Purvis Museum receives large donation of shipping log books

LEFT: Ivan Purvis is shown looking at one of the 87 shipping log books that have been donated to the William Purvis Marine Museum Gore Bay.

GORE BAY—The William Purvis Marine Museum has just received a large donation of invaluable shipping log books from a Thunder Bay donor.

“I haven’t sat down and gone through all of the books, but I can tell you there is no way you can put a value on all of this stuff,” stated Buck Longhurst of the museum. “There is an absolute treasure trove of materials here.”

“This is history. Most of the boats that these books are from are now gone,” said Mr. Longhurst. “It’s an historical record of many vessels and to have this here as part of our museum is incredible. It is now available for anyone doing research or who just has an interest.”

Mr. Longhurst explained the museum received 87 log books, which were all donated by Gene Onchulenko of Thunder Bay who is moving into a smaller house and cutting down on his collection. In addition to the log books, there are time books, cargo record books and manuals for fee schedules among the materials.

“One of the books has Dougal Campbell in it when he was sailing,” said Mr. Longhurst.

“Some of the books will be very interesting for local people,” continued Mr. Longhurst. “For instance, the Hochelaga, which Dougal Campbell sailed on, as well as Joan McCulligh, with Lynn Freeman from Tehkummah, was a ship the Chicago Tribune owned. Black River and Pic River both loaded pulpwood here in Gore Bay with several local boys sailed and worked on. The Sir Denys Lowson, six local boys sailed on that vessel, as well as many other boats. The six local guys that sailed on the ship included Ab Purvis, Doug Purvis, Mel Lougheed, Frank Wagg, Jay Scott and Dougal Campbell.

“It was through the kindness of the Deeg family we were able to get these books and materials transported to Gore Bay at no cost,” added Mr. Longhurst.