Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Owen Sound, Steamer Port: Schooner Days MX (1010)
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 14 Jul 1951
Full Text
Owen Sound, Steamer Port
Schooner Days MX (1010)

by C. H. J. Snider

CORRECTION—As noted at once by the keen eye of our good contributor, Leon C. Julien, of Owen Sound, the steamer shown in a recent picture of that harbor seventy years ago was not the Campana, but one of the then new C.P.R. boats, probably the Alberta. Thanks. We should have known better. Mr. Julien continues:

"Our own sailing experience (should say steamboat) was of short duration, being crowded into two half seasons, midsummer to December, as a steward, commonly called waiter, and occasionally something else, though if mentioned here, Schooner Days would pencil out and justly so.

"The first was on the Alberta with Capt. Edward Anderson, then to the new Manitoba, flagship of the fleet, with Capt. Anderson Commodore. So are fully cognizant of what Lake Superior can kick up in the way of a sea in the months of November and December when Neptune loses his temper and prods it on. She was a fine sea boat and we were sorry when recently she left home and friends to such an inglorious ending, after more than sixty years' labor and best of our memory, no loss of life.

"There will be a resurrection though, for her, through the purifying fires of Hamilton's smelters she will emerge larger in form, more luxurious in appointments and profitable to her new owners whoever they may be. One of her sisters predeceased her there, the other to further service in U.S. waters.

TIME eventually brought us to the mature age of seventeen, so we decided we should settle down to something more permanent, which we did, spending four years apprenticeship, emerging a wood craftsman. Happy to have lived in the era of the sailing vessel and pleasure of reading Schooner Days, have only pity for those who know it not. If we had heeded the poet's suggestion in his little ditty:

While sailing down the stream of life

In your little bark canoe,

Hope you will have a pleasant trip

And room enough for two—

we might now have someone to take over the faltering paddle and carry on. Not having done so, we lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of 'procrastination, the thief of time,' to balm our regrets re this all important step in life. However, if we had, it likely would be a 50-50 chance the one whose responsibility to take over the paddle instead, would have heaved it overboard, screwed an outboard on astern with the exclamation, shucks who cares, hop in folks, let's get going! Have just come to realize this rambling yarn of an old Land Lubber, originating as a Hail, has surely drifted afar. Knowing the valuable and limited space available to Schooner Days in the good old Tely, apologize, leaving it to be reefed and sheeted to available spar dimensions.

"Through the courtesy of Mr. A. E. Holmes, we are indebted for the accompanying photos, the original ones being taken by his father, a pioneer photographer in Owen Sound."


Steamers filled the Owen Sound Harbor seventy years ago, as well as schooners. Leon C. Julien has mentioned most of those shown in this early photograph by the father of A. E. Holmes of Owen Sound.

Snider, C. H. J.
Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
14 Jul 1951
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
Richard Palmer
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Owen Sound, Steamer Port: Schooner Days MX (1010)