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The schooner Olive Branch (1871)


1. Port of Picton Registry, Number : 38 of 1871

Name: OLIVE BRANCHType: Schooner
Official Number:
Tons (gross): 121 Tons (net):
Where Built: PictonPort of Registry / Hail: Picton, no. 38 of 1871
Build Year: Value:
Builder’s Name & Date of Certification: Wm. Redmond, October 27, 1871
Master’s Name: Thomas J. WellbanksSubscribing Owners: Walter Ross of Picton, sole owner (note)
Length; 92 feet & 4 inchesBreadth; 22 feet (Above Wales)
Depth of Hold; 8 feetMasts: Two
Stern: squareBowsprit: standing
How Built: carvelHow Rigged: schooner
Figure-head: NoneDecks: One
Note: Subscribing Owners: Walter Ross of Picton, sole owner, sold to Thomas Wellbanks & Thomas Wellbanks Jnr., both of South Marysburg; a half-share in the vessel between them, they sold the vessel (all 64 shares) to Joseph Dix of Garden Island, dated Feb 29, 1872, who in turn sold to Christopher Harris of Storrington, dated March 8, 1873, who sold a half share in the vessel to Andrew Aull of Kingston, dated April 18, 1876.


See also the entry for the schooner Olive Branch in our ships Database.


  2. OLIVE BRANCH Description: Schooner American Tonnage: 160 Built By Whom: Redman Built Where: Picton Built When: 1871 Supposed Owners: Ross Port Belonging To: Picton Approximate Value: $8,000 Class: A1 Last Survey: 2.73
  3. Sail Vessel: OLIVE BRANCH Description: Schooner Tonnage: 160 Built By Whom: Redman Built Where: Picton Built When: 1871 Supposed Owners: Ross Port of Hail: Picton Value: $6,000 Class: A1 Date of Survey: 2/73
  4. OLIVE BRANCH Year of Build: 1871 Built At: Picton, Ontario. Builder’s Name: W. Redman Vessel Type: Schooner Number of Masts: 2 Original Owner & Location: Walter Ross, Picton. 92.4’ Length X 22’ Beam X 8’ Depth Gross Tonnage: 160 Net Tonnage: 121 Final Disposition – Final Location: 4 Miles East of False Ducks Island, Lake Ontario. Date: Sept 30, 1880. How: Foundered in Gale, capsized. Final Cargo: 200 Tons of coal Notes: Crew of 5 Lost. History: Oct 1st, 1871. Owned by Thomas Wellbanks et. al., South Marysburg, Ontario. Feb 29th, 1872 Owned by Joseph Dix, Garden Island, Ontario. Mar 8th, 1872 Owned by Christopher Harris, Storrington, Ontario. Apr. 18th, 1876 Owned by Christopher Harris et. al., Kingston, Ontario. Feb 28th, 1877 Owned by Andrew Ault et. al., Kingston, Ontario. Sept 30th, 1880 Foundered Lake Ontario. December 31, 1880 Register Closed.
  5. File Number: 2203 OLIVE BRANCH Schooner Wooden 2 Masts 121 Tons Build: W. Redmond, Picton, Ontario, 1871. Specs: 92’ X 22’ X 8’. Date of Loss: Sept 30th, 1880 Place of Loss: 4 Miles NW of Main Duck Island. Lake: : Ontario Type of Loss: Storm Loss of Life: 5 (All) Carrying: Coal. Details: Bound Oswego for Portsmouth, Ont,. She sprang a leak and foundered in a gale. Her masts protruded above the surface for some time. Sources; csqw, h, nsp, mmgl, do.

