Author: tom

KEYSTORM

Great article on the Keystorm

Registry and Rig Information

  • Vessel Name: KEYSTORM
  • Nationality: CANADA
  • Official Number: 129749
  • Rig: Propeller

Dimensions and Tonnage

  • Length: 250.00
  • Width: 42.42
  • Depth: 17.42
  • Masts: 0
  • Gross Tonnage: 1673.00
  • Net Tonnage: 1037.00
  • Hull Material: Steel
  • Hull Number: 00836

COLLIER SINKS IN THE LAKE.
The KEYSTORM With Cargo Of $120,000 Value.
Kingston, Oct. 26. — The steamer KEYSTORM coal laden from Ashtabula to Montreal sank 7 miles from Alexandria Bay this morning. She struck Howe Island Reef at 4 o’clock in the morning and gradually filled, then she suddenly slid off and went down in 120 feet of water. Her crew landed while she was ashore and afterwards were taken to Brockville.
The KEYSTORM was owned by the Keystone Transportation Company, of Montreal and with her cargo of 2,500 tons was valued at $120,000.
It is likely tenders will be called for raising the sunken steamer.
Toronto Telegram
Tuesday, October 29, 1912

The Salvage Assoc. yesterday awarded the contract for raising the stm. KEYSTORM, sunk in 70 ft. of water in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, to A.J. Lee of Montreal, representing the Compressed Air Salvage Co. The salvage company took the contract on a no-cure-no-pay basis and will be paid a percentage of the value of what it recovers. The KEYSTORM sank Oct. 26, 1912 after going ashore. Wreckers have examined the wreck but none, except the company which has the contract, would bid for the job.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
August 26, 1913 9-3

The Compressed Air Salvage Co., which has the contract to raise the stm. KEYSTORM, sunk in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, has started wrecking operations and expect to have the boat up in a short while. The vessel is to be floated by having air pumped into her hold to displace the water.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
October 14, 1913 7-3

Vesselmen are watching with keen interest the outcome of the wrecking operations which have just started near Chippewa Pt., St. Lawrence River, where the freighter KEYSTORM has lain in more than 100 ft. of water since Oct. 26 of last year, when she foundered after stricking a rock in a fog.
Upper lake wreckers who visited the spot last winter made soundings over the submerged ship regard the task of raising her as hopeless owing to the great depth of water. Since then Contractor A.J. Lee of Montreal has been enlisted in the work and he is on the scene with divers and wrecking outfit on board the stmb. RELIANCE. Contractor Lee is to use compressed air system in his effort to float the KEYSTORM. As this method is new in these parts the operations will be followed closely by boat owners.
The KEYSTORM lies in one of the deepest parts of the river and if she is brought safely to the surface it will be a great feather in the cap of the contractor. It is estimated that the value of the boat and the cargo focoal that went down with her is between $250,000 and $300,000. The KEYSTORM was built 3 years before she sank and is a steel steam barge of modern type.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
October 27, 1913 9-3

NOTE:- The KEYSTORM was a buk freighter under Canadian registry but built in Wallsend, England in 1910. She is steel in structure 254 feet long and has a 43 foot beam.
While being navigated through dense fog, she foundered on Scow Island Outer Shoal, twelve miles from Brockville, within the American boundary of the St. Lawrence. She was on her way to the Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company with 2,400 tons of coal from Charlotte, N. Y., when she hit the shoal on October 26, 1912. Her starboard bow gave way to the impact and four and a half hours later, after her crew of twenty gathered belongings and sought safety, she sank stern first into from 25 to 100 feet water.
The collier was only 3 years old, and 2 weeks previous to her sinking she was put in charge of Captain L. Daigmauly. Mate LeBoeuf was in command at the time but had aroused Daignault to the wheel when the mishap occurred. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done to save the KEYSTORM and she slid into the depths.
She lies on the west side of Scow Island Outer Shoal, east of the northern end of Oak Island and just 100 feet South East of Shoal Buoy #175 N 43 degrees, 25 minutes, 48 seconds. W 75 degrees, 49 minutes, 20 seconds. (shoal buoy #175 was removed in 1974-5)

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Categories: General Nonsense

SAND MERCHANT

 

: 4 miles NE of Avon Point, Avon Lake, Ohio    Depth: 65 feet
Coordinates: LORAN:  43771.7    57368.3  GPS:  41 34.428     81 57.524
Official #: C153443                      Lies:bow northwest
Type:steel sandsucker                    Cargo:sand
Power: triple expansion engine; 15½”   26”x44” diameter x 26” stroke
Owner(s) National Sand and Material Company, Ltd., Toronto, Canada   Hull #: 79
Built: 1927 at Collingwood, Ontario, Canada by Collingwood Shipbuilding Company
Dimensions: 252’  x  43’6”  x  17’5”                 Tonnage: 1981 gross
Date of Loss: Saturday, October 17, 1936
Cause of Loss: foundered

DEATH TOLL OF LAKE STORM TOTALS 19.

SEVEN MEN SURVIVED SHIP WRECK.

LAKE ERIE SCENE OF TERRIBLE DISASTER SATURDAY NIGHT.

Cleveland, O., Oct. 19. — (UP) — The bodies of 18 men and a woman, all in life preservers, bobbed in the choppy waters of Lake Erie today, victims of a gale that sank the Canadian sand ship Sand Merchant. Seven men survived.
There was only the faitest possibility that any of the 19 missing were alive. All authorities had given them up and coast guard vessels searched the lake for the bodies.
The survivors, who saved themselves by clinging to life boats for 11 hours Saturday night and Sunday morning, were recovering from exposure. Inquiry in the cause of the disaster will be undertaken here and probably in Canada.
Stories of heroism and fortitude in the face of torturous death were told by the seven men. MARTIN WHITE, 39, second engineer, could not forget that his 20 year old son, HARRY, said,
“Try to save yourself, dad,” then slipped off the heaving, overturned lifeboat, exhausted, and sank. HERMAN DAULT remembered his vain efforts to keep his brothers, ARMOS and JOSEPH awake. He slapped them, pulled their hair, talked. Finally after five hours their grip loosened and they were gone into the storm.
But most vivid of all in the minds of the survivors was the tragic fate of First Mate STANLEY DRINKWATER, of Port Stanley, Ont., and his wife. Together they clung to an overturned boat, the giant, wind-lashed waves breaking over them. Together they went down.
The Sand Merchant was capsized by mountainous waves at 10:00 p.m. Saturday, 17 miles northwest of Cleveland in approximately 60 feet of water. She sank rapidly.
Capt. GRAHAM MacLELAND was picked up with two of his crew three miles northwest of the Cleveland Harbor by the freighter Thunder Bay Quarries. They were landed at Sandusky, O. Four other sailors were hauled aboard the Marquette & Bessemer No. 1 and returned to Cleveland.
MacLELAND, of Cape Tormentine, N.B., declared the storm was the worst he had experienced in 30 years on the lakes.
The survivors in addition to MacLELAND, MORSE and WHITE, were HARMAN DAULT of Victoria Harbor, Ont.; JOHN L. IDESON, Port William, Ont.; WILLIAM GIORD, New Castle, N.B. and JACK MEUSE, 32, Yarmouth, N.S., a repairman,
MORSE, GIORD, MEUSE and WHITE were brought to Cleveland. All but MEUSE were in hospitals.
The dead were:
DRINKWATER and his wife; Second Mate WILFRED MOURRIE, Victoria Harbor, Ont.; Wheelsman ARMOS DAULT, Victoria Harbor; JOSEPH DAULT; D. BOURRIE, Victoria Harbor;
Deckhand HARRY WHITE, Ponte Moud, N.S.; Steward H. A. LYTELE, Toronto; Assistant Cook FRANK BURNS, Toronto; First Engineer WALTER McINNIS, Bay Duvin, N.B.; Third Engineer SANFORD GRAY, Victoria Harbor; Fireman HAROLD CANNON, Harvery, N.B.; PETER DAIGLE, Port Dalhousie, Ont.; ROBERT HARPER; A. ROBITALIE, Midland, Ont.; Oilers NICHOLAS McCARTHY, Sydney, N.S.; RONALD
F. DeMILLE, Raxton, N.B.; Repairman S. W. AGRANT, Thorolid, Ont.; M. PRELAULT, address unknown.

Marshall Evening Chronicle Michigan 1936-10-19

Youtube link to surviving lifeboats

 

DEAN RICHMOND

Latitude:   42° 17′ 25.26″ N      Longitude:   -79° 55′ 51.5388″ W

(wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 238 foot, 1,432 gross tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) sailed from Toledo, Ohio, on Friday the 13th of October 1893, with a load of bagged meal, flour, zinc and copper ingots. She encountered hurricane force winds of over 60 mph and battled the storm throughout the night. She was seen on 14 October 1893, off Erie, Pennsylvania, missing her stacks and battling the wind and waves. The following day, wreckage and bodies were washing ashore near Dunkirk, New York. Among the dead were the captain, his wife and three children. A few crewmembers managed to make it to shore however all but one died of exposure. The only survivor was found on the beach near Van Buren Point two days later. During the search for bodies, three volunteers lost their lives. The wreck was found in 1984.

18 LOST
THE DEAN RICHMOND FOUNDERED OFF DUNKIRK IN A GALE.
The Crew All Drowned !
Three Bodies Have Been Recovered At Dunkirk
The Others Are Supposed To Be At Angola.

ON VAN BUREN POINT.

