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Capt. William Patterson (1857-?)
Maritime Biography.
  • 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 William Patterson was for many years a shipmaster of prominence on the Great Lakes, but at the present time he has withdrawn from marine work and is engaged in business with Van de Boe, Hager & Co., who are probably the largest real-estate, sub-dividers in the world. The Captain was born October 14, 1857, at Picton, Ont., and spent all the early years of his life at his native place.

    When a lad of fifteen he sailed on the Bay of Quinte as boy on the H. N. Todman, and on several other schooners owned by his father, William Patterson. At the age of eighteen years he left the bay and came to the lakes, first shipping as man before the mast on the William Crosthwaite, where he remained part of a season. He then acted as mate on the Flying Mist, and after laying her up at Chicago, came on the M. E. Tremble, before the mast. He spent two years as seaman, second mate and mate upon the Camden, and then began steamboating as wheelsman on the Selah Chamberlin. In the seasons following he acted as second mate and mate on the schooners Richard Mott, J. H. Mead, Potomac, Lucinda Van Valkenberg, Moonlight, Porter, Lucern and Marengo, after which he accepted a position as officer in the prison at Portsmouth, where he continued for some time. In 1880 he went to Manitoba, where he remained until October, 1881, during the boom of the Canadian Pacific, and then returning to the water he took command of the John Gaskin, upon which he remained two years. The next season he served on the J. H. Boody in the same capacity, and in the succeeding seasons sailed the S. L. Watson, the schooner North West, and in 1895 the steamer Australasia.

    Captain Patterson was married January 21, 1881, to Miss Annie Morton, daughter of the Hon. James Morton, of Kingston, Ont., and they have two children, Margaret and Helen, both of whom are in school, the elder receiving instruction at an Ursuline convent. The Captainís parents, William and Mary (Mulholland) Patterson, were both born in Ireland, the father coming to the United States in 1846. He spent about twenty years of his life as a salt water navigator, and since 1865 has sailed the Great Lakes, being still engaged in marine work at Bay City. The mother departed this life in March, 1879.

    Related Pages/Notes

    1867 Great Lakes Map
    (click to enlarge)
    Related Bay-Journal Pages
    None at this time.
    People Referenced

    Morton, James (Hon.)
    Patterson (Morton), Annie
    Patterson, Helen (dau.)
    Patterson, Margarette (dau.)
    Patterson, Wm. (father)
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Bay of Quinte
    Canadian Pacific
    Chicago, IL
    Great Lakes
    Kingston, Ont.
    Picton, Ont.
    Portsmouth prison
    Ursuline convent
    Van de Boe, Hager & Co.

    Flying Mist
    H.N. Todman
    J.H. Boody
    J.H. Mead
    John Gaskin
    Lucinda VanValkenberg
    M.E. Tremble
    North West
    Richard Mott
    Selah Chamberlin
    S.L. Watson
    Wm. Crosthwaite
    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.