July 10, 2013 by

Capt. Douglas & Leila Murray House (1951)

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Categories: 1950s

226226 Division Street South

Captain Douglas Murray was a very modern fisherman. In 1946, he was one of the first to install at radio-telephone on his boat, the “John D,” which allowed him to “contact shore at any time and get weather reports from stations two and three hundred miles away.” When Murray replaced this boat eight years later, the new “John D” (built in Port Dover) featured “a number of firsts for fishing tugs in the Great Lakes including a Sperry automatic magnetic pilot, Vicker’s hydraulic steering, and a Crossley 30-inch net lifter powered by a 10 horse power hydraulic motor. Equipment also consists of a Bendix echo depth sounder and a Jefferson Travis ship-to-shore telephone.” This home was built by Capt. Murray and his wife Leila in 1951 on the corner of Division Street South and Melbourne.

Mr. Douglas Murray, son of Mr and Mrs Lorne Murray, returned home on Sunday, after spending the summer at Killarney, Northern Ontario, where he has been building a boat for his fishing business.

The Kingsville Reporter, October 8, 1936 p.4

Fishing Boats Break Ice To Lay Their Nets

The Kingsville fishing fleet made a record yesterday. For the first time in a number of years, the boats were able to get through the the [sic] ice on the opening day of the season, March 1. The fish tug, “The John D”, owned by Mr. Douglas Murray, broke out in the morning and set their nets. After “The John D” had started out through the heavy ice which was 7 or 8 inches thick, two other boats “The Nancy R” and “The Foster Brothers” followed.

“The John D” was well supplied with boxes of potatoes, canned goods and 850 lbs. of coal for any emergency.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 2, 1944 p.8

Modern Fishing Craft Joins Kingsville’s Fleet

Yesterday the most modern fishing boat on the Great Lakes made her maiden voyage out of Kingsville as a working boat when the “John D”, Douglas Murray’s new craft, set nets.

The new boat is 70 feet overall, 21 feet wide, has a draft of six feet and displaces 42 tons of water. The hull is of five-sixteenths plate with a three-inch bow and is framed by a half-inch by three-inch frames.

Built by the Harry Gamble Boat Works of Port Dover, it has been a year in construction. Mr. Murray spending the past few months on the job himself helping to install equipment. The craft has two water-tight bulkheads, one forward and one aft. Driven by two D337 (?) Caterpillar diesel engines, it has a fuel capacity of 6000 gallons. It also has an auxiliary generator made by the Kohler Diesel Company, that develops 12 kilowatts of 110 volts of 60 cycle current.

It has a number of firsts for fishing tugs in the Great Lakes including a Sperry automatic magnetic pilot, Vicker’s hydraulic steering, and a Crossley 30-inch net lifter powered by a 10 horse power hydraulic motor. Equipment also consists of a Bendix echo depth sounder and a Jefferson Travis ship-to-shore telephone. Although not installed as yet, it will eventually be equipped with radar and a communications receiver.

Built primarily of course as a fishing tug, it also has many advantages of a pleasure craft. Believe it or not, it has a television set, steam heated pilot house with a bunk for the captain, and crews’ quarters for five people, all heated with steam unit installed by Fairbanks-Morse.

Another first in equipment are the deck spaces heated by a jet fired unit constructed by the Gamble Shipyard. All are thermostatically controlled. Twin air horns with 10-inch diaphrams have been installed, as well as a mile-ray searchlight.

The Mason Boat Works have equipped the tug with a 14-foot life-boat. Accommodation for the owner’s car was made on the deck of the boat.

The sleek craft is painted a blue-white, trimmed in brown and has a distinctive red stack.

The former “John D”, operated by Mr. Murray, has been sold to Georgian Bay interests and renamed the “Sharilyn II”. Both the old and the new “John D’s” are named after Mr. Murray’s son, John Douglas.

“Doug” Murray has been a fishing boat owner for the past 24 years, the past 16 of which he has been operating out of Kingsville. His new boat is not only a credit to the fishing industry of Kingsville, but also a credit to the town.

If you would like to see this new “Pride of the Great Lakes” in the harbor “Captain Doug” will be glad to take you aboard any time he is in dock.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 18, 1954 p.1

Top Honors to “John D” At Fishermen’s Regatta

Pennant decorated tugs of the Kingsville, Leamington and Wheatley fishing fleets sailed past in review on the calm waters of Lake Erie on Monday for the official opening of the new government harbor in Kingsville.

Geo. N. Scroggle of London, district engineer for the Dept. of Public Works cut the ribbon. [. . .]

Paying tribute to early fishermen who fished without equipment like ship-to-shore radio, radar or fathometers and whose prices were in relation to their catches. Mr. Scroggle said that Kingsville was in a favored spot on the new St. Lawrence Seaway, pointing out that the seaway will serve the greatest industrial area not on tidewater.

Newly improved at a cost of $300,000 the Kingsville Harbor was a hive of activity with the gaily bedecked tugs flying pennants and distributing colored balloons for the opening ceremony.

For the rbibon [sic] cutting ceremony presided over by Mr. Scroggle, S. Murray Clark, M.P., and Mayor Harold Cull held the ribbon taut.

During the afternoon’s program fishermen set nets in the harbour and lifted them so that the onlookers would have an idea how the fishing industry is carried out on the lake.

In the meantime fishing boats divided into power classes raced on the marked course outside the harbour.

The “John D” piloted by owner Doug Murray took the free-for-all race. Other winners were Carl Fraser’s “Scuffy”; Frank O’s “Coronet”; tie “Alex B” of Wheatley piloted by Ray Getty; the “Henry J” with Henry Tiessen of Point Pelee, and the “Clarence Aulder” piloted by Clinton Baltzer.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 9, 1956 p.1

© 2013, KMHAC. All rights reserved.

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One Response to Capt. Douglas & Leila Murray House (1951)

  1. kevin kelley

    my grandpa “Gerald Pearce” age 89 now tells me he use to fish on this tug and he was very proud of it, and its technology for its day. wish I could find some pictures online of the old “John D” all I can find to show him is one newer “Lady of Dover (Sharilyn II)”.

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