The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 18 Dec 1902

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Seven Of Oswego's Popular Citizens Given Up As Lost.

Oswego, N.Y., Dec. 18th - Almost the last ray of hope for the ill-fated steamer John C. Hall and her crew was blotted out last night when the news came that the vessel ashore on Salmon Point was John R. Noyes and not the steamer Hall. She had rolled her masts out in the gale and thus deceived those who saw her from a distance into the belief that she was the Hall.

A telegram from Picton, Ont. to Capt. Thomas Crimmins of the tug association, says that wreckage in great quantities has been coming ashore all afternoon and among it is a piece of a schooner with "John R. Noyes" on. The message further says the vessel was a total wreck and has been broken to pieces by the tremendous seas.

A life-saving crew, which went on a special train and then by boat to the wreck, reports it positively to be the Noyes.

The report that came in the morning to the effect that the wreck on Salmon Point was the Hall raised the almost vain hope that Capt. Donovan and his crew might have survived all the terrible experiences of the week and still be alive and aboard the wreck. At night they gave up in despair.

There is only one hope and that a slim one.

The Hall may be ashore on the Duck Islands and may have been missed by the steamer Avon in the darkness and thick weather. If she is not there, vesselmen say she is surely at the bottom of Lake Ontario with her crew of at least ten. The tug Charley Ferris will leave this port as soon as weather permits to search the Ducks.

The Hall left Charlotte with the Noyes in tow one week ago, both laden with coal for E.W. Rathbun & Co., Deseronto. The crew of the Noyes was taken from the vessel by the Charlotte life savers, Monday afternoon, off Lakeside and thirty miles out in the lake.

It was the most heroic achievement of the life-saving service on the lakes in many years. The exact make-up of the crew of the steamer Hall is not known here. It is known absolutely, however, that there are seven Oswego persons aboard her. They are:

Captain Timothy Donovan.

First Mate Jerome Donovan.

First Engineer John Donovan.

Second Engineer James Donovan. (all relatives)

Thomas Cochrane, wheelsman.

Daniel Bigelow, wheelsman.

John Dixon, fireman.

There are also aboard Thomas Tyler, fireman, and Mrs. Brown, cook, both of Buffalo.

Captain Donovan and First Engineer Donovan owned both boats, which were valued at about $35,000. The cargoes are valued at $5,000 and there is no insurance on vessels or cargoes.

The tragedy has cast a gloom over this city. The sailors of the Hall are all well known and popular here and their probable fate is being discussed everywhere. Telegraph offices, police headquarters and vessel offices are deluged with inquiries for news, but nothing of a cheering nature can now be given.

Stevenson Crew Safe.

The barge Stevenson, which broke away from the steamer Avon Tuesday afternoon near the Galoup Islands, is ashore on Stony Island and a telegram announces that the crew is safe. The captain of the Stevenson is J. Mallet, Jr., of Kingston, whose wife was also aboard.

p.2 Incidents of the Day - Capt. Eber has decided to winter his steamer Westford at Crawford's wharf. All the coal vessels that came along with him will lay up here.

A memorial service with reference to those members of the Anglican communion who were lost on the Bannockburn will be held in St. James' church on Saturday, December 20th at three o'clock p.m. An invitation to be present is extended to all who desire in this way to express their sympathy with the sorrowing relatives.

p.5 Incidents of the Day - The schooner Annandale, whose anchor caught on the water works' suction pipe, had to drop it, including sixty feet of its chain. The anchor will be brought up later.

The schooner Ariadne arrived at Richardsons' elevator this afternoon with oats from Stella. She was frozen in for ten days.

p.8 Richelieu & Ontario Co. - enjoyed a good year. [Montreal Star]

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18 Dec 1902
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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), 18 Dec 1902