On a snowy night in February 1972, the Toronto Marine Historical Society was privileged to have as its guest speaker Mr. Thomas E. Appleton. This gentleman, in his capacity as Marine Historian of Canada's Ministry of Transport, spoke to us about the vessels of the Canadian Coast Guard. It was about this same subject that he wrote his first book, Usque ad Mare.
During the last four years Mr. Appleton has been gathering material on the famous Allan Royal Mail Line which had its beginnings with the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company in 1854. He has been able to piece together not only the corporate history of the company, but also the personal stories of the five Allan Brothers and their families. The result, entitled Ravenscrag, has now been published by McClelland & Stewart Ltd. and is available in local bookstores.
The narrative traces the history of the Allan Line right up to October 1st, 1915, at which time the company was absorbed by its competitor, the Canadian Pacific Railway, in the formation of Canadian Pacific Ocean Services. The story has been put together in a concise and highly readable manner and Mr. Appleton's fine sense of humour is evident throughout.
Ravenscrag will be welcomed by the many members of T.M.H.S. who are interested in the development of passenger services between the United Kingdom and the east coast and St. Lawrence River areas of Canada. The volume contains a complete fleet listing of Allan Line vessels and particulars are given of each sailing ship and steamer operated on salt water routes as well as those ships used in coastal and inland trades. A fine picture section containing many rare views is provided and for the specialists there is a complete bibliography.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.