Site Description

  • Propeller
  • Lakeport, Lake Ontario

Located Donnelly Wrecking Co. Records lost again

Snider index – Schooner Days

SIXTEEN souls went out in the blackness which swallowed the steamer Zealand. That was the number of her crew when she left Toronto, and not one of them was again seen alive. She was a Hamilton vessel, but the only Hamilton men known to be in her were the captain, Edward Zealand, and the carpenter, Thomas Armstrong. There was a Miss Frances of Montreal on board, a stewardess. The two engineers, Thomas Dewey and David Taylor, came from St. Catharines. The mates were Frenchmen, Joseph Mullette of Lachine and Danos Lejic of Cornwall. She had two deckhands named George, and a third, Andrew Chestnut, came from Barriefield. The other six sailors and firemen are unknown.

It had been a sulky fall day, that first Saturday in November, 1880, a weather breeder. The wind was light and fitful from the east and south. In the grey of the early twilight Captain Edward Zealand, in the high-cocked wheelhouse of the propeller which bore his father’s name, gave the bells to the engine room at the opposite end of the bluff-bowed wooden ship, and she slowly backed away from the dark red northern elevator which used to stand near the foot of old Brock street. She had wheat in her hold, with flour in her tween decks, all consigned by L. Coffee and Co., Toronto, to Montreal.

Capt. Zealand worried less about the threatening weather than about the low water in the harbor. Eleven feet was as deep as we could dredge then, to bedrock, and there had been less than that in the channel till this easterly cant to the wind seemed to raise it. This allowed the large barquentine T. C. Street, which was very deeply laden, to get out, and the Zealand followed.

Forty years lakefaring had taught her captain to be prepared at all times, and take his weather as it came. He had been sailing since he was ten, and he was now fifty-three. At ten he had clung to a stranded wreck with his father off Port Credit in the year of the Mackenzie Rebellion, 1837. At twelve he had sailed one of his father’s schooners — not as cook’s helper or cabin boy, but in command.

His father, now dead — killed by a maddened cow in Hamilton, after escaping roundshot in Nelson’s fleets, perhaps at Trafalgar, and fighting in Yeo’s squadron, the Slippery Six, on Lake Ontario, and cutting out the Caroline from before the rebels’ camp at Navy Island — he had been a grand sailor, of the old and quickly adaptable school. Born before the first steamboat, he had come to the Great Lakes in the War of 1812, built the steamer Constitution in 1834, run the schooner Aurora all through the winter of 1836 between Toronto and Hamilton, won the race to be the first through the Burlington Canal when it was completed, and built up a little fleet ail of his own. Their names showed him the man of goodwill that he was— Friendship, Hope, Amity, Concord, Royalist. He was a royalist and a loyalist, and had five sons, ship captains.

Eddie, greying now, felt pride in being fit for his father’s and brothers’ company. They wouldn’t wait for weather, while they had water to float a staunch steamer, like this one bearing the family name. She had been rebuilt, five years before, from the burned City of Chatham. If that “barque” the Street, could go, the propeller would go. And beat her down the lake, too. The Street was a good vessel, and had crossed the Atlantic. Well, his old father crossed the Atlantic, and his brother William had crossed the Atlantic, taking over just such another “barque” as the Street, Muir Brothers’ Niagara, from Port Dalhousie to Scotland, and bringing her back, too, loaded with pig iron.

The Zealand was a good vessel, and his all was in her, and he would have her in Montreal before the Street got to Kingston. Even if he didn’t like this dropping barometer, the fitful puffs, flat calms, and short flaws of this November evening.

The Street never got to Kingston. By midnight the wind was blowing at hurricane force. Before morning the Street was lying along the stony beach above Wellington, breaking up, her crew in the rigging.

And the Zealand?

Her lights were seen from Port Hope in the gale. She was hauling out into the lake, to weather the west coast of Prince Edward. In the frightful sea offshore know Cobourg crossing what fishermen call the Badgely Shoals she may have shifted her cargo or shipped so much water as to flood her firehold. She broke up and sank, spewing her cargo and upper works all over the lake.

THE year following, Presqu’isle fishermen were amazed by a flour barrel bobbing up ahead of them when they were homeward bound from a set. The barrel war, branded Garden City. That was in the Zealand’s cargo. It had been under water for a long time, for it was covered with marine growth, but the flour within was dry and sweet It had sealed itself in the barrel when the water formed a paste with the outer shell.

