The Annie Falconer
The two-masted schooner Annie Falconer was built in Kingston in 1867 by Foster Jenkins and Company, for Capt. W.R. Taylor and registered in the same port. Miss Annie Falconer launched her on Wednesday May 22nd, at the Kingston Shipyard. Her father was a local sail maker and ship owner, and probably supplied the sails and rigging. Capt. W.R. Taylor and Thomas F. Taylor were listed as her first owners, the latter being her first master.
She departed from Kingston on her maiden voyage on May 17th, destination Toronto. Her cargo was 25 toise stone. During her lifetime she carried a wide range of cargoes: stone, lumber, shingles, staves, salt, ice, wheat and barley, corn, coal and chemical ore. A trip was more productive if a cargo could be arranged for both directions. The Falconer frequently carried grain or lumber products to American ports and returned with coal to Canadian cities.
Like most vessels of the period, the Annie Falconer occasionally got into trouble. On June 14, 1874 she struck a rock and sank in the Welland Canal with 410 tons of coal. She was raised again about a week later. In October 1887 she was caught in a storm after leaving Oswego for Toronto. The hurricane force winds caused the loss of another vessel but the Falconer sustained only damage to her mainsail rigging. In October 1893 she was caught in a storm after leaving Kingston for Oswego. She dragged ashore in Weller’s Bay breaking her foregaff. There was only 1 ½ feet at her bow and her stern was up on the shore. She was left there high and dry all winter and dragged off in the spring when the water level was higher. She was loading timber three days later for Oswego so apparently there was little damage.
On Saturday November 12, 1904, she left Big Sodus at 9 o’clock loaded with coal for Picton. The wind started picking up and when ten miles off False Duck Island the vessel started to leak. The captain tried to beach it on Timber Island but at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, she went down. The crew escaped in the yawl boat and were blown to the shore of Amherst Island where they landed at 7:30 in the evening. Shell Sullivan, the mate, got separated from the rest and died from exposure. The others made their way to a farm house and survived.
In August 1975 it was located by Barbara Carson, Audrey Rushbrook, and Doug Pettingill. In 1982 a major survey was conducted on the wreck by Preserve Our Wrecks, Kingston.