General Information about Empress of Ireland


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Paul Rogers

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Nov 30, 2000
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Michael, thanks for your reply. I would totally agree with you re having the sources listed for readers.

David, thank you very much for the info. I've just put "Forgotten Empress" on my birthday list.

BTW, did anyone ever find out who "the mysterious Thomas Smart" really was? Now that was a strange thing...

Happy Holidays!
Paul.
 

Paul Rogers

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Hi Peter - thanks for that.

In James Croall's book, he mentions Mr George Bogue Smart, 1st class passenger. Croall says: "(G.B. Smart), who clearly was not the mysterious Thomas Smart who supposedly spoke with Kendall before the collision..."

Apparently, "Thomas Smart" spoke to Kendall around midnight whilst the latter was on his way to the bridge; (Smart was in a deckchair enjoying the air on the otherwise deserted promenade deck). Captain and passenger talked for a few minutes about the possibility of fog.

As the only other Mr Smart was a third class passenger, it is unlikely that he and the Captain would have met in that location and talked as they allegedly did.

So, who was this "mysterious Thomas Smart?" I was wondering if anything had come to light about him since Mr Croall's book was written. But it looks like Mr Smart has remained "mysterious" ever since!

Regards,
Paul.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Paul,
I'm pretty sure that Arthur Thomas Smart invented his meeting with the Captain for the benefit of reporters. I have seen the same tale appear in the contemporary press supposedly told by George Bogue Smart. Mind you, GB Smart seemed to have an opinion on just about every aspect of the disaster according to the press!

Geoff
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Going off on a bit of a tangent here, does anybody know if David Zeni is trying to put together a second edition of The Lost Empress? I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book that I have and if he's coming out with something new and improved, I want it.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Paul Rogers

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Hi Geoff. Thanks for that info. However, I now have another question!

Was Arthur Smart the 3rd class passenger on the Empress? If not, who was he, and how did he get involved with the disaster?

Like Peter, I thought that the only other Mr Smart was a 3rd class passenger and (I would have thought) if this passenger was Arthur Smart, no-one would have believed his story about meeting Capn. Kendall.

Regards,
Paul.
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Paul,

As Peter mentioned, there were two Smarts on the Empress - George Bogue Smart, a first class passenger who was something to do with the Child Immigration Office in Ottawa, and Arthur Thomas Smart, a third class passenger en route to London. Both men were rescued.

Geoff
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Hello Michael, What you have probably seen is that there is to be a new paperback edition of "Forgotten Empress" published here in Liverpool. One reason for this is that the Empress's crew were essentially from Liverpool and the publishers thought it might attract a local interest if it were to include my crew manifest. The book will be virtually identical with the original but will include an updated passenger list. This is going to be a limited edition of 1500 copies.

Best wishes

Geoff
 
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Kathy Savadel

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Hello -- Geoff Whitfield, awhile back on a Lusitania thread you mentioned that there were some residents of my current local geographic area (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) on the Empress of Ireland. I was a the library today and printed out a couple of articles from microfilm. Here's the first, from the Marquette (MI) Daily Mining Journal, 5/30/14:

15 FROM HERE MAY BE DEAD

Mrs. John Markela and Four Children,
Mrs. Heikkila and Her Eleven-Months-Old
Baby Are Among Those Believed to Be
Lost When Str. Empress Sinks

James H. McVeigh on Way to London
Where He Intended to Wed — Navigation
Company’s Agents Here Unable to
Yesterday Learn Details of the Disaster.

(then a brief list of the local deceased)

Mrs. Antti Heikkela, twenty-nine years
old, wife of Antti Heikkela, jeweler
James H. McVeigh, Englishman, thirty
years old, former resident
Mrs. Sofia Markela, forty-one years
Arvo Markela, fourteen
Aeero Markela, ten
Aino Markela, five
Toime Markela, two
Gust Pannula, age unknown
George Peterson, twenty-seven years
Kalle Viita, thirty years
Edwin Hannunen, twenty-seven years
Mrs. Anna Hannunen, twenty-five years
Andrew Heikkila, thirty-two years
Mrs. Helja Heikkila, twenty-one years
Viena Heikkila, eleven months

The above are the names of fifteen
Negaunee persons who sailed from Quebec
on the steamer Empress of Ireland, which
sank yesterday morning as the result of a
collision with a collier in the St. Lawrence
river. It is feared all were lost, as they were
booked for third-class passage. Of the 1,400
passengers that were on the steamer only
about 350 were able to get away in the
lifeboats before it went to the bottom.

