James Andrews

james andrews

This portrait tells the story of James Andrews a commodore in the British navy, and his ship the HMS Ontario which disappeared in lake Ontario during a storm on Halloween, Oct 31 1780. The HMS Ontario was the largest British warship in the great lakes, and on that day it was set to sail from Fort Niagara at the mouth of the Niagara river to Fort Haldimand, first stopping in Oswego when it was caught in an autumn nor’easter. according to the ships records there were over 170 passengers on board, including the crew, British soldiers, passengers, and American prisoners, all of whom perished. Legend had it that the HMS Ontario may have been carrying a small fortune in gold as a year’s pay for the British garrison at fort Haldimand on Carleton island. While many historians have dismissed this legend, this fact along with its date and historical significance have made it the holy grail of shipwrecks for treasure hunters in the great lakes. it was discovered off the shores of the lake towards Rochester in 2008, but the details and its exact location have not never been revealed.

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