The fishermen were so excited by their find that they forgot to buoy the spot, and it was so far off shore that their bearings could not bring them back to the exact place where lay the remains of the Zealand. It was probably the “Mulcaster patch” of the charts, five miles offshore from Lakeport, where there is only six fathoms over the rocks and twenty-three fathoms beside them.

The Mary Taylor of Cobourg (later renamed Loretta Rooney) reported on Nov. 9th at Oswego that she had passed through a lot of flour floating in the lake, branded Garden City, and that among it was an empty yawlboat with the Zealand’s name on it. This wreckage was fifteen miles southeast of Point Peter, having been carried fifty miles by the scend of the seas and the scourging wind.

The schooner Maria Annette reached Port Hope Nov. 9th and reported passing through the upper works of a steamer with door frames and cabin material at the same spot in mid-lake. The Zealand’s name was on a hawser box among the wreckage.


Year of Registration: 1875

Type of Ship: Sloop

Port of Registry: Hamilton, Ontario

Where Built: Hamilton, Ontario

Net Tonnage: 284


  • Foundered on Lake Ontario on November 6, 1880
  • Registry closed November 25, 1880

Official Number: 71152

Reference: NULL

Other Reference:

Old VolumePagesMicrofilm Reel #See Volume No.


Also known as: CITY OF CHATHAM (1872) ZEALAND (1875) CONSTRUCTION AND OWNERSHIP  Built at  Chatham, Ontario POWER Propulsion: Screw DIMENSIONS Tonnage (gross): -361 FINAL DISPOSITION Long Point, Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada How: Foundered HISTORY

First Rebuild: Official Number: 71152 Propulsion: Screw Dimensions: 132 x 24 — 651 tons Rebuilt: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1875 136x26x12. Owned by J. McKay, Hamilton 1872; Tait & Co, Bowmanville Ont. 1873; A. M. Robertson, Hamilton 1880. Built by Hyslop & Ronald, Chatham and launched 02/11/71. Engine 24×27 by builders. Badly damaged by fire 03/06/73 at dock Hamilton, rebuilt to 132x24x14 by A. M. Robertson, Hamilton and re-launched 15/10/74. No passenger accommodation when built added 1873 Hamilton (before the fire). Sank 07/11/89 near Long Point, Lake Ontario, 7 killed.

 Provisional List of Canadian Steamships  1808 to 1930. World Ship Society #

Propeller ZEALAND of 402 tons foundered Lake Ontario, near Scotch Bonnet Island, Nov. 6, 1880. Ex CITY OF CHATHAM, built 1872, rebuilt Hamilton 1875. 132 x 24 x 12.

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser November 10, 1880, 3-4 #

An Associated Press despatch from Montreal this morning says: “There is now no doubt that the prop. ZEALAND foundered on Lake Ontario during the recent gale. Portions of the wreck have been found. She had 14,000 bu, wheat and 2,000 barrels of flour on board. She was commanded by one of the proprietors. It is believed all hands are lost.” The prop. ZEALAND was owned by Capt. Edward Zealand, of Hamilton, Ontario, and is believed to have been in charge when the vessel foundered. The ZEALAND was built from the bottom of the prop. CHATHAM, coming out in 1874. She was valued at $26,000 in the Inland Lloyd Register, rated A1 1/2, and was 284 tons burden. She was running, we are informed in the Merchants’ Line between Chicago and Montreal. Capt. Zealand began his sailing when he was a boy, and at 15 years of age commanded his first vessel. He was a good seaman, and as a man, was greatly respected. He leaves a family and 4 brothers, all of the latter being seafaring men.

Kingston Whig-Standard Wednesday, November 10, 1880 #

Oswego, Nov. 10. — Capt. Edward George, of the schooner MARY TAYLOR, which arrived at Oswego yesterday, reported that about 10 miles from Point Peter he passed through a great number of barrels of flour, among which was a yawl boat with its quarter stove in and found it marked “Garden City, XXX Clarksville.” The boat and flour are supposed to have been on the steamer ZEALAND, which left Toronto at 10 o’clock on Saturday night for Montreal with a deck load of flour. Hamilton, Nov. 10. — The following is a list, as far as can be ascertained, of those on board the propeller ZEALAND: Edward Zealand, Captain, and owner; Joseph Mullet, of Lachine, first mate; Thomas Dewey, of St. Catharines, 1st. engineer; Thomas Armstrong, of Hamilton, carpenter; rest of crew supposed to be Toronto men.

