Few Vessels Built. - Owing to the pressure of the times but few vessels were built on the lakes in 1858, and these mostly of the smaller class. On Lake Ontario there were commissioned four side-wheel steamers, one bark and 13 sail vessels. On the upper lakes one side-wheel boat, eight propellers, one bark and 25 sail craft.
Vessels Left for Ocean Voyagers. - During the navigation of 1858 there were 15 vessels which left the lakes on voyages on the Atlantic, chiefly bound for ports in England: Schooner Queen, 375 tons burden, loaded at Toronto with staves for Liverpool, but did not return. Bark Chieftan, 375 tons, Capt. Benjamin Wolvine, loaded at Detroit with a like cargo for same destination. Bark H.E. Howe, Captain Day, oak lumber at Detroit for London, England. She was sold at that port in 1860 for $7,500. Brig Black Hawk, 384 tons, Captain Alexander, lumber at Detroit for Liverpool. She returned to the lakes and was lost at Point Betsey, Lake Michigan, in 1862, with a cargo of 19,000 bushels of corn. Schooner Colonel Cook, 327 tons, Captain Humphrey, lumber and staves at Detroit for Liverpool. On arriving in the Gulf of St. Lawrence she was wrecked, and became a total loss with her cargo. She was owned by George W. Bissell at Detroit. Schooner O.B. Sexton, 345 tons, Capt. Thos. A. Burke, staves, at Detroit for London, England. The Sexton was wrecked in the Straits of Gibraltar in 1862. Schooner Correspondent, 294 tons, Capt. J. Morris, wheat, Detroit for Liverpool. Schooner C. Reeve, 299 tons, Capt. G.M. Hall, staves at Detroit for Liverpool. The Reeve with a cargo of 13,500 bushels of corn, sunk off Oak Orchard, Lake Ontario, in 1862 while in command of Capt. Thos. Donahue. Schooner Harvest, 309 tons, Capt. Harvey Rummage, staves at Detroit for London, England. Bark E.S. Adams, 407 tons, Captain Nelson, sailed from Lake Ontario with lumber for Liverpool. Bark D.C. Pierce, 396 tons, Capt. Thomas Kidd, staves from Detroit, same destination. Schoooner R.H. Harmon, 343 tons, Captain Huntoon, staves at Detroit same destination. Schooner J.F. Warner, 341 tons, Capt. A.R. Manning, staves at Detroit for Greenock. Bark Parmelia J. Flood, 383 tons, Captain Anderson, from Green Bay with lumber for the West Indies.
Statistics. - In the spring of 1858 there were in commission, on all the lakes, 130 side-wheel steamers with a total tonnage of 72,108 tons, and a valuation of $3,953,800; 182 propellers, 65,271 tons, valuation $3,537,900; 57 barks, 22,817 tons, valuation $707,500; 99 brigs, 27,121 tons, valuation $628,900; 974 schooner and sloops, 200 - 300 tons, valuation $6,383,900; total number of craft, 1,442, tons 387,740, valuation $15,212,000.
Other Events of 1858. - Navigation commenced at Buffalo April 15, and Mackinac straits were clear April 3. The schooner Fred Hill was the first to pass through, bound west. April 5: Propeller Forest City burned at Port Stanley; 7, brig John G. Deshler sunk at Cleveland; 10, scow Wave capsized off Cedar Point during a storm; 12, steamer Europa sunk at Toronto. May: Bark Lemuel Crawford wrecked at East Sister island. Schooner Arcadian wrecked by collision with schooner Lucy J. Latham, off Big Sodus. Scow-schooner Traveler wrecked at Point Pelee. Schooner Rainbow damaged by lightning in St. Clair river. Propeller Montgomery struck by lightning on Lake Michigan. June: Steamer Fremont burned at Sandusky. Propeller Indiana sunk near White Fish Point. Schooner William Foster capsized on Lake Michigan. Steamer Lady Elgin wrecked on Lake Superior; insured for $32,000; released from rocks July 4. July: Propeller North America destroyed by fire at the Flats. Scow George Neville water-logged and disabled on Lake Erie. Scow Liberator capsized on Lake St. Clair. Schooner Andromeda sunk on Lake Michigan, near Manitowoc. Schooner Ellen Pike capsized near St. Joseph, Lake Michigan. August 3: Canadian bark E.H. Rae capsized on Lake Ontario; Canadian schooner Premier sunk at mouth of Evans Ship canal; schooner Blue Belle capsized near Chicago; schooner Fame capsized near the head of the St. Clair river; Canadian schooner Hamilton sunk on Lake Ontario, total loss; propeller Stockman disabled and towed to Buffalo; bark Ontario water-logged off Long Point; scow Nimrod sunk near Port Stanley; the New Brunswick sunk near Point Pelee and five lives lost; steamer Telegraph sunk on Lake Erie by the schooner Marquette, valued at $7,000. The Telegraph was a passenger boat plying between Cleveland and Port Stanley, and was on her return home to Port Stanley when run down. She had been built at Detroit, and was owned and commanded by Capt. Richard Barrows. September: Schooner Col. Cook wrecked near the mouth of the St. Lawrence; total loss. October: Schooner Coquette sunk at Put-in-Bay; propeller Garden City ashore at Little Point Sable; released October 17 and sunk in 20 fathoms of water. November: Tug Petrel wrecked by explosion of her boilers; tug Hamilton Morton sunk in the Detroit river after being severely damaged by fire; propeller Prairie State collides with the schooner Invincible in St. Clair river.
The following craft also passed out of existence: Steamer Trenton burned at Picton, Lake Ontario; tug Kossuth wrecked at Grand Haven; tug Hercules exploded on the St. Lawrence and seven lives lost; bark Canada, formerly a passenger steamer plying between Buffalo and Detroit, lost near Chicago; brig Shakespeare wrecked on Pilot island, Lake Michigan; brig Ontario lost in Green bay.
The following named were all schooners: Emily C. wrecked in Georgian Bay; Watchman wrecked near Dunkirk; Calvin Snell sunk in Lake Ontario; Arkansas wrecked at Kenosha; Com. Chauncey lost on Point Albino; Lavinia wrecked at Port Washington; Caledonia wrecked on Lake Michigan; Osprey wrecked at Oswego with three lives lost; Java lost at Dunkirk; Albion foundered in Lake Erie and eight lives lost; Mary Watson wrecked at Goderich; Wave lost at Inverhuron, Lake Huron, two lives lost; Minerva Cook sunk by bark Clayton in Lake Ontario; Zenobia lost at Point Betsey; Roman foundered in Lake Erie and nine lives lost; Harwich wrecked at False Presque Isle, Lake Huron, and seven lives lost; London lost at Sodus, Lake Ontario; Home sunk by schooner Wm. Fisk in Lake Michigan; John Oades wrecked at Muskegon; Rockaway lost near Goderich; City of Toronto wrecked near Oswego; Hope (Canadian) lost on Hope Island, Georgian Bay; J.A. Hope wrecked at Port Burwell; Farmer lost near St. Joseph, Lake Michigan.
The following names vessels were all scows: Ida and Mary foundered in Lake Ontario and two lives lost; Pilot foundered near Chicago with two lives lost; Globe lost on Lake Michigan with seven lives lost; Maine, wrecked at Point aux Barques; total number of disasters 362; lives lost 122, amount of losses, hull and sail, $732,232.
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Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.