Tag: Lake Ontario

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

SIMLA

Located in the Wolfe Island graveyard along with several others, it’s not known exactly which of the wrecks is the Simla but locals think she is located at N44 06 976 W76 33 606.

The last wooden steam barge built by the Calvins at Garden Island was the SIMLA (Can. 112144) of 1903. She was 225.6 feet long, 34.8 feet in the beam and 15.0 feet in depth, her tonnage being 1197 Gross and 731 Net. When the hull was completed, it was towed to the yard of Polson Iron Works Ltd., Toronto, for the installation of engines. Like INDIA, the SIMLA went to the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd, in 1914 and later joined the C.S.L. fleet. She was retired from service in the early 1920's and was laid up at Portsmouth, Ontario. The hull being no longer fit for service, her power plant was removed and in 1929 was installed in the steel canaller MAPLEHEATH where the engines continued to see service until this ship was withdrawn from service as a bulk carrier in 1959. The hull of SIMLA burned at Portsmouth about 1926 and the hulk settled on the bottom. It was finally raised by Sin Mac Lines Ltd. on September 6th, 1937, and was scuttled in deep water in Lake Ontario off Kingston.

 

STEAMER SIMLA SINKS.
The Canadian steamer SIMLA is sunk two miles west of Brockville, Lake Ontario, and is reported to be in bad condition. The steamer, which is owned by the Montreal Transportation Company is insured for $20,000.
Buffalo Daily Courier
October 5, 1916

EXPECTED TO FLOAT SIMLA FROM SHOAL IN ONE WEEK.
Ogdensburg, Oct. 15. – Another week will possibly elapse before the steam barge SIMLA is floated from the shoal west of Coronation Isle. About forty men under Capt. John Donnelly of Kingston, including Murphy and Rowley, are working ten hours a day on the contract.
The forward hatches of the foundered steamer have been released of the cargo of coal and a cement bulkhead has been constructed to be placed aft of the holes in the bow. The bulkhead has not yet been lowered in the water, but will be in position in a day or two. The sides of the SIMLA have been boarded and over these planks canvas has yet to be placed. When this is finished the work of pumping will be started and it is not expected any further trouble will be encountered. Six large steam pumps are being installed on the decks of the SIMLA for this work.
Apart from the hole torn in the bow, through coming in contact with the shoal, it is thought the SIMLA has sustained any other damage, although her stern rests in about thirty feet of water. She is an exceptionally strong and well constructed craft and is good for many years of active use.
Buffalo Daily Courier
October 16, 1916

STEAMER SIMLA WILL BE DRYDOCKED AT KINGSTON.
According to a dispatch received here yesterday, the steamer SIMLA, which was recently sunk in the Narrows near Brockville in the St. Lawrence River, is being pumped out, and is expected to be taken to Kingston in a day or so.
The SIMLA’s bow went high on the rocks when she sank, and it was necessary to build a cofferdam around the after-end before the pumps were put at work. On being taken to Kingston she will have her cargo removed and will be placed in drydock.
The Donnelly Wrecking & Salvage Co., of Kingston is doing the work of wrecking the SIMLA

Steam screw SIMLA. Official Canada No. 112144. Of 1,197 tons gross; 731 tons Reg. Built Garden Island, Ont., 1903. Home port, Montreal, Que. 225.6 x 34.8 x 15.0 Of 731 horsepower. Owned by Montreal Transportation Co., of Montreal, Que.
List of Vessels on the Registry Books of the
Dominion of Canada on December 31, 1920

Vessel Name

SIMLA

Build Year

1903

Official Number

C112144

Subject

Ship Yards / Dry Docks

People

Construction

Construction

Build City

Garden Island

Build State

ONT

Vessel Type

Bulk Freighter

Hull Materials

Wood

Builder Name

Calvin Company

Dimensions

Length

225.6

Beam

34.8

Depth

15

Tonnage Gross

1490

Tonnage Net

973

Final Disposition

Final Location

Portsmouth, Ontario

Final Date Year

1926

Final How

Burned

Final Notes

1937, September 6 Raised by Sin Mac Lines, Limited, scuttled deep water off Kingston, Ontario, Lake Ontario

