The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 Nov 1906

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Quebec, Nov. 20th - The Bavarian, safely beached in the mud, at Indian Cove, to the eastward of Gilmour's wharf, last evening, will pass the winter there. This is the decision which has been taken this morning. She is drawing thirty three feet of water aft and only ten feet forward. All connected with the floating of the Bavarian are in a happy state of mind now that their arduous task is completed. They are certainly deserving of the congratulations they are receiving on all sides.

A party connected with the North American Wrecking company and which consists of Mr. and Mrs. C.J. MacLean, J.W. MacLean, W.W. Wotherspoon, Capt. P.S. Saunders, W.J. Rainsford of New York, and R.O. King, Tonawanda, N.Y., who have been on board the Bavarian, since Wednesday last, is at the Chateau Frontenac. Mr. Wotherspoon, engineer in charge, and Mr. King, consulting engineer, have been on the steamer since September last, and seventy men have been at work there during the last sixty days, most of these men being Canadians from Quebec, Montreal, Kingston, and some from Newfoundland, and their work was satisfactory to those in charge including Captain Lesslie, the marine superintendent of the company.

The officers of the North American Wrecking company are: President, T.J. Drummond, Montreal; vice-president, W.E. Stokes, New York; secretary, A.B. Rainsford, New York. Among the directors and others interested in the company are Messrs. Percival Molson, C.R. Hosmer, Montreal, C.F MacLean, James P. Brady, Jacob Robino, New York, and R.O. King, of North Tonawanda, N.Y.



William Lesslie, who floated the steamship Bavarian, was a rapid figure in his youth. Ald. Craig sat at the same desk with him at the old Coombs' school, and he says that his comrade was a great arithmetician. He could do the most rapid calculating of any other member of the class.

The compressed air method has been used by Mr. Lesslie for the past ten years. Last summer a man came here from New York to seek his assistance in getting the method patented in Canada. It has been patented in the United States and Britain. He was astonished to hear that Mr. Lesslie had used the method for years.

The Montreal Star attempts to give the credit for the Bavarian's release to a Montreal syndicate. That is absurd. It was Mr. Lesslie who secured the contract from Lloyds; it was Mr. Lesslie who formed the company, of which a number are Kingston men, and it was Mr. Lesslie who superintended the whole work.

Marine Notes.

The steamer Edmonton is loading hay at Swift's for Fort William.

The schooner Acacia is being unloaded of her cargo of coal at Crawford's today.

The steamer Neebing has arrived from Fort William with grain for Richardsons'.

The steamer Navajo has arrived from Wolfe Island, and is loading grain at Richardsons' for Montreal.

Steamer Belleville up today; steamer Picton up last night; steamer Aletha down and up the bay, today.

Capt. Van Vlack of the Toronto Electric Light Co.'s steambarge Van Allen, is said to have been offered the command of the new Port Hope-Charlotte ferry.

The barge Quebec, sailed Sunday, in tow of the steamer John Rufee. Despite the terrific pounding she received, she is comparitively uninjured, although the wrecking bill is said to have been $6,000.

M.T. company: steamer Turret Chief from Fort William with 70,000 bushels of wheat, cleared for Fort William; steamer Edmonton from Fort William with 86,000 bushels of wheat, now loading hay for Fort William; steamer Donnacona from Fort William, with 90,000 bushels of wheat, cleared for Fort William; tug Thomson from Montreal with four light barges cleared for Montreal with three grain barges; tug Jessie Hall from Montreal with two light barges, cleared for Montreal with three grain barges; tug Emerson from Montreal with four light barges, cleared for Montreal with three grain barges.

p.3 The City Council - William Lesslie Congratulated - Ald. Craig introduced the following motion, seconded by Ald. Rigney: That this council notes with very much pleasure the success of William Lesslie, an esteemed citizen, in performing the extraordinary feat of floating the steamship Bavarian, which for fourteen months has lain on Wye Rock, in the St. Lawrence river, below Quebec. Wrecking companies of Europe and America having failed in their attempt to float this ship, Mr. Lesslie's success has become the wonder of the whole marine world. This council tenders Mr. Lesslie the city's hearty congratulations and orders that a copy of this resolution be sent to him.

Ald. Craig said it was now Kingston's turn to congratulate her champion in the marine world, just as Hamilton and Toronto had done in regard to their recent champions in other arenas. Kingston was proud of having such a marine expert as Mr. Lesslie, who was a native of the Limestone city and lived here all his life.

Ald. Rigney said he had great pleasure in congratulating a Kingstonian of the stamp of Capt. William Lesslie. It was a bad thing to "slip off the rock", but everyone was glad to hear that the Bavarian had slipped off.

Ald. Angrove said that everyone must admire the courage of Mr. Lesslie in such an undertaking, and be glad of his success, when so many eminent experts expressed the view that the steamship could not be moved.

Mayor Mowat stated, that he had anticipated the council's action, and during the day telegraphed congratulations to Mr. Lesslie. The motion was passed unanimously and amid applause.

p.8 The Vessel Is Safe - The steamer Simla, reported missing, and en route with grain for Richardsons', arrived at the Soo yesterday. Capt. A. Malone is in command.


Of The Iroquois From Being Smashed.

Sault Ste. Marie, Nov. 20th - The steamer Iroquois, which saved a portion of the crew of the wrecked steamer Theano, a few hours before, narrowly escaped being wrecked on the same spot as the Theano. She was running straight for the rocks and was only twenty yards off them when the snow cleared up, enabling her in time to detect the danger and shear off. As it would have been madness to put off in the dense darkness, with the heavy seas then running, the two life boats stayed by the sinking Theano until the boat finally foundered at 3:20 on Saturday.

One boat under command of Capt. Pearson, and with nine men on board, with the help of a small sail which they unfurled upon an oar, finally reached Port Arthur, the men being almost dead from exposure. After a desperate struggle for hours, the second boat, with eleven men reached Hare Island, five miles from the wreck. They were taken off by the steamer Iroquois, which observed their signals of distress in passing close by.

Strathcona And Fairmount - Fort William, Nov. 20th - The Canadian steamer Strathcona, which was driven on the beach at Port Arthur, by the storm, and later released by tugs, was found not to be damaged and cleared for Midland with a cargo of grain. The steamer Fairmount, which arrived here on Monday to load grain, had two plates loosened by the pounding of the seas while coming up Lake Superior. Repairs will be completed today.

To Banquet Mr. Lesslie - Ex-Ald. James Stewart was active yesterday in arranging for a complimentary dinner to William Lesslie. Upon learning that the board of trade proposed taking such action, he fell in with the idea. The board of trade will discuss the matter at its meeting this evening.

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20 Nov 1906
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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), 20 Nov 1906