LION (1863, Barge) aks Grapeshot Wreck #

IDENTIFICATION Year of Build: 1863 CONSTRUCTION AND OWNERSHIP Built at Montreal, QUE Vessel Type: Barge Builder Name: Tait & Co. Original Owner and Location: George Tait, Montreal, QUE.

DIMENSIONS  Length: 107.1′ Beam: 22.7′ Depth: 6.5′ Tonnage (old style): 220


1863 Used on St. Lawrence River. 1870 Thoroughly repaired. 1874 Owned Coulthurst & Donald McPhee, Montreal. 1875 Repaired. 1877 Owned by St. Lawrence & Chicago Forwarding Co, Montreal. 1866 Owned Montreal Transportation Co. 1884 Purchased by the Dominion Day Committee, Kingston 1884 – 1 Jul Destroyed as a Public Spectacle, Kingston

Canadian Ship Registry #

Name of Ship: LION

Year of Registration: 1863

Type of Ship: Barge

Port of Registry: Montreal, Quebec

Where Built: Montreal, Quebec

Gross Tonnage:203

Reference: 1425|42 Volume: 1425

Other Reference:

Old VolumePagesMicrofilm Reel #See Volume No.

Item Number: 41789

LION river barge. 1883-1884. 203.28 unit tons. 107.8’. Capacity 13,000 bushels. Built at Montreal in 1863 by George Tait. No masts. Round stern. 1864 rated A and valued at $6,000. 1866 rated 1 and valued at $3,000. 1878 rated 2 and valued at $3,000. 1884 rated B11⁄2.

George Tate, her builder, was LION’s first owner. In 1869-70 she was owned by J.H. Henderson. She was repaired in 1870-71. In 1874-83 she was owned by the St. Lawrence & Chicago Forwarding Co. She was repaired again in 1875 and was one of seven St. Lawrence and Chicago Forwarding Co. barge involved when the steamer BOHEMIAN (1,139 tons register) broke the gate of Lock Two of the Lachine Canal in 1880. LION came to Montreal Transportation Co. when they took over St. Lawrence and Chicago Forwarding Co.

LION was apparently not active on the upper river in 1884-86. The British Whig reported on 22, 27, and 30 June 1884 that she had been sold to the Kingston Ontario Dominion Day Celebration committee for $125 and that Sgt. Major Bartlet from Royal Military College was going to blow her up in Kingston harbour using 500 lb of powder. Originally, it had been proposed to blow up CONVOY. The explosion of powder in LION would be set off by wire from Point Frederick. She had been rigged with three masts and yards, Chinese lanterns, a fake black, and red funnel, black hull with white ports, and bunting. Twelve dummies were suspended in the rigging. The explosion was to take place at 8 pm. In 1888 the British Whig made a reference to a wreck in the harbour near Point Frederick that was the remains of a barge blown up “a few years ago”. LION was removed from the register on 27 April 1899 because it was said, she had been broken up.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 27, 1884 P. 2 #

The Lion will be blown into splinters on Dominion Day. The Lion was sold to the committee for $125. She will have three masts, be fully rigged, and decorated with bunting and Chinese lanterns. The explosion takes place at 8 o’clock, the boat being anchored off Murney Tower. One of the professors at the Royal Military College will conduct the explosion.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 30, 1884 P. 3 #

Explosion In The Evening – The barge Lion, to be blown up in front of the shoal tower by Sgt. Major Bertles, tomorrow evening, is now ready. Floating from the summit of her mainmast is a British man-of-war pennant. She has three masts and yards, and a showy smoke stack painted red and black. The barge is painted black with white ports. She was built at Montreal ten years ago and was given a thorough overhaul a few years since. Capt. Gaskin says there are many inferior barges afloat at present. Sergt. Major Bertles will conduct the explosion. Under her will be placed two kegs of powder, containing 250 lbs. each. A wire will run from the ship to an electric battery at the Military College and by this, the firing will be done. It was thought that 400 lbs. of powder would be sufficient, but by inspecting the barge the military authorities held that less than 500 lbs. would not do, the boat being a substantial cue. The boat will be manned with twelve “dummies,” situated in the rigging. Parties in small boats are requested to keep away from the barge when she is blown up

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