Dimensions: 251.1 x 35.4 x 15.1 Tonnage: 702.33 tons gross; 1538.84 tons net Type of Wreck: Bulk Freighter Powered by: 500 nominal horse-power Location of Wreck: Nine-mile point, Lake Ontario
STORMOUNT (2) ex AVON wooden steam barge (C 140962 ex U 105733). 1919- 1920. Original: 1,702.33 tons gross, 1,538.84 tons net. As of 1902: 1,417 gross, 1,147 net, 251.1’ (between perpendiculars) 259’ (overall). As of 1919: 1,180.41 tons gross, 703.6 net, 254.3’. Launched on 29 August 1877 at Union Dry Dock of Buffalo New York. Yard #17. Built as a well-deck package freighter/passenger steamer with machinery aft. Compound steeple engine, two-cylinder = 600 indicated horsepower, 500 nominal horsepower. 1883 rated A1* and valued at $130,000. 1901 rated A1 with a value of $18,000. 1913 insurance rating 80 coarse freight only. 1914 insurance rating = 75 coarse freight only. 1915 insurance rating = 80. 1919 value $126,093.75. 1920 value $116,636.72. AVON’s first owner was the Union Steamboat Co. That company was owned by the Erie Railroad. She went aground at the mouth of the Detroit River on her maiden voyage and was aground opposite the “Indian Burial Ground” on the same river in June 1878. She was in collision with the American steam barge THOMAS A. SCOTT (U 24785, 1,150.32 tons) at Milwaukee in 1880 and sustained $4,000 damages. Five years later the courts found AVON had been at fault. She went aground on the Middle Ground at Port Huron Michigan in 1880 and was aground again near Buffalo in November 1883 in a gale. In 1884 she was at Union Dry Dock in Buffalo for repairs that cost $6,000. She lost her rudder off Beaver Island in Lake Michigan during a gale in November 1884 resulting in $1,500 damage. She was at Union Dry Dock again to have steel arches fitted in 1886. She was in collision with a schooner in Buffalo harbour in 1887 and sprang a leak that November that may have been related to her grounding on Stag Island near Port Huron. On 7 June 1888 she collided with and sank the small American steam barge MT. CLEMENS (U 130224, 156 tons gross) in the Detroit River. On the night of 23 August 1888 AVON was in collision with a lumber schooner on Lake Michigan. AVON’s port bow was damaged. In April 1889 her engine was disabled while on Lake Superior. She was repaired and her bottom was caulked in 1890. The Union Transit Co. was AVON’s owner in 1892. She went aground near Sault Ste. Marie when her steering failed in 1893. She struck bottom and was heavily damaged at the Lime Kiln Crossing of the Detroit River in September 1897. She went to the yard of Union Dry Dock in Buffalo during December 1897 for general repairs. In 1898 her owner was H.C. French. She was under repair at the King & Sons yard in Buffalo in February 1898 and was at the Union Dry Dock yard yet again in May 1899 for repairs to her upper works. Machinery repairs were done at Tonawanda New York in 1900 as Buffalo workers were on strike. There was 78
an explosion on board and she burned in the St. Mary’s River near Point aux Pins on 30 June 1901 resulting in $30,000 damages. She was bought jointly by Hanna Coal and Ogdensburg Coal and Towing in October 1901. They had her cut down and rebuilt as a bulk carrier, including a new boiler, at Buffalo in 1902. The intention was to use her as a collier. Her consort barge broke loose in a gale while on passage from Buffalo to Ogdensburg New York on 16 December 1902. It appears that the Ogdensburg Coal and Towing Co. became her sole owner in 1905. She was caulked in 1910 and repaired in 1915. She was chartered by Montreal Transportation Co. 1917-18 (from Oswego Navigation Co. under the name AVON) to move coal. In September 1917 she was aground above the Lachine Rapids in the St. Lawrence. In 1919 Montreal Transportation Co. bought her from Oswego Navigation as part of an $186,000 package with NICARAGUA, JEREMIAH GODFREY and MELVIN S. BACON. Both Oswego Navigation and Montreal Transportation Co. were controlled by R.M. Wolvin at the time. Montreal Transportation Co. rebuilt her in 1919 with a “new to her” 1908 boiler and 1877 engine. They renamed her STORMOUNT (2). On 29 April 1920 she struck the upper gates of Lock 3 in the Welland Canal and sustained minimal damage. There was, however, $7,500 damage to the canal gates and bank. She foundered and was a constructive total loss in the Williamsburg Canals on 4 November 1920 while en route from Port Colborne Ontario to Montreal with a cargo of wheat. She was raised, towed to Kingston and then abandoned in the Cataraqui River. She burned on 23 November 1936. Her remains were towed out by Sin-Mac and scuttled in Lake Ontario off the head of Wolfe Island on 30 September 1937.
Marine Record – October 10, 1901 #
Steam screw AVON. U. S. No. 105733. Of 1702.33 tons gross; 1538.84 tons net.
Built Buffalo, N.Y., 1877.
Homeport, Buffalo, N.Y. 251.1 x 35.4 x 15.1. Of 500 nominal horse-power.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885 AVON.*
Built 1877 Package Freight Prop. – Wood U. S. No. 105733 1702 gt -1538 nt 251.1′ x 35.4′ x 15.1′ Reduced to a bulk propeller in 1901. * Renamed (b) STORMOUNT – Can -1919 (C 140962)
Various News Articles #
Shipwrecks of Lake Superior 1900 – 1909 – Inland Seas, Spring 1971 #
AVON, Steamer of 1702 gross tons. Built-in 1877. Caught fire and totally burnt off Point Aux Pins at the Soo on June 30, 1901.
It is understood that the Union Transit Co., owners of the stmr. AVON, have turned her over to the underwriters. Two experts, one from New York and one from London have passed judgment on the burned vessel, and she has declared a total loss, indorsing the viesw of local inspectors. The AVON will never again be fitted with steam as the cost would be too great. She will undoubtedly be purchased from the insurance people and converted into a tow barge.
Buffalo Daily Courier August 13, 1901, 2-4 #
Insurance on the stmr.
AVON of the Union Transit Line has been settled by the payment to the owners of a stipulated sum by the underwriters. It is understood that the Transit people desire to sell the steamer and she will probably be converted into a tow barge.
Buffalo Daily Courier September 17, 1901, 2-2 #
FOR SALE – Package freight steamer AVON, which was recently slightly damaged by fire. Now lying at the port of Buffalo. Would make an excellent steam barge, for the lumber trade. Inquire of H.C. French, president and treasurer, the Union Transit Co., Buffalo, N. Y. Oct. 8.
Marine Review October 3, 1901, Buffalo, October 4. #
The hull of the burned steamer AVON, of the Union Transit Line, has been sold to John Hannah, of the Hannah Coal and transportation Company of Ogdensburg. The steamer will be rebuilt as a course freighter and not as a barge, as was expected. Work on the engine was begun today. The price of the wreck was not given out.
Detroit Free Press October 5, 1901 #
The wreck of the steamer AVON has been sold and the machinery removed and hulk converted into a barge for the Hannah Co. of Ogdensburg, she will become a St. Lawrence River barge.
Sank November 2, 1920, at Williamsburg, Ont.