Tag: Protected Wreck

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

 

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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
. . . . .

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

CITY OF PORT HURON

On September 4, 1876, CITY OF PORT HURON, a wooden steam barge, sank a few miles off shore near Lexington, Michigan, at about noon. She was heavily loaded with iron ore and sprang a leak at about 11 o’clock. Most of the crew managed to get on top of the cabin while two were in the forward rigging as she went down in 6 fathoms of water. The heavy seas washed over those on the cabin. Captain George Davis and two others floated ashore on wreckage while a fish boat picked up the five others. No lives were lost.

  • Vessel Name: CITY OF PORT HURON
  • Nationality: U.S.
  • Official Number: 5392
  • Rig: Propeller

Dimensions and Tonnage

  • Length: 169.00
  • Width: 30.42
  • Depth: 10.16
  • Masts: 0
  • Gross Tonnage: 411.02
  • Net Tonnage: 0.00
  • Hull Material: Wood
  • Hull Number:

Vessel History

  • Rebuilds:
  • History: First enrollment issued at Port Huron, MI, on July 8, 1876.
  • Disposition: Sprung leak, broached, and sank about four miles off Lexington, MI, Lake Huron, on September 4, 1876, when downbound with iron ore; no lives lost. Final enrollment surrendered at Buffalo, NY, on 9/9/1876. In summer, 2001, divers located wreck in 35 ft. of water, about 15 mi. north of Sarnia, Ont.

Build Information

  • Builder: Arnold, Joseph P.
  • Place Built: Port Huron, MI
  • Year Built: 1867

An associated Press dispatch from Detroit last night announced that the stmb. CITY OF PORT HURON, bound from Marquette to Buffalo with a cargo of iron ore, sunk yesterday morning, in Lake Huron, in 50 ft. of water. No lives were lost.
The vessel was owned in this city by Capt. M.M. Drake and others, and was valued at $15,000.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 3, 1876 3-1

A special dispatch to the Free Press from Port Huron, September 4, Says: The steambarge CITY OF PORT HURON foundered in Lake Huron at noon today. She was bound from Lake Superior to Erie with a cargo of iron ore. She had the barge DICTATOR in tow. The DICTATOR was cast adrift about an hour before the CITY OF PORT HURON foundered. The barge was heavily laden down by the head, having burned her fuel out aft. She was seen to broach to and sink. The crew took to the rigging and the top of the cabin. She sunk in about 6 fathoms of water nearly a mile from shore, near Lakeport. her cabin floated off with 8 persons on it, who were rescued by fishermen from shore. Two remaining were taken off by the tug Wm. A. MOORE. The DICTATOR arrivd here safe.
Detroit Free press
September 5, 1876

The steam barge CITY OF PORT HURON foundered yesterday abreast of Birchville about a mile from shore there she broached to and immediately sunk. She was heavily loaded with iron ore and had burned her fuel out aft and was so far down by the head that the syphon pump could not keep her free from water, The crew managed to get on top of the cabin which was out of the water and 2 persons were in the rigging forward. The heavy see which was running, washed the cabin off, and the unfortunate sailors were soon adrift and at the mercy of the waves, Captain George Davis, who was in command of the ill-fated craft, together with his son and 6 others, were picked up from the pieces of the floating wreck and brought safely to shore by a boat launched by people on shore. A tug picked up one other survivor and a scow two others. The CITY OF PORT HURON was owned by M.M. Drake and others of Buffalo and was considered a safe boat if not too deeply loaded. That she was in this condition was very evident. The fortunate circumstance of her going down near shore and while the water in the lake is warn had probably a great deal to do with the saving of the lives of the crew.
Port Huron Daily Times
Tuesday, September 5, 1876

Steam Barge CITY OF PORT HURON, sunk in Lake Huron in six fathoms of water, one mile from shore near Lakeport.
Detroit Free Press
September 5, 1876

