Lennox and Addington Historical Society

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Copying is permitted. Please credit the Lennox and Addington County Museum, Napanee, Address: Postal Bag 1000, 97 Thomas Street East, Napanee K7R 3S9

QUINN - Tragedy Comes to a Small Family



A sad drowning occurred at James Swift & Company's wharf at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when painters were precipitated from a scaffold on the side of the steamer 'St. Lawrence' into the water. Two of them succeeded in getting out of the water, but the third, W.J. Quinn, sank between the rudder of the vessel and a raft moored in the corner of the wharf. H. Hart, a clerk in the office, saw the men in the water and he seized a life preserver and ran out on the raft. He was about to throw the preserver into the water when the unfortunate man sank and did not rise again. The water was about ten feet deep at this point. The body was recovered after half an hour's work with poles and the fire department was called, also Dr. D.M. McCarthy. The pulmotor was used in efforts to resusitate the drowned man, but without avail. After half an hour had elapsed, Dr. McCarthy pronounced him dead, and S.s. Corbett's ambulance was called and the body was conveyed to his undertaking parlors. The police searched the clothing, and in a pocket book was a national registration card bearing the name W.J. Quinn, Odessa. The deceased had been employed at the Locomotive Works previously."

The identity of the drowned man has never been ascertained, but it is suggested that he was a member of the Quinn family of Camden Township, Lennox and Addington County.

The 1901 census shows the following:
QUINN, Richard, head of the household
Quinn, Mary E., wife
Quinn, Charles L., son
Quinn, Willard C., son - born in 1889
Quinn, Richard G., son

The site of the accident was in the neighbourhood of the present, Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, in Kingston.

Jennifer Bunting, March, 2000

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