Type of Wreck: Steamer Screw
Location of Wreck: head of Wolfe island
Place and Builder: Chaumon NY  
Year Built: 1875

Milwaukee Report Marine Record Aug. 9, 1883 #

The Schooner EDITH SEWELL sank off the head of Wolfe Island, Lake Ontario. No lives lost.

J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, August 1883 #

Vessel Name SEWELL, EDITH Also Known As (AKA) SEWALL, EDITH,
Build Year: 1874
Official Number US135011
Build City Chaumont NY Vessel
Hull Materials Wood
Dimensions Tonnage Gross 9
Final Location Off Wolfe Island. Lake Ontario. Aug 1883
Final How Sunk.

Milwaukee Sentinel.       #

The small schooner EDITH SEWELL is sunk off the head of Wolfe Island, lake Ontario. No lives were lost.

J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, September, 1883 #

Men are at present engaged grappling for the sunken steamer EDITH SEWELL, which went down off Horseshoe Island some weeks ago. The location of the wreck has not yet been discovered. The grappling will proceed until the craft is found. parts of her upper works have floated ashore.      

Portions of the EDITH SEWELL are still being washed ashore at the head of Wolfe Island. Kingston News       Marine Record      

Herman Runge List #

Nov. 8, 1883 Steam screw EDITH SEWALL. U. S. No. 135011. Of 9 gross tons. Built Chaumont, N.Y., 1874.. Sunk Wolf Island, 1883.      

GONE TO THE BOTTOM. The Little Steamer Edith Sewell Sunk In The Gale of Monday Night. When young Mr. Leheup told the passengers on the Pierrepont, returning from the House of Providence picnic to the city, that he had seen a small fishing tug sink, stern foremost, off Long Point, the statement was not credited. Bits of Advice show that he described an actual fact. Last night telegrams were received here stating that the Edith Sewell, a tug running between this city and Sackett’s Harbor, had gone down in 60 feet of water. The crew was saved.

On Monday a representative of the Whig was on Horse Shoe Island, and during the afternoon watched the Sewell being tossed about by the breakers. She had four big fish boxes on the stern deck, and these were roughly rolled about. The tug pushed bravely along, however, mounting the waves buoyantly and sinking again into the trough and almost out of sight. Several persons remarked that she was weathering the storm very nicely. Laboring In The Sea. After watching the craft proceed far out upon the lake the onlookers returned to the pleasures of the picnic.

Mr. Leheup remained. He says that when the craft reached between Long Island and Pigeon Light, she gave a lurch and her whole bottom and one side was seen. Some fish boxes rolled off. He next noticed a change in the tug’s course. She headed for Long Point but had only gone about 200 yards when she gave a plunge on the crest of a wave and went into the trough of the sea. She mounted a second wave, went backward and disappeared stern first. From the time the vessel gave the first lurch until she went down she vigorously blew her whistle. The sound could not be heard but the escaping steam could be distinctly seen.

The crew clung to the wreckage and fishermen shortly afterward picked them up and landed them safely. The fish boxes were all picked up and about 450 of the fish were brought here last evening by someone who attempted to sell them to a merchant. Discovering that the fish were from the Georgian Bay he took charge of them, packed them in ice and this morning sent them by express to Sackett’s Harbor. What The Sewell Was.

The Edith Sewell was a powerful little craft and for several years was engaged in the transhipping of fish to the Harbor. The fish came from Clark & Robbins’ grounds on Georgian Bay. It is thought that in the gale the boxes, which contained four or five tons of fish, must have slid to one side and caused the vessel to lurch so much as to ship a large quantity of water. The water rushing into the stern where the weight was put her out of sight. The loss will be considerable. The List Of The Crew. Mr. Clarke, of the firm of Clarke & Robbins, arrived in the city at noon today.

He reports that there was no insurance on the Sewell. She was built in 1875 and was valued at $3,000. The crew was: Capt. Bailey, Engineer Baily, and Steward McKee. Mr. Clarke has been away could give no particulars of the disaster. In the Jaws of Death How the Edith Sewall Went Down in a Storm– Her Crew at the mercy of the Waves– A two Hour Battle For Life On Wednesday evening last the Palladium contained a short account of the loss of the steamer Edith Sewall off the head of Wolfe Island.

The boat was commanded by Capt. Alex Bailey a sailor of fifty years experience, assisted by his two sons, William C. ages 21and Frank aged thirteen. All reside at Sackets Harbor. William, in an interview with a Watertown Times reporter, gives the following graphic account of the loss of the little boat and of the terrible situation and final rescue of the crew: The Times says they left Kingston about 8:30 p.m. and that the voyage had been quite uneventful with the exception of heavy seas, until about 5:00 o’clock when they were some two miles out of the harbor of Long Island. At about this time the fish oars began moving around, and finally, all landed upon the starboard side of the boat, and in a moment the tug was capsized. William says as soon as he saw the moment of the oars, cut loose the “punt” (the small boat) and seizing his younger brother, endeavored to board her, but she immediately went over. He succeeded, however, in catching hold of her side, when on looking around he saw his father going down and under the sinking tug. In an instant, he let go of his grasp on the “punt” and struck out for his father, and succeeded in catching him by the arm. The father could not swim, and the young man scarcely knows how he succeeded in reaching the “punt” again, but it was finally accomplished. And on the bottom of this boat, over which the high sea was washing every minute, these three men clung for over two hours before assistance came. The water was cold, and there was not one of the party who did not anticipate a watery grave as an inevitable result.

Several times their courage was almost gone, and in their exhausted condition, they felt that they must surely perish, and were almost inclined to let go their grasp on the “punt” which was saving their lives. This was especially true as regarded the little fellow, whose limbs had become stiff and rigid with the cold. William says at one time both his father and little brother lost their hold on the boat, but by a desperate effort regained it. At last, fishermen on Belle Point saw the fearful position in which the three men were placed and stared out in a boat after them. This movement was first discovered by William, who gave out the cheering news to his comrades, who rallied once more and clung to the old “punt” with desperation only known in struggles for life.

The Canadians finally reached them but it proves none too soon, for the strength of all three was exhausted, and the little fellow at once succumbed and became unconscious, and for two hours efforts to rally him were fruitless. William says that the kindness of these Canadian fishermen was something that will never be forgotten by any one of the party, for without remuneration they attended to their every want and saved them from death. The boat was built in 1875, and was valued at $3,000. She lies in 40 feet of water. Men are at present engaged grappling for the sunken steamer Edith Sewell, which went down off Horseshoe Island some weeks ago. The location of the wreck has not yet been discovered. The grappling will proceed until the craft is found. Parts of her upper works have floated ashore.

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