The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 14 Nov 1904

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p.1 Launched A New Boat - Detroit, Mich., Nov. 14th - The new Michigan Central Car Ferry, Detroit, was launched at the Great Lakes Engineering company's yards, on Saturday. The new boat's engines will develop four thousand horsepower, making her the most powerful of the Detroit fleet of car ferries. She will be a screw steamer, not side-wheeler as are the other car ferries, and will have three tracks with a capacity for twenty-one loaded cars.


But The Mate Perished After Reaching Land


Had Coal On Board For Picton

Picton, Ont., Nov. 14th. - The schooner Annie Falconer, owned and sailed by Capt. Murney Ackerman, of Picton, went down in the gale on Saturday night, between the False Ducks Islands and Timber Island. The Falconer was on her way from Sodus Point, N.Y., to Picton with a load of soft coal for A.W. Hepburn. The crew took to the boats and after hours of suffering and hardship reached shore at Emerald on Amherst Island, twenty miles from the scene of the wreck. James Sullivan, the mate, after reaching land wandered away and when found by his mates had perished from the cold and exposure. His body was brought here this morning for burial. The crew all belong to Picton.



The steamyacht Kate came down the Rideau yesterday.

The steamer Avon took on coal at Swift's wharf last night.

The steamer Nile arrived at Craig's wharf from canal ports yesterday.

Swift's wharf: steamers Spartan, up last night; Corsican due down tonight.

The schooner Acacia, from Charlotte, is unloading coal at the locomotive works.

Craig's wharf: steamers Ocean, from Montreal, on her last trip last night; Alexandria, down tonight.

M.T. company wharf: S.S. Rosemount cleared light for Fort William; tugs Bronson and Thomson cleared down with five grain-laden barges.

It was the Collins Bay Wrecking company, not the Donnellys, that raised the steamer Armstrong, after her sinking between Brockville and Morristown, N.Y. in 1889.


The Insurance Companies Paid Amounts.

In September, 1903, the tug Reliance, owned by the Midland Towing company, James Playfair, manager, burned near Sprague, Georgian Bay, and sank in fifteen feet of water. Afterwards the tug was raised and taken to Midland, where a survey was held by John Weisbeck, Buffalo, representing the underwriters, and Thomas Donnelly, Kingston, representing the owners. The surveyors agreed on the damages being appraised at $21,500, and on this report three of the insurance companies paid their proportion of the loss. The other three companies, the Weatern Assurance, the British America, and the Scottish Union and National objected to the award of the surveyors. The last named company notified the owners of the tug that they were satisfied with the amount of award, but refrained from paying at the request of the other companies interested.

The owners of the tug were offered different amounts in settlement, but refused to take any less than the award. Suits were commenced against the three companies, and the cases were set down for hearing before Chancellor Boyd at Barrie, on Saturday last. On Friday night Messrs. McCarthy, Osler and Harcourt, on the part of the defendants, consented to judgement and costs in all three cases.

The costs will be very heavy as four special inspections were made by the underwriters, in all of which Capt. Donnelly represented the owners. Evidence was also taken on two occasions before Col. Bruce commissioner at Buffalo. D.S. Storey, solicitor of the Midland company, represented the owners, assisted by Mr. Hodgins, K.C., of McMurrich and Hodgins, Toronto.



The Loss of the Annie Falconer.

The particulars of the wreck of the schooner Annie Falconer, as told by a Picton man this afternoon, are: The schooner Falconer was owned and sailed by Captain Ackerman, Picton, and a crew of six men from Picton. The schooner was coal-laden from Sodus Point, N.Y. to Picton, and during her voyage encountered bad weather, which eventually strained her timbers so badly that about three o'clock Saturday afternoon, she sprank a leak and foundered off the False Ducks off South Bay Point. She sank in about fifty feet of water, leaving only her cross trees visible above the water. The crew took warning in time and got away in the life-boat. After six hours hard struggle with the high wind and heavy seas they reached the shores of Amherst Island, at nine o'clock Saturday night. The crew were all suffering intensely from exposure and one of their number, James Sullivan, was in a helpless condition. His comrades were not aware on what part of the island they had landed, and left him on the beach until they could find someplace of refuge. They started across the island but wandered into the marshes where they experienced considerable difficulty. Finally they found a refuge and when they returned to the beach for Sullivan, he had disappeared. They spent considerable time in searching for him, but were handicapped by the darkness and could find no trace of him. They at last gave up the search and sent news of the occurrence back to Picton. The Hepburns immediately got their steamyacht fitted out and reached the island early Sunday morning. The body of Sullivan was found in the morning on the beach a short distance from where he had been left the night before and from indications he had evidently died from the results of exposure shortly after he was left. The deceased was aged about sixty years, and was well known among marine men by whom he was known as "Shell" Sullivan. He was unmarried and had two brothers, Robert and David, farmers near Picton. The body was taken back there on Monday for internment. The crew this morning had recovered from the effects of their terrible experience and were taken back to Picton on Hepburn's yacht.

The schooner Annie Falconer was built about thirty-seven years ago, and evidently was not sturdy enough to stand the heavy strain. An effort will be made to save the schooner and cargo.

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14 Nov 1904
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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), 14 Nov 1904