Boats Built in Paisley
Believe it of Not !!

The Saugeen River where the Waterwitch transported her passengers.

The Waterwitch

In 1879 David Hanna constructed in his planing mill a 40-foot flat-bottomed boat powered by a six horsepower steam engine. The “Waterwitch” as the boat was christened, steamed up the Saugeen River to Walkerton. The first trip was in 1880. The trip upstream would take about 13 hours, but the downstream trip about 4 hours. The landing place was at the base of the “Tidings Tree”, referred to elsewhere in this booklet. Older residents of Paisley reported that the “Waterwitch” transported passengers to the “Palace” (the elaborate building housing exhibits), at the time of fall fairs for a fee of 10¢.

The venture proved to be unprofitable, and Hanna sold the vessel in 1883 to Hector Lachlan and Hugh McLean of Sauble Falls. She was transported by sleighs overland to Boat Lake to be used for towing log booms on Boat and Skye Lakes and on the Pike River.

Before the turn of the century she was beached “somewhere in the Bruce Peninsula” and apparently forgotten. Years later, interested parties tracing its history, found a rotting hulk on the shore of Boat Lake. The first and only steamer on the inland waters of Bruce County passed from history.

The Jon-E-Lee

The Jon-E-Lee was built by John M. Seiler in 1954. He used white oak and rock elm for the frames and the hull and cabins were built of African Mahogany.

It required six months for John to build his boat and when finished it was 30 feet long with a 10 foot beam and a draught of 30 inches and weighed five tons.

It has a semi displacement hull and a single 135 H.P. Marine Motor. Mr. Seiler usually docks the boat in the Port Elgin harbour and has taken many pleasure trips on the Great Lakes.

Boat built by Russell Seiler

Another boat that was built in Paisley -John’s brother Russell Seiler, also completed a boat in Paisley, but a picture and description of it were not available.

Boat built by Stewart Muir

The pleasure yacht built bt Stewart Muir is pictured on the right. It is now owned by someone in Exeter, Ontario.

The Jon-E-Lee


The yacht was built in the second story of the Muir Machine Shop on Queen Street, there was much speculation among the citizens as to how it would be removed.

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An Historic Album of Paisley
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