The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Alpha (Schooner), 11 Apr 1861

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      The Launch Of A Schooner At Oakville - The good times are once more visiting Oakville. In the years 1854, '55 and '56 launches were of frequent occurrence, but of late they have been few and far between. There is good promise, however, of a revival. On Tuesday last a fine schooner, 110 feet keel, 10 + feet hold, 26 feet 2 inches beam, and with a capacity of over 12,000 bushels, was set afloat. The launch excited great interest. The vessels in the harbour hoisted their flags, and the shore was crowded with people. Within a few minutes of the appointed time, everything being ready, the rope was cut, the schooner moved down the ways, and amid the chears of the onlookers, gracefully glided into the water, being christened the "ALPHA of Hamilton" by Miss Chisholm, daughter of G.K. Chisholm, Esq., the Mayor of Oakville. The builders of the Alpha are Messrs. John Simpson and D. Chisholm. The castings of the windlass and capstan, and the blacksmith's work, have been well executed by Messrs. J. Doty & Co., all of Oakville. The schooner is intended to take trade between Hamilton and Oswego, in connection with the Great Western Railway, under the command of Capt. G. Wilson, an old veteran on these lakes. After the launch a number of visitors from Hamilton, Toronto, and Oakville were invited to a sumptuous collation, when the health and prosperity of her liberal owners, Messrs. Henderson & Colpoys, of Hamilton, was proposed, and a pleasant hour was spent. Every thing passed off satisfactorily to all interested, and we add our wishes, that the Alpha may find a profitable season.
      Toronto Globe
      April 11, 1861, page 2

      The schooner ALPHA cleared from Hamilton on the 3rd instant for Kingston with 15,259 bushels of No. 1 Spring wheat. This is the first cargo of the season from Chicago via Sarnia and G.W.R.. The ALPHA was built this year at Oakville by Messrs. Duncan Chisholm and John Simpson and is owned by Mr. Colpoyt of Hamilton.
      Toronto Globe
      May 10, 1861, page 3

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launch Oakville
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William R. McNeil
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Alpha (Schooner), 11 Apr 1861