The Big Steamer Went On The Rocks And Is A Total Loss.
Not A Soul Survived So Far As Can Be Learned Now.
Miles And Miles Of Wreckage.
Following the news of the terrible storm of Saturday in this city comes new of the foundering of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND off Dunkirk and the probable loss of her entire crew of 18 people.
She was passed Saturday afternoon by steamers which made Buffalo. She was then apparently in great distress but her loss was not dreamed of.
The HELENA which came in with the AMBOY in tow Saturday afternoon tried to give the RICHMOND aid but could not.
The first intimation of the staunch vessel’s loss was when a Dunkirk boy went out early yesterday morning to see the sea in all the grandeur of wind-lashed fury and found bits of wreckage, heaps of merchandise and the dead body of a man with a life preserver on buried in a pile of wreckage.
The tale is a sad one and the probabilities are that no one will ever know how the DEAN RICHMOND foundered and her crew perished.
A very few of the old sailors have a hope that some of the crew might have been saved. This can hardly be so, however. No big boats are known to have been near the spot after Saturday noon. [P.1, c.8]

THE STORY OF THE WRECK.
Struggling For Her Life The RICHMOND Passed From View Forever.
PART OF HER DEAD CREW WASHED ASHORE.
[Special to the Evening News.]
Dunkirk, Oct. 16. – Late Saturday the big steamer DEAN RICHMOND was seen a few miles above here fighting for her life in a wicked sea.
Bits of her wreckage and the dead bodies of some of her crew found on the Dunkirk shore yesterday morning tell eloquently how the fight resulted.
The ship wrecked, the crew dead – every soul, so far as can be told now, is in brief the story of the loss.
All day long the steamer’s wreckage has been coming ashore, sweeping in on the waves with the dead bodies of the crew.
Just when the RICHMOND broke up is not known, but it is thought to have been about 2 o’clock yesterday morning, for people in Dunkirk heard her whistling in distress long after midnight.
The first the people of Dunkirk knew of the wreck was at 8 o’clock yesterday morning when Frand Bowling went down on the shore east of the harbor to see the storm.
All along the shore he found bits of wreckage and piles of merchandise. He suspected a wreck of great extent and began an examination of the stuff.
In a pile of broken wood, boxes and barrels he saw a life preserver end sticking out, he tried to draw it out to fins the boat’s name on it.
It was held fast, and when he cleared away the wreckage he found it was attached to the body of a man about 25 years old, dressed in a sailor’s storm clothing.
Coroner Blood had the body taken to the Morgue and searched. In the pocket were found letters addressed to A.B. Dodge, Toledo, care steamer DEAN RICHMOND. The letter came from Kansas, O., and was signed Mollie.
Then a systematic search along the shore was begun, which was joined in by great many people.
For miles the shore was covered with wreckage from the vessel, boxes of merchandise and barrels and sacks of flour.
The sharks made their appearance early in the day and began looting the debris. Men came in wagons and carted away the flour and boxes. They paid no attention to searching the wreckage for bodies, only caring for what they could steal.
About 3 o’clock in the afternoon another body was found near Polandertown, west of here. Before the Coroner arrived a second body was washed in, and both were taken to the Morgue. Both were sailors, but could not be identified.
All doubts regarding the identity of the vessel were set at rest late in the afternoon, when a big piece of wreckage bearing the name “DEAN RICHMOND” was washed ashore.
The three bodies found had life preservers on, so the wreck must have been expected. It is thought other bodies have been carried onto the beach at Silver Creek, Angola and Irving. The current sets that way.
THE LOST CREW.
The crew of the DEAN RICHMOND when it left Toledo, was made up of the following persons:
G.W. Stoddard, captain, Toledo.
George Boylessen, second mate, East Toledo. [Bolsen ?]
Samuel Meadows, wheelsman, Toledo.
E. Wheeler, lookout, Toledo.
Frank Earnest, lookout, North Toledo.
A. Dodge, second cook, Toledo.
James Evans, chief engineer, shipped at Toledo.
Jacob Earnest, deckhand, Toledo.
William Zink, deckhand, Toledo.
George M. Schilling, porter, Toledo.
Walter Goodyear, first mate, Ottawa, Lake Mich.
J.E. Brady, wheelsman, Residence unknown.
Mrs. Ritta Ellsworth, stewardess, Alymer, Ont.
Frank Hinton, second engineer, Port Huron.
Herman Beathan, fireman, residence unknown.
William Sargenfrie, fireman, residence unknown.
Frank Patten, deckhand, residence unknown.
Unknown man, deckhand, shipped at Buffalo.
Capt. Stoddart leaves a wife and family; Boisen a wife. Mrs. Ellsworth is a widow and has children somewhere in the west. Frank Hilton was a sole support of a mother and sister. The chief engineer, J.H. Hogan, who left the boat before she sailed, is at the World’s Fair, he is part owner of the lost steamer
Dunkirk, N.Y. Oct 16 – Up to noon five bodies from the wrecked DEAN RICHMOND have been recovered. They have not yet been identified.
Searching parties are at work, and it is probable that more bodies will be found during the day. It is now known that not one of the entire crew escaped death. [p.1, c.7 & 8]
also
THE DEAN RICHMOND.
She Was Once A Buffalo Boat.
Seen Saturday By The HELENA Making a Heroic Fight.
About the only thing marine men are taking of is the foundering of the DEAN RICHMOND. She was looked upon as a safe boat. She was built in 1864 for the Western Transportation Company. She was rebuilt in 1874 and recalked in 1890.
Bottsford and others of Port Huron bought her some years from the Western Transportation Company, and have been running her in the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Line. She ran between this port and Toledo.
The boat was seen off Erie Saturday by the captains of the steamers HELENA, NEOSHA and W.H. STEVENS. They were trying to make Buffalo. A high sea was running and none of the boats could reach her to assist her. Her mast was gone and one smokestack had blown away. From the way the RICHMOND was floundering about, it was quite evident her steering gear was out of order.
When the boat did not appear Saturday night no anxiety was felt over her safety by Buffalo people. Even yesterday morning when she did not appear nobody expected to hear of her sinking, and it was not until the afternoon, when a report reached this city that three bodies had been washed ashore, was any anxiety really felt.
Capt. George Stoddard was one of the best-known sailors on the lakes. He lived at Toledo, where he leaves a family.
So far as known there was only one Buffalo man on the steamer. He was Francis Patton of 145 Gelston street.
There is no doubt the RICHMOND went on the rocks at Van Buren Point. If she had gone on the reef she would in all probability have remained there. The GOLDEN FLEECE wreck can still be seen. The PASSAIC went ashore at the Point last year, but all her people were rescued.
Midnight last night the beach was still thronged with people notwithstanding the terrible storm raging at the time. Well organized searching parties are quartered at intervals between Van Buren Point and the Battery Point, and a vigilant search for bodies will be kept up until all are recovered.
It was reported late last night, that a life-boat containing four of the RICHMOND’s crew came ashore above Van Buren. All inquiries fail to substantiate the truth of the rumor.
It is probable if any had escaped they would come to Dunkirk and report, as this is the nearest telegraph station. [p.1 c,7]

also

THE CAPTAIN’S BODY FOUND.
Six Bodies From The Wrecked RICHMOND Have Been Found And Identified.
Dunkirk, Oct. 16. – All the morning searching parties have been out along the shore looking for the bodies of the crew of the RICHMOND. There were three bodies in the Morgue this morning. They were recognized by the Company’s Agent Mr. Hill from Buffalo, as those of A.B. Dodge, Samuel Meadows and William Brown At 11 o’clock a searching party found three more and when they arrived at the Morgue one was recognized as that of the captain of the RICHMOND, G.W. Stoddart of Toledo. His watch was stopped at 12:30, showing that to have been about the time the steamer went down.
The other bodies were those of the stewardess, Mrs. Ritta Ellsworth, and the second mate, George Boylessen. These bodies were all in bad shape and when the were found were pounding against the rocks.
In Boylessen’s pocket were found all his papers, showing that he must have known that there was little or no hope for the boat, and prepared for the wreck by attempting to save all he could of his valuables.
Search parties have been sent out all along the shore for miles in each direction to look for the bodies of the rest of the crew and bring them to this city.

also

E X T R A !

A SURVIVOR
One Man Only Escaped From The DEAN RICHMOND.
24 WERE DROWNED.
The Captain’s Wife And Three Children Were On Board The Vessel.
The Survivor’s Tale.
Dunkirk, Oct. 16 – 2 P. M. – Only one man escaped from the lost steamer DEAN RICHMOND, and he was found wandering on the beach near Van Buren Point in a half demented condition by an Observer reporter. He was haggard and worn and his eyes sunken in his head told a story of terrible suffering. He was found aimlessly wandering up and down the beach, and when spoken to burst into tears and said he was looking for his dog.
He was questioned and said he had been washed off the RICHMOND, and was unquestionably the only man saved from the vessel. After he had been cared for and given stimulants he recovered sufficiently to tell the story of the awful last hours of the steamer.
He said his name was C.L. Clarke, and he shipped in Toledo just before the RICHMOND sailed. He was coming to Buffalo and was working his way, it is believed.
“There were 19 in the RICHMOND’s crew,” he said, “beside Capt. Stoddart, his wife and three children. We left Toledo at 6 o’clock Friday night, and sailed along all right until we got into the gale on Saturday. It struck us hard from the very start, but if we had had good luck we would have weathered the storm and been safe in port at this minute.
“We tried to get into Erie harbor but could not on account of the choppy sea, and then Capt. Stoddart decided to make the run to Buffalo, if he could. We were badly wrenched by the heavy sea which struck us, it seemed, from every side.
“About 2 P. M., after matters had grown worse right along, we sighted a couple of steamers. They were quite a distance away, but we signalled them for assistance. Capt. Stoddart had not given up at that time, but felt it would be safer if we were nearer some other vessel. He was thinking of his wife and children. The steamer we signalled either did not see us or could not get to us, for they went right along fighting their way into the storm, heading toward Buffalo.
“The waves ran right over our decks and everything which was moveable was swept overboard. The captain’s wife and children were locked up in the cabin for safety’s sake, and the crew was working for their lives outside, under direction of the captain, who never lost his head for a moment.
“An hour later we had lost a mast and smokestack. Then we continued to drift along at the mercy of the wind and waves.
“About 7 o’clock in the evening the wheel house was washed away. The rudder and wheel were broken and we were badly crippled. We were then about 15 miles from shore and after considerable work managed to set the rudder so we could make for the shore.
“The captain had made up his mind to run for the shore and beach his vessel. He made fair headway with a hard fight and I began to get things ready to get out in the yawl boat with the captain’s wife and children. I had a little dog on board which I thought a great deal of.
“I tied him in the boat and opened my jack knife, stuck it up in the gunwhale of the yawl, good and deep. I went back to the captain and just before I reached him, we were washed and I was carried overboard.
“This must have been about 11 o’clock. I gave myself up for lost when I found myself in the water. I kept sight of the RICHMOND’s lights for some time and saw her drifting down the lake, turning and twisting in every direction. I knew I was as good as dead and wondered whether the others would be saved or not.
“And then I lost consciousness and did not know anything until I found myself lying on the beach near a town, which I found out was Silver Creek. When I came to myself I went into the town. I had some money and got something to eat, found out where I was and then came here to learn what had become of the steamer.
“I heard this morning that she had gone down, and then I came over here and tried to find the boat and my dog. He must be suffering terribly, for he was tied in.”
Clarke insisted on continuing his search for his pet and a mile or two up the shore an overturned yawl boat from the RICHMOND was found. Clark saw it, junped forward and threw it over.
Inside, tied to the seat, was the dead body of a little dog, and in the gunwhale, sunk deeply, was Clarke’s jack-knife. [p.1, c.2]
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, October 16, 1893

. . . . .

