VESSEL NAME: JOHN E. HALL OTHER NAME(s): - OFFICIAL NO: 76790 DATE OF LOSS: 13 December 1902 CAUSE OF LOSS: Storm LOCATION: Lake Ontario, near Main Ducks RIG TYPE: Propeller, steambarge HULL TYPE: Wood BUILDER: Hanson & Scove, Manitowoc, WI - 1889 OWNER(S): Timothy & John Donovan, Oswego, NY MASTER: Capt. Timothy Donovan TONNAGE: 343.13 gt DIMENSIONS: 139 x 28.6 x 10.9 CASUALTIES: 9 (all) Foundered near Main Ducks in a nor'east gale after experiencing mechanical trouble and separating from her consort, the JOHN R. NOYES. Crew of the NOYES, Capt. George Donovan, were rescued by the Charlotte lifesaving crew. Loss of Life: Capt. Timothy Donovan, master Jerry (Jerome) Donovan, mate, son of Capt. Donovan John Donovan, engineer James Donovan, engineer (both were cousins of the captain) Thomas Corcoran, wheelsman Daniel Biglow, wheelsman Thomas Tyler, fireman - Buffalo John Dixon, fireman Mrs. Brown, steward - Buffalo (all except Tyler and Brown were from Oswego) Capt. George Donovan would later identify wreckage as having come from his father's vessel. Capt. Timothy Donovan left a widow, Catherine (Reardon) Donovan, and 4 children. His widow lived at 132 Seneca St., Oswego.
Oswego Palladium Monday, December 15. 1902 #
NO NEWS FROM STEAMER HALL.
Barge NOYES Anchored Off of Bear Creek
Life Crew Left Charlotte With Assistance – RESOLUTE and ANDREWS Are all Right
Believed That HALL May be Sheltered on the North Shore. Tuesday morning last at eight o¹clock the steamer RESOLUTE, Captain Gowan, left Charlotte with the schooner ABBIE L. ANDREWS in tow, both loaded with coal bound for Deseronto. The cargoes were consigned to E.W. Rathbun & Company. Today Mr. C.J. Bond received a telegram that the RESOLUTE was safe at Port Dalhousie and that the ANDREWS was in Hamilton.
When the two boats named left Charlotte the steamer HALL, Captain Tim Donovan, of this city, followed, towing the barge JOHN R. NOYES, also bound with coal for the Rathbun Company. Captain Gowan, in his telegram to Mr. Bond, says: “The HALL and NOYES were with us at 3 P.M. Saturday somewhere outside and off the False Ducks.” Last night a telegram was received here saying that a schooner was in distress off Bear Creek and asking that a tug be sent to her assistance.
The life crew from Charlotte tried to get to the vessel, but it was impossible in the thick fog. Today the weather is clear and this morning Captain Gray and the members of the Charlotte life-saving crew went to the vessel’s assistance. The dispatch from Captain Boland, of the ANDREWS, to Mr. Bond, announcing that the schooner is in Hamilton, makes it clear that the vessel at anchor near the mouth of Bear Creek is the Noyes and that she rode out the gale while at anchor on a lee shore.
What became of the HALL is unknown, but she is undoubtedly safe and at anchor in some point of shelter on the North shore. She was better able to weather the gale than either the NOYES or ANDREWS, and there was no danger of a fuel famine on board. With Captain Donovan on the HALL was his son Jeremiah, first mate, his brothers, John, first engineer, and James, second engineer, and Daniel Bigelow, of this city, steward. With Captain Donovan aboard the NOYES is James Ryan, of this city, first mate, Mrs. Ryan as the cook, and their son as the second mate.
Buffalo Evening News December 17, 1902 #
STEAMER HALL IS ASHORE ON ISLANDS.
She Had Been Missing Since Saturday — Crew Is Probably Lost. Oswego, Dec. 17. – Capt. Kish of the steamer AVON reports that the steamer JOHN E. HALL, which has been missing since Saturday, is ashore on the Ducks Islands, 30 miles out. The AVON was towing the coal laden barge STEVENSON, bound for Ogdensburg, and lost her.
Oswego Daily Palladium Wednesday, December 17, 1902 #
Consecon, Ont., Dec. 17. – (Special.)
ALL ASHORE ON SALMON POINT.
Believe Crew is Still Aboard Stranded Steamer.
Toronto Life Savers on Way to the Wreck With a Life Boat – Rumor Made This Morning that Steamer was on the Main Ducks.
Early this morning a telegram was received from Cape Vincent saying that Captain Kiah, of the steamer AVON, reported seeing the HALL on the Southside of the Main Ducks and that the crew was safe on the island. That information was not correct, it was learned later. Captain Kiah was in a shelter with the AVON behind the breakwater at Cape Vincent, but a messenger could not reach the boat on account of the storm.