Captain George Davis, commander of the sunken propeller, CITY OF PORT HURON, desires us to state that it was about 11 in the forenoon, when the steamer sprung a leak; that the pumps worked all right and kept her clear until 12 o’clock, after which the water gained on them at the rate of a foot an hour until she went down. He says the boat was not overloaded, drawing 11′ 1 inch forward. She is of peculiar build and so shallow in the hold as not to show much side out when loaded. She was 3 or 4 miles out when she went down, and Captain Davis and 2 others floated ashore on wreckage while a fish boat picked up five or the crew.
Port Huron Daily Times
Wednesday, September 6, 1876

A dispatch in yesterday’s paper announced the sinking of the stmb. CITY OF PORT HURON on Lake Huron Monday afternoon, 3 miles north of Lakeport, in 50 ft. of water, and also conveyed the welcome intelligence that the crew were all saved. The boat was bound down with a cargo of iron ore, and had the barge DICTATOR in tow. The latter was cast adrift about an hour before the propeller went down. Capt. Davis reported that the steam barge consumed all her coal aft, and thus became low down by the head, which caused her machinery to work badly. While in this situation she shipped heavy seas, and was put about toward shore, but before reaching it was overcome by the seas and sunk, nearly a mile from land. The captain, his sone and 8 men took refuge in the cabin which brole loose from the hull, and were picked up by a fish boat which went to their assistance from Lakeport. The remaining 2 of the crew were up in the rigging, and were rescued by the tug WM. A. MOORE. The owners of the vessel are Messrs. Drake, Bartow, Robinson & Drake, of this city, who place her value at about $20,000. She is insured for $18,000 in companies represented by Messrs. Smith, Davis & Clark, and Messrs. Fish & Armstrong – $5,000 with the former and $13,000 with the latter. The cargo is said to be fully insured.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 6, 1876 3-5

Capt. Jack McKenna, Marine Inspector, has been sent to examine into the condition of the stmb. CITY OF PORT HURON, with the view of raising her. Our latest advices from the scene of the disaster are to the effect that a large quantity of broken portions of her upper works and her furniture are floating about, which tends to show that she is so badly broken or injured as to be worthless, and that no effort will be made to raise her except it be to save her engine and boilers. The tops of her spars were yesterday visible above the surface of the lake, and a part of her sails, which were set were also apparent.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 7, 1876 3-6

Capt. John McKenna has returned from the wreck of the prop. CITY OF PORT HURON, and confirms the report which was published by us on Thursday. He says she is rapidly going to pieces, and that it will be a waste of time to attempt to raise her. The hull is evidently broken to pieces and doubled up.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 9, 1876 3-6

The wrecker MONITOR has returned to Detroit with the boiler and 100 tons of iron ore recovered from the wreck of the steam barge CITY OF PORT HURON, some time since sunk in Lake Huron, and with chains and fixtures belonging to the wreck of the schooner C. L. WALKER. Further work is to be done towards the recovery of property from both wrecks.
Cleveland Herald
August 4, 1877

The MONITOR, propeller barge, which has been engaged in taking the cargo from the steam barge CITY OF PORT HURON, which was sunk in the lake a few miles below here, and the schooner C. L. WALKER near Lakeport, has returned to Port Huron, having been most successful in her expedition. The CITY OF PORT HURON was found about four miles below Lexington lying in thirty-four feet of water, a total wreck, being broken in two. From her were taken the large boiler and about 200 tons of iron ore. From the WALKER, which was found off Lakeport, in forty feet of water, two anchors, a lot of chain, and about 10 tons of ore were taken. Later in the season she is to return after the engines of the CITY OF PORT HURON, and the remainder of the cargoes.
Cleveland Herald
August 22, 1977

The U. S. Marshall Matthews sold the boiler and macinery of the old steamer PORT HURON at Detroit yesterday morning at auction. Darius Cole was the purchaser, his bid being $1,000.
Port Huron Daily Times
Thursday, December 13, 1877