BIG STORM OF SATURDAY NIGHT
The MINNEHAHA loaded with corn went ashore on Saturday afternoon near Manistee. 6 killed, one saved. A few minutes after striking the bar the vessel broke in two and within half an hour nothing but the bow was left. There were no life-preservers on board.
The barge J.D. SAWYER was cut adrift by the B.W. ARNOLD near the Beavers in the saturday evening terrific gale. She is presumed lost.
Eighteen were lost as the steamer DEAN RICHMOND goes down off Dunkirk, N.Y. She was chartered to the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City Line.
The barge HECLA is ashore at Wellington, Ontario.
The Barge J.C. MARTIN is ashore at Racine.
The tug ACME foundered on Lake Huron near Black River. None lost.
The schooners MORTON and CASTALIA are ashore near Sault Ste. Marie.
The steamer E.P. CURTIS and tow, ISABEL REED, T.S. FASSET and NELSON HOLLAND are ashore near Cheboygan.
The schooner CRAWFORD is ashore on Bois Blanc Island, Straits of Mackinac.
The schooner YUKON is ashore at Waiski Bay.
The barges KNIGHT TEMPLAR and SWEEPSTAKES, consorts of the steamer SALINE, are ashore between Cheboygan and Duncan.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, October 16, 1893

. . . . .

A FIGHT FOR LIFE
—-o—-
A Survivor’s Story of the Loss of the Dean Richmond
Dunkirk, October 16. – One man survived the terible disaster of the steamer Dean Richmond, which was sunk in deep water off this port Saturday night. He is C. L. Clark, who was wheelsman on the Richmond and shipped at Toledo. He came into town today, nearly dead from his terrible fight for life in the angry waters. He was interviewed this afternoon and gave a vivid story of the loss of the steamer.
“We left Toledo Friday morning,” he said, “bound for Buffalo. The weather looked bad and the captain made up his mind to put into Erie for shelter. The gale struck us during Friday night, but we made good progress against it for a long time. Instead of going down, which we supposed it would, it only increased in violence as the night wore on, and Saturday morning Captain Stoddard headed for Erie. The sea was to high to attempt it, as our course was in the trough of the sea. The gale became a hurricane in the morning, and at 2 o’clock in te afternoon the smokestacks went over the side. One hour later a huge wave came over our boats and washed the pilot house off. The wheelsman on duty had a narrow escape at that time and the wheel and steering gear were swept away. The rudder broke and the Richmond drifted helplessly in the sea. The engines were kept moving and it was tried to run her ashore, but this failed also. The seas were following each other in quick succession and the cabins were nearly all gone. At 11 o’clocl I was caught by a wave which landed me some distance from the boat. I turned on my back as a blinding flash of lightning revealed the steamer. I saw the hatch covers fly up and the the boat rolled to one side and took in much water. Then she seemed to stand on end and go down. The light faded and I never saw her again.
“How I got ashore is a mystery to me. I had nothing to cling to and as the waves broke over me I was rendered unconscious by the force of their weight. When I came to I was on the beach, surrounded by wreckage and about four miles from the town.* Slowly my strength came back , and in two or three hours I managed to get on my feet and make my way to a house, where I was given food. I then made my way to town. The captain had his wife and three children, and as they have not been heard from, they must have down with the boat. We had four life boats, but in the storm were unable to launch them.”
Detroit Free Press
Tues., Oct. 17, 1893

*Most of the bodies eventually found were wearing life jackets.

. . . . .

Clark’ Story Discredited
Buffalo, NY Oct 17.–A special dispatch from Dunkirk this morning says the story told by the man Clark, who claims to be the sole survivor of the wrecked Dean Richmond, is wholly discredited here. The agents of the boat line said no such man shipped at Toledo. Clark’s story speaks of Capt. Stoddards wife and children being aboard the Dean Richmond when she went down. Coroner Blood of Dunkirk has received a dispatch from Mrs. Stoddard, dated Toledo, in which she says she will arrive in Dunkirk to-day. Clark has disappeared. There seems to be ground, however, for hope that a single person escaped.
Cleveland Leader
October18,1893.

. . . . .

T H I R T E E N !
The Bodies Of About Half Of The DEAN RICHMOND’s Crew Recovered.
TEN ARE IDENTIFIED.
Relatives From Toledo And Buffalo Are At Dunkirk
Waiting For The Sea To Give Up Its Dead.
Dunkirk, Oct. 17. – The scenes around Coroner Blood’s Morgue are sad. Many of the relatives of the lost crew of the RICHMOND have arrived and identified bodies.
Of the 13 which have been found so far 10 have been identified as follows:
Capt. George W. Stoddart, Toledo.
Walter M. Goodyear, first mate, Ottawa Lake, Mich.
George Botson, second mate, East Toledo.
Mrs. Retta Ellsworth, stewardess, Aylmer, Ont.
A.B. Dodge, second cook, Toledo.
Samuel Meadows, wheelsman, Toledo
E. Wheeler, lookout, Toledo.
William Zink, deckhand, Toledo.
J.E. Brady, wheelsman, uncertain, shipped at Toledo.
George M. Schilling, uncertain, shipped at Toledo.
The body of Wheeler was identified by his father, Ezra E. Wheeler of Toledo
Mr. & Mrs. J.B. Wenrich, the latter a sister of chief engineer, J.P. Hogan, who escaped through a visit to the World’s Fair, were on hand, having come from Fredonia to search for their nephew, Frank Hilton, the second engineer. James Patton of 63 Dart street, Buffalo, is also here looking after his son, Frank Patton, deckhand.
Almost all the bodies are badly battered and bruised. Some were found on the beach high and dry, others were found pounding among the rocks.
The theory is advanced that all the people on the RICHMOND died of exhaustion as they all had life preservers on and in almost every case the lungs are free from water, showing they were not drowned.
The man, C.L. Clarke, who claims to be the only survivor of the RICHMOND, has disappeared. Some people doubt his story, but he had so many facts it is hard to understand how he could get them unless he was really on Board the lost vessel.
J.E. Botsford and J.H. Hogan, owners of the RICHMOND, the latter the chief engineer, arrived from Port Huron at 10:30 last night. Both felt badly over the loss of the RICHMOND and crew.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, October 17, 1893 p.4, c.1.

also

THE RICHMOND’S HULL.
It Is Believed To Be On The Lake Bottom, Eight Miles Off Van Buren Point.
Just where the DEAN RICHMOND sank nobody knows. Mr. H.E. Hyde, agent of the Clover Leaf Line, which operated the boat, was in Dunkirk yesterday and expressed his belief that the hull was at the bottom of the lake about eight miles off Van Buren Point.
“Judging,” he said, “from the position of the bodies when found and the wreckage strewn along the beach, it appears that her upper works only have drifted ashore with some light merchandise from the decks. The hull is certainly at the bottom.”
Mr. Hyde further said; “I do not believe the RICHMOND put into Erie on Saturday as has been reported. Why should she ? Long before she was said to have left there she was seen in the lake many miles this side of that port. Capt. Stoddart, if he had been in Erie would, I hardly think, jeopardize the life of his crew by facing the storm which was then raging.”
Capt. J.G. Orr of C.B. Armstrong & Co. of this city, who was in Erie on Saturday, does not believe the boat put in Erie. He said; “I left Erie on Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock and she had not put in up to that time. If ever she did there is not the slightest likelihood a captain would ever attempt to put out in such a sea as was then on.”
Capt. A.A. Swan has gone to Dunkirk to protect the interests of the underwriters – especially those of Smith, Davis & Co., who have $12,000 of the $44,275 insurance on the hull.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, October 17, 1893 p.4, c.1

. . . . .

NINE MISSING.
The Lake Still Has Nearly Half The Richmond’s Crew.
Old Lake Erie has not yet given up nine members of the crew of the ill-fated propeller DEAN RICHMOND.
So far 11 bodies have been recovered and they are all in the Morgue at Dunkirk. The lake shore is being searched by the friends of the missing sailor who were on the boat, but so far their search has been fruitless, and it may be many days before the remainder of the bodies are cast up by the waters of the lake.
J.E. Bottsford and J.H. Hogan, two of the owners of the boat, drove to the scene of the wreck yesterday and fully identified the wreckage as that of the DEAN RICHMOND. Mr. Hogan was chief engineer on the boat as well. He left it a few days before she went down, to visit the World’s Fair.
Mr. Hogan thinks the primary cause of the trouble was the blowing away of the smoke stacks. That made it impossible to keep up steam and then the vessel drifted helplessly in the seas and broke up while the brave crew were trying to head her to Buffalo. The owners value the boat at $50,000. She carried about $40,000 insurance.
A yawl boat from the RICHMOND was picked up at Van Buren Point yesterday. It was in a good state of preservation.
Mr. Hogan’s nephew, Frank Hilton, was one of the engineers on the boat who is missing. Henry Roberts of 117 Commercial street called at the Morgue at Dunkirk yesterday. He was looking for Thomas Sullivan, who was on the RICHMOND when she went down, but did not find him.
The bodies of Capt. G.W. Stoddart, George Boison, A.B. Dodge, Samuel Meadows, William Zink and E. Wheeler will be sent to Toledo today, and that of Walter M. Goodyear to Ottawa Lake, Mich.
Buffalo Evening News
Wednesday, October 18, 1893 p.1, c.6

. . . . .

ONE OF THE RICHMOND’S CREW.
Dunkirk, Nov. 16. – Last night’s heavy wind brought to light another of the DEAN RICHMOND’s crew. The body washed ashore near Crooked Creek and this morning was taken to the Morgue. On the left arm is tattooed an anchor in red and blue and on the right arm, was a ship. Outside of these marks there was nothing on the person by which he could be identified. The body is badly decomposed and had the appearance of being in the water for a long time.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, November 16, 1893 p.4, c.3

. . . . .

Dunkirk. – The tug HENRY W. JOHNSON has completed the search for the wreck of the DEAN RICHMOND over the 36 square miles marked off, but found no trace of the boat. They believe now that the wreck lies nearer shore and will drag accordingly.

Dunkirk, Sept. 3. – The search for the wreck of the DEAN RICHMOND, which foundered off this place last October with the loss of 20 lives was given up today and the boats were ordered back to Detroit. During the last two weeks the tugs have dragged over 36 square miles of the lake bottom, which was staked off as being the probable place of the wreck. Nothing was found whatever to indicate where the steamer went down.
Buffalo Enquirer
September 3, 1894 p.5, c.4

. . . . .

A WRECK DISCOVERED. — Dunkirk, N, Y., May 24. — A wreck of a vessel has been discovered five miles off shore, nine miles west of here. It lies in 65 feet of water, and Coroner Blood, who has begun an investigation, is confident that it is that of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND, which foundered with all on board on Oct. 14, 1893.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, May 24, 1895

. . . . .

Buffalo, Sept. 28. – What is believed by vesselmen to be the long sought wreck of the steamer DEAN RICHMOND has been located by Frederick Dorier and two companions 500 feet off Battery Point, east of Dunkirk. The wreck lies in deep water and the site has been marked.
The DEAN RICHMOND foundered off Dunkirk, Oct. 13, 1893, with the loss of all hands. The Underwriters spent a good deal of money trying to find the ship, owing to her valuable cargo, but the expeditions which swept the bottom of the lake for many miles could find no trace of the boat. The finders expect a large sum for salvage.
Saganaw Courier-Herald
September 29, 1900

. . . . .