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser November 11, 1880, 4-4 #

Port Hope, Nov. 10. — Capt. Henning, of the schooner MARIE ANNETTE, just arrived, reports having seen a hawser box with steamer ZEALAND painted on it, with door frames and cabin material floating near it, bearing the appearance of the upper works of the wreck of a steamer, about 15 miles south of Long Point. He could see no signs of a vessel. The propeller was full canal size, and being built by Mr. A. Robertson, of Hamilton, in 1874, was a comparatively new vessel. Her cost at that time was $32,000, and even at present, with the recent depression of ship property, she was valued at $25,000. Her machinery was taken from the propeller CHATHAM, burned a few years ago, Burlington Bay, and she had been kept in excellent repair, most of her woodwork being new. She was engaged in the lake trade between St. Catharines and Montreal, and had hitherto a successful season, meeting with no accident. On Saturday she was in the best shape to meet a storm, as she only drew nine feet. At about half-past six o’clock that night she steamed out into the darkness and has not since been seen.

The crew numbered in all about 16 men. The cargo was valued at $15,500 and was insured for $14,000 in the Manhattan of New York and Greenwich of New York, each company holding one-half. The vessel was insured in the Phoenix, of Brooklyn. We learn that the flour, (360 bushels) constituted her deck load and that she carried, besides, a cargo of wheat consigned to Messrs. A.W. Ogilvie & Co., of Montreal. Last Thursday the propeller was in this harbor, having discharged, at the M.T. Co.’s wharf, her grain to avoid running the river, the water in which is now very low; at the same time, she unloaded a number of apples, which were forwarded to Montreal in a barge by the K. & M. Forwarding Company. The ZEALAND was owned and sailed by Capt. Zealand, an experienced mariner, a brother of the Captain of Messrs. Calvin & Son’s ocean vessel GARDEN ISLAND.

Kingston Whig-Standard  November 11, 1880 #

No late news has been received regarding the missing stm. ZEALAND, and it is almost certain that she has gone to the bottom of Lake Ontario with her crew and passengers. Portions of the boat have been passed in the lake and her yawl boat was also seen. The ZEALAND ran in the Western Express line of steamers between St. Catharines and Montreal. She left the Northern Elevator in Toronto on Saturday night last about 7:00, which would be about 5 hours prior to the gale striking her. She was laden with wheat and flour from L. Coffee & Co., for Montreal. She was commanded and owned by Capt. Ed Zealand, and had a crew of 16 or 18 men. The ZEALAND was an excellent propeller, about 5 years old, and was rebuilt from the hull of the CITY OF CHATHAM, which burned at Hamilton about 6 years ago. Her owner and captain, Edward Zealand, hails from Hamilton, where he has resided for many years. Notwithstanding the telegram announcing the wreckage, it is of course possible that the ZEALAND may only be disabled and in a harbor of refuge. Still the chances are against her, as no telegram has been received from her. She was insured for $16,000 in the Manhattan and Greenwich Co. of New York.

Buffalo Commercial Advertiser November 12, 1880, 1-5 #

Crew of the ZEALAND. — The crew of the ZEALAND, if full, consisted of 16 persons, but from the way in which they were shipped it is impossible to give their names or residences excepting the following: Edward Zealand. Captain, Hamilton; Thom. Dewey, 1st. engineer, St.Catharines; leaves a wife and four children; David Taylor, 2nd engineer, Port Colborne. unmarried; Joseph Malette, 1st. mate; Montreal, unmarried; Thomas Danos Legic. 2nd mate, near Cornwall, unmarried; Thomas Armstrong, ship carpenter, McNab Street, Hamilton, leaves a wife and daughter; Miss Frances, lady’s maid, Montreal. The two deckhands were known on board as George and Jack, the former being an Englishman and the latter from Toronto, his real name being George, but changed to distinguish him from his chum. The cook’s name is unknown. She was a widow, formerly a resident of Hamilton. A theory among vessels is that the ZEALAND had hugged the north shore, on the way down, on Saturday night, till they approached Presque Isle. It would be necessary to haul out into the lake, which would bring the vessel into the trough of the sea, where she became unmanageable and rolled over. It is the opinion that the vessel would have lived through the gale, with the wind and sea after her, and that only such an occurrence, or an accident to the machinery, caused her disaster. She was insured in the Phoenix for $18,400 and the cargo in the Manhattan and Greenwich Co.’s of New York for $14,000. In such case, however, she was reinsured by those companies, so that the loss to them will be small.

