The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY), July 18, 1928

Full Text
Only Two Lake Schooners Now Left on Lake Ontario
Davis and Merrill Last of Big Fleet That Operated Years Ago

Is the day of the sailing vessel past? The answer to the question is made quite clear by merely taking along the Kingston waterfront, says the Kingston Whig. The steamer entering into the River St. Lawrence from Lake Ontario on her way to Montreal, with a cargo of grain from the Upper Lakes, or tied at one of the docks, discharging a cargo, and even the motorboats which daily make trips to the many island nearby, or the more luxuriant launches which carry pleasure seeks on excursions among the Thousand Islands, or for a cruise up the lakes, loudly proclaim that before the onward march of time and commerce, bringing along faster and more economical means of transportation on the water, the sailing vessel is doomed, and at the very present time is seriously threatened with extinction, in a matter of a few years.

Just Two Left.

Kingston harbor, which witnessed the arrival of the first white man's sailing vessel into the waters of Lake Ontario, seems also decreed to witness the last departure, as out of the dozens of vessels which at one time thronged these waters, only two are now in operation, and these are the schooner Lyman M. Davis and the schooner Julia E. Merrill. The schooner Mary A. Daryaw was also in the list until last year when she went out of commission.

The schooner Lyman M. Davis is owned by a Kingston man, Capt. Henry Daryaw, who started sailing about 30 years ago, and received his captain's papers in the year 1900. He owned and sailed the schooner Jamieson the year that he received his papers, sailed and owned the schooner Lizzie Metzner for five years, sailed the schooner J. B. Kitchen one year for James Richardson & Sons, Kingston; owned and sailed the schooner Horace Taber for five years, and sailed the schooner Julia B. Merrill, which went out of commission last fall, and now owns and sails the Lyman M. Davis, which is used in the coal trade between Kingston and Oswego.

Fore and Aft Schooner.

The Lyman M. Davis is the type of vessel known as a "fore and aft schooner," and was built at Muskegon, Mich. , by J. P. Arnold in the year 1873, and owned by William Munroe. . Her sails consist of a flying jib, jib topsail, standing jib, staysail, foresail, foregaff, topsail, mainsail, main gaff, topsail, making a total of eight sails upon two masts, the foremost with a height of 65 feet, topmast 60 feet, and the mainmast, height, 70 feet, topmast, 65 feet. She is 123 fee long with a beam of 27 feet, 2 inches; depth 20 feet 6 inches, and a draft, 11 feet. Her tonnage is gross, 195 tons, net, 185 tons, and she carries a crew of five men.

This vessel was owned from the time she was built until 1913 by William Munroe, when she was sold to Graham Bros. of Kincardine, who made her over to a British register. In 1919 it was sold by the Kincardine owners to Capt. John McCullough and C. H. Spencer, Napanee, and up to that time had never carried a cargo of coal, as she had always been in the lumber trade, but when the vessel was brought to Lake Ontario she entered into the coal trade and last fall was purchased by the present owner.

The Lyman M. Davis was rebuilt in 1912, and it is estimated that she will give a few years service yet, as she is still in good condition.

The other schooner which is still in operation on Lake Ontario is the Julia B. Merrill, which was in the lumber trade on Lake Michigan until purchased by Capt. Henry Daryaw, Kingston, who brought her to Lake Ontario and used her in the coal carrying trade for five years, and also carried feldspar to Charlotte, N. Y. She is now owned by W. H. Peacock & Co. of Port Hope, and is used for the coal carrying trade. This vessel is also a "fore and after" and carries the same sails as the Lyman M. Davis, but on three masts - foremast, height 60 feet; topmast, 55 feet; mizzenmast, height 55 feet; topmast, 50 feet. She has a length of 152 feet, width 27 feet, depth 8 feet 5 inches, has a tonnage of 200 tons and has carried 400 tons of coal. She also has a crew of five men.

These two sailing vessels and two sloops, Maggie L. and Granger, owned by Captain George and Arthur Sudds, Kingston, are the only ones now in operation for transportation purposes on Lake Ontario, so it is quite evident that as the horse had to make way for the automobile on the land, so must the old-fashioned sailing vessels make way for the faster and more economical means of transportation on the water.

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July 18, 1928
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Richard Palmer
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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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Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY), July 18, 1928