Captain Samuel Rioux
Captain Samuel Rioux, of Detroit, Mich., for four years commander of the United States lighthouse tender Marigold, was born in Quebec in the year 1845. He attended school and worked on a farm until he was seventeen years old, and began to sail on the pilot boats of the gulf of St. Lawrence, after acting in the capacity of cook, etc., on small coasters for some years.
After several years' experience on the pilot boats, Captain Rioux came to the Great Lakes, where he has remained ever since, and all told he was on the lakes about thirty-three years, during nearly all that time in the government service. He remained three or four seasons on schooners when he first came to the lakes, and after leaving the schooners he served on another boat one season as able seaman. The other thirty years of his life on fresh water have been spent entirely on government boats. During his first year under the government, Captain Rioux was on a lighthouse tender at Spectacle Reef lighthouse, which was being erected at that time. Later he served on the tender Belle Stevens for two years, and was then transferred to the Warrington, on which he was second mate for six consecutive seasons, subsequently continuing on her fourteen more seasons as first mate. At the end of that time he was transferred to the Marigold, on which he served as first mate for a season, then becoming captain. He formally took command of the tender Marigold on July 8, 1893, and held that command until April, 1897. At present (1898) he has left the lakes, and is giving his attention exclusively to his real-estate interests in Detroit, but may later on return to marine work.
Captain Rioux has never been married, and has lived on his boat winter and summer. The Marigold, together with several other of the lighthouse tenders, generally lay up at the government dock below the Marine Hospital in Detroit.
Return to Home Port
This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.