The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Jesse Wood (Schooner), aground, 1 Nov 1854

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WOOD, JANE Schooner, ashore near Toronto C.W. Lake Ontario. Property loss $2,000
      Buffalo Democracy
      Feb. 28, 1855 (casualty list)

The schooner JESSE WOOD was driven on the north shore last week at the Highlands, some 15 or 16 miles below Toronto, and is reported a total wreck. She was owned in this city and is insured for $4,000. She had on a cargo of marble slabs, salt and flour, from this port to Toronto. Of insurance on her cargo, we are not advised.
      Commercial Times, Oswego
      Nov. 11, 1854

On Friday night, the schooner JANE WOOD, owned by Forward and Smith, Oswego, went ashore in a gale of wind, at the Highlands, about 14 miles below Toronto.
The night was very dark and the commander, Capt. Hamilton, mistook a fishing light for that of Toronto Harbor. The vessel was laden with 400 barrels of salt, marble, and some merchandise for Toronto, which is probably all lost, the crew happily escaped. (Toronto Leader.)
      Hamilton Spectator (semi Weekly)
      Thursday, Nov. 15, 1854

NOTE :- although named the JANE WOOD, this is and was the Schooner JESSE WOOD, built Niagara 1833, sold to Forward of Oswego in 1853, and is a mistake in reporting. No U. S. Register for this vessel, under either name, has been located. The marble from the wreck was supposedly salvaged and used for the base of a War Memorial at Scarborough, Ont. (still there).

      Port Of Hamilton Shipping Register 1846-1874,Vol 562
      microfilm reel #C2465
      Name.......... JESSE WOODS Register number- 12
      Type . . . . . . . Schooner
      Port .. . . . . . Hamilton
      Tons . . . . . . . 82
      When Built. . 1843
      Where Built. . Niagara
      Builders name & date of Certificate:- Niagara Dock Co., Dec.31,1847
      Description of vessel:-Surveyor, Wm. Pring
      Length............... 72 feet & five tenths
      Breadth.............. 18 feet
      Depth of hold....... 7 feet
      Decks . . . . . . . . . . one
      Masts . . . . . . . . . . Two
      Bowsprit . . . . . . . .Standing
      Stern . . . . . . . . . . .Square
      Figure-head . . . . . With a figure-head
      Rigged. . . . . . . . . . Schooner Carvel built.. . .
      Masters name. . . . .J. Livingston
      Subscribing owners:- Land & Routh of Hamilton, own all 64 shares
      dated Jan. 20,1848; sold to J.H. Cameron of Toronto all 64 shares
      dated April 22,1850; sold to M.W. Forward, Oswego dated March
      26th. 1853 all 64 shares.

      Registers remarks:- Lost
      . . . . .
The Niagara Harbour and Dock Company were incorporated in the year 1830, and have shipyards at Niagara and Chippewa. The machinery belonging to the establishment is of a very perfect description, worked by a steam-engine, and adapted for work of a superior kind, as the vessels turned out by the Company sufficiently prove; one of which, the steamboat "LONDON," which commenced running in the spring of I845, is the fastest boat on the upper lakes, and a very beautiful model. The Company usually employ about 150 hands; and, when particularly busy, have employed as many as 350. There is also on the premises a marine railway, large enough for hauling up vessels of the first class.
The following vessels and engines were built by the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company between the years 1832 and 1839.--
      Steamboats- TRAVELLER,400 tons.
      EXPERIMENT, 200 tons, and 25 horse power.
      QUEEN, 250 tons and 25 horse power.
      GORE, 200 tons and 45 horse power.
      Schooners- JESSE WOODS, 150 tons.
      PRINCESS, 150 tons
      FANNY, 150 tons.
      TORONTO, 150 tons.
      SOVEREIGN, I5O tons.
Land engines- 1 Of 12 h.p. - 1 of 14 h.p. - and 1 of 20 h.p.

