Chris by the smokestack Glendora

N 44’08.558 W 76’38.027


One day in July 1982, after diving a wreck in the Amherst Island ship graveyard, Lloyd Shales and Rick Neilson decided to do a little searching. Using the dive-charter boat Unicorn they began “cutting the grass,” in other words making systematic passes with the graph recorder on. Any unusual blips on the chart paper might indicate another wreck. After some time had elapsed, their diligence was rewarded by a “hit” – something on the bottom that seemed out of place. Many more passes were made to establish the size of this unknown object, for veteran wreck-hunters know that one can be fooled by schools of fish, or bottom ridges. However, it was the approximate size of a ship, and it didn’t swim away. Then another test – drop your anchor in and see if you can hook something. Again they succeeded. The anchor caught and held. Now to check out the new find.

Following the line down into the gloom – remember this was before zebra mussels – they found the anchor snagged on a large wooden steamer hull. At the stern was a rudder and an eight to ten foot propeller, as well as a large set of towing bits. The deck was intact, with large hatch openings, and there was also a second deck level below. Inside there was some pipe, but all engines and boilers had been removed. The bow was partly broken up. Subsequent measurement revealed that it was approximately 214 feet long.

mm does the keystorm--7The next step would be to try and figure out what it might be. In the meantime, it needed a name to differentiate it from the other hulks in the graveyard. Lloyd had an idea.  In the book “Canvas and Steam On Quinte Waters” it was stated: “According to records of 1887, the sloop Glendora was lost on Lake Ontario, 2 ½ miles southwest of Amherst Island, with $60,000 in gold and silver specie on November 19th.” Why not name this wreck the Glendora in honor of this mythical treasure ship? (Having done their research they knew that it was actually the sailing barge Glenora that disappeared on that date after her tow line broke in a storm. She turned up later with her 30,000 bushels of grain intact. How do these tales of treasure ships get started anyway?)

They both agreed that this was a great idea, chuckling to themselves as they imagined the result. Local divers would be all ears when they started hearing rumors that the treasure ship Glendora had finally been found.