Wreck Of The City Of Ainsworth

SS_Ainsworth

Wreck Of The City Of Ainsworth

By Maurie Nord

In 1898, on November 28th, in Nelson sat anchored a steamer

Only six years old, on the Kootenay all told

They had named her the City Of Ainsworth

She set out the next night with the weather alright

‘til they churned up the lake above Balfour

When they left the west arm the wind changed and alarmed

Captain Lean that there might be a big storm

As the ship made headway t’ward the big open lake

The wind from the south arm was blowin’

And before long they knew both the captain and crew

That a storm from the south arm was growin’

The stern wheeler’s bow was loaded right down

With eight cords of firewood upon her

In the middle of the lake the waves started to break

And wash over her bow as a warnin’

But they crossed the big lake and they reached Pilot Bay

Where the shelter made everyone calmer

A wedding that night made the atmosphere light

Captain Lean and the crew felt much warmer

A party they threw for the bride and the groom

And the crew celebrated right with ‘em

A man lit up the room with his bright fiddle tunes

There was drinkin’ and dancing and laughin’

The crew said, “Alright, we should stay here all night

We can make Bonner’s Ferry tomorrow

But the Captain said, “No, it’s tonight we must go

And the deliver the goods in the morning”

But one sailor said “Nay, I will forfeit my pay

And remain here this night at the party

Now left short one man Captain Lean raised his hand

To announce that his ship was departin’

“Now, I won’t make a fuss will a man sail with us

For his wages and fresh air to fart in

The room was quiet then a voice broke the silence

“I’ll sign on!”  Said the man with the fiddle

So the ship made her way through the calm of the bay

‘Til they steered her into the south arm

And were hit on their chin with the gale-force wind

Of the storm that was waitin’ to pound  ‘em

 The stern wheeler’s bow was loaded right down

With eight cords of firewood upon her

In the middle of the lake the gale made the waves break

O’er the bow and she started to founder

The crew mustered for’ard threw the wood overboard

But the great gale was now set to toss her

They tried to make shore and the steamer rolled over

Two life boats were launched but they lost ‘em

Captain Lean launched again rescued he seven men

But  to the south arm he bowed  little

Seven crew men it cost and two passengers lost

And one was the man with the fiddle

Copyright Maurie Nord 2014

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