Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sir Wilfred (Dredge), C112186, sunk, 1 Oct 1902
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Port Hope, Ont., Oct. 7. - The new government dredge, SIR WILFRED LAURIER, just built in Toronto, sank while on her way down the lake, about eight miles west of here. Her crew of three men were saved.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 7, 1902

NOTE:- The above is in error, the dredge was named the "SIR WILFRED"

      . . . . .

Port Hope, Ont., October 7. - (Special.) - It is reported here that the dredge SIR WILFRED, just built by the Polsons for the Poupore Co., of Montreal, while on her way down Lake
Ontario last night, broke her boom and sank eight miles west of here. The crew of three men on the barge were rescued by the tug towing her.
Toronto, Ont., October 7. - (Special.) - The dredge Sir Wilfrid, which went down in sixty-five feet of water off Port Hope last night, cost W. J. Poupore about $60,000. She was the largest of her kind ever built in Canada.
      Detroit Free Press
      October 8, 1902
      . . . . .

      What it Cost and the Insurance.
A despatch from Port Hope says that the new dredge SIR WILFRED built by the Polson Iron Works of Toronto, was wrecked about eight miles west of Port Hope harbour. The dredge was built for W. J. Poupore & Co., of Montreal. She broke her boom and sank. Three men who were on board were rescued by the tug that her her in tow. The boom of a dredge is the long arm to which the scoop is attached. Mr. Frank Polson, of the Polson Iron Works, in speaking of the above despatch this morning, said - "We have no further particulars than
that which the Port Hope despatch gives. The tug with the crew of the dredge went on to Kingston, and we don't expect any particulars until Wednesday.
The dredge was completed on Saturday and was one of the largest dip dredges made. It cost $62,000 and was insured for $40,000. The dredge had not been handed over to the firm for whom it was made."
"There is no doubt about the dredge being lost?"
"None whatever," replied Mr. Polson.
"Will the firm make an effort to raise her?"
"That I cannot say at present," was the reply. "In looking over the chart I find that there is about 100 feet of water at the point where the accident occurred." In speaking of the loss of the dredge which left this port Monday, an old mariner said - "The indications are that the guys that held the boom in position broke when the sea was running pretty high, and allowed to swing round to one side. This would cause the dredge to list to one side
and fill and sink."
      The Toronto Evening Telegram
      Tuesday, October 7, 1902, p. 4
The Toronto Evening Telegram, Wednesday, October 8, 1902, p.5: May Be Able To Raise It. Report That Wreck Of Big Dredge Has Been Located.

Mr. Frank Polson, of the Polson Iron Works, is more hopeful today of raising the dredge Sir Wilfred, that sank in Lake Ontario Monday night, about eight miles west of Port Hope. All day yesterday and today as late as two o'clock
Mr. Polson was unable to obtain any definite information as to the exact location of the dredge. Indirectly he was informed that a Grand Trunk brakeman, while riding on the top of a freight train this side of Port Hope, early this morning, saw what is thought to be the puds (sic) of the dredge sticking up out of the water. The puds are the large sqaure timbers at the four corners of the dredge, and which are used as anchors. These timbers are, Mr. Polson explained, 65 feet long, so that if the statement is true, there is a possibility of raising the dredge.
"Have you received any definite information as to the actual cause of the accident?"
"None whatever." was Mr. Polson's reply. "I can give you no more information than was published in The Telegram yesterday."
"Have you seen the men who were working on the dredge at the time of the accident?" "No, I have not. I have had a talk with the owners of the tug that was towing the dredge, and they have no more information than I have given The Telegram."
"Were the men on the dredge employed by you and residents of Toronto?" "No. They are residents of Iroquois, where they are at present, and were engaged for the trip by the tug owners."
The brakeman's report has not been confirmed. It is said the dredge is in one hundred feet of water and its exact location unknown, as the men were not certain of the locality when the dredge sank.

      . . . . .

Marine Intelligence. -- The tug MARY, which lost the government dredge SIR WILFRED, near Port Hope, was at Swift's wharf today en route for Montreal.
      The (Kingston) Daily Whig
      Wednesday, October 8, 1902, p. 2

      . . . . .

The dipper dredge SIR WILFRED, built by Polson Iron Works, Toronto, for W. J. Poupore, Montreal, while being towed there, encountered a storm off Port Hope, Ont., and sank in about 65 ft. The dredge cost $62,000 and was insured for $40,000. The loss will fall on the builders, as their contract called for delivery at montreal. An effort will probably be made to raise the dredge.
      The Railway And Shipping World
      November 1902, p. 397:

      . . . . .

First Registration Name: [ P.W.D. NO.117 ] Date: [ 1913/09/03 ] Location: [TORONTO, ONTARIO,CANADA ] Registriation: [ 1/1909 ] Date Registered: [ 1909/01/22 ] Official Number: [ 112186 ] First Registration: [ NO ] Second Registration Name: [ SIR WILFRID ] Location: [ TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA ] Registration:
[ 27/1902 ] Original Building Information
Built By: [ POLSON IRON WORKS LT ] Built At: [ TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA ] Date Built: [ 1902 ] Length: [ 107.75 ] Beam: [ 36.80 ] Gross: [ 669.64 ] Net: [ 570.49 ]Vessel Description Deck: [ ONE ] Type: [ COMPOSITE CARVEL ] Stern: [SQUARE ] Gallery: [NONE ] Stem: [ PLAIN ] Frame: [ STEEL ] Propulsion: [ SAILING TOWED ] Number of Masts: [ NONE ] Type of Rig: [ NONE ]First Rebuilding Data Location: [ TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA ] Date: [ 1909 ]
Closing Information Date Registration Closed: [ 1954/01/25 ] Date of Reason Closed: [1952/AUTUMN OF ] Reason Closed: [SUNK ] Remark: [RESTORED TO REGISTRY THIS 21ST DAY OF NOVEMBER 1938 ON ACCOUNT REGISTRY CLOSED IN ERROR. REGISTERED ANEW O A/C OF MATERIAL ALTERATIONS IN DIMENSIONS & TONNAGE 22/01/09.) ]
Source of Data N.A.C., RG-42, C-7635, VOL. 485A
      Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, Kingston
      . . . . .

Item Type
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.95012 Longitude: -78.29953
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sir Wilfred (Dredge), C112186, sunk, 1 Oct 1902