Schooner Mary A. Daryaw Burned
By James Donahue
The schooner Mary A. Daryaw was moored at Kingston, Ontario, when a fire of unknown origin broke out
in the hold. The 61-year-old wooden-hulled vessel spent its final years carrying coal, its seams packed with coal dust, so
the local firefighter’s efforts to save the ship were fruitless. A broken oil drum on the deck added to the infernal
that gutted the ship.
A news clipping said the fire was discovered at about 3 a.m. Kingston fire fighters battled the blaze
for over six hours "but at the finish her sails were gone, her cabin was destroyed and great damage was done to her hold."
The old schooner was never rebuilt.
The Daryaw was launched at Port Huron, Michigan, as the Kewaunee in 1866. Her builder was Joseph P.
Arnold. Measuring just short of 124 feet in length, and with a 28-foot beam, the Daryaw was identified as a "canaller" because
it was designed to navigate the old Welland Canal locks between Lakes Erie and Ontario.
While remembered as the Mary Daryaw, this vessel retained the name Kewaunee for most of its years
on the lakes. It was a lumber carrier and possibly a general cargo carrier during its early years.
The ship was enrolled at Port Huron in 1866, then sold to George Murray and moved to Milwaukee, on
Lake Michigan in 1871. It had a rebuild in 1875 and had eight different owners, serving on nearly all of the Great Lakes before
purchased by the Daryaw brothers in Kingston, who changed the name to Mary A. Daryaw in 1921.
The ship was engaged as a coal carrier on Lake Ontario until the fire. It made its final trip, hauling
300 tons of coal from Oswego to Kingston, under the command of Captain Harry Daryaw in October, 1927.