The date was Sept. 4, 1876, and the steam barge CITY OF PORT HURON was losing a battle against a gale at the southern end of Lake Huron. The ore laden boat, with the tow barge DICTATOR in tow, was trying to make her way into the St. Clair River and the port whose name it bore, when she began to founder.
After hours of battling the storm, the steamer had burned more fuel than usual. In fact, the ship’s aft coal hunkers were empty. Because the steamer was weighted down with iron ore in her bow, she became unbalanced and began taking on water with every sea that rolled over her how. The ship was soon dropping lower and lower by the head.
The steamer was unmanageable. Down by the head and with her stern riding high, she was not in any condition to fight the storm. The rudder was too high to work properly. the propeller was not deep enough in the water to work effectively and the ship’s siphon pump wasn’t working. The CITY OF PORT HURON was sinking.
Capt. George Davis did all he could to save the boat. He cut the DICTATOR adrift and then headed the steamer toward Lakeport, which was the nearest Michigan port. Davis acted too late. About a mile off shore, the PORT HURON suddenly broached to, took a large wave over her deck, and sank in 40 feet of water.
The crew scrambled to the roof of the cabin and into the rigging on the fore mast, which were the only parts of the boat still rising out of the water. Alas, the seas swept away the cabin and the sailors who chose to sit on its roof found themselves adrift on the wreckage. Residents of Lakeport saw the steamer founder and mounted a rescue. They loaded a fishing boat on a wagon and hauled it about three miles out of town, close to where the hapless sailors, still struggled in the storm. The boat soon had them picked up and delivered safely to dry land.
A telegraph message to Port Huron brought the tug WILLIAM A. MOORE out to assist in the rescue. That evening the Moore took the rest of the crew off the wreck.
‘The City of Port Huron was never salvaged, Capt. Davis said he thought the 169-foot-long ship broke in half when it sank. The boat was built only seven years earlier at Port Huron.
Port Huron Daily Tribune
Article by James Donahue

Steam screw CITY OF PORT HURON. U. S. No. 5392. Of 411.02 tons. Home port, Port Huron, Mich.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871.

COMET

On 26 August 1875, COMET (propeller passenger/package freight, 181 foot, 744 tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying ore and pig iron in Lake Superior on a foggy night. While trying to pass the Beatty Line steamer MANITOBA, 7 miles SE of Whitefish Point, signals were misunderstood and COMET veered into the path of MANITOBA. COMET was rammed amidships and sank in ten minutes. 11 of the 21 aboard lost their lives. This wasn’t the first such accident for COMET. In October 1869, she suffered a similar mishap with the propeller HUNTER and that time both vessels sank.

Comet lies in 230 feet (70 m) of water at 46°43.02′N 84°52.00′W in Whitefish Bay of Lake Superior.[7] Scuba diving to the wrecksite requires advanced technical diving skills. Great Lakes diver Steve Harrington reported that “divers will find much of the hull intact with twin standing arches.”[8] The wreck is protected for future generations by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve as part of an underwater museum.

The steamer MANITOBA, of the Beatty Line collided with the propeller COMET Thursday evening at 8:40, above Whitefish Point, Lake Superior and sunk her instantly. Ten were lost and sixteen saved. The MANITOBA returned to the Soo. The COMET’s cargo was pig iron, silver ore and 50 sacks of wool.
Port Huron Daily Times
Saturday, August 28, 1875

. . . . .

COLLISION ON LAKE SUPERIOR. — Detroit, Aug. 27. — The steamer MANITOBA came in collision with the propeller COMET about White Fish Point, Lake Superior on Thursday night, and sank her almost instantly. Eleven lives were lost, and ten persons saved, including the Captain and First Mate of the COMET. No one was injured on the MANITOBA, and she took the survivors of the COMET to the Sauly.
Meaford Monitor
Tuesday, August 31, 1875

. . . . .

