• Lake Barge
  • 132ft Lengths
  • 60ffw 20m
  • Brockville, St. Lawrence River
  • N44 35 358 W75 40 625

Chronological History #

  • 1863 Built Kingston ON (Serpent Figurehead)
  • 1863 Owned S. Fraser, Kingston ON Value 2700.00
  • 1866 393 tons.
  • 1869 Springs Leak on Lake Michigan
  • 1869 Collision Lake Michigan
  • 1874 Collides with HURON in Welland Canal
  • 1876 Owned Thomas Dawson, Kingston, ONT; large repairs refitted to 3 masts. Value 10000.00
  • 1880 Certificate cancelled, sold to U.S.A. citizen, Davis & Dovith?, Toledo, OH.
  • 1886 rebuilt as Barge.
  • 1889 Sank & raised and sank. Abandoned in Place. St. Lawrence River, Brockville ON

3D Model by Christian Remillard

Toronto Globe Monday, November 11, 1889 #

Brockville, November 9 ANOTHER MISFORTUNE
The wrecking schooner R. GASKIN, sunk beside the steamer ARMSTRONG, was raised today until her topmast was above the water when the hose for supplying air from the compressor to the lifting pontoon burst. Two tugs attempted to take her into shallow water, but before they made much she again settled down. The attempt to raise the ARMSTRONG has been a series of misfortunes.      

Detroit Free Press November 24, 1889 #

Kingston, Nov. 23. — Barge GASKIN has been raised and towed to Brockville. Work on the steamer ARMSTRONG is going on as rapidly as possible.

Loading Manifest #


Brockville Recorder Sept. 18, 1889 #

The Wrecking Schooner Gaskin Struck by a Pontoon, and Goes to Bottom Mr. Leslie, who has undertaken to bring the sunken steamer Armstrong to the surface, is in hard luck, and today met with another set back which will not only prove a serious loss but will still further delay the operations in connection with raising the wreck.

As our readers are aware two additional pontoons were being sunk, to give more power in bringing up the wrecked steamer, and today the work of forcing air into one of these was begun. All was going well, and prospects looked bright for bringing the Armstrong to the surface, when suddenly about one o’clock the chain holding one of the pontoons gave way and it came to the surface with terrific force, striking and wrecking the schooner Gaskin on the bottom and making a large hole in her.
Those who saw the accident state that when the pontoon struck the schooner she careened over and it looked as though she would upset. The pontoon, however, glided from underneath her, and the water pouring into the hole which had been made in the bottom, the schooner sank almost immediately, the men who were on her having barely time to jump to the tug McArthur which lay alongside.

The loss will prove a very heavy one to Mr. Leslie as his wrecking apparatus, pumps, divers outfit, etc., were all on the schooner and went to the bottom with her. The men who were employed on the schooner also lose all their belongings, as the schooner sank with such rapidity that they had no time to make an effort to save anything. From the position in which the vessel went down, it is thought that she in all probability settled down upon the Armstrong; at all events if not on top she must be immediately alongside her.

At the time of writing it is not known whether or not an effort will be made to raise the Gaskin, but there seems no doubt that an effort will be made at all events to bring her plant to the surface, as it is very valuable.  

Photo Gallery 2022cc Matthew Charlesworth #

Brockville Recorder Sept. 19, 1889 #

One of the few residents who happened to have his eyes in the direction of the wrecking barge Gaskin yesterday, when she was wrecked by the rising pontoon, was Mr. Rafael McNabb, who informs us that the sight was a peculiar one. He was in the vicinity of the C.P.R. pier at the time and says that all of a sudden there was a commotion in the water and followed almost immediately by the appearance of the pontoon. It came upon end, the lower end being fastened by a chain, and with such force, as to shoot the huge mass of steel into the air like a rocket.

It ascended, he thinks, about as high as the crosstrees of the Gaskin and remained on end for about thirty-five or forty minutes before it gradually filled with water and sank out of sight. As it came up the Gaskin keeled over so that her masts rested at an angle of about forty-five degrees. She settled back to her usual position at once, however, and then sank so fast that the men had barely time to scramble aboard the tug McArthur. Just before she went out of sight she pitched forward and went down with the utmost speed, the whole time of her striking and disappearance not exceeding four minutes.

Opinions vary as to where she will be found, some thinking that she must have struck the Armstrong while others are positive that she will be found alongside the steamer and on the upper side. It is generally considered that if she struck the Armstrong in her downward course the old boat will not be worth the rising but this, of course, remains to be seen. It is said that the diver’s apparatus and wrecking outfit which went down with the barge, represent an outlay of about $9,000.

