Saturday, February 15, 2014

Square Riggers and Schooners

I read a news report this week about the possibility of Lake Superior coming close to freezing completely over.  I understand from the article that this hasn't happened in 35 years.  This reminded me of something I read that was written by my grandfather's brother.  About 1935 he wrote a history about my mother's family.  In it he tells about that family moving from New York State to Duluth, Minnesota in 1893.  Here is the excerpt I was thinking about.

"The big boats moving up or down the bay were an endless source of wonder to us children, so were also the little puffing self-important tugs that seemed to be always busy bustling here and there about other ships business, towing booms of logs into position for the saw-mills, or helping the larger vessels into and out of their berths. Schooners were often seen and once at least we saw a square rigger come around the point. When the bay froze over it made a wonderful skating rink which was taken advantage of by most of the older children in town as well as many of the grown ups."

My grandfather would have been 10 years old that winter.  I could only think how wonderful it must have been for him to witness those sailing ships, in and out of the harbor.  In another piece written by my grandfather, that I can't lay my hands on at the moment, he tells about the bay at Duluth freezing and about how much fun it was to ice skate around the big ships that were frozen into the ice in the harbor.

I don't know as I would like to go back to live at that time, but seeing the sailing ships and the pleasure of ice skating in the harbor appeals to me.  Life was so much more simple then.  That appeals to me the most.


  1. Some memories are good, others killing. You sure have storehouse of wonderfully good ones.

  2. Stephen...That's only because I made a decision to put the killing ones on the back burner - and turn off the fire. That's what keeps me sane - or what passes for sane! I want the good memories out front, so one day maybe my kids and grandkids will have an interest.

  3. I love the tall ships. Good philosophy on bad memories there, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. Come back anytime you feel like it.

  4. Welcome, Gorges, and thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog - read it every day. I would have loved to have seen the tall ships in my grandfather's day. As far as the memories go, seems if you leave the bad ones out, they fester and get worse. I would rather concentrate on the good stuff.