Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City of Monticello

Most of the images I have posted of ships in the Annapolis Basin have either been sailing vessels from the turn of the twentieth century or modern fishing boats. I suppose that this is because the Annapolis Heritage Society has a terrific archival collection which documents the end of the Age of Sail and I have shot a number of photographs of our current fishing fleet. Since I have ready access to these photos so it makes sense to use them. As well, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I like to mix in wooden ships and fishing boats when I get the chance.

Today's image (taken circa 1895) is a subtle change from some of my established nautical themes. This photograph shows the City of Monticello, 478 tons, sailing past the old Queen's wharf in Annapolis Royal. Originally named the City of Norfolk, this vessel was an iron paddle steamer with a wooden superstructure built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in Delaware. The steamer measured 232 feet long with a 32 foot beam and a depth of 10.9 feet and carried four bulkheads and a vertical beam engine. In 1889, she was sold to the Bay of Fundy Steamship company who had her partially rebuilt and put her on a run between Annapolis Royal, Digby and Saint John, New Brunswick. There would have been great excitement in Annapolis Royal the first time the paddlewheeler churned through the Digby Gut and headed for town. Imagine the noise of the engines breaking up a serene morning as children hurriedly made their way to the wharf to see what was coming. In 1898, she was sold to the Yarmouth Steamship Company and was put on a run between Halifax and Saint John.

Sadly, tragedy struck the City of Monticello on November 10, 1900. The ship foundered in the Bay of Fundy four miles west of Chegoggin Point in Yarmouth County. Of the fourty people on board, only four were saved.

All for now,

1 comment:

  1. “City of Monticello”

    The dreadful news we heard at dark,
    The Monticello is no more;
    Her time no longer will they mark,
    And never will she pass our shore.

    They left St. John the mother calm,
    The Storm they met when out to sea;
    They tried the ship to turn about,
    But she a wreck they found would be.

    A leak had put the fires out.
    And she was then beyond control;
    Except by sails to turn about,
    This was their only hope and hold.

    Along with winds and waves they drift,
    Some miles about due west our Cape;
    And signals of distress they lift,
    A las they proved to be too late.

    A Small boat left the hopeless wreck,
    With seven precious human lives;
    Their comrades stood upon the deck,
    While winds took up their mournful cries.

    The small boat reached the rocky shore,
    But there were only four could land;
    The other three the waves watch ‘ver
    And hurled again against the straud.

    Sad news it was that reached our town,
    It cast a gloom at once on all;
    To hear that thirty six went down,
    And now are far beyond re’call.

    Theirs grief in many a home today,
    For these our lost and shipwrecked friends;
    But one there is who takes away,
    The heartfelt sadness that death sends.

    The Monticello ne’en we’ll view,
    Her many voyages are v’er;
    She and her sturdy noble crew,
    Will battle winds and waves no more.

    Rockville, Nov 29th, 1900
    (Author unknown)