Field Notes – Adam Rushton
  • Passenger Ship
  • 40ffw
  • 135ft Lengths
  • Cedar Island, St. Lawrence River
  • N44’13.422 W 76’27.018

Chronological History #

  • 1855 Launched
  • 1856 Burnt Lake Ontario

Mills Record #

  • Tinto Mills Number: [ 054760 ]
  • Propulsion: [ Screw Propeller ]
  • Official Number: [—– ]
  • Dimensions: [ [135]x [23] – Built-in: [ Sorel, Quebec, Canada, 1855 ] 
  • Date Closed: [1856/06 ] Reason Closed: [ Burnt ] Where Closed: [ Near Kingston, Ontario, Canada ] 
  • Approx. 135×23. Owned by Gibb & Ross, Montreal.
  • Built by D. & J. McCarthy, Sorel and launched 19/11/55.
  • Engines (2) 221/2×30 working at right angles on the same shaft (i. e. “V-2”) by Miln & Miln (Dock Engine Works), Montreal,
  • Used Montreal-Lake Erie.
  • Destroyed by fire 11/06/56 near Kingston, 8 killed.

Selection of Historical Articles, more at #

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser 
      January 31, 1857 (1856 casualty list)  #

Propeller TINTO, (C), burned off Kingston, C.W.

Toronto Globe 
      May 28, 1856  #

      The Propeller TINTO owned by Gibb & Ross of Quebec, built at Sorel in the fall of 1855 by McCarthy, has a 4 bladed prop. of 10 feet and 18 feet pitch. 

Buffalo Daily Republic 
      Friday, July 18, 1856  #

      KINGSTON, C. W. July 18. – The propeller “TINTO,” was burned last night off Nine Mile Point, and is a total wreck. About twelve persons are lost, among them Capt. Campbell and a Mr. Henderson. The purser and twelve of the crew were saved. 

Toronto Globe 
      July 19, 1856  #

The new Propeller TINTO, Capt. Campbell caught fire off Nineteen Mile Point and burned to the water’s edge, bound from Kingston to Toronto and Hamilton. 18 persons missing.

Oswego Palladium 
      Saturday, July 19, 1856  #

A Propeller Burnt. – We learn from Capt. Ledyard, of the BAY STATE, that the new Prop. PINTO [sic Tinto] was burnt to the water’s edge on Thursday night. She took fire about nine miles above Kingston, and floated down the river, and lodged against an island a few miles below Kingston, where she lay burning when the BAY STATE came up yesterday morning. 
Two steamers went to her assistance after she was discovered, but no person was found on board and the small boat was gone. It was supposed the crew deserted her in the boat and went to one of the Islands. Capt. Ledyard states that she was burning briskly as he passed her, and was quite down to the water’s edge. The cause of the fire was unknown. 
The telegraph states that twelve passengers are lost by the casualty of the PINTO. Among them Capt. Beel, and a Mr. Henderson. The purser and 12 of the crew were saved. built for Messrs. Hooker & Pridham was launched at Kingston on June 12, the engines and boiler are from the Propeller TINTO burnt last summer. 

Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 23, 1856 #

Burning of the Propeller Tinto
Adjourned Investigation

The Coroner and Jury met at the Court House on the evening of Thursday the 20th for the purpose of hearing further evidence. Thos. Kirkpatrick, Esq., appeared for the Crown; O.L. Mowat, Esq. for the owners of the Tinto.

Captain Charles Armstrong examined: – Is Lloyd’s Agent; Agent for the underwriters at Montreal. Inspected the Tinto in the month of June. The Captain came to have her examined, with a view to having her insured. It was said her machinery was disarranged owing to her having struck a rock; therefore the machinery was defective. Had seen her on the stocks at Sorel, and thought her seaworthy.

