• Wreck Type: Barge
  • 189 x 30 x 12
  • Location of Wreck: Yorkshire Island – Found but not released US Waters

HIAWATHA lake barge (C 96904).
1906-1917. 539.18 tons gross, 518.01 tons net, 176.5’.
Capacity 40,000 bushels.
Built by Thomas O’Brien at Garden Island Ontario in 1890. Cost $20,000.
Originally no masts. As rebuilt: three-masted with a small pilot house on a raised forecastle. Round stern.
1892 rated A11⁄2 and valued at $19,000.
1897 rated A2 and valued at $14,500 and noted required repairs.
1906 value $5,500. 1908 value $3,000. 1910 value $5,000.
1912-15 insurance rating = 90 restricted to St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. 1912 value $5,000.
1913 value $4,500.
1914 value $4,000.
1915- 16 value $3,000 ($1,161.28 in improvements).
1917 value $10,000.

HIAWATHA’s first owner was Calvin Co. She was aground off Charlotte (Rochester) New York on 5 November 1891. On 12 October 1894, she was adrift on Lake Erie. She had been sold to the Kingston & Montreal Forwarding Co. by 1895 and came to Montreal Transportation Co. when they took over that firm. She was rebuilt in 1909, was aground at Prescott Ontario in June 1912, and was repaired in 1916. She foundered near Galloo Island (southeast of Main Duck Island) near Kingston Ontario on 20 September 1917 while under tow by the Canada Steamship Lines tug MAGNOLIA (C 103690, 367 tons gross) along with the Montreal Transportation Co. barge HILDA. Five men, two women, and one child were lost. The only survivor was picked up by the Montreal Transportation Co. steamer McVITTIE. HIAWATHA was carrying coal from Oswego New York to Montreal at the time. Her registry was closed on 1 October 1917.


One of a series of barges built on Garden Island with Iroquoian names. Hiawatha (Hayëñ ́wa ́tha) was a very early Iroquoian leader and peacemaker. He was one of the founders of the council that later became the Iroquois Confederacy. He himself was either Onondaga, or Mohawk, or both.

Assorted document holdings of the HIAWATHA #

Montreal Transportation Co. Engineer’s Log Mary P. Hall;
Montreal Transportation Co. Annual Directors’ Reports
1902, 1903, 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1913-17;
Montreal Transportation Co. Charter (1917) Schedule A;
Montreal Transportation Co. Directors’ Minutes 9 October 1917;
Montreal Transportation Co. Kingston grain ledger 29 November 1912-8 Oct 1914;
Alpena Public Library Great Lakes Maritime Database;
Bureau Veritas Great Lakes Register 1914 and 1915;
Canada List of Shipping 1895, 1910 and 1912;
Canadian Heritage Ship Information Database;
Inland Lloyd’s Vessel Register Canadian Hulls 1892 and 1897;
Kohl Kingston’s Shipwrecks;
Lewis and Neilson The River Palace;
Mercantile Navy List 1892, 1899 and 1904;
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes Canadian Ship Registers online;
Metcalfe Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters;
Mills Barges and Scows Before 1890;
Swainson A Shipping Empire: Garden Island; British Whig 19 August 1890; Canadian Railway & Marine World April 1906 and October 1917;
Marine Review 5 November 1891.

Daily British Whig, Kingston August 19, 1890 #

Barge HIAWATHA, built by the Calvin Company of Garden Island for the Kingston and Montreal Forwarding Company is ready for service and will soon be engaged in the river carrying trade. The craft is finely built and costs about $20,000. It is 180 feet long, 30 feet beam and 12 feet hold, 30,000 bushels capacity.




Syracuse Herald New York 1917-09-20 #

Oswego, Sept. 20. — Lake Ontario took another heavy toll of life early today when six persons, including two women and a baby, were drowned from the barge Hiawatha, ten miles off Galloups Islands and forty miles northeast of Oswego.
Capt. ALVINE LALONDE was the only survivor picked up by the steamer McVITTIE. He reported two women and a 4-months-old child were among the victims.
The Hiawatha left here last night at 6 o’clock with 900 tons of coal, with the barge Hilda, and was in tow of the powerful tug Magnolia. The lake was calm, but just before reaching Galloups Islands the boats ran into a heavy storm from the southwest.
About 2 o’clock this morning the Hiawatha sprung a leak and Captain LALONDE lowered lifeboats.
The women and child and three men of the crew jumped into the boat but the heavy waves drove the boat away from the sinking craft and when Captain LALANDE jumped he missed the boat. He secured a piece of hatchway cover and kept afloat for four hours. The yawl drifted away and Captain LALONDE saw the boat afloat, but before he could reach the craft he saw it sink and disappear with the entire crew. When he reached the spot there was no sign of the boat or its occupants. Later, about 6 o’clock, when picked up by Capt. Albert Lalonde, ALVINE LALONDE was almost exhausted.
The McVitte with LALONDE aboard, reached here at 9 o’clock this morning.
The victims all lived at Valleyfield, Que., and are as follows:

  •  A. EBERT, mate,
  • JOSEPH TIVERGE, seaman,
  • O. ENEAR, wife and 4-months-old child:
  • Madame MINETTE.

Captain tug Dorchester, who was a passenger on the Hiawatha.
The Hiawatha was at the end of the tow and foundered quickly with the Hilda attached. Captain Graham of the Magnolia was unable in the storm to effect a rescue.

Relative Links #

3D Shipwreck – Capt Tim Caza #

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