Heritage \ Writings \

Captain George A. McCoy (1854-?)
Maritime Biography:
Born in St. Clair, MI. Worked in Bay City, MI. Retired in Cleveland, OH.
  • Courtesy of "Links to the Past" website.
  • History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 2 by J.B. Mansfield
    Published Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1899.



    Captain George A. McCoy, the popular master of the side-wheel passenger steamer Superior, plying between Cleveland and Euclid Beach Park, was born in St. Clair, Mich., on December 20, 1854. He is the son of George and Elizabeth (Kitchen) McCoy. At the age of twelve he adopted the live of a sailor, sailing on small scows and schooners trading between Bay City and Port Huron as a pastime during vacations, going to the public schools at St. Clair during the winter months.

    In the spring of 1870 he shipped in earnest on the ferry Hattie T. Brown, plying between Bay City and Banks (now West Bay City). The next two seasons he secured a berth on the larger ferry boat J. G. Hubbard, which plyed between Essexville and Bay City. In 1893 he was wheelsman on the steamer Nelson Mills, followed by a season on the A.A. Turner in the same capacity. The seasons of 1875-76 he passed as a wheelsman on the steamers R. Prindiville and S. D. Caldwell, respectively. In 1877 he entered the employ of the Bay City and Alpena Company, and remained on that route five years, as wheelsman on the passenger and freight steamers George L. Dunlap, Metropolis, Dove and Arundell alternatively, finally being promoted to the office of mate and sailing on all in that capacity. In the spring of 1882 Captain McCoy took out master's papers, and sailed the rafting tugs Willie Brown and Marion Teller for T. H. McGraw & Co., for three years, after which he took command of the side-wheel steamer Emerald, which was also engaged in raft towing. In 1886 he was appointed master of the W. A. Avery. The next spring he came out as mate of the new steamer Elfin-Mere, and in 1888 he was appointed master of the passenger steamer Lucille, plying between Saginaw, Bay City and other shore ports.

    In the spring of 1890 he removed to Port Huron, Mich., and entered the employ of N. Mills as master of the schooner Leader, remaining on her two seasons when he advanced to the command of the steamer Point Abino, sailing her two seasons, after which he again assumed command of the Leader. He came out in the spring of 1895 as mate with Capt. D. A. Hutchinson on the steamer Iosco, remaining until July, when he was appointed master of the passenger excursion steamer Superior, holding this command until the close of the pleasure season 1897, when he was made the master of the steamer J. S. Fay, on which he closed the year.

    He is a member of the Ship Masters Association No. 2 of Port Huron, and carries Pennant No. 880; also of the beneficial order of the Royal Arcanum. He is one of those masters designated as "lucky," never having met with an accident to his boat, or lost a man.

    On February 12, 1877, Captain McCoy was united by marriage to Miss Sarah Fitzgerald, of St. Clair. Their children are: Bessie, Nellie, Edward, Harry and Allie. He removed with his family to Cleveland in 1896, and they reside at No. 253 Washington street.

    Additional Notes.

      1880 - Census: West Bay City, Bay, Mich.

    • McCoy, George - b. 1855 Mich. - post master.
    • Sarah M., wife - b. 1859 Mich.
    • Anne E., dau. - b. 1878 Mich.
    • Sarah E., dau. - b. 1879 Mich.

      1920 - Census: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.

    • McCoy, George A. - age 54, b. Mich.
    • Sarah, wife - age 50, b. Mich.
    • Longtin, Elizabeth A, dau. - age 32, b. Mich. - married
    • Longtin, Ignatius, son-inlaw - age 34, b. Ohio
    • Longtin, Dolores M, g-dau. - age 6, b. Ohio
    • Helen, dau. - age 30, b. Mich.
    • Alice, dau. - age 24, b. Mich.
    Related Pages/Notes

    1867 Great Lakes Map
    (click to enlarge)
    Related Bay-Journal Pages
    None at this time.
    People Referenced
    Fitzgerald, Sarah (wife)
    Hutchinson, D.A. Capt.
    Kitcher, Elizabeth (mother)
    Longtin, Dolores (g-dau)
    Longtin, Ignatius (son-inlaw)
    McCoy, Allie (dau.)
    Mccoy, Bessie (dau.)
    McCoy, Edward (son)
    McCoy, George (father)
    McCoy, George A (subject)
    McCoy, Harry (son)
    McCoy, Nellie (dau.)
    McCoy, Sarah E. (dau) Mills, N.
    Subjects Referenced
    Banks, MI
    Bay City, MI
    Bay City & Alpena Co.
    Cleveland, OH
    Essexville, MI
    Euclid Beach Park
    Port Huron, MI
    Royal Arcanum
    Saginaw, MI
    Ship Masters Assoc.
    St. Clair, MI
    T.H. McGraw & Co.
    West Bay City
    A.A. Turner (steamer)
    Arundell (steamer)
    Dove (steamer)
    Elfin-Mere (steamer)
    Emerald (side-wheel)
    George L. Dunlap (steamer)
    Hattie T. Brown (ferry)
    Iosco (steamer)
    J.G. Hubbard (ferry)
    J.S. Fay (steamer)
    Leader (schooner)
    Lucille (steamer)
    Marion Teller (tug)
    Metropolis (steamer)
    Nelson Mills (steamer)
    Point Abino (steamer)
    R. Prindiville (steamer)
    S.D. Caldwell (steamer)
    Superior (steamer)
    W.A. Avery (steamer)
    Willie Brown (tug)
    Internet References
    Links to the Past
    Online book, "History of the Great Lakes," Vols. 1 & 2, by J.B. Mansfield.
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.