History and Notes

History

1903 Engines installed at Polson Iron Works, Limited, Toronto, Ontario

1911 Towed BURMA & CEYLON

1914 Owned Montreal Transportation Company

1920s Retired, laid up Portsmouth, Ontario; engines into steel

canaller MAPLEHEATH

1926 Burned, Portsmouth, Ontario

BURT BARNES

I’m thinking no one really cared about one of the last remaining working schooners on the lakes.  Unlike the others, she just disappeared on the Sodus – Picton coal run.  The most famous thing about her is that S.O.S.  Uses a photo of her and likeness on their promotional material.

1926 BURT BARNES, a wooden three-masted schooner, foundered in Lake Ontario while carrying 210 tons of coal from Sodus Point to Picton. The crew abandoned the ship in the yawl boat near Picton and were blown across the lake and came ashore safely 12 miles west of Rochester.

Other names : none
Official no. : C150489
Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast
Build info : 1882, G.S. Rand or Rand & Burger, Manitowoc, WI US#3193
Specs : 96x25x7 134g 127n
Date of loss : 1926, Sep 3
Place of loss : 12 mi SE of Picton, Ont.
Lake : Ontario
Type of loss : storm
Loss of life : none
Carrying : coal
Detail : Foundered off Lake Ontario’s Long Point during a gale. Bound for Picton from Sodus Pt., NY. Her crew abandoned her in a patched-up lifeboat and landed near Rochester, NY, 32 hours later.
Sold Canadian in 1904. Registered out of Kingston in 1926.
One of the last working schooners on the lakes.

CORNWALL ex KINGSTON ex ALERGIAN ex BAVARIAN

Ship Type: Side Wheeler
Lifespan: Built 1854, Scuttled 1931
Length: 176 ft (54m)
Depths: 70 ft (21.5m)
Location: Amherst Island, Lake Ontario, Canada
GPS: W76.37.15 N44.08.18


Launched as the “Kingston” at Montreal in 1854, she was one of the finest Canadian steamboats of her day on the Upper St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario. Indeed, when the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) toured Canada in 1860, she was chosen to be his ‘floating palace’. In 1872, she was gutted by fire while off Grenadier Island in the St. Lawrence River. Rebuilt as the Bavarian, she again burned in the fall of 1873. The iron hull, rebuilt yet again, in Power’s shipyard at Kingston, was this time christened “Algerian.” In 1905, she was renamed “Cornwall”. Near the end of 1911, she was purchased by the Calvin Company of Garden Island, opposite Kingston. She was converted to a well-equipped rescue vessel and used until around 1925.

In the early 1930’s, during a snowstorm, the stripped Cornwall was scuttled near Amherst Island close to the graveyard where she remained until being discovered by Rick Neilson in 1989.

There is still much to see on this wreck. The boilers and some steam pipes are still present; wooden barrels are scattered about; the windlass is still attached to the bow section; and there is even a bed still there. Most importantly, both feathering paddle wheels are intact, a complete history of this wreck and ship can be purchased here.

NISBET GRAMMER

1926: NISBET GRAMMER sank after a collision with DALWARNIC in fog off Thirty Mile Point, Lake Ontario, while downbound with a cargo of grain. All on board were rescued from the 3-year old member of the Eastern Steamship Co. fleet. It went down in about 500 feet of water.

Ship of the month no 68  Everything you need to know about the NISBET GRAMMER

Underwater footage 

Nisbet Grammer (1923)
Year of Build:
1923
Official Number:
147208
CONSTRUCTION AND OWNERSHIP
Built at:
Birkenhead
POWER
Power:
Mechanical
Propulsion:
Screw
DIMENSIONS
Tonnage (gross):
1745
FINAL DISPOSITION
Final Location:
Charlotte, New York, U.S.A.
How:
Foundered (Collision)
HISTORY
253x43x20 Owned by Eastern Steamship Co., Port Colborne, Ont. Built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead England and launched 14/04/23. Engine 16-27-44×33 by builder. Sunk in collision with “Dalwarnic” 31/05/26 off Charlotte, New York.

