Tag: Wrecks

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

 

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

 

Asia

 

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

 

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EXPLORER

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

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

. . . . .

LOSS OF THE ” EXPLORER.” TWO LIVES LOST
The Schooner EXPLORER, owned by Mr. Hert (sp?), of Chatham, was capsized on Middle Rock, near Yeo Island, Lake Huron, and sad to say two men, named respectively Wm. Starnes and Jack —-, single men, both lost their lives, the Master, Waddel, alone reaching the shore after the accident. The vessel was about half laden with supplies for a saw mill on Georgian Bay, and merchandise for a trading adventure, sailed from St. Clair Rapids on the 8th inst., steering for the Detour Passage to Bruce Mines where it was intended to call. A violent gale blew without intermission from that time till the morning of the 11th, during which the fore-boom had been carried away and the vessel repeatedly “hove
to.” On the 11th, she was headed for the channel leading to Georgian Bay, but before reaching Owen Sound Channel, several snow squalls had whitened all the shore and darkness setting in before the passage could be made, the vessel was hauled up for the ship channel, where she got into a patch of that shoal water and the sea broke so heavily she was thrown on her beam ends, and the cargo shifted to port, causing her to drag along, with her lee rail under water in a dangerous position. The bulkhead between the cabin and hold was at once chopped out to admit a man going through. One hand went in with a lantern and reported load shifted under fore-hatch and other places, but that it could be re-trimmed
without much trouble if the vessel could be kept steady fifteen minutes. Both hands then went into the hold taking a hand spike, and leaving another hand with the master at the wheel, to signal on the deck in case of danger. One or two signals on fancied dangers were made, and the men finally went below, saying “five minutes would complete the job”. Almost immediately the proximity of shoal water was apparent from the roar of heavy breakers. One huge sea was making up to windward when the vessel was kept away and received it under the stern, which it lifted almost perpendicularly up, breaking about
amidships, filling all the decks up with water, rushing the vessel forward and driving her against the rocks, which she struck with such force with her forefoot or Bowsprit, that her whole cargo fell forward with a crash into her bow, doubtless crushing the two men below, to death instantly. Her sails gibed at the same time, the main-boom tearing away from the blocks, and going adrift. The next sea was preparing to break astern, the master abandoned the wheel and sprang into the main rigging – the sea broke over the vessel eight or ten feet
deep, capsizing her clear over, mastheads under water, tearing off cabin doors, and throwing her stern around, head to sea; successive breakers dashing against her, washed her off the rocks into deep water, where her bow sank down to an angle of about 60 degrees, leaving her stern floating about five or six feet out of the water. The breakers had thrown the yawl boat on top of the cabin upside down, and when the vessel began to drift stern foremost, the waves washed her off again. The master clung to the stern of the vessel from the time she
capsized (about 7 or 6 p.m.) till noon the next day; during which interval her succeeded in clearing the boat off the davits, and in bailing her out with the ships bucket, which, with an oar and pike pole, were lashed to the same rigging he had sought safety in.
The wind having changed to N.W. and blowing towards Cabot’s Head, the master left the vessel and succeeded in reaching the shore. From Cabot’s Head the master worked his way around, with the yawl boat and an oar all round the coast in a famished condition, having only a few fish to exist on, to Colpoy’s Bay, which he reached on Monday last, the 25th. inst., in such an exhausted state that assistance was required to enable him to be removed from the boat to the Tavern. Two men were sent from Colpoy’s Bay to look for the vessel, which it was supposed, might have drifted ashore near Lion’s Head in Dwyer Bay. — Toronto Globe n. d.
Owen Sound Comet
Friday, December 6, 1867
. . . . .

