The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Feb. 6, 1882

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Sixty Years A Mariner - A Long and Varied Experience.

Capt. Sughrue has resigned his command of the steamer Hiram A. Calvin, and the fact is not without some interest. Few men are now living who commenced sailing when he did, 60 years ago. In 1832 he was mate and pilot of the steamer Union, the first passenger boat which run on the Rideau Canal, Capt. McGrath, now captain of the schr. Jessie Hall, being a boy on the same. While in the service of Messrs. Macpherson & Crane he acted as sailing master of the steamers Rideau and Bytown, making regular communication between Kingston and Ottawa. He first served as Captain on the Juno, on the Kingston and Montreal route, and subsequently acted in a similar capacity on the Beaver, Perth, Porcupine, Reindeer, Western Miller, and Colonist. All these he saw worn out or lost. The Porcupine, after he left her was burned while towing on the river off Prescott; the Reindeer was wrecked on Lake Michigan, and all on board excepting two Kingstonians, lost. After severing his connection with Macpherson & Crane Capt. Sughrue for one season was without a commission. In the following spring, 25 years ago, he entered into an engagement with Messrs. Calvin & Breck for whom he has commanded in succession the strs. Gildersleeve, William, Chieftain and Hiram A. Calvin, performing the most important and difficult contracts in the most satisfactory manner. No one has had a better knowledge of the river, and been able to more skilfully navigate it. One instance is sufficient to show the confidence reposed in his ability. A schr. laden with flour and drawing 8 feet of water broke loose from the tug Traveller above the Long Sault rapids. The vessel drifted down the south channel and ran ashore. Messrs. Calvin & Breck were aboard a tug, and asked Capt. Sughrue what had better be done about the matter. Said he, "Give me the str. Gildersleeve and I will release the schooner." The "Commodore's" proposition was acceded to, and he did accomplish all he undertook - a feat that had not been before attempted and has not since been repeated. Steamer and vessel were taken through currents where it was thought they could not sail, and the return up the river made via the Cornwall Canal. The record of the old mariner has been singularly fortunate. He has had no collisions, no accidents of any kind. "In all my sailing," he remarked to our reporter, "I never cost the companies by whom I have been employed a cent on account of mistakes or mismanagement. I leave Calvin & Son on the best of terms. I never worked for finer men, and I want this to be known." Though well up in years he is still active. He can live on his farm on Howe Island, and cease from toil on the waters, but he cannot remain idle, and may accept another engagement.

p.3 Whats The News? - On Saturday the schr. H. Folger, one of the best and most profitable vessels afloat, was sold to Mr. T.W. Dennis of Clayton. She is now lying at Milwaukee.

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Feb. 6, 1882
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Feb. 6, 1882