffalo. The vessels left Charlotte on Thursday, and the steambarge Resolute, towing the Andrews, arrived at Port Dalhousie on Sunday, reporting that the schooner had broken away in the great storm near Kingston. None of the others have been heard of.

p.2 Day's Episodes - Andrew Kennedy, engineer of the steamer Myles, has returned to the city for the winter months. The Myles has gone into winter quarters at Toronto.

John Williams, sailing during the past season on the steamer Australia, has returned home, having laid up the steamer at Erie.



Through An Awful Lake Ontario Gale.

[Hamilton Spectator]

"The man who takes a boat out on the lakes in the month of December certainly has no fun on his hands, and earns all the money he gets, if he happens to get home safely." That's the opinion of Captain R. Corson, of the steamer Lake Michigan, which came into Hamilton bay Friday afternoon, ice-covered and battered looking. Capt. Corson brought his boat over the lake from Oswego loaded with coal for R.O. & A.B. MacKay, the owners, and now that he is in port he will not, if he knows it, venture out again until the southern breeze blows warm in the gentle springtime. Speaking seriously, Capt. Corson had about the closest call of his marine life on the trip over. To begin with there was ice in the harbor when he left Oswego, and he had to fight his way out two miles into the lake before he was out of the pack. He waited until the last minute for a favorable weather report, and on the strength of the Washington forecast of light south-east winds, he started. Before he got across the lake the south-east breeze had changed to a gale, shifting its direction to the westward and bringing with it a zero condition of affairs.

There was no snow, but there was something even more distasteful. The thermometer showed below zero, and the water, being warmer than the atmosphere, caused a smoke fog to rise, being so thick that it was impossible to see one end of the boat from the other, and so penetrating in its chilliness that to have to stand out in it was almost as much as a man's life was worth. And with the increasing gale came a heavy sea, the waves sweeping the decks and freezing as it passed through the scuppers. Capt. Corson made an effort to reach Port Dalhousie and the canal before the storm got too heavy for him, but in this he was not successful. There came a moment in the hazardous trip when the captain realized that if he was to save his boat and the lives of himself and crew he would have to turn and make for Niagara river. Even this was a chance only but it seemed better than risking death ahead. The steamer rolled and pitched frightfully in the heavy seas, and finally shipped so much water that it was feared she would turn turtle. The deck cargo listed, and when Niagara was reached she was in extremely bad shape, and the captain and crew were about done out.

After the gale moderated the captain brought the steamer to the canal and on to Hamilton, and now he is congratulating himself that he is alive.

Death of An Old Mariner - Samuel Mason, an ancient mariner, died this morning at his home on Colborne street, aged eighty years. The deceased was formerly a salt water seaman, but located in Kingston half a century ago and engaged in sailing on the great lakes. He is survived by one daughter at home, two sisters and two brothers. One brother resides at Buffalo; the two sisters are in Toronto.



A private message received from Deseronto this afternoon announced that the steamer Niko and consorts, reported missing after leaving Oswego, had all been located. The Niko has six barges in tow and was expected in port this afternoon at a late hour. The news of the safety of these boats, all coal laden, will be joyful tidings to the friends of the sailors aboard.

It was current rumor this afternoon that the steambarge Nile, in attempting to keep the channel leading into Deseronto clear of ice, had gone down.

Missing Vessels.

Rochester, N.Y. advices are that the schooner Abbie Andrews, with 1,200 tons of coal from Oswego to Deseronto, is ashore near Bear Creek, 30 miles east of Charlotte, N.Y.

The crews of the schooner (sic) Hall and schooner Noyes numbered twelve men, including Capt. Timothy Donovan, of Oswego, and his two brothers, John and William. The rest of the crew hailed from Deseronto.

A despatch from Oswego states that the steamer Niko, Capt. Thomas Beggs, Chicago, left Oswego on Thursday, coal-laden, and bound for Toronto. Nothing has been heard from her, and it is feared she is lost.

Handles The Party - J.P. Hanley, the local enterprising ticket agent for the Grand Trunk railroad company, executed a nice stroke of business last week in ticketing from Toronto back to England seventy-five members of the crew of the Turrett line of ships imported by the Great Lakes Navigation company for service in this country.

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15 Dec 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), 15 Dec 1902