Newspaper transcriptions

  1. Kingston Daily News February 23, 1872 p. 2 The schooner OLIVE BRANCH has been purchased by Captain Joseph Dix, of Garden Island for $8,000.
  2. Daily News May 11, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: The schooners OLIVE BRANCH, ROYAL OAK, and CHARM, all with staves from Hamilton arrived yesterday. The OLIVE BRANCH, now here discharging staves is a new fore & aft schooner, purchased this spring by Captain Joseph Dix of this place. She has a capacity of over 8,000 bushels of wheat and is a very handsome schooner in every particular.
  3. Daily News May 27, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: Messrs. Coulhurst & MacPhie’s wharf ARRIVED: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH from Toronto with 7,760 bushels of wheat.
  4. Daily News July 3, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: Messrs. Holcomb & Stewart’s wharf ARRIVALS: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, Toronto with 7,600 bushels (corn?)
  5. Daily News July 16, 1872 p. 1 Marine News: Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie’s wharf: The schooner OLIVE BRANCH, from Port Dalhousie, arrived with 7,609 bushels of corn.
  6. Daily News August 7, 1872 Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie’s wharf Arrivals since August 2nd: OLIVE BRANCH, from Toronto with 7,500 bushels of corn.
  7. Daily News August 16, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: OLIVE BRANCH, from Toronto with 7,400 bushels of corn.
  8. Daily News October 23, 1872 p. 1 Port Colborne, UP: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, Oswego.
  9. Kingston Daily News December 21, 1872 p. 2 CHANGED HANDS: Captain Joseph Dix has sold the schooner OLIVE BRANCH for $7,000 and purchased the BENEDICT, now wintered at Napanee for $10,000.
  10. British Whig May 11, 1872 p. 3 Garden Island Arrivals-Departures: The OLIVE BRANCH is a new fore & aft schooner, purchased this spring by Captain Joseph Dix of this place. She has a capacity of over 8,000 bushels of wheat and is a very handsome vessel in every particular.
  11. Daily News June 21, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie wharf Arrived: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, 7,549 bushels of corn.
  12. Daily News August 9, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: Port Colborne Aug 8th. Up: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH.
  13. Daily News August 19, 1872 p. 4 Marine News: To Lock: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH
  14. Daily News September 21, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie’s wharf: The schooner OLIVE BRANCH discharged 410 bushels of corn; a portion of her cargo consigned to the firm.
  15. British Whig November 22, 1872 p. 3 THE HARBOUR: OLIVE BRANCH and MARY FOX in winter quarters.
  16. Daily News November 30, 1872 p. 2 Marine News: RAN IN TODAY: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, laying-up.
  17. Daily News January 6, 1873 p. 2 VESSEL SALES: On Saturday the sale of the schooners OLIVE BRANCH and BENEDICT was decided. Captain Dix disposing of the former to Mr. Christopher Harris for $7,500 and Messrs. R. Makins and Webster purchasing the BENEDICT for $10,000.
  18. Daily News May 8, 1873 p. 1 Marine News: Montreal Transportation Company wharf, Arrivals: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, from Cobourg, with 7,882 bushels of wheat.
  19. Daily News May 23, 1873 p. 1 Marine News: Port Colborne, UP: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH
  20. Daily News June 3, 1873 p. 1 Marine News: Port Colborne, DOWN: OLIVE BRANCH of Picton, Cleveland – Cobourg, with coal.
  21. Daily News September 9, 1873 p. 2 Marine News: Coulthurst & Miller’s wharf ARRIVALS since Thursday; Schooner OLIVE BRANCH from Toronto with 7,300 bushels of wheat.
  22. Daily News August 14, 1873 p. 2 Marine News: Port Colborne, August 13th UP: OLIVE BRANCH of Picton
  23. Daily News September 26, 1873 p. 1 Marine News: Port Colborne Sept 25th Down: OLIVE BRANCH OF Picton, Cleveland to Toronto with coal.
  24. Daily News October 8, 1873 p. 1 Marine News: Montreal Transportation Co. wharf: OLIVE BRANCH, from Brighton with 7,623 bushels of wheat.
