Plaqued Houses and Buildings
38 Burnet Street - Michael Quinn House
The house was built in 1855.

Property Details:
Michael Quinn (1824-1901) was an Irish immigrant who came to Canada in his forties and worked as a shoemaker.

He lived on 38 Burnet Street with his family.

In 1878 tragedy struck when two of his sons (William Quinn and Joseph Quinn) were lost at sea on the stone hooker "The Pinta" which sank not far from Oakville.

Their bodies were never found.

The tragedy was captured in a number of poems.

Loss of the Pinta

Sad was the news that came to our town
Of the Pinta, being lost, in a gale she went down
When off Merigold Point with the sea running high
She sprang bad leak tho' the shore she was nigh
The gallant young crew tried to keep her afloat
She was sinking so fast they took to the boat
The wind off the shore blew heavy and strong
Not an oar, nor a sail, to help them along
They were seen from the shore, but no one dared try
No lifeboat at hand and a sea running high
There were strong willing hearts, that were ready to save
And rescue the crew from a watery grave
Alas! Twas no use, they drifted away
And were ne'er seen alive from that very day
One body was found in the boat, chilled it lay
Thrown up on the beach from his friends far away
May God in his power the parents relieve
And help the poor wife no longer to grieve

Oakville Nov 1879

Loss of the "Pinta"
(Contributed to The Standard)

See the Pinta, swiftly skimming
The dark troubled waters o'er,
While the distant storm bells ringing,
Bid the sailors seek the shore.
But too late; Oh! See them springing
From the sinking vessel's deck!
To their small boat wildly clinging -
All are safely off the wreck.

Listen to that cry, despairing,
As the vessel sinks from view;
And the cold, fierce winds are bearing
O'er the lake helpless crew.
Hasten, landsmen, to the rescue!
Hear their cries above the storm!
And their mothers' prayers will bless you
If you save the boys from harm.

But n vain the steed all foaming-
Vain the news flashed o'er the wire!
O'er the waters still they're roaming,
And the waves are springing higher.
But upon the water near them
Walketh One in bright array,
Waiting, listening to hear them,
When in faintest voice they pray.

All the past comes up before them
As they view their watery grave;
While a voice is whispering o'er then
"'Twas the lost I came to save."
List the invitation given:
"Come, ye heavy laden souls,
There is a blessed rest in Heaven
Where no wave of sorrow rolls."

And the sailors, freezing, dying
Grasp the hand they cannot see -
On the sinner's friend relying,
Pass into eternity!
Where the waters are the deepest,
In some smooth and silent cave,
There the brothers calmly sleepeth,
Undisturbed by storm or wave.

Two are sleeping 'neath the billows,
One beneath the cold, cold clay;
But the sands make soft, smooth pillows
Where the dead in peace can lay.
Friends and parents lonely wander,
Searching for them on the shore,
But their loved ones wait up yonder -
There to meet and part no more.

Dead! But still their spirits near us
Whisper of the Heavenly land,
And with thoughts of glory cheer us
When we reach th' eternal strand
And in midnight dreams they hasten
To the mother whom they love -
Tell her, God doth often chasten
Those he leadeth up above.

Earthly life is all so fleeting -
Joy to-day to-morrow pain;
Now, a few glad words of greeting,
Then, all dark and lone again.
Then, dear mother, let your yearning
Be for that celestial shore,
Where our spirits ne'er returning
Live in glory evermore.

And when the storms are wildly sweeping;
O'er Ontario's raging breast,
Think of those so calmly sleeping
'Neath th' foaming billow's crest
And our fate should be a warning
Unto every careless soul
To prepare in life's bright morning
For the storm-bell's deadly toll.

In Memoriam

The following lines are written in memory of William and Joseph Quinn, and Samson Howell, who lost their lives near Oakville on Thursday, Nov 28th 1879, by the foundering of the stone hooker "Pinta".

Howl on, ye winds, your work is done
Your fury speaks in vain
Under the rays of yonder sun
They will never walk again.
You've done your cruel works of death,
And us, you can't deceive.
So, howl on, with your fury breath
Some more you may bereave.

The maddened waves dashed high in air
And drank the venturers down
Regardless of a Mother's prayers
Or Father's anxious frown;
Dashed high in air that placid sheet
Roiled by your turbulent wrath
Till at the King of Terror's feet
They terminate life's path.

Shall we in anger, curse the wind,
And air, that gives us life;
Or murmur 'gainst the Infinite
Who overrules all strife?
God loved those noble souls,
And brave,
Who dared to face the storm.
And cannot He who died to save
Refuse their souls from harm?

L B Surett (?)

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