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GLS Downward Bound's

Obiturary of Captain George Tunis Van Camp

Date: April 15, 1939

Rites Tonight for Skipper of River's Last Full Rigger

Capt. George T. Van Camp, 82, Led Fight For Colored Buoy Lights on Maumee;

Burial Will Be at Port Huron, Mich.

Funeral services for Capt. George T. Van Camp, 82, Great Lakes skipper who brouhgt the last full-rigged schooner up the Maumee River 23 years ago, will be held in the Abele Funeral Home tonight at 7:30.

Capt. Van Camp died Wednesday night in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Percy Hugill, 3140 North Erie Street.

The story of his life is that of an era in the history of Lake Erie. In a lifetime on the lakes, Captain Van Camp watched the growth of the Toledo harbor from a few scattered lumber camps alson the river-front to the modern loading docks that have dwarfed his biggest schooner.

Never Lost A Ship

Older Toledoans may remember the schooner Anna P. Grover, which he owned and sailed. She often carried 350,000 feet of lumber in her hold and on her decks.

The veteran skipper never lost a ship. Once, off Kelley's Island, the Anna Grover lost most of her cargo of coal, but the captain and his crew managed to save a 20-ton steel marine boiler lashed to the deck, and carry it safely to Cleveland. Most of the cedar posts, still to be seen rotting in the surf off Catawba Island, were once cargo on one of Captain Van Camp's lumber schooners.

In 1916, three years before he retired because his eyesight was failing, Captain Van Camp sailed the last full-rigger up the Maumee River past the railroad bridges. Hundreds of children, to whom great sailing vessels were novelties, lined the river banks and bridges to see the craft.

The captain was one of the first petitioners for colored lights on channel buoys in Toledo harbor. He blamed his failing sight on the fact that it was difficult to distinguish the old white lights of the city in the background.

Port Huron Pioneer

A pioneer settler of Port Huron, Mich., Captain Van Camp used to recall that his father laid the keel of the first full-rigged sailing vessel built north of Port Huron.

Besides Mrs. Hugill, Captain Van Camp is survived by daughters, Mrs. Larine Cromley, Toledo, Mrs. Bert Adkins, Wadhams, Mich., and Mrs. Ernest Crawford, North Street, Mich.; sons, Bert, Charles and Edsel, all of Port Huron, and a sister, Mrs. Emma Landfair, Lake Orion, Mich.

The Rev. Charles E. Kempton, pastor of Riverside Baptist Church, will conduct the services at the funeral home tonight, after which the body will be taken to Port Huron for further services at First Baptist Church there, tomorrow at 1 p.m., with the Rev. Harold H. Davis officiating. Burial will be in Port Huron.



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