Port Burwell, ON (Lake Erie) Freighter SYLVANUS J. MACY Lost, Nov 1902

Sylvanus J. Macy ONTARIO.jpg


Detroit, Nov. 27. -- In a furious southwest gale on Lake Erie Sunday night the steamer Sylvanus J. Macy sprung a leak off Port Burwell, Ont., and plunged to the bottom, probably carrying her entire crew with her. The barge Mabel Wilson, which was being towed by the Macy, broke away from the steamer in the darkness and succeeded in sailing up the lake to Amherstburg, where she arrived this afternoon.
The first news of the disaster was reported by J. J. Auterson, of the steamer Albright, which passed up the river early this morning. She reported having passed through five miles of wreckage yesterday thirty miles southwest of Long Point, parts of the cabin, life preservers and doors of some vessel. The cabin was painted white, but there were no distinguishing marks to tell what vessel it was from. The arrival of the Wilson, however, leaves no doubt but that the wreckage is from the Macy, as the last seen of that steamer was in the near vicinity.
The Macy, with the Wilson in tow, left Buffalo last Saturday, with a cargo of coal. When half way up Lake Erie the gale was encountered, and when abreast of Port Burwell the tow line of the barge was thrown off by the crew of the Macy, leaving the schooner to shift for herself. When last seen by the crew of the Wilson the Macy was laboring heavily in the sea and was evidently making for shelter. If the crew had time to leave their ship before the plunge to the bottom, it is not believed that the small boats could have lived long in the terrible sea running.
That nothing has been heard of them has convinced the owners that all are lost. The Macy was owned by P. J. Ralph & Co., of Detroit, and was insured for $16,500. She is one of the older type of wooden steamers. She registered 592 tons. She was built in 1881.
The only names of the crew obtainable at the office of the owners of the Macy are as follows:
M. W. GOTHAM, Richland City, Wis., captain.
_____ GOTHAM, son of Captain GOTHAM.
F. GREGORY, Detroit, first engineer.
GEORGE WEBB, second engineer.
JOHN NUGENT, Algoma, wheelman.
As the personnel of the crew changes at nearly every port visited, a complete list is not available in the office. The crew of the Macy probably numbers 18, as that is the number necessary to man a ship of her size.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Indiana 1902-11-28