The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 3, 1857

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p.2 The Chicago papers give a terrible history of shipwreck and loss of life. The Schooner Flying Cloud, which left that port for Buffalo on the 20th November with 10,300 bushels of wheat, was driven ashore, and all hands save two perished. The Tribune says:-

"She was driven ashore at a place called Grand Calumet, a wild bleak coast covered with snow, and no friendly hands to render assistance. The whole of the crew were already nearly frozen and unable to swim. They consisted of nine persons, mostly belonging to Cleveland, viz: - Alexander Sherwood, Captain; George Gordon, 1st mate; Paul Stedd, 2nd do; John ___, steward (shipped at Chicago from barque Morgan); and John Small, Geo. Grimsby, Watt Bain, Francis Fox and Henry Coleman, crew. Only the last two are saved. The Captain, steward, Small and Grimsby were soon so badly frozen that they were unable to move. The captain wanted to jump overboard but was prevented by the others, as he would have drowned immediately, though he was only to die the more lingering death of freezing. Gordon, Bain and Fox jumped overboard twenty-four hours after the vessel struck, and after she had become a perfect wreck, and succeeded in getting ashore; but the two former froze to death and are now on the beach, dead. A shingle maker with a shanty near by, furnished Fox with shoes and clothes, and assisted him to Miller's Station, a mile or two distant, from whence he came to this city. He is badly frozen. The boy Coleman managed to get ashore alive, and remained at the shanty near the wreck, badly frozen.

Another Propeller Lost - We regret to learn that the propeller St. Nicholas, of Hamilton, with a cargo of wheat, for Messrs. Walker & Berry, of this city, was totally lost a few days ago, on the long point of land jutting into Lake Michigan, called the "Sleeping Bear." The Captain and crew were all saved.

Marine News.

A despatch to H.C. Wright, this morning, says the barque Great West, ashore at the Sleeping Bear, will be a total loss. [Oswego Times]

A despatch to Ponfield, Lyon & Co., Saturday night, says the schooner Dreadnought lies at anchor at Saugeen river, seventy miles above Goderich. A tug from Detroit has gone to her assistance. [ib]

The schooner M.F. Johnston, with a cargo of wheat, is ashore just this side of Sturgeon Point. Cargo will prove a total loss. [ib]

The Milwaukee Free Democrat, of the 26th, says "the schooner L.J. Earwell (L.J. Farwell ?) cleared from Kingston on the 31st ult., loaded with railroad iron, since which time nothing has been heard of her. The G.D. Norris cleared from Oswego for this port with a cargo of salt Nov. 6th, and no intelligence has been received from her. [ib]

The Late Gale - A remarkable feature in the late gale is the fact that on Lake Michigan the wind blew from the North east, on Lake Huron it blew from the North west, and on Lake Erie from the south west - and upon all these the gale was exceedingly furious. We doubt if the same thing has ever happened before. [Detroit Advertiser]

Schr. Dewitt - Three Lives Lost - Wm. B. Hbbard, the owner of the schooner Dewitt, which left Buffalo two weeks since, bound up, has received a despatch stating that she was at anchor off Long Point, Lake Erie, and that the mate and two hands were lost. [ib]

The Ice - Dull Prospects - From reliable accounts received this morning, it appears that the ice is full 3 1/2 inches thick at the head of Lake Erie; and it would require quite a number of such delightful days as we are now having to melt it - a greater number perhaps than we can reasonably hope for. No sail vessel can possibly be got through.

Later - The Roscius has returned from the Lake - she reports the propeller Ogdensburgh fast in the ice four miles from Bar Point, and about three miles from the shore. Men are enabled to cross on the ice from the propeller to the shore. The river is frozen entirely over its mouth. [Detroit Tribune 27th]

Two more bodies of those frozen in the Flying Cloud have been brought to the city for burial. The body of the Captain is supposed to have been washed overboard, and could not be found. His cap and part of his hair were picked up on the vessel. [Chicago Tribune]

More Marine Disasters - Supposed Loss of Life - We hear of the barque Great West, the schooner Kyle Spangler and two other vessels, names unknown, being ashore near the Sleeping Bear, on Lake Michigan, and in one of the bleakest and most inhospitable regions on the chain of lakes. As no sign of any of the crews of these vessels have been seen, it is feared they have perished in the recent gale. To be driven on such a coast, with its hills and bluffs towering several hundred feet high above the vessels, what could a mariner, exhausted, cold, wet and frozen, accomplish? But we set aside the picture and hope to hear that a kind Providence has watched over and rescued them.

The Spangler was loaded with wheat from this port, and it is thought she will be a total loss. She was a fine schooner, owned by B.L. Spangler, Cleveland - worth $14,500.

The barque Great West is owned by H.C. Wright, Oswego - worth $14,000. She is not so badly on - was bound from this port to Oswego with wheat. [Chicago Press]

Schr. Mars Lost - Four Lives Lost - The little schooner Mars has been found ashore and capsized near Port Washington. It is supposed that her crew of four men are lost. She cleared from Port Washington on the 18th for Milwaukee, and probably encountered the terrific gale of the 18th and 19th. [ib]

p.3 Imports - Dec. 1st.

