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  1. #1
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    wreck of Steamer J H Jones found in Georgian bay

    J H Jones wreck found off Cape Croker


    Rob Gowan
    More from Rob Gowan


    Published on: September 6, 2018 | Last Updated: September 6, 2018 5:14 PM EDT

    3D imaging of the wreck of the J H Jones was created with a special remote-operated video camera using a method invented by Jerry Eliason. (Courtesy of Jerry Eliason) OT
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    A team of divers, including some involved in finding the wreck of the Jane Miller in Colpoy’s Bay last year, have discovered another previously lost shipwreck off the Bruce Peninsula.
    This time the coastal steamer J H Jones, which went down in a storm off Cape Croker on Nov. 22, 1906, has been found. All passengers and crew were lost.
    Ken Merryman, who was part of the team that found the J H Jones on July 1, said he has been involved in finding many wrecks, but this one was special because they had the great-grandson of the ship’s captain was there to experience the find.
    “I have never hunted for a wreck with one of the descendents of the captain or of the people that perished on the wreck,” Merryman said Thursday. “We really enjoy finding these wrecks, but when you make a connection with the descendents of the people involved it really makes it special.”
    Merryman and Jerry Eliason of Minnesota, who found the Jane Miller, set out on the trail of the J H Jones along with maritime historian and diver Cris Kohl from Windsor, Ont., after they were contacted by the ship captain’s great-great grandson Dan Crawford. He had learned of the discovery of the Jane Miller last summer and asked if they would come back and look for the J H Jones.
    “The Jones was kind of on our shortlist anyway, but being able to make a connection with one of the descendents made it a very important thing to do,” said Merryman.
    “It has been a dream of Dan’s as a little kid to find it, and we helped him do that, so that feels pretty good.”
    While Dan Crawford couldn’t make the trip up from Warren, Mich., for their search, his 83-year-old father Robert Crawford, who was ship captain J.V. Crawford’s great-grandson and still owns property on the peninsula, joined the team.
    While the ship had remained lost for almost 112 years, it didn’t take them long to find it, after Kohl had done considerable research about the wreck.
    Merryman, who had a archaeological licence issued by the province of Ontario, said they found the wreck on the third pass with their sonar, after less than two hours of searching in under 200 feet of water.
    Merryman said it was an exciting moment for both the searchers and for Crawford.
    “He was very excited,” Merryman. “He never thought it would be found in his lifetime.”
    Last summer, Merryman and Eliason were involved in finding the Jane Miller, the 78-foot package and passenger steamer that sank on Nov. 25, 1881, killing all 25 onboard. The Jane Miller made runs from Collingwood to Manitoulin, with stops along the way for passengers and freight, similar to what the J H Jones did.
    “There is this class of ships we typically call coastal steamers that were all over the Great Lakes,” Merryman said. “Before there were roads around the lakes, this is how goods and passengers got transported around the lakes to the coastal communities.”
    The JH Jones was a 107-foot-long steamer built in Goderich in 1888 as a fishing tug. The ship made runs from Owen Sound, up the east shore of the Bruce Peninsula to Manitoulin Island.
    She had left Owen Sound to head towards Lion’s Head with a load of cargo and freight when she was lost. The items onboard included a brick-moulding machine, a sleigh, about 20 barrels of coal oil, plus 13 crew. Varying reports had between 13 and 17 passengers onboard as well.
    According to newspaper excerpts on the Maritime History of the Great Lakes website, the ship was last seen passing Griffith Island and then the Cape Croker lighthouse.
    “We found it near where it supposedly disappeared,” said Merryman. “The story was that the lighthouse keeper saw it as it was rounding the point and when he looked back it was gone.”
    Only one body from the wreck was ever found, that of a young businessman from Manitoulin Island named Richard Addison, on Christian Island. The entire crew was from Wiarton.
    Ironically, wreckage that washed ashore between MacGregor Harbour and the Cape Croker lighthouse seven years later in November 1913, was thought to be from the Jane Miller, but was determined to be from the J H Jones. Among the items found were three barrels of coal oil, a firkin of lard, a bale of cotton and some blankets. Much of the rest lay at the bottom of the bay, whereabouts unknown, until this past Canada Day.
    The day after they found the ship the searchers took video of it with a drop camera and two days later, Merryman and Kohl dove to the wreck and shot video of the hull. A few days later, Merryman made another dive with technical diver Greg Hilliard of Alvinston, Ont., to document the wreck further.
    While the shipwreck was heavily encrusted in mussels, it was largely intact and sitting with a heavy tilt to port on the bottom of the bay. It was missing many pieces where its doors and windows had been as well as some hull siding. The team could easily make out features such as the capstan, the stack and whistle which had fallen over, engine, bilge pump, anchor, boiler, rudder and propeller, a luggage cart, a hand truck and the steering post.
    The team made a video of the wreck, which can be seen at