It appears that the report was received from Ogdensburg by telephone and was part of a report sent from here last night to John Hanna by Commodore Crimmins of the Oswego Towing Association. Mr. Hanna asked that a lookout be sent for the barge STEVENSON that broke away from the AVON near Gallup Islands last night. Commodore Crimmins had been called up by Mr. Hanna to cause a watch to be kept for the STEVENSON. In reply, Mr. Crimmins said that the FERRIS had been chartered by Captain Dan Hourigan, Captain Thomas Beggs, John S. Parsons, and others to go in search of the HALL, which was thought possible was on the Main Ducks and that they would keep a sharp lookout for the STEVENSON.
The story was repeated to Captain Kiah by Mr. Hanna from Ogdensburg and finally became corrupted in the report that the HALL was on the Main Ducks and that the members of the crew were safe on the island. The FERRIS did attempt to get away from here at six o¹clock this morning but was forced to return by the heavy seas. Later in the morning, it began to snow and the weather in the lake was thick all day.
From the best information at hand at 2 P.M. today, the opinion was that a steamer reported ashore on the Southside of Salmon Point on the North Shore, near the entrance to the Bay of Quinte, was the JOHN E. HALL of Oswego, Captain T. Donovan.
A dispatch from the Donnelly Wrecking Company, Kingston, contained the announcement that the steamer ashore was a total wreck. Nothing was reported regarding the crew. At twelve o¹clock Mr. C.H. Bond, of E.W. Rathbun & Company lumber firm, received the following from Deseronto: “Schooners EMERALD and MINNIS arrived at Prinyerds. Couldn¹t get into Bay on account of ice; have gone to Kingston. Keeper at Salmon Point light reports steamer ashore on the south side of the point. Believes steamer JOHN E. HALL, Oswego.
Trying to arrange with Wellington and Consecon lifesaving crews to go to the steamer¹s assistance.” From the above it is inferred that the crew is still on the barge, else why should it be desired to send life crews to their assistance. A dispatch to the Palladium from Kingston, later than either of the above, says that the HALL is ashore on the Main Ducks and that it is likely the crew is lost. The latter dispatch is, without doubt, made up of rumors and the conclusions of those who discussed the matter.
The chances are that the dispatch received by Mr. Bond is the most reliable, and more will be known from the station when the lifesavers have sighted the stranded steamer and reported upon her condition. If the steamer had held together, it is believed that the crew will be found safe on board. The crew on the Boat.
The Toronto Life Saving Crew and boat is on a special train bound for Wellington, from whence they will go to the rescue of the crew of a steamer, supposed to be the JOHN E. HALL, ashore about two miles from Salmon Point lighthouse on the shoal. It is reported that the steamer is fast going to pieces. Salmon Point light, the keeper of which reports a steamer ashore on the Southside, is almost due North from Charlotte. It is about twenty-five miles East of the entrance to Weller¹s Bay and about ten miles from the light and fog whistle at the Scotch Bonnett. The place indicated where the steamer is ashore is about sixty miles from Oswego light. There is a long stretch of shoal water to the southward of the point, but it would seem that if the steamer reached there that the water in a northeasterly gale would have been comparatively smooth. A careful consideration of telegrams received by the Palladium up to 3 P.M. today from Cape Vincent, Kingston, Consecon, Brighton, Wellington, and Toronto leads us to believe that the steamer JOHN E. HALL, Captain T. Donovan, is ashore on Salmon Point and going to pieces fast in the Southeast gale. The conclusion is also reached that the members of the crew are on the wreck and that lifesavers are on the way to rescue them.
Oswego PalladiumFriday, December 19, 1902 #
NO NEWS FROM STEAMER HALL
Sailors Say They Saw Lights on the Main Ducks
Tug Ferris Started Out This Morning But Was Compelled to Return Because of heavy Seas
Rumors of Wreckage a Cape Vincent.
At noon today, nothing had been heard from the steamer JOHN E. HALL or any member of the crew and the suspicion that all were lost has grown almost into a certainty. There was a story in circulation yesterday afternoon that sailors, who left here on Tuesday in the schooner W.J. SUFFEL, reported having seen the HALL on the Ducks as they passed the islands, but it is believed that they were mistaken if they ever made such a report. The SUFFEL reached the Main Ducks after night had set in and it would have been impossible to have seen any boat that might have been on the beach. Had the HALL been seen, however, Captain Tom Van Dusen, a most reliable man, would have been the first to have telegraphed the news. The tug FERRIS started out this morning for the purpose of making a trip to the Ducks to discover any possible trace of the missing seamer or any member of her crew. The tug in charge of Captain Charles Ferris left just before eight o¹clock and got outside about five miles when she was forced to turn back and lay up alongside her dock at the foot of Market street. There was a tremendous sea running, the waves going completely over the cabin on the tug. As soon as the sea goes down Captain Ferris will make another attempt.
Saw Lights on the Ducks. Charles Haynes, who was on the Suffel, said that it was dark when the passed the Main Ducks last Tuesday night. From the lake they could see two white lights burning, but whether they came from the stranded steamer or from a house on the island they were unable to tell. When the weather clears and the tug FERRIS has had an opportunity to reach the Ducks and make an examination, some information may be obtained, even if members of the crew are not there.
