Lt. Worsley and his crew built their winter quarters four miles from the mouth of the Nottawasaga River after capturing the American boats the Tigress and Scorpion in September 1814. With the end of the War of 1812, plans to build a naval base at Penetanguishene were shelved.Schooner Town’s quarters had burned down by the summer of 1815. Lt. Wingfield, who had gained charge of the Scorpion (renamed Confiance) in September, dispatched three of his men to construct new structures.Meanwhile, Commodore Sir Edward Owen chose Schooner Town as the location for a “temporary naval establishment on Lake Huron” in October 1815, and Captain P.S. Hambly was named Commanding Officer. This facility was created to repair and maintain watercraft, build bateaux to transport provisions, and assist in the guarding of the commissary stocks at the river’s mouth. “Cause such houts as are absolutely essential for the comfort of the officers and troops and the preservation of the stores to be erected at Nottawasaga,” Capt. Hambly was instructed, “but considering this a temporary arrangement only, he is to avoid incurring needless money therein.”
When Lt. Wingfield arrived from Drummond Island in November, he discovered that his buildings had been taken over and that his home had been converted into a storage. As a result, more construction was required. Sir E. Owen recommended the transfer of Schooner Town to Penetanguishene in July 1816 due to an unsheltered harbour for vessels, severe winds, a moving sand bar, and a lack of sufficient dockyard and storage facilities. The decision was put on hold since the road to Penetanguishene was difficult and swampy. The Naval Fleet on Lake Huron was disbanded in April 1817 after the Rush-Bagot agreement was signed, and by July 1st, the entire squadron had been paid off and put up at Penetanguishene. Schooner Town was so abandoned.
Between 1815 and 1817, the Royal Navy’s headquarters of operations for warships on Lake Huron was located at the Nottawasaga River’s foot of navigation. After that, operations were moved to Penetanguishene, which provided superior anchoring.
Schoonertown Parkette is located at the former base on River Road West and Oxbow Park Drive in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, right before McDonalds and over the bridge spanning the Nottawasaga River.
Address: Sunset Ct, Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 2A9
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Sunset Ct, Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 2A9
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