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Calvin Shipyard, Garden Island, Ontario

Most recent update: September 9, 2017.

A truly remarkable shipyard operated in the 19th century on Garden Island, in the St. Lawrence River, between Wolfe Island and Kingston ON.  Known as the Calvin Shipyard, it was established by and for the Calvin Company, which was a major player in the Canadian timber industry.  The driving forces behind this enterprise were its owner, Dileno Dexter Calvin, and the man who ran the yard for most of its existence, Henry Roney.  Calvin leased 15 of the island's 65 acres in 1836, purchased this property in 1848, then bought the rest of the island in 1852.  The Calvin Company shipped in logs and shipped out finished timber, becoming, in addition, merchants, wharfingers, freight carriers, salvagers, wreckers and shipbuilders.  Calvin died in 1884 and under his son's management the business declined, being gone by 1914.  At its peak, 750 people lived on Garden Island: today the number is a single digit - although many of the cottages built by D. D. Calvin for his employees survive as summer rentals - and the ferry service was cut off in 1976.  See the island from the air on Google.  Calvin's shipyard is believed to have built at least 60 ships - he level-loaded the yard by committing to a construction rate of one ship a year - but the records are sparse: if anyone can add to the table below, please send your info to

Hull # O.N. Name Owner Type GT LBP Built Disposition
  115350 Queen Victoria J. Flood Schooner 133 95 1839 Burnt 1883
    Prince Edward Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1840 City of Kingston 1847
    Raftsman Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1840  
    Marion Cook Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1840  
    Minerva Cook Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1840  
    William Penn Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1840 Wrecked 1856
    Hannah Counter Calvin Co Ltd Schooner 136 91 1845 Wrecked 1851
    Glasgow Calvin Co Ltd Barge 116 90 1847  
    Liverpool Calvin Co Ltd Barge        
    Caroline Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1848  
  113491 Prescott Hooker, Jacques & Co. Steamer 258 138 1849 Scrapped 1870
    Marion Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1849  
    London Calvin Co Ltd Brigantine     1852  
    William Ford Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1853  
    Advance Calvin Co Ltd River Barge     1854  
    Wellington Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1856 Sank 1881
    Hercules Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1858 Burnt 1891
    Mary Beck Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1858  
  80878 Southampton Calvin Co Ltd Barkentine     1860 Sank 1904
  157177 William Calvin Co Ltd Tug 428 121 1860 Scrapped 1878
    Quebec Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1862  
    M. L. Breck Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1863 Wrecked 1907
  13933 John Bredin Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1863  
    Laura E. Calvin Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1863 Sank 1869
    MacDonald Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1865  
    Plymouth Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1866  
    John A. McDonald Calvin Co Ltd Large Tug     1866  
    Henry Roney Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1868 Lost 1879
    Hiram Calvin Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1868 Burnt 1895
    Bella Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1870  
    Sweden Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1870 Sank 1877
    Cayuga Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1870  
    Oneida Calvin Co Ltd Schooner/Barge     1870  
    Onondaga Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1870  
    Jennie Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1871  
  71177 Seneca Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1871  
    Mohawk Calvin Co Ltd Schooner/Barge     1872  
    Norway Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1873 Sank 1880
  71178  Chieftain Calvin Co Ltd Steamer 485 137 1874 Scrapped 1912
    Siberia Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1874 Sank 1883
    Traveller Calvin Co Ltd Large Tug     1875  
    Cherokee Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1876  
    Garden Island Calvin Co Ltd Bark   169 1877 Later Trio, wrecked in the UK 1907
    Bavaria Calvin Co Ltd Schooner 410   1878 Wrecked off Cape Smith 1898
    William Johnston Calvin Co Ltd Tug     1878  
    Prussia Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1879 Later Cyrenian
    Hiawatha Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1881  
    Huron Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1881  
  83298 D. D. Calvin Calvin Co Ltd Steamer 750 166 1883 Burnt at Garden Island 1910
  88571 Dakota Calvin Co Ltd Barge 535 170 1885 Wrecked 1926
    Denmark Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1888 Wrecked
    Oriental Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1888  
  92394 Valencia Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1888  
    Ceylon Calvin Co Ltd Steamer     1891 Scrapped 1943
    Lapwing Calvin Co Ltd Barge     1892 Sank 1932
  96919 Augustus Calvin Co Ltd Schooner     1893  
  100654 Reginald Calvin Co Ltd Tug     1894 Burned 1941
  100661 Jack Calvin Co Ltd Steam Barge 833 178 1895 Bothnia 1896, lost in collision in St Clair River 1912
    Parthia Calvin Co Ltd Tug     1896 Abandoned 1914
  107735 India Calvin Co Ltd Steam Barge 976 216 1899 Burnt at St Mary's Island 1928
    Frontenac Calvin Co Ltd Tug 111   1901 Lost 1929
  111765 Burma Calvin Co Ltd Schooner 885 183 1901 Foundered on Lake St. Peter 1929
  112144 Simla Calvin Co Ltd Steamer 1,490 226 1903 Scuttled 1926, raised, rescuttled 1936
  117129 Chieftain III Calvin Co Ltd Tug 355 142 1906 In collision and sank off St Antoine, Chicoutimi 1911


These shipbuilding pages are part of an ongoing project; new material and data is added regularly.

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