The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Two tugboats and a barge


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Posted by Ken Brown, 1 August 2008 at 11:14

This is a very interesting photo, and the grassy projection in the lower righthand corner could be Foresters' island in Mohawk Bay opposite Deseronto. The photo appears to be the work of James Fairbairn, a local photographer. It is difficult to say just where the photo was taken, given the lack of any familiar landmarks on the north shore, but the landscape is probably somewhere in this area, possibly opposite the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve. I would venture to guess that all three vessels, including the barge, belonged to the Rathbun Company. I will have to some research before I can make a definitive guess, and don't know when I will have time for that.

Posted by Ken Brown, 2 August 2008 at 12:24

The unidentified tug on the right would be the Munson, and the barge would be the Isis, which was built in 1886 by Wm. Evans at the Deseronto shipyard. These vessels were part of the Deseronto Navigation Company's fleet(owned by the Rathbun Co.) which included seven passenger steamers and two freight steamers. Wm Evans took over as master shipbuilder in 1880, after Wm. Jamieson retired. I was told at some point that a coal barge sank off Foresters' island. This would appear to have been the Dobey which sank near Foresters' island in August of 1907. There appears to be a small pile of coal on the deck of the barge, right of centre. The two tugs, the Rescue and the Munson, were generally used to tow log booms from the Trent, Moira, Salmon and Napanee rivers to the mill pond at the Big Mill in Deseronto. The Big Mill was destroyed by fire in 1872 and rebuilt in 1873. The information on the Dobey comes from a map by Allan A. Ralley(1968)which is included in Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters by Willis Metcalfe. I have no information regarding the Dobey's ownership or destination. Ken Brown, Retired Archivist, Deseronto Public Library

Posted by Linda Mandigo, 15 May 2012 at 15:23

Is it the little steamer Tj Waffle, it sunk near Oswego with a load of coal headed for Kingston. My grandmother was the cook. Captain was Charles Beaupre. Out of the 5 persons on board 2 bodies were found and identified. I would like a pic of the Waffle if there is one. The Waffle sunk Sept. 1919.

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Two tugboats and a barge


A photograph of the tugboat RESCUE, a second tug and a barge anchored in a bay or river. There were three late nineteenth century tugs named RESCUE. This one has ownership markings on the bow that appear to reference "Deseronto". A 62 foot tug was built in Deseronto in 1885 for the Deseronto Navigation Company (in turn controlled by the great lumbering interests of the Rathbun Company which effectively owned the community of Deseronto). The company acquired a fleet of tugs in the 1880s, a number of which might be the second vessel. They were particularly active on the Bay of Quinte which might be the body of water here.