The loss of the steamer COMET, off White Fish Point, Lake Superior, on Thursday night, in consequence of a collision with the steamer MANITOBA, was made known Saturday. The following are the names of those saved:- Francis Dugot, of Cleveland, Captain; John Gore, of Troy, N.Y., first mate; Wm. H. Weaver, of Cleveland, second mate; James Kaffity, Leopold Smith, wheelsman; John Scott, lookout; Chas. Conner Parker, Thos. Murpby, and Peter Handlon, deckhand; also one coloured fireman, name unknown. Among the drowned are Bobby and Brown, first and second engineers and nine others whose names are unknown.
The steamer COMET was owned by Hannah & Co, of Cleveland, and was an old boat. The Cleveland `Leader’ speaking of her says:- “The COMET was eighteen years old, having been built in Cleveland in 1857. Several years later she was run down in the Detroit River, soon after raised, and placed in dry-dock, thoroughly repaired, and for many years there-after was engaged in the Lake Superior trade. In the Winter of 1875-4 she was again placed in dry-dock here, and received a very complete overhaul, some $15,000 being expended. Most of the time during the present season she has been laid-up here, having nothing to do. Early in the Spring she made several trips, but there was no money made and she was withdrawn. About three weeks since an arrangement was made and she was again placed in commision, and this was her first trip. Her cargo consisted of seventy tons of silver ore, consigned to some eastern parties, fifty four sacks of wool and a large amount of pig iron. The insurance on the cargo was $14,500. It’s value is not known. The vessel was rated B I, had a registered tonnage of 744 I6-1OO tons, and was valued at about $25,000, on which there was an insurance of $20,000. She carried a crew of about twenty persons, and was commanded by Francis Dugot, of this city.” (Cleveland)
Toronto Daily Globe
Wednesday, September 1, 1875

COLLISION BETWEEN THE STEAMBOATS `MANITOBA’ AND ‘COMET’
A Passengers Statement
August 27, 1875. — ” I was on deck most of the evening. The weather was delightful, and the stars shone brightly. A steamer was sighted after passing Whitefish Point, showing her green light, full starboard side. The steamer proved to be the COMET, and loaded with silver and iron ore, approaching us from the N. N. W. When whithin a short distance of the MANITOBA the COMET suddenly shifted her course, shutting out her green light and showing her red light, and crossing the MANITOBA’s bows. Neither boat whistled; if they had, I should certainly have heard it. I heard the bells in the engine room of the MANITOBA ring. The mate of the MANITOBA was in charge. Just before the collision Captain Symes came on deck, and seeing the position of the steamers, he jumped with lightning speed into the rigging to ascend to the pilot-house, but ere any orders could have been executed the steamers collided with a fearful crash; the MANITOBA striking the COMET near the forecastle, and cutting into her from twelve to fourteen feet. The COMET then swung around, and the steamers came together with a heavy crash, the water rushing into the COMET through the breach at a rapid rate. The hull of the COMET parted and sank almost immediately. The upper works appeared to crumble and float away from the time of the collision till she sank from sight,it being less than one minute. The mate and crew of the MANITOBA had their boats lowered and manned, ready to render assistance to the sufferers, ere the COMET sank; in fact, Capt. Symes, officers and crew of the MANITOBA, acted nobly, and did everyting in their power to save the lives of the crew of the sinking steamer. Six of the crew jumped from the wreck to the decks of the MANITOBA, and the boats afterwards picked up four, making ten in all saved. There were six men asleep in the forecastle of the COMET, and it is supposed that
they were crushed to death, or so badly injured that they could not make their escape. The first engineer was in bed asleep, and went down with the ship; the second engineer went down at his post. One poor fellow jumped from the wreck and caught the sash of one of the windows of the MANITOBA; his hold giving way, and falling, was heard to exclaim “Oh Lord God, I am gone.” One other poor man was seen to jump, but was carried down by the suction of the wreck. The other one of the crew that was lost was not seen or heard. The wheelsman of the MANITOBA was thrown forward over the wheel, and passengers that were sitting in the Saloon were thrown prostrate, and lamps were put out, such was the force of the concussion.
His Lordship the Bishop of Moosonee, and the Rev. Mr. Dixon, Methodist Minister, of Sarnia, were just preparing to hold evening service at the time of the accident, and ere they had time to gain the deck the wreck had disappeared.
There were about fifty cabin passengers, the greater part ladies, and several deck passengers on board the MANITOBA.They acted nobly, and particular mention is made of the ladies, who appeared perfectly cool, considering the trying circumstances; not a screetch was heard, only anxious enquiries,” is there danger”
One of the cooks of the MANITOBA became so excited that he Jumped on the wreck and had barely time to regain the MANITOBA before it was too late.
The mate of the MANITOBA states that the green light of the COMET was seen quite full; and that when within a short distance of each other the COMET gave a short blast with her whistle and ported her helm, bringing her red light in view, thus bringing the COMET to cross
the MANITOBA’s bows. He rang the bell to check, but the distance being short the steamers collided ere further orders could be executed.
One of the proprietors of the MANITOBA, Mr.John Beatty, together with his lady, was on board.
The time the accident occurred was about 8:4O p. m.
Toronto Daily Globe
Thursday, September 2, 1875

