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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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CARROLL, PATRICK (1828-1911)

CARROLL, PATRICK, ship carpenter and master builder; b. Chatham, Oct 1828 (bap. 8 Dec 1828, 5 wks.), s/o Matthew Carroll and Catherine Gibney; m. 1851, Catherine Whitten, d/o William Whitten and Mary Baldwin, of Chatham; d. St Paul, Minn., 13 Apr 1911.

Patrick Carroll, a man of "great mechanical genius and skill," was the designer or master builder of at least a dozen sailing vessels between 1857 and 1875. Half of the ships concerned were constructed for Jacob C. Gough and the others for a variety of firms including Muirhead's, and Cassidy, Tozer & Co., for whom he built the barque Confederate Star in 1866.

Carroll's first large vessel was the 1241-ton Mistress of the Seas, which he built for Gough in 1863. Constructed of juniper, she was said to have been the most handsomely built of all Miramichi craft. "Copper fastened to the unusual height of twelve feet," states Louise Manny, "and fitted with Harmsworth and Co.'s patent windlass gear, she rivalled in finish and workmanship the finest of the Saint John-built ships." At 1556 tons the Knight of Snowdoun, which Carroll built for Gough in 1864, was the largest ship constructed to that date on the Miramichi and the second largest ever built on the river.

As the age of sail waned, Carroll looked for other kinds of construction work. In 1875 he was awarded the contract to build a lighthouse on Sable Island, 170 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. In 1878 he erected new fog alarm buildings on Partridge Island in Saint John harbor, "of brick with cutstone trimmings." He was still living in Chatham with his wife and ten children when the census of 1881 was taken, but in October of that year he left for Duluth, Minn. His son John Carroll had migrated to Duluth previously, and all members of the family had relocated there by 1882.

Carroll worked at ship construction and other carpentry in Duluth until around 1906, when he became a patient in a nursing home conducted by the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious order, in St Paul, Minn. He died at this home some five years later, at age eighty-two.


[b] census (1900, Duluth, Minn.) [m] Gleaner 10 Nov 1851 [d] official records (St Paul, Minn.) / Advocate 21 Apr 1875, 6 Nov 1878; Cain research; Carroll; Duluth and St Paul city directories; Manny (Ships); Pioneer Press (Minn.) 17 Apr 1911; Whitten family data