TO RAISE CARGO
John D. Stanton, a diver of Cleveland, has announced his intention of going after the cargo of the DEAN RICHMOND, sunk near Dunkirk. The RICHMOND had on board 30 cars of pig lead and general merchandise. She was lost nearly 50 years ago.
Buffalo Evening News
May 9, 1910

Wolfe Islander II

So not the first artificial reef in Ontario, but joining the likes of the Neilson and Papa’s Paycheque the Wolfe was certainly the largest project taken on by the now-defunct Comet Foundation.

KEY STATS:
Ship Type: Converted Car Ferry
Lifespan: Built 1947, Scuttled 1985
Length: 200ft
Depths: 80ft
Location: Wolfe Island, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
GPS N44.13.5580 W76.24.9860


Originally the Ottawa Maybrook, built in 1946 as a gift for China, but due to changing political views, she was converted into a 16-car ferry and renamed the Wolfe Islander II. She was sunk intentionally on September 21, 1985, as an artificial reef in 80 ft (24.6m) of water

Dropping down the line and reaching the bow davit, it is only another dozen feet to the open door of the wheelhouse. Just abaft the wheelhouse is a set of steel stairs that lead to benches lining the curved bulkhead and large square windows provide exit points with large doorways also convenient. The depth is 60 feet (18.5m) and the air pocket above divers’ heads is exhaust from previous diver visits and is not for breathing

Exiting the salon on the port side, divers follow the stairs to the main deck where vehicles were parked and recently a motorcycle was placed to demonstrate past cargo

A nearby doorway leads into the depths of the engine room and only the diver with experience, skills, and training should proceed here. Through catwalks and piping, one may proceed to the engine mounts at 75 feet (23m) depth and you encounter the “elevator” shaft leading to the top deck. Near the port rail, you will find the portholes (of which several were liberated by some divers that need them more than others) with logos and names of support organizations. Just around the corner is the ship’s name and registry port.

Some Videos

Slideshow of the sinking

A Fall Dive to the Wolfe Islander II

E.B. Allen

Site Plan

Above is the site map for the EB Allen Wreck

GPS Location: N45° 00.976’ W83° 09.899’
Depth: 100 Feet
Wreck Length: 134 Feet
Beam: 26 Feet
Gross Tonnage: 276
Cargo: Grain
Launched: 1864 by H.C. Piersons at Ogdensburg, New York
Wrecked: November 20, 1871
Description: On its last voyage, the E.B. Allen was bound for Buffalo, New York, carrying a cargo of grain. When it was about 2 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, it met the bark Newsboy in heavy fog. The two ships collided, and the Newsboy tore a large hole in the Allen’s portside. As the ship began to sink, the Allen’s crew was removed and taken on board the other vessel. Today, the E.B. Allen sits on an even keel, with its hull largely intact. Although the masts are broken and most of the decking is gone, the windlass, anchor chains, and rudder are still in place.

ROBABLE LOSS OF THE SCHOONER ‘PERSIAN’ — The following telegram from Oswego of yesterday – “The schooner PERSIAN, from Chicago to this port with wheat, collided with the schooner E. B. ALLEN 15 days ago on Lake Huron and as nothing has been heard of the former vessel since, it is feared that she is lost with all on board”
The schooner E. B. ALLEN, the vessel which collided with the schooner PERSIAN – reached this port on Thursday, with a cargo of 520 tons of coal, from Cleveland, and from the captain we learn that his vessel collided with the PERSIAN about 4 o’clock on the morning of the 16th of September. When about four miles north of Presqu’isle and three miles from shore – both craft being bound down at the time of the disaster – striking the PERSIAN on the starboard quarter with the blunt of her bows. He also informs us that the last he saw of the PERSIAN she was heading for land, and is surprised to learn that nothing has been heart of her since that time. The ALLEN lost her jib-boom; aside from this her damages were of a trifling nature.
The PERSIAN was the property of Captain Long, her commander, and Mr. Micheal Murphy of Oswego. She registered 545 tons, old style, rated B 1, was built at Oswego in 1855 by James Navagh. Valued at $11,000 and received large repairs in 1865. The crew also hailed from Oswego.
Chicago Tribune
Saturday, October 3, 1868

. . . . .

The Schooner PERSIAN. – As all hopes are abandoned as to the safety of this vessel or any of her crew, the depositions of the crew of the E.B. ALLEN, which collided with her, were taken here yesterday. From their statement, both vessels were bound down with a fair wind, near Presque Isle (Michigan), some four miles from land. The Persian was ahead, winged on.* The ALLEN, with both sails on one side, and hauled up more**, was gradually gaining. In attempting to pass the PERSIAN who, being ahead, had the right-of-way, through some mismanagement, the ALLEN struck the PERSIAN on the quarter, and the last seen the PERSIAN she was hauled up, heading for shore. It seems almost unaccountable that such an accident, with such fatal results, could occur with both crafts in plain view, in good weather, and the conduct of the Captain of the E.B. ALLEN will not bear a favorable scrutiny either on moral or legal ground. Some small articles have been picked up in the vicinity of the disaster, which, without doubt, belonged to the PERSIAN, beyond that there will probably be nothing learned. The knowledge that she has gone down with some ten human beings, and desolated ten homes, through the mismanagement of one man, is all that is known at the present time. – Chicago Republican, 5th.
Detroit Free Press
October 7, 1868

*winged on – in a fore and aft vessel, sailing with the wind from near astern, with booms and sails out on both sides of the boat’s centerline. Also termed “wing on wing” or “wing and wing.”
**hauled up more – tacking a few points off the wind. This adds speed, but heels the boat over more and requires more sail-handling.

NOTE–The virtually-intact PERSIAN was located in deep water in the area of the collision in 1991. Both vessels were from Lake Ontario – the PERSIAN out of Oswego and the ALLEN from Ogdensburg, NY. Ironically, the ALLEN was lost about 40 miles to the southeast of the PERSIAN in another collision, three years later.

. . . . .

The Detroit Tribune calls the attention of captains to the fact that the wreck of the schr. PERSIAN, which was sunk by colliding with the schr. ALLEN a few years ago, lies in the track of passing steamers, a short distance above presque Isle, Lake Huron, with her masthead not far below the surface of the lake and in danger of being run foul by passing crafts. It was doubtless this vessel that was reported a few days since by Capt. Hunt of the stm. PHILADELPHIA.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 8, 1869 3-4

Year of Build:
1864
Official Number:
7818
CONSTRUCTION AND OWNERSHIP
Built at:
Ogdensburg, NY
Vessel Type:
Schooner
Hull Materials:
Wood
Number of Decks:
1
Builder Name:
Harrison C. Pearson
Original Owner and Location:
E. B. Allen & Son, Ogdensburg, NY
POWER
Power:
Sail
Number of Masts:
2
DIMENSIONS
Length:
111′
Tonnage (old style):
385
FINAL DISPOSITION
Final Location:
Thunder Bay Island, MI.
Lake Huron.
Date:
18 Sep 1871
How:
Collision.
Final Cargo:
Grain.
Notes:
Struck by bark NEWSBOY; sank.
HISTORY

1865, Apr 28 Enrolled Ogdensburg, NY; 134.1×26.1×11.2; 294.06 gross, 100 net tons; 2 mast.

1868 275.97 gross tons.

1871, Sep 18 Sunk.

VIENNA

Artwork by Ken Marshall

1892 The wooden propeller VIENNA sank in foggy Whitefish Bay after being hit broadside by the wooden steamer NIPIGON. The latter survived and later worked for Canada Steamship Lines as b) MAPLEGRANGE and c) MAPLEHILL (i) but was laid up at Kingston in 1925 and scuttled in Lake Ontario in 1927.

Vienna lies in 120 to 148 feet (37 to 45 m) of water at 46°44.46′N 84°57.91W. Vienna is one of the more accessible wreck dives in the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve because she is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from shore She is known as a “blow-off” wreck dive because she lies closer to shore and extended-range divers go to this wreck during high winds and rough seas or when they have limited time.

VIENNA
Other names : none
Official no. : 25875
Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight
Build info : 1873, Quayle & Martin, Cleveland
Specs : 191x34x14, 1006g 829n
Date of loss : 1892, Sep 16
Place of loss : Whitefish Bay
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : collision
Loss of life : none
Carrying : iron ore
Detail : Towing barge MATTIE C. BELL(qv) in fog. Rammed broadside by wooden propeller NIPIGON and went to bottom quickly with huge hole in her side. NIPIGON tried to take her in tow.
Octagonal pilothouse
Built for Cleveland Navigation Co. registered out of Cleve.
Wreck located in 1974.

Steambarge NIPIGON Sinks the Steamer VIENNA in Lake Superior.
ONE OF AN UNLUCKY FLEET
Insured In Buffalo-The Crew Safe
A private dispatch from Harvey’s Marine Bureau at Sault Ste. Marie to insurance companies here states that the steamer NIPIGON arrived there this morning with the crew of the steam barge VIENNA on board. The NIPIGON bound up, and the VIENNA ore laden and downward bound, collided about six miles this side of Whitefish Point, last night, and the VIENNA sunk shortly alter In 60 fathoms, being therefore a total loss. The NIPIGON’s stem was badly twisted. The VIENNA is owned by the Oriental Transportation Company of Cleveland, and is valued at about $47,000 and insured for $44,000. She was built at Cleveland by Quayle & Son in 1873 and registers A 2 in the Inland Lloyds. Worthington & Sill wrote the insurance on the VIENNA to the amount of $30,000, which is distributed in nearly equal amounts among the following companies: London of North America; Greenwich; St. Paul and Detroit Fire and Marine.

Further Concerning the VIENNA.
Sault Ste. Marie, Sept. 17. — The steamer VIENNA, Capt. J. W. Nicholson, went down in 60 fathoms of water near Whitefish Point Iast night, the result of a collision with the steam barge NIPIGON. The VIENNA, with the MATTIE C. BELL in tow, was coining down laden with iron ore from Marquette. The NIPIGON, towing the schooners MELBORNE and DELAWARE, was bound up. The weather was fair, the night clear as the two steamers met four miles this side of Whitefish Point, both whistled for the port side. They seemed to be passing all right, but the next instant they came together with a terrific crash, the NIPIGON striking the VIENNA on the port side. The latter’s stem and fore foot were badly crushed, but she was not leaking much. The VIENNA, however, had received a mortal blow. Both steamers at once dropped their consorts, and the NIPIGON took the VIENNA for the shore. When within a mile of shoal water, after being towed for an hour the VIENNA sunk. Her crew jumped aboard the NIPIGON as she went down and were all saved, together with their effects. They arrived here on the NIPIGON at 4 o’clock this morning. The tug MERRICK has been sent for the schooner BELL and the two consorts of the NIPIGON are lying under Whlteflsh Point. The cause of the collision is as yet a mystery.
Vance of Milwaukee and Elphicke of Chicago hold some insurance on the sunken steamer, the ampount of the latter’s holding being $5,000.
Cleveland, Sept. 17. — The steamer VIENNA sunk off Whitefish Point was owned in the Orient Line of M. A. Hanna & Co. This is the third boat of the Orient Line, which was composed of three steamers and three tow barges, sunk by collision within a year. The first two barges, VERONA and HELENA, were raised, but abandoned to the underwriters as total losses. The HELENA was raised and sold to Wolf of Milwaukee, and Gilchrist of Vermillion bought the wreck of the VERONA. The VIENNA was fully insured and the owners are probably satisfied to let her go as long as the crew escaped. All the boats of the line were for sale last winter.
Buffalo Enquirer
Saturday, September 17, 1892

. . . . .

