Captain Charles Hubbard
Captain Charles Hubbard was born in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1849. His father was a salt-water sailor and was master of the clipper-ship American Congress when she was in the prime of her beauty.
Charles Hubbard went to sea out of Philadelphia when but fourteen years old, his first voyage lasting four years and taking him into every quarter of the globe, touching at nearly all the notable ports. He became second mate and mate while quite young, and was master of the steamer Delaware when but twenty-one years of age. In 1865 he enlisted in the United States navy and was assigned to the transport Delaware, afterward being promoted to the office of quartermaster, which position he held six months. He was honorably discharged at the close of the war, and was in Washington the evening of President Lincoln's assassination. Captain Hubbard then shipped on a vessel bound for Liverpool. In 1866 he shipped out of Liverpool on the full-rigged ship Borrowdale, which carried on a ride forty-five sails, to catch the trade winds, and he remained on her one year, plying between Liverpool and Australia in the merchant trade. The following season he went as mate of the ship Young America, the voyage taking him to the White Sea, touching at Archangel in Russia; the Baltic Sea ports; Dantzic and Hanover in Germany; Havre, France; London and Liverpool, and thence home. His next ship was the Pocahontas, which took him into Mediterranean ports in Egypt and around the Cape of Good Hope. In 1868-69 he tried his fortune as a gold digger in Australia, and after realizing fairly well he took passage on his old ship, the Borrowdale, thence east by way of Cape Horn in the Pocahontas. In 1870 he sailed out of Bath, Maine, on the full-rigged ship Virginia, and the following year on the Caledonia, leaving his ship at New Orleans. In the spring of 1872 he took passage for the north, stopping at Chicago, out of which port he shipped on the schooner Lizzie Throop; the next trip he was appointed mate of her and he made several trips in the fall as master of the same schooner. She was afterward lost on Lake Michigan. During the winter he went down to New Orleans and sailed the schooner Florida on the Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico. In the spring he returned to Chicago and shipped as second mate of the schooner Bigelow, on which he served all season. In 1874 he shipped as mate of the E.R. Williams, and remained on her three seasons, making his home at Toledo, Ohio, during the winter. Freights were good in those days, shippers paying fourteen cents per bushel on corn, Toledo to Oswego. In the spring of 1877 he went as mate of the schooner Marion W. Page, of Milan, a new boat, which at that time was one of the largest on the lakes, carrying 50,000 bushels of wheat.
In 1878-79 the Captain was master of the schooner William Shupe, which was lost on Lake Huron in the fall of 1894. In the fall of 1879 he was transferred, also as master, to the schooner Charles Foster, then the largest sailing vessel on the lakes; she carried 73,000 bushels of wheat. The following season he went as master of the Marion W. Page and sailed her until the fall of 1882. In the spring of 1883 he brought out the big schooner Golden Age new. She was built six miles up the Huron river, by V. Fries, of Milan, Ohio, in the hope that she could be floated down in February with the spring freshet; but owing to a dry spring they could not float her until June. On the 20th of that month it commenced to rain, and continued for three days, and on the 23rd the river rose nine feet. Captain Hubbard, with the assistance of four or five farmers, started her, chopping away the trees which impeded her course wherever her helm would catch on in the winding of the river. She stuck in the railroad bridge and detained the mail train over an hour, but finally reached the lake. This novel mode of sailing a big vessel was witnessed by thousands of people. The first trip of the Golden Age was made in August and she brought down 100,000 bushels of corn, then the largest cargo on record, as was her cargo of ore, 2,504 gross tons, from Marquette the following season. This was followed by a cargo of 2,666 gross tons of ore from Escanaba to Cleveland on 15 feet 11 inches draught. Captain Hubbard sailed this big schooner four years, during which time she made money enough to pay for herself.
In 1886 the Captain abandoned sailing for a time and went into the ship brokerage business in Toledo, Ohio. He owned the schooner Renokee, bought the tug interests owned by Mr. T. Huntley, of Toledo, and also had an interest in the schooner Pulaski, which was lost in the fall of 1887 on Lake Michigan, near Good Harbor. In 1888-89 he purchased an interest in the steamer Monohansett and consort Massasoit and the steamer G.G. Hadley; in 1891 he bought an interest in the steamer Pathfinder, and he was manager of a fleet of seven vessels until the fall of 1893. On account of the stringency of the following year the greater part of his vessel property was lost. In the spring of 1896 Captain Hubbard commenced sailing again as master of the schooner Marion W. Page, in the employ of V. Fries, of Milan, with whom he had been twenty years, less the time he was in the brokerage business.
Captain Hubbard was united in marriage, in the fall of 1878, to Miss Rose E. Poland, of Toledo, Ohio. Their children are George C. Hubbard, born in August, 1883, the date the Golden Age made her first trip; and Otis K., born in 1891. The family residence is at No. 1490 Erie street, Toledo. Captain Hubbard is a prominent Mason of the thirty- second degree; a charter member and treasurer of the American Association of Masters and Pilots, at Toledo, Ohio, and a member of the Ship Masters Association. He carries Pennant No. 572.
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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.