Schooner Oliver Mowat
The stories of the Oliver Mowat are by far my favourite because her journey from launch in 1873 to wreck in 1901 was so well documented and in such wonderfully descriptive language indicative of her era.
She was built in Millhaven by Edouard Beaupre and launched on 15 July 1873. Her specifications were a wooden 3 masted schooner measuring 116 ft. long by 26 ft. wide by 11 ft. deep in her hold, able to carry 341 tonnes with an 18,000 bushels capacity. Her owners were Messrs. Frazer & George.
The following are excerpts taken from the Daily British Whig, Kingston, 16 July 1873….” Bath, a town that has been making steady progress backwards, and has reached a point where progression must cease, [OUCH]was once noted for it’s shipbuilding but it’s near neighbour, Millhaven, yesterday accomplished it’s first achievement in the nautical line enterprise. The new schooner of Messrs. Frazer & George of this city, was launched, and Millhaven and the country around made a gala occasion.”…
…..”there were not less than 2000 persons present at the appointed hour of 2 o’clock and the proportion of well dressed and bright looking country girls unmistakingly declared that the “Haven” would be a most attractive spot as a summer resort for city beaux.”
…..’The new vessel as she sat on the ways was much admired, her model being very graceful indeed, a close examination of her did not detract in the least from the impression gained on first view, for she is perfect in structure, and a credit to her builder, Mr. Beaupre of Portsmouth”…..
……She is a perverse boat, though, she loved the ways fondly, and would not leave them even to accommodate so large and admiring a crowd. The operations for launching were begun at 1:30 but the ordinary means employed were to no avail. Move she would not; perhaps it was not a good day for moving, was too warm for much exertion. The crowd was patient, however, and never ceased its interest in the expectant sight. Every method of hammering, levering and ramming was employed to induce the vessel to act with propriety and a graceful acquiescence becoming the occasion, but they were to be shown to be tricks that were vein as the noted heathen…. at 4:45, just as the word to adopt the last resort, that of the steamer jerking the schooner off, the vessel, as if smarting under the intended indignity, began to move downwards so neatly and gracefully that her former perverseness was overlooked. As she glided away to enter upon her natural element, the fair daughter of the owners. Miss Frazer, christened the new candidate for nautical honors, whose handsome new flag was unfurled, displaying the name “OLIVER MOWAT”.
Attending the launching of the Oliver Mowat were the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Oliver Mowat, brother-in-law to Mr. Fraser, and Mr. Wm Robinson, MPP with members of their families. Judge Burrowes, and other gentlemen together with the wives and daughters of several prominent citizens. …..”Mr. Mowat won several golden opinions, and especially so from the ladies, for his affability of manner, he is most agreeable company, and proved that it is not necessary to put on style to sustain the dignity of a Premier”.
And finally, the author of this piece who is unknown, could not help but give one last jab at Millhaven when he concluded article with…”One impression of Millhaven is that it possesses more “tight” young men on holiday occasions around its taverns than are creditable to an orderly village like it always has been”. [In this case I am sure he means drunk rather than cheap. Sounds like a rivalry of some sort.]
The above extracts are from a much longer article. I have a real soft spot for this style of writing, I find it poetic and very entertaining. In those days, the newspapers and local gossip were not just the way to get the news but also they served as the foremost means of entertainment.
The Oliver Mowat enjoyed a mostly trouble free career. She did have a narrow escape according to an article in the Daily British Whig, Kingston 4 Dec 1876 which reads….”Narrowly Escaped Being Beached”- The schooner Oliver Mowat, Capt. Beaupre, which left port last night, narrowly escaped going ashore early this morning. In a short time after she left port, the wind died away and the vessel drifted towards the west pier to the westward of the lighthouse. Just as she was in danger of being dashed on the west pier, the captain succeeded in getting a line to the beacon pier and vessel was held until this morning when the tug Morey took her in tow and towed her enroute to Kingston. Light tenders Captains Munson and Budds were on hand and took the vessel’s lines. Had it not been for their assistance the vessel would have gone ashore as the crew could not get on the pier”.