KGH (unknown wreck)

During the labour day weekend in 2008 local Charter boat Captain Adam Rushton ran a line from an unknown hull to shore with the aid of the local Base dive club.

Located at is Kingston local’s favourite shore dive (44 13.163 76 29.458 for the boat people)

Not much is known about the wreck other than it was towed there for a beginnings of a breakwater. Sitting in 40 feet of water off the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) parking lot. The wreck is lined from the base of the Martello tower horizontally to shore leading to the vertical line leading to the wreck. Just off the wreck line about midpoint there is an old lifeguard station base. Other then that the wreck is the star candidate for this dive.

 

Dive site map by Cory Phillips

TILLER (Unknown wreck)

Toronto Area most requested dive on Scubaboard for many years.
Ship Type: Two masted wooden schooner
Lifespan: Built best estimates early 1800s, Sunk: unknown?
Length: 94ft
Depths: 110ft
Location: 6km north of Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario, Ontario
GPS N43.14.734 W070.17.064
The “Tiller” wreck, was thought to be the “Henry Clay” for some time until it was disproved, but is simply known as the “Tiller” because of the lack of a ship’s wheel as the ship was steered by a large wooden tiller at the stern of the vessel. As not much is know about the wreck, details of it’s origins and sinking are currently unknown. It does resemble work from ships built in the early 1800s, however, that is the extent of what we know.

Tiller wreck

The Tiller wreck was discovered in 1991 by Jim Garrington. A few years later a team of four divers embarked on a research project on the wreck.

Little is known about the wreck, which lies six miles off Port Dalhousie.

It is believed the wreck could be that of the Henry Clay, which went down in a strong gale in 1931 near the mouth of the Welland Canal. The team has not been able to find any conclusive evidence the wreck is that of the Henry Clay.

ATLAS

 

 

On 04 May 1839, ATLAS (wooden schooner, built in 1836, at Dexter, New York) was carrying building stone from Chaumont Bay to Oswego, New York, when she foundered 6 miles from Oswego. The steamer TELEGRAPH rushed out of Oswego to assist her but only found a little flotsam. All five on board were lost: Capt. Asahel Wescott, Ortha Little, William Ackerman, John Lee and Asa Davis (a passenger).

Rochester, New York – The wreckage of the schooner Atlas which sank in 1839 during a gale has been located in Lake Ontario. The Atlas may be the oldest confirmed commercial schooner discovered in the Great Lakes. A team of shipwreck enthusiasts, Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens, located the schooner while searching for sunken ships near Oswego, NY.

A Disastrous Event

In early May 1839 the schooner Atlas was transporting a cargo of Black River limestone from Chaumont to the port of Oswego. Within a few miles of its final destination the Atlas encountered gale force winds from the northwest which more than likely caused a shift in the heavy cargo taking the schooner swiftly to the bottom of Lake Ontario. The schooner sank so quickly there was no time for anyone to escape and all on board were carried to the deep depths of the lake. Only a few articles from the schooner were found later by the steamer Telegraph that had been sent out to where the Atlas was seen going down. These included a pair of oars, a coat, two hats, and a pair of boots.

Schooner built in 1838

The Atlas, a two masted schooner, was built in Dexter, NY in 1838 and owned by Ortha Little & Son for the specific purpose of transporting building stone from the quarries in the Chaumont, NY area. The cargo was owned by Asa Davis who at that time was furnishing the cut stone for the U.S. government pier in Oswego. Stone from the Davis quarries was later used in the construction of the Gerrit Smith building (public library) and a number of other structures in Oswego.

