The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Apr 1907

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Marine News.

The steamer Whitney, of Chicago, arrived at Richardson's today, with a cargo of corn.

Men are today engaged unloading the cargo of coal on the barge Dunmore, for Crawford's.

The schooner Charley Marshall has cleared for Charlotte, for coal for the penitentiary.

The schooner Clara Youell has cleared for Sodus, for coal for Crawford's.

There were no arrivals or departures reported by the M.T. company this morning.

The schr. Ford River of Chicago is on its way to Richardson's with a cargo of coal.

The Davis dry dock is kept very busy this season. The owners cannot keep up with the orders. The steamer Rideau Queen will leave the dock tonight and the steamer City of Belleville, of Prescott, will go on tomorrow for extensive repairs.



[Oswego Palladium]

When the yacht Katie Gray slipped into the water at the Yacht Club, Saturday, it marked the beginning of her twenty-fifth season as a member of the local fleet. The Gray is known from one end of Lake Ontario to the other and is probably one of, if not the oldest, yacht afloat on the great lakes. Never does she sail into any of the harbors on the summer cruises that some old yachtsman, who has long ago joined the veranda squad, does not hail, "Is that the Katie Gray?" Despite her long service, however, she is still a remarkably staunch craft, and with her favorite breeze, over the quarter, can show her heels to most of the modern racing machines.

The Gray was built at Cobourg, Ont., in 1875 by Alexander Cuthbert, a designer of international reputation. She was made for Campbell, Benson & Co., of Belleville, Ont., and they sailed her until 1882, when she was purchased by Ross Cummings, of Trenton. He retained possession of her until the latter part of August that year, when he sold her to the late W.B. Phelps, of this city, and it was then that she first flew the flag of the Oswego Yacht Club. Even at that the Gray had a great record.

She won the championship of the Bay of Quinte in 1876 and the Toronto races in 1879, getting a silver tea set and $100 as a prize. She beat the Ella at Kingston in 1879 for $200 a side in a race that is still remembered and discussed by the veteran yachtsmen. The Surprise fell a victim to her in 1876 (8?) in a $200 a side race, and in 1882 she won the Oswego regatta. For a number of years after that she was also the champion of the Oswego fleet.

All of the yachts with which the Gray competed in her racing days are now but a memory. No more in these waters is seen the Cygnet, of Toronto, with Capt. Hugh L. Dennis at the tiller; the Garfield, of Kingston, Capt. Don Claus; the Laura, of Oswego, Capt. Allen Ames; the Cricket, of Oswego, Capt. John T. Mott; the Gracie, of Belleville, Capt. R.M. Roy, or the Ella of Oswego, Capt. Nelson Stone.

These are but a few of the old time craft to which the Gray used to show her heels when she first became a member of the local fleet. Those were good old days in yachting circles, and if the Katie could but tell the story of her experiences it would be equal in interest to one of Morg. Robertson's sea stories. She has twice been nearly entirely rebuilt in the quarter of a century that the boat has called Oswego her home port, but she retains her old lines, and from Niagara to the Cape is recognized as "the mammy of them all."

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24 Apr 1907
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 24 Apr 1907