The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 19 Nov 1904

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Swift's wharf: steamer Corsican up.

Craig's wharf: steamer Alexandria up last night on her final trip of the season.

M.T. company wharf: tug Emerson, from Charlotte with three coal laden barges, and cleared down with two; tug Thomson up with four light barges, and cleared down with two, grain-laden.



Caught Fire While Being Repaired.

St. Catharines, Nov. 18th - The steamer Ocean, owned by the Wentworth company, was burned, was burned nearly to the water's edge this afternoon at Port Dalhousie. The Ocean, which is a passenger steamer 150 feet long, plied between Hamilton and Montreal. She went off the trip last week, and on Tuesday came over to Muir's drydock. About 2:15 this afternoon, while the sailors were working on the vessel, flames burst from the hold. The master, Capt. J.V. Trowell, of Toronto, and some of the men were working in the hold, some planks having been removed from the vessel's side. The men made a scramble for safety, and they did not get out any too soon. Almost immediately flames burst from every part of the hold. One of the firemen ran back to his quarters to get his clothing, and as he opened the door flames burst out at him. Another fireman, James Oulette, of Montreal, went after his comrade to get him to come back. Both men received a number of burns, Oulette getting his hair badly singed. There was no fire of any kind on board, with the exception of the torches carried by several of the workmen. The men and the people from the village, who assembled on the bank of the canal, could do nothing but stand and watch the ship burn. A call was sent to St. Catharines for assistance and a company of the city firemen went out with a steam engine and hose waggon. They made a remarkably quick run, covering the four miles in forty minutes. The flames made a terrible heat. As quickly as possible water was let into the dock, which put out the fire in the ship's hold, as the hole in her side caused by the removal of the planks allowed the water to rush in. The upper part of the boat continued to burn with unabated fury, and the fire was at its height when the St. Catharines firemen arrived. Before long the firemen had the flames under control, and by five o'clock the fire was out.

Capt. Trowell said that the Ocean cost $30,000 and was one of the oldest vessels on the lakes. She was fully covered by insurance. The cause of the fire was a complete mystery, and he could suggest no theory. There will be some salvage, Capt. Trowell said, but is almost a total loss.

The Ocean was one of the oldest plying between this port and Montreal. It was re-built some years ago and given the name which the big boat had until the end of her career. Capt. Towers, of Ottawa, a well-known lake navigator, commanded the Ocean for a number of years, and she was a profitable boat. During the last few seasons, however, the Ocean appeared to have acquired ill-luck, for she met with several serious accidents.

Burned to Water's Edge - Port Dalhousie, Ont., Nov. 18th - About two o'clock this afternoon the steamer Ocean caught on fire, in Muir's dry-dock. The fire started in the lamp-room. The vessel is a total loss. The steamer is owned by G.E. Jaques, Montreal.

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19 Nov 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), 19 Nov 1904