OLIVER MOWAT C92584

OLIVER MOWAT - Main Duck
  • Schooner
  • 100ffw
  • 121f length
  • Main Duck Island
  • GPS Not Released yet

The Schooner Oliver Mowat was sunk off Main Ducks By Alan Capon #

schooner Oliver Mowat left Picton harbour on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 1, 1921, bound light for Oswego, New York, where she was to pick up a cargo of coal. Shortly before 11 p.m. the schooner was rammed near Main Duck Islands and sank within minutes of the collision. Captain Thomas Lake Van Dusen, of Picton, mate Jacob Corby of Deseronto, and the ship’s cook, Miss Carrie McGuigan of Niagara Falls drowned. Two other crewmembers, John Minaker, of Picton and George Keegan, of Belleville, were taken aboard the steam barge Key West, the vessel that had struck the Oliver Mowat amidships. The night was clear and the crew of the Oliver Mowat saw the freighter approaching from the east. The steam barge continued on its course, however, despite signals flashed by the schooner. The freighter struck the Mowat, plowing half way through the vessel. Efforts were made to keep the Oliver Mowat afloat but, within a few minutes, the schooner had settled so badly that it was obvious it was going to sink. The Key West backed away, with the two survivors – Minaker and Keegan – on board. An inquiry by the Dominion Wreck Commissioners, held in Montreal, found Capt. Van Dusen and Mate Corby had been drawn down by the suction as the vessel went down. The pair had remained on board in an attempt to save the cook, Miss McGuigan, who was in bed at the time of the collision and who, the survivors said, had been shouting out for help. Van Dusen and Corby had been unable to reach her, however, before the Mowat sank. The captain was seen in the water just before the schooner sank. The Commissioners paid tribute to the bravery of the captain and the mate: “The loss of life of Capt. W. L. Van Dusen is attributed to his chivalry in wishing to be the last to leave his ship and waiting to offer help to the only female member of his crew. Had he shown the same inclination as the two survivors of ‘save himself who can’ he would have been present to enlighten the court more thoroughly as to what happened immediately following the impact.” “How the mate, Jacob Corby, and the woman cook came to their doom the Court has not been able to obtain sufficient evidence to elaborate in that sad subject.” The Commissioners said their tribute to the bravery of the captain applied equally to Mr. Jacob Corby, “who stood loyally by his captain and met his doom thereby.” The Court ruled “the sad loss of life is considered as accidental and an aftermath of the collision.” Willis Metcalfe, in his book “Canvas & Steam on Quinte Waters”, said the captain and the mate on the steamer Key West were jailed for keeping such a poor lookout. For some time, two of the three masts of the ill-fated schooner projected from the water off Main Ducks. Considered a menace to lake shipping the masts were dynamited from the sunken hull by a diver from the Canadian lighthouse tender Grenville, wrote Metcalfe.

The Oliver Mowat, considered one of the best and fastest schooners on Lake Ontario was built at Bath and launched at Millhaven on July 11, 1873. The boat had been built for Fraser & George, a hardware firm of Kingston. It was intended for the grain trade from Kingston to Chicago. The timber in the sturdy Mowat had been obtained from Amherst Island and the Bath area. Sir Oliver Mowat, Lady Mowat, and a daughter, came from Toronto to attend the launching ceremonies and Miss Mowat broke a bottle of wine over the bow of the boat as it was launched. THREE LIVES LOST WHEN STEAMER RAMMED SCHOONER OLIVER MOWAT Bad Marine Tragedy Late Last Thursday Night OLD SCHOONER HIT BY STEAMER KEYWEST NEAT MAIN DUCKS AND CUT IN TWO Captain Tom Van Dusen One of the Victims. Captain Thomas L. VanDusen, one of the best-known sailing masters on Lake Ontario, Mate Jacob Corby and an unknown woman, a cook, was drowned late Thursday night off the Main Ducks when the steamer KEYWEST rammed the schooner OLIVER MOWAT and cut her in two. Two sailors on the OLIVER MOWAT, George Keegan of Belleville, and John Wannacott, of Picton, were saved. They were picked up by the KEYWEST and carried to the Welland canal from which place the first news of the tragedy was wired to Kingston.

