The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 27 Sep 1909

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The steamyacht Surprise is at the Kingston foundry dock.

The steamer Dundurn was at Swift's Sunday, on her way to Montreal.

The steambarge Mary Louise is loading freight for Rideau canal ports.

The steamer Rolph cleared for Oswego, with a barge for Fairhaven.

The steamer Sowards cleared for Oswego to load coal for R. Crawford.

The steamer City of Montreal passed down Sunday, from Duluth to Montreal.

The steamer Bickerdike passed up Sunday from Montreal to Fort William.

The government tug Peel arrived from Montreal, on her way to Hamilton.

The steamer Wasaga is waiting at the government dry dock to go on for light repairs.

The barge Kildonan, of the Montreal Transportation company, is in the government dry dock.

The steamers Pellatt, Corunna and Cataract passed down, yesterday, and the steamer Regina passed up.

The steambarge John Randall cleared from Richardsons' with grain, for Washburn, and will load a cargo of bricks there for Ottawa.

The steambarge Navajo loaded grain at Richardsons' elevator, and cleared for Quebec. Barges Kingston and Iona are also loading grain at this elevator.

Marine men say that yesterday was one of the busiest days in marine circles, here, during the season. A very large number of vessels called on the way up and down the river.

The steamer Caspian had a large number of passengers over from Charlotte, and took 142 from the city for the last trip of the season to Rochester, N.Y.

M.T. Co.: tug Bartlett from Charlotte, two coal barges; tug Emerson from Montreal, three light barges; steamer Kinmount from Duluth, 72,000 bushels of wheat; steamer Fairmount and barge Hamilton, from Duluth, with 154,000 bushels of grain; tug Thomson cleared for Montreal with three grain barges; tug Emerson for Montreal, three grain barges; tug Bartlett for Montreal, three grain barges; steamer Kinmount cleared for Fort William, also steamer Fairmount and barge Hamilton.



Excursionists Have Terrifying Experiences.

[Montreal Standard]

One of the most exciting trips which has ever been made down through the rapids of the St. Lawrence river, between Cornwall and Montreal, has just been brought to a conclusion by that line steamer of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company, the Rapids Queen, being run aground just above the Cascades Rapids, near Montreal, where she now remains.

The Rapids Queen left Cornwall for Montreal at 10 o'clock on Thursday morning with about 250 excursionists on board who had been making the trip down through the Thousand Islands.

Everything was well until the Cedar Rapids were reached, when the steering gear gave way, leaving the captain no alternative but to run the nose of the vessel in the mud. Repairs were quickly effected and then it was found impossible to get the vessel off under her own steam. A man was therefore sent ashore to telephone to Kingston for a tug, and after a wait of seventeen hours the tug Chieftain arrived and pulled her off.

Meanwhile the passengers had a most terrifying experience. The night was an extremely dark one, and the roaring of the rapids in the middle of which the vessel had run aground, was soon augmented by the roar of what the passengers declared was one of the fiercest thunderstorms they had ever known. Such tremendous velocity did the wind attain that it broke the cable by which the boat was moored to a tree, and the vessel was quickly blown out into the rapids.

Shrieking women, sobbing children and shouting men added to the general excitement. The propeller was set working again, and once more the vessel dug her bows into the mud, the propellor being kept working for the rest of the night in order to hold her there.

The Chieftain arrived about midday on Friday and after floating the Rapids Queen and turning her round, the latter started off once more on her journey to Montreal. This time she got down through the Cedar Rapids safely, and a short time afterwards began the run down through the Split Rock Rapids. Hardly had she entered the rushing and foaming waters of these rapids when her new steering gear broke down and with a series of tremendous bumps and crashes she was carried swiftly downstream at the mercy of the current.

The captain immediately blew signals of distress, which brought the Chieftain rushing again to the rescue down through the Split Rock rapids. All the exciting experiences which the passengers had gone through were as nothing to the situation which now confronted them, for the vessel was already badly damaged, and for all they knew with bottom partly torn out they were now confronted by the Cascade Rapids, the most dangerous of all, towards which the boat was rapidly drifting.

Fortunately the Chieftain managed to run alongside the Rapids Queen before the Cascade Rapids were reached, and after nearly ramming her amidship in the turbulent water, managed to get lashed to her and run her aground once more, just in the nick of time. Aground she still remains, with the Split Rock Rapids roaring above her and the Cascade Rapids roaring below her.

The extent of the damage is not known, but it is considerable, for the passengers state that the bows of the boat are all crumpled up as a result of collision with rocks.

The sleeping accommodation on the boat was by no means sufficient to accommodate all the passengers, many of whom had to get what snatches they could, by lying down on the deck.

On the boat were quite a number of people who are going to Europe, and who expected to get away on the weekend boats. Their experiences in the rapids have therefore delayed them a week, for they did not reach Montreal till today instead of Thursday, being brought up from Vaudreuil on the train.

Curtis W. Coe, who was one of the passengers on the unfortunate vessel, was considerably dissatisfied with the manner in which the plans were made for transferring the passengers to the city. He stated that after the steering gear broke in the first instance and the pilot ran the boat ashore, he and a number of other passengers asked to be put on land. There was ample time for this to have been done, but the captain he stated, insisted that all those on board remain where they were. The line that was run ashore broke like a thread. Mr. Coe stated that the material used was so old and worn that it could not have born any heavy strain. The passengers were unable to get any satisfaction from the captain, and he was very much surprised at the coolness with which the passengers, ladies included, took the experience.

p.5 Whig Jumble - At Belleville the steambarge Aberdeen ran into the swing of the Bay bridge and put it out of business.

Bound for Buffalo the steamer City of Erie ran down a schooner off Erie, Pa., on Monday morning. The schooner, thought to be the Ecclestein, which hails from a Canadian port, was sunk and three of her crew, two men and a woman, were drowned with her. Two men were rescued by the boats sent off by the steamer.

p.8 Isis Won Yacht Race - beat Kathleen at K.Y.C.; course was to Bolivia shoal and return.

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27 Sep 1909
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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), 27 Sep 1909