The following vessels and engines built by the Niagara Harbour and Dock Company ,between the years 1839 and 1845.--
      Steamboats- SOVEREIGN, 400 tons and 75 h. p.
      CITY of TORONTO, 400 tons and two engines of 45 h. p. each.
      PRINCESS ROYAL,440 tons and 80 h. p.
      AMERICA, 320 tons, and 60 h. p.
      CHIEF JUSTICE ROBINSON,400 tons and 75 h. p.
      ADMIRAL, 400 tons and 68 h. p.
      ECLIPSE, 350 tons and 55 h. p.
      MINOS, 450 tons.
      EMERALD, 250 tons and 50 h. p.
      LONDON, 450 tons and 75 h. p.
      DART,75 tons and 25 h. p.
      OAK, 75 tons and 32 h. p.
      ANN, 75 tons and 32 h. p.
Propellers - ADVENTURE, BEAGLE, TRAVELLER each 90 tons and 25 h. p.
Schooners - WILLIAM CAYLEY, SHANNON, CLYDE, and SHAMROCK all of 150 tons.
Barges- Eighteen of 40 tons each.
Engines- Two of 50 h. p. each for steamboat ONTARIO.
      One of 45 h. p. for the PORCUPINE.
      One of 25 h. p. for the BURLINGTON
      One of 15 h. p. for the propeller PRECURSOR
      One of 15 h. p. for the propeller St. THOMAS.
Land Engines- One of 5 h. p.
      One of 8 h. p.
      Four of 12 h. p.
      One of 20 h. p.
Now Building- One steamboat of 800 tons and 150 h. p.
      from Smiths
      Canadian Gazetteer 1846
      ( see Niagara )

John Molotte had command of a company of volunteers, it being the winter of the rebellion in Canada, and the town was full of soldiers. The man-of-war, JESSIE WOODS, was laying at anchor in the stream at the Queen's dock, ( at Malden) and the crew of the HERALD could not go ashore at night without a countersign.
      extract of article entitled
      Canadian Rebellion of '37'
      being a letter to the Editor of
      Marine Record, Aug. 20, 1885

      . . . . .

According to the Oswego Commercial Times the schooner JESSE WOODS, Hamilton, Master, of Hamilton, arrived in Oswego with 62,000 feet of lumber on Nov. 2, 1854.
      She cleared Oswego on Nov. 9, 1854 for Toronto with 400 barrels of flour and 1,000 bags of salt.

The owner, of the JESSE WOODS, Marshall W. Forward of Oswego, was a lumber forwarder. He died on Aug. 15, 1884 of injuries suffered from an accident. He fell from a building and fractured his spine, while repairing the structure in Oswego. He was born in Bath, Ontario in May, 1817. His father was Dr. Lester Forward.
During the Patriot War in 1837-38 he went to Watertown, N.Y. and in 1845 went to Oswego. He entered the lumber business with W.D. Smith in 1847. The Forward and Smith lumber forwarding business, on Water Street, continued until 1862 when the partnership was dissolved, as Mr. Smith, a colonel, joined the Army during the Civil War.
The rest of Mr. Forward's life was spent in Oswego except for the years 1864-65 he was in New Orleans for some unspecified reason. - from his obituary, Oswego Palladium, Aug. 15, 1884.
      From Richard F. Palmer

      . . . . .

LAUNCHED. In this River, today, at 1 o'clock a fine new Schooner built by a Company - James Lockhart Esq. of this Town, Agent. Length of the keel 75 feet- beam 22, and the depth of hold 8 feet. She glided beautifully into her destined element, and was christened by miss Louisa Fisher, of Montreal, and received the name of PRINCESS VICTORIA, the presumptive heiress to the British throne.
A very handsome figurehead on the bow, it is said, resembles very much the young Princess. She was taken into the Dock to be rigged being the first vessel that has entered this work. She is nearly rigged and will be ready to go in a week, manned with experienced seamen - and is no doubt the finest model on the lake. The same Company purpose building two more, nearly of the same dimensions.
The PRINCESS was built under the superintendence of Mr. Wood, Architect, favourably known as builder of some of the New York Packets, and the WILLIAM 4th on this lake &c. This vessel will admit of being pierced for port holes, and calculated to carry 20 guns, if found expedient.
* At the same yard another vessel will shortly be completed of similar dimensions, the property of Alexander McDonnell, Esquire- Mr. Barber, is superintendent and master carpenter of the work.
      September 21st 1833

* likely Jesse Woods

NOTE:- Although listed in the Hamilton Shipping Register as being built in 1843, The JESSE WOODS, 100 tons passed through the Welland Canal, June 21, 1834 (lake Ontario to Lake Erie) she was obviously launched in the fall of 1833 or the spring of 1834.



Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $4,000
Freight: marble, salt, flo
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.634444 Longitude: -79.370833
William R. McNeil
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Jesse Wood (Schooner), aground, 1 Nov 1854