Lake Huron

Montreal Gazette, Monday, August 14, 1893

Five Hundred Hardy Northerners Come to Canada

The Beaver Line steamship S.S. Lake Huron, Captain Carey, arrived in port on Saturday afternoon with passengers and a general cargo. She sailed from Liverpool on July 29, with 21 cabin, 29 intermediate, and 70 steerage passengers, besides a general cargo for Quebec, Montreal and the West. Instead of coming straight to Montreal the Lake Huron made for Seyðisfjördur, Iceland, to receive 500 Icelanders who intend to settle in the Canadian Northwest. The Lake Huron steamed into Seyðisfjördur bay at noon on August 1, and being the first vessel to arrive in that part of the country for a great number of years was the object of much interest to the Icelanders. As the vessel was anchored in the bay for 32 hours the officers went ashore for a walk and they say that although the Icelanders have some very nice houses the principal buildings are the sheriff's office, the post office, a newspaper office, and a saloon. The editor of the Austri (the Sun), a four sheet journal published bi-monthly, visited the ship and was so impressed with what he saw on board the vessel that he intends publishing a special number.
The authorities of Iceland are strongly adverse to immigration and Mr. Christophersson, of Manitoba, has had considerable trouble in gathering together the 500 Icelanders. The steamer Wiltshire, which had been chartered by the Beaver Line to cruise up and down the country collecting the party, arrived alongside the Lake Huron on August 2  and she continued her journey at 9 o'clock the same evening.
Fine weather prevailed up to August 7 when fog set in detaining the vessel for four hours. Passed Belle Isle at 1.10 p.m. on the 8th. The first icebergs were passed about 100 miles east of Belle Isle, which continued up to Point Amour. Fine clear weather and variable winds were experienced in the Gulf. Passed Heath Point (Anticosti Isld.) at 1 p.m. on the 9th, Father Point at 2 p.m. on the 10th, arriving at Quebec at 8.25 a.m. on the 11th, when the Quebec and Western cargo was discharged, as the whole of the steerage passengers were disembarked.
During the trip one of the Icelanders died in child birth and was buried at sea, the funeral service being most impressive, the whole of the Icelanders singing hymns as the remains were committed to the deep. (Margrét Jónsdóttir  wife of John Hrappstead, died August 6, 1893.)  On Tuesday night a very successful concert was held aboard which was much appreciated, and the Liverpool Seamen's orphanage benefited by a good sum. Before leaving the ship to proceed to their destinations the Icelanders marked their appreciation of the kindness shown them by presenting Captain Carey and his officers with the following pleasing testimonial, which had 500 signatures, and which speaks for itself:
"We have great pleasure in presenting the following testimonial to the Beaver Line company. Their steamer Lake Huron left Liverpool for Iceland where the emigrants embarked on Wednesday, August 9, at Seyðisfördur. We are a large party, numbering 525 people, men, women and children, accompanied by the Government agent from Manitoba. From the moment of our arrival on board we have received every kindness possible from all on board. Our accommodation has been very good, and kept properly cleaned and well ventilated. Our food has been abundant, well cooked, well served, and we had three good meals every day. The captain, doctor and chief steward, accompanied by Mr. Christophersson, the agent, made an inspection of our quarters every morning at 10.30 a.m., when everything had to be in good order. We particularly wish to thank the doctor for his kind efforts and courtesy. We are sorry, and deeply regret the death of one of our number in child-birth, in spite of his skill and attention. We also desire to thank Captain Carey for his kind thoughtfulness and care with which the funeral arrangements were managed. In conclusion, we give our best wishes to the captain and his staff, all round, desiring them every success, and we are sure our friends remaining in Iceland, intending to emigrate, will be well cared for and thoroughly pleased if they travel by the Beaver line. Our journey from Iceland to Quebec has occupied a little over eight days."


The transportation of the 525 Icelandic immigrants who were brought direct from Iceland to Quebec by the steamship Lake Huron was done by the Canadian Pacific railway. The two specials with those immigrants on board arrived up from Quebec at St. Martin junction (near Montreal) at about 2 a.m. on Saturday last, the usual delay for refreshments, rearranging of trains, etc., being allowed, and a fresh start was made about 3 a.m. The party was carefully looked after by the C.P.R. people.  A sufficiency of colonist car accommodation and extra attendance was provided, and in fact everything was done by the officials of the railway to render the trip as comfortable as possible for the new-comers. It has been truly said that a good reception makes a lasting impression. Mr. Christophersson, who was in charge of the party, expressed himself as well pleased with the accommodation and treatment of himself and party by the officers and men of the Lake Huron during the voyage. They go direct to Winnipeg, thence to the Icelandic settlement in Manitoba. They are a suitable class of immigrants, the large majority being agriculturalists. They are intelligent, robust and appeared to be in the enjoyment of good health and spirits. Mr. L. A. Verrigch, the Beaver line travelling immigrant agent, accompanied the party from Quebec to Montreal, and Mr. A. Regimbal, of the Montreal immigration staff, was in attendance on behalf of the Dominion Government.