She could not be called a hot boat, as her boilers were unusually small, and remained below in an eleven-foot hold. She then had three boats; one large and two smaller ones. The small boats were entirely too small. Did not know of any life preservers; she was not intended to be a passenger’s vessel. The three boats were capable to hold the entire people on board. The small boats were capable to hold 25 persons each, the large one 50.

It is not the practice for freight steamers to carry lifeboats; I do not think there is a steamer from Hamilton to Quebec, on the lake or on the river, has her funnels cased with iron. From what I have seen it was entirely impossible that fire could have originated from a spark falling between the funnel and the boilers – particularly from what I learned in this case – the wind blowing fresh, must have sent the sparks beyond the vessel. I would not hesitate for a moment to ensure the vessel. Do not think her master is justified in going to sea with only one boat.

The great quantity of wood on board amounts to nothing. There was a hose on board that could be used, the only trouble being to affix it.

Delaney, the mate, was re-examined. He swore positively that there was an iron casing around the funnels, which, he said, yet remains to be seen; here only, his evidence differed from what has been already stated.

The Coroner requested all others, save the Jury, to retire, when it was agreed: – 

That the two persons deceased, whose names appear at the beginning of this inquiry, came to their deaths by the burning of the Propeller Tinto; and that the Captain and the Engineer were highly culpable in proceeding to sea, without having taken proper precaution to secure the lives of the passengers committed to their charge.

We have been told that such was the substance of the verdict.

In taking our leave of this painful subject, we regret, that in the first case, it should have been deemed a weighty matter, whereas after three days’ deliberations, it was suddenly brought to a close, and a verdict rendered, which could as well have been arrived at on the first occasion. We were totally unprepared for the winding up of the matter today, and can only think that Mr. P.M. Vankoughnet did not send forward the needful to prolong it – yet a little longer.

p.2 The Tinto – There is to be a legal investigation, as there ought to be, into the circumstances connected with the melancholy loss of the steamer Tinto. We have heard that the pilot has stated, that when the fire occurred, there was only one small boat on board, which may be the case, but Captain Charles Armstrong, agent for the New York board of underwriters here, assures us that when he inspected her, previous to her leaving port, there were three new boats on board, built at the Island of Orleans – one more than the law required. It seems curious that the master of the Tinto should have put away two of his boats after the steamer had left Quebec.

The above is from the Quebec Gazette of Thursday, 26th, and we beg to remark, that the purser of the ill-fated Tinto informed us distinctly that Capt. Chambers had sold two of the boats, on his former trip, at Toronto, the one being 24 (21?) feet long (too large for his davits), and the other eighteen feet long. The latter, it was stated, was not in very good condition. After he sold them, he telegraphed immediately to the owners at Quebec to order a new boat forthwith, and have it ready by the time he returned there; and when he did so, the boat was not quite finished, and so he left, on his last trip, without it. These circumstances we should have mentioned in the hurried account we gave of the calamity but they were inadvertently omitted. 

The St. Catherines Post says that the late Chief Engineer of the Tinto, Mr. Alexander Henderson, “was a native of Roxburghshire, Scotland, and brother to Andrew Henderson, Merchant, of this town, who is now employed in the melancholy duty of endeavoring to recover the body. Deceased leaves a wife and four children to deplore his loss, but we believe they are left in comparatively comfortable circumstances, as Mr. H. owned a valuable farm in Sorel, C.E., and other property in Montreal besides being a partner in the ownership of the unfortunate vessel. The new Perry Engine, ordered for the “Young Canada Company,” was also on board, and our spirited juveniles will thus be deprived for a longer time of the use of an effective Engine, which they so richly deserve.”

Life Saved – Wm. McMillan, one of the crew of the steamboat Tinto, burnt near Kingston, who was reported amongst the killed, has been picked up near the scene of the disaster, by the schooner Independence. The vessel came into port yesterday morning. He managed to get clear of the burning wreck, and by clinging to a piece of the furniture drifted from the vessel, and kept afloat until found by the schooner. [Colonist 25th]

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