John Makki, of Ishpeming, whose wife and
daughter were among the passengers,
received a wire from the steamship company
yesterday in answer to a request for
information regarding his wife and baby, which
stated that one hundred Finnish passengers were
among the drowned.

James H. McVeigh had been a resident of
Negaunee for a number of years, but recently
he has been in Canada. While living here he
was employed by Bert Walker as a baker. A
sister, Mrs. Clayton, of the South Jackson
location, lives here. He purchased his ticket
from C. H. Jennings and he intimated that he
was going to London to be married and would
return to the United States in the fall.

George Peterson was a young Finnish miner
and worked for a number of years at the Rolling
Mill mine. He was born and raised here and is
married. His wife did not go with him. He
intended to visit friends in Finland for the next
three months.

Edwin Hannunen, who was accompanied by
his wife, has been employed at the Maas mine
and is well known here. They planned on
visiting in Finland.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Heikkila and daughter
Viena were going to make their home in
Finland. Mrs. Heikkila is a daughter of Mrs.
Eskola, of the Blue Hill location.

Mrs. Sofia Markela, who, with her four
children, were passsengers on the sunken
vessel, is the wife of John Markela, who
conducts a shoe repairing shop on Pioneer
Avenue. They had planned on making their
home in Finland. Mr. Markela was to join them
in a few months.

Kalle Viita was going to join his home in
Finland to remain. He was in this country
only a year. He worked at the Negaunee mine.

Gust Pannula was bound for Helsingfors,
Finland, for a visit.
 
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Kathy Savadel

Guest
Hi Geoff -- and everyone -- here's the second article, dated 6/2/14:

JOHN MAKI GOES TO SCENE OF DISASTER

Will Learn Fate of Wife and Child,
Passengers on Steamer Empress of Ireland

Unable to learn the fate of his wife and
child, who were passengers on the Canadian
Pacific steamer, Empress of Ireland, which
foundered in the St. Lawrence River Friday
morning, John Maki, Ishpeming representative of
Tyomics, left yesterday for Quebec. As he had
received no word other than a telegram from the
steamship company, stating that they were unable
to furnish him with any information at that time,
Mr. Maki believes that his wife and child were among those lost. He believes that if they had been saved he would have received word from his wife by yesterday. He will examine the bodies that have been recovered.

Mrs. Maki and son, Owokki, left Ishpeming last Wednesday for Quebec, they having engaged passage on the Empress of Ireland for a trip to Finland, to spend the summer with relatives. After word was received in Ishpeming last Friday morning that the ship had gone down, Mr. Maki tried repeatedly to get some information, but was unable to obtain any. Mrs. Maki and son sailed with a party of fifteen Negaunee people.

No word has yet been received here regarding Miss Selma Porri and Matt Maki, also of Ishpeming, who were also passengers on the liner. Relatives and friends have endeavored in vain to get information regarding them. Miss Porri worked in Ishpeming as maid at the home of W. W. Graff, North Lake, and left Wednesday for her home in Finland to visit with her mother.

John Markela, of Negaunee, received word yesterday that his wife and three children were drowned. His oldest son, Arvo, fourteen years of age, was among those saved. They were going to Finland to live, and Mr. Markela was to join them in a few months.

------------
Note: I have no idea what sort of business "Tyomics" is. Also, Negaunee and Ishpeming are so close as to be almost the same location. I live in Ishpeming; Negaunee is a one-minute drive, literally -- right down the road.

Cheers,

Kathy
 
Apr 11, 2001
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A mysterious missive is on the auction block at ebay- recovered from the Empress, it looks like an envelope but the contents are unspecified. They want $500 bucks for it. Anybody recognize the address? A Minton Fontenay pattern First Class plate is up to $172 dollars already. Just type in the ship's name to view these. All very strange.
 
G

Gavin Murphy

Guest
S,

Further still, I gather from the grapevine that much of Santini's T artifacts from the Manitoba Museum of the Titanic have been sold......unfortunately mostly to Americans, etc.

Too bad for Steve's museum...and Canadian history...

G
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Shell, Was it the Hankinson letter to which you referred? I've seen several of these recovered letters when I was in Montreal - don't tell me they are finding their way on to the open market now! What next!!

Geoff
 
Nov 22, 2000
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Shelley My Dear - We can do just about anything over here - I understand we are to get electricity soon!
Seriously though, yes, we can access ebay (more's the pity sometimes!)

Geoff
 
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