The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), 21 Nov 1856

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Gale on Lake Ontario - Loss of Vessels.

The wind commenced blowing strongly from the north-west about three o'clock yesterday (Friday) morning, and soon increased to a fearful gale, which continued with little abatement during the day.ó

The waters of the lake were in frightful commotion, and the eflects of the blow were very severely felt withiu the walls of our harbor. Two vessels broke from their moorings just within the west pier, and were driven on the rocks at the foot of Fort

Ontario. One of them, the Ainsworth of Cleveland, was dismasted and thrown on her beam ends, where she now lies, a total wreck. She was cleared only the day previous with a part cargo of salt for Cleveland.

The Canadian schooner Grampus is the other vessel wrecked. She had recently been repaired and refitted - having lost two of her masts and been otherwise injured in the gale of October, and was to have sailed yesterday morning with a heavy cargo of oak timber. All day the sea broke over her to the height of her fore-top. She has broke amidships, and will doubtless be a total loss. She was a large and valuable vessel, belonging to Hamilton.

The crews of the two vessels were taken off in the morning by the yawl of the revenue cutter, which was promptly and efficiently manned for the occasion.

A schooner was driven past this port in a vain attempt to enter the harbor, and is reported ashore at Mexico Bay a few miles east of of this point.

The schooner May Lower came last evening, and reported a vessel dismasted about four miles west of this place.

Several vessels which had left Thursday for the upper lakes returned yesterday, after having experienced for several hours the fury of the storm on the lake.

A severe blow at this season has rarely been known on this lake, ad we shall doubtless hear of many more disasters in a day or so.

At 9 o'clock last night the wind was still blowing heavily, but with a little modification since the morning.

(from Richard Palmer)

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21 Nov 1856
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
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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Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), 21 Nov 1856