  25. Daily News November 13, 1873 p. 2 Marine News: Jones & Miller wharf: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, Cobourg with 7,500 bushels of wheat
  26. Daily News June 23, 1874 p. 2 OLIVE BRANCH of Picton, Erie – Cobourg, with coal
  27. Daily News July 2, 1874 p. 2 Marine Intelligence OLIVE BRANCH of Picton, Cobourg from Ashtabula with iron ore.
  28. Daily News July 8, 1874 p. 1 Marine Intelligence Port Colborne July 7th. DOWN: OLIVE BRANCH of Picton, Erie – Cobourg with coal.
  29. Daily News July 24, 1874 p. 2 Marine Intelligence Port Colborne, UP: OLIVE BRANCH, Port Colborne – Cleveland, light
  30. Daily News July 29, 1874 p. 2 Marine Intelligence OLIVE BRANCH of Picton; Cobourg – Cleveland with iron ore
  31. Daily News August 11, 1874 p. 2 Marine Intelligence Port Colborne Aug 10th DOWN: OLIVE BRANCH of Picton Cleveland – Prescott, with stone
  32. Daily News August 31, 1874 p. 3 Marine Intelligence Port Colborne, UP: OLIVE BRANCH of Picton, Cobourg – Ashtabula with iron ore.
  33. Daily News September 8, 1874 Port Colborne, Aug 7th. DOWN: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, Cleveland -Hamilton with coal.
  34. Daily News November 4, 1875 CUSTOMS IMPORTS, Nov 4th Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, James Swift, 223 tons of coal and 5 bushels of potatoes.
  35. Daily News December 3, 1875 p. 2 Marine Notes: The schooner OLIVE BRANCH arrived last night form Oswego, light, and the schooner E.B. BENEDICT arrived from Fairhaven with 270 tons of coal, both at Swift’s wharf.
  36. Daily News April 18, 1876 p. 2 Marine Notes: Vessels Lying, Kingston, Schooner OLIVE BRANCH
  37. Daily News May 6, 1876 p. 2 Marine Notes: Montreal Transportation Company The schooner OLIVE BRANCH arrived from Port Whitby with 7,448 bushels of peas.
  38. Daily News June 6, 1876 p. 3 Marine News: Montreal Transportation Company ARRIVED: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH with 7,527 bushels of wheat.
  39. Daily News August 9, 1876 p. 2 Marine Notes: Montreal Transportation Company, ARRIVED: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH from Toronto with 7,453 bushels of wheat
  40. Daily News August 12, 1876 p. 2 Marine Notes: Montreal Transportation Co, Arrived: Schooner OLIVE BRANCH, from Toronto with 7,454 bushels of wheat.
  41. Kingston British Whig April 19, 1877 p. 3 Schooner OLIVE BRANCH at Richardson’s from Amherst Island with peas.
  42. British Whig April 20, 1877 ELEVATING: Montreal Transportation Co. discharged cargo of peas from OLIVE BRANCH.
  43. Daily News April 25, 1877 p. 3 Marine Items: The schooner OLIVE BRANCH, Capt. Hull sic (Aull,?) arrived at Oswego on Sunday night from Kingston with a cargo of rye for Irwin & Sloan. This is the first arrival of grain by lake this season.
  44. Daily News September 29, 1877 p. 2 Marine News: THE GRAIN MARKET . . . and the OLIVE BRANCH with 8,600 bushels of barley for Oswego.
  45. Daily News December 3, 1877 p. 3 Marine Notes: The following have arrived for the purpose of laying-up: E.G. BENEDICT, B.W. FOLGER, JULIA, OLIVE BRANCH, WAVE CREST, PICTON, MORNING STAR, ARIADNE, ACADIA, and MILLIE COOK.
  46. British Whig September 7, 1878 p. 3 Marine Montreal Transportation Co, OLIVE BRANCH, from Toronto with 4,623 bushels of wheat.
  47. Daily News December 7, 1879 p 3 THE HARBOUR: Vessels laid up at Kingston, Schooner OLIVE BRANCH
  48. British Whig April 12, 1880 p. 3 Marine: The OLIVE BRANCH left Richardson’s this morning with 7,800 bushels of rye for Oswego. She got over safely. A telegram received at 1 p.m. stated that she had unloaded and was prepared to take another.