    Merryman said the upper cabins were gone on the ship and the team couldn’t make out any human remains.
    He said it is possible that much of the on-deck cargo and bodies could have been washed away during the sinking and over time. The searchers aren’t permitted to enter the cabin of the ship.
    “It is a relatively clean site,” said Merryman. “There are objects covered with mussels in the hold, but I couldn’t identify anything.”
    Merryman said that while there weren’t a lot of maritime artifacts or cargo visible, it is special to be able to find such wrecks because of their place in the history of the communities they serve.
    “We love these little coastal steamers because they are rich in history and a giant thing isn’t always the most interesting thing to dive,” said Merryman. “There is always a link to the community and that is kind of cool.”


    https://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ne...ff-cape-croker

  2. #2
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    there has been another interesting discovery in Georgian Bay , a steamer lost in 1906 has been found deep under water . no word if any artifacts were found but they have clearly found what remains of this vessel . it was a relatively small steamer but when it sunk close to 30 lives were lost , as it sunk in late November and waters would of been very cold

  3. #3
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    Shipwreck discovery: Windsor man helps find sunken steamer lost in 1906

    Windsor maritime historian, author and diver Cris Kohl has made the most significant shipwreck discovery of his career with the finding of the J.H. Jones, a small passenger and cargo ship that sunk off the Bruce Peninsula in 1906, tragically claiming 30 lives.

    Postmedia News
    Updated: September 6, 2018

    Using a method invented by Jerry Elia- son, 3D imaging of the J. H. JONES was created utilizing a special, remote-oper- ated video camera lowered to the ship- wreck. The toppled smoke stack lies near mid-ship. Courtesy of Jerry Eliason / Windsor Star
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    Rob Gowan and Chris Thompson
    Windsor maritime historian, author and diver Cris Kohl has made the most significant shipwreck discovery of his career with the finding of the J.H. Jones, a small passenger and cargo ship that sunk off the Bruce Peninsula in 1906, tragically claiming 30 lives.
    “At this point I would have to say the Jones is the most historically significant shipwreck that I helped identify,” said Kohl, who was part of a team of divers that made the discovery on Canada Day but kept it secret until Thursday.
    Four of the crew members left behind 16 children when they died
    Thanks to Kohl’s research of newspaper accounts from the time, the team were able to find the wreckage one hour and 45 minutes after they started searching.
    “Knowing where the lighthouse keeper at Cabot Head was was important because he was up there watching it,” Kohl said Thursday.

