The schooner Picton (1867)


Port of Picton Registry, Number 21 :

Name: PICTON Type: Schooner
Official Number: 71206 Tons: 160
Where Built: Picton, Ont. Port of Registry / Hail: Picton
Build Year: 1867 Value: $15,000; (1897)
Builder’s Name & Date of Certification: Thom. Walters, June 1867.
Master’s Name: H. GawSubscribing Owners: Hugh Gaw
Length; 98 feet and 4/10ths. Breadth; 22 feet and 9/10ths (below wale)
Depth of Hold; 9 feet and 7/10ths Masts: Two
Stern: Square Bowsprit: Standing
How Built: Carvel How Rigged: Schooner
Figure-head: NoneDecks: One

NOTATIONS: RE-REGISTERED on August 18, 1874. FROM NEW REGISTRATION: Robert Charles Smith the younger sole owner dated April 29, 1881. REGISTRY TRANSFERRED TO PORT HOPE on May 4, 1881.


Schooner Picton, at Gananoque. Framed original image.

See also the entry for the schooner Picton in our ships Database. Note also that C.H.J. Snider (Schooner Days CCLXVIII (268)) has John Tait as builder rather than Thomas Walters (Walton may be mispelling).

  1. Schooner, PICTON ; American Tons: 161 ; Built By: Robinson ; Built Where: Picton, Ont. ; Built When: 1867 ; Supposed Owners: H. Gaw ; Port Belonging To: Picton ; Approx Value: $9,000 ; Class: A1 ; Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, Lake Vessel Register, 1869. Page 22.
  2. Schooner, PICTON; Canadian ; New Tonnage: 161 ; Where Built: Picton, Ont. Built By: Walton ; Built When: May 1867 ; Owner: H. Gaw ; Home Port: Picton ; Est. Value: $7,000 ; Class: A1 ; Classification of Lake Vessels and Barges, April 1, 1871, Page 85
  3. Schooner, PICTON ; American Tons: 161 ; Where Built: Picton ; Built By: Robinson ; Built When: 1867 ; Supposed Owner: Gaw ; Port of Hail: Picton ; Approx Value: $7,500 ; Class: A2 ; Date of Last Survey: 2/73 ; Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, Lake Vessel Register of 1873, Page 25.
  4. Sail Vessel, PICTON ; Tons: 161 ; Where Built: Picton ; Built By: Robinson ; Built When: 1867 ; Supposed Owner: Gaw ; Port of Hail: Picton ; Value: $6,000 ; Class: A2 ; Date of Last Survey: 2/74 ; Association of Canadian Lake Underwriters, The Marine Register of 1874, Page 27.
  5. PICTON ; Official Number: 71206 ; Port of Registry: Port Hope ; Rig: Schooner ; Build: 1867 ; Home Port: Picton ; How Propelled: Sails ; Dimensions: 98.7 x 22.7 x 9.5 ; Reg. Tons: 160 ; Owner: R.C. Smith, Port Hope. ; Sessional Papers, Dept. of Marine, Ottawa, 1887, Page 294.
  6. Schooner, PICTON ; Tonnage: 160 ; Built Where: Picton Built By: Walton ; Built When: 1867 ; Port of Hail: Port Hope Class: B1-1/2 ; Repaired in 1878 and 1886 ; Owner: R.C. Smith ; R.L. Polk & Company Marine Directory of the Great Lakes, 1888. Page 100.
