Seventy Years a Sailor
The Remarkable Record of Captain J. Estes, of the St. Lawrence
Captain J.B. Estes, the well known and popular first officer of the steamer St. Lawrence, at the age of eighty-five is still navigating the river. Captain Estes has been on the river for seventy years. To him its channels are as familiar as the rooms of his own home. As a boy he began his career upon the river. It was then in all its primitive wildness. The region of beautiful summer homes and palatial hotels he has seen developed one by one from the forest of years ago. He began sailing at the age of thirteen, when he went as boy on the vessel Horatio Gates, Captain Joe Main, Clayton He was next in the Washington and in the schooner Webster her served as mate for twenty-five dollars a month.
Later he commanded the schooner Pennsylvania, which with the schooner Favorite, was the only vessel that weathered the memorable storm of November 28th 1843. The next year he commanded the schooner Oneida Chief and left her to take command of the steamer Niagara for the St. Lawrence & Lake Ontario Steamboat Company. He followed as commander of the steamer Cataract and in 1856 went into the steamer Ontario, then the finest on Lake Ontario. For eighteen years he sailed the Ontario and his favorite marine glasses today are a pair given him by passengers grateful for the excellent seamanship displayed by the Captain in a gale on Lake Ontario. Since 1894 Captain Estes has been in command of the steamer Unique, and later has been associated with his son in the St. Lawrence.