. . . . .

According to the Cleveland Herald negotiations “are now going on between the underwriters and the Coast Wrecking Co. in relation to raising the prop. COMET. She is sunk in 21 fathoms of water, and it is believed she can be raised without much trouble, and that the value of the cargo will warrant the attempt.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 7, 1875 3-4

. . . . .

During the night of Thursday, August 26th, the side-wheel steamer MANITOBA, Beatty’s line of steamers, between Sarnia and Duluth and bound up for that port, collided with the freight propeller COMET bound down, about two miles east of Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, and about 25 miles northwest from the terminus of the Sault Ste. Marie canal. The cause of the collision is not stated, but the officers of the MANITOBA say it was the fault of the COMET. A large hole was made on her starboard quarter and the water rushed in rapidly. The cargo of the COMET consisted for the most part of pig-iron, of which some 300 tons were taken on at Duluth. She had also on board 10 tons of Montana silver ore, shipped at Duluth together with a quantity of wool. The nature of her cargo rendered all attempts to save her useless and she sank to the bottom in about ten minutes. She had a crew of 25 men on board, of whom 10 are reported lost. The following are the names of those saved: Francis Duget, of Cleveland, captain; John Gore, of Troy, N.Y., first mate; W.H. Weaver, of Cleveland, second mate; J. Rafferty and L. Smith, wheelsmen; John Scott, lookout; Charles Conner, porter; Thomas Murphy and Peter Handlon, deck hands; also one colored man name unknown. Among the drowned are Bogey and Brown, first and second engineers and nine others, names unknown. The MANITOBA picked up the survivors and brought them to Sault Ste. Marie. The COMET was built by Peck & Masters at Cleveland in 1856 and was of 622 tons burthen and was valued, when completed, at $26,000. At present prices her valuation would not exceed $15,000. The loss on her cargo will foot up to at least $25,000. She was built for the New York Central Railroad and for many seasons was in the Buffalo and Chicago trade. In 1868 she collided with another boat at the mouth of the River near Stony Island and was sunk. She was raised immediately and large repairs were made on her at Cleveland. Her present owners, Hanna & Co., had her on the Lake Superior route during the greater portion of last season, but she was laid up in September because of the dull season in company with the ROCKET. This season, although the boats have ample cabin accommodations, they have been devoted almost exclusively to the freight traffic, visiting all Lake Superior ports.
The captain and crew of the ill-fated vessel furnish a few additional particulars of the disaster. They say the MANITOBA was plainly visible to the COMET, which sounded one whistle for her to take the starboard side but received no answer. The collision happened about 8:40 in the evening and the night was perfectly clear. The MANITOBA struck the COMET about sixteen feet from the stem, port side, and ran into her sixteen feet. The COMET sunk in less than three minutes and with the greatest difhcuhy her crew climbed on board the MANITOBA. During the excitement several of the crew of the MANITOBA jumped on board the COMET, but luckily returned to their own boat. She, however, leaked badly and required the constant use of her pony engine to keep her clear of water until she arrived at the Sault, where her freight was shifted aft and the leak repaired. George Smith, fireman, who Lived at Chatham, Ontario, and Michael Burke, deck hand, of Buffalo, were drowned. The names of the others besides those given it was impossible to obtain as all the vessel’s books went down with her. In addition to the cargo mentioned the COMET had fifty-three sacks of wool. The number of lives lost was eleven.
Amherstburg Echo
September 3, 1875