  7. Schooner, PICTON ; Net Tons: 181 ; Built Where: Picton Built By: Robinson ; Built When: 1867 ; Owner: McMaster ; Port of Registry: Port Hope ; Remarks: Repaired in 1886, Loaded. ; Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, Canadian Hulls. 1890; Page 37.
  8. Schooner, PICTON ; New Tonnage: 181 ; Built Where: Picton ; Built By: Robinson ; Built When: 1867 ; Owner: Horn ; Port of Hail: Port Hope ; Remarks: Repaired in 1894, Requires repairs. ; Inland Lloyds Lake Vessel Register, 1897. Page 37.
  9. PICTON ; Official Number: 71206 ; Vessel Type: Schooner ; Built: Picton, Ontario ; Built When: 1867 ; Hull Material: Wood ; Number of Decks: One ; Builder’s Name: Thomas Walters ; Masts: Two ; Original Owners & Location: Hugh Gaw and James Ewart, Picton and Cobourg ; Tons, Old-style: 160 & 89/95 Dimensions: 98.4 Length x 22.9 Beam x 9.7 Depth. ; Final Disposition: Location off Charlotte, N.Y., Lake Ontario. ; Date: July 1, 1900 ; How: Foundered ; Notes: Bound for Oswego - Belleville, Ont. Foundered and sank with all hands. within sight of steamer ACACIA.
    July 1867 ; Registered at Picton, Ont. ;
    1878 ; Rebuilt, possibly by Robinson, 98.75 x 22.75 x 9.58, 160 Tons. ;
    Feb 11, 1878 Owned by J.D. Arterhout of Hillier, Ont. ;
    Oct 1, 1879 ; Owned by John Walters, South Marysburgh, Ont. ;
    April 29, 1881 Owned by Robert Charles Smith Jr, Port Hope, Ont. ;
    1883 ; Wrecked ;
    1886 ; Repaired ;
    July 1, 1900 ; Foundered. ;
    Alpena County, George N. Fletcher Public Library, Great Lakes Collection. ; C. Patrick Labadie Collection.
  10. PICTON ; Other Names: None ; Official Number: ; C71206 ; Type at Loss: Schooner, wood, 2 masts. ; Specs: 99 x 23 x 10; 160 Tons Build Info: 1867; built by T. Walters or Walton, Picton, Ont. ; Date of Loss: June 29, 1900 ; Place of Loss: Ten miles off Charlotte, N.Y. ; Lake: Ontario. ; Loss of Life: All seven crew ; Carrying: Coal ; Details: ; Bound from Charlotte for Belleville, Ont. She lost her sails and dove for the bottom in sight of several other vessels. Her skipper, Capt. Sidley, had sailed out in threatening weather. He was new to the boat, having just lost the EDWARD BLAKE on Lake Huron. His 12 year old son died with him on the PICTON. ; Out of Port Hope. ; Sources;; csqw, mmgl, ns1, h, nsp, osdp, win. ; The Great Lakes Shipwreck File: Total Losses of Great Lake Ships 1679-1999. ; By Dave Swayze © ; 1998-2001, David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella, Michigan.

