Page 47 - Wreck of the Dochas & the Etta Stewart
ISSUE : Issue 66
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1
the bay route for a time, and one night she experienced an extremely rough trip. There were about forty passengers on board and several head of cattle, and it was with the greatest difficulty the Dorcas was got back to Digby. Few on board that night expected to reach land again. Many people who travelled on the Dorcas never thought she was fit to go on an outside (ocean) voyage. But questions regarding seaworthiness were not pursued. By Saturday the focus retumed to the handling and final resting places of the bodies. Arrangements were finally approved for disinterment if desired by family or friends. The Acadian Re? corder writes that some of the bodies are to be brought to Halifax. William Snow, of John Snow & Son, leaves again this afternoon for the scene, and will disinter the bodies of Captain Ferguson, William Hannah, his wife and two children and Sadie Musgrave, and bring them to the city for interment. If the body of John Sharp is found it will also be brought to Halifax. Miss Musgrave remains will be sent by Monday's train to Sydney, C.B. for interment. The funeral of the Hannah family will not take place until Monday at the earliest. On Monday, August 28th the Acadian Recorder announced the arrival in the city of the five bodies: William Hannah, his wife and two sons and Miss Sadie Musgrave. It continued, Miss Musgrave's remains were placed in a hermetically sealed coffin and sent on the train this morning with the deceased's father for Syd? ney, where the interment will take place. Thus goes home the young girl who so gleefully boarded the Dorcas last Saturday week for a vis? it to Halifax, the pleasures of which were eagerly anticipated. She had never been in this city, and it saw her only dead. The bodies of the Hannah family were placed in polished coffins and will be buried to-morrow afternoon. Alfred Tonguay would also be disinterred and brought for ship? ment by train from Halifax to Quebec. It was also announced that the t)ody of John Sharp, fireman of the Dorcas was found (not much disfigured) on Saturday on the shore of Shut-in Island and was im? mediately interred by Mr. Graham in the Protestant cemetery. It was not identified at the time, but yesterday M.J. Bates (Halifax resident native to Louisbourg) drove down from Halifax, had the grave opened and identified the body as that of Sharp. As he was a Roman Catho? lic the body will likely be removed to the Catholic cemetery. The handling of the bodies became an increasingly sensitive is? sue. The Halifax Herald of Monday, August 28th added: Mr. Bates was indignant at the manner in which the body was in? terred. Neither the clothes nor the boots were removed; nor was the sand removed from the clothing and the body. The remains were placed in a rough square box, covered with an old quilt from the wreck, and only about a foot of earth thrown over the box. The re? mains will be enclosed in a new casket and taken to the Catholic cemetery at Chezzetcook. yesterday to have the re? mains of that heroic man re? moved from their temporary resting place near the scene of the disaster and sent to his family at Louisbourg. Captain Ferguson was one of Nova Scotia's most heroic sons, who undoubtedly sacri? ficed his own life and those of his crew in his desperate at? tempt to save the lives of the utterly helpless men on the barge which he was towing. There are three bodies yet unrecovered: Malcolm Mc? Askill, of Louisbourg; Norman McRury, of Catalone (near Louisbourg), and the little girt of Engineer Hannah. On Tuesday, August 29th the Chronicle announced that an official inquiry would investigate the dis? aster under the direction of Captain W.H. Smith, R.N.R. who would be going to the scene to investigate. Another body was found and was identified as that of Norman McAskill. Also on Tuesday came the report of the inquest held by Coroner Somers at Three Fathom Harbour on the twenty-one bodies recovered from the sea. The Herald pubUshed the rendered verdict: 'The deceased came to their death accidentally casually and by mis? fortune by reason of the wreck and destruction of the steamer Dorcas and the barge Etta Stewart on the night of the 21st or early morning of the 22nd of Aug. in the vicinity of Shut-in Island near Three Fath? om Harbour by which they were suddenly thrown into the sea during a violent gale ' Capt. Caleb Spencer of the Etta Stewart • the only Anglican • 'was buried in St. Bar? tholomew's Parish Cemetery, Louisbourg and tempest and instantly drowned, and not otherwise." It continues by rec? ommending 'Ihat this jury call upon the department of marine and fisheries respect? fully, but firmly, to place a bell buoy outside Shut-in Island, as it is a place of danger- Stop, Shop, & Stroll I NORTH SYDNEY Many people knew just what to do? do you? IVE''VUL Open MONDAY thru SATURDAY 10:00 AM to 9:30 PM The Herald also raised some intriguing questions re? garding insurance. It wrote that Engineer Hannah had his life insured for $2,000, payable to his wife, who perished in the same disaster with him. The point is this: If she died first he would be her heir, and his family come in for the $2,000; if he died first she would be the heir, and since all the children were drowned her relatives would come in. Which died first? Nobody knows. If we re? member rightly, in a case of this kind in an English probate court, it was argued (and perhaps decided) that the presump? tion was that the man, being the stronger, would survive the longer, being better able to battle against the destroyer's advances. Reflecting on CapL Ferguson, the Herald pointed out that he was a member of St. John's lodge (Halifax) and the mem? bers of that lodge made arrangements with Undertaker Snow CATERING TO ALL YOUR HEALTH FOOD NEEDS • Herbal Remedies & Teas • Vegetarian Foods • Free Range Chickens & Eggs • Nut Butters • Dairy Free Ice Cream & Cheese • Tofu • Body Care Products • Juices & Grinders • De-Alcoholized Wines & Beer • Bulk Foods tShscialLiina in 'M''ai 'x • ? & 'aixu 'x • ? {PioJucti ncmCL 1 nataxaL foodi 156 FALMOUTH ST., SYDNEY C/T' 'AQ' (NEAR CENTRE 200) 'UAf" / 300
Cape Breton's Magazine