The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 Dec 1905

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Great Lakes Death Toll.

Chicago, Dec. 11th - According to figures compiled today by the Lake Marine News Bureau the death list on the great lakes during the season now closing has been the heaviest of any year since big steel vessels began to be used on the lakes. A total of 225 lives were lost.

Of these, 116 were lost during the three great storms of this fall. The remaining ninety-nine were lost by falling overboard and other causes.

During the season of 1904 only forty-nine lives were lost on the great lakes, this being the smallest loss on record, and only two of these were due to shipwreck.

Dec. 12, 1905



The Masters and Mates Association have opened a handsome suite of rooms over Wade's drug store. They overlook the market, and are already as cosy and comfortable as formerly at New Year's. Only about half of the members have reported yet, but the chief officer, Capt. Booth, of the "floating palace Toronto," has been busy, for some time, getting things into ship shape for his old comrades. Capt. Archie McDonald, pilot of the Lake and Ocean Navigation company, after nearly 100 trips, between Kingston and Montreal, without a mishap, is back and gives fair warning to look out below. Captain Jimmy Dix is still handling the bells on the propeller Wahcondah, on the upper lakes somewhere, but is sure to turn up safe. Capt. Charlie Martin, of the tug Bronson, and his brother, the genial Jimmy, of the Moira, after a most successful season, are back. Capt. James and Joseph Murray look none the worse for their long season.

The redoubtable Capt. Jerry Hurley who had such a thrilling experience on the schooner S. & J. Collier, in the big storm that cost poor Capt. Phillips and his gallant crew their lives, is back, but Jerry's modesty prevents the public learning much. Capt. Daryan (sic - Daryaw ?), who sailed the Queen of the Lakes, too, is home. Capt. Walter Collins, of the steamer Lake Michigan, Capt. Robert Mallen, of the Rideau King, are all here. Capt. Allen, of the White Squadron's flag ship America, is here, but has not reported yet. Capt. Charles Staley, the hero of 100 fights against the dangers and difficulties of the great deep, is also home and ready to play checkers with all comers. It is told of Charlie, that, when a lad, he was so stuck on a sailor's life that he left home, and applied for a job. He was given a rope and told to make three ends to it, and he would be hired. "Well, here's one end," cutting the rope in two, "and here's another, and here's another," throwing them all overboard. He got the job.

It may be asked, What is the association for? and what is it doing to advance marine interests? Well, when the writer was there they were discussing the value of marine militia for Canada, a subject that has been in the minds of officers of the headquarters staff for years, and would you believe it, although none of them had ever heard of Col. Foster, or his confidential lecture at the R.M.C. some ten years ago. The defence of Canada was discussed along similar lines. In fact more advanced than the brilliant colonel, but he is now in England, and still the subject is bothering the military council at Ottawa, and rendering life a torment. Why not ask the Kingston association to send a representative to Ottawa, who can open their eyes re the defence of Canada.

Other subjects such as new steering gear, new rules governing the right of way, the care and welfare of passengers and crew, came up, and you may be sure, that the mates, who intend to fit themselves, this winter, to try the examination for masters' papers, next spring, pay the closest attention to their elders.

Later on, when all have returned, Whig readers may be favored with more on this subject. With some of the experiences during the great gales that sent so many of their comrades to their doom. It is expected all will be in town next week. Captain Doyle, Bob Gaskin, Captain Dix, Captain Scott, Captain Dunlop, with his exquisite music box, Captain Batten, Captain Henry Esford, and Captain Cherry, too, the jolliest tar of the mess.

Marine Paragraphs.

S.S. India has gone into winter quarters at Garden Island.

The work of the government supply tug Scout is finished, and she will leave this week to winter at Prescott.

The schooner Queen of the Lakes arrived, today, with grain from bay ports, for the Frontenac Milling company's elevator.

The steambarge :Hamilton, which was being lightered of her coal cargo, came up to Swift's yesterday to finish unloading.

The steamer Aletha camed off the Kingston foundry marine railway this morning. She has had steel keelsons put under her boiler. She is scheduled to make a trip up the bay, tomorrow, as far as Emerald.

A Painful Accident - Capt. Palmatier, of the schooner Volunteer, of Belleville, injured hand while lowering anchor for the purpose of assisting in keeping the boat in position when the ice broke up.


Marine Notes.

The steamer Wahcondah is expected at Richardsons' elevator tonight, from Toledo, with 65,000 bushels of corn.

The schooner Metzner cleared for Collins Bay with wheat from Richardsons' elevator.

p.8 Incidents of the Day - The steamer Caspian has not yet moved to her winter berth in the government dry dock.

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11 Dec 1905
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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), 11 Dec 1905