THE COLLISION BETWEEN THE STEAMERS “MANITOBA” AND ” COMET”
The following particulars of this sad occurence are from the Sault Ste. Marie `Pioneer’ extra, dated August 27, 1875.–
I was on deck most of the evening.- The weather was delightful, and the stars shone brightly. A steamer was sighted after passing White Fish Point, showing her green light, full, starboard side. The steamer proved to be the “COMETT”, and loaded with Silver and Iron Ore, approaching us from the N. N. W. When within a short distance of the “MANITOBA”, the “COMET” suddenly shifted her course, shutting out her green light and showing her red light,
and crossing the “MANITOBA’S” bows. Neither boats whistled; if they had I should certainly have heard it. I heard the bells in the engine room of the “MANITOBA” ring. The mate of the
“MANITOBA” was in charge, just before the collision Captain Symes came on deck, and seeing the position of the steamers, he jumped with lightening speed into the rigging to ascend to the pilot house, but ere any orders could be executed the steamers collided with a fearful crash; the “MANITOBA” striking the “COMET” near the forecastle, and cutting into her from 12 to 15 feet.
The “COMET” then swung around and the steamers came together with a heavy crash, the water rushing into the “COMET” through the breach at a rapid rate. The hull of the “COMET” parted and sunk almost immediately. The upper works appearing to crumble and float away from the time of the collision till she sank from sight, it being less than one minute. The mate and crew of the “MANITOBA” had their boat lowered and manned, ready to render assistance to the sufferers, ere the “COMBT” sank; in fact Captain Symes, officers and crew of the “MANITOBA”, acted nobly, and did everything in their power to save the lives of the crew of the sinking steamer. Six of the crew jumped from the wreck to the decks of the MANITOBA”, and the boats afterwards picked up four, making ten in all saved. There were six men asleep in the forecastle of the “COMET”, and it is supposed that they were crushed to death, or so badly injured that they could not make their escape. The first engineer was in bed asleep,
and went down with the ship; the second engineer went down at his post. One poor fellow jumped from the wreck and caught the sash of one of the windows of the “MANITOBA”; his hold giving way, and falling, was heard to exclaim: Oh! Lord! God!! I am gone!!!
One other poor man was seen to jump, but was carried down with the suction of the wreck. The other one of the crew that was lost, was not seen or heard. The wheelsman of the “MANITOBA” was thrown forward over the wheel; and passengers that were sitting in the saloon, were thrown prostrate, and lamps were put out, such was the force of the concussion. –
His Lordship, the Bishop of Moosonee, and the Rev. Mr. Dixon, Methodist Minister of Sarnia, were just preparingto hold evening service at the time of the accident, and ere they had time to gain the deck the wreck had disappeared.
There were about 50 cabin, the greater part Ladies, and several deck passengers on board the “MAMITOBA”. They acted nobly, and particular attention is made of the Ladies, who appeared perfectly cool, considering the trying circumstances, not a screech was heard, only anxious enquiries, “is there danger”?.
One of the cooks of the “MANITOBA” became so excited, that he jumped on the wreck, and had barely time to regain the “MANITOBA” before it was too late.
The mate of the “MANITOBA” states that the green light of the “COMET” was seen quite full; and that when within a short distance of each other the “COMET” gave a short blast with her whistle, and ported her helm, bringing her red light in view; thus bringing the “COMET” to cross the “MANITOBA’S” bows.
He rang the bell to check, but the distance being short, the steamers collided ere further orders could be executed.
One of the proprietors of the MANITOBA, John Beatty Esq., together with his lady, were on board.
The time the accident occurred was about 8:40 P. M.
Meaford Monitor
Friday, September 3, 1875

Capt. Fred Merriman denies that the Coast Wrecking Co. will attempt the raising of the prop. COMET. He claims that the propeller is in much deeper water than was at first reported and that it would be an impossibility for any diver to reach her.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
September 11, 1875 3-5