Ferriage Between Kingston and Wolfe Island

Tenders will be received for the Lease of the Ferry between Kingston and Wolfe Island, for the term of ten years.

From The First Day of January 1858, To The 31st Day of December 1868,

in conformity with the conditions contained in the accompanying By-Law.

Tenders to be addressed to John Baker, Esq., Township Treasurer, Wolfe Island, and to be sent in on or before Noon on the 21st instant. The said Tenders to be opened on the 22nd at the Council Room, Wolfe Island.

Two Sureties in 250 pounds each will be required for the fulfilment of the conditions of the Lease. A description of the Boat intended for the Ferry to be given in the Tenders.

The Municipalities of the City of Kingston, the Counties of Frontenac, Lenox and Addington and of the Township of Wolfe Island offer an annual bonus amounting to 125 pounds annually for seven years to such parties as shall maintain a suitable Steamboat on said Ferry, should it give general satisfaction.


For sub-letting for a term of ten years the Ferry between Wolfe Island and the city of Kingston. Passed 1st Dec., A.D. 1857

Whereas it is necessary and expedient to sub-let the ferry between Wolfe Island and the city of Kingston, so that the parties to whom the same shall be sub-let, shall be held responsible that safe, convenient and suitable means to travel, and carry goods, wares, merchandize, and farm products, across said ferry shall at all times be maintained thereon, during the period of open navigation.

And whereas an order in Council has been obtained by the Municipal Council of Wolfe Island, dated 9th Nov., 1857, approved by His Excellency the Governor General, granting authority so to sub-let said ferry in accordance with the several Acts of Parliament now in force for the regulating of Ferries within the Province of Upper Canada.

Be it therefore enacted, and it is hereby enacted, by authority of the Municipal Act of 1849, as amended, the Act to amend the laws regulating ferries assented to 27th May, 1857, and the said order in Council, dated 9th Nov. 1857.

1. - That the said Ferry shall be sub-let for a period of Ten Years from the 1st day of January, 1858, by the Municipal Council of Wolfe Island, to the parties whose offer to maintain a suitable Steamboat on said ferry shall be approved by said Council. The lease for such ferry to be subject to the following conditions, viz:-

2. That the Government shall have the power of resuming the control of said ferry whenever it may be deemed advisable to do so.

3. That the lessee of said ferry shall maintain thereon a suitable steamboat, on the low pressure principle.

4. That said boat shall be sufficiently manned by a competent and sober commander and crew.

5. That no ardent spirits shall be sold on board of said ferry boat.

6. That soldiers, and militia-men on duty, shall pass free on said boat.

7. That clergymen of all denominations shall pass free on said boat.

8. That the Lessee of said ferry shall provide good substantial wharfage at the several landing places, - such as shall be at all times convenient and safe for the shipping and landing of all property and live stock.

9. That said ferry-boat shall make four trips daily from the opening of navigation until the 1st day of November, and from that day till the close of navigation, three trips daily.

10. That public notice shall be given by the ferryman of the place and hour of starting from all landing places, and that no change shall be made without posting up or advertising notice of such change.

11. That on notice being given to the commander of the boat, in writing, by the Clerk of the Township Council, of a Resolution passed by that body requesting a change of hours of starting, the said request shall be complied with by said Lessee.

12. That the boat shall at all times, going to and from Wolfe Island, touch at Garden Island.

13. That at Wolfe Island and Garden Island no charge shall be made for wharfage, and that the charges for the same in Kingston shall be moderate.

14. That in case of general complaint from the inhabitants of Wolfe Island for excessive charges for wharfage, it shall be at the option of the Council of said township to make choice of another landing place.

15. That the following is a scale of the charges to be made on the said Ferry:-

For every Passenger (Clergymen excepted) crossing

and returning on the same day 0 0 7 1/2

" a Stud Horse and Groom 0 2 6

" a Mare or Gelding 0 1 3

" Cattle over one year old, or the carcasse, each 0 1 2

" a drove of cattle over ten in number, each 0 0 7 1/2

" Calves, Pigs, and Sheep, living or the carcasse 0 0 3

" a Team and Waggon, loaded or not 0 2 6

" Flour per barrel 0 0 2

" Grain or other produce per bag 0 0 1

" Lumber per 1000 feet bd. measure, if loaded and

unloaded by Ferryman 0 2 6

" Do., if loaded by the owner 0 1 3

" Bricks, per 1000, if loaded and unloaded by the

Ferryman 0 3 9

" Do., if loaded and unloaded by the owner 0 1 3

All other Goods, Wares, Merchandize and Cattle, not herein specified, to be charged for in proportion to the above until the rates for such are regulated by a By-law of the said Council.

16. It shall be incumbent on the Ferryman to have convenient storage on Wolfe Island wherein to secure property, for which he may make reasonable charges.

17. The Ferryman shall keep a copy of this Scale of Charges fixed up in a conspicuous part of the boat.

18. The Ferryman is required not to permit any person in a state of intoxication to be on board, and may put such person on shore without using unnecessary force.

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Dec. 3, 1857
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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), Dec. 3, 1857