Marsh, Captain Jonathan Borden, 1841–1934

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Marsh, Captain Jonathan Borden, 1841–1934

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Master Mariner (Captain Bird). Born in Economy, Colchester County, NS, he was the son of Jacob and Janet (McLellan) Marsh, being one of a family of fifteen. Married to Christina Monroe and later to Josephine (Hutton) Culgin, his children were Helen (Nellie), Jane (born at sea in a gale), Mary Telfer, William Campbell, and John (Dr.). He attended school in Central Economy and went to sea at the age of twelve as a cook on a coaster. He crossed the Atlantic for the first time when he was fourteen years of age. Captain Marsh acquired his first command when he was twenty one. She was the Economy owned and built Ellen Layton. In 1868 Captain Marsh was Master of the brigantine Cleo and braved many harrowing journeys on the sea. In 1871 Captain Marsh was master of the ship hired to search for the “lost” missionary, Dr. David Livingstone. The Marsh Family were at Tagish in the Yukon Territory in 1900, where Capt. Marsh commanded river steamers on the Yukon River. He retired in 1912 to Economy, but was called out of retirement to take over the Truro Queen in 1918. He was seventy nine years old, but his skill as a navigator was still very evident. He finally retired in 1920. During his years he commanded twenty ships and could boast that he never lost one. Deeply religious and a member of the United Church of Canada, he never smoked nor drank and never carried a firearm while at sea. He is buried in the Ecomony Cemetery, Colchester County, NS.


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March 1, 2019




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