In another article, source and date unknown, is the following…. “The Mowat was considered a very lucky boat by mariners and in only one instance can it be realized that she ever came to trouble. About 10 years ago she went ashore near Cobourg, but she was so strong that all that was required after she had been raised was a little caulking and she was good as ever. Alas, her luck ran out on 1 Sept 1921, after nearly 50 years of sailing the Great Lakes. On the 1st of September 1921, near Pennicon Shoal off Main Duck Island, Lake Ontario she was rammed and sunk by the 1700 ton steel steamer Key West. The Captain and First Mate of the Key West were jailed for keeping such a poor lookout. The Oliver Mowat was bound from Oswego to Picton carrying a load of coal. She was always known as a fast sailor, and sadly was a total loss of $10,000.00. Her master at the time of sinking was Captain Thomas Van Duesen. The Captain, the Mate J. Corby and the Cook all lost their lives, 2 other crew survived.
- A noted coincidence at the time of Edouard Beaupre’s death in Portsmouth 1908, the Oliver Mowat approached the Portsmouth Harbour under full sail. The boat he had built, loved and sailed so well was near when he passed away.
The Furthest Back We Go
As I said in the Overview, I have structured the Tree so that I am Generation 1. I did this because that is how Ancestry keeps track, and with over 3000 names on my Tree, I need all the help I can get tracking who is who. Now here is the tricky part…..we can keep adding generations backwards and forwards; as the Tree stands right now I can go back 10 generations. That’s 10 generations to me. BUT to go forward, you just add each generation to the total. Got It? The “oldest” names on the Tree are JOSEPH MORIN 1545-1616 and his wife ? COLLINEAU DE MONTAGUERRE 1545-1640. To me, they are my 10th great grandparents. To my siblings children ie Emily and Hilary for example, they are their 11th great grandparents. To Emily and Hilary’s children, Noah, Matthew, Oliver and Isabelle,- Joseph Morin and wife are their 12th great grandparents. Easy, right?
When I researched back that far the information was scanty other than birth, marriages, off spring and death. So here is a list of the earliest generation that I have found…..
JOSEPH MORIN 1545 1616 married ? COLLINEAU de MONTAGUERRE 1545 -1640 gen 10
JOSEPH MORIN 1569 – 1656 married MARIE ALPHONSINE LACASSE 1564 – 1652 gen 9
CLAUDE MORIN 1591-1640 married JEANNE MOREAU 1595-1640 gen 8
NOEL MORIN 1616 -1680 married HELENE DESPORTES 1620-1675 gen7
It is at this point where the ancestors really start getting interesting. Maybe one day, one of the younger generations will take up the research and find some wonderful tidbits about the earliest generations.
HELENE DESPORTES, my 7th great grandmother had two husbands, 15 children and 75 grandchildren! I wonder if she could remember all of their names? HELENE was the first child born to French settlers in New France (Quebec). Think about that for a minute…. the very first child to be born in Quebec was our ancestor!!!
Her first husband GUILLAUME AUGUSTINE HEBERT 1575 – 1627 fathered 3 children with HELENE. Joseph Hebert 1636-1662 died at the age of 25, Francoise Hebert 1637-1716, and Angelique Hebert 1639-1666 died at the age of 27.
Guillaume’s father, Dr. Louis Gaston Hebert, 1575 – 1627 was born in Paris, and married his wife MARIE ROLLETT 1577-1649, in the year 1601. The Hebert family immigrated to New France with Samuel de Champlain on his voyage in 1617. Dr. Hebert would have been greatly appreciated on this voyage as he was a leading Apothecary of his time.
I’ll back up just a moment here to tell you about the first voyage of Champlain on April 13, 1608. He and his crew departed from Honfleur, France with the intention of establishing a permanent settlement in New France. After a voyage of 2 months, on June 3, he dropped anchor at the seasonal trading post of Tadoussac, established by French merchants at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in 1600. From there he travelled west. For the site of the settlement, Champlain chose a flat area at a a narrow point along the St. Lawrence River where it is joined by the St. Charles River. At the water’s edge the land was covered in walnut trees. The Algonquians had named this area “Kebec” which meant “the narrows”.
