The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Sep 1909

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And Schooner Van Straubenzie Soon Sank.

Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 28th - The passenger steamer City of Erie of the Detroit and Buffalo line, about three o'clock Monday morning, ran down the schooner J.C. Van Straubenzie, of Port Colborne, Ont., opposite Erie, Pa., and two men and a woman on board the lighter craft are believed to have drowned. Two of the schooner's crew were rescued and brought to this city on the Erie.

The missing and believed to have been drowned are: Capt. Corson of Hamilton, mate James McCallum, and a woman cook, name as yet unknown. The rescued men were: Thomas Hollis, of England, and Thomas Gorner of Toronto.

Hollis and Gorner were rescued by small boats, but were unconscious, and for a long time did not recover sufficiently to give their names or the name of the boat.

It is said the schooner was struck amidships, began to fill immediately, and soon sank.

Passengers on board the steamer were thrown from their berths by the collision, and a number came on deck in their night clothes. Through the efforts of the officers they were soon quieted.

Capt. McAlpine of the passenger boat had turned over the immediate charge of the vessel to Pilot Pickle, who was at the wheel shortly before three o'clock in the morning. The skies were then clear and starry, and the proper signal lights could easily have been seen several miles ahead. But suddenly, dead ahead, the pilot perceived a dark shape take form out of the night. The two vessels must have been at least a half mile apart at that time, but, although the pilot signalled to reverse the engines, such was the momentum of the City of Erie that she crashed prow to prow into the oncoming schooner.

The Erie's boats were lowered immediately, and one of the seamen was picked up within the first few seconds of the search. It was nearly half an hour afterward that the second sailor was discovered clinging to a bit of drifting wreckage.

The steamers lying to in the vicinity of the wreck until dawn showed that it was useless to continue the search, and it proceeded on its course to Buffalo.

"I am confident the collision was due to the negligence of the schooner in not properly displaying her lights," declared General Freight Agent, H.R. Rogers, of the Cleveland and Buffalo line, after a grilling examination of the captain, the pilot, and other members of the crew of the City of Erie, as well as the two survivors of the wrecked vessel.

p.2 City Council - Communication - Donnelly Salvage and Wrecking company re. the rental of the water works wharf.

The Donnelly Wrecking company claimed that the water works committee had not treated it fairly in regard to the rental of the water works wharf. It was willing to pay $275 a year. If it was forced to give up the wharf the city would be injuring a firm that has always done well by Kingston. As to the water works committee's claim that it should repair the wharf the company pointed out that the life of a wharf was from ten to fifteen years, and this wharf was nineteen years old, and therefore completely and naturally rotted above the water line, and it would have been so even if it had not been in use. The company asked council to further investigate before taking action to deprive it of the wharf.



The steamer Kenora passed down today.

The steamer Sowards will clear for Oswego.

The steamer Missisquoi was up from Rockport today.

The tug Bartlett arrived from Montreal with two light barges.

The schooner Major Ferry is at Oswego loading coal for Sowards.

The government tug Scout was in port today. She is working in this district.

The steamer Wassaga (Wasaga) undergoing repairs to her bow, at the government dry-dock, cleared for Fort William.

The steamer Victoria, caulked at the Kingston foundry, has returned to Brockville. The crew is engaged laying up the steamer for the winter.

The steamer Canadian, grain laden, from Fort William, is due at the M.T. Co.'s elevator Wednesday morning. The steamer Rosemount and barge Ungava, grain laden, are also on the way with grain.

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28 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), 28 Sep 1909