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The schooner New Dominion (1867)


Port of Picton Registry, Number 23 :

Name: NEW DOMINIONType: Schooner
Official Number: Tons: 200
Where Built: SophiasburgPort of Registry / Hail: Picton
Build Year: 1867Value:
Builder’s Name & Date of Certification: Wm. G. Yeomans, July 16, 1867
Master’s Name: R.A. NormanSubscribing Owners:
Length: 115 feetBreadth: 25 feet & 10 inches (above wale)
Depth of Hold: 10 feet & 3 inchesMasts: Two
Stern: SquareBowsprit: Standing
How Built: CarvelHow Rigged: Schooner
Figure-head: NoneDecks: One
Subscibing owners: C. Wilson & R.A. Norman, Picton





See also the entry for the schooner New Dominion in our ships Database.


  1. Subscribing Owners: C. Wilson & R.A. Norman, Picton, joint owners, 32 shares each;
  2. Owned R.A. Norman, James C. Hume 1868-03-23 and Ryan Mouck, 1869-04-02; Sold to Ross Robertson of Kincardine & Fred Robertson of Goderich, 1872-03-02
  3. 1867, Nov 29 Aground Long Point, Lake Erie.
  4. 1880, May 20 Rebuilt Sarnia, Ontario by W.D.Ponfine; renamed IDA WALKER, C80772, 109 x 26 x 9.1', 218.12 gross / 186.78 net tons; owned John Blow, Whitby, Fred A. Grey and Harry Allen, Oshawa, ONT, capacity 12,800 bushels.
  5. 1883, May Registry transferred Whitby, ONT.
  6. 1886, Nov 18 Wrecked, Lake Ontario, Bald Head Island, near Wellington, ONT. Cargo coal. Driven out of Weller's Bay while loading; wrecked; one life lost.
  7. It appears that the New Dominion was built with iron knees, an early example of Canadian shipbuilders learning "composite" construction developed in the mid-ninteenth century in Erope, particulalry Scotland. It is not certain that the New Dominion was wire rigged, another "modern" innovation at that time (she was certainly wire rigged as the Ida Walker a few years later.) From the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser May 11, 1868 : A new schooner, named the UNDINE, was launched at Hamilton, on the 1st. The Times describes her as a fine vessel of the following dimensions: 110 ft. length of keel, 120 ft. overall; breadth of beam, 28 ft. 9 inches; depth of hold, 10 ft. Her model is one of great beauty, with clipper bow, and a clear run aft. She is painted black, with white lines and false ports. She will register 225 tons, and her carrying capacity will be equal to 13,000 bu. wheat. Iron knees, similar to those in the NEW DOMINION of Picton, were used in her construction, and her build throughout is of the most substantial description. She is wire rigged.

Newspaper transcriptions

  1. Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 21, 1867 : The Launch of the New Dominion - The schooner New Dominion was successfully launched last Saturday afternoon at three o'clock at Roblin's Mills, Sophiasburgh, Prince Edward County. It is said that fully two thousand persons were present. The vessel is 112 feet keel, 26 feet beam, and ten feet six inches depth of hold, and has a capacity of 16,000 bushels. She is intended for the Lake trade, for which she will be ready in about two weeks. Her owners are Messrs. Bowman and C. Wilson, of Picton. Those who have seen the New Dominion say that she is of a very handsome model, and sits well in the water. The same gentlemen have laid down and are building another, but much smaller vessel, of a capacity of about 6,000 bushels, but which cannot be ready to launch until next spring.
  2. Daily News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 18, 1867 : Schooner New Dominion - Mr. Norman's schooner New Dominion, recently launched at Roblin's Mills, left that port today on her first trip. The name New Dominion seems to be a very popular one, there being no less than three vessels so designated already afloat, – the above vessel, another of Wellington, and a third of Hamilton.
  3. Buffalo Commercial Advertiser October 25, 1867 : A handsome new Canadian vessel, the NEW DOMINION, of Picton, arrived here yesterday. She is fore-and-aft rigged, and is a well modeled and finished, and stoutly built craft, than which the new Canadian fleet posseses few better.
  4. Association of Lake Underwriters Vessel Classification, 1876 : Schooner NEW DOMINION. [C] Of 250 tons. Built at Robbins Mills in July 1867 by Wm. Yeoman. Owned by J. Mcleod. Home port, Picton. Value $7,500. Class B 1.
  5. Buffalo Morning Express, 4 May 1889 :The Chicago Times says the schr. NEW DOMINION has been overhauled at Sarnia at a cost of $3,000, and her name changed to IDA WALKER. This is not Capt. Mallott's NEW DOMINION, which was recently on Buffalo pier. Changing the name no doubt was owing to the 2 vessels getting continually "mixed." [Note registry confirms name change as of 20 May 20 1880.]
  6. Many references to the schooner Picton appear in C.H.J Snider's work:
    "Schooner Days" no. CCXXXI (231); “NEW DOMINIONS” - with something about ice, early birds and luck on the Lakes, 14 Mar 1936.
    "Schooner Days" no. CCXXXIV (234); Switching Masts, 5 April 1936s.
    "Schooner Days" no. CCCCXXXVIII (438); Queens, Dominion, Goldhunters And A Port Burwell Bells, 22 Jun 1939.

References and source notes

(9 - 13) Many of the contemporary newspaper cuttings can be found at Maritime History of the Great Lakes, Newspaper Transcriptons
(14) C.H.J. Snider Schooner Days index, Naval Marine Archive.

Picton built ships

The research and preparation of these data sheets was carried out by K.C. We extend our thanks to him.

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Source notes are listed at the end of the data.


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