    “The lighthouse keeper turned away for a couple of seconds and when he turned back it was gone. So that gave us a pretty good clue as to where it went down. And sure enough, it is pretty much within the line of vision.”
    The steamer, J. H. Jones, carried supplies and passengers to many Lake Huron harbour towns on Manitoulin Island and Georgian Bay, such as Tobermory, depicted above on a period postcard. Courtesy of Kohl-Forsberg Archives / Windsor Star
    The coastal steamer went down in a storm off Cape Croker on the northeastern tip of the Bruce Peninsula on Nov. 22, 1906. All 17 passengers and 13 crew members were lost.
    The ship was based out of the Town of Wiarton, and all of its crew were from there. Kohl said because there were no survivors it has been very difficult to pinpoint the ship’s location.
    Cris Kohl, co-author of The Wreck of the Griffon with his wife Joan Forsberg, is pictured with his book on the banks of the Detroit River Sunday, Jan. 11, 2014, where the ship sailed in August 1679. Kohl recently helped discover the wreck of the J.H. Jones. Dax Melmer / Windsor Star
    “This was Wiarton’s worst disaster, still is I believe, I don’t think there’s been anything worse to happen to the Town of Wiarton since the sinking of the J.H. Jones in late 1906,” said Kohl, who became interested in shipwrecks and diving in the early 1980s.
    “The captain (J.V. Crawford) was a very well-liked man in his early 50s at that time, a businessman in Wiarton. The loss was felt for a long, long time by everybody in town. Four of the crew members left behind 16 children when they died.”
    Ken Merryman, another member of the team, said he has been involved in finding many wrecks, but this one was special because they had the great-grandson of the ship’s captain was there to experience the find.
    “I have never hunted for a wreck with one of the descendants of the captain or of the people that perished on the wreck,” Merryman said. “We really enjoy finding these wrecks, but when you make a connection with the descendants of the people involved it really makes it special.”
    Merryman and Jerry Eliason of Minnesota set out on the trail of the J. H. Jones along with Kohl after they were contacted by the ship captain’s great-great grandson Dan Crawford. He had learned of the discovery nearby of another ship, the Jane Miller, last summer and asked if they would come back and look for the J. H. Jones.
    “The Jones was kind of on our shortlist anyway, but being able to make a connection with one of the descendants made it a very important thing to do,” said Merryman.
    “It has been a dream of Dan’s as a little kid to find it, and we helped him do that, so that feels pretty good.”
    While Dan Crawford couldn’t make the trip up from Warren, Mich., for their search, his 83-year-old father Robert Crawford, who was ship captain J.V. Crawford’s great-grandson and still owns property on the peninsula, joined the team.
    Robert Crawford, left, with Ken Merryman, the great-grandson of the Jones’ Captain J. V. Crawford, who was lost when his ship sank in 1906, was on board with the wreck hunters when the J. H. Jones was located on July 1, 2018. Courtesy of Cris Kohl / Windsor Star
    Merryman, who had a archaeological licence issued by the province of Ontario, said they found the wreck on the third pass with their sonar, after searching in less than 200 feet of water.
    Merryman said it was an exciting moment for both the searchers and for Crawford.
    “He was very excited,” Merryman. “He never thought it would be found in his lifetime.”
    The J. H. Jones was a 107-foot-long steamer built in Goderich in 1888 as a fishing tug. The ship made runs from Owen Sound, up the east shore of the Bruce Peninsula to Manitoulin Island.
    “There is this class of ships we typically call coastal steamers that were all over the Great Lakes,” Merryman said. “Before there were roads around the lakes, this is how goods and passengers got transported around the lakes to the coastal communities.”
    A diver shines a light into one of the many openings in the hull near the bow of the steamer, J. H. Jones. Courtesy of Ken Merryman / Windsor Star
    She had left Owen Sound to head towards Lion’s Head with a load of cargo and freight when she was lost. The items onboard included a brick-moulding machine, a sleigh, about 20 barrels of coal oil.
    Only one body from the wreck was ever found, that of a young businessman from Manitoulin Island named Richard Addison.
    Wreckage that washed ashore seven years later in November 1913 was determined to be from the J. H. Jones. Among the items found were three barrels of coal oil, a firkin of lard, a bale of cotton and some blankets.
    The day after they found the ship the searchers took video of it with a drop camera and two days later, Merryman and Kohl dived to the wreck and shot video of the hull.
    A handheld light from a visiting diver indicates his position as he heads to the open stern of the heavily tilted J. H. Jones. Courtesy of Ken Merryman / Windsor Star
    While the shipwreck was heavily encrusted in mussels, it was largely intact and sitting with a heavy tilt to port on the bottom of the bay. It was missing many pieces where its doors and windows had been as well as some hull siding. The team could easily make out features such as the capstan, the stack and whistle which had fallen over, engine, bilge pump, anchor, boiler, rudder and propeller, a luggage cart, a hand truck and the steering post.
    Merryman said the upper cabins were gone on the ship and the team couldn’t make out any human remains.
    He said it is possible that much of the on-deck cargo and bodies could have been washed away during the sinking and over time. The searchers aren’t permitted to enter the cabin of the ship.
    Merryman said that while there weren’t a lot of maritime artifacts or cargo visible, it is special to be able to find such wrecks because of their place in the history of the communities they serve.
    “We love these little coastal steamers because they are rich in history and a giant thing isn’t always the most interesting thing to dive,” said Merryman. “There is always a link to the community and that is kind of cool.”
    Using a method invented by Jerry Eliason, 3D imaging of the J. H. Jones was created utilizing a special, remote-operated video camera lowered to the shipwreck. The toppled smoke stack lies near mid-ship. Courtesy of Jerry Eliason / Windsor Star
    The coastal steamer, J. H. Jones, operating out of Wiarton, Ontario, sank with all hands in a violent storm on November 22, 1906. Courtesy of Cris Kohl / Windsor Star

    https://windsorstar.com/news/local-n...r-lost-in-1906



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