The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Dec 1910

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Survivors Tell Thrilling Tale On Landing.

Oswego, N.Y., Dec. 9th - After thirty-two hours of privation and cold, the crew of the steamer John Sharples, including one woman, was rescued off the northern shore of the Galloupe Islands, thirty miles due north of Oswego, early this morning by the steamer Hinckley of this port.

The Sharples was bound for Ogdensburg from Chicago, on its last trip of the season with a cargo of 70,000 bushels of corn for the Rutland company. The crew arrived in Oswego this afternoon aboard the Hinckley with a thrilling tale of the disaster. The rescued: Officers - George Longley, captain, Ogdensburg; Frank Russell, first mate, Ogdensburg; Philip Hourigan, second mate, Oswego; John J. Jones, first engineer, Chicago; Thaxter Reed, second engineer, Oshkosh, Wis.

Passenger - Mrs. Frank Russell, wife of the mate, Ogdensburg.

Crew - Patrick McGray, Edward Nickel (Hinckel ?), Joseph Mullen, John Ekbert, Edward Brown, William Elliot, Thomas Drake, Arle (Arie ?) Akesone, Stephen Meade, Chicago; John Boeler, Milwaukee; John Cutler, Pittsburg; Joseph Summey (or Sumley ?), Toledo, O.

There were three other members of the crew whose names could not be ascertained.

Early Thursday morning in a blinding snowstorm the big craft was forced out of its course and driven on a rock on the shore of the Galloups. This is one of the most treacherous points known to lake navigators. Captain George Longley, Ogdensburg, was on watch and was proceeding cautiously, feeling his way through the menacing passage. Suddenly a grinding sound warned him that the Sharples was aground. The crew was aroused and every effort made to escape from the dangerous position. Giant waves broke over the craft and flooded the boiler room, extinguishing the fires, leaving the steamer in a helpless state.

Mrs. Frank Russell, wife of the first mate, who was aboard as passenger, was at first greatly alarmed, but her husband succeeded in calming her. She displayed remarkable fortitude during the trying hours that followed. The hatches were secured and hand lamps lighted to keep the crew from freezing. The crew remained in the cabin all morning, hoping that by the following day the sea would have abated and that they would be able to secure shelter. They were doomed to disappointment, however, the seas continuing and increasing in fury.

This condition continued until early this morning, when the lifeboat was manned and a party, which included Mrs. Russell, was taken ashore. As the boat was returning for a second load a ship was sighted. The fog whistle, which is run by compressed air, was tested, and there was a shout of joy as the passing vessel responded. It proved to be the steamer Hinckley, which was engaged in picking up the buoys in the river and lake, and was returning to Oswego.

Those on the Sharples were rescued by boats sent to the wrecked craft by Captain Hinckley, master of the rescuing steamer. The Sharples now lies in a shattered condition off the shore of the island. She is owned by the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Navigation Company. No estimate of the probable extent of the damage to her could be secured. Her position, however, is regarded precarious.

It was Mate Hourigan's first trip on the vessel, having shipped from here as an accommodation to the captain when the Sharples left here November 30th. Mr. Hourigan was master of the tug Hudson in this city during the past summer.

The officers and crew are quartered at the Darion ? hotel. They warmly commend Captain Hinckley for their rescue, declaring that but for his timely appearance they might have perished. This is regarded here as more than probable, as navigation has closed on Lake Ontario and the Hinckley was probably the only craft on the lake yesterday or today.

(** note - this article is almost identical to one which appeared in the Ogdensburg Journal, Dec. 10th, 1910 p.5)



Quite a lot of ice was formed in the harbor this morning.

Capt. Myles Murphy of the tug Glyde returned to his home in Elgin today.

Capt. Patrick Sullivan, of the steamer Simla, has returned to his home in St. Catharines.

The steamer Donnelly left on Monday morning, to work at the steamer John Sharples.

Capt. "Ben" Ben (?) laid up the steamer Iowa, here, and has left for his home in Trenton.

Anglin's Bay is now filled with vessels for the winter. The bay has quite a large fleet.

A good deal of repair work is being done to several of the vessels, which have been laid up for the winter.

The steamers India and Prince Rupert went over to Garden Island, today, to be laid up for the season.

The steamer Sowards has been laid up in her winter quarters. A new hatch will be put in her during the winter.

Capt. Hicks, of the steamer Ralph Holcomb has left for Picton, after putting the vessel in winter quarters here.

Work is progressing nicely on the steamer Stranger, which has been hauled out on the ways, at the Kingston foundry. When all the work has been finished, she will be in fine shape for the season's work. She will have new boilers installed.

The steambarge Navajo left for the scene of the wreck of the steamer John Sharples, on Saturday, and will be used as a lighter to take off the cargo of corn, if the cargo can be taken off. The steamer Saginaw also got away Saturday afternoon.

Owing to the fog and steam on the water, the steamer Ottawa did not make her usual trip over from Cape Vincent, on Saturday night. There were only two passengers to come over to Kingston, so it was not considered advisable to make the trip. The cold weather evidently put a damper on the traffic.

Ogdensburg firemen worked for two hours in an effort to extinguish the fire aboard the steamer John Rugee, of the George Hall Coal company fleet. Damage to the extent of $2,500 was done and is fully covered by insurance. The steamer was similarly damaged last April.

The schooner Maize, which was recently purchased by John Sowards, is undergoing extensive repairs, and will be used in the coal trade between Kingston and Oswego next season. Capt. John Gould, so it is announced, will be in charge of the Maize, which will be a valuable addition to the Kingston fleet of coal carriers.

The steamer Seguin arrived at Richardson's elevator, on Saturday night, with a cargo of grain. The steamer should have been here some days ago, but was delayed at Charlotte on account of bad weather. The Sequin left Port Dalhousie the same time as the steamer John Sharples, which met with a mishap at Stoney Point.

On Friday the barge Parsons, in tow of the steamer Phelps, struck a shoal near Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and shoving a hole in her side filled and sank. The crew got off safely. The vessel had 350 tons of soft coal for Brockville. It is thought the vessel will be a total loss as she was not insured. She was equipped with valuable hoisting apparatus. The accident occurred where a government buoy marks the danger spot in the season of navigation, but this had been removed at the end of the season, and so there was nothing to show danger.

Off To The Wreck - The steamer John Sharples, which went aground near Stoney Point, has been abandoned to the underwriters, and the work of raising the steamer was given out by tender. The Donnelly Wrecking company received the contract, and this afternoon J. Donnelly left for the scene with the steamers Donnelly and the Saginaw.

p.7 Deseronto, Dec. 10th - ...The Quinte Navigation fleet has gone into Picton harbor for winter quarters. The steamer Reindeer has been hauled out on the ways here and will have extensive repairs made.

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12 Dec 1910
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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), 12 Dec 1910