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The Schooner Phoebe Catherine


Name: PHOEBE CATHERINE Type: Schooner
Official Number: ? Tonnage: 141
Build Location: Picton Port of Registry / Hail: Picton
Builder’s Name: John Tait Master's name: N. Huding
Build Year: 16 May 1864 Length: 97 feet
Breadth 22 feet Depth of hold: 8 feet and 9 inches
Masts: 2Stern: Square
Bowsprit: standingHow built: Carvel
How rigged: Fore & AftFigurehead: Scroll
Decks: one
Owners: Robert Norman & George Curry, sold to John Pierson of Owen Sound dated Dec 11th, 1868, sold after many part owners to James Park and E.M. Bishop of Owen Sound dated July 17, 1873.

Phoebe Catherine

The schooner Phoebe Catherine in Owen Sound

See also the entry for the schooner Phoebe Catherine in our ships Database.

  1. Shipping Register, Picton, 1851 TO 1882
  2. PHOEBE CATHERINE: 143 AMERICAN TONS: Tait: Picton: 1864: Supposed Owners: Pierson: Port Belonging To: Picton: Approximiate Value: $5000: Class A1
  3. PHOEBE CATHERINE: 140 New Tons: AT- Picton: By-Jno. Tait: Apl. 64: Port of Hail: Picton:
  4. PHOEBE CATHERINE: schr: 143 American Tons: BY- Tait: AT-Picton: 1864: Supposed Owners: Park: Port Belonging to: Picton: Approximiate Value $4500: Class B1: Date of Last Registry, 3/73
  5. PHOEBE CATHERINE: Schr: 143 Tons: By-Tate: AT-Picton: 1864: Supposed Owners: Park & Bishop: Port of Hail – Picton: Value 4500: Class B1: Date of Survey 1/74.
  6. PHOEBE CATHERINE: Port of Registry, Picton: Schr: Build, 1864 at Picton: Propelled, Sails: 97 x 22 x 8.7 141 Registred Tons: Owners, Phoebe C. Pierson, Owen Sound, Ont. References:

