The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
The Unheeded Bride: Schooner Days No. MLII
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), Jan 10, 1953

Full Text
The Unheeded Bride
By C.H.J. Snider
Schooner Days No. MLIIVII

Dr. & Mrs. Doupe of Mitchell Ont. Married on the first of November, were very much in love with one another three weeks later.

If not quite wealthy they were rich in youth, health, hope and ambition, and still on their honeymoon, in fact on their wedding journey.

Dr. Doupe was going to practise in the rising settlement of McKellar 12 miles north of the new town of Parry Sound, booming with the lumber an logging industry in 1879.

Their wedding trip had been thriftily planned to bring them thither. Collingwood, earlier know as Hen and Chickens was on the bridal tour. The happy couple had reached it on Friday Nov. 21, in time to catch the northbound steamer which was the nucleus of Wm. And J. T. Beatty's "White Line"

It was a cold mean November afternoon, with a howling nor wester whirling "skifts" of snow as they hurried down to the new red elevator where was lying the white painted wood-burner, already deep laden with mixed cargo and package freight.

Like the Doupes everyone who had anything to send north was hurrying it there before the December freeze-up locked he Georgian Bay till spring. The steamer Magnetawan lying just astern, was also loading for what might be the last trip of the year.

Its Good to be Young.

Ecstatically they recognized, on the upper deck for easier unloading their crated furniture for their new home, and their trunks of personal belongings and wedding presents which had preceded them on board.

"Darling," she said," Promise not to be angry with me for being a fraid-cat but I had a dreadful dream last night I dreamt we were on board a steamer somewhere, and then all of a sudden we were not in the steamer at all, but struggling in the water, in the dark, with a lot of other people, and something on to of all of us, pressing us down.

"That was that mince pie we had for supper," laughed the doctor.

But Capt. Burkett just then said: "We won't pull out till the snow lets up."

"Oh I'm so glad we're not going!" sobbed the bride, tears running down her pretty little nose. "Couldn't we get our things off and go by the railroad?"

"Now be sensible dearest,"the doctor pleaded."we've bought our tickets, and we'll have to pay the freight twice over if we do anything so foolish, the captain is not taking any risks as you can see."

Certainly not with such precious cargo aboard as you, ma'am volunteered Capt. Burkett. "Well just lay here til the snow clears, and we can see our way into the smooth water behind the islands.

Hungry For Paper

"How long'll that be? Demanded Noel Fisher, the publisher of the North Star at Parry Sound. "If you're going to let O'Donnell beat you with the Magnetawan--"

"The Magnetawan 'll never beat this vessel," declared Capt Burkett. She's called after an Indian Chief. His name meant Morning Light. He got it because he always showed the way, like the morning light does."

"Anyway get my stock of paper to Parry Sound in time for next week's issue." laughed Fisher. He was making the trip in order to hurry in his winter paper supply.

Passengers' Choice

Some of the other passengers shuffled back to the town hotels. Not that they were afraid to go, they explained, but it looked as though they would have to wait all night before starting, and there was not much sleeping accommodation on board. Besides-well they didn't like that poor thing crying about them all being drowned. Of course

Mr. and Mrs, Sylvester an older married couple, stayed on board. So did Mr. Griffiths, of Ganonoque, and Mr. Fisher, and four other Parry Sound men. Seasoned northern travelers knew that once you bought your ticket you got off a steamboat at your own risk before she reached her destination. They knew the rivalry between the "White Lines" and the Georgian Bay Lumber Co. Line too well to expect one captain to send up town for sleeping passengers if he saw a rival captain pulling out ahead of him.

They nudged one another knowingly when at 4 a.m. Capt. Burkett, who had slept in his clothes, passed to the wheelhouse through the dimly lighted saloon, where they slept. Immediately afterwards the paddle wheels began to churn slowly, and with no farewell whistle to spoil the slumber of the passengers at the hotels, or the rival Magnetawans, the "Morning Light" moved out into the Georgian Bay.

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Date of Original:
Jan 10, 1953
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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The Unheeded Bride: Schooner Days No. MLII