Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
John Fraser 

John Fraser

Male - 1878

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  • Gender  Male 
    Interesting Life Story  drowning, accident 
    Misfortune  May 1878  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    The Empress of India after going over dam
    The Empress of India after going over dam
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-167661 
    Died  22 May 1878  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID  I167661  Generations
    Last Modified  3 Mar 2019 

  • Notes 

      A Pleasure Steamboat Goes Over The Mill Dam -- 8 Drowned

      May 23, Galt. --The little steamer EMPRESS OF INDIA, which had been placed on the Grand River, and which on Monday last commenced its trips for the season on Blain's Dam, to all appearance was perfectly safe for the business required of it, and the calamity which has overtaken it was totally unlooked for.

      Last evening about eight o'clock a party of some fifteen young men and two young women embarked on the vessel for a sail up the river. As the boat was crossing the dam something appeared to go wrong with the rudder, and the head of the boat could not be turned sufficiently up the stream to enable it to counteract the effects of the current caused by the flow over the dam. The west side of the dam was reached without mishap, however, but the point where the boat would have touched being rough and rocky, an order was given to reverse the engine, which was done. The boat again getting out into the stream, an effort was made to turn the bow up the stream but again it seemed as if the rudder would not work, and when at last it did, it unfortunately was turned the wrong way, and the boat headed directly for the fall, and before those on board could realize their position the steamer drifted broadside to the fall, and in a moment went crashing over into the boiling water beneath. Before it took it's final leap, however, two of it's occupants, John and William Ovens, jumped into the water, and the latter, in an almost miraculous manner, managed to obtain a foothold on the very edge and to resist the current until he reached the shore. His brother John was not so fortunate, being carried over the faIl, but he was eventually taken out of the river some distance below in an insensible condition.

      Of those who went over with the boat, eight were lost, the rest having in various ways managed to reach shore. Both of the young women were saved, one, Miss Landreth, having had an escape that was perfectly miraculous, she floated down the stream until she struck the western pier of the upper bridge, against which the water pressed her so tightly that parties were enabled to get ropes and rescue her.

      The following is a complete list of the drowned:-
      Jas. Montgomery (engineer and owner), Edward Wren, Andrew Jackson; John Fraser; Frederick Cane; H. J. Jaffray (of the Galt reporter); Thomas Elliott and David Scott. The body of Mr. H. J. Jaffray was taken out of the water within a short time of the accident, but the most unremitting exertions on the part of the medical men present failed to restore life. It is the general impression, that when the boat went over the fall he must have been struck and stunned.

      Efforts to recovers of the bodies were made during the night but without success. This morning the boat was turned over where she lay below the falls, t being supposed that some of the bodies must be entangled in the wreck, but none were discovered. The dam is about ten or twelve feet high, with about a foot of water flowing over the fall. The depth of water above the fall is from fifteen to eighteen feet.1a

      Meaford Monitor Friday, May 31, 1878

  • Sources 
    1. [S2154] News - ON, Grey, Meaford - Meaford Monitor, Sad Accident at Galt - May 31, 1878.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMisfortune - May 1878 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 May 1878 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
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