Steamers and Boats of Sparrow Lake

The Cariella Steamer out of Barrie on Lake Simcoe was one of the steamers that Thomas Stanton worked on as Engineer around 1870.PioneerSteamerThe Pioneer was the first steamer based on Sparrow Lake, owned by Captain Tom Stanton. It provided a service upstream to Severn Bridge circa 1875-1880.spartan2The Spartan was a steamer owned by Tom Stanton 1892-1895 to replace the Pioneer. It was later lengthened by 12 feet and renamed The Lady Franklin in honour of Ellen (Franklin) Stanton his wife. Tom is standing in the bow. The Lady Franklin operated until 1898 when she was sold to a resort on Kashe Lake and later moved to Algonquin Park to service lumber camps owned by Mickle and Dyment. Pocahan1The Pocahontas was purchased by Capt. Tom Stanton about 1893 from the lumberman W.P. Christie, who used her to tow logs to his mill in Severn Bridge under the name “Simcoe.” Scow-like and unwieldy, she was powered by a paddle-wheel mounted on the stern. When she was dismantled about 1895, her hull was sunk as a wharf in front of Stanton Bros. store, where the last of her timbers can still be seen.Gladtidings2In 1903, Thomas Wood from Orillia launched the seven-ton steam tug Glad Tidings, later sold to James H. Jackson II for delivering groceries, coal oil and other freight from his store to the homes of settlers and hotels. lakefield1The Lakefield was a steamer built in Stanton Bay by Frank and Bert Stanton circa 1902 that became the flagship of the Stanton Steamship Line. After many years of service, the Lakefield was traded to Billy Duggan in 1916.Champion1In 1905 Thomas Wood brought a larger steamer up from Orillia on a flat car. The Champion steamer was built by Tom Wood at the same time the Stanton Bros were building the Lakefield circa 1904. It is shown here at the Wiancko Hotel dock.
G-WHIZThe G-Whiz was built by Norman Bennett and James Whiteside (owner of Idylwild Lodge). It was 85 feet in length and was the largest of the Sparrow Lake steamers. (When the owner went to register the boat name, the name he had chosen was already in use, to which he exclaimed G-whiz! It was then decided this might be a good name.) The G-Whiz was in direct competition with the LakeField steamer for river commerce. The two hotels, Bennett’s Hotel and Idylwild Lodge had used the Steamer Champion (owned by Captain Tom Woods) for their river service to Severn Bridge. They now had their own steamer which was launched in 1911. Having twin scews and a longer length and deeper draft, it hung up a few times on the sand delta at the mouth of the Severn and had to blow for help. To their chagrin, the steamer Lakefield came over to pull them off. The G-Whiz boasted two flush toilets on board and was quite a boat for the times. It operated until 1916. The sunken hull stem is still visible on the west bank of the Severn river at the Bennett’s hotel site.Arrawana2Harry Clipsham’s Arrah-wanna was built by the owner, and was used for family outings. It was later replaced by a smaller, outboard powered “Arrah-wanna II.” The Arrah-wanna is above left with the fringe top. View is looking North on the East side of Sparrow Lake.windala1¬†Windala – The Langmuir family lived on the west shore of Sparrow Lake circa 1910.Mailboat06The private mailboat Cuba was owned by Helen`s Isle on the site that later became Wild Echo Lodge. It was used to cross the bay to get mail and groceries from the Stanton Bros Store at Port Stanton. It appears to be a pedal boat. GlimpselakeThe Glympse was part of the Stanton Steamer Line. Later, it was converted to a gas engine around 1910 and served as a cruise boat until the 1950s, based at the Stanton Bros Dock at the south end of Sparrow Lake.Lorne1Lorne – A pleasure craft owned by the Massey Family on the west shore of Sparrow Lake. (Small fringed craft on the right is occupied by Harry and Ina Clipsham.)Pirate2The boat used by Massey Camp (Sparrow Lake Camp) was originally a lifeboat from a Great Lakes steamer. The name came from their activity of making mock pirate raids on the various resorts, to everyone’s delight. This trip was probably to church at the Port Stanton Church of the Good Samaritan. Wes Hunnisett at rear, Bill Herbert at engine. On land, Muriel King Nurse with hat, Frank Stanton in white suit.

Glen Rose
Photo from the collection of Jim Stanton

The Glen Rose was operated in the 1920s by Walter Stanton to supply groceries and sundry to the many cottages on Sparrow Lake. When the Torpitt Road was created the supply boat became redundant, and Walter went on to build the Wildwood Inn resort which opened in 1931.Glim1Glym – The Glym was owned by Stanton Brothers. Small and fast, it toured the lake in the 1920’s. George Stanton is at the wheel in this picture.Redwing2Redwing2 – Harry Schultz’s boat at Mount Royale/Hamyrth Lodge – circa 1930.weedcutter1The weedcutter¬†was the product of Frank Stanton’s ingenuity, a gasoline powered twin-hulled barge with a mechanism to raise or lower a scalloped V-shaped blade that had a side to side oscillation that was quite effective in cutting the weeds of Sparrow Lake. Notice the paddle wheel propulsion, and the rudder at the front. The sunken boat was eventually used as a dock on the site where John Stanton later founded Stanton Airways.Crusader1The Crusader was popular during the 1940 and 50s for sunset cruises and river trips to Swift Rapids, Big Chute and many shore picnics. It was based at the Stanton Bros Store, Port Stanton.RoehlboatRoehl boat – Picture taken in 1943 of Bill Darker with his dad Cecil Darker on the dock. Roehl Boat had a Buchanan gasoline engine.

Compiled by David Stanton and Jim Stanton.

Preserving the Past for the Future