LAUNCH OF THE SILVER CLOUD -A fine vessel bearing the above name recently built at the River Severn, Sturgeon bay, was launched last Thursday. A party of excursionists from the city and Collingwood proceeded on Wednesday by the Christian islands in the propeller Magnet to the Severn, and arriving there the new vessel was cut loose being christened as she glided off, the Silver Cloud by Miss Annie Hartts of Toronto. The tonnage of the craft is about 480 tons. She is fitted up with wire rigging and patent windlass. The capstan has double deck beams etc. and altogether she is a superior barque, her capacity for wheat being about 21,000 bushels. She cost $17,000 Her builder Mr. Potter of Oakville is about to lay down a keel for another vessel for the same owners Messrs A M. Smith & Co. and Mr. George H. Wyatt of this City".
Barrie Northern Advance
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SILVER CLOUD Canadian barkantine of 469 tons register, built at River Severn in 1863 by John Potter, owned by Wyatt & Smith and registered at the port of Toronto. Classed E (second class) and valued at $16,000
Register of the Ships of the
Lakes & River St. Lawrence, 1864
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The bark SILVER CLOUD, with a cargo of wheat and flour, sunk in the River St. Lawrence, I5 miles above Quebec. Damage to hull was put at $8,700 and to the cargo, $I5,800. November 1863
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
Wednesday January 20, 1864 (List of Casualties for 1863)
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Schooner SILVER CLOUD passed through the WeIland Canal on October 19,1863.
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Official Number, 48163. Port of Quebec. No. 88 of 1864. Dated Sept. 8, 1864
Tonnage - 389.39 Tons Reg.
Decks - One
Masts - Three
Rig - Barque
Stern - Square
Head - Scroll
Build - Carvel
Subscribing Owners:- Henry & James Dinning of Quebec owner of all 64 shares transferred vessel to James Haughton of Liverpool, England (likely Vessel Broker) to sell within 12 months to any person in the United Kingdom
Remarks-- Vessel sold March 29, 1865
REGISTRY CLOSED April 15,1865
from Register of Port of Quebec
R.G.42 Volo269 po62
Microfilm reel No.C2065
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THE DUKE and the SILVER CLOUD
The SILVER CLOUD was the largest barquentine on the Canadian registry, (then kept at Montreal, if you please) when Thomas Marine Register of Lake Shipping was compiled in I864 She was then in her second year, classed E, equivalent to A 2 and valued at $16,000. Her measurement was 469 tons register, which would mean an overall length of about 150 feet. John Potter, the master builder, with headquarters at Oakville, where the old house known as the 'Folly' once a victorian 'Casa Loma', still commemorates him, had gone north with his gang of carpenters and built the SILVER CLOUD in 1863, for the Toronto firm of Wyatt & Smith, which had large shipping interests.
From her size the SILVER CLOUD would have seemed to be built for the timber or lumber trade. It is possible that she too went overseas, for we have not discovered further records of her on the lakes. It is to be hoped for shipwright Potter and the owners this cloud was all lined and solid at that.
QUEEN OF THE NORTH
In 1861 Potter had built another square-rigger "in the bush", not at Cold water, but at the mouth of the Nottawasaga, the present Wasaga Beach. This was the $11,000 brig, QUEEN OF THE NORTH, of 337 tons register and G.H. Wyatt of Toronto were the owner. The QUEEN OF THE NORTH, so appropriately named, was smaller than the
SILVER CLOUD, or the REINDEER, but a very fine vessel, and gave good service for 15 or 20 years until wrecked on Long Point, Lake Erie.
Capt. James McCannel, C.P.R. Historian, before mentioned that the SILVER CLOUD was a product of Goldwater shipbuilding urge of Crimean war times, and that she was built in a cove on Matchedash Bay, at the mouth of the coldwater River, but his investigations did not confirm this. Just where the SILVER CLOUD was built is vague. The earliest register gives her place of building as River Severn, which enters Georgian Bay on the East side, 8 or 10
miles north of the Coldwater. It seems established, she was not built on the Goldwater River itself, like the SARDINIA. If the bank had to be cut away for that schooner to let her make the turn, the river would not have been large enough for the much larger SILVER CLOUD.
It is possible that the bark, was built in the cove east of the rivers mouth, which was the birthplace of the DUKE OF ARGYLE and the REINDEER, or she may have been built in the Severn, but she was regarded as a Coldwater vessel, in fact Miss Maria Caswell, a daughter of the late George Caswell Sr., who might be called the King of Coldwater, is believed to have christened her. Miss Caswell was a Coldwater belle in her early 20's when the SILVER CLOUD was launched. The family tradition is that she christened two not one, Coldwater vessels. The REINDEER might have been the other one.
Of the DUKE OF ARGYLE, all that diligent search could turn up, was that she was built at Coldwater, in the same place as the REINDEER. Possibly she went overseas and found a purchaser abroad as the REINDEER did. Her name reflects the strong Scottish element in Simcoe County settlement.
In all nearly 200 wooden vessels built in the Great Lakes in the age of sail, went overseas with fish, forest products, the newly-discovered coal oil, or odd cargoes, such as manufactured goods or packing house bones for fertilizer, many were sent to be sold, and found purchasers. Many came back to the Lakes, some, but not many, were lost at sea.
Toronto Evening Telegram
July 19, 1947
"Schooner Days" by C.J.H. Snider.