Captain C. R. Baker
Captain C.R. Baker, one of the younger men connected with the lake marine, has sailed more than half his life and held many responsible posts. He was born in Willoughby, Ohio, February 16, 1867, the son of Edwin Baker, who was a lake engineer for a number of years and is now engaged as engineer of the water works at Willoughby.
Captain Baker began his sailing career in 1881, having completed the course of instruction in the Willoughby public schools. He was with the schooner Negaunee two years, and with the schooners Thomas Quayle and Ahira Cobb one year each, during the next few years serving for brief periods on the steamers S.E. Sheldon, Wallula, Mitchell and Hesper, and the schooners Erastus Corning, Harvey Bissell, Conrad Reid and St. Lawrence. For some time following he was second mate of the steamer R.P. Ranney, of the E.B. Hale for two seasons, mate of the Henry Chisholm one season, second mate of the Maurice B. Grover one season, and mate of the George Stone for two seasons. During 1896 he sailed the schooner Samuel P. Ely, and the following season was again on the Stone as mate. On November 17, 1888, when Captain Baker was in the Bissell, that vessel went ashore on Point Abbey, in the Straits, in a blinding snow storm. She was scuttled to save her from pounding to pieces and remained there eight days before she was pumped out and released. When the steam pumps were placed on board, it became necessary to close the openings through which the water had been admitted, and this task was delegated to Captain Baker, who was then a seaman before the mast, and Joseph Langdon, the second mate. The work was most difficult and exhausting, as the two men were forced to stand immersed in the icy water and to repeatedly drop below the surface, in order to fasten the bolts at the bottom of the shutter which had been opened. He succeeded so well, however, in spite of all difficulties, that the vessel was pumped out and floated. Captain Baker was mate of the Stone when that vessel collided with and sunk the Kimball in Saginaw bay, April 26, 1895.
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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.