Maritime History of the Great Lakes
"Rule, Britannia!" Was the Hail Then: Schooner Days MCLXII (1162)
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 29 May 1954
Full Text
"Rule, Britannia!" Was the Hail Then
Schooner Days MCLXII (1162)

by C. H. J. Snider

Toronto-Manitoulin, 1868 - No. 11

EIGHTY-SIX years ago, as now, for the cruising yachtsman fishing was one of the many attractions of the long North Channel in Georgian Bay. Wm. Cooper Campbell's log of his schooner Ripple's voyage to Manitoulin in 1868 continues:

August 19 Wednesday

Weather Cloudy

Wind Light, N.W.

This morning we were all up bright and early. The Captain and Harley started in the small skiff for La Cloche, to try the bass fishing in a lovely little lake about half a mile back in the mountains. These mountains form part of the La Cloche range, and extend along the whole of the north shore of Lake Huron. They are huge masses of granite rock with little vegetation except along the base and in some of the valleys.

Mr. MacKenzie again kindly lent us a canoe, and sent two Indians with the fishermen, inviting them back to dinner at noon in time to go out and meet the Waubuno, which was expected at 1 o'clock, and then ho! for letters from home.

Their success was brilliant, quite electrifying Harley and rendering him unsufferably boastful, which however was excusable, considering he had the best success and that it was his maiden exploit in the way of fishing.

The little lake is about four miles long, and reminds one very much of the Highland Lochs with its bold mountainous sides and lovely valley stretched from one end, where mountain seemed to rise about mountain, forming a magnificent prospect.

After a good dinner from Mrs. MacKenzie we were once more on board the 'Ripple,' anxiously looking for the Waubuno, Mr. MacKenzie among the rest, having come with us. Alas for hopes! She did not come, and after entertaining Mr. M. and his clerks and little boy, at 10 we were fain to give tip all hopes of her tonight. Cummings and Dupont stayed with us all night, and we had a pleasant evening varied with cheerful strains of melody.

August 20, Thursday

"The Waubuno, all hands on deck!" So shouts our earliest, riser at 6 a.m., and accordingly all hands trundled up in every variety of dishabille. Letters received, the Waubuno goes, and now we hoist sail, and stand on after her with a light but fair wind. This lasted us till we reached Clapperton Island, when it hauled to the West dead in our teeth. At the lighthouse we were saluted by the light keeper with "Rule Britannia" on the bugle, to which we responded by hoisting our ensign, which elicited a hearty cheer from our friend on shore. Indeed not content with that, he ferreted out a gun and gave us a regular salute.

A few days later, on the following Sunday, indeed, the Ripple was moored at a mining village of 1,200 inhabitants, for copper mining was then booming in Algoma. As their custom was, Capt. Cooper Campbell and his crew went to church. The logbook again refers to Rule Britannia, with this entry:

August 23, Sunday

Weather fine

A beautiful day, properly kept. We attended the Wesleyan Church in the morning, the only church here. The preacher was a thorough Briton, and rather astonished our weak nerves in one of his bursts of eloquence by hinting that we would not be surprised if the angels chanted "Britons never, never shall be slaves."

In the afternoon we had a ramble about the cluster of rocks upon which the village is built. There are only three or four gardens in the place and every shovelful of soil had had to be carted there to make them, from some distance. As for roads there are none. Altogether it is not expensive for living. No taxes, not even a collection at church on Sunday.

We have enjoyed a fresh meat dinner today, the first for a long time and it was duly dispatched as a Sunday dinner should be. The evening was spent pleasantly at Mr. Mark's and had, "oh wonderful luxury," some cake, the only cake for five weeks. After some of Mark's splendid hot Scotch administered for the benefit of the Captain's cold, we all turned in at an early hour.

Snider, C. H. J.
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Date of Publication
29 May 1954
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.18476 Longitude: -82.81656
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.023611 Longitude: -82.231388
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 46.11331 Longitude: -82.07677
Richard Palmer
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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"Rule, Britannia!" Was the Hail Then: Schooner Days MCLXII (1162)