Oswego Palladium Tues., September 6, 1921 #

The OLIVER MOWAT, one of the old-time lake schooners, purchased this Spring by Captain Van Dusen, was bound from Oswego to Picton with coal when the accident happened. The captain of the KEYWEST reported it was a clear night, but that they saw no lights on the schooner and that they were on her before they knew it. The KEYWEST, a powerful boat, slashed into her midships and tore the old schooner in half. The two sailors who were on deck were rescued. Captain VanDusen and Mate Gurley were below and endeavored to save the cook. It is thought they lingered too long. At any rate, Captain VanDusen was seen swimming in the water just as the schooner went down under the water. It is believed the suction carried him down. The KEYWEST had endeavored to keep the stern of the schooner afloat and stood by for some time after the accident, but as there was nothing could be done proceeded westward to the canal. Captain VanDusen was 65 years old and for over 40 years had been a prominent sailing master on Lake Ontario. he had sailed into Oswego for many years. His home was in Picton. Mate Gurley resided in Deseronto. The cook was about 60 years old and is thought to be a Canadian. An investigation will be made of the accident by the Canadian Marine Department and efforts will probably be made to recover the bodies. The water, however, is deep off the Ducks. Among the other commands Captain VanDusen had was the schooner BERTIE CALKINS and several other boats.

Oswego Palladium September 7, 1921 #

Two Masts Showing Of the Ill-Fated Schooner OLIVER MOWAT. Two of the three masts of the ill-fated schooner OLIVER MOWAT, projecting from the water at a point two miles this side of the Main Duck Islands, mark the scene of the disaster that occurred last Thursday night when the steamer Key West rammed the vessel amidships, causing it to sink, carrying with it three members of the crew, including its master, Captain Thomas VanDusen. Such was the report brought here today by Captain Clinton Daryaw, of Picton, who arrived here early this morning in the schooner MARY A. DARYAW. The trip across was made around the foot of the Main Ducks and not around the head, where the Mowat was sunk. Captain Daryaw picked up his information in Kingston, which is agog with the particulars of the accident. Besides Captain VanDusen, First Mate Jacob Gurley, of Deseronto, and Carrioe McGulgan, the stewardness, were drowned. The name of the stewardess appears on the records of the custom house here, where the boat was last cleared.

Dave Swayze Casualty List #

OLIVER MOWAT Other names: none also seen as OLIVER MOWATT Official No. : C92384 Type at loss: schooner, wood, 3-mast Build info: 1873, Beaupre, Millhaven, Ont. Specs : 116 x 26 x 11, 341 t. Date of loss: 1921, Sept 1 Place of loss: near Pennicon Shoal off Main Duck Isl. Lake: Ontario Type of loss: collision Loss of life : 3 of 5 Carrying: coal Detail: Rammed and sunk by the 1700 ton steel steamer KEYWEST, whose Capt & Mate was jailed for keeping such a poor lookout. She was owned out of Bowmanville and known as a fast sailer. Ashore & heavily damaged by a storm near Oshawa, Ont. Nov 28, 1905.

Port of Picton Register Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OLIVER MOWAT #

Official Number 92584 Port . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bowmanville, Ont. Tons………………….. 169.98 Registered Tons… 197.68 Gross Tons When Built…………. 1875 Where Built……….. Mill Haven, County of Addington, Ontario Builders Name & Date of Certificate:- Fraser & George, Kingston Ont. March 15, 1905 Description of vessel:- Length. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 feet Breadth…………………. 25 feet& eight tenths Depth of hold……………. 9 feet & eight tenths Masts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Decks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . One Bowsprit………. .. . . .. . – Stern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square How rigged………………. Schooner Carvelbuilt of oak Figure-head……………… Straight ( without) Present master…………… George Robertson ( March 5, 1905) Subscribing owners:- John McClellan of Bowmanville, coal merchant Sole owner of 48 shares and William Cann also of Bowmanville and a coal merchant, owns 16 shares making a total of 64 shares.. George Robertson by bill of sale acquired 16 shares from John McLellan dated May 15, 1905. Alvina Robertson, widow of George Robertson sold the 16 shares to William H. Peacock, Master mariner of Port Hope, dated June 8, 1912.. William Peacock sells 8 shares to each of John McClellan and Wm. Cann dated March 31, 1915. It would appear that dated March 6, 1914, William Peacock & Wm. Savage each held 52 shares in the vessel. William Savage & William Peacock sold the total 64 shares to R. G. Hepburn & Thomas VanDusen both of Picton. dated Jan. 21, 1920. (Hepburn was a coal merchant & VanDusen a master mariner) REGISTERS NOTE- Registry of OLIVER MOWAT closed Oct. 5, 1921. SUNK BY KEY WEST AT DUCK ISLAND on the night of Sept. Ist.1 921. Certificate of Registry and papers lost with the boat