It is hourly more certain that the barge OCONTO was also lost in the same gale with the WESTERN RESERVE. She was in tow of the steamer TOLEDO with the GUIDING STAR when the storm struck them last Tuesday, both schooner broke adrift and the GUIDING STAR has gone ashore about 15 miles west of Marquette with five feet of water in her hold.
Port Huron Daily Times
Saturday, September 3, 1892

Steam screw VIENNA. U. S. No. 25875. Of 1,005.75 tons gross; 829.42 tons net. Built Cleveland, Ohio, 1873. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 191.4 x 38.3 x 14.1 Of 528 nominal horsepower.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1890

 

IRONSIDES

On 15 September 1873, IRONSIDES N 43 02.931 W 86 19.155 (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 220 foot, 1,123 tons, built in 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio) became disabled when she sprang a leak and flooded. The water poured in and put out her fires. She sank about 7 miles off Grand Haven, Michigan, on Lake Michigan. Reports of the number of survivors varied from 17 to 32 and the number lost varied from 18 to 28.

A great write up on the ironsides and the wreck located here. 

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Categories: General Nonsense

Asia

 

The steamer ASIA sank in a storm off Byng Inlet on Georgian Bay September 14, 1882. Over 100 people lost their lives with only two people, a man and a woman, rescued. ASIA was built in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1873, and was bound from Collingwood, Ontario, to the French River and Canadian Sault.

LOST ON THE LAKES
A DREADFUL DISASTER.
Special Telegram To The Inter Ocean.
Collingwood, Ont., Sept. 17. — The following report has just reached here by the hand of Captain John Davis, of the tug MINNEHAHA, sent from Parry Sound by Mr. J.C. Miller, which gives the details of the loss of the steamer ASIA, of the Great Northern Transit Line, which left here Wednesday evening last for the French River and Sault Ste. Marie:
” Parry Sound, Sept. 17. — Captain A. McGregor reached here yesteday by tug from Owen Sound, and reports passing the wreck of a steamer off the Limestone Island, he picked up and brought with him a trunk, a door, and a pillow-slip marked ‘Steamer ASIA.’ About 10 o’clock this afternoon an Indian boat reached here from Point Au Barrie, about thirty miles distant, bringing Mr. D.A. Tinkiss, of Manitowaning, and Miss Christy Morrison, from near Owen Sound, supposed to be the only twp survivors of the il-fated steamer. Mr. Tinkiss made the following statement:
THE SURVIVOR’S STORY.
” I went aboard the ASIA at Owen Sound about midnight on Wednesday, in company with J.H. Tinkiss and H.B. Gallagher, both of Manitowaning. The steamer was crowded, all the state rooms being full and many passengers lying on the sofas and cabin floors. All went well until about 11 o’clock Thursday morning, when a storm struck the steamer. I was in my berth at the time. My Uncle, J.H. Tinkiss, jumped up and said the boat was doomed. Dishes and chairs were flying in every direction. We left the cabin and found difficulty in getting on deck, the boat was rolling so heavily. I got a life-preserver and put it on. The boat went into the trough of the sea and would not obey her helm. She rolled heavily for about twenty minutes, when she was struck by a heavy sea and foundered.
SHE WENT DOWN
with her engines working, about 11:30 o’clock. The ASIA was making for French River, and had men, horses, and lumberman’s supplies for the shanties there. I saw three boats lowered. I was in the first boat. About eight were with me at first, but more got in, till the boat was overloaded, and turned over twice. Parties were hanging on to my life-preserver, which got displaced. I threw it off, then left the boat and swam to the captain’s boat, which was near by, and asked Mr. John McDougall, the purser, to help me in. He said it was but little use, but gave me his hand. When I got in there were
EIGHTEEN PERSONS
in the captain’s boat, and by that time there was a large number in and clinging to the boat I had left. I know nothing of the third boat. Our boat rolled over, and I remember missing poor John McDougall a few minutes after he helped me in. Pepole were hanging on to the spars and other parts of the wreckage. Our boat was full of water and the sea was constantly breaking over us. One of the first to die was the cabin-boy. he was dying and being supported by one of the men when a wave washed him overboard. Next to go was a boat-hand. He was near the gunwale and jumped out. I could see him
PADDLING AROUND IN THE WATER
for nearly a hundred yards. Our numbers were now reduced to seven, five of whom died before reaching the beach. Captain savage was the last to die in my arms about midnight. On Thursday Mr. John Little, of Sault Ste. Marie, the mate McDonald, and two others, names unknown, died. The boat finally stranded near Point au Barrie about daylight Friday, with Miss Morrison and myself the only two survivors. I put the bodies out on the beach and pried the boat off with an oar, but did not bail it out. Miss Morrison and I went down the beach to a derrick, about one and a half miles distant, and laid on the beach all the night. About 8 o’clock Saturday morning an Indian came along, and I engaged him to
BRING US TO PARRY SOUND.
He would not bring the bodies.’
“The steamer NORTHERN BELLE, of the same line, which reached here this morning, has been furnished with ice, etc., and has left for the bodies. Miss Morrison and Mr. Tinkiss are being well cared for here, and Dr. Potts thinks neither will suffer materially from their long exposure. There were probably about 100 on board the ASIA.”
The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, September, 1882
. . . . .

SHE SAILED WITHOUT A LICENSE
Partial List Of Passengers.
A Collingwood dispatch gives the following list of those known to have been on board the ill-fared propeller ASIA, which foundered on Georgian Bay Thursday forenoon:
Wm. Christie and wife, just married, Collingwood.
A.M. Clinton. B. Morey. Mr. & Mrs. W.H. Wood, Cincinatti.
A. Browse. Mr. Shipp. Mr. Duncan and son, Hamilton.
J. Martin, Collingwood.
A man named Kerr and family, Linne House, Ontario.
W.R. Gallagher, Manitomanny.
J.H. Tinkiss, Manitowomanny.
Mr. McNabb and Mrs Hanbury, of Owen Sound.
Mrs. Sproudt, of Cookstown.
There were also about 30 lumbermen on board bound for the lumber camps up the French River and at other points.
A Toronto dispatch says: The Government Inspector here states that the ill-fated Steamer ASIA was running without a license, having been refused one on account of carrying an insufficient number of life boats and life preserver.
The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, September, 1882

THE DEATH ROLL.
[ part missing] These he took from the raft at Port Hope, and were named A.D. McDonnell, foreman, Orillia; D. Chisholm, Parry Sound; Isaac Lecarte, Stayner; Joseph Despatries, Coteau; Wm. Heavenor, Orillia; Hugh Mcneil Scott and Joseph Quinn, of England, both just out a few weeks; Dan and Rory McDonald, rama; Betham, Rama; Robert Marshall, of Port Hope; and Murphy, of Orillia. Most of these men were old hands, and several married. A.D. Macdonnell and Isaac Lecarte were widowers. As the propeller ASIA was about moving off Joseph Despatries handed Mr. Macdougall $160, and asked him to place it to his credit. The amount will probably be handed over to deseased’s friends Besides these men, there arrived from the vicinity of Arthabaska, Que., a number of Frenchmen. Mr. Macdougall had only time to transfer them from the express train to the boat. Their names which have not been previously published, are as follows:
Jacques and Andrew Terry; Julian Janan; James and Felix Jondreau; Octave Valise; Peter Dumo; Peter Roberge, Sr.; Peter Roberge, Jr.; Joseph Lascelle, and Robert Borrelle. There are others unknown. It has been reported that Frank Jordan, of Rosseau, N. Y., was on the ill-fated boat, but Mr. Macdougall says this is not so. There were about thirty men for the French River, eight horses, outfits, and a large amount of supplies. His actual loss has been $6,000. Mr. Macdougall had four boats on the ASIA. The schooner REDNOUGHT, which the ASIA towed, belonged to him. Whether she cut loose from the propeller or broke loose it is hard to say. She was capable of carrying 40 persons. The new canoe found at Byng Inlet belonged to Mr. Macdougall. Mr. Macdougall intended to go to French River himself, but the weather prevented him. During the spring he sent a quantity of lumber from French River to Port Hope, where it was rafted and made ready for a trip down the river. At Collingwood the weather looked rough, and he decided to come to Kingston and see if the lumber had arrived safely. It was well he did. He said he understood that the ASIA was a very fair craft. When she went out everything about her looked well.
The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, September, 1882
. . . . .

The steamer ASIA is lost on Georgian Bay in the storm of september 14. Over 100 lives are supposed to have been lost. The spot where she foundered is about 35 miles northwest of parry Sound.
Port Huron daily Times
Monday, September 18, 1882

. . . . .

It is now known that at least 56 were drowned from the ASIA.
Port Huron daily Times
Tuesday, September 19, 1882

. . . . .

It now appears the ASIA had 122 on board when she was lost last Tuursday. Of this number 97 were passengers, though the craft was overloded and only allowed by inspectors to carry 49.
Port Huron daily Times
Thursday, September 21, 1882

. . . . .

ASIA, propeller of 364 tons reg. of St. Catharines and 9 years old, on a voyage from Presque Isle to French River, foundered of Byng Inlet owing to stress of weather, with the loss of 92 lives on Sept. 14th. 1882. She was valued at $25,000, but the value of her cargo is unknown…
Dept. of Marine & Fisheries
Statement of Wreck & Casualty for 1882.

. . . . .

The statement of Mr. Shipp of Toronto, who left the ASIA at this port, which we published last week, as to a conversation he overheard between the Captain and a person whom he took to be the Inspector, has since been corroborated by Mr. A. Bowes, who left the boat with him. As we stated last week, the statement about an Inspector could not be true, as there was no inspector here, and if there was, such a discussion with the Captain was not a probable one. An explanation is now given which throws some light on the incident. It appears that Captain Campbell, one of the managers of the Line, had just arrived from Toronto and went on the dock, when seeing the fishing boat in tow of the ASIA some conversation took place about the danger that she would not reach French River as there was an appearance of rough weather — Captain Campbell at last saying to the captain of the ASIA, ” You tow her and I’ll risk her.” The conversation being heard by Mr. Bowes was taken to refer to the steamer instead of the fishing boat, and hence the misunderstanding, — a misunderstanding however, which saved the lives of Messrs. Shipp and Bowes. —-Times.
Meaford Monitor
Friday, October 6, 1882

. . . . .

