Captain George Murchison
Captain George Murchison, of the steamer Queen City, was born in Toronto, in 1849, his parents also being natives of Canada. He attended school in Toronto, but was tempted to try the fortunes of a sailor on the Great Lakes at a very early age. In fact the Captain's love for the water caused him to take an unceremonious leave of school and friends to ship on board the large timber schooner Cecelia, of Windsor. This first experience of the sailor's life was short lived, as young Murchison was found by his anxious family and taken home. This, however, failed to quench his ardor and love of "A life on the foaming main," and he again shipped, this time on the schooner Primrose, of Consecon, after which he joined other schooners, serving but a short time on them; then he shipped as deckhand on the steamer Rothesay Castle, plying between Hamilton and Toronto and Port Dalhousie and was promoted successively to the posts of wheelsman and second mate, transferring from this to other steamers. In the early days of the ferry service between Toronto and the Island he was captain of the old steamer Bouquet, and afterward took her up to Hamilton as an excursion steamer between that city and "Brant House," Burlington, Canada. Then Captain Murchison saw service with the Humber Steam Ferry Company, was on the Annie Craig, a boat which was owned by Messrs. O'Keefe & Co., the well-known brewers, and which was eventually burned during the great Esplanade fire of a few years ago. Then he was with the Doty Ferry Company, and Church Street Ferry Company, respectively, staying with the last- named company until the year 1889, when he became master of the excursion steamer Steinhoff, now the Queen City. During the earlier part on the steamer Lakeside, trading between Toronto and St. Catharines, and the season of 1898 found him with the Industrial Exhibition Association of Toronto, engaged in purchasing boats and fitting them out to represent the battleship Maine, and the Spanish fleet in readiness for bombardment. These boats were exhibited during the exhibition held in Toronto.
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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.