THE STORM ON THE LAKES
(To the Editor of the Globe)
SIR,-The captain of the steamer BADGER STAE, which called here this moruing, en-route from Chicago, reports seeing thirteen vessels, ashore on Lake Michigan. The names or further particulars he was unable to give,as they were not approached near enough further than
to observe their relative positions with the aid of a telescope.
It is just 23 years since the northern lakes were visited by so severe a gale so early in September, and strange as it may appear, both occurred on the same date, with winds from the same quarter, though attended with far less loss of life and property in the former instance. Among other casualties occurring at that time was the loss of the schooner CLYDE near Toronto, having on board 50 hhds. of sugar, and 100 tons of coal; the wrecking of the schooner BUFFALO, and the loss of all hands, on Long Point; the Canadian prop. REINDEER
beached at Long Point Cut; the schooner OREGON foundered above Erie with the loss of all hands, with many others, the value of property lost being estimated by the underwriters at $47,125, and the number of lives sacrificed 37. It was also noticed in that year (I refer to 1852 ) that the equinoctial gales which usually occur on or about the 2Oth. of the month did not take place, nor did any weather of a violent character set in until towards the latter part of October. In short, the remainder of the season was not violently unpropitious for the shipping, or for navigation continuing uninterrupted until after the middle of December, the last disaster of the season being the loss of the brig JOHN HANCOCK, with a cargo of railroad iron, at Rond Eau,which occurred on the I8th. of that month.
The loss of such treacherous old crafts as the EQUINOX, COMET, and MENDOTA, can occasion no surprise. In the case of the EQUINOX, Capt. Dwight Scott, her principal owner, was the victim of his own recklessness, and the further loss of life has been most deplorable.
There are numerous old crafts yet afloat, and ere the season closes other casualties equally as sad and alarming, will doubtless occur. A Plimsoll would find much to occupy his time in going for these miserable old hulks
J. W. H. Detroit, Sept. 14, 1875
Toronto Daily Globe
Thursday, September 16, 1875

The investigation at Sarnia into the collision on Lake Superior between the MANITOBA and the COMET, in which the latter was lost, has closed and the first boat has been exonerated from all blame.
Amherstburg Echo
September 24, 1875

The collision case of the propeller COMET and steamer MANITOBA, pending in the United States district court many years, has been finally settled by a decision of the United States Supreme court, affirming the decision made by Judge Brown and ratified by Judge Baxter. The collision occurred about 8 o’clock in the evening on the 26th. of August, 1875, about six miles south and east of Whitefish Point, in Lake Superior. The COMET was bound from Grand Island to Cleveland, and the MANITOBA from Sarnia to Duluth. The master of the COMET claimed to have done all he could to avert a collision. He blew the whistle, altered his course, and finally stopped and reversed the engines, but to no purpose, for the MANITOBA struck her on the port bow, cutting her nearly in two, sinking her in less than two minutes and destroying the lives of eleven men. The principal fault charged upon the MANITOBA, was that of starboarding her wheel instead of porting, as she was bound to do as the vessels were meeting end, or nearly end on. The MANITOBA, on the other hand, declared that at the last minute, the COMET swung across her bows. Libels and cross libels were filed and the case tried in 1878, when Judge Brown found both vessels at fault, and decided that the loss should be equally apportioned between them. The loss on the COMET and her cargo with interest, was fixed at $85,818:16, and the damages to the MANITOBA, with interest, at $7,470. Under the decision the COMET was entitled to recover only $28,694:95, with interest at 6 per cent and costs. An appeal was taken to the United States Supreme court, which now sustains Judges Dexter and Brown.
The Marine Record
Thurs. June 16 1887 p. 4

Screw COMET. U. S. No. 5683. Of 621 tons. Built Cleveland, Ohio, 1857. First home port, Buffalo, N.Y. DISPOSITION — Collided with MANITOBA, August 26, 1875 on Lake Superior, 11 lives lost.
Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States
Lytle – Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

BANSHEE

On August 21, 1861, BANSHEE (wooden propeller freighter, 119 foot, 166 tons, built in 1852, at Portsmouth, Ontario, named HERO in 1860-61) was carrying wheat, flour and butter to Montreal when her engine failed (broken shaft) and she was helpless in a storm on Lake Ontario. She foundered near Timber Island on Lake Ontario. One passenger died, but the crew of 10 made it to Timber Island. She was owned by Howard & Rowe of Quebec.