The wooden propeller “ASIA,” of St. Catharines, 364 tons register, foundered off Byng Inlet in the Georgian Bay, on the l4th. of Sept. while on a voyage from Collingwood to French River with a general cargo. The vessel encountered an unusually severe storm, and suddenly listed over to starboard shortly after 11 o’clock in the fore-noon and gradually sank. A number of people got into one of the lifeboats but it turned over several times, each time losing some of the people who were in it, so that at sun-down, when the gale subsided, only seven were left. Of these five died from exposure, leaving only two survivors, a Miss Morrison and a Mr. Tinkiss, who reached land in a very exhausted condition by drifting ashore on the beach, and were subsequently rescued by an Indian, who took them in his boat to Parry Sound on the 17th. of September.
An investigation into the loss of this vessel was held by Capt. P.A. Scott R. N., Chairman of the Board of Examiners of Masters & Mates, who reported, that as far as could be ascertained, the vessel was not in good ballast trim, and that she was of that class of vessels known as”Old Canal Propellers.” The vessel appears to have been too light forward, and therefore unable to luff when the gale struck her, but had to bear it’s whole force on her broadside. It also appears that she had not sufficient cargo in her hold to enable a vessel of her description, with lofty upper works, to stand up against the gale.
It is estimated that 100 people lost their lives by this casualty. The vessel was nine years old, and was valued at 25,000 dollars. She was owned by the North-West Transportation Co. of Sarnia, and was classed A 2 in Inland Lloyds.
The Superintendent of the Meteorological Office at Toronto, reports as follows, with reference to the storm in which the ASIA was lost.
An examination of the synoptical weather chart for 10+50 p.m. Toronto time of the 13th. September, shows a comparatively unimportant depression situated over Manitoba. The gradients were not excessive nor was there anything to lead one to anticipate that within
twelve hours the wind would blow with the force of a hurricane on the northern part of Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay. On the morning of the 14th, at 6+50 A. M., Toronto time, the next chart was prepared; this shows that the depression, which on the previous night lay over Manitoba, had now moved to the north shore of Lake Huron, the gradients having steepened and the curves closed up in the center; this depression had thus travelled upwards of five hundred miles in eight hours, its rapidity of translation and intensity of development being exceptionally great.
The”ASIA” is reported to have left Collingwood at 5 P. M. on Wednesday, l3th, and making the usual stoppages at Meaford and Owen Sound; she left the latter place early on the morning of the 14th. for Sault Ste. Marie. This course would take her directly in the track of the storm, which by nine o’clock in the morning is reported from Manitoulin Island to have reached the velocity of a hurricane. In this storm however, the area of greatest intensity seem to have been confined to a comparatively limited region, as from the southern part of Lake Huron, from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario the force is reported as a fresh to strong gale, and this is what was to be anticipated from the appearance of the weather charts, as the Isobars widen out over the southern part of the lake region, thus showing a gradient for a less heavy gale there, than in the northern portion. The unfortunate ASIA would most probably have been about 11 A. M. in the center of this depression, and the squall which is reported to have struck her at this hour would probably be the gust accompanying the change of wind after the passage of the center. In almost all storms, this first squall is the heaviest experienced during the gale, and its appearance may be looked for when the sky begins to cloud up again after the brief clearing interval found in the center of these storms, especially in those where, as in this case, the gradient was steeper towards the center.
The question is frequently asked, was this gale such a one that even a well found and well handled ship must necessarily have foundered ? To this I can only answer that, I have no reports of instrumental measures, of the velocity of the wind at Manitoulin Island, as we have no anemometer there; but from the general damage done, and some of the particular cases quoted. I believe that the force of the wind must have been almost that of a hurricane for a short time and over a limited area, and as such gales, although, fortunately rare, do occasionally pass over the Great Lakes, all vessels navigating them should be so constructed and equipped as to be prepared to meet them.
Steamboat Inspection Boards
Chairmans report for 1882

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STORY OF THE ” ASIA ”
That Awul Night In Georgian Boy Ten Years Ago.
(Toronto News.)
“D.A.Tinkis, Little Current.” This name and address appeared on the register at the Walker House early this week. The name is one which ten years ago was familiar to every person in Ontario as that of the sole male survivor of the ASIA.
The ASIA, it will be remembered, was a propeller that went down in the Georgian Bay ten years ago last month, carrying with her, with the exception of Mr. Tinkis and Miss Morrison, the 200 unfortunates who formed her passenger list and crew.
In conversation with the News, Mr. Tinkis yesterday told again the story of that terrible disaster. “I went aboard at Owen Sound, in company with my Uncle, on the night of September I882 ” he said. “It was blowing heavily from the southeast at the time, but we were anxious to reach our home on the Manitoulin, and beside we did not anticipate any special danger.
“The steamer was billed to call at French River, on the east shore of the Georgian Bay on the way up. We went to bed soon after going on board, and, although a gale was raging all night, we did not feel it very much until morning, as we were still under shelter of the Bruce Peninsula.
“About seven o’clock, as we changed our course to run straight across the bay for French River, the sea, now quartering aft, began to shake us up pretty well. Very few had breakfast on this account, but still no great alarm was felt. At nine the sea was raging and from that until ten the crew was busied in throwing over freight.
“Between ten and eleven the excitement was terrible. Men and Women, crazed with fear, were rushing around tearing the hair from their heads in handfuls. Rev. Mr. James, who had been a missionary at the Island, was one of the few passengers who kept cool, and he went about among the others administering the consolations of religion, and urging all to be calm.
“But it was of no use. The wind suddenly chopped from the south west to the northwest, and with a crash the vessel rolled over on her beam ends. The sea was now a mountainous whirlpool and the ship was helpless. The aft gangway leading from the promenade to the main deck, was jammed with men, women and children who could get neither up nor down. At every pitch this mass would writhe and twist like a serpent while the waves broke over then from above. The horses in the meantime-there were about ten or then aboard — had broken loose and at every roll they were thrown from one side of the main deck to the other.
“About this time my uncle and I, with a number of the passenger moved up to the promenade deck forward of the cabin. W.D. Henry, of king Township, was there too. In a little while we were joined by purser MacDougall, carrying the books belonging to his office. As soon as I saw that I knew that whatever hope there night have been before was all gone. The cabin was already broken in at several points, but still the old craft floated. At last about 11:30 she pitched up at the head and went down stern first, the cabin breaking off, and the boats, crowded with people, floated as she did so. At the very first sea however, the cabin went to smash and the mass of people hanging on to it were thrown into the sea, which was now running steadily from the northwest and in mountainous waves. I was in one of the wooden boats. It was crammed with people and scores hung on to the sides and others further out in the water clung to them again. But this could not last long. The sea soon broke the hold of those in the water and filled our boat at the same time.
“As soon as she was about to sink I sprang over and swam for the metallic lifeboat. There were great combs on every wave, and these, loaded with debris, broke over my head every time I came up on a crest. My hands and head were both cut and bleeding, but I reached the lifeboat and managed to clamber in.
“Notwithstanding the horror of the scene, it was incomparably grand and awe-inspiring. Every time we went down in the hollow we seemed in a valley of endless length with towering mountains on both sides. Some were still hanging to pieces of floating wreck, but we were driving fast before the sea and soon lost sight of wreckage and the other boats as well.
“Behind was the gulf into which two hundred had just sunk out of sight, all about was a mountainous sea and no land was visible from any quarter. There were about thirty people in the boat when I first got in, but as we only had one oar and could not direct her she upset in passing over almost every wave, and at each upset some were lost.
“There were two brothers — Sparks, of Ottawa — aboard. They were splendid fellows. At one upset a woman grasped him around the neck and pulled him down. The other seized the life line and held on to the side for two hours. We each had all we could do to take care of ourselves and none could give him a hand. He was too weak to pull himself in, but for two hours he held fast to the line and floated. It was the finest exhibition of nerve and endurance I ever saw in my life. But at last he had to let go and was drowned.
“About 7:30 in the evening we came in sight of Byng Inlet Light. The wind had gone down, but the see was still high. Of the thirty with whom are started but six were now left: Captain Savage. Mate McDonald, and a man named Little from Manitoulin, a Montrealer, Miss Morrison and myself.
“I thought — we all thought — these would all live to reach the shore, although two hours before a French deck-hand had gone crazy and jumped overboard. As the light gleamed over the billows we all led by the Mate, began singing “Pull for The Shore.” But the song ceased, and one by one the singers fell into that sleep that knows no waking. The Montreal man died at eight o’clock; Little went next and the Mate — who had been singing so joyfully, a little over three hours before – succumbed at eleven. I felt the premonitory symptom myself; an intense cold followed by numbness in the finger tips, and than the warm glow and drowsiness accompanied with an almost overpowering desire to dose. But I knew that 15 minutes of that meant the beginning of the eternal sleep and I resisted. Three time I aroused the Captain from his lethargy and told him he was dying, but it was of no use, and he too, crossed the bar about midnight.
“Our boat was still full of water and as each one died I placed the body under the seat to prevent it from being washed out. There was no sleep for Miss Morrison or myself that night. At daybreak we found ourselves about ten miles below Byng Inlet and drifting toward the islands that dot the shore.
“Between ten and eleven we struck land at Point aux Barrie, where the tugs take the inside channel for Parry Sound. This was on Friday. But even yet death stared us in the face. We were far from help and could not navigate our boat. All day and all night we stayed there with starvation staring us in the face until it seemed as if we had escaped the fierce billows to die of hunger. During the night I fell asleep, but not to rest. In my dreams I saw again the horrors of the day previous and starting up suddenly I fell into the water. I struck out, but in the darkness and confusion I took the wrong direction and soon found myself heading out into the open lake. I turned back and in a few minutes reached the shore, but at another point. Then I called for Miss Morrison but she was too weak to answer, and it was not until after considerable time had elapsed that I found her.
“At last, on Sunday morning about 9, we saw a sail. We were both almost delirious and thought it a large vessel, although it was only an Indian mackinaw. I hoisted my coat on the oar and the Indian came over.
“We had practically been without food since the previous Wednesday evening and this was near noon on Sunday. But the Indian had fat pork and “chock dog,” and from that I obtained the best meal I ever had in my life.
“I tried to get the Indian to take us to Manitoulin, but that was eighty niles off and too far for the Indian. Instead he agreed to run us to Parry Sound and we reached Sunday morning (?). The first man I met was ‘Josh’ Belcher, then of the ‘BELLE’, but purser on the ATLANTIC. You may be sure I never was so glad to see anyone in my life.
“J.C. Miller — he is dead now, poor fellow — took charge of me. Never shall I forget his kindness or that of his family. They could not have done more for me had I been their son.
Mr. Tinkis was a youth of about eighteen when the disaster occurred. He is now a prosperous business man at Little Current and shows no ill effects of the horrible experience of ten years ego. But his eyes moistens and his voice shakes even yet when that awful time is recalled to memory…
Meaford ‘Monitor’
Friday, October 21, 1892

 

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ROTHESAY

1889: ROTHESAY, a wooden sidewheel passenger vessel, collided with the tug MYRA in the St. Lawrence between Kingston and Prescott. The latter sank with the loss of 2 lives. The former was beached on the Canadian shore where it settled and was abandoned. The wreck was dynamited in 1901 and part of it remains on the bottom in 35 feet of water.