Newspaper transcriptions

  1. Kingston Daily British Whig May 14, 1867. Marine Items. Schooner PICTON launched at Picton at this time.
  2. British Whig May 16, 1872. Page 2. LOW WATER: PICTON aground in Belleville Harbour.
  3. Kingston Daily News June 3, 1872 ; p. 2 ; Marine News. ; Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie’s wharf. ; Arrivals: Schooner PICTON, Port Dalhousie, 9956 bushels of corn.
  4. Daily News. September 18, 1872 p. 2 Marine News. ; Messrs. Coulthurst & MacPhie wharf: The schooner PICTON cleared for Hamilton with 1024 bars of railroad iron.
  5. Kingston Daily News December 4, 1872 p. 1. The following schooners are laid up for the winter at Picton harbour, and are being dismantled: BABINEAU & GAUDREY, C. GEARING, PICTON, J.W. LANGMUIR, BELLE CASE, BELLE, of Hamilton, and ONTARIO. Steamers PICTON and NORFOLK. [Picton Gazette]
  6. Toronto Mail. Wednesday November 5, 1873. The schooner PICTON which was driven ashore at Presque’Isle, was towed into port today by the tug H.A. CALVIN, having been got off by Captains Coureen and Donnelly.
  7. Daily News November 22, 1873 p. 3 ; PICTON MARINE ITEMS ; The schooner PICTON underwent the necessary repairs at Kingston and came into Picton harbour on Monday evening, looking but a little the worse for the mishap.
  8. Daily News April 21, 1876 p. 2 ; Marine Notes. The schooners PICTON and PEERLESS are at Cobourg and are ready to sail as soon as the prospects brighten up a little.
  9. British Whig October 10, 1877 p. 3 ; Marine. The schooner PICTON went ashore at Presque’Isle on Monday night. She was grain laden, from Chatham to Kingston. The steamer CHIEFTAN left this morning with a steam pump and wrecking party under direction of Capt. Allen of the tug FRANKLIN, to raise her and pull her off.
  10. Cleveland Herald. October 19, 1877. A Kingston despatch says ……. ; and that the schooner PICTON, wheat laden, is ashore at Presque’Isle. Part of the PICTON’s cargo arrived at Kingston on a lighter, Saturday, and it was thought probable she would be gotten off that night.
  11. Oswego Daily Times, Monday, December 1, 1879 ; transcript of Narrow Escape of the Schooner Picton – Three Days From Wellington to Oswego ; details of a winter voyage by the schooner Picton.
  12. British Whig April 10, 1880 p. 3 Marine. The schooner PICTON ran aground in Belleville harbour yesterday.
  13. British Whig April 30, 1881 p. 3 Marine News. The schooner PICTON has been purchased by Mr. R.C. Smith Jr. of Port Hope, from Mr. Currie (Currin)? Of Picton for $3,300.
  14. Toronto Globe & Mail ; Saturday May 16 1885. Page 15, 1885 ; Freights & Charters ; Oswego, May 15th ; Arrived: Schooner PICTON, Port Hope. Cleared: Picton for Cobourg on the 16th.
  15. Globe & Mail ; Friday May 22, 1885 ; Vessel Movements ; Oswego, May 21st. Cleared since yesterday: Schooner PICTON, for Cobourg.
  16. Globe & Mail ; Monday, May 25, 1885. ; Oswego, May 23rd. ; Cleared since Yesterday: Schooner PICTON for Cobourg.
  17. Globe & Mail ; Saturday May 30, 1885 ; Vessel Movements. ; Oswego, May 29th. ; Arrivals: PICTON, Cobourg, and Cleared: for Cobourg.
  18. Globe & Mail ; Tuesday June 2, 1885 ; Vessel Movements ; Oswego, June 2nd. Cleared: Schooner PICTON, for Cobourg.
  19. Globe & Mail ; Monday June 8, 1885 ; Vessel Movements ; Oswego June 6th. Arrived: PICTON, Cobourg. Cleared: PICTON to Cobourg.
  20. Globe & Mail ; Thursday June 11, 1885 ; Vessel Movements ; Oswego, June 10th. Cleared: Schooner PICTON to Cobourg.
  21. British Whig February 17, 1886 p. 3 Incidents of the Day. J.J. Turner’s sail loft in Port Hope was burned on Monday and the schooners ANNIE MINNIES, PICTON and MARIE ANTOINETTE badly scorched.
  22. British Whig November 30, 1888 p. 8 Marine Paragraphs. The schooner PICTON, today cleared for Deseronto, light.
  23. British Whig August 15, 1894 p. 1. At Cobourg, yachtsmen got up a race between a number of schooners that were in port there. The following took part; VIENNA, ELIZA WHITE, and PICTON. The PICTON, owned by Capt. Rooney, won.
  24. British Whig December 5, 1896 p. 4. Where’s the Schooner. Cobourg Dec 5th. The schooner PICTON, loaded with coal for Cobourg, left Oswego on Wednesday for this port. No tidings have been received regarding her whereabouts. It is feared she foundered during the gale of Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Capt. James Terry has charge of the schooner, while James Kanaly, John Lavis, Owen Markley, William Terry and two other hands comprise the crew. The PICTON is owned by a Cobourg syndicate. Two schooners have been sighted about fifteen miles S.E. of Brighton, Ontario. One is thought to be the missing PICTON, but nothing definite has been heard. Both schooners are at anchor.
