Captain James Quinn
Captain James Quinn, master and half-owner of the staunch little schooner White Oak, was well known on Lake Ontario, is a bluff and hearty skipper, with a jovial breeze in every word of his speech. From early manhood he has tracked the fresh waters of the inland seas, and there are few navigators better acquainted with their calling than he is. The Captain was born May 18, 1856, at Oakville county of Halton, Ont., where he grew up, receiving his education in the public schools. His desire for the life of a sailor was always strong, but his parents were opposed to it, and not willing to displease them, he became apprenticed to the carriage blacksmithing trade, at which he serveed four years with Mr. Jeremiah Hagaman, of Oakville. Having become a thorough journeyman, young Quinn sought to strike the anvil in a wider field, and obtained a position with Mr. John Dixon, a carriage manufacturer of Toronto, but the trade was too humdrum, and moneymaking in that line was too slow for a young man of Captain Quinn's ability, so he abandoned it after two months and shipped before the mast in the schooner Minnie Blakely. Thus, in 1875, began his career on the lakes. After one month in the Minnie Blakely, he received a better offer and shipped in the schooner Homeward Bound, remaining in her for two seasons, the second year as mate.
Resolved to become his own master, the Captain in 1877 purchased the stonehooker brig Rover, which he owned and sailed for a season and a half, when he sold her and bought another coasting schooner, the Pinta, so called after the historic boat belonging to Christopher Columbus' fleet. Retaining that boat for about two seasons, Captain Quinn disposed of her and went into the schooner Eureka as mate and pilot, trading for three seasons principally on Lake Ontario, but sometimes going through the Welland canal to the higher waters when remunerative cargos offered. After leaving the Eureka, he went into the schooner Dauntless as captain for a season, and in 1883 bought the schooner Highland Beauty, which he sailed for five seasons as master and owner. Succeeding that, he purchased the schooner Mary Everett, and handled her one season in the Georgian Bay trade, bringing lumber and other freight from there to Kingston and Quebec. Next season he sold the Mary Everett and bought the schooner W. T. Greenwood, which vessel he commanded successfully for two years, finally, in the year 1892, disposing of her and buying the schooner White Oak, of which he was sole owner until the spring of 1897, when he admitted Capt. James Wilson to a half-ownership, that gentleman again desiring to follow the water, which he had thought to abandon without considering the strong sailing instincts acquired during a long experience in that calling. Captains Quinn and Wilson still own the White Oak, and sail her as master and mate, respectively, proud to tread the planks of so sturdy and swift a little craft.
On December 23, 1884, Captain Quinn was united in marriage with Miss Mullins, of Kingston, the ladies of which town are noted for their beauty and intellectual accomplishments. Four children have blessed this union, two sons and two daughters, namely. William, Annie, Nellie and James Albert, the two oldest attending school.
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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.