The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), 12 Sep 1885

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p.4 Floating Facts - The steamer Corsican, from Montreal, was ten hours late last night.

-The Island Wanderer's trips among the islands have been discontinued.

-The schr. Mystic Star will bring 20,000 bushels of corn to Kingston from Chicago.

-The steamer Khartoum was hauled out, on Davis' drydock, for a new wheel this morning.

-The schooner D. Freeman arrived in port this morning with her jib-boom carried away.

-The following boats called at Swift's today: Steamer Algerian from Montreal, Corsican from Toronto.

-The schooner B.W. Folger arrived at Swift's this morning with 180 tons of stove coal from Oswego.

-The schr. Watertown arrived at the M.T. Company's wharf this morning from Chicago, with 21,250 bushels of corn.

-The barge Detroit, which grounded down the river on Wednesday night will be hauled out on the M.T. Company's ways for repairs.

-The steamer Deseronto has discontinued her trips to the Thousand Island Park from Gananoque, and will make only two trips daily to Clayton in future.

-The steamer Alexandria, while on her way up the river yesterday from Montreal broke down near Morrisburg. The extent of the damages is as yet unknown.

-A schooner named Milton was wrecked near Milwaukee on Thursday. Her crew of six are thought to be drowned.

-The crew of the tug Bob Hackett, sunk by the propeller St. Magnus Tuesday night, were taken off by the propeller. The tug was cut to the keel. The wheelsman of the Hackett claims that the Magnus showed only her starboard light, so he started to pass to the starboard. The Magnus then whistled for port and the Hackett responded, but the wheelsman barely had time to put his wheel about when the collision occurred. He says when he went aboard the Magnus he looked particularly for her red light but there was none. He then went into the cabin, and a few minutes after came back and found it lighted. Mr. Reynolds said he had no doubt the St. Magnus was to blame, and they would seize her. The stem of the St. Magnus was broken and her starboard planks shivered by the shock. The planking was patched at the Detroit drydock, where she left late in the afternoon.


A short time ago Captain Herriman gave an exhibition in Montreal harbor of the working of the Holmes' patent signal light life-saving apparatus which is said to be one of the greatest successes in its line yet discovered. The apparatus consists of certain chemicals enclosed in a tin canister, which is made fast to a life buoy; and in the event of any person falling overboard from a vessel, the canister is pierced with an instrument attached to it for that purpose, and then thrown with the life-buoy into the water. A bright flame at once bursts from the canister, which is visible for a distance of over two miles, thus enabling the person in the water to swim to the means of safety, and also to show the men in the boat where to steer. The light cannot be extinguished by water, and the rougher the seas and wind the brighter it burns. A remarkable feature is that the light, though so powerful, is only a light. There is no heat from it, and the lightest fabric cannot be burnt by it. Each light burns for more than half an hour. A second experiment was shown with a "Flare up," to be used in case of wreck or collision, and giving sufficient light to illuminate the deck of a large vessel and so show the amount of damage and give light for the proper working under such conditions. After the "Flare up" had been burning for ten minutes or more, in a tub of water, it was thrown into the river and sunk in about twenty-five feet of water, and from this depth continued to throw up jets of bright flame at frequent intervals. All English vessels, including those of the Allan and other lines, are required by law to carry them. Recently one of Her Majesty's ships was steaming at about twelve knots per hour, when a man fell overboard from the fore-yard. A life-buoy, with one of these lights, was thrown over, a boat lowered, and the vessel stopped as quickly as possible; the man was picked up and was on deck again in less than half an hour. The price of the light is about $10, and of the "flare up" about $18 per case, containing three of the former and two of the latter.

Such an apparatus as this would be invaluable to our lake marine, as under existing circumstances, a man overboard is seldom ever seen again, especially if the night is dark. In case of a collision, too, valuable time, and sometimes lives are lost for want of proper means of examining the damage.


Dismasted and dismantled, a perfect wreck above decks, was the condition of the schooner George M. Case when she arrived in Chicago on Wednesday morning. All that remained of her outfit was a single boatdavit and the chainplates. Tuesday morning the Chase was in the vicinity of Milwaukee when the easterly storm was at its height, but her course was not swerved; she was kept straight up the lake toward Chicago. All her sails were reefed down so close that the gallant little craft made excellent weather of the storm. About 7 o'clock in the morning, when she was nearly midway between Racine and Milwaukee, a terrific rain squall from the eastward swooped down on the vessel, and before a hand could be lifted to relieve her of her canvas, her foremast, jib-boom, and bowsprit went by the board with a terrific crash, followed an instant later by the mizzen, which fell over the starboard quarter and crushed the yawlboat into a thousand pieces. Without sails the Case fell off into the trough of the sea, where she rolled and pitched wildly until she was relieved of the weight of the wreckage on her side. The mainmast alone was standing, and being unsupported by stays, it began to creek and rock so violently that it also threatened to go by the board. Capt. McDonald, thinking that it was a menace to the lives of his crew, detached a man with an axe to cut it down. Once free of the mainmast the crew worked with a will to relieve the dismantled craft of the dangerous wreckage. They threw themselves into the tangled meshes of gear and rigging, and for two hours, most of which time they had to stand in water waist deep, while vicious seas constantly broke over them, they worked hard in cutting away the wreck. Every sea would carry the ponderous mass inboard above the heads of the crew, threatening to crush them under its weight, and then it would recede in the lake again, and bring up with a force which threatened to tear out the Case's entire rail. It was finally removed, however, and the vessel, relieved of its weight, drifted slowly toward the land into smoother water. When she was in about ten fathoms Captain McDonald had the anchors cast overboard and she rode out the rest of the gale in comparative safety. Tuesday evening the tug Welcome, of Milwaukee, picked up the dismantled hull and towed it to Chicago....(bottom of page missing)

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12 Sep 1885
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), 12 Sep 1885