Wrecked On The North Shore Of Lake Superior.

As might have been expected, the crew of the whaleback barge 115. wrecked on the north shore of Lake Superior had a thrilling experience in that wilderness. A part of the story, as told by Mate M. J. Lynip, is as follows:

“It was about noon on Monday, Dec 18, when the barge. after floating around Lake Superior for five days, drifted ashore on what we afterwards found to be Pic island. Where the barge grounded the land is very bold and rises from the water’s edge 500 or 600 feet and even higher in places. The barge began to pound heavily and we were afraid that she would knock a hole in herself. There was a little life raft on top of the after turret (our life boat had been carried away before we were separated from the steamer) and we used this to get ashore. First two of the men went ashore and made a landing, and then sent the raft back and forth until we were all ashore. The cook was just baking bread when we went ashore and we were unable to take this with us. The shore was a couple of hundred feet from the boat and quite a sea was running. Some of the men took extra clothes with them and in the party we had two loaves of bread and a ham, besides our pockets full of candles. There were some provisions left aboard the boat but we had no time to get these and could not have carried them if we had, as the snow was very deep on the land We landed in a small cove and began to climb up the steep bluff.. We caught hold of roots and stones and the small evergreen trees which grew among the rocks and at last reached the top. We thought at this time that we were ashore on the mainland. The snow was about three feet deep, but the weather was not as cold as on the water. The first night we camped in the woods and the next day we started along the shore line. It was then that we found that we were on an island. As we followed the shore we came across a log cabin about 8 o’clock in the afternoon. It was without a roof and had a part of an old sheet iron stove. We had taken ashore from the barge an axe and some matches and we all started to cut boughs and make a roof for the shanty and to make a fire in the stove. We stayed in the shanty Tuesday night, and it was here that the steward’s. feet were so badly frozen. Wednesday morning we could see the main land, about three miles away. We ripped the old shanty down and made a raft-with which to get ashore on the mainland. The raft was not large enough to hold all of the men, and sank knee deep in the water when we all boarded her, but we started out and after drifting a couple of miles down the shore, making our trip about five miles in all, we landed. As soon as the raft struck the shore she- went to pieces. There was lots of snow on the mainland, but we built a fire and camped in the bush all night. Thursday morning we started out and walked all day along the shore to the west. Our provisions were giving out, and we had about half a slice-of wet bread and two ounces of raw ham each. That night we camped in the bush again, and Friday morning, after walking until 11 o’clock, and after struggling four days in search of human beings, we struck tine: backs of the Canadian Pacific road. Here we ate the last of the provisions which we had with us. At last we met two section hands, who told us that the nearest town was Middletown. a mile and a half away. We reached the railroad station at Middletown about noon on Friday. The-agent there did all he could for us, fed us, gave us a place to sleep, and dressed the steward’s feet. The he captain then wired to the company of our arrival. The Canadian Pacific people took good care of us.”

Marine Review
December 28, 1899

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