Toronto Mail & Empire September 4, 1921 #

SCHOONER SUNK Two are saved Rest Of Crew Perish In Night Tragedy On Lake Ontario Special to the Mail & Empire: St.Catharines Ont. Sept. 4 The steamer KEY WEST, which went up the Welland Canal yesterday, reported when she reached Port Dalhousie, her first stop after leaving Lake Ontario, that on Thursday night she had collided with and sunk the schooner OLIVER MOWAT at Duck Island, down the lake. All but two men on board the OLIVER MOWAT had been lost. The KEY WEST Captain reported he had picked up the two men in the water, their names being George Keegan and John Menaker. There were either five or seven on the lost boat. The two men were taken on with the KEY WEST up the canal, and could not be interviewed, nor – could the KEY WEST captain, as the boat had left Port Dalhousie before the facts of the loss of the OLIVER MOWAT was known here. According to the brief story of the wreck, told by the Captain of the KEY WEST, at Port Dalhousie, the OLIVER MOWAT apparently had not been carrying lights and was not seen by the KEY WEST until she was right on her. It was thought there was plenty of time for the MOWAT’S crew to get off, as they were all standing ready, but the boat suddenly gave a lurch and sank in a few seconds. The KEY WEST lowered boats and cruised about trying to find the other men, but only rescued Keegan and Menaker. The OLIVER MOWAT is owned by Hepburn, of Picton, and the KEY WEST by the Keystone Transportation Company of Montreal. The OLIVER MOWAT was an old boat, having been built at Milhaven in 1875. She was registered at Kingston and was a vessel of 541 tons.

Video Stills credit: Corey Phillips #

Kingston Whig Sept 5, 1921? #

Three Lives Lost When Steamer Rammed Schooner Oliver Mowat Bad Marine Tragedy Late Last Thursday Night Old Schooner Hit by Steamer Keywest Near Main Ducks and Cut in Two – Captain Tom Van Dusen One of the Victims. _ Captain Thomas L. VanDusen, one of the best-known sailing masters on Lake Ontario, Mate Jacob Corby and an unknown woman, a cook, was drowned late Thursday night off the Main Ducks when the steamer Keywest rammed the schooner Oliver Mowat and cut her in two. Two sailors on the Oliver Mowat, George Keegan of Belleville, and John Wannacott, of Picton, were saved. They were picked up by the Keywest and carried to the Welland canal from which place the first news of the tragedy was wired to Kingston. The Oliver Mowat, one of the old-time lake schooners, purchased this Spring by Captain Van Dusen, was bound from Oswego to Picton with coal when the accident happened. The captain of the Keywest reported it was a clear night, but that they saw no lights on the schooner and that they were on her before they knew it. The Keywest, a powerful boat, slashed into her midships and tore the old schooner in half. The two sailors who were on deck were rescued. Captain VanDusen and Mate Gurley were below and endeavored to save the cook. It is thought they lingered too long. At any rate, Captain VanDusen was seen swimming in the water just as the schooner went down under the water. It is believed the suction carried him down. The Keywest had endeavored to keep the stern of the schooner afloat and stood by for some time after the accident, but as there was nothing that could be done proceeded westward to the canal. Captain VanDusen was 65 years old and for over 40 years had been a prominent sailing master on Lake Ontario. he had sailed into Oswego for many years. His home was in Picton. Mate Gurley resided in Deseronto. The cook was about 60 years old and is thought to be a Canadian. An investigation will be made of the accident by the Canadian Marine Department and efforts will probably be made to recover the bodies. The water, however, is deep off the Ducks. Among the other commands Captain VanDusen had was the schooner Bertie Calkins and several other boats.

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