Readers will recall that our January "Ship of the Month" was the Tree Line stemwinder OAKBAY (35), (a) MARINIER (23), (c) HENRY C. DARYAW. Many members have contacted us to say how much they enjoyed the feature, which was, to the best of our knowledge, the most comprehensive history of this steamer that has ever been published. We know that a feature has been successful when it generates comment and additional information, and OAKBAY is no exception. It is our practice to print any such extra detail as soon as possible so that it may be preserved for the record and for the use of future historians.
Capt. John Leonard recalls that the Dominion Wreck Commissioner took a very dim view of the whole matter of the loss of HENRY C. DARYAW on November 21, 1941, in the St. Lawrence River near Brockville. At the hearing, he expressed particular concern in respect of the fireman who lost his life when he was trapped in the boiler room as the steamer sank, the evidence apparently being that the life of this man might have been saved. Contemporary press reports indicate that the drowned fireman was Robert Groteau (also reported as Groleau), age 29, of Montebello, Quebec.
Capt. John J. Lawrence, of Morrisburg, reports that part of HENRY C. DARYAW survived the sinking, but not for very long. The deck crane, which had been placed on the DARYAW to make her more suitable for the local coal trade in the Kingston area, was salvaged by the Pyke Salvage and Navigation Company Ltd., Kingston. Pyke placed the crane aboard its steel barge GEORGE T. DAVIE (C.107233). which had been built in 1898 at Levis by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Ltd. (Hull 2), 177.5 x 35.0 x 12.5. 680 Net, and which passed through the hands of many owners before she came to be part of the Pyke Salvage fleet.
The end of GEORGE T. DAVIE came on April 18, 1945. when, whilst in tow of Pyke's big tug SALVAGE PRINCE, and bound for Kingston from Oswego with a cargo of 1,100 tons of coal, she began taking water through the forward hatch. The DAVIE foundered off Nine Mile Point, and took the DARYAW's old crane with her to the bottom of Lake Ontario, which is some 85 feet deep at that spot. It is interesting to note that the DAVIE was lost on her very first trip after the installation of the DARYAW's crane on her deck.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.