The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Algonquin (Schooner), 1 Nov 1839

Full Text

      Fishing Expedition to Lake Superior. - - Up to this period, the American Fur Company has principally monopolized the Fisheries of the fresh water Ocean of the North-west, and that Company, with the Hudson Bay Company, the trade of the vast region beyond Lake Huron, stretching away the the mouth of the Columbia River on the West, and Hudson'S Bay on the North. As far as possible, they have hitherto kept the public ignorant of their operations, particularly pertaining to the fisheries under their control. But the rapidly increasing demand for Lake Fish, together with the information obtained the past season in regard to the practicability of establishing Fisheries on Lake Superior, as well as the exhaustless resources of that great fish pond, have induced several of our enterprising citizens to associate under the style of the "Cleveland North Western Lake Company," for the purpose of establishing fishing stations on Lake Superior, and embarking in the North Western trade generally. The principal members of the Company are Messrs. Mendenhall & Richardson and the Messrs. Converses.
      The ALGONQUIN, a new schooner of 60 tons, purchased and fitted up expressly for the expedition, sailed from this port for the Sault Ste. Marie last week. The Company intends to take their vessel over land on the Canada side of the Sault this Fall - launch it into the river above, and be ready for operations on Lake Superior with the opening of navigation next spring. They will have to raise the schooner from the water below the Sault - place it on ways - and slide it something more than half a mile before launching. Considering the climate, the difficulty of obtaining machinery and help, and the elevation and obstacles to be surmounted - the undertaking would seem Herculean to most persons, and impractical to many.
      In connection with their business in this city, the Company intends to establish a trading post at the Sault and erect a store house the coming winter, and in the spring establish a post at LaPoint, on Lake Superior. They apprehend no serious opposition from the Companies that have so long monopolized the fisheries and trade of the North West, and enter with a zeal and determination characteristic of the universal Yankee nation, in seeking every avenue to the sources of prosperity and wealth. The services of a skillful Captain and competant Pilot have been secured, and should success crown the expedition, it will probably become the nucleus of extensive future operations. The single craft, with her bold and hardy adventurers from this port, will prove the pioneer in opening to honorable competition the treasures end commerce of the Father of the Lakes, and when the Ship Canal at St. Marie is completed, will be followed by hundreds of sail laden with products yet unappropriated, and just beginningto be known as important items in the trade of the Lakes. Success to the new enterprise.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, November 5, 1839

      The Pride of the Lakes in 1840.
The resurrection of the schooner ALGONQUIN, one of the first to engage in the Lake Superior trade, is of unusual interest, and the suggestion that she be rebuilt and rigged out for exhibition at the World's Fair is worthy the attention of marine interests. Dredging Contractor Moran unearthed the hull at East Superior and it was drawn out onto the shore. The ALGONQUIN was built at Black River in 1839 by Capt. G.W. Jones. She was 60 feet long and 19 feet beam, had two masts and could carry from 50 to 60 tons. Capt. J.D. Aligns, still living at Bayfield, Wis., decided to put the vessel into the fur trade on Lake Superior and hauled her nearly two miles overland around St. Mary's falls. The then large schooner did a passenger and freight business that might be envied by some of the large line boats of today. She carried flour front the Sault to Superior for $1.25 a barrel and her arrival at Superior created more of a sensation than the launching of a whale. Shortly after the boat was sold to Anton Gordon she sprang a leak at the Superior dock, where she has quietly lain for a quarter of a century. Capt. John McKay, Capt. George P. McKay's father, moved to the Sault in 1845 to take charge of the ALGONQUIN which was then engaged by a Boston firm that was prospecting for copper. Captains Rockwood, Goldsmith and Southwick commanded the vessel at different times. It is probable that the recovery of this pioneer commerce builder on the lakes will be celebrated at Superior with appropriate ceremony.
      Marine Review
      June 25, 1891
      Cleveland Enrollment No. 22 of dated October 24, 1839
Schooner ALGONQUIN. Owned by Cyrus Underhall of Cleveland, Managing Owner, with J.S. Converse, H. A. Converse and Samuel Richardson & James A. Converse, all of Cleveland, Ohio. Captain D.B. Rockwood. Vessel built Black River, Ohio in 1839 by George W. Jones. With One deck, two masts, scroll head, square stern. Of 55.4 x 18.2 x 6.8 and of 54.95 tons.

Next enrollment was at Michilimackinac dated November 19, 1840 caused by reason of new owners.

NOTE: the tonnage of ALGONQUIN, enrolled at Michilimackinac in 1849 is given as 56.95 tons

Media Type:
Item Type:
L. Superior fishing Co.
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Algonquin (Schooner), 1 Nov 1839