A MYSTERY CLEARED UP.
About fifteen years ago Captain Waddell, of Chatham was sailing a small two masted schooner, EXPLORER, in to Tobermorey Bay, with a cargo of whiskey, pork, and mill castings. The crew consisted of the captain and two sailors. The EXPLORER never reached her destination, and was supposed to be lost with all hands. Subsequently the Captain turned up and reported that the vessel had been lost on the reef near Bear and Flower Pot Islands, and that the two sailors had both gone down with her, while he alone escaped. The vessel was insured and the Captain got the insurance money.
The next season Captain Waddell was drowned on a trip in a small boat to Flower Pot Island, where he went, it is alleged, for the purpose of taking away the cargo of the EXPLORER, the theory being that he had landed the cargo and afterwards scuttled the ship.
Suspicions of foul play were rife at the time, but the vessel could not be found, and the interest in the matter died away. Five or Six years ago the EXPLORER was discovered by Chas. Earle, of Tobermorey in the bay, in about seventeen fathoms of water, several miles from the reef alluded to, but nothing was done to raise her until recently, when the Port Huron, Wrecking Company sent a wrecking tug, and raised her and towed her into Tobermorey Bay, where she now floats.
A diver who descended into the vessel where she lay before she was moved states that she lay on her bean ends and he could not get into the cabin, but after she was righted, he went down a second time and found the cabin door had opened and he saw a corpse of a
man upright in the cabin. After the schooner was towed to shallow water the body could not be found, and it is supposed that the motion of towing had caused it to float away from the wreck.
The suspicions of the cause of the loss of the ship were fully confirmed by the discovery that there are thirteen two-inch auger holes in her bottom, and from eight to ten tons of stones, but not a particle of cargo.
The wrecking tug proceeds next to the Western Islands, where it is intended to raise the ‘FOREST KING’ which sank in a snow storm in the month of November about eight years ago. She was a three master, and loaded with coal.
Meaford Monitor
Friday, June 30, 1882

. . . . .

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

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

. . . . .

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

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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.

WESTERN RESERVE

September 1, 1892, the upbound WESTERN RESERVE, flagship of the Kinsman fleet, sank approximately 60 miles above Whitefish Point. There were 31 casualties among the crew and passengers. The lone survivor was Wheelsman Harry W. Stewart.

 

A LOST STEAMER.
The Mammoth Western Reserve Foundered Tuesday Night.
BUT A SINGLE SURVIVOR
————-
Remained to Tell the Tale of the Wreck and Loss of the Crew.

CAPT. MINCH WELL KNOWN.
He Was One of the Most Widely Acquainted Men on the Lakes – His Family Among the Missing.
————–
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Sept. 2. — The fish tug E. M. B. A. arrived down last night having as a passenger Harry Stewart of Algonac, a wheelsman, the only survivor of the mammoth steel steamer WESTERN RESERVE which foundered Tuesday night about 9 o’clock 60 miles above White Flab Point, on the course to Keeweenaw.
The WESTERN RESERVE, up-hound and light, left the Soo Canal Tuesday afternoon having on board as passengers Capt. Peter Minch, her owner, his wife, three children and his wife’s sister, besides the regular crew of 22 hands.
The story as told by Stewart is as follows: “Everything went well until about 60 miles above White Fish, when the first warning any one aboard had of impending danger was a terrible crash about 9 A. M., caused by the huge craft breaking in two half way up the rigging. She took in water fast from the start and the yawl boats were lowered. Capt. Minch, his family, and the officers and crew of the boat to the number of 17 got into the wooden yawl and the others took to the metallic one.
“The Reserve sank in ten minutes, and before she had hardly gone out of sight the metallic yawl capsized. The other went to her assistance, but only succeeded in rescuing two of her occupants. Capt. Myer’s son and the steward. The 19 survivors started for White Fish, 60 miles away. The wind was about west when they started, but veered to the north, making considerable sea. The yawl weathered the breakers all night until 7 o’clock the next morning, when about ten miles from Life saving Station No. 10 and about a mile from the shore it capsized,”
Stewart says that he saw none of the occupants after that. He struck out for the shore, but the cries of the children, the screams of the women, and the moaning of the men were terrible for a few moments, when all became silent. Stewart was in the water two hours. He struck shore about ten miles above the station, and had to walk there before reaching any one to render him assistance.
A search failed to find trace of any other survivor of the wreck, and there is no question that they were all drowned.
The WESTERN RESERVE was one of the largest craft on the lakes, and has only been in the Lake Superior trade a little over a year. She was owned by P. C. Minch , who with his family was lost.
The Lost Skipper.
Cleveland, Sept. 2. — Capt. Minch was one of the best known vessel owners and masters on the 1akes. He was about 66 years old. He was horn at Vermillion and grew up in the business. His father, Philip Minch, was one of the most extensive owners of vessel property in his time. Capt. Minch sailed from his boyhood until about five years ago, when he came ashore to manage his large vessel interests. He with others owned the steamers WESTERN RESERVE, ONOKO, PHILIP MINCH, HORACE A. TUTTLE, A. EVERETT, JOHN N. GLIDDEN, and schooners GEORGE H. WARMINGTON and SOPHIA MINCH. The schooner FRED A. MORSE, which was lost a few months ago, was also owned by him. He was a kind hearted man and was well liked especially by those in his employ. Two sons, Philip, the oldest, a member of the firm Palmer & Co., vessel makers-and two grown up daughters survive him, The boy who was lost was about 10 years old, and the little girl about 7. The steamer was built by the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company in 1890. She was one of the largest and finest steamers on the lakes, and has several times broken the record for big cargoes. Capt. Meyers, her master, was in the Minch fleet for a number of years and was well known.
Bodies Recovered.
Newberry, Mich., Sept. 2. – Stewart walked 12 miles to the nearest life-saving station where he gave notice of the disaster. The savers began to patrol the beach today, and this morning found two bodies. One was identified as that of Capt. Minch, by his watch. The other was that of a dark-haired lady. To-night a telephone message stated that another body had come ashore. Stewart left here today for Sault Ste. Marie. Be appears none the worse for his terrible experience.

ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS.
The Ill-Fated Steamer Went Down With Her Engines Working.
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Sept. 2. – Harry Stewart, the only survivor of the wreck of the WESTERN RESERVE, which broke in two in the lake Tuesday morning, was somewhat recuperated this morning and was again interviewed by an Associated Press representative who was the first and only one to see him on his arrival here and to whom he told his story in private.
The only additional fact obtained was that the WESTERN RESERVE went down with her engines going. As the crew pulled away they, could see the monster puffing and plunging in the waves until she sank out of sight. There is no way of identifying the place where the steamer went down. It was out of sight of land and there is no way of locating the wreck. The yawl was capsized at the first shoal from the shore by the breakers. It is not probable that any of the occupants survived the cold and waves long except Stewart, who had a heavy knit close-fitting jacket which he say’s alone saved him, he was entirely exhausted when he struck shore, and almost unconscious for an hour before he could move and then he could hardly walk and had to half crawl the ten miles to the life-saving station, where he was rubbed and well taken care of until the tug brought him here. The men at the live-saving station report that several bodies have been washed ashore. Stewart will therefore remain here for a few days to identify them.

FURTHER PARTICURALS.
Of the Extraordinary WESTERN RESERVE Disaster on Lake Superior.
PROBABLY BROKEN IN TWO.
Experience of the Sole Survivor – Local Opinion
Nothing else was talked of in marine circles today but the extraordinary WESTERN RESERVE disaster. Its like was never before heard of on the lakes. Two theories were advanced by the vessel men. Capt. John Green and Capt. William Robinson, two veterans, were of the opinion that the vessel sheared herself and broke in two and broke in two from the upper deck down. “Shearing” is the cutting of rivets by the working and twisting of the plates they are bolted through. They say the weight to be sustained by main strength of fabric when the vessel’s bows were out of water for 40 or 50 feet of her length, together with the pound of her wide, flat bottom on the seas, would cause any vessel to shear herself. The other theory is that of accident or explosion on board the boat or striking an obstruction in the heavy sea. Capt. J. J. H. Brown and Capt. Dan McLeod think the WESTERN RESERVE was too staunch a vessel to be otherwise sunk. The first theory, however, has the more supporters. A recent survey of the WESTERN RESERVE, shows that she was 300 foot long and 42 feet of beam. She was built of mild steel with a tensile strength of 60,000 pounds and riveted according to regulations. Her upper deck of steel was strengthened by angle bulb beams on every frame, giving unusual strength. The upper dock stringer, plate and upper shear streaks have each partial double butt straps. The bilge was triple riveted, and the sheer streak doubled to provide for the cutting of two more gang-ways if necessary.
There is general sorrow at the wholesale wiping out of the Minch family. Capt. Minch was very highly thought of all over the lakes, and was a most genial and progressive man. It is thought in some quarters that this disaster will be sonething of a setback to the building of steel vessels on the present plan. With a cargo, or with engines and boilers amidships to give the steamer even draft fore and aft, the mishap would not have occurred. It would be impossible for a staunch wooden steamer to break completely in two as the survivor of the WESTERN RESERVE says she did.
DISTRESSING PARTICULARS OF THE ACCIDENT.