BANSHEE Propeller, cargo flour and etc.,sank near South Bay Point

N43 56 29 W76 50 43

, Lake Ontario. Total loss, one man drowned.

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser

Jan. 22, 1862 Casualty List, 1861

. . . . .

Loss of Propeller BANSHEE.

The Propeller BANSHEE with a cargo of grain went down at Timber Island, in South Bay, in the gale of Wednesday night. She was owned by Mr. Rose of St. Thomas, and had on board 6000 bushels wheat, 250 bbls. flour and 300 kegs butter. The machinery breaking, the vessel became unmanageable and got into the

trough of the sea, when she went down; but only one life was lost, a passenger named John Nagle, a printer. The others were saved, ten getting safely to shore in the small boat, and seven by holding onto floating timber.

The purser, Mr Scott, saved the books and cash under his care. The Propeller is a complete wreck, all her upper works having been washed off before she was abandoned by the crew. The vessel lies in 18 feet water, in a good position to be raised.

Several telegrams reached Kingston yesterday afternoon from parties, who, on hearing of the wreck, had mistaken the propeller for the steamer of that name, and who, having friends on board, were solicitous for their safety. The steamer BANSHEE, we are glad to state, went down the river at her usual hour yesterday morning, having bravely withstood and passed through the worst of the storm between Cobourg and Kingston.

Weekly British Whig (Kingston)

Friday, August 30,1861

. . . . .

 

LOSS OF THE BANSHEE.

The steamer RANGER, passed the propeller BANSHEE sunk in 18 feet of water between the Duck’s and Timber Island, one person was drowned, a passenger belonging in Montreal. The crew are all safe on the Island, these are all the particulars yet known.

It was too rough for the RANGER to get the crew off the Island, this is reported by the purser of the Ranger.

The BANSHEE plied as a freight boat between Montreal and Port Stanley, she left the latter port in the bedinning of the present week, with a general cargo, and passed through the Welland Canal on her way down a couple of days ago.

The vessel was owned by Captain Howard of the steamer MAGNET & Mr. Chas. Rose, of St. Thomas and is said to be insured.

Toronto Globe

Friday, August 23, 1861

 

. . . . .

 

SEVENTEEN LIVES SAVED WHEN PROPELLER BANSHEE FOUNDERS.

Residents on the shore of Babylon to the cliffs of Cape Versey, Marysburg Township, probably fared better than usual during the winter 1861-62, because they were able to salvage from waters surrounding the Sweatman Island, some of the cargo of the Propeller BANSHEE, which went to the bottom of Lake Ontario in the vicinity of Timber IsLnd one mile off the Point Traverse mainland.

A bad storm was sweeping across the lake that day, Wednssday, August 21st, 1301, when the ship’s machinery broke down. Floundering about helplessly in the troughs of the heavy seas, the ship soon broke up and sank, being a complete wreck.

Ten persons were saved when they hurriedly clambered into a small boat and seven persons floated in on a piece of wreckage, Mr. John Nagle, a printer was drowned.

The cargo of the banshee comprised of some 3,000 busheIs of wheat, 250 barrels of flour and 300 kegs of butter, She was owned. by a Mr. Robe of St. Thomas, Ontario.

On Sunday, October 15th, 1967, Mr. Dennis Kent and members of the Quinte Aqua Divers, Belleville, found the wreck of the propeller BANSHEE, which was lost one mile off Pt, Traverse,

The remains of the wooden ship is in some 24 feet of water on the Timber Island Bar.

Over the winter months the location was lost; but on July 30th after nearly two months of searching by.Quinte Aqua Divers, It was re-found and pinpointed. The BANSHEE is currently being explored by the Quinte Aqua Divers,

A page from the Q. A. D.’s Newsletter, 1969