On April 29, 1853 the passenger and cargo steamer “The Ocean Wave” burned and sank three miles off Pt. Traverse with the loss of twenty-eight lives.
The Ocean Wave was a cordwood burner and the fire is believed to have started from sparks from her funnel. She had apparently been engaged in a race up the lake with another boat. The fire was so intense that it drove the second mate from the wheel and destroyed all of the lifeboats. The engine could not be stopped and was still running when she sank. The Captain was rescued by a Pt. Traverse farmer who rowed the two miles out to the burning ship. Nearby vessels saw the fire and rushed to the scene, picking survivors out of the icy waters of the lake.
It is said that all of the company’s earnings for the year were aboard The Ocean Wave. The gold and silver was being carried to Montreal for deposit when she went down, and as far as anyone knows, still lies on the bottom of the lake.
Source: Kellough, Janet. The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County. Picton, Ont.: Kellough Productions, 1994.