Artists renditionA.E. Vickery

Built in 1861, this wooden three masted schooner measured 136 ft stem to stern and had a beam of 26 ft. Entering the American "Narrows" near Alexandria Bay and carrying 21,000 bushels of corn destined for Wisers Distillery at Prescott, Ontario, she struck a rock, on August 17, 1889. Having picked up a river pilot just before sinking, the Captain almost shot the errant pilot, but was barely prevented from doing so by the first mate. Read the original newspaper acount below as described in the Chicago Inter Ocean. It's a great story. You may be the diver who finally finds the revolver! By the way, if you want to see a ship covered in zebra mussels, those wonderful little guys that have so dramatically increased the vis in recent years, this is the one!

Chicago Inter Ocean
August 21, 1889


The sinking of Chicago schooner Vickery near Alexandria bay came near being the cause of a tragedy. Captain Massey, though he has traveled the St. Lawrence a dozen times, owing to so many lights in island cottages, thought it best to go to Clayton and get a pilot. Webber, and old river man, was secured and had not been aboard fifteen minutes when the schooner went aground. The captain got excited and attacked the pilot with a revolver, using violent language and pointing the weapon at him. The mate, a brother of the captain, instantly sprang for Massey's arm, discharging the revolver and sending the bullet into the deck. The revolver fell on the hatch and was picked up by the mate and thrown overboard.

Captain Massey states that he would have certainly shot Webber, but now that he is cooled off, is glad the thing happened the way it did. Pilot Webber made himself scarce. Captain Massey sailed the Vickery for seven years, and the carelessness of the pilot lost her, hence the cause of his desperate action. Efforts will be made to raise the vessel.