Captain Bernard D. Townsend
Captain Bernard D. Townsend, eldest son of Capt. Gilbert and Adelia (Robertson) Townsend, was born in Algonac, Mich., in 1860. He left the public schools at the age of fourteen years, and, as he was born of a seafaring family, he immediately commenced his career on the lakes, which up to the time of this writing has continued without a break for twenty-three years.
His practical experience as a seaman was on the steamer H.D. Coffinberry in 1875, on which boat he remained one season. The following spring he shipped as seaman on the Mary Pringle, remaining three months, finishing on the N.P. Goodell. He then went as wheelsman on the Mary Pringle. In 1877 he shipped as watchman on the D.F. Rose, and was afterward promoted to be second mate, serving in that capacity about four years. He was appointed mate of the Belle P. Cross until September, and afterward master of the Nelson Bloom. His next berth was a second mate on the steambarge Keystone, finishing the season at the wheel on the steamer S.T. Everett. In 1879 he was appointed second mate on the steamer Edward Smith, remaining three seasons; his next two seasons were passed as mate, and the following six years as master of the same steamer. In 1894 he was appointed master of the steamer Robert L. Freyer, remaining in that command two years, and laying her up at the close of the navigation in 1896. During the winter months for the last six years he and his brother Hoyt have occupied their time in the lumber woods and at the sawmill, getting out logs and lumber, for the next season's market, and in the winter of 1897-98 they had sixteen men and four teams at work in their camp, and have produced with the rest of the output about 200 cords of heading, 600 cords of wood, fender timber which if placed end to end would measure a mile, and also 250,000 feet of hardwood lumber. He is a Knight Templar Mason and a member of the Council.
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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.