At the time of his death, which occurred September 8, 1894, John Oades was the oldest shipbuilder on the lakes. His father was a shipbuilder before him, and was employed by the British Government for many years. His faithful service to the government being rewarded by a grant of land in Canada, he came to this country to relocate, about the year 1824, when John was seven years of age. The father was subsequently drowned, and while still quite young the son entered the shipyard of a relative named Collins, at Oswego, and commenced to learn the trade. Subsequently Mr. Oades established a yard for himself at Clayton, N. Y., where he built about all the steamboats then in service on Lake Ontario, as well as a large number of sailing vessels.
Mr. Oades came to Detroit in the spring of 1865, and was for two years foreman of the Detroit Dry Dock Company. He then associated himself with his son in the well-known yard at the foot of Dubois street, where he assisted in building a great number of boats, the most notable of which was the John Oades, a propeller launched in 1889, and still operated to Lake Superior ports by the Peninsular Transit Company.
Mr. Oades was a rough and hardy sort of man, but highly respected and esteemed by all who knew him. His acquaintance among vessel men was very extensive, and his knowledge of the shipbuilding business was not surpassed by any of his competitors.
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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.