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Sept. 2. — All vessels passing through the canal today have their flags at half mast in memory of the steamer WESTERN RESERVE, which now lies in 600 feet of water 60 miles northwest of Whitefish Point. Harry Stewart, the only survivor gave some additional particulars of the disaster today. It was a pitiful tale of a hopeless struggle for life. He said : “The yawl that I was in was two small to hold the crew of 19. It was loaded down to within a foot of the water and all night the spray kept breaking over us. We worked continuously bailing out the water with the only pail we had and our hats. I remember Mrs. Minch hanging to one of the children and making a desperate effort for life. Just then I heard Mr. Minch cry out: My God, there goes one of my children. Carl Myer, the Captain’s son, and I were together. He asked me if I thought we could reach the shore. I said we will try. The last I saw of him was four or five rods from the boat which had capsized. This boat was afterwards found by the life saving crew.
“While we were in the yawl,” young Stewart continued, “a steamer passed us, which I think was the NESHOTO. We could see her red light, but they could not see us. We were to the westward of them. We shouted and screamed for half an hour, but in the roar of the storm they could not hear us. If we had had a light they could have seen us. As a final resort we tried to burn one or the women’s shawls, but it was too wet and would not light. I do not think the bodies will raise. Those who held life jackets were the two ladies, Carl Meyer, Burt Smith and one fireman. The life jacket I secured was in the bottom of the yawl when she capsized. Someone had thrown it off and I got hold of it and put it on in the water. It is not true that the crew were in a panic at the time the steamer broke in two. On the contrary everybody seemed cool. We put the children in the lifeboat first and then all hands got in. The metallic life boat broke up very soon, and we had to take its occupants off it. It was not long before the steamer went down. As she sank we heard a very loud report, but do not know what it was. I have no idea what caused the steamer to break in two. She was carrying water ballast aft, but I don’t think there was any forward, I do not understand why the mainmast should have broken and fallen on the deck, it is all a mystery to me.

Newberry, Mich., Sept. 2. — The life saving crew of the Grand Marias Station are patrolling the beach for ten miles each way today in the search for bodies from the steamer WESTERN RESERVE, which foundered off this port Tuesday night. Up to noon but three bodies had been recovered. One of them is known to be that of Capt. Peter Minch, the steamers owner. The body of the woman found last night is still unidentified. The remains are but partially clothed, indicating that she had rushed from her stateroom to the deck only to find the steamer sinking. She had not had time to return for her clothing, but had been hurried into the yawl boat. The third body is also unidentified.
Harvey Stewart. the sole survivor, is expected this afternoon to identify the bodies. Telegraphic orders were received from Cleveland today to properly care for the dead and the son of the owner will reach here tomorrow to take personal charge.

POSITIVE SHE BROKE IN TWO.
Cleveland. Sept. 2. — The survivor of the WESTERN RESERVE disaster, Wheelman Stewart, says positively in an answer to an inquiry that the steamer broke in two in forcing her way into a big sea. The excitement among Capt. Minch’s friends at the disaster has caused much discussion regarding its cause. Well informed vessel owners are satisfied that the boat was being rushed into head seas, as big steel steamers of her kind always are, great dependence being put in the water bottom. It is thought that the boat was being unduly pushed on account of her owner being aboard. The steamer was doubtless out of water 100 feet each way, as she rode on the crest of a big wave. Had she been a wooden boat a leak would have shown the danger, but being of steel the rivets holding her together broke all at once under the strain.
Buffalo Enquirer
Friday, September 2, 1892

. . . . .

