On June 1, 1870, a group of eight young “ladies and gents” gathered in Southampton before embarking on a four day adventure along the Lake Huron coast in a small sailboat. From Mr. Potts’ written account I cannot discern if they were all singles or related, making this tale, given the Victorian era, even more intriguing. Can any reader of this tale provide us more information?
Their story concludes: June 3 (cont.) After supper, we indulged in athletic sport, throwing the shoulder stone and jumping. Target practice with the revolver was next, with the ladies making some very good shots. Some then danced while others went down to the beach where Miss Munn sang “What Are the Wild Waves Saying?” Her beautiful voice carried far over the waters. After hearing a ghost story by Mr. Munn, we all turned in to seek the rest which is essential to our health.
June 4 Breakfast was eaten by 6 o’clock after which time the ladies packed up everything and the gents carried it all to the boat. We took our last look at Cranberry Island and whispered a prayer that, through our life journey, we may enjoy the same harmony, peace and friendship which existed among us during our stay. All aboard! Our captain soon pointed out where the late Captain McAuley found a watery grave a couple of years ago.
After rowing two hours we reached the mouth of the Sauble where we had lunch on the shore. Later, still lacking a breeze for our sail, we rowed on determinedly to Chantry Island where we were greeted by Captain Lambert, the lighthouse keeper, and his family. After a tour of the lighthouse and a supper prepared by the ladies, we struck off for Southampton, firing a parting salute from our guns.
On nearing Southampton, all hands joined together in singing “God Save the Queen.” We landed just at nightfall. Truthfully, I think that all hands would rather we were just starting out on another trip. My report is now at an end, and trusting that any person perusing it will overlook defects and not criticize, I will let the curtain drop and commit it to the tender mercies of a generous public. Henry Potts.
This article was originally submitted by Isabel Howke to the 1990 Bruce County Historical Society Yearbook and adapted by Bob Johnston