Upon arrival, with the Hebert family in 1617, there was only one structure standing, the “Habitation”, that Champlain had built on an earlier visit. Champlain described this land as “fine fertile country”, and he envisioned Quebec as a permanent French settlement in the New World, rather than merely a seasonal trading post. It was Champlain and Hebert who believed in this dream and set about to make it happen.
Dr. Hebert, a farmer decided he needed better farm land so cleared the land and built his farm on the top of the hill overlooking the Habitation. So it was that the HEBERTS became the first permanent settlers in New France and earned the title First Family of Quebec!!! As I mentioned earlier, DR HEBERT was also an Apothecary and is attributed with being the father of pharmacy as we know it today. His name is on many monuments and plaques in Quebec naming him among the first settlers of Quebec, New France. There was even a stamp issued in his honour.
To this day there are many tributes to Louis Hebert found in Quebec City. This is a restaurant Jessica and I dined at in 2015.
The Whole Fam Damily
My first two posts featured my mother, Claire Zita Beaupre 1918-1980, then the family sayings. I thought it was time to introduce more of Claire’s immediate family. This is only part of the Beaupre family.
Beaupre Family Gathering circa 1933
Back Row Left to Right: Clifford Vincent Tisdale 1911-1998, George Norbert Beaupre 1887-1969, Wallace Joseph Beaupre 1914-2004, Joseph Melville Beaupre 1919-?, Edward Vincent Beaupre 1889-1969, Alfred Moffat Beaupre 1908-1972, Stanislas John Beaupre 1881-1949, Lyons Hubert Charles Beaupre 1911-1999
Middle Row left to Right: Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860-1956 Helen Magdalene Small 1882-1969
Front Row Left to Right: , Ethel Marguerite Beaupre Blakey 1894-1994, Claire Zita Beaupre 1918-1980, Loretta Rose Beaupre Tisdale 1884-1971, Johanna McDonnell Beaupre 1884-?
Note: Johanna McDonnell Beaupre was married to George Norbert Beaupre
I find the relationships of the people considering the dates they were born, fascinating. I think it would be helpful to list in chronological order the two families of Peter Moffat Beaupre.
Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860-1956 married Anne Mackey 1857-1897 on Nov. 16 1880 their children:
Stanislas John Beaupre 1881-1949
Mary Esther Beaupre Burns 1883-1922
Loretta Rose Beaupre Tisdale 1884-1971
George Norbert Beaupre 1887-1969
Catharine Francis Beaupre Bowes 1888-1970
Edward Victor Beaupre 1889-1969
Carmel Irene Beaupre McCartney 1892-1957
Ethel Marguerite Beaupre Blakey 1894-1994
Peter Moffat Beaupre 1860 married Helen Magdalene Small 1882-1969 on Nov. 15, 1901 their children:
Anna Delores Beaupre, Hinton, Greer, Culp 1903-?
Peter Wilfred Beaupre 1905-1985
James Lionel Beaupre 1906-1910
Alfred Moffat Beaupre 1908-1992
Lyons Hubert Charles Beaupre 1911-1999
Wallace Joseph Beaupre 1914-2004
Claire Zita Beaupre Keane 1918-1980
If you look at the picture above and find Clifford Tisdale and Joseph Melville Beaupre, you will notice they were born before Claire, and yet she is their Aunt, because they are the children of her siblings. It gets better…… if you notice the birth year of Stanislas John Beaupre at 1881, you will see he is one year older than his new stepmother, Helen Magdalene Small Beaupre who was born in 1882. In fact, when Helen married Peter Moffat, PM, she took on the role of “stepmother” when she was 19, and the “children” ranged in age from 20 to 7 years old!!!!
It can be very complex when trying to keep track of who is who and how are they related to each other. If you have any questions, or if you notice any errors, please do not hesitate to contact me. I love talking about our family.
The Beaupre Family: Sayings
Please note: One of my loyal followers emailed to me asking for a clarification about some data on my last blog. They are correct; in the first sentence of the article below the picture of St. Michael’s School, the original author wrote that “she interviewed PM Beaupre in 1948 and that he was 98 at the time”. He may have looked 98 , but actually he was only 88. Perhaps it was a typo. PM Beaupre died in 1956 at the age of 96. Thanks so much for your question.
