The W. T. Robb was built at Stromness on Lake Erie.
She was owned by McCullom. A lumber tug, the Robb,
pulled rafts of lumber up and down the Great Lakes. When
the Fenian Raid occurred she was listed as a Royal
Navy ship and appears on the list of Royal Navy Ships
On The Great Lakes. The Robb was used to blockade the
Upper Welland Canal on Lake Erie. She was also used
to transport troops and prisoners.
The W.T. Robb's best known mission, during the Fenian
Raid, was to mount a nine pound cannon on her front
deck and sail from Lake Ontario, up the Welland Canal,
to assist the troops inland. The story goes that they didn't have wadding for the cannon so they used whatever paper they had, including money, to fire it. She didn't do anything
spectacular but she was there, decked out as Royal Navy,
a local ship protecting the homeland.
She was later sold to William Hall of Toronto who used
her in the lumber trade but as she aged he took her
engines to put in a steambarge, the William Hall, and left her hull stranded off Victoria Park in Toronto as a breakwall. Not a fitting end for the fighting tug of the Fenian Raid. We should have been kinder to her memory.
(personal note: The William Hall referred to above it not my ancestor Capt. William Hall for
anyone who may look at my other sites. He is not the Capt. William Hall who stranded the Robb.
I am currently searching for proof that they both owned it for a time. The same name is a
problem in verifying records.)