Collins, William Miles

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Collins, William Miles

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Born in Advocate Harbour, NS on 18 April 1864 to Charles Wallace P Collins and Elizabeth Ann Lank. In 1880, at the age of sixteen Collins went to sea initially on steamers. He later turned to sailing with this brother, Captain Frank Collins and his sister Lauretta’s husband Captain Eli Knowlton. His first voyage across the Atlantic was transporting timber on the Endymion to Liverpool, England. After several years of sailing Collins received his master’s certificate in 1892. However, he continued to sail as a mate for some time with the Spicer brothers. In 1900, Collins took his first command on the barque Edward L. Mayberry, from New York to Wellington, New Zealand and was accompanied by his wife Margaret Ellen (Ellie) Reid. Together, Margaret and Collins had six children. Collins sailed the Evade a three-masted schooner for ten years. In 1911, he retired after more than thirty years at sea. He purchased a farm in West Advocate which had a small store. In 1919, at the age of fifty-four, Collins came out of retirement to take command of the Adamac and then the Edward A. Cohan sailing across the North Atlantic. Collins last command was the schooner E.H. Wharton Davies built in West Advocate. He passed away on 17 August 1962 in Parrsboro, NS in his ninety-ninth year.


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Greville Bay Shipbuilding Museum Society

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Spicer, Stanley. Sails of Fundy: The Schooners and Square-riggers of the Parrsboro Shore. Hantsport, NS: Lancelot Press, 1984.

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