No Wreckage at the Cape. Cape Vincent, Dec. 19. 0 (Special.) There has been no wreckage reported as having come ashore at this place as far as can be heard from. No news regarding the missing steamer HALL or crew.
Oswego Palladium Monday, December 22, 1902 #
NO HOPE FOR HALL OR CREW.
Foundered With Eleven in Lake Ontario. The crew of Tug Ferris Made Search – Found Wreckage on Main Ducks
Other Oswego Vessels That Went Out Same Way in Past years.
There is no further doubt but that the steamer JOHN E. HALL and her crew of eleven were lost in the vicinity of the Ducks sometime during the gale of Saturday, December 13th, and shortly after the steamer separated from her consort, the JOHN R. NOYES. Captain Charles Ferris and the tug FERRIS arrived here Saturday night about 6:30 o’clock with a cupboard from the galley of the steamer, which Captain George Donovan identified as belonging to his father¹s steamer, and other wreckage.
The wreckage was found on the Southside of the Main Ducks. When Captain Ferris left here Saturday morning he steered a course which took him through the American or South channel to the St. Lawrence River. He cruised about the islands at the foot of the lake and did not find any trace of the missing steamer. The tug was then headed for the Main Ducks and while going along close to the South shore Captain Ferris saw wreckage floating and lowering a small boat went ashore and succeeded in securing the cupboard and some other strips of the boat. When the FERRIS arrived back at this port she was met by members of Captain Donovan¹s’s family and the wreckage positively identified. Captain Gilbert, of the schooner SEAFOAM, received a telephone message from his son Saturday night which said that the HALL’S small boat, fenders, and other wreckage had washed ashore at that point.
In all the Catholic churches of this city, yesterday references were made to the late marine disasters on Lake Ontario and prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the unfortunate dead.
Other Disasters Recalled. The loss of the HALL with all hands brings to mind the other Oswego boats and sailors that in years past have found last resting places in the Great Lakes. The steamer BAY STATE, back in the 1860s, left this port with her crew and twenty-two passengers and when off this port foundered. Parts of the wreckage and the cargo of package freight came ashore, but none of the crew or passengers were ever heard from. The dead body of a dog, owned by the captain, was found on the beach near Sheldon¹s Point. The seventies were a bad time for the Oswego vessels. During that decade the schooner ATLANTA, Captain Samuel Morin, foundered in Lake Huron. The GILBERT MOLLISON, Captain Joel Turner, found a grave in Lake Michigan. The J. G. JENKINS, Captain John Brown, went down on lake Ontario when in sight of the lights of this port. The PERSIAN, Captain Long, foundered in Lake Huron, and the HASTINGS, Captain Chalmers, went down in Lake Michigan. All hands were lost on these vessels.
In 1881 the E.P. Dorr, Captain Peter Dufrane, foundered on Lake Erie with all hands. In 1895 the schooner HARTFORD, Captain William O¹Toole, of Clayton, foundered in Mexico Bay, and the crew, including the Captain¹s wife and baby, were all drowned. The only body recovered was that of the child, which washed ashore the next day. There are records of several other Oswego vessels that met shipwreck where but one or two of the crew were saved.
The ANTELOPE, Captain George Budd, was wrecked in Lake Michigan during the 70¹s and the THOMAS PECKHAM and one other escaped. The CORSAIR, Captain George Snow, was lost in 1870 and only one, a sailor before the mast, was saved. Edward Igo and John Hourigan, of this city, were on board the W.B. PHELPS when she stranded in Lake Michigan and saved themselves by sticking to the bow of the schooner, being rescued after many hours of exposure to the sea and cold. James Ryan, mate of the schooner JOHN R. NOYES, the HALL’S consort, was with Captain Pease on the AUGUSTUS FORD when that vessel went ashore at Grand River, Lake Erie. Captain Pease was frozen to death in the cabin. Mate Ryan and “Plucker” Mack saved themselves by crawling into the topsails and there sheltering themselves from the wind and cold.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1902 #
Steam screw JOHN E. HALL. U. S. No. 76790.
Of 343.14 gross tons; 279 tons net.
Built Manitowoc, Wis., 1889.
Homeport, Oswego, N.Y. 139 x 28.6 x 10.9
Hull Material: Wood
Builder Hanson & Scove Manitowoc, WI 1889
Ownership #No ownership changes recorded
Vessel Name Changes #No Name changes recorded
First enrollment issued at Milwaukee, WI, March 27, 1889.
Disposition Foundered near Duck Islands, Lake Ontario, on December 13, 1902.
1889 – Mar 27 Enrolled Milwaukee, WI; owned Samuel Hall, Manitowoc.
1890 – Towed barge ADIRONDACK & schooners SCAMPER & NAIAD in Chicago & Midland grain trade.
1891 – Mar 19 Enrolled Detroit, MI; owned R.H. White et al, Detroit.
1894 – Apr 5 Enrolled Oswego, NY; owned John Donovan et al, Oswego.
1895 – Owned Cunningham et al, Detroit; towed J.R. NOYES.
1897 – Owned T. Donovan, Oswego.
1899 – Rebuilt.