Wreck Of The Steamship Adalia
By James Donahue
The steamship Adalia is among a fleet of wrecks lying in the waters off the coast
of Nova Scotia. The vessel, under the command of Captain Thomas Sanderson, wrecked on tiny St. Paul’s Island while making
its way through the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in heavy fog on June 25, 1872.
The Adalia, a 1,270-ton vessel, was steaming from London to Quebec, Canada with 96
passengers and cargo that included one horse when it slammed on the rocks
While it was fatally damaged and taking on water, the wrecked steamer remained hung
on the rocks for four days until the Canadian steam packet Pictou was dispatched to the scene from Nova Scotia.
All 119 passengers and crew members of the Adalia got lucky. The weather remained
calm until help arrived. The Pictou stood by while the passengers and even much of the cargo was removed from the wreck and
carried to the packet via small boats.
One news story said the Adalia was lying on the rocks “with her stern about
14 feet under water and her forefoot entirely out of the water. A good part of the cargo has been saved and handed out of
the fore hold.”
The Pictou carried the passengers on up the St. Lawrence River to Quebec. The captain
and crew of the Adalia remained on the island and continued to salvage cargo. There was no loss of life.
The Adalia, owned by the London and Charleston Steamship Company, was never salvaged.
The Pictou was lost with all hands in a storm on the open sea the following year.