Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 33, no. 1 (October 2000), p. 2

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MARINE NEWS The Lost has been found! At long last, one of the most elusive wrecks from The Great Storm of November 1913 has been located. Over the years, many of the storm's victims have been found, but a few of them have eluded the best efforts of searchers. However, it was announced late in August that a fish­ erman using a fish-finder had located a wreck which subsequently had been identified as the steamer WEXFORD. This ship was built as Hull 145 of the William Doxford & Sons Company in 1883 at Sunderland, England. She was 257. 0 x 40. 1 x 16. 7, and although she always retained her British registry (Br. 87342), she was brought to the lakes in 1904 by Capt. W. J. Bassett. He own­ ed her personally until 1909 when she was acquired by his Western Steamship Company Limited. She had a cargo of steel rails when she was overcome by the elements on Lake Huron in The Great Storm. The wreck, said to be in a well- preserved state, reportedly is located some 11 km. offshore, between Grand Bend and Bayfield, Ontario. Rather than trot out one of the frequently used photos of WEXFORD to illus­ trate this special item, we are using a view from the McCannell Collection which, as far as we are aware, never has been published previously. It shows WEXFORD in the Collingwood drydock, with the Northern Navigation Company's GERMANIC alongside. Visible at top left are the bows of ROSEMOUNT and KIN­ MOUNT (I). We suspect that it was taken in 1908 or early in 1909. * * * Last issue, we reported the attack by vandals on the historic R. C. Y. C. fer­ ries HIAWATHA and KWASIND during July. It is with sadness that we learn that another case of marine vandalism has occurred on the lakes. Early on September 24th, vandals boarded the passenger vessel NORGOMA, now a museum at the Canadian Soo, and broke 85 windows and 30 light fixtures. The damage will be very expensive to repair and, at last report, the culprits had not been apprehended. Speaking of HIAWATHA, we can report that she will not resume service until the 2001 season. After being raised by ROCK PRINCE and WILLIAM LYON MACKEN­ ZIE on July 28, she was taken first to the Ship Channel outside the Cherry Street bridge, and then to Bristol Marine at Port Credit. She is now at Har­ bour West Marine in Hamilton, undergoing major restoration. Incidentally, in a fitting touch when HIAWATHA was raised, one of the crew of the MACKENZIE went aboard and raised the 1895-built HIAWATHA's flag.

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