All hopes of the safety of the prop. ZEALAND has been abandoned. As she was a freight boat and had no cabin accommodation, it is not expected that any passengers were on board, but her crew numbered about 16. From the way in which they were shipped it is impossible to obtain a more complete list than the following: Edward Zealand, Captain, of Hamilton; Thomas Dewey, first engineer, St. Catharines, leaves a wife and 4 children; David Taylor, second engineer, Port Colborne, unmarried; Joseph Marlette, first mate, Montreal, unmarried; Thomas Danos Lejice, second mate, Cornwall, unmarried; Thomas Armstrong, ship carpenter, Hamilton, leaves a wife and daughter; Miss Francis, lad’s maid, Montreal. The 2 deckhands were known on board as George and Jack, the former an Englishman and the latter hailing from Toronto. The cook belonged to Hamilton. Her name cannot be remembered. She was a widow and leaves no family. The master of the ill-fated propeller, Capt. Edward Zealand was well and favorably known to all sailors on Lake Ontario. He was born and bred a sailor. His father was the well-known Capt. Edward Zealand, who was the first man on board the notorious CAROLINE, which was sent over Niagara Falls in 1812(sic). The late Capt. Zealand has been a lake Captain all his life and has commanded some of the best vessels on the Lower Lakes. He was a citizen of Hamilton, where he leaves a wife and a large family. His sailor life has been full of adventures. He has been wrecked several times, and escaped all dangers, to go down unseen in one of the worst storms that ever swept Ontario,

Kingston Whig-Standard November 12, 1880 #

The Propeller ZEALAND appears to have reached a point off Port Hope or Cobourg when the storm struck her, and the wind being from the Southwest, the captain would, probably entertaining doubts of making either of those harbours, standoff toward the middle of the lake and the south shore. Zealand was not loaded to her full capacity, having only 12,000 bushels of wheat in addition to the flour on board, and if struck by a heavy sea, whether anything went wrong with the machinery or steering gear or not, would be almost certain, if struck by a heavy sea, to list over so much as to cause the cargo to shift. When this occurred, steerage way would be lost, and the steamer would probably either founder and go down immediately, or after laboring a short time in the trough of the sea, split and go to pieces. What lends a degree of greater probability to this theory is the fact that portions of the wreckage have been picked up near Port Hope. A young man named Andrew Chestnut of Barriefield, brother of an engineer of the same name who resided in St. Catharines is amongst the lost. He was the youngest of seven sons. The name of the cook was Mary Ann Park. She was an Irish woman, between 35 and 40 years of age, and has relatives residing in Buffalo. The two wheelsmen were from Toledo, Ohio, but their names are unknown. The firemen were a Norwegian, shipped at Montreal and a man who was known by the name of Frank, and who is said to have at one time sailed on the PRUSSIA, of St. Catharines.

Oswego Palladium November 11, 1880 #

The lost propeller Zealand. The Guiding Star Encounters a mass of her wreckage- no doubt that she has foundered Port Dalhousie, Ont. Nov. 10. The schooner Guiding Star, Capt. Wm. Griffin, arrived this morning from Oswego and reports having passed pieces of a cabin, bedclothes, water tank and barrels of flour. The flour was made and marked by W. T. Tyson & Son, Clarksburg, Ont. One of the crew says they passed the schooner Ariel, picking up the flour. The lake was filled with portions of wreck, and it is supposed to be some propeller bound from Toronto to Kingston. Pieces of white railing were also picked up. Special despatch to the Palladium. Hamilton Ont. Nov. 11. Up to the present time no news of the prop. Zealand has been received except as to the finding of parts of her cabins and cargo. In fact any hopes as to the safety of any of her crew are not now entertained. Much sympathy is felt here with respect to Captain Zealand and his family. He leaves a wife and five children. He was a life long citizen of Hamilton and had a host of friends. The crew of Zealand if full consisted of sixteen persons, but from the way in which they were shipped it is impossible to give the names or residences excepting the following: Edward Zealand, captain Hamilton Thos. Dewey, first Engineer St. Catharines, leaves a wife and four children. David Taylor, second engineer, Port Colborne, unmarried; Joseph Malette, first mate, Montreal unmarried, Thos. Danos Lefie, second mate, Cornwall unmarried Thomas Armstrong, ship carpenter, Hamilton leaves a wife and daughter, Miss Francis Lady¹s maid Montreal. The two deckhands were known on board as George and Jack, the former being an Englishman and the latter hailing from Toronto. The cook belonged at Hamilton, but her name cannot be remembered. She was a widow and leaves no family. Capt. Thomas Zealand, brother of deceased and his eldest son Edward, have left for the north shore to make the search for any debris of the wreck or bodies which may be washed ashore. Zealand was full canal size, built by A. Robertson of Hamilton, in 1874, and was comparatively new. Her cost was $32,000 and even with the depreciation of ship property, she was valued at $25,000. Her machinery was taken from the propeller Chatham, burned a few years ago in Burlington Bay, and she had been kept in excellent repair., most of her woodwork being new. She was engaged in the lake trade between St. Catharines and Montreal. Saturday she loaded at Toronto with 12,000 bushels of wheat and 360 bbls. Of flour which was a moderate cargo, and left her drawing only 9 feet of water. Captain Zealand was 53 years old. Special despatch to the Palladium Consecon, Nov. 11. Capt. Courson of the schooner Nellie Sherwood picked up a gangway of the propellor Zealand this forenoon in Weller¹s Bay It was marked Steamer Zealand in large letters.

