Original Vessel Data
Name: [ Persia ] Mills Number: [ 042910 ] Propulsion: [ Screw Propeller ] Official Number: [—– ] Dimensions: [ 144x 23 – 757 tons ] Built in: [ St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, 1873 ]
First Rebuild Information
Official Number: [ 97013 ] Propulsion: [ s ] Dimensions: [ 144x 26 – 757 tons ] Rebuilt: [ c.1896 ]
Date Closed: [1912 ] Reason Closed: [ Rebuilt Barge ]
.Persia; 144x23x7 Owned by J. Norris, St. Catharines 1877 1894; to Toronto & Montreal Steamboat Co. (J. H. G. Hagarty) 1894; to Quebec Navigation Co. 1907; Atlas Sand Co. 1921. Built by M. Simpson, St. Catharines and launched 10/07/73. Licensed for 150 passengers 1886. Used Montreal-Lake Ontario, Montreal-Quebec from 1907. Badly damaged by fire 27/11/00 Toronto. Custom-House measure (pre-1877) 347
David Swayze Shipwreck Database
Other names : none
Official no. : C88533
Type at loss : schooner, wood, 2-mast
Build info : 1867, A. Robertson, Hamilton, Ont
Specs : 102x25x10, 161gc 149nc
Date of loss : 1891, Sep 8
Place of loss : 6 mi off Pt. Petre light
Lake : Ontario
Type of loss : foundered
Loss of life : none
Carrying : building stone
Detail : Bound Kingston for Toronto, she foundered in about 200 feet of water. Prior to departing on this trip, it had been debated as the whether she was seaworthy enough. Owned by her skipper, Capt David O’Hagan, and D. W. Allison
Sources : mmgl,polk,wmn,ib,nspPERSIA (1867, Schooner)
Patrick Labbe Shipwreck Notes
Selection of News Articles
Buffalo Enquirer Wednesday, September 9, 1891
A dispatch from Picton, Ont., says: “The schooner PERSIA foundered last night opposite Point Peter light, about six miles out in 200 feet of water. All hands were saved. She was stone laden from Kingston to Toronto, commanded by Capt. David O’Hagan, and owned by D. W. Allison, M. P., and the captain.” The PERSIA is an old schooner of 92 tons register. She was built in 1855 and valued at $800.
NOTE:– The Buffalo Enquirer is mistaken about the PERSIA, the one they mention was an American Vessel and was not a casualty in 1891. The Hamilton built PERSIA is the only one listed in the 1886 List.
Marine Review September 10, 1891
Wrecks and Heavy Losses.
Two of the boats wrecked in the storm of a week ago, the schooners POMEROY and BRITISH LION, have since been taken into port and will be repaired.
The schooner PERSIA, a small Canadian craft, foundered near Picton, Ont., Monday. She was stone laden from Kingston to Toronto, commanded by Capt. David O’Hagan, and owned by D. W. Allison, M. P., and the captain.
List of vessels on the Registry Books of the Dominion of Canada on December 31, 1886
Schooner PERSIA. [no number] Of 196 tons register. Built Hamilton, Ont., 1867. Home port, Hamilton, Ont. Owned by Eliz J. Peters, of Windsor, Ont. 99.6 x 22.3 x 10.6
Inland lloyds Vessel Register Canadian Hulls, !892
Schooner PERSIA. Of 213 tons. Built Hamilton 1868 by Robertson. Owned by O’Hagan & Co. Home port, Hamilton
The Toronto Mail Monday, May 6, 1872
Dunnville, May 4 – The schooner PERSIA is ashore at Point Selkirk, loaded with corn from Toledo. The tug JESSIE has gone to her relief with lighter; will probably get her off without much damage being done.
The Toronto Mail Tuesday, May 7, 1872
Port Colborne, May 6 – The PERSIA is ashore at Lott’s Point, near Gull Island, loaded with corn for Kingston. The tug JESSIE has gone to her aid with a lighter, and is expected to be got off without much damage.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser May 7, 1872 3-5
A dispatch to Capt. E.P. Dorr from Port Colborne says the schooner PERSIA was brought in here at 4:00 this morning.
The PERSIA and her Pet Coon Schooner Days CCLII (252)
FORTY-FIVE years ago, when the “new” City Hall was building, a big trade was carried on in cut stone. Schooner after schooner swam in from Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie or Cleveland, Ohio, with big blocks of sombre red sandstone or grey limestone—the St. Louis, and the Jas. G. Worts, both owned by Sylvester Bros., the Van Straubenzee, the W. J. Suffel, the Columbian and South, West and Arthur (all three Americans) and, among still others, the Persia.
They used, as a rule, to unload at Sylvesters’ Wharf at the foot of Church street, where there was a big timber derrick capable of handling the heavy blocks each weighing tons. But the Arthur and the Persia used to go to Brown and Love’s place, just east of the West Market street slip; where there was also a derrick and an extensive stone yard.
The Persia was a regular caller there; in fact she never came in with other cargo than stone in her later days, and it was not always cut stone, either. Still, she was not a stonehooker, which classification was reserved for the smaller fry, little scows and schooners which gathered gravel, hardheads, cribstone, pavers and building stone along the beaches.
The Persia was a stone carrier which was different, loading her cargo in one port and another, for a freight rate of so much a ton. The stonehookers got their cargoes by the sweat of their backs, and sold them by the toise. Freights did not interest them.
