Built in 1861, this wooden three masted schooner measured 136 ft stem
to stern and had a beam of 26 ft. Entering the American "Narrows"
near Alexandria Bay and carrying 21,000 bushels of corn destined for
Wisers Distillery at Prescott, Ontario, she struck a rock, on August
17, 1889. Having picked up a river pilot just before sinking, the Captain
almost shot the errant pilot, but was barely prevented from doing so
by the first mate. Read the original newspaper acount below as described
in the Chicago Inter Ocean. It's a great story. You may be the diver
who finally finds the revolver! By the way, if you want to see a ship
covered in zebra mussels, those wonderful little guys that have so dramatically
increased the vis in recent years, this is the one!
Chicago Inter Ocean
August 21, 1889
ALMOST A MURDER ON BOARD
The sinking of Chicago schooner Vickery near Alexandria bay came near
being the cause of a tragedy. Captain Massey, though he has traveled
the St. Lawrence a dozen times, owing to so many lights in island cottages,
thought it best to go to Clayton and get a pilot. Webber, and old river
man, was secured and had not been aboard fifteen minutes when the schooner
went aground. The captain got excited and attacked the pilot with a
revolver, using violent language and pointing the weapon at him. The
mate, a brother of the captain, instantly sprang for Massey's arm, discharging
the revolver and sending the bullet into the deck. The revolver fell
on the hatch and was picked up by the mate and thrown overboard.
Captain Massey states that he would have certainly shot Webber, but
now that he is cooled off, is glad the thing happened the way it did.
Pilot Webber made himself scarce. Captain Massey sailed the Vickery
for seven years, and the carelessness of the pilot lost her, hence the
cause of his desperate action. Efforts will be made to raise the vessel.