AN OLD LAKE PIONEER - There resides on Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island at the mouth of the Detroit river and opposite Malden (Ontario), Captain James Hackett, who may be justly considered one of the earliest adventurers on our lakes, and doubtless the oldest now living. Captain H. commenced his sailing career on the full-rigged brig Wellington, which was built in 1816 and launched in October of that year, a short distance above Windsor, and then known as Moy. With the Wellington Captain H. made a trip to Saut (sic) Ste Marie during the season of 1817, taking in tow the schooner Axmouth, a vessel of about 30 tons burden, and built at the same port as W. On her arrival at the Saut, the A. was hauled over the Portage on the Canada side and relaunched into the water of Lake Superior, and delivered over to the Northwest Fur Company, for whom she was constructed. She was the first vessel ever taken over the Saut Portage. During the season of 1812, as Captain H. informs us, a vessel of some 40 tons burden, built on Lake Superior, by the Northwest Fur Company, was run over the rapids, but sustained so serious damage as to render her useless ever after. She was called the Fur Trader, and was the first to hazard the attempt.
The second vessel which came over the Saut rapids was the schooner Mink , which took place in 1817 and was the second vessel to make the hazardous attempt. She sustained considerable damage, but was repaired and after placed into service. She was a British craft, but was subsequently sold to American parties. During the season of 1829, a vessel built by the Northwest Fur Company in 1814 was run over the Saut rapids and during her descent both masts went by the board. Near the close of the war, this vessel was secreted under the lea (sic) of Caribou Island, where she lay sunk for several years*. Shortly after her arrival on the lower lake, she was purchased by Captain John Fellows, of Fort Erie, who run her for some three or four seasons in the lumber trade. In 1819, Captain Hackett commanded the schooner Champion, and during subsequent seasons thereafter, the schooners Perseverance, Victory, Brothers, Tecumseh, Good Intent, Sterling, and Erie and Ontario. Captain H. is now in his seventy-seventh year, is active in both body and mind, and has a fair lease of life for many years to come.