Port Arthur, ON Steamer Algoma Wreck, Nov 1885




A Magnificent Iron-Clad Passenger Steamer Goes to the Bottom Near Port Arthur--Nearly Forty Passengers Find a Watery Grave--The Crew and Only Two Passengers Rescued.

DULUTH, Minn., Nov. 10--News reaches here of an awful disaster near Port Arthur on the Canadian shore last Saturday. The elegant lake passenger steamer Algoma was wrecked in a severe gale and about 40 lives lost. The vessel was one of the most magnificent on the lakes, iron clad, and lighted by electricity. The Algoma left Owen Sound Thursday and met heavy weather on the trip to Port Arthur. The boat was wrecked in the vicinity of Isle Royal and the crew and two passengers were the only persons saved. These managed to reach Isle Royal where they were yesterday picked up by a passing vessel and taken to Port Arthur. The saved were on the island two days and were forced to gaze at the wreck pounding the rocks at the windward side of the island, while the bodies of the drowned kept being washed ashore.

Vessels have been dispatched to endeavor to pick up such bodies as may have been washed up on the desolate island. Great excitement prevails all along the Canadian railroad as among the passengers were many people from Winnepeg[sic] and other Canadian towns. Up to the present time it has been impossible to secure a list of passengers although it has been telegraphed for to the company's office at Toronto and to Sault Ste. Marie where the custom officers are supposed to possess a copy of the list.

A dispatch from Owen Sound gives the following list of the saved so far as known:

Capt. John Moore;
First Mate James Harting;
Second Mate Richard Simpson;
Henry Lewis and John McNabb, watchmen
H. C. McCallger, fireman;
deck hands: R. Stephen, James Balton and Daniel Langlon;
waiters: John McLean, George McCall and John McKenzie;
and among the passengers: W. J. Hill and W. B. McArthur.
TORONTO, Nov. 10.--The expressions of sorrow at the loss of the steamer Algoma with so many lives are general here. At the offices of the Canadian Pacific here the list of passengers or crew was not kept but it is ascertained that there were 5 cabin and 6 steerage passengers and a crew of 44 or 45. The cargo consisted of 134 tons of general merchandise and 297 tons of railway supplies. It is a singular fact that she was carrying the lowest number of passengers she has ever had.

The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI 10 Nov 1885