The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Sep 1904

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The schooner Charlie Marshall is windbound here.

The steam barge John Milne cleared for Smith's Falls.

Booth's wharf: schooner Voges, from Oswego with coal.

Craig's wharf: steamers Alexandria and Waterlily up last night.

The schooners Acacia and Clara Youell are unloading coal at Swift's wharf.

The schooner Luff, from Charlotte, is unloading coal at the penitentiary wharf.

Swift's wharf: steamers Hamilton down last night; Spartan up tonight; Toronto, down and up Sunday; Rideau King from Ottawa tonight.

The steamer George Howe, which ran on a shoal near Fine View, has been released by the Donnelly Wrecking company. The steamer proceeded to Oswego, for which place she was bound with a load of pulp wood.

The steamer Rosedale stopped at the Kingston dry dock this morning en route to Montreal from Fort William with grain. Capt. Murray was taken on as pilot. This is the Rosedale's first trip east this season. Captain Pringle, Toronto, manager of the company, came down by train to meet her. (a woodcut of Rosedale is included in column)

Man Lay Dead - in front of the Ottawa Hotel; Michael Garvin was employed on government dredge Sir Richard; for many years he was an employee of the Montreal Transportation company; a son was lost when the Bannockburn went down in Lake Superior two years ago.



Heroic Struggle of Singapore's Crew.

"Eighty-one hours at the pumps, four children, one woman and six men at the mercy of the waves, our boat in thirty-six hours of storm, then beaten two days by a high sea and abandoned, that's an experience I don't want again, right away," said C.W. Leatham, mate on the Canadian schooner Singapore, and back in Detroit from Kincardine, Ont., after a harrowing experience on the wrecked vessel. The Singapore was dashed to pieces on the shore near the harbor of the little Canadian town last week, while on her way to Sarnia with lumber from Tobermorey.

The man's hands were bruised and blistered from his eighty-one hours at the pumps, to keep the boat from going down before the crew could be taken off by the life-saving crew.

"The Singapore put out from Tobermorey with a stiff breeze ahead and with more coming," said Leatham, "and in a few hours we were in the centre of a raging storm. The boat, worn from twenty-eight years of constant service, soon sprang a leak and began to fill rapidly. All hands manned pumps to try and keep the craft afloat. There was little chance to eat or sleep, as the boat rolled and tossed and plunged until it was thought that she would go to pieces in mid-lake. The presence of four little children made the necessity of work to keep the boat up felt more keenly. The storm raged a day and a half. When it passed there was still a heavy sea running, most of the deckload of lumber had been washed overboard, and the seams of the boat had opened up. Then came the startling announcement that the backbone of the boat had been broken.

The children and the woman cook, wife of the captain, were strapped between bed ticks and put in the cabin. The boat was sinking lower and lower into the water with every roll of the sea, and all hope of ever reaching port was given up when shore was sighted, and work was again started with renewed vigor.

While the four men worked at the pumps, Charles Vollick, the wheelsman, kept at the wheel. With every plunge through the trough of the sea, the waves would dash over him and hide him from those working on the deck, but he clung to his post, although breathless and exhausted from his awful struggles.

As the men were working a deafening roar was heard from the cabin, the door crashed from its hinges and the five occupants were hurled on the deck, two of them narrowly escaping from going overboard. The boat had been filling with water steadily and had compressed the air in the hold until it burst the flooring of the cabin and secured an outlet. The youngest child, four years old, was badly hurt about the head by flying timbers and was knocked unconscious. All the others sustained light injuries. They were then fastened to the rigging and the attention of the crew again reverted to the pumps. With the escape of the air from the hold the boat began to sink. Again the crew turned from their labor and sought the yawl boat. There was a crash, a grating sound and the boat remained still. Then we realized that we were on bottom.

I climbed aloft with my red sweater and tied it to the mast. We were not far from the pier, and as it was about ten o'clock in the morning, there was a bunch of people watching us. They did not know we were in distress until they saw the sweater. Then the life-savers were notified and they put out after us. The woman and children were the first to leave and then the crew followed." [Detroit News]

The schooner Singapore was formerly of Kingston and owned by the late John Carruthers. The craft was built by the late William Power.

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Date of Publication:
24 Sep 1904
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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), 24 Sep 1904