#03543
Wreck Of The Riverdale (David Blackmore) video
#1062: YouTube video by NLTreasure
©2014 ~ Used with permission ~

A crew of hardy seamen
from Newfoundland set sail,
Six brave men and one young lad,
the crew of the Riverdale;
On the eighth day of October
in eighteen seventy-one,
Leaving Channel Port Aux Basques
she made her fateful run. (Her fateful run.)

On the fifth day of her voyage,
with gale force wind and rain,
Her mast went crashing to the sea,
she fought a hurricane;
She tossed and turned, tippin' on her side,
and the sea swept o'er her deck,
Captain Philip Blackmore ordered the men
to abandon the noble wreck (of the Riverdale.)

Oh, the mighty vessel, the Riverdale,
she gave her best in the stormy gale,
The four men lost to the sea
remain in our memory;
A tragic night aboard the Riverdale,
three men would live to tell the tale,
A tragic night and a tragic tale
aboard the Riverdale. (The Riverdale.)

The survivors and their families
are together once again,
But in their minds they'll never forget
the heartache and the pain,
And of those true brave seamen
and their gallant ship so strong,
How in a few short hours
so much could have gone so wrong.

To all those gallant seamen
and their mighty sailing ship,
All the brave survivors that
survived this tragic trip,
We lift our glasses and drink a toast,
all heroes everyone,
And the mighty vessel the Riverdale
and her fateful run. (Her fateful run.)

Oh, the mighty vessel, the Riverdale,
she gave her best in the stormy gale,
The four men lost to the sea
remain in our memory;
A tragic night aboard the Riverdale,
three men would live to tell the tale,
A tragic night and a tragic tale
aboard the Riverdale. (The Riverdale.)

Oh, the mighty vessel, the Riverdale,
she gave her best in the stormy gale,
The four men lost to the sea
remain in our memory;
A tragic night aboard the Riverdale,
three men would live to tell the tale,
A tragic night and a tragic tale
aboard the Riverdale. (The Riverdale.)
The Riverdale..... The Riverdale.....

####.... Jim Yetman [1952-2014], lyrics; David Blackmore, composer; ©2013. All Rights Reserved ....####
Recorded by David Blackmore of Port aux Basques, NL, and Halifax, Nova Scotia ©2013.

See more songs by David Blackmore.

From the New York Daily Tribune, Thursday, October 19, 1871:
Halifax, NS, Oct 18 - The Chronicle says:
About 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon an American schooner was seen coming into the harbor, towing the wreck of a vessel. The American schooner was the Varuna of Gloucester, Captain B A Williams, from the Western Banks, and the wreck was all that remained of the schooner Riverdale, hailing from LaHave. The Riverdale, laden with herring and dry fish, left Channel, Newfoundland, on the morning of the 8th for Halifax, with seven persons on board, Philip Blackmore, captain; Timothy Blackmore, mate; Donald McDonald, Angus McIsaac, and Benjamin Buffett, seamen; Angus McLean, boy cook, and Edward Genge, passenger. The weather was fair, and the vessel made a good run to the Nova Scotia coast. She seems to have overrun her course and got to the westward of Halifax. On Thursday, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, she experienced a gale suddenly. A terrific squall struck her and threw her on her boom-ends. The passenger, Genge, was drowned in the cabin, and his body remained there when the wreck was towed in. The other six persons got on the vessel's side. In this position, they were driven before the hurricane for about a quarter of an hour, when the spars went overboard with a crash, and the vessel righted full of water, and the decks swept of everything. The captain and Benjamin Buffett were washed overboard. Buffett was drowned, but the captain succeeded in getting on one of the spars dragging at the vessel's side. The mate, two seamen and a boy lashed themselves to the stumps of spars on deck. Night came on - a terrible night for the poor fellows who were every moment drenched by the sea which washed over them. Those on deck could not see the captain, but could hear his voice as he clung to the spar alongside. Gradually his voice became weaker, and about midnight he died from exhaustion; and his body was washed away. The dawn brought them no hope, for though the worst of the gale was over, the sea ran high. The pangs of hunger and thirst were now added to their horrors. The boy McLean, worn out by the sufferings of the night, died while he clung to the deck, and soon washed away. As the day wore on a few salt fish washed out of the hold and came within reach of the men, but they dare not eat them, because every morsel would make more intense the thirst that already burned them. Another night of suffering was passed, and when Saturday morning dawned the sea had become calmer, and the men were able to loosen the lashings from their limbs and move about a little. Relief was now at hand. About 9 o'clock the Varuna, then 25 miles south-west of Sambro Island, sighted the wreck, bore down to it, and took off the three men, Timothy Blackmore, Angus McIsaac, and Donald McDonald, after they had been for forty-eight hours without food or water. They were kindly cared for by Captain Williams and his crew, and the Varuna took the vessel in tow and brought it into Halifax. Those lost were Captain Philip Blackmore, Channel, NFLD; the passenger, Mr Edward Genge, a trader, of Channel; Benjamin Buffett, seaman, of Channel; and the boy cook, Angus McLean, aged about 15 years, belonging to Cape Breton. The Riverdale was owned by Captain Blackmore, and only insured for $600. The herring were also owned by him, and the dry fish by Mr John Keating of Channel.

From Wikipedia:
LaHave - LaHave was once the capital of Acadia/Nova Scotia across the river from Riverport and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater. It is now a small scenic village located on Highway 331 at the mouth of the LaHave River in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

According to the Final Report, Volume II, page 480 of the Commissioners of the Royal Commission On Unseaworthy Ships presented to both houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty by Edward Adolphus Seymour Somerset (Duke of) dated 1874, the three year old, 48 ton, wooden Schooner Riverdale, registered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, foundered on 12 October, 1871, with the loss of six crew and one passenger with a cargo of fish bound from Channel, Newfoundland to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The one passenger was reported in the October 16, 1871 edition of the Halifax Evening Reporter as being Edward Genge, Esq, of Channel, Newfoundland, who drowned on Thursday evening, October 12, 1871, in the cabin of the Schooner Riverdale while on the passage to the port of Halifax.

Notes: Edward Genge was buried in Camphill Cemetery in Halifax. His headstone reads: In memory of Edward Genge, Channel, Newfoundland. Drowned near Halifax Oct. 12, 1871 in his 55th year.

Ironically, the year before this wreck, on March 13, 1870, the crew of the Schooner Austerlitz from the port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, was taken off by the Schooner Riverdale when she was boarded by a heavy sea in a gale which left her in a sinking condition.



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