Lost on the Atlas

The crew of the Atlas consisted of Ashel Westcott, of Brownville, Jefferson county, aged about 26; Ortha Little, of Hounsfield, Jefferson county, part owner of the schooner and a sailor on board, aged 48; William Ackerman of Brownville, a sailor, aged 19; John See, a sailor, aged 18; and Asa Davis of Chaumont, owner of the cargo, aged 30 years, son of Phineas Davis, of Mexico, NY.

dredge MUNSON

On 30 April 1890, the wooden dredge MUNSON and two scow barges were being towed from Kingston, Ontario, by the tug EMMA MUNSON to work on the new Bay of Quinte bridge at Rossmore, Ontario, six miles west of Kingston when the dredge started listing then suddenly tipped over and sank. No lives were lost.

KEY STATS:
Ship Type: Dredge
Lifespan: Built ????, Sunk 1890
Length: 250ft
Depths: 115ft
Location: Lemoine Point, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
GPS N44.12.5690 W76.36.4960
The dredge Munson was based out of Belleville and was used for maintaining adequate water depth at harbor entrances or similar contracts. One of the most significant contracts secured for the Munson was to assure that the new schooner-barge the Minnedosa, would have an uneventful launch at Kingston on Saturday, April 26, 1890. The Minnedosa was a notable contract as she was the largest four masted Canadian sailing vessel ever built on the Great Lakes, and owned by the Montreal Transportation Company. She measured an amazing 250 ft, with a 36 ft beam; she boasted finely modeled lines that made her the talk of any seaman who laid eyes on her.

Unfortunately the most important job for the little dredge Munson, turned out to also be her last. She completed her job of dredging Kingston harbor on Wednesday April 23, 1890 and taken in tow by the tug Emma Munson along with two scows, to do construction work on the Bay of Quinte bridge in the town of Rossmore. Just off Lemoines point she was noted to be listing to one side, she had been leaking before leaving Kingston. Then when least expected she began to sink just opposite Lemoines point in 110ft of water. The towlines were quickly cut and she sank beam ends first; the cook was on board cooking dinner and scampered up after being called. He was rescued from the cold water, quite exhausted after having had to wait till the suction abated on the sinking dredge when she hit bottom, until he could surface.

The men aboard the dredge lost everything, she was valued at approximately $15,000, with the case of the sinking attributed to a plank having sprung on the bottom of the dredge. She apparently sank within 4 minutes of her listing first being noted. Diver Rick Neilson relocated the dredge Munson in 1981. Many of the artifacts have been donated to the Hastings County Museum in Belleville, Ontario, creating the beginning of their Marine heritage section.

Present day divers enjoy this well preserved wooden dredge, which sits upright in approximately 110 ft of water. Her most spectacular features are the steam shovel and the fact that she has 2 levels. The arm, which supported the shovel, was at one point entirely upright, but is now only partially articulated and rests on the lakebed with the shovel. A collection of plate’s bottles, cups, and bowls, is on display for the visiting diver to enjoy. The limitations on this wreck are most obviously the depth; therefore air consumption and time must be carefully monitored. A light layer of silt covers this wreck so good buoyancy skills are a must. This wreck is striking in its presence as it greets the divers eye on decent and is sure to remain a favorite for all that visit her.

Yesterday morning the dredge MUNSON of Belleville, which spent some days dredging for the launching of the barge MINNEDOSA, left for the bay city in tow of two small tugs. She had been leaking before leaving but it was thought that it would not amount to much. When opposite Lemoine’s Point and when the crew least expected it, she sank to the bottom, in about 100 feet of water. The tow lines were cut in order to save the tugs. The dredge went down beam end’s first. The cook, in the kitchen at the time making preparations of dinner, was told to come up but before he had run to the stairway the vessel was under water. The fellow went down but soon came up and was rescued by the crew in an exhausted state. He stated afterwards that the suction from the dredge going down kept him from coming to the surface. He had to wait until she reached the bottom. A lot of timber on her deck came up after she sank.

