Summer 1999

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Cruise of the Good Ship Juno

July 19th - 21st, 1913

transcribed, with an introduction by

Bonnie Barney

from the log of the Juno, largest sailing scow ever to ply Keuka Lake. Built in Penn Yan in 1891. William H. Whitfield, builder and Captain, annually redesigned and improved the hull at his carriage factory, where employee Ben Reno assisted.


Whitfield kept a log of the Juno's passengers from launching (March 24, 1892, 3:45 pm) to decommissioning (November 3, 1913), "giving pleasure to 8394 passengers."

"Skipper" Whitfield was 71 years old when he died, January 17, 1914.

Bob Whitfield told me his grandfather "Skipper" Whitfield had been encouraged by two different salesmen who served Penn Yan on their circuit to broaden his carriage business. It seemed to them that he could make his fortune if he would manufacture motor cars. "Skipper" weighed the risks and decided not to change direction. Those two separate salesmen, John N. Willys and William C. Durant, soon abandoned their western New York accounts. Willys started his own company that became Willys-Overland Corporation, manufacturer of the Jeep; Durant founded General Motors.

I think "Skipper" Whitfield was just as happy keeping his business small, giving him time to spend building, rebuilding, and sailing his boat, the Juno. Winters were slow in the shop, so he employed his crew to help him create the fastest sailboat of its time on the lake. He corresponded with designers in Canada, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, all seeking the best skimming dish hull. (In Minnesota, the resulting products included the international one-design boat, the A-scow. )

The Juno's keel was laid Christmas 1891, and it was launched March 24, 1892, a 3:45 pm. From then, until it was out of commission November 3, 1913, Skipper and his employee, Ben Reno (of fishing-boat-building repute) rebuilt the hull annually to gain speed and planing ability. In local races, Juno was handicapped as much as a third of the length of the race, she so outclassed the other racers.

1999, Bonnie Barney

Cruise of the Good Ship Juno

July 19th, 1913

Saturday 4:50 PM July 19th

Skipper Whitfield, Penn Yan, N. Y.

1st Mate C H Whitfield, "

Cadet John Konklin, West Point

Bos'n W. Robert Whitfield, Penn Yan, N. Y.

Just Sailor Sidney Whitfield, "

The Good Ship Juno left her anchorage at "Liberty Lodge" at 4:50 PM. Saturday July 19th, 1913, with the above officers and crew, clothed and in their right minds. Wind = west changing to S-W and very light. With one tack we made "Lonesome Harbor" at 6 P. M. Immediately came to anchor Furled sails, and proceeded to satisfy the cravings of a hungry crew. The first mate, ably assisted by the full crew served a supper that would have been a credit to the Waldorf-Astoria chef. After the same crew had washed dishes &e. we put up the "Big Top" and made all snug for the night. Made up bunks for all and room to spare. Switched on the arc light and the common crew improved our minds for an hour, while the Captain Sat on deck watching the moon (only) come up. At 10, when "taps" was sounded at Science Camp-- we turned in and awoke much refreshed at 5:20 am. Soon had hammocks slung.

Sunday 5:20 am

Breakfast was served at 6 am dishes washed and all made snug. Sails up and under way at 8 a. m. Made Keuka on one tack wind SW and very light. Made Gibsons on another and as weather was thickening lowered sails and made snug for storm at 9:30 in Put-in-Bay north of Gibson Point. Weather apparently clearing we got under way again at 11a. m. and with ventable South wind made Mission Cottage at 12. M. latter 15 min in rain, made all snug again, and proceeded with Dinner or Banquet as the hungry crew termed it (with apologies from chef for self praise. ) During an hours rain the tarpaulin behaved fine. Spoke the Yacht Mercia during night bound for Keuka, sighted them again during day Sunday. After dinner cleared up and fine wind came up from S- which we took advantage of, and took following party across the lake but half way back wind left us. And we were compelled to make use of a white ash breeze to get back to Masson Cottage. Made ready for thick weather which approached fast from both north and south. After Tarpaulin was made snug the Captain made a shore call on the Massons, while the crew went swimming in the rain.

2:00 P.M.

Karhryn Greenville, Buffalo, N. Y.

Julie Masson, Hammondsport

Emma Masson, "

H. C. Morse, Penn Yan, N. Y.

Hanns Kirbli, Interlaken Switzerl.

Josephine Masson

N. Florence Wheeler, Hammondsport

V. E. Masson, "

4:30 P.M.

All clear again with fine South wind. Cast off and started for Lonesome Harbor. Where the Captain wanted to anchor, but he was induced to tack ship and we started for Hammondsport. Breeze gradually left us until we were about becalmed a mile from port, but the time passed pleasantly as we were nearly surrounded by girls in row boats who had eyes only for "our cadet" who isn't slow. And the girl with the magenta hair he said was some peach, anyway kept within hailing distance for that mile which we covered with aid of a tow with two able bodied seamen in tender. Came to anchor in Grimleys Cove and after a late supper turned in at 10:30.