I am sure every family passed down it’s sayings from one generation to the next and ours was no exception. My mother, Claire Beaupre, seemed to have a saying for every occasion. I find myself frequently repeating these sayings and have heard on numerous occasions my siblings doing the same. The following is a list of these much beloved terms:
Bless Your Little Pointed Head….her standard reply after we couldn’t find the object right in front of our nose or when we uttered something particularly idiotic.
You Have To Be Dead To Be A Martyr….. although normally a very kind and loving mother, her patience would wear thin at times when we would complain bitterly at our lot in life
No Sense No Feeling……when we would walk around with our coats flying open and no hats or mitts in cold weather
I Love You All Dearly, But Next Time Around It’s Goldfish….. this was a certain indication that we were skating on very thin ice
They Have Guardian Angels and Insurance Policies…..this was uttered in answer to someone asking Claire why she didn’t seem worried that we were playing on the railings of a bridge.
A male friend would ask my mother how she was feeling? Her instant reply (with a twinkle in her eye) was always, “Fine, Want To Feel?”
When anyone would express concern about dying and going to Hell, my mother would just laugh and say “Don’t worry, they’ll have to stoke Hell a lot longer to get it hot enough for you”, OR, “Well at least you’ll be warm”.
As a teenager, when I would ask her to buy me another pair of shoes, she would inevitably say… If They’re Looking At Your Feet, Then You’re Doing Something Wrong.
Another gem when things were going right: God is good and the Devil ain’t bad
We often had guests at the dinner table, but when it was just the family, we were allowed to pick up a steak or chop bone so that we could enjoy every morsel….but only to a point. If we were knawing too long or too noisily, Claire would lean over, look us straight in the eye and say…would you like to take that down on the floor?… A clear signal to put the bone down.
Claire’s best advice to us was Be Careful What You Wish For, You’re Almost Certain To Get It!
Claire probably heard some of these saying from her parents. Helen Magdalene Small, nickname, Henner, her mother, also had some special phrases:
Just An Inch To Say I Tasted It……. her standard reply when asked if she would have dessert. I understand she would then proceed to eat the entire dessert with enthusiasm.
I Never Closed My Eyes…… when asked if she had a good night’s sleep. On at least two occasions my father, Basil Derek Keane, found this most frustrating as the family pub, which Henner lived above was vandalized twice over the years and when asked if she heard anything she replied…I didn’t hear a thing!
What Would The Neighbours Think!…..this was very common of this and previous generations. What the neighbours thought was of paramount importance, and to act in a refined and upstanding manner was everything.
Indulge me now as I step outside Beaupre family content to add some of my father’s line. The Keane’s were from London England and before that Ireland. In London my father’s family lived in a district of London where they would have been considered Cockney. I assume some of his mother’s sayings, and his, were derived from London and Ireland.
Eat It Against Ya Do…..this is still one of my favourites. It meant, I know you don’t want to eat it, but be quiet and eat it anyway.
Put That In Your Sky Rocket…… when handed something from my father that he wanted us to put in our pocket. I know this was part of the Cockney rhyming slang.
Tell Me What It Is And I’ll Tell You What It Eats! ……..usually heard when we were behind a slow driver and my father was anxious to get home to his lunch after church on Sunday
The Pig Will Be Up In A Minute…..another one of my father’s gems which he said every time he burped. I’m still not really clear about that one.
If any family members can think of any other sayings, please add them in the comments and I’ll include them in an updated version. Thanks!
Claire Zita Beaupre…the school years
Claire circa 1928
I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of “Celebrating the Centennial The Church of the Good Thief 1894-1994“. It contains a wealth of family history as well as stories about the Village of Portsmouth. One of the chapters outlines the “Chronology of St. Michael’s School“. “ The first record of a separate school in Portsmouth dates back to 1850 when one was established in a frame house on Richard St. near the waterfront. The next school, on McDonald St was built in 1859. A subscription list was put out at the time to which many citizens, both Catholic and Protestant, contributed…… The subscription list was carefully preserved by P.M. Beaupre, whose grandfather, Edward, was one of the original subscribers and an officer of the local school board. The recording of donations was in pounds, shillings and pence.” P.M.Beaupre is Claire’s father. And of special note, Edward Beaupre was P.M’s father, NOT his grandfather. This is a perfect example of why researching the past can be so tricky.
