Erie, PA (Off Shore) Barge CHARLES FOSTER Sinks, Dec 1900
BARGE FOSTER WITH A CREW OF 8 SINKS IN A GALE.
WAS ENTERING ERIE HARBOR SUNDAY WHEN SHE FOUNDERED -- CAPTAIN ASHLEY'S THRILLING STORY.
Erie, Pa., Dec. 9. -- In the midst of one of the most bitter gales that ever swept Lake Erie the iron ore barge, Charles Foster, in tow of the Iron Duke, went to the bottom at 4 o'clock this morning, ten miles off Erie, and eight passengers were drowned, as follows:
Captain JOHN BRIDGE, of Cleveland.
First Mate, name unknown.
Second Mate, name unknown.
Seaman ROBERT WOOD.
Cook MRS. MAY, of Detroit.
WILLIAM KELLY, of Port Austia, Mich.
Two unknown Deck Hands.
The Charles Foster was one of the fleet of James Corrigan, of Cleveland, and for two months has been running from Duluth to Erie, with iron ore. Her cargo consisted of 1,500 tons of ore.
Captain ASHLEY, of the Iron Duke, made Erie in safety. In an interview he said:
"The Foster was in tow, about 600 feet astern. I was up all night and there were three men on watch with me. The seas were rolling tremendously from the northwest and the gale carried with it a blinding snow storm. We made the harbor light all right. When we turned for the harbor, a sea, much heavier than any other experienced, struck us. I ran to the stern. Just as I got there the Foster plunged into an awful sea and dove down, nose first. There was not a cry from a soul of the crew of eight she carried. Just as she pitched down I saw a man on her forecastle with a lantern. The tow line parted when she went down. The storm was so heavy that I could not put about to hunt for any one. There would not have been a particle of use, anyhow, because in those tremendous seas no one could have lived a minute, even if the water had not been icy cold. Had there been a cry for help, I would have turned and risked my ship, but it was no use. I had all I could do to make port in safety myself."
When asked for an opinion as to the cause of the sinking of the Foster, Captain ASHLEY said that he could not tell.
"Apparently everything was all right aboard her until she took that fatal dip. There had not been a single signal of distress from her up to that time."
There is from eighty to one hundred feet of water where the wreck occurred and there is little hope of ever being able to locate the place. The Foster was valued at $19,000, but there was no insurance, as it elapsed Dec. 1. The cargo was not insured. The life-saving crew took a trip out today but could find no trace of wreckage.
Titusville Herald Pennsylvania 1900-12-10