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Freshwater Heritage: A History of Sail on the Great Lakes, 1670-1918 Paperback – Mar 30 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Natural Heritage; 1st Edition edition (March 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897045204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897045206
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #447,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"... for that sailor in the family, buy a copy of Freshwater Heritage."

(Andrew Armitage Owen Sound Sun Times 2007-08-31)

"A definitive work in Canadian marine history ... Bamford's experiences read like a novel."

(Sandy Lindsay Owen Sound Sun Times 2007-08-21)

"While one may pick up this book for enlightenment on the history of sail, one closes it with a greater understanding of how the Great Lakes and Canada evolved from a wilderness to a nation."

(Jodi Jerome Grey Bruce Diversions 2007-01-01)

Freshwater Heritage: A History of Sail on the Great Lakes, 1670-1918 represents the culmination of a lifelong passion for sailing and for the history of sail as it applies to Canada. Author/sailor/boat builder Don Bamford takes us deep into the psyche of sailing as it applies to historical events on the Great Lakes and to stories of the people and places there at the time.

His extensive historical research takes us back to the time of European contact, through the fate of the luckless Griffon and the achievements of the French in the era of sail. From the 1760s through to 1815, Bamford chronicles the glory years of the brigs, the schooners, the snows and the warships that dominated the lakes during the war years, with a particular emphasis on the War of 1812 and the race for naval domination of the Great Lakes.

Much deserving attention is given to the shipbuilders and to the challenges of constructing these vessels in the wilderness of the colonies, all supported by carefully researched detail. Bamford also documents the critical role played by sailing vessels in the settlement process as newly arrived immigrants struggled to establish a home in a new land.

The commercial role of sail on the Great Lakes is captured through the refinements to the schooners, the place of ships in the fur trade, the early days of fishing the lakes as an industry, the role of the timber droghers, the stone hookers and the first ore carriers of the first part of the 20th century. Never before has the place of sailing vessels in the early history of Canada’s Great Lakes been so inclusive, and made so accessible to the general reader.

Richly illustrated with archival visuals and photographs of significant works of art, and supported by a full index and extensive end matter, Freshwater Heritage is a must for both the armchair historian and those who love to sail.

About the Author

Now retired, and after 55 years of sailing, Don Bamford lives in London, Ontario.

Inside This Book

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Great Addition to the Great Lakes Genre Dec 27 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fellow marine historian with similar interests, I was very pleased to see this new book and buy a copy. The book gives an excellent treatment of the history and development of Great Lakes sail. I particularly enjoyed the detailed treatment of vessel construction practices and tools, which I hadn't seen elsewhere in as much detail. The book was also well researched and footnoted. It gives an excellent overview of all the different historical periods in which Lake vessels were constructed and the different purposes for which they were built. The book does have a decidedly Canadian emphasis, but does not neglect US sail by any means. This is also not a comprehensive volume, being just under 300 pages of well spaced text. The reader will not find lists of vessels or details of technical changes in vessel construction. Rather, this book approaches the subject from a more accessible perspective and will be enjoyable to the layperson and casual enthusiast as well as the serious marine historian. Mr. Bamford is to be commended on an excellent book which should take its rightful place alongside classic works by Cuthbertson, Inches and Barry.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice Book Sept. 3 2013
By Pan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for concerning information, but I still enjoyed it.

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