We then fast forward to 1925, which is about the time young Claire would have started school. “In 1925 the building was enlarged to accommodate junior classes. Prior to this time the junior students had been taught in a nearby house, which was also the home to the Sisters of Providence who taught in the parish”. The house they are referring to is behind the Church of the Good Thief. Less than a decade ago, that same house came up for sale. I was living in Vancouver at the time and joked with my husband that we should buy it. He said he wouldn’t take the chance because we would probably be struck by lighting as I was a fallen away Catholic!
1934 Until 1934 the school had two schoolrooms and two teachers. From 1911 onward, teachers had been provided by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, who by this time resided at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Kingston. The Separate School Board had requested the sisters to teach at St. Michael’s School the pupils from the orphanage at St. Mary’s of the Lake.
After graduating from primary school, Claire then attend The Notre Dame Convent at the corner of Bagot St. and Johnson St. in Kingston. She had many stories to tell about her education with the nuns. My favourite is when Claire and her all female classmates approached one of the younger more “progressive” nuns to ask if the nun would approach the Mother Superior to obtain permission for the graduating class to hold a dance in honour of their graduation. This had never been done before, and to even ask was considered outrageous. The class said they would make all the decorations. cover all the expenses of the entertainment and even pay to have the gymnasium floor redone after the dance. After many sleepless nights, and much toing and froing, permission was finally granted. I guess the young nun was pretty persuasive because the Mother Superior even declared that the other nuns could stay up late, bedtime was usually 9:00pm, to see the girls in their dresses etc. The whole Convent was thrown into a hive of excitement and activity. After months of preparation and anticipation, the big day was only a week away. Everything was ordered and arranged, all the dresses were made and all the corsages were ordered. And then in one moment it all came crashing down. One of the older nuns had overheard two of the girls talking about their dates. Practically fainting on the way, the nun went straight to tell the Mother Superior what she had heard. The decision was swift and final…the dance was cancelled!!!! In all the planning and preparations, no one had thought to mention to the nuns that there would be boys attending. As far as the girls were concerned, that was a given. But of course, the nuns saw it differently. The idea that men would be walking the halls of the Convent was just too terrible to contemplate. No amount of pleading could change the Mother Superior’s mind. The dance was cancelled and there would be no more discussion. It was a very disappointed graduation class that year. I know the younger generations reading this story will be baffled, but that’s just the way it was in 1930’s!
In Claire’s day, they had different terminology to describe the various grades. It was something like Junior Matriculation and Senior Matriculation. If any of my followers remember the correct names and to which grades they referred, I would love you to share in Comments. Thanks.
Happy 99th Birthday Claire Zita Beaupre Keane
The picture above was taken at the backdoor of her home in Portsmouth, Frontenac County, Ontario. Claire was 19.
Happy Birthday to my mother Claire Beaupre Keane born on April 27th, 1918. She was the youngest of 15 children to Peter Moffat Beaupre (1860-1956) and Helen Magdalene Small (1882-1969). At the time of her birth her father was 56 years old and her mother was 36. Her eldest brother Stanislas John Beaupre (1881-1949) was 37. Peter Moffat Beaupre had 2 wives, Claire was born the youngest child of the second marriage.
Claire was the apple of her father’s eye, probably because she was the baby and because the 5 children before her were all boys. Claire once told me that her mother, Helen preferred girls, so that each time she became pregnant she would pick out girl’s names. When the children turned out to be boys, she just saved the chosen girl’s names so that when my mother was born she was named Claire Zita Martina Teresa Helen Bridget Mary Ann! Of course officially she was christened Claire Zita Beaupre. When Claire’s older siblings went traveling or off to war, they would write home to little Claire and address the envelope with all 9 of her names.
When the picture above was taken, her father was 6’4″ in a time when the average height of men was 5’7″. Her mother was approximately 5’8″ when the average height of women was 5’5″. Claire by this time had grown into a statuesque beauty of 5’10”. An amazon in her generation. Lucky for her, she met and married Basil Derek Keane (1920-1972) who was 6’4″ tall.