Shipwreck

Shipwreck

The first passenger boat and the first through the new lock July 8,1886, was a paddle wheeler Wenonah built at the wharf in Burks Falls. She was the only one of her kind to ply the river; she measured 94 feet with an 18 foot beam, the deck was 26 feet wide.

After 20 years of service she was dry-docked and in 1906 was converted to a tug. The Wenonah was not fated to serve as a towboat very long. One afternoon during the summer of 1908, the old steamer, commanded by Captain Stephen Croswell of Ahmic Harbour, left the wharf at Midlothian for Magnetawan with an empty scow in tow. She did not get far before sparks from the fireboxes apparently ignited the cordwood being used for fuel, and soon flames were spreading around her stack. Unable to check the blaze, the crew took to the scow, and were soon picked up by local people who had seen what was happening. The engine, still functioning, took the burning vessel over to the foot of Echo Rock on the south side of Lake Cecebe. Here she finally filled and sank. The engine and boiler were later retrieved, but the bottom of the hull, containing the remains of the steel firebox, can still be seen to this day.