Sidewheel steamer ROTHESAY, registered at the port of Prescott; and bound from Brockville to Prescott on September 12, 1989 collided with the tug MYRA, a 1/4 mile above Prescott. A total loss. Vessel was 22 years of age and her loss valued at $1,500.
Statement of Wreck & Casualty, 1889
Department of Marine & Fisheries

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Prescott, Ont. – The excursion steamer ROTHESAY collided last night with the tug MYRA of Ogdensburg. The MYRA sunk and the ROTHESAY was beached, the 60 passengers escaping. Samuel Jardine and Wm. Sullivan, of the MYRA were drowned.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, September 13, 1889

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THE “ROTHESAY” COLLISION – Prescott, Sept. 19 – The firm of John Donnely & Son, Wreckers, of Kingston, have the contract for raising the tug MYRA, which was sunk in collision with the steamer ROTHESAY on the evening of the 12th. inst. and will commence operations at once. The body of Samuel Jarden, an engineer on the ill-fated tug, was found this morning about one mile below this town in a fearfully scalded state. An inquest will be held this evening. The body of fireman Wm. Sullivan has not been recovered yet. The ROTHESAY is still lying in the same position as when beached. No arrangements have been made for raising her as yet.
Toronto Globe
Friday, September 20, 1889

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The wrecked steamer ROTHESAY is in the same position, with stern down in the mud. The boats owners have turned her over to the Insurance Company. She was inspected by Capt. Donnelly of Kingston, and other well known wreckers. Some of these gentlemen were of the opinion that the ROTHESAY could be put on the Marine Railway for $3,000. The stories being told as to the hull, Captain McLeod brands as falsehoods. He says during the past summer he carefully examined the ROTHESAY and found her in such excellent condition, as to warrant him rating her B 1.
Toronto Globe
Saturday, September 21, 1889

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The steamer ROTHSEY has been considerably racked by winds, and unless raised immediately will go to pieces. Her upper works are caving in, the staunchions are giving way, the hurricane deck is beginning to lop, and a general caving in is liable to take place should a heavy sea set in. The insurance companies offer her for sale to the highest bidder.
Toronto Globe
Tuesday, October 8, 1889

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In legal parlance the old hulk of the steamer ROTHESAY has been “arrested,” on the grounds that she is rapidly deteriorating, and if repaired, would be unsafe for the transport of freight or passengers. The crew has claims to the amount of $1,300 and a general claim for $250.
Toronto Globe
Saturday, October 12, 1889

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IN THE MARITIME COURT OF ONTARIO
John Lasha and others, Plaintiffs, against the steamship ROTHESAY
Pursuant to the order of this honorable court, herein dated 21, Oct. 1889, and the commision of sale issued pursuant thereto, the steamship ROTHESAY, together with her furniture, cables, anchors, and small boats, will be sold at Public Auction, by James Robertson, Deputy Sheriff of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville on Wednesday the 30th. day of October 1889 at the Town Hall of Prescott.
Toronto Globe (Advert)
Thursday, October 24, 1889

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The captain and crew of the steamer ROTHESAY, have received their pay, $1,300.
Toronto Globe
Monday, October 28, 1889

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Kingston, Ont., Nov. 12 – The Donnelly Wrecking Company has purchased the steamer ROTHESAY, sunk near Prescott. They will raise her and use her for excursion purposes.
The Marine Review
November 12, 1891

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Brockville, Nov. 16. – The steamer ROTHESAY, ashore near Prescott, is rapidly breaking up. Nothing has yet been done towards raising her.
Toronto Globe
Saturday, November 29, 1902

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The sunken steamer ROTHESAY was blown up at Prescott by R.M.C. officers. The wreck was considered a dangerous navigational obstruction. Cost $368.96
Removal of Obstructions
Marine & Fisheries Report
Sessional Papers, Federal
2-3 Edward V111.,A. 1893

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The wreck of the steamer ROTHESAY which lay in about 25 feet of water, 500 feet from shore, in the bay between the upper wharf at Prescott and the wharf at McCarthy’s Brewery, has been blown up under the direction of Capt. C.D.O. Symond R. E. acting for the Dep. of Marine & Fisheries of Canada, and no portion of the wreckage now remains within 20 feet of the surface of the water.
Toronto Globe
Monday, November 18, 1889

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THE ROTHESAY FOUND?
A Baldwinsville Businessman and three fellow members of the Syracuse Skin Divers Club recently discovered what is believed to be the hulk of a cruise ship which sank in the St. Lawrence River near Ogdensburg some 72 years ago.
The quartet recovered a set of matched anchors, weighing about 650 pounds apiece, there considered to be quite a “find” among amateur salvagers.
Theodore (Ted) White of Parkway Dr., Baldwinsville, known widely in the area through White Signs Co., was accompanied on the expedition by James Sprague, Philip Keneson and Philip Volmer, all of Syracuse.
The matched pair of anchors, believed to date to the War of 1812, are now at the White Signs building on River Rd., Town of Lysander. They are destined to decorate the grounds of The Castaways Restaurant at Brewerton, according to Mr. White.
While identity of the wreckage has been open to widespread speculation in the north country, Dr. J. L. Carroll, first vice-chairman of the Ontario St. Lawrence Development Commission produced a photo and information of the steamer ROTHESAY, which sank in 1890 after colliding with a tug boat. Mr. White said that the sunken bulk resembles the photo and that he is satisfied the wreck is that of the ROTHESAY.
According to information gathered so far, Mr. White said the ROTHESAY was a 200 foot cruise ship, originally used on the River Clyde in Scotland. She was transferred to the St. Lawrence River service in 1887.
On the down run from Kingston to Prescott in 1690, the side-wheeler collided with a tug boat the MYRA or MOIRE. The ROTHESAY was returning from the Thousand Islands late at night while on a moonlight excursion trip when the collision occurred.
The captain and chief of the tugboat were drowned, and attempts to beach the excursion vessel on the Prescott shore proved futile.
The ROTHESAY was considered at that period in river history to be one of the most palatial of St. Lawrence passenger ships.
Mr. White said the ROTHESAY lies in about 35 feet of water. At the time of her sinking, most of the navigational equipment was salvaged, but heavier gear remained aboard, probably because modern salvage and skin diving gear was not available in those days.
White said time and current have worked the hulk into deeper water. For the most part, he said, the lower portion of the ship is still intact. It is kept company in its silent grave by numerous eels and a family of bass. Some pottery was found, marked “Parisienne Granite.”
White said he and his companions raised the heavy anchors by use of 55 gallon drums, which floated the prizes when filled with air.
Baldwinsville Messenger, August 10, 1962
Inland Seas
Winter, 1962
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To the Editor, Inland Seas:
I, for one, am convinced that the wreck explored by the Syracuse Skin Divers Club (See INLAND SEAS, Winier 1962, p. 329) in not the steamer Rothesay. Here are my reasons for disagreeing with the story.
To begin with, the Rothesay was not a cruise ship, nor was she built on the River Clyde in Scotland. Instead she was a river steamer, built for day trips on the St. John River between St. John and Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Rothesay was built by J. and S. E. Oliver at their shipyard at St. John, N. B., being launched there February 2, 1867. On July 20, 1877, registry was transferred from Fredericton, N. B., to Prescott, Ontario. MacDonald and Lunt, owners, put her on the Toronto-Niagara River run in 1878 and continued the operation for the following two years, finishing on September 15, 1880. The following Spring Rothesay collided with the tug Myra a few miles above Prescott, Ontario. The Myra sank and Rothesay was beached and later sank in shoal water. The wreck was abandoned as worthless and was stripped of everything of value. In 1901 the hulk was blown up by officers from the Royal Military College at Kingston, the cost to the Canadian Government being $368.00. The wreck was then lying 1/4 mile offshore. (Sec picture, this journal, p. 40.)
Now about the anchors found at the wreck. A close look at the picture (p. 297) will show that the anchor is stowed inboard, on an anchor table with the stock (cross arm) outside, the shank resting on the bulwark cap. This type anchor war not in existence during the War of 1812. In that period the stock was made of wood and was firmly fixed in place. The anchor shown has a metal stock which could slide back and forth through the shank.
I also think that the author of the story has confused the Rothesay with another steamer, namely, the iron side-wheel steamer Rothesay Castle, built at Renfrew, Scotland, in 1861, and brought over as a blockade runner for the Confederate States during the Civil War. She was brought to Lake Ontario and renamed Southern Belle, April 1876.
Another wreck in the vicinity is the American steamer Toltec. This steamer burned and sank near Prescott on September 4, 1919. The Toltic, also about 200 feet in length would have the same style anchors as shown in the picture of Rothesay. Another look at the wreck might convince the divers that they had found the propeller Toltic instead of the side wheeler Rothesay.
CAPTAIN FRANK E. HAMILTON
Inland Seas
Spring 1963

EXPLORER

On 11 September 1883, EXPLORER (2-mast wooden schooner, 48 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1866, at Chatham, Ontario) struck rocks and went down on Stokes Bay on the outside of the Bruce Peninsula. Her crew was visible from shore clinging to the wreck until the vessel broke up. All five were lost.