Newspaper Accounts

  1. COLLINGWOOD:- MARINE INTELLIGENCE JUNE 6 SAILED:- Schr. PHOEBE CATHERINE: Chicago, lumber. the “Mail”. Friday, June 7, 1872
  2. COLLINGWOOD MARINE INTELLIGENCE June 21 ARRIVED:- Schr. PHOEBE CATHERINE: Kincardine, 800 bbls. Salt… the “Mail” Monday, June 24, 1872
  3. Owen Sound Dec 9:- Navigation may be considered closed for the season, The vessels in wintry quarters at this port are:-……….PHOEBE CATHERINE…….. the Daily Globe Friday, December 19, 1875. (from the files of Mr. Bill McNeil, Toronto)
  4. Kingston Daily News, 3 Dec 1864:- CLEARANCES:- 2nd December. Schr PHOEBE CATHERINE, Picton – Gen. cargo.
  5. Kingston Daily News, 6 Nov. 1865:- The Storm And the Vessels Generally – The storm which has prevailed from the south west for the past two days and still blowing has had its effect on the lake craft. The schooner PHOEBE CATHERINE with a cargo of salt from Oswego to Wellington, lies on the North shore n a precarious position.
  6. Kingston Daily News, 3 Feb 1866, p.2. Canadian Vessels laid up in Canadian Ports. South Bay:-..., PHOEBE CATHERINE, ...
  7. Kingston Daily News, 1 May 1866. Picton, April 30th. The schooners ..., PHOEBE CATHERINE, ...and three more names unknown, are riding at anchor behind South Bay Point this morning.
  8. Kingston Daily News, 21 May 1869. P.2. Shipping News. Welland Canal – DOWN: Schr PHOEB E CATHERINE, Meaford – Oswego, wheat.
  9. Kingston Daily News, 1 June 1869, P.2. The following Vessels passed through the Welland Canal, May 31. UP:- Schr PHOEBE CATHERINE, Oswego – Owen Sound Coal.
  10. Save Ontario Shipwrecks, Summer 1992 Newsletter. Page9-10. Article presented by Tutty Lee, an excerpt from the Globe and Mail, October 31, 1871. The Owen Sound Advertiser says:-- It is our melancholy duty to chronicle the loss of the Phoebe Catherine on the Manitoulin Island on the 9th. Captain Hill arrived here on Saturday last, and from him we give the following particulars. He says:-- “We left Sarnia on Sunday the 8th, with wind from the south --- fair, a fine breeze – and got to Cape Hurd in 16 hours and 20 minutes, a distance of 185 miles. About 10 o’clock a.m., it began to blow very heavy, from that it freshened into a gale. At 12 o’clock midnight the gale was at its highest. Then wore the vessel. Were only able to carry a very small piece of foresail. Were then abreast of the Isle of Coves. It was so thick with smoke that it was impossible to see anything. Hove to till daylight. Hauled them to N.E. to get hold of Isle of Coves. In 20 minutes were in the breakers. Held her there with two anchors for 24 hours, the sea making a clean sweep over her. The hatches were well battered down. At 7 p.m. she broke from her moorings and went ashore on Manitoulin Island, at the east pint of Thomas Bay. The sea was so heavy, breaking ov er anything, that we lashed ourselves to the rigging. Were so for about 10 hours, when we managed to get ashore in the boat. About 20 rods from the shore the boat capsized, filled, and washed us all out, but we managed, however, to get ashore safely. The also got some sails and made a tent, and kindled a fire to dry their clothes. They were all so exhausted that they fell asleep, and were only wakened by the fire burning the cook’s feet. They got up to find that while they had been sleeping the fire had burned up all their clothes. Twelve hours afterwards they got help from an Indian boat. The weather continued so bad that, although he made several attempts, Capt. Hill could not get away till about ten days after, when he got to Shebananning. From there he sent provisions to the crew, and after waiting two days got on board the Manitoba for Collingwood, and came on to Owen Sound, where he made his protest. There were eight on board; captain, Richard Hill; mate, Vesey Hill; sailors, Thos. McKinley, William Shane, Thomas Bishop, Peter Robinson, and Thomas Hill; cook, Mrs. Charlesworth. The Phoebe Catherine belongs to Messrs. Park and Bishop, and is insured for two thirds in the Western Insurance Company. When she went ashore in four feet of water Captain Hill scuttled her, to save her from breaking up, as the waves were lifting her up and dashing her down again, and if he had not done so, she would have very speedily gone to pieces. She could not have stood it anytime, the force with which she came down on the bottom was so great. Even yet he thinks she will prove a total wreck. The Insurance Company have sent up a tug to strip her, and bring away the crew. Captain Hill reports five vessels ashore on the Isle of Coves, and four on the Manitoulin, but he does not know their names.
  11. Owen Sound Advertiser Nov 28, 1872. The schooners ..., PHOEBE CATHERINE, ... are now lying in the river. They are being stripped of their canvass ready for winter lay up, after having done a good season’s trade.
  12. Owen Sound Advertiser, May 1, 1873. The Sailing Vessels:- ..., then we visit the PHOEBE CATHERINE, Captain T. Crolley. She has been newly painted, has been supplied with part new canvass, and has been thoroughly overhauled. She will be employed in carrying grain to Collingwood in the forepart of the season, after which she will be engaged in the lumber trade from the North Shore to Sarnia and Windsor. She carried 8,000 bushels of grain, is a staunch and good sailing vessel, and is owned by Messrs Park and Bishop of this town.
  13. Owen Sound Advertiser, May 27, 1875. The schooner PHOEBE CATHERINE was launched in the afternoon having been previously filled with water to test whether or not she was water-tight or not. The fire engine was called into requisition for the purpose.
  14. Department of Marine & Fisheries, Statement of Wreck & Casualty, 1880 Schooner PHOEBE CATHERINE, of Picton and 141 tons. Stranded 6 miles south of Kincardine on November 6 1880, while bound from Micheal’s Bay to Goderich. She was got off with damages amounting to $1,350.
  15. Owen Sound Advertiser, November 11, 1880. Ashore. The schooner PHOEBE CATHERINE is reported ashore near Pine Point on the peninsula and is thought she will be a total wreck
  16. Kingston British Whig, 22 Jul 1881. Marine Notes, P.3. WELLAND CANAL ARRIVALS: Schr PHOEBE CATHERINE., Toronto --- wheat
  17. Kingston British Whig, Ont. June 6, 1887, P.8. Marine Paragraphs:- The steam barge KINCARDINE has been bought by P.C. & J.J. Pearson, Collingwood, and will be used with the schooner PHOEBE CATHERINE in the Georgian Bay lumber trade.
  18. List of Vessels on the Registry Books of the Dominion of Canada, on Dec 31, 1898. Schooner; PHOEBE CATHERINE; (NO NUMBER); of 141 Tons register. Built: Picton; When, 1864: Home Port, Picton, Ont: 97.0 x 22.0 x 8.7.
  19. C.H.J Snider’s Schooner Days CCXII (212) "Queer, Isn’t It?"; also CCLXVII (267) "More Ships That Jack Built - Jack Tait Of Prince Edward" and a short mention in number CCXXX (230) "Ships Of The Huron Shore".

References and source notes

(1) Mr. Bill McNeil of Toronto
(2) Lake Vessel Register, Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, 1869, Toronto.
(3) Classification of Lake Vessels and Barges, Adopted By a Board of Marine Inspectors, April 1, 1871. Buffalo, N.Y. Page 85
(4) Lake Vessel Register, Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, 1873, Toronto. Page 24
(5) The Marine Register, Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, 1874, Toronto, Page 27.
(6) Sessional Papers, Department of Marine, Ottawa, 1887. Page 294.
(10-23) Newspaper reports contributing donors are Mr. Rick Neilson for the Kingston papers and Mr. Bill Hester for the Owen Sound papers. Many can be found at the Maritime History of the Great Lakes webpage.
(24) Registers:John B. Miller, Parry Sound. Ont.
(25) Schooner Days - transcripts by Naval Marine Archive (Gary Mauthe fonds), assistance from R. Palmer.

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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