The remaining pontoon which broke loose was picked up by the tug McArthur in the vicinity of the Sister Islands and had been injured to such an extent that a steam pump had to be put in it to keep it afloat. About five o’clock the McArthur took it alongside and started for Kingston.

Robert Gaskin Brockville Recorder Sept. 20, 1889 #

The barge Gaskin, sunk here at the wreck of the Armstrong on Wednesday, was condemned last year and is, therefore, no serious loss.  

Robert Gaskin Brockville Recorder Oct. 2, 1889 #

When the barge Gaskin was sunk recently at the wreck of the Armstrong, it was feared that in addition to the loss of the boat and much valuable machinery that even greater loss had been occasioned by her striking the Armstrong in her descent, in which event a bad mess was inevitable. The fear, however, has been set at rest by the diver, who, in his first descent, ascertained that the barge in going down drifted rapidly with the strong current and now lies thirty or forty feet from the Armstrong and on the lower side.

This will make the work much easier and is a cause for congratulation. Nothing further was attempted by the diver, and nothing practical will likely be undertaken until the glass globes for the electric light reach here. These have been used in such cases. Mr. Leslie has gone to Port Dalhousie on business, and the tug McArthur left last night about four o’clock to relieve the steam barge Nipigon, which ran on a shoal near Cape Vincent the night before last.

Brockville Recorder Oct. 10, 1889 #

Though little is heard nowadays concerning the work at the wreck of the Armstrong, it must not be taken for granted that Mr. Leslie has allowed the grass to grow under his feet. Since the return of the wrecking fleet, every moment of time has been used to advantage and excellent progress has been made.

All the material which lay on the deck of the wrecking barge Gaskin when she was struck by the released pontoon, has been recovered, and this of itself was no small job. Tools, chains, the pony engine, and the air compressor, the latter a ponderous piece of machinery weighing several tons, have been brought to the surface, and nothing now remains on the barge except some heavy chains which are in the hold. It is proposed, we understand, to use one of the pontoons in raising the Gaskin, fastening it to her decks.

It is also thought that the barge will receive considerable buoyancy from the presence in her hold of several large acid drums, which Mr. Leslie bought some time ago from the Chemical Company. At all events, the Gaskin will be raised first. A New York gentlemen are expected here tomorrow who will bring with him the electric light plant and superintend the work of putting it in position.

Brockville Recorder Nov. 11, 1889 #

The hardest kind of hard-luck seems to attend Mr. Leslie in his wrecking operations on Armstrong and Gaskin and the wonder to many is and has been that he sticks to the work with such dogged persistence. On Saturday the fates were again in opposition and the Gaskin after being brought almost to the surface broke away and went to the bottom. It is thought that in lowering the pontoon it struck one of the heavy posts on the upper deck of the Armstrong and was damaged as it took several hours to do what ought to have been done in an hour had the pontoon been all right. As it was, however, the water was finally exhausted and the wreck came almost to the surface.

A tow line was then attached to the tug McArthur and is supposed to have slackened to such an extent that the hose coupling on the pontoon became detached when the wreck again went to the bottom. It now lies so close to the Armstrong that it will have to be removed before work on the former can be started and an attempt is being made this afternoon to attain this end. R

Brockville Recorder Nov. 23, 1889 #

A pontoon was successfully placed on the deck of the wrecked barge Gaskin yesterday afternoon, and about ten o’clock today the work of raising that vessel commenced. At three o’clock the masts appeared above the surface and it is now hoped the vessel will be successfully floated.

Photo Gallery 2010cc Tom Rutledge #

Brockville Recorder Nov. 25, 1889, #

The ill luck which has persistently attended the wrecking operations here seems to still hold its grip and was again made apparent on Saturday in the attempt to raise the barge, Gaskin. She was brought to the surface all right shortly after two o’clock and in tow of the tug, McArthur was started for shore.

It proved rather a hard pulling but the wreck was gradually worked in towards shore for about two hundred yards when the rear end of the pontoon was seen to shoot into the air. This left only the forward pontoon fastened to the wreck and as a natural consequence, the latter again went to the bottom and had to be abandoned. It is understood the release of the pontoon was caused by the tearing away of the barge’s keelson around which the pontoon chains were fastened. The pontoon was accordingly unfastened forward and towed to the upper C.P.R. slip where it was allowed to sink. The Gaskin now lies in about sixty feet of water with her topmasts sticking out, and another attempt will be made to get her in towards the shore.

Brockville Recorder Jan 15, 1890 #

In the storm of Monday, the masts of the sunken schooner Gaskin were torn out by the ice. They are still held to the wreck by the rigging.

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