Steamship Mira


In 1901 the four-masted steel steamship Mira, of length 380 feet, breadth 46 feet, and draught 21 feet, was built at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for transporting coal. On 4 February 1902, the Yarmouth Herald carried a four-column engraving of the Mira (very similar to image 9, below) with the news:


The Large Steel Steamer “Mira” Crashes on the Rocks.


  1. “The new steel four-masted steamer Mira, Capt. Muir, which left Boston on Saturday last for Louisbourg, C. B., struck on the extreme end of Chebogue Point at 3:40 yesterday morning, and will probably become a total loss. She passed Boston light at noon on Saturday, and met heavy easterly winds, increasing steadily in violence until Sunday afternoon, when it was blowing a heavy SE gale, accompanied by snow squalls. The captain kept on his course, and struck as above stated. Nothing could be seen owing to the snow squalls. The vessel was heading about east at the time she struck. The captain took the Yarmouth light to be that of Cape Sable.

  2. “He at once caused cannon to be fired and rockets set off, followed by flashes from the searchlight. Mr. Chas. K. Robbins heard the reports and at once assembled the neighbours, calling those at a distance by the telephone. At daylight a heaving line attached to a buoy was put overboard, which drifted ashore and was secured by the residents, and a wire cable was hauled ashore and also made fast. On this a “boatswain’s chair” was carried back and forth and [about 20] men landed.

  3. “The tide at the time the steamer struck was about two hours short of high water, and with the flood tide the steamer swung round until she lay about parallel with the cliff, which is distant about 150 feet from her. Several holes were pierced in the steamer’s bottom, through which the water flowed. The rudder and propeller blades were broken off when the steamer swung round.

  4. “The Mira is a new steamer of 2409 tons register and 3200 tons gross. She was built last year especially for the coal carrying trade between Boston and Cape Breton. She has a small quantity of general cargo on board for Louisbourg, which will be landed in good order. The Mira hails from London. ...” [1]

In time the Mira was re-floated and taken to Yarmouth for repairs. On Saturday, 6 September 1902, she departed Yarmouth Harbour for Halifax as shown in the last image below.

  1. “The tugs with the steamer Mira reached Lunenburg about 4 p.m. on Sunday, and anchored, as there was a strong SW breeze and sea raging. The Mira left Lunenburg yesterday morning with a favourable chance, and probably reached Halifax by midnight. The messenger, Capt. Crowell, left Lunenburg about the same time as the Mira did and returned to Yarmouth, reaching here this morning.” [2]

Eventually the Mira was converted to a tanker, but on 11 October 1917, four miles southwest of Beachy Head in the English channel, she struck a mine and sank.

References and Notes

    [1] Yarmouth Herald, Tuesday, 4 February 1902, vol. 69, no. 26, p. 2.

    [2] Yarmouth Herald, Tuesday, 9 September 1902, vol. 70, no. 5, p. 2.

    [3] The first image below is from Google Earth and © 2012 GeoEye. I am indebted to archivist Jamie Serran, at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives, 22 Collins Street, Yarmouth, for providing access to the remaining images.

Bill Day (1 February 2012)