Monday July 21st

Captain & crew never opened their eyes until 7:30 after the best nights rest of this cruise. Had an early breakfast & left Craft at her moorings, made a call & then were taken through the Curtiss works, spent a very enjoyable morning. Dinner was a surprise- as the Chef had a real pie and other viands fit for a king. After dinner a fine breeze spring up from the west which we took advantage of and had three hours fine sailing= but no airmen in sight= went back to our old anchorage had supper and all snug for night, then went to the city for an hours recreation. Turned in at 9:30 and after an hours improving mind we sounded "taps" A clear night and fine moon.

Tuesday 8 a. m.

Before Captain & crew opened their sky lights after a quick breakfast we made for the dock where the following party awaited us, wind light south, at times very soft.

Tuesday July 22, 1913

Mrs. L. H. Wadsworth, Hammondsport, NY

F. C. Faucett, "

Grace B. Carne, "

Mrs. W. T. Reynolds, "

Emily Champlin, "

Agnes Y. Davis, "

Shirley Wadsworth, "

Jacob C. Frey, "

F. A. Moore, "

G. T. Jones, "

Welcome A. Scott, "

Charles K. Scott, "

Mrs. G. Frey, "

Mrs. F. A. Moore, "

Mrs. C. S. Wade, North Creek, N. Y.

Mrs. E. B. Jaycox, Hammondsport

Miss Sarah Laughlin, Hammondsport, N. Y.

Mrs. J. W. Scott"

"Billy Will Use You Right""

Mrs. Gen Condonnau, Hornell N. Y.

Josephine Frey

Sailed around for an hour and then on invitation of Mrs. Frey made for Imperial Point where she played hostess very acceptably serving wafers, cheese, Nabisco, and Imperial Sec. Pretty high living for common sailors. During our sail there were three airmen around us at one time, in the air over us and on the water all around us. Seemed as though we were surrounded by a flock of great birds, sometimes they would come so close as to appear so close that they would not clear our mast and again the tips of the planes of one only cleared leach of our sail a few feet. The party had a hard time expressing their pleasure and the good sail they had. After discharging passengers we worped along until we lay in the shade of Brundage Hardware Store after all was made shipshape again, we hoisted sails and came to anchor near Aviation Field. Furled sails and went ashore in tender got acquainted with Instructor Callan and invited him and the following airmen & students to take a sail with us- sailed until 4:45- went ashore and were given instructions & explanations regarding different craft.

Tuesday 3:30 PM

John Lansing Callan Albany, N. Y.   L. D. Laurence Rockford, Ill.
Leon D. Smith Elmira, NY   Frank C. Thalman Chicago, Ill.
Harold C. Morris New Haven, Conn.   W. Thaw, N. Y.
Z. P. Barnes San Francisco, Cal.   Steve MacGordon Chicago Ill.

Got acquainted with Captain Chambers- Chief of Aerial Corps. U. S. N. Naval Constructor Ballenger & Lieutenant Richardson in the Navy hangar which was the prettiest and strongest piece of canvas work we have seen for many days. There we saw the big navy Flying boat C-2 which weighs 2200#. There were several Curtiss men working on it as well as several Navy mechanicans. While we were on the field they brought down the big tractor, propeller in front of all, & a land machine mounted on 4 wheels. That we saw yesterday being set up in the factory. They were hopes of trying her out that evening. About 5:00 we rowed back to Juno and hoisted sails & up anchor. Sailed back to our moorings in Grimleys slip. Put up Tarp. Cooked supper and after all was made snug for the night we received a hail from shore with an invitation to help make up a Theater party by "Billywilluseyouright". In the mean time our Cadet was given shore leave as The Girl in Blue was an attraction that offset even a Theater Party. We found upon going ashore that we would still have time to visit Aviation Field before second performance which we proceeded to do. Walked over and saw Dougherty try for his license which he obtained, atained an altitude of 800 ft at one time, all this in a Flying Boat. Saw Doc. Wildman take up the Navy Boat but had engine trouble so had hard time getting off the water. They failed to get the Tractor going. So at dark walked back to town met the Reynolds & went to Theater. Heard some very fine music a family named the Musical Jacksons, fine. Saw 4 reels of good pictures, quite a treat for sailors. Went to boat & turned in at 11 PM all tired but happy. The Captain suggested hoisting the homeward bound penant after breakfast and all concurred.

[One paragraph missing. ]

attempts & finally had to give it up. After squaring away again, we discovered our tender hadn't kept up with us. And had to wear ship and with another tack overhauled it & made it fast again. Passed the Bluff and Keuka without stopping. As we reached Maple Point, saw the Sunrise at anchor. Hauled in and spoke with him abouted ship and tacked in toward Silver Springs, discovered a good anchorage and dropped the mud hook in it, and when sails were furled and stopped, and while the Captain was taking a turn on shore stretching his legs, the crew took a very refreshing swim. Afterward got dinner had a great spread. Washed dishes. Made all snug and pulled up sails and hook and off at 1:30 for last tack homeward bound and as the good ship neared home the Crew strained their eyes to make out the cottage and occupants or any signes of life, all looked good to our Captain and Crew.

The lists of names in the log are signatures in the original journal, entered by the individuals.
The transcription has been made as nearly as possible in the spelling and punctuation of the original.—B.B.
© 1999, Bonnie Barney
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