R. T. Johnston
R.T. Johnston, mate of the steamer Lakeside, was born in Kingston, Ont., and during his earlier years resided in Toronto, where he attended the public schools for several years. On leaving school he engaged in various occupations on land until the year 1888, when he shipped aboard the steamer J.W. Steinhoff (now the Queen City), at that time commanded by Captain Pollock, and owned by William Barrett, of Toronto. From this boat he went on the propeller Northern King, which ran between Buffalo and Duluth, and remained on her seven months. His next berth was on the schooner Merrill, which carried iron ore and lumber between Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago and other lake ports, and after three months' service on her he transferred to the propeller Jay Gould, which was engaged in the Chicago and Lake Superior trade. In 1890 we find him on the steam-barge Orion, which was owned by the Collins Bay Forwarding Company, and was engaged in the timber trade between Collins Bay - a port about five miles from Kingston - and Lake Superior. Then he shipped on the schooner St. Louis, a lumber trader plying between Georgian Bay ports, Tonawanda, Buffalo and Oswego, on which he remained until 1892 when he changed to the fine new side-wheel steamer Garden City. After one season on this boat he changed to the propeller Nipigon, which carried lumber between Ogdensburg, N. Y., and Lake Superior ports, and was on her until he was offered and accepted the position of first officer on the steamer Lakeside, which runs between Toronto, Port Dalhousie and St. Catharines. She is one of the best managed and most popular boats on Lake Ontario, and is ably commanded by the genial Captain Wigle. Mr. Johnston recalls many interesting experiences in his career on the lakes. He was out in the terrible storm of 1888, when the propeller Georgia was lost in Georgian Bay, all on board, however, being rescued and taken ashore. Six or seven years ago he was out on the Northern King in a bad storm, the same which caused the foundering of the steamer Western Reserve.
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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.