  25. Kingston British Whig December 7, 1896 p. 1. The schooner PICTON Safe, Cobourg, Dec 7th. ; The schooner PICTON, from Oswego about whose safety some fears had been felt, has arrived in port. She was driven out of her course by the storm which prevailed on the lake on Wednesday last. Subsequently she managed to get about.
  26. British Whig September 14, 1898 p. 2 Marine Intelligence. The schooner PICTON from Wellington unloaded 7,000 bushels of peas at the M.T. Company’s elevator this morning.
  27. British Whig April 25, 1899 p. 2 Incidents of the Day. The schooner PICTON has been sold to Captain Sidley, Belleville, for $1,000. Capt. Sidley will sail the PICTON himself, and will trade from Bay ports to Oswego.
  28. Milwaukee Library Scrapbook ; Monday July 2, 1900 ; SCHOONER MAY BE LOST ; Kingston, Ontario., July 2nd: …. The schooner PICTON is believed by the crew of the steamer ACACIA to have foundered in Lake Ontario with all hands been drowned. The captain of the steamer ACACIA reports that the PICTON left Oswego on Friday night, loaded with coal for Belleville, Ont. A strong gale was blowing and the sea was running heavily. The PICTON seemed to be pitching heavily in the waves and seemed to be making very bad weather of it. Suddenly she disappeared from sight of the ACACIA’s crew.
  29. Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald ; July 3, 1900 ; transcript of Foundering of the schooner Picton ; details of the weather surrounding the loss of the schooner Picton.
  30. Belleville (Ont.) Intelligencer ; July 3, 1900 ; Drowned in Lake Ontario - Seven Belleville people find a watery grave on Sauturday morning last. The schooner Picton, Captain Jonn Sidley, with a crew of seven souls, foundered about twenty-five miles out from Charlotte - story of a witness of the wreck. [see press report]. Crew were Capt. John Sidley (about 50 years of age), Vesley Sidley (about 11 years of age), Frank Smith (mate), Walter Dunn (helper, about 22 years old), William Bly (helper, same age), William Cole (crew member, about 30 years of age) and Barney Ayres (cook), all of Belleville.
  31. Picton Gazette ; 21 August 1900. Message found in a flask in Clayton, N.Y., from John Sidley, Capt. of the Schooner "Picton" of belleville saying that they were abandoning ship. She was lost 29 June 1900 with 7 men.
  32. British Whig December 20, 1900 p. 4 ; Wreckage on the Beach. ; Wreckage of the Canadian schooner PICTON, which foundered in the lake in August last, has been coming ashore at Sheldon’s Point for the past few days. On Saturday George Cauley, while walking along the beach, picked up a galley door with the name “PICTON” written across it. Monday, he found another door and the door casing thrown up by the waves in the same place on the beach. It is believed that the hull of the wrecked schooner is within a short distance of Sheldon’s Point and breaking up. No bodies have yet come ashore.
  33. Many references to the schooner Picton appear in C.H.J Snider's work:
    Schooner Days CCLXVIII (268) "Tait's Types: Round Sterned Delaware, Gun-Barrel Picton, and her Hickory Jibboom"
    Schooner Days series of "Jib Picnics In The Picton", "Part I: When Walt Hudgin Risked His Life Three Times In One Trip", "Part II: The Devil Sets His Traps, the Captain Loses His Hat, and the Ship Comes Home a Brindled Muley" and "Part III: The Schooner, Launched With the Dominion of Canada, Drops Into a Bottomless Hole on Dominion Day"
    Schooner Days, DCVII (607) "Gone Port Chronicles Of Wreck And Rescue"
    Schooner Days, DCXC (690) "Won Match Saved Life" tells of the loss of the schooner Picton, as does Schooner Days XCIV (94) "How The Picton Passed out."

References and source notes

(11) Online resource “The Great Lakes Shipwreck file" By David D. Swayze, Lake Isabella. MI
(12-21, 23-39, 42) Many of the contemporary newspaper cuttings can be found at Maritime History of the Great Lakes, Newspaper Transcriptons
(40) Transcribed by R. Palmer
(41, 42) Naval Marine Archive, Willis Metcalfe fonds
(44) 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.

Back to the regional search index.

Back to the top of this page.

Source notes are listed at the end of the data.


Naval Marine ArchiveThe Canadian Collection
205 Main Street, Picton, Ontario, K0K2T0, Canada
Telephone: 1 613 476 1177
E-mail: for comments, queries and suggestions.

Copyright © 2023
Naval Marine Archive
The Canadian Collection

Revised: 18 July 2015