Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Quinte (Steamboat), C88242, fire, 23 Oct 1889
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      The Steamer QUINTE Burned to the Water's Edge on Lake Ontario.
Kingston, Oct. 24. --The steamer QUINTE was burned to the water's edge last night near Deseronto. Four lives were lost and possible more. The steamer left Deseronto at 5:30 P. M. with a crew of 12 and 20 passengers. When but a few miles from the dock fire was discovered in the woodwork near the fire hold. Pilot Collier beached the boat on a shoal. The passengers lost control and plunged into the water without life preservers.
Pilot Collier stood at his wheel until the boat was grounded and the engines had stopped, the engineer, Thomas Short, leaving his engines running. The flames drove him away. Pilot Collier was severely burned. Engineer Short was also severely burned. The crew of a sloop lying close by put out in boats and picked up all that they could find. The steamer DESERONTO and the steam yacht RIPPLE brought the survivors to the town. Those burned were: Miss A. Suva Kellar, Captain of the Salvation Army at Picton, severely burned about the face, arms and hands; Mrs. Anderson, severely bruised on her right arm and shoulder and burned about the head; Engineer Short, burned about the face and hands; Fireman Hart, badly burned about the face, neck and arms and had two bones in his left leg broken. Mr. St. Charles, Belleville, is in serious condition from exposure in the water. Col. Strong, United States Consul at Belleville, was slightly burned and bruised. Other passengers were slightly injured.
Capt. Christie was severely bruised. Mr. A. Harte was in the water and saved a boy named Charles Anderson.
It is known that four persons lost their lives and that by burning. Mrs. Christie, mother of the captain of the boat, and her 12 year old son were in the Ladies cabin a few moments before the alarm was given, but have not been seen since. Mrs. Stacey and her little son were in the dining hall and perished in the flames. None of the freight, or anything belonging to the crew was saved.
      The steamer was owned by the Rathbun Company and was the best in their lake service.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Thursday, October 24, 1889

The steamer QUINTE was burned to the water's edge last night near Deserono. Four or five lives were lost. She burned about 3 miles from Deseronto on her way to Picton about 6 p.m. last evening. She was owned by the Rathbun Co., and is a total loss.
      Port Huron Daily Tmes
      Thursday, October 24, 1889

Montreal, Oct. 23. -- The steamer QUINTE burned this evening three miles east of Deseronto and is a total loss. Six lives were lost.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      October 24, 1889

Description: Steamer paddle/wheels
Tons: 178.49 register tonnage: 331 tons gross
When Built: 1871
Where Built: Quebec
Where she belongs: Deseronto
Builders name & date of certificate: Chabot (lubin Chobot)
Description of vessel:
      Masts: None
      Decks: One
      Length: 138 feet
      Breadth: 22 feet 6 inches
      Depth of hold: 7 feet 6 inches
      How Rigged: Not
      Stern : Sharp
      Figure-head: None
      Carvel built of wood
      Engine: One Canadian low pressure engine (no makers name) 30 & 5/8 inches Diameter, 8 foot stroke, 128 H.P.
Vessel transferred to Deseronto from Montreal June 16, 1885, she was number 8 of 1871 at Montreal
Subscribing owners: Edward W. Rathbun of Deseronto of the Deseronto Navigation Co.
NOTATIONS the Steamer QUINTE was burned on the 25 rd. October 1889 about 5 miles from Deseronto on a voyage to Picton. A total loss at 5:50 o'clock, and 4 lives were lost, Registry closed.
Gross tons 331
Deductions 152.51
Reg. tons 178.49
      Port of Deseronto Shipping Registers
      National Archives, Ottawa
      RG 12, A1, Vol. 223

Item Type
Reason: fire
Lives: 8 ?
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.20012 Longitude: -77.04944
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Quinte (Steamboat), C88242, fire, 23 Oct 1889