Lillie Parsons

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Home » Local Ottawa Diving » Lillie Parsons

A 2 masted “Fore and Aft” rigged centerboard schooner built in Tonawanda N.Y. in 1868, she was sailing with 500 tons of coal destined for Brockville when on August 5, 1877 a sudden squall shifted her cargo and pinned her against an island letting her take water, capsizing and sinking her. The large rudder sits proudly upstream with a broad square stern resting on the rock ledges that support her. The masts jutt from beneath her and run out into the channel, while a visit to the vessels bottom shows the drop center board secured in the casing midship.

Located on the upstream/channel side of Sparrow Island in the Brockville “narrows”. The “Lillie” is one of Ontario’s most famous wrecks. Accessing the site from the corner of Sparrow Island at the anchor on shore, one can follow the chain to the bow or swim into the current and down the island contour to follow the island profile upstream to the rudder.

 Dive site description
 Object description
 Lake / river St. Lawrence River Official name Lillie Parsons
 GPS Coordinates N43 33.2300
W75 43.0900
 Also known as –
 Access Boat Type Schooner
 Description Shipwreck Material Wood
 Min. / max. depth 40-80 ft Propulsion Sail
 Visibility 20-25 ft Cargo Coal, lumber, barley,
wheat and salt.
 Current 2-3½ knots Built by / at Tonawanda, NY
 Level Intermediate / Advanced Built / lauch date September 5th, 1868
 Thermocline No Sunk / flooded August 5th, 1877
 Bottom type Rock Dimensions 131 ft x 26 ft x 10 ft
 Boat traffic Heavy Position Upside down
 Hazards n/a