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Misc Stories

BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS


In a former article, where I spoke of our family (the family of Oliver Williams) coming to Detroit in the autumn of 1815 on board of the schooner Mink, I overlooked an incident relating to the Mink that I think should not be passed by. The schooner Mink (report said) was built upon Lake Superior, by the Hudson Bay company, for the transportation of their goods and furs up and down that lake. The Mink, by accident or otherwise, ran the rapids of the Sault Ste. Marie safely, and for many years ran on the lower lakes. I remem-er hearing it said that she was driven down the Sault river in a gale of wind. It seems impossible, when one stands and sees the Indians run those rapids, with their canoes, requiring the greatest skill to clear the rocks in safety, yet the schooner Mink made the trip without touching a rock. Perhaps no other animal but a "Mink" could have succeeded as well, being a water animal. I must say we thought very poorly of her as a passenger vessel in 1815, for her accommodations were very poor indeed; the cabin was only four or five feet high and we could not stand upright in it, and the bilge water scented the cabin awfully, so bad that the family camped on the deck under a tent made with sails that the captain was kind enough to furnish us.
In the days when the Pontiac railroad was run (or walked) by a single horse, there was an old couple who took passage from Pontiac for Detroit. Mr/ Alfred Williams, called Salt Williams, was on board the train. The old lady became fatigued and, addressing Mr. Williams, not knowing he was one of the proprietors of the road, she remarked that they went very slowly and she would like to know when they would get to Detroit.

Michigan


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