Maritime History of the Great Lakes
More Stone Hookers: Schooner Days CXVI (116)
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 3 Dec 1933
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More Stone Hookers
Schooner Days CXVI (116)

Having waded through the alphabet to the end of the I's, let us look over the names of some more of the "mosquito fleet" that used to carry cordwood, sand, gravel and stone-especially stone-into Toronto, while this great city was being built and paved and its harbor cribs required filling. Starting on the J's we cannot do better than take the little Jolly Farmer.

Jolly Farmer, topsail schooner of 40 tons, built in Amherstburg, 1853, brought into the stone trade three years later by George Michie.

Jennie Jones, scow wrecked on Toronto Island, 1874.

Jumbo, stonehooker of 1885.


Lillie, scow sailed by Capt. Thomas Blowers.

Lillian, American schooner built at Henderson, N.Y., 1859; last stonehooker owned in Port Credit, where she was rebuilt, 1910, for Capt. George Blowers, after many years service in the Blowers family. Sold to become a naval training ship in Hamilton in 1929. She hailed from many ports on Lake Ontario including Picton, Oakville and Toronto.

Lilliputian, small scow in the stone trade, 1885

Lithophone, built in Bronte and owned in Port Credit by Capt. Abram Block, Walter Naish, and others; a scow of extremely fast lines.

Jenny Lind, small schooner originating in Whitby and commemorating the popularity of the Swedish nightingale in the 1850's. Built at Port Credit, 1852; R. McClain, owner and master.


Maud S., scow built for Capt. Aaron Walker, Port Credit, commemorating the famous trotter.

Morning Star, large scow, of over 100 tons burden, built for Capt. John Miller of Port Credit. Sunk at Port Whitby, 1890.

Mary Ann, scow owned by Capt. Sharpe and the Blowers family, Sunk at Port Whitby, 1898. Built in Port Credit 1870, by "Boss" Harris,

Margaret Ann, schooner model, owned by Capt. Abram Block; sunk in Port Credit, 1900. Sailed by Albert Block. Built in Bronte, 1847, rebuilt in Port Credit, 1870.

Maid of the Mill, later Indian Maid, commemorating the Port Credit Mississagas. Built in Port Credit, 1854; 51 tons, renamed, 1864.

Maple Leaf, handsome schooner of 100 tons, rebuilt from scow, after being burned in Toronto Esplanade fire, 1885. Long sailed by Goldring family.

Madeline, of sharp schooner model and 100 tons burden, built in 1882 at Bronte, owned by Capt. Stephen Peer of Port Credit, where she sank, 1908.

Jane Maw, American schooner built at Pultneyville N.Y., 1864; the narrowest hooker recalled, her registered dimensions being 49 feet length, 10 feet 2 inches beam and 4 feet depth of hold; 15 tons register. Owned by John Kivell, Port Credit, 1874.

John McBride of Port Dover, Lake Erie scow of flatiron model; sunk at Toronto Island about 1915.

Mary of Hamilton, sloop yacht converted to stonehooker in 1889. Owned and sailed by Capt. Stephen Peer, Port Credit. Became a houseboat, 1896.

Mary of Toronto, topsail schooner of 66 tons, sailed by Capt. Paterson, 1856.

Merchant, sloop from Port Whitby cordwood and shingle trade, 1853, which later went into stone.

Minnie of Toronto, in stone trade in 1885

Minnie of St. Catharines, small capable of carrying more than fifteen tons. In Port Credit's stone trade in the early 1890's when owned by Harry Mitchell. In 1898 the Minnie Brothers and P. E. Young, all stonehookers were "sacrificed," along with the large coal schooner Herbert Dudley, to represent the blowing up of the Maine, at the Toronto Exhibition.


Newsboy, sharp schooner of 100 tons burden, built at Bronte and long sailed by the Naish brothers of Port Credit. Lewis Naish being captain. Became a boathouse in Toronto Bay. Broke up 1932.

Northwest, schooner similar to Newsboy, built in Oakville, 1882; in commission as excursion vessel on Georgian Bay, 1932, when she was known as the Shebeshkong. Long in the stone trade with the Goldring family, who also had the H.M. Ballou. Helen, Madeline, Newsboy, Maple Leaf, and Rapid City in this trade at various times.


Olympia, one of the extreme scows, built 1888, operating as late as 1917. Capt. Robert Crosby owned her.

Olive Branch, scow, Capt. Wm. Hutchinson, wrecked Mimico, 1874, all lost.


Perseverance, brigantine of 45 tons register, built at Toronto, 1832, owned by S. McClain adn sailed in stone and wood trade by Capt. McClain and Capt. S. Gleeson.

Parthenon, sailed in stone trade 1885 by Capt. David Reynolds.

Pigeon, 20 tons, Capt. Thompson; said to have been brigantine, built at Toronto in 1852. Remarkably small for such rig.

Pinta, scow, built Port Nelson, 1869; owned by H. Cotton, 1874. Capsized and sank off Marigold's Point drowning crew of three. The Pinta had a new "barndoor" centreboard, which floated up in the box as she tacked and caught the foreboom, preventing it from swinging over. Her dimensions were 58 feet length, 14 feet 4 inches beam and 4 feet 8 inches depth of hold.


Rough and Ready, scow of 50 tons, built at Bronte by Capt. H. Hiltz, 1851, long owned in Port Credit. She had a square foretopsail, which, with her model, gave rise to the lake jest that she was "square rigged fore-and-aft." She specialized in the wood trade but also carried stone.

"BRIG ROVER," built at Port Credit, 1866, and so christened, although she was really a schooner-rigged scow. She had one square top-sail. Later owned by David Ford, Oakville and in commission up to 1905.

Rapid, sharp-built schooner of about 100 tons burden, owned by Capt. John Miller and broken up in Port Credit, 1894, after half a century of adventure. She was in the Collingwood-Chicago lumber trade in 1856, and on Dec. 10th 1866, stranded at the Western Gap, Toronto, with a cargo of railroad iron. She was cleverly released by her crew running forward and aft as she lifted with the seas, and so helping her pound over the bar. After entering the stone trade she sank in Port Credit harbor about 1890 and was raised with great difficulty, two stonehookers being sunk beside her to act as pontoons.

Reindeer, one of the stonehookers sunk to raise the Rapid. She was then known as the Ida May, and was rebuilt as the Reindeer by Capt. Mark Blowers, who sailed her with all of his sons in turn as crew, and built several houses in Port Credit from the fruits of the Reindeer's traffic. During the Great War the Reindeer, which had sunk at the Highway bridge, was "resuscitated" by Abram Blowers, son of Capt. Mark, and engaged profitably in the Port Dalhousie gravel trade while the new Welland Canal was being built. The reindeer had a pronounced sheer, and was considered the handsomest of all the scow models. She was very fast.

Royal of Sault Ste. Marie, a small, cramped, red-painted schooner without topmasts, engaged in the Port Credit trade 1890-95.

Rapid City, sharp shoal schooner of about 100 tons burden, built at Bronte, 1888, and engaged in the stone trade under ownership of the Goldring family and others. Her last owner was Capt. Geo. Atkinson. She was lost off the Highlands, 1913, Although of considerable size it was her pride that, owing to her shoal draft, she could get up to the small bridge on the east side of Port Credit harbor.

We shall have a try at the rest of the fleet later.

Snider, C. H. J.
Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
3 Dec 1933
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.549923376654 Longitude: -79.5841974603272
Richard Palmer
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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More Stone Hookers: Schooner Days CXVI (116)