The wreck of the Mary Ward

One hundred and forty years ago, the propeller steamer Mary Ward sank off Craigleith on November 24.

She had a cargo of salt, refined coal oil and 20 carboys of acid (!). After losing sight of the Nottawasaga lighthouse in a gale, the ship hit a reef about two kilometres from shore. Eight drowned when they left the ship in a small boat that overturned in the waves. See contemporary newspaper accounts of the disaster here. We visited the wreck site on a calm, sunny July day and found it amazingly well preserved. The boiler and smokestack lie separated from the hull.

The hull looks a bit like the skeleton of a whale.

Of the circular object in the photo below, marine archeologist Ken Cassavoy of the Bruce County Museum says: “I think this a plate connected to, or associated with, the end of the propeller drive shaft. I recall seeing a shot which would have been taken somewhere off to the right of the guy in the picture…maybe 10 or 15 metres away…..with the propeller in the foreground and a shaft leading to this circular plate we see here.”

Viewers of the video above are asked to forgive the cameraman, who got a mouthful of water at 1:39.

One thought on “The wreck of the Mary Ward

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>