On 23 July 1878, the H R PRESTON (wooden quarter-deck canal boat built in 1877, at Oneida Lake, New York) was carrying 250 tons of ashes from Picton, Ontario to Oswego, New York in tow of the tug ALANSON SUMNER when they encountered a storm on Lake Ontario. The PRESTON broke her towline about 15 miles from Oswego and was taken alongside the SUMNER with some difficulty. About a mile out of port she lost her hold tarps and began to sink quickly. She was cut loose from the tug and her two crewmen were saved by the Oswego tug WM AVERY.
Another similar ship portrait of the Ontairo signed M. Mahony on the front and M. Mahony Oswego N.Y. on the reverse is in the collection of the Shelburn Museum and are the only known references to this artist.