The steamer WESTERN RESERVE with 27 aboard, broke in two in Tuesday night’s gale and sank 20 miles off Sable Point, lake Superior. Harry Stewart, the wheelsman, is the only survivor. She sank in 10 minutes’ and carried to their deaths. The vessel owner Foster J. Minch, his wife, son, and daughter, his sister-in-law and her daughter.
Port Huron Daily Times
Friday, September 2, 1892

. . . . .

A prominent vessel man in conversatlon with an ENQUIRER reporter this morning said: “I would like to know if it is true that the forward water ballast compartments of the WESTERN RESERVE was always kept filled when the vessel was running light. If such was the case all doubts as to the cause of the accident are at rest, for according to calculations, the strain amidships under the circumstances would be almost beyond belief. Cleveland papers will say nothing about it, but no vessel could stand for any length of time the strain thus imposed when running into a head sea.” Another vessel man who was in Cleveland Sunday, saw Stewart, the sole survivor of the disaster, and says Stewart told him that to get to the boats at the time of the accident he distinctly remembers that he had to jump a crack fully three feet wide that extended across the upper deck of the steamer just forward of the mainmast. This should settle conclusively that the WESTERN RESERVE did not blow up, but actually did break In two as was first reported.
Buffalo Enquirer
Tuesday, September 13, 1892

Steam screw WESTERN RESERVE. U. S. No. 81294. Of 2392.05 tons gross; 1965.08 tons net. Built Cleveland, Ohio, 1890. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 300.7 x 41.2 x 21.0
Merchant Vessel List U. S., 1891

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Categories: Lake Superior Still Missing

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CAVALIER

On 31 August 1906, CAVALIER (3-mast wooden schooner, 134 foot 268 gross tons, built in 1867, at Quebec City as a bark) was carrying cedar lumber when she struck a reef off Chantry Island in Lake Huron and sank. Her crew was rescued by the Chantry Island lightkeeper. She was bound from Tobermory for Sarnia, Ontario.

Other names : none
Official no. : C ?
Type at loss : schooner, wood, 3-mast
Build info : 1867, McKay & Warner, Quebec City as a bark
Specs : 134x26x12 268gc
Date of loss : 1906, Aug 31
Place of loss : off Chantry Isl.
Lake : Huron
Type of loss : storm
Loss of life : none
Carrying : cedar lumber
Detail : She filled and sank after striking a reef. Her crew was rescued by the Chantry Island Lightkeeper. She had been bound Tobermorey for Sarnia.
Out of Quebec City

August 31st. 19O6 the CAVALIER of Quebec 268 tons net. Foundered at Chantry Island, Southampton, Lake Huron.
Dept. of Transport
Casualty for 1906
. . . . .

CAVALIER A WRECK.
STRUCK ON A REEF OUTSIDE OF SOUTHAMPTON: POUNDING TO PIECES
Southampton Sept 1 — About 9 o’clock last night the schooner CAVALIER loaded with lumber from Tobermory for Sarnia, arrived off this port in a waterlogged condition,the vessel struck on the north reef of Chantry Island trying to make the harbor, she will be a total loss, the heavy seas having pounded in the stern during the night, Capt. Glass and the rest of the crew were rescued at daybreak by Capt. Lambert, lightkeeper on Chantry Island, with fine weather most of the cargo will be saved.
from Toronto Globe
September 3rd. 1906 p. 12

. . . . .

Bark CAVALIER. Official Canadian No. 55892. Built at Quebec in 1867. Home port, Quebec. Of 299 tons Reg. 137.0 x 26.2 x 11.7 Owned by Mrs. Annie Glass, of Sarnia, Ontario.
List of Vessels on the Registery Books of the
Dominion of Canada, on December 31, 1902

. . . . .

Disaster continued into the century. the schooner Cavalier, 366 tons waterlogged in a wild sea, tried to make the harbor of refuge and fetched up on the nort reef at 9 o’clock in the evening of Aug. 3lst. 1906. Capt. Joseph Glass and crew clung to the wreck all night, and as she began to break up next morning were taken off by keeper Lambert . the CAVALIER was launched at Quebec City in 1867, was laden with lumber from Tobermory to Sarnia, she went to pieces in a few days.
from Shipwrecks of the Saugeen
by Patric Folkes

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Categories: Lake Huron Still Missing

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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