Daily British Whig, Kingston 
      April 30, 1890 

      . . . . . 
      
      DREDGE MUNSON SINKS AT KINGSTON. 
      Kingston, May 1. — The dredge MUNSON owned by E.A. Munson of Cobourg sank yesterday. The calamity was very sudden, as four minutes after the craft was seen to be in trouble, she sank like a stone. The three men who were on board were saved, although one of them, Wm. Green of this city, was carried down 35 feet. Loss estimated at $15,000 on which there is no insurance. As the water is 130 feet deep where the accident happened the prospect of recovering anything from the wreck is very doubtful.

Detroit Free Press 
      May 2, 1890 
      
It is likely an attempt will be made to raise the dredge MUNSON, sunk off Lemoine’s Point. 
      Daily British Whig, Kingston 
      May 12, 1890

GEORGE T. DAVIE

Located at N44 06 830 W76 34 826is The steel barge GEORGE T. DAVIE, en route from Oswego to Kingston with 1,100 tons of coal and under tow of the SALVAGE PRINCE, began leaking and sank off Nine Mile Point, Lake Ontario, in 85 feet of water. The hull was located by divers in 1999. The ship had once been part of Canada Steamship Lines. 18 april 1945

Story by Rick Neilson
“Capt. Alfred E. Brown paced restlessly in the pilothouse of the tug Salvage Prince. The cold April winds blowing across Oswego Harbour were foremost on his mind; he was anxious to get underway. Since arriving yesterday with the barge George T. Davie in tow, he had managed to get her loaded with 1,148 tons of hard coal at the Oswego coal dock. Strong winds convinced him to stay tied up in port overnight, rather than face a boisterous trip back across Lake Ontario in the dark. Now in the early morning light the skies were clear, and the winds had diminished to about six knots from the west. It was time to cast off. On being informed of his decision, James Ruth, acting master of the Davie, and the other three crew members, G. Conaghan, L. Moore and H. Moore, immediately prepared the barge for departure. Shortly after eight o’clock in the morning the Pyke Salvage tug and her consort cleared the Oswego harbour breakwater and headed north for Kingston. Although the seas were heavy from the west, the barge followed the tug well all day. After passing the Main Duck Islands their course was set for Nine Mile Point, passing west of Pigeon Island. Even after the wind and sea were noted to be “freshening,” there was no indication of danger. But this state of affairs was soon to change dramatically. According to James Ruth’s statement taken from the Shipping Casualty report, “At 2:45 p.m. with a very heavy following sea the barge seemed to begin to steer very badly indicating that she must be going by the head. Forward pump and siphon working steadily.” There were three pumps and three siphons on board, all reported as in good working order at the start of the voyage. At 3:30 p.m. the Davie was observed from the tug to shear badly to starboard, capsize and sink. The four crew members, with no time to launch the lifeboat, were thrown into the ice-cold water, but were picked up within two minutes by the Salvage Prince. For the composite barge George T. Davie it was the end of a forty-seven year career. Built in 1898 at St. Joseph de Levis, Quebec by the Davie Shipbuilding Company, her dimensions were 177.5 feet long by 35 feet wide, with a hold of 12.5 feet deep, and a registered tonnage of 680. For the most part she had an uneventful career, usually serving in the grain and coal trade on Lake Ontario and on the St. Lawrence. Although originally registered at Quebec City, after being acquired from J. R. Booth by the Montreal Transportation Company, her registry was transferred to Montreal. While owned by this company, she sank in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay in June 1911. After being raised the following year and rebuilt, she went aground at the foot of Wolfe Island. In June 1920 Canada Steamship Lines purchased the Davie from the Montreal Transportation Company. The C.S.L. soon sold her to John E. Russell of Toronto, who in turn sold her to the Sowards Coal Co. in 1926. At this time her registry was transferred to Kingston, where she entered the Collingwood Shipbuilding Company’s dry-dock that fall for a complete overhaul. In 1927 and 1928 she was being towed by the steamer Patdoris. By 1931 the Davie was employed by the Pyke Wrecking and Salvage Company, but it is not clear when ownership officially passed into their hands. Although she occasionally saw more glamorous service as a salvage lighter, her routine role in the coal-carrying trade continued until she disappeared from the surface on that cold April day in 1945. Striking on her starboard side, she still lies with her decks heeled sharply in that direction. Upon impact the weight of the coal forced the hatch covers off, and most of the cargo spilled out over the lake bottom. The crane, lying amid the coal, was formerly on the Henry Daryaw, which sank in the St. Lawrence River near Brockville in November 1941. Fastened on the roof of the intact cabin is a fresh water tank, its shape distorted by the pressure. Windows and doors allow a good view of the tangled woodwork inside. The steam-assisted steering wheel sits proudly at the stern, and the rudder is hard to port, no doubt as a result of the helmsman’s vain attempt to counteract that final sheer to starboard. The lifeboat rests near the side of the barge, not far from the crane’s clam bucket. A wooden ladder leans against the starboard bow, while high on the port bow a large anchor hangs from the hawse pipe. Leading off onto the bottom, the tow cable heads north in the direction of home.