  49. British Whig May 26, 1880 p. 3 MARINE CLASSIFICATIONS OF VESSELS: Canadian vessels were not inspected this year by a regularly appointed inspector, as had been done formerly, and the Canadian underwriters decided to accept the survey made by the American Lloyds. It was supposed that the American rating of Canadian vessels was likely to prejudice our carriers, and it was somewhat later determined to have Capt. Taylor, of Kingston who has done the service for years, make a supplementary survey of Canadian vessels. Now this has occurred, says the Globe: Last Saturday two vessels were chartered by a broker here to go to Port Dalhousie to land cargoes of through grain. The vessels both Canadian, WHITE OAK and OLIVE BRANCH, had been surveyed by Capt. Taylor, and while the OLIVE BRANCH was rated in Taylor’s supplementary report as B1, she was classed down in the American Lloyds to B2. WHITE OAK was classed by both as BB1/2. The vessels were not allowed to load, as their rating placed them outside of the classes that are insured for grain carrying. It is not claimed that any injustice was done in either of the vessels, for their rating in both surveys was too low to place them as grain carriers, but the circumstances are of that character that it will be perceived how the difference in the classification of vessels, in the two “books” might lead to embarrassment and loss.
  50. British Whig July 3, 1880 p. 3 Marine News: The schooner OLIVE BRANCH, with 7,400 bushels of corn, came in from Toronto this morning.
  51. British Whig August 9, 1880 p. 3 Marine News: Arrived: Saturday/Sunday. Schooner OLIVE BRANCH Port Dalhousie with 7,300 bushels of corn.
  52. Kingston Whig-Standard September 30, 1880. Copied by Oswego Palladium, October 2, 1880 Considerable commotion was caused last evening on the report going currently that a schooner had been lost and that her final plunge had been seen by captains of other craft, who were so far off, however, as to be incapable of giving a correct description of the unfortunate vessel or lending their assistance . . ., (she was) a fore & after, the only canvas being carried being part of the fore-sail and a jib. The sea yesterday was very heavy, and the vessel seems to have laboured a great deal, and been in much distress . . . The masters of the HURON, FITZHUGH, and AUGUSTA all brought the information to port enroute hither they saw a schooner in the distance ahead of them, that about noon she suddenly disappeared, and that they concluded a disaster had occurred.
  53. Kingston Whig October 1, 1880 So far no information has been received respecting the vessel disaster which has been the principal subject of discussion in marine circles since it took place. It has been suggested that the unfortunate craft was the schooner OLIVE BRANCH, which left Oswego on Wednesday morning at 6 o’clock for Portsmouth, laden with coal. She should have reached her destination on the same evening . . . Captain Aull was the master of the vessel and also part owner with Mr. Oldrieve. She was classed B1 and valued at $3,000.
  54. British Whig October 4, 1880 p. 3 Marine Notes: THE DUCKS DISASTER: The schooner OCEAN WAVE is alright. She has been lying at MacDonald’s Cove. The only vessel reported to have been lost and that is not yet been reported is the OLIVE BRANCH. The captain of the schooner H.P. MURRAY saw the topmast and fly of the sunken schooner at the Ducks, a description of which corresponds with that of the OLIVE BRANCH.
  55. Oswego Palladium Tuesday October 5, 1880 THE MISSING VESSEL: Nothing further transpires relative to the vessel capsized off the Ducks, and it appears quite certain that she is the OLIVE BRANCH of Kingston. The owners of the OLIVE BRANCH have given her up as lost. Her crew consisted of Andrew Aull, Captain, three French sailors, names not known and Mrs. Minnie Jarvis of Belleville, cook. The policy of the hull expires September 15th.
  56. British Whig October 6, 1880 p. 2 Marine Notes: No new developments in the OLIVE BRANCH case.
  57. British Whig October 7, 1880 p. 3 Marine Notes: Mrs. Capt. McKee of the schooner RICHARDSON, made the fly [flag?] for the schooner OLIVE BRANCH. If it could be secured and brought to the city the identity of the vessel might be established beyond a doubt. Mrs. McKee would know the fly.
