Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Queen of the West (Steamboat), burnt, 9 Jul 1853
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QUEEN OF THE WEST Steamer (Br.), burnt in Hamilton Harbor. Property loss $65,000
      Buffalo Express
      Jan. 2, 1854 (casualty list)

      . . . . .

      Hamilton, Canada, July 9.
The steamer QUEEN OF THE WEST caught fire at McPherson & Crane's wharf at about 6:30 o'clock this P.M., and was burned to the water's edge. She floated from where she first caught, over to M.W. Browne's wharf - a parcel of wood on the wharf caught fire but the steamer ROCHESTER from Lewiston arrived in time to tow her away, when the firemen succeeded in saving Browne's property which would otherwise have been impossible to save. The QUEEN plied between this city and Toronto, and had arived only 15 minutes before the fire broke out.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Monday, July 11, 1853

      . . . . .

The Steamer QUEEN OF THE WEST. - We learn from the Hamilton Spectator that the fire which destroyed this fine steamer broke out in the stoker's room, very soon after the boat had made fast and the passengers had all left. It is fortunate that the calamity did not happen sooner, as many lives would have been lost. The fire burst out very suddenly, and the boat was loosened, and drifting from her moorings, rested against the wharf of M.W. Brown, which together with a storehouse full of valuable goods was in imminent danger. Just then the steamer Rochester came up, and Capt. Mason promptly sent boat and made fast to the burning steamer, which was towed clear of the wharf and left to burn in shallow water. The QUEEN was on the Toronto and Hamilton route.
      Oswego Daily Times
      Friday, July 15, 1855

      . . . . .

      Steamer Burnt - On Saturday evening as the steamer QUEEN OF THE WEST was lying at the City Wharf, about ten minutes after her arrival from Toronto, a dense quantity of smoke was observed, by persons on the wharf, issuing from her side. From the fact that the boat had so recently arrived and that consequently there was a probability of some of the crew being on
board, it did not attract particular attention. It is stated that the smoke continued to ensure for several minutes before the fire alarm was given. One of the firemen on board at the time was the first of the crew to discover the danger, which threatened the boat, and he rushed downwards to the freehold with a bucket of water, but owning to the dense smoke which filled the apartment in which the fire originated, he was unable to accomplish his purpose, and was obliged to retreat. The fire continued to make such rapid headway that all efforts to extinguish it were considered hopeless, and the burning vessel, having drifted from McPherson & Crane's wharf to Browne's wharf, set fire to a large quantity of wood. At this moment the ROCHESTER was seen steaming up to the wharf. Capt. Masson, who had seen the fire, had put on steam, prepared grapnel irons, boat-line, &c., and arrived at the critical
moment when the whole range of warehouses, filled with valuable merchandize, were in immenent danger of being destroyed. A fastening was made to the rudder, and the burning vessel towed out into the bay, and finally carried by the MAY FLOWER to the opposite shore, where she burnt to the water's edge in four feet of water. To the exertions of Capt. Masson, who did not wait to land his passengers, but immediately proceeded to the QUEEN whose dangerous proximity to the warehouses must otherwise have proved most destructive, too much praise cannot be given. He is entitled to some substantial mark of aprobation, and we hope he will be rewarded, as also the services of the mate, Mr. Harbottle, who jumped into the water, and at the risk of his life, made several attempts to fasten a rope to the QUEEN, which he finally succeeded in doing, and otherwise exerted himself in a praiseworthy manner.
Very little of the wreck of the QUEEN will be saved - perhaps the boilers may be made useful, but the engines and other machinery will be worth very little.
The fire companies were early on the wharf, and through their exertions, the fire was soon
extinguished which threatened to destroy the merchandize on the wharf and the warehouses and their contents. The boat originally cost, we understand, #13,500. The insurance effected is #7,000 - namely, Ontario #3,000; St. Lawrence #2,000; Provincial Mutual #2,000. There are a number of shareholders, but Capt. Harrison owned #2,000. His loss will be very severe, and he was not able to save any of his personal property. As Capt. Harrison is very much esteemed in the vicinity, there is a proper sympathy for him in his misfortune. - Hamilton Journal
      St. Catharines Journal
      July 14, 1853

The owners of the steamer QUEEN OF THE WEST, at a meeting held in Hamilton on the 11th., decided to build a new boat.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Saturday, July 23, 1853

Item Type
Reason: burnt
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Queen of the West (Steamboat), burnt, 9 Jul 1853