Captain Washington B. Harrow
Captain Washington B. Harrow, a prominent citizen and shipmaster of Fort Huron, Mich., and assistant manager of the Thompson line of tugs at Sault Ste. Marie, is a son of George and Lucretia (Peer) Harrow, and was born at Algonac, Mich., January 13, 1848.
He is the grandson of Capt. Alexander Harrow, who was an officer in the British navy during the war of the Revolution, and in command of one of the vessels of that government. His grandmother was taken prisoner by the Indians, at Monroe, Mich., when but five years of age, and held by them ten years. She was released by Capt. Alexander Harrow, who sent her to school at Detroit, and some years later made her his wife. She lived to the advanced age of one hundred years, and died in Algonac, Mich., in 1865. Captain Harrow's father, George Harrow, was born on the banks of the St. Clair river in 1806, and owned and sailed the little schooner Pilot, in his own business. The members of the father's family were: Mary, who was drowned in the St. Clair river while young; George, who died at the age of eighteen; Mary Jane; Captain James P., master and part owner of the schooner Nelson Bloom; Lucy and Lucretia; John K., who has sailed on the lakes; Henry C., at times captain and engineer of the steamer M. F. Merrick; Charlotte; Catherine, now the widow of Capt. William Roberts; Capt. Washington B., the subject of this article; and Capt. William G., last master of the steamer W. W. Richardson.
Capt. Washington B. Harrow acquired a public-school education at Algonac, afterward attending a commercial college at Detroit. His lakefaring career began in 1858, when he shipped on the side-wheel steamer United, then engaged in towing on the St. Clair river, remaining with her until the fall of 1861. During the winter of 1861-62 his father built the side-wheel steamer Young American, and Washington sailed on her in different capacities until the fall of 1872, being made chief engineer in 1864, after taking out an engineer's license, and held that berth until 1868. The next season he took out master's papers and sailed her four seasons. In the spring of 1873 he was appointed master of the tug Ontario, and sailed her until July, 1877, transferring to the tug Peabody, and closing the season on the tug Miller. He then purchased the hull of the tug W. H. Pringle, converted her into a schooner, and sailed her until the fall of 1883, when he sold her and was appointed master of the barge Potter. In the spring of 1886 he entered the employ of Capt. B. B. Inman, as master of the tug Cora B., and took her up to Duluth. He was transferred to the tug J. L. Williams the next season, and sailed her until July, 1888, when he took the steamer Ossifrage, plying between Duluth and Port Arthur, until July 1889, closing that season in the tug J. L. Williams. In the spring of 1890 Captain Inman sent two tugs to operate at the Sault, Captain Harrow going with them as master of the O. W. Cheney until August when the tugs were sold. He then went to Port Huron and chartered the tug George Hand, and sailed her the balance of the season.
In the spring of 1891, Captain Harrow came out as master of the lake tug, A. J. Wright, and sailed her until July 4, when he purchased an interest in the lake tug M. F. Merrick, stationed at the Sault, and sailed her until the close of 1895, doing many notable wrecking jobs with her, among which may be mentioned the release of the steamers C. J. Kershaw, Ironton and Ketcham, all out high and dry on the beach, and the steamer America, which was sunk. In 1876 Captain Harrow acquired an interest by the purchase of stock in the Thompson Wrecking and Towing Association, and was chosen as super- intendent of the tugs of the association stationed at the Sault, and holds that position at this writing, sailing only as occasion requires.
Fraternally he is a Master Mason, and he is a member of the Ship Masters Association, holding Pennant No. 388.
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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.