Details in Dusty Papers

While I was in a Save Ontario Shipwrecks board meeting last weekend, my fellow SOS Hamilton members were in Ottawa at the National Archives. They were having just as much fun sifting through dusty boxes in search of shipwrecks. Now you might think that in a dusty box is not the best place to look for a shipwreck. After all, think of how big the box would have to be to look inside and not see a shipwreck! As it turns out, many wreck finds start or end with archival searches.

The team at the archives reported on two wrecks that they found information for. One is the barge “Pitts No. 4” Official No 197234 removed from Toronto Harbour and scuttled April 15 1971. The other is the yacht “Patricia” also scuttled on June 17 1965.

Information from Record Group 12, Volume 55199, File 8308-138 Part 2 puts the wreck of “Pitts No. 4” barge at 43 Deg 34 Min 30 Sec North by 79 Deg 2 Min 18 Sec West is 250 feet of water. The yacht “Patricia” is reported to be at 43 Deg 26 Min 5 sec North and 79 Deg 20 Min 3 Sec West in 150 feet of water.

After plotting the wreck locations however (Toronto Chart), the depths given do not correspond to the charts. According to the charts the Pitts No. 4 is in 360′ of water and the yach Patricia is in 347′. Typo in the file or just inaccuracies of the historical charts? I have asked the researchers to double check their numbers, but in the mean time there are two wrecks out there waiting to be rediscovered.

Here are two pictures of the barge Pitts No. 4, retrieved by Hamilton SOS members.

Pitts No 4 Pic1

Pitts No 4 Pic 2

I will post additional updates on these two wrecks if I recieve anything.

This entry was posted in Shipwreck News on by .

About Chris Phinney

An IWMS Systems Manager and part time student at McMaster University. Chris is studying anthropology, more specifically archaeology working towards his BA. Chris was formerly a dive shop manager and is factory trained in regulator and equipment service. Chris enjoys research and studying fine details.

4 thoughts on “Details in Dusty Papers

  1. Phil Ellis

    Chris, I just found your blog as a result of a post on TheDecoStop. I wish I had found this sooner. The blog is great and the material is very interesting. I will read a little more in detail tonight while I am relaxing. Keep up the good work. You have a regular reader in me now. Thank you.

    Phil Ellis

  2. Chris Bell

    Nice Stuff Chris, Good read keep up the work. There is so much more to be discovered in our lakes….The inaccuracies of information from days gone by are not uncommon. having supported a few searches for other vessels before. only to find them Miles and miles away from where the information had us…

    This is hard work on your part and your teams part.

  3. Chris Phinney Post author

    We are just a small team honing our skills and working on small projects. Hopefully one day we will make some great discoveries of our own.

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