MARINE ITEMS. – The yacht EXPLORER was wrecked at Cove Island, in Georgian
Bay on the 11th ult. Two lives were lost.
Erie Daily Dispatch
Saturday, November 30, 1867

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LOSS OF THE ” EXPLORER.” TWO LIVES LOST
The Schooner EXPLORER, owned by Mr. Hert (sp?), of Chatham, was capsized on Middle Rock, near Yeo Island, Lake Huron, and sad to say two men, named respectively Wm. Starnes and Jack —-, single men, both lost their lives, the Master, Waddel, alone reaching the shore after the accident. The vessel was about half laden with supplies for a saw mill on Georgian Bay, and merchandise for a trading adventure, sailed from St. Clair Rapids on the 8th inst., steering for the Detour Passage to Bruce Mines where it was intended to call. A violent gale blew without intermission from that time till the morning of the 11th, during which the fore-boom had been carried away and the vessel repeatedly “hove
to.” On the 11th, she was headed for the channel leading to Georgian Bay, but before reaching Owen Sound Channel, several snow squalls had whitened all the shore and darkness setting in before the passage could be made, the vessel was hauled up for the ship channel, where she got into a patch of that shoal water and the sea broke so heavily she was thrown on her beam ends, and the cargo shifted to port, causing her to drag along, with her lee rail under water in a dangerous position. The bulkhead between the cabin and hold was at once chopped out to admit a man going through. One hand went in with a lantern and reported load shifted under fore-hatch and other places, but that it could be re-trimmed
without much trouble if the vessel could be kept steady fifteen minutes. Both hands then went into the hold taking a hand spike, and leaving another hand with the master at the wheel, to signal on the deck in case of danger. One or two signals on fancied dangers were made, and the men finally went below, saying “five minutes would complete the job”. Almost immediately the proximity of shoal water was apparent from the roar of heavy breakers. One huge sea was making up to windward when the vessel was kept away and received it under the stern, which it lifted almost perpendicularly up, breaking about
amidships, filling all the decks up with water, rushing the vessel forward and driving her against the rocks, which she struck with such force with her forefoot or Bowsprit, that her whole cargo fell forward with a crash into her bow, doubtless crushing the two men below, to death instantly. Her sails gibed at the same time, the main-boom tearing away from the blocks, and going adrift. The next sea was preparing to break astern, the master abandoned the wheel and sprang into the main rigging – the sea broke over the vessel eight or ten feet
deep, capsizing her clear over, mastheads under water, tearing off cabin doors, and throwing her stern around, head to sea; successive breakers dashing against her, washed her off the rocks into deep water, where her bow sank down to an angle of about 60 degrees, leaving her stern floating about five or six feet out of the water. The breakers had thrown the yawl boat on top of the cabin upside down, and when the vessel began to drift stern foremost, the waves washed her off again. The master clung to the stern of the vessel from the time she
capsized (about 7 or 6 p.m.) till noon the next day; during which interval her succeeded in clearing the boat off the davits, and in bailing her out with the ships bucket, which, with an oar and pike pole, were lashed to the same rigging he had sought safety in.
The wind having changed to N.W. and blowing towards Cabot’s Head, the master left the vessel and succeeded in reaching the shore. From Cabot’s Head the master worked his way around, with the yawl boat and an oar all round the coast in a famished condition, having only a few fish to exist on, to Colpoy’s Bay, which he reached on Monday last, the 25th. inst., in such an exhausted state that assistance was required to enable him to be removed from the boat to the Tavern. Two men were sent from Colpoy’s Bay to look for the vessel, which it was supposed, might have drifted ashore near Lion’s Head in Dwyer Bay. — Toronto Globe n. d.
Owen Sound Comet
Friday, December 6, 1867
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A MYSTERY CLEARED UP.
About fifteen years ago Captain Waddell, of Chatham was sailing a small two masted schooner, EXPLORER, in to Tobermorey Bay, with a cargo of whiskey, pork, and mill castings. The crew consisted of the captain and two sailors. The EXPLORER never reached her destination, and was supposed to be lost with all hands. Subsequently the Captain turned up and reported that the vessel had been lost on the reef near Bear and Flower Pot Islands, and that the two sailors had both gone down with her, while he alone escaped. The vessel was insured and the Captain got the insurance money.
The next season Captain Waddell was drowned on a trip in a small boat to Flower Pot Island, where he went, it is alleged, for the purpose of taking away the cargo of the EXPLORER, the theory being that he had landed the cargo and afterwards scuttled the ship.
Suspicions of foul play were rife at the time, but the vessel could not be found, and the interest in the matter died away. Five or Six years ago the EXPLORER was discovered by Chas. Earle, of Tobermorey in the bay, in about seventeen fathoms of water, several miles from the reef alluded to, but nothing was done to raise her until recently, when the Port Huron, Wrecking Company sent a wrecking tug, and raised her and towed her into Tobermorey Bay, where she now floats.
A diver who descended into the vessel where she lay before she was moved states that she lay on her bean ends and he could not get into the cabin, but after she was righted, he went down a second time and found the cabin door had opened and he saw a corpse of a
man upright in the cabin. After the schooner was towed to shallow water the body could not be found, and it is supposed that the motion of towing had caused it to float away from the wreck.
The suspicions of the cause of the loss of the ship were fully confirmed by the discovery that there are thirteen two-inch auger holes in her bottom, and from eight to ten tons of stones, but not a particle of cargo.
The wrecking tug proceeds next to the Western Islands, where it is intended to raise the ‘FOREST KING’ which sank in a snow storm in the month of November about eight years ago. She was a three master, and loaded with coal.
Meaford Monitor
Friday, June 30, 1882

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LOSS OF THE EXPLORER
Other Side Of The Sensational Narrative
Ever since the raising of the wreck of the lost EXPLORER, a story has being going the rounds of the press, in some cases receiving fresh additions from the recording scribes, reflecting most severely on the memory of the late Captain Waddell, and causing his family no little personal anguish. From competent authority we gather the following as the true history of the vessel and its wreck:–
The schooner was built by the late John Waddell in 1866 for a yacht, and was capable of carrying some 2,500 bushels of grain in her hold; she cost about $5,000. In the Fall of 1869 he loaded her for the Georgian Bay, not with “Whiskey” or “goods valued at “$18,000 ” or capable of being insured at such a figure, but with goods for Collins’ lnlet, where he had a large mill, then and now known as “Waddell’s Mills. The goods were valued at $2,000, and vouched for by respectable firms, some of whom are now in existence and were insured for the sum of $1,500 and the hull for $2,000.
There was nothing in the condition or position of the vessel at the time of her raising that would contradict the affidavit of Mr. Waddell, as filed with the company who had the insurance on the hull.
Mr. Waddell’s statement was that, feeling the vessel getting lower in the water, he called to the men who were below, but getting no response he jumped into the yawl boat and cut her adrift. When last he saw the schooner she was drifting in the direction where found. He was delayed by storm for five or six days before reaching Owen Sound, the nearest inhabited place, and as of course he left the schooner without anything, he was in a pitiable state he. he reached the Sound, being in bed delirious for two weeks after his arrival,
We have ourselves examined the bottom of the vessel for auger holes or signs where some had been plugged up, but could find none. There were no skeletons found in the vessel when raised, as reported. The door of the cabin was pulled off by a vessel grappling for the wreck, together with part of the cabin, that ten men could not move with brute force,
The exact position of the vessel was not found for seven or eight years after the disaster, but the tale regarding the same (at first originated From wholecloth) has been repeated and retold so often that it has at least begun to be believed as true, and thus given to the papers as bona fide. There being no cargo of any great value in her at the time, the insurance on it was not claimed, and no more than ordinary precautions were taken before the hull insurance was paid.
Why a vessel-owner would make away with a craft that cost $5,000 the year before, for the sake of drawing an insurance of $2,5OO is beyond conjecture.
None of Mr. Waddell’s sons have since died, but all are successful business men at the present time. —Goderich Star
R. G. McCULLOUGH, SUBMARINE DIVER,
Says That He Found Twelve Auger Holes In The Bottom, And Also A Body And Several Tons Of Stone. — ( From the Port Huron Times ):–
The story recently published about the finding of the lost schooner EXPLORER, which was sunk about fifteen years ago in the Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, has revived a great deal of interest that was manifested at the time the vessel was sunk. The statement that Captain Waddell, who was in command, had planned to defraud the insurance companies and also caused the death of the sailors, is credited by some newspapers as being true, while others emphatically stamp it as slander upon a dead man. Captain Waddell was well known in Goderich, and a few years after the EXPLORER was lost, he was drowned. The Goderich Star published a long article denying the story printed in several local papers, and stating that the editor had examined the bottom of the boat and could not find any auger holes, and further that no bodies were found in the hold or cabin by divers. The article in the Star is replied to by R.G. McCulloch, a submarine diver of this city, who examined the boat and claims to have found the auger holes and some of the wooden plugs in the hold, and also the perfect body of a man and the bones and putrid flesh of another; but he does not pretend to say who scuttled the schooner. He writes as follows.
To the Editor of the Port Huron Times.
Sir,- I see by your valuable paper that the Goderich Star denies the fact that the schooner EXPLORER was scuttled and sunk, as published in the local papers. I was one of the divers that worked on the EXPLORER and gave the report to the press concerning the scuttling of that craft, and from personal knowledge know that the EXPLORER was scuttled.
It the Editor of the Star will get the Harbor Master of Goderich, and go on board the EXPLORER and lift up the ‘limber’ boards, the Harbor Master (who thoroughly knows his business) will show the editor of that paper where he can find twelve inch and-a-half holes; eight on the starboard side and four on the port side.
I will further state that the schooner was stripped of all her sails, blocks, rigging, and booms, and the sheet blocks were cut with a cold chisel, and part of the links left on the traveller; and the lamp and compass were taken out of the binnacle box.
The schooner was weighed with ( as near as I can judge without weighing ) fifteen ton of stones, and thirteen lockers in the cabin were also filled with stone. There was one perfect body found on board with a shirt and pair of pants on, and the bones and putrid flesh of another was found on deck, having evidently floated out by the surging of the water while we were working at the wreck. The hatches were spiked down, and the hatch bars on and securely fastened. I also found seven of the plugs in the hold of the vessel that had been used to stop the holes until all was ready. The small door leading from the cabin to the hold of the vessel was also out. The cabin door had been locked and the key left in the lock, but the door was lying on the deck, having been torn off by an anchor or grapnel. I have no hesitation in saying that the schooner was scuttled and then sunk.
Mr. Lewis who claimed to own the schooner, asked me to say nothing about it in Goderich, as, he said, ‘The schooner had been under water for several years; but the name was perfect on the quarter and stern, as follows;
‘ EXPLORER, of CHATHAM,’
Who scuttled the schooner, I do not know, but the facts I have stated can be proved by a dozen witnesses.
Hoping you will publish this, I remain Yours Truly,
R. G. McCulloch, Submarine Diver
Port Huron, August 3rd. 1882

THE ‘TRIBUNE’ ON THE EXPLORER.
The Port Huron Tribune says: — D. S. Gooding is the name of a Chicago Attorney who thinks he has a clear case of libel against the Tribune because we published the Waddell — Explorer affair.
He is cordially invited to wade in and try it. We have the best authority for every statement made in that article and are prepared to back it up at any time. We do not state it as a fact that Waddell scuttled the EXPLORER, but gave the story told by himself and the condition in which the vessel was found. People can draw their own inferences! Another item in the same paper reads thus: Every word of that article about the schooner EXPLORER, recently published in the Saturday ‘Tribune’, is true and can be verified under oath if necessary. Among the witnesses would be found, Capt. H. N. Jex, of this city, Capt. Matthew Watts., R. G. McCulloch and D. Fectau, all of whom were present at the raising of the vessel. Capt. Jex personally assisted in plugging up the twelve auger holes that had been bored in the bottom of the vessel, and his crew spent nearly half a day removing the stone with which she had been filled.
Meaford Monitor
Friday, August 25, 1882

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NOTE : — The EXPLORER, raised in 1882 was lost the following year, Sept. 4, 1883 on Greenough Bank, near Stokes Bay, Bruce Peninsula

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