  58. British Whig October 11, 1880 p. 3 Marine Notes: LATE CAPTAIN AULL A reward has been offered for the recovery of the body of the late Captain Aull, in command and part owner of the schooner OLIVE BRANCH. He had on his person, a variety of papers, not valuable to any one, but the friends of the deceased. By the time the captain’s remains should float, so that it is not improbable they may be brought to Kingston as desired. UNSAFE CANAL BOATS: The Chicago Inter-Ocean makes the following remarks: There can be no longer be the least doubt that the canal schooner OLIVE BRANCH, took her entire crew down with her, and the horror furnishes just so much more evidence of the danger of the canal style of construction. With very few exceptions, every vessel lost on the lakes with all hands has been a canaler. Isn’t possible for our ship builders and masters to point out just where the great fatal error is? Certainly the subject is worthy of consideration and close study. What do our underwriters, many of them practical builders and navigators think of it?
  59. British Whig October 18, 1880 p. 3 NO TIDINGS YET: No tidings have been received of the remains of the crew of the lost OLIVE BRANCH. Some persons imagine that if the captain’s body should be found it will be quietly buried and the funds, which he is believed to have had on his person, appropriated. The owners of the OLIVE BRANCH are willing to sell the vessel at a very low rate.
  60. British Whig October 25, 1880 THE OLIVE BRANCH: Captain Dix of the WHITE OAK who came down the lake on Friday, says that he believes the vessel is broken in two. He was certain of this from the appearance of the masts. LATE CAPTAIN AULL: Captain Aull of the lost schooner OLIVE BRANCH was the youngest son of the late Andrew Aull, merchant of the town Newtonhamilton, Ireland. Fourteen years ago at the age of nineteen, he crossed the Atlantic and landed in Kingston.
  61. Toronto Globe November 30, 1880 Casualty List for 1880. Schooner OLIVE BRANCH foundered between Main and False Ducks, Lake Ontario, all hands lost, September 30th.
  62. British Whig March 29, 1881 p. 4 LIFE SAVING: “A good article with an interview between a reporter and two captains involving the lack of life preservers. Also all records of all crew are on the vessel and never on land. In point, the loss of the OLIVE BRANCH and the bodies never found. The grieving of all the families involved”.
  63. Oswego Daily Times August 24, 1888 Preparations are being made to raise the schooner OLIVE BRANCH, sunk eight years ago between Main Duck and False Duck Islands. The parties have constructed two steel pontoons sixty feet in length, proportioned accordingly which they claim will raise anything sunk in fresh water. They have also engaged J.J. Bongard to place a buoy on the wreck for their convenience. The wreck lies in about 45 feet of water.
  64. Many references to the schooner Picton appear in C.H.J Snider's work:
    Schooner Days DLXIV (564) Olive Branches All Pluckt Off, November 21, 1942
    Schooner Days XXXI (31) Oakville's Grand Old Mariner, 16 Nov 1931
    Schooner Days DLXXXVII (587) Jib Picnics In The Picton – I: When Walt Hudgin Risked His Life Three Times In One Trip, 24 Apr 1943

References and source notes

NOTE:- Newspaper transcriptions regarding the schooner OLIVE BRANCH have been problematic to a degree. This OLIVE BRANCH was built in 1871, foundered in 1880. There was an American OLIVE BRANCH schooner built in 1866 and was lost in 1875 on Toronto Island. There was another OLIVE BRANCH built in 1875 in Port Credit. Attempted to have the above transcriptions to be as accurate as possible. Many transcriptions have not been recorded as such.

(1) Picton Shipping Register, 1851 – 1882., Register Number 38.
(2) Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, Lake Vessel Register, Page 23. 1873
(3) Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, The Marine Register, Page 27. 1874
(4) Alpena County, George N. Fletcher Public Library, Great Lakes Ships, C. Patrick Labadie Collection.
(5) The Great Lakes Shipwreck File: Total Losses of Great Lakes Ships, 1679-1999. @1998-2001. David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, Michigan.
(6-69) Many of the contemporary newspaper cuttings can be found at Maritime History of the Great Lakes, Newspaper Transcriptons
(70) C.H.J. Snider Schooner Days index, Naval Marine Archive.

Picton built ships

The research and preparation of many 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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