In those “new” City Hall days the Persia was a chunky schooner of particularly dingy aspect, for with the exception of one thin white stripe she was painted black all over, even to her mastheads and peak-hallaird blocks; and for years she went without a maintopmast, a spar whose absence makes the best of vessels look draggle-tailed. She had been built in Hamilton in 1867, and Robert Baldwin, of Toronto, was her registered owner in 1874. She was a short deep vessel, 99 feet 6 inches long, 22 feet beam, and 10 feet 6 inches depth of hold. She was 196 tons register. She had a slightly curved stemhead which dubiously justified calling her clipper-bowed.
This compiler’s clearest recollection of her is the little pet raccoon that used to scramble around her deck. He was chained to a light wooden pail, which kept him from climbing the rigging, but did not prevent his free rambling about below. He was quite clever at up-ending the pail and crawling into it for a sleep. He was a merry little black-masked bandit and a great thief of the crew’s apples.
The Persia sails back through the years through Mr. W. R. Phillimore’s letter, quoted in part in Schooner Days last week, and sifting what became of her. Mr. Phillimore, it will be remembered, began by telling of his experiences in the old Oakville schooner Canadian, which had a Bay of Quinte captain whose navigation was of that casual order that he sighted Fairport, Ohio, when he expected to see the Dummy on the Ontario shore of Lake Erie, and the Canadian wound up in Buffalo when she was bound for Port Colborne. She did not remain in Buffalo, however, and here we resume Mr. Phillimore’s narrative.
“The next day, with the wind from the nor’-nor’-west, we got out, and, it coming on to blow hard, we nearly ran past Port Colborne again. We then canalled down the Welland to Lake Ontario, our load of hard-gathered grain being consigned to Kingston.
“Leaving Port Dalhousie, it blew hard from the west and the mate and I again took trick and trick about all the way down Lake Ontario to Kingston—and I now come to the Persia.
“Her captain, whose name I have forgotten, came aboard in Kingston looking for a man, one good at the wheel, and the captain of the Canadian advised me to take the berth as he expected to lay up for the winter. I did so, and we hauled to the penitentiary to load stone for Toronto. As was the practice then, with a cargo of a dead weight in the bottom of the hold, we placed part of the load along the bulwarks on deck, and but for that this letter would not have been written.
“Outside we baffled around the lower end of the lake for a couple of days, then ran west with a stiff easterly wind, quite a sea having kicked up by the time we were off Scarboro Bluffs about eight in the morning. I went down to breakfast, an in a few minutes heard slatting of the mainsail, and by the time I was on deck again the wind had hauled right around to the west and came on to blow hard. We hauled on the wind, but made bad work of it in the heavy sea that was making. In sight of Toronto we turned and ran before the wind, hoping to make Port Hope or Darlington, but reaching there, could no attempt to enter the narrow piers of either place.
“We were soon running before a gale and under bare poles. The staysail which we set to help steer and keep away from following seas, rolling like mountains behind us, was soon in ribbons. By late afternoon it was the biggest sea I ever saw on any of the lakes. The main gaff topsail broke adrift and was torn in strips, the cracking like a battery of guns. To avoid bolt ropes and strips of sail fouling our mainsail halyards, which we might later require to use, two of us spent a pleasant hour aloft. You know what it is maybe, to skin away scraps and shreds of tom canvas from ropes around which they have wrapped themselves in a November gale, sixty or seventy feet above the water.
“We were better off than those on deck, for she wallowed in water, great seas flooding the deck, and though we knocked away the bulwarks, she would shiver under the load. Then came an order to throw overboard the deck cargo, and while two men had carried most of the large stones aboard at Kingston, the largest were now picked up by every man, eager to get them over, and there were narrow escapes from going over ourselves. But she was more lively after that, though hard to steer, and we took half-hour tricks at the wheel through the night, several times nearly broaching to, and reached back to Kingston in the morning.
“We could, of course, have run under Long Point or the Ducks, but the yawl boat on the stern had been lost and everything movable washed overboard, and I think the captain had enough. It was along in November. She laid up there and I never heard of her again, I giving up the water in the fall of 1880 for other pursuits.
“My last trip was in a big upper laker, the Negaunee, early in December, from Buffalo to Chicago, and she went down with all hands coming back on the eastward trip, I having gone over to another ready to sail. Some friends who had been neighbors in the home town, and who knew that I had been on the Negaunee, wrote home when the report of her loss appeared in the paper, asking that the news be broken to my mother, and the lady going on that sympathetic errand received quite a shock at finding me standing with my back to the stove in the living room.
“But I fear I am wearying you. Age has its compensation, not the least of which is reminiscences.
“W. R. PHILLIMORE.”
By no means, Mr. Phillimore, do you weary us. Such reminiscences are noble compensation for the exactions of time. We promised to tell what happened to the Persia ultimately, and here it is: In the winter of 1893-4 she was thoroughly overhauled, even, we believe, to the extent of having her maintopmast restored, and in the spring of the latter year she blossomed forth like a lily of the field, all white and green in new paint. But alas, such finery seemed too much for the erstwhile dingy stone carrier. On her way up the lake with another cargo for Brown and Love’s dock she opened up and went down off Long Point. Her crew escaped in the yawl boat, and so did the pet raccoon.