Oswego Palladium November 23, 1880 #

The Zealand’s mate found Picton Ont. Nov. 18.- A fisherman reported to J. Redmond, inspector of fisheries for the county of Prince Edward, that a body had come ashore at Point Peter, having a life preserver attached with the name Zealand marked on it. Another fisherman reports having found an empty chest with the lid torn off, also with the name of the steamer Zealand on it. Mr. Thomas Zealand arrived here to-day and proceeded at once to Point Peter. He identified the body that came ashore as that of Demas Lajice of the ill-fated steamer Zealand.

Oswego Palladium Tuesday, December 7, 1880 #

Reward for Capt. Zealand’s Body. A son of Capt. Edward Zealand of Hamilton, lost with the propeller ZEALAND on Lake Ontario November 7, 1880, offers $200 reward for the body. Capt. Zealand was 53 years old, 5 feet 9 inches high, dark hair and dark brown beard turning slightly gray, a gold ring on little finger of left hand and a tattooed ring on large finger of same hand.

The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, November 1880 #

THE LOST STEAMERS. The Toronto Globe says: “In regard to several boats lost of late, and the connected apparent fatalities, the following facts will be of interest: The CITY OF CHATHAM and the MARY A. ROBINSON were both built by Hyslop and Ronald, in the Chatham docks, about six years ago, and were afterward both burnt, the former in Burlington Bay, here, near the Great Western Railway freight wharf, and the latter in her trip between Chicago and Port Colborne. Both boats were then rebuilt, the CITY OF CHATHAM being rechristened the ZEALAND, and the MARY A. ROBINSON the SIMCOE, and now both boats, within a few days of each other, have gone down with such fatal consequences. It might be stated that at the sale here of the hull of the CITY OF CHATHAM, after being burnt, there were only two parties, Mr. J.H. Killey and Mr. Zealand, both of this city, who made bids, the latter gentleman being the purchaser. Hence the name of ZEALAND. It also might be stated that mate Jim Parsons, lost with the SIMCOE, was formerly pilot of the Gunboat PRINCE ALFRED during the Fenian raid, and afterward captain of the ill-fated CUMBERLAND, which went to pieces on a rock in Lake Superior in a fog. The second engineer, Mr., McAntley, lost with the SIMCOE, was the son of engineer McAntley, who was lost in the WAUBUNO disaster on the Georgian Bay. Further facts could be given, but the above are the most singular.”

Buffalo Morning Express May 26, 1899, 3-3 #

The search for the hull of the lost tug PALMER (WALKER) has resulted in turning up the remains of the steamer ZEALAND, lost 20 years ago. Although a great deal of searching was done for the ZEALAND, no trace was ever found of her before. She carried valuable cargo, and when she went down, all of her crew perished. The Donnelly Wrecking & Salvage Co., Kingston, which found the wreck of the ZEALAND will make an investigation to ascertain whether any part of the cargo can be recovered profitably. The ZEALAND sank near Nicholson’s Island in Lake Ontario. NOTE: – The Buffalo article was copied word for word by the Marine Record, June 8, 1899. The reference to the tug PALMER is an error, and was meant to be the tug WALKER, (JAMES A. WALKER ) foundered 100 yds. from Nicholson Island, Oct. 22, 1898, it was also found and raised.)

Marine Review June 1, 1899 #

The Donnelly Wrecking & Salvage Co. of Kingston, Ont., in a recent effort to locate the wreck of the tug WALKER near Nicolson’s island, came upon the wreck of the steamer ZEALAND, which was lost about twenty years ago.

Powered by BetterDocs

error: Content is protected !!