 

Category Fleet Lists
This record was created from a CSL fleet list
SECTION A: BASIC SHIP PARTICULARS
NAME: George T. Davie
OFFICAL NO.: 107233
TYPE: B1 (St. Lawrence grain barge)
YEAR BUILT: 1898
BUILDER: G.T. Davie & Sons
COUNTRY WHERE BUILT: Canada
LBP: 177.42
BEAM: 35
MOULDED DEPTH: 12.42
GROSS TONNAGE: 680
SECTION B: OWNERSHIP/NAME CHANGES/DISPOSAL
CSL OWNERSHIP DATES:
FROM: 1921
TO: 1923
CHRONOLOGY:
YEAR VESSEL NAME OWNERSHIP/COMMENTS
1898-1905 George T. Davie John L. Davie Quebec Que. Ca.
1905-07 George T. Davie J.R. Booth Quebec Que. Ca.
1907-21 George T. Davie Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd.
Montreal Que. Ca.
1921-23 George T. Davie C.S.L.
1923-26 George T. Davie J.E. Russell Montreal Que. Ca.
1926-29 George T. Davie J.T. Sowards Montreal Que. Ca.
1929-44 George T. Davie Pike Towing & Salvage Co. Ltd.
Kingston Ont. Ca.
1944-45 George T. Davie L.R. Beaupre Kingston Ont. Ca.
18 April 1945 Capsized and sank in heavy weather 2 m. W. of Nine Mile
Point, Lake Ontario in tow Oswego-Kingstion, coal.
At times of sin King a local Kingstonian Billy Bois (pronounced
locally Booah) was the sole crew. As she went over Billy went with her
and finally sat on the keel until the salvage Prince returned to rescue
him.
This vessel was named after George Taylor Davie the famous shipbuilder
of Lauzon, Levis, Quebec and was DSL Hull No.2.
SECTION C: CONSTRUCTION
SHIPYARD: G.T. Davie & Sons
SHIPYARD LOCATION: Levis, Que.
HULL NUMBER: 2
DATE OF LAUNCH: 1898
DATE OF DELIVERY: 1898
HULL: Composite, steel framed, wood planked below W.L. steel plated
top sides and deck and hatch coamings.
HULL CONSTRUCTION: Rivetted and Bolted.
SUPERSTRUCTURE: Wood
SECTION E: ENGINE AND MECHANICAL
ENGINE TYPE: Nil
STROKE: Nil
TURBINES: Not Applicable
NUMBER OF BOILERS: 1
TYPE: LOCO. for steam auxliaries
BOW THRUSTER: Nil
STERN THRUSTER: Nil
PROPELLER: Nil
SECTION F: CARGO HANDLING CAPACITY AND FEATURES
HOLDS: 1
HATCHES PER HOLD: 24 C to C