Nellie J. Banks

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Name: Nellie J. Banks
Owner: Alfred Banks
Operator: Alfred Banks (1910),Captain Edward Dicks & Ray Clarke (1938), Captain Maguire (1941)
Builder: Howard Allen and Company
Launched: September 1910
Completed: 1910
Renamed: 1941 Leona G. Maguire
Homeport: Registered: Shelburne, Nova Scotia
Captured: Seized: 1927 Seized: August 1938
Fate: 1953 funeral pyre on shore of Murray Harbour, PEI
General characteristics
Class and type: Cod Fishing Schooner
Tonnage: 35 GRT
Length: 57 feet 3 tenths
Beam: 17 feet 8 tenths
Propulsion: sail until 1916 when an engine was put in

Nellie J. Banks was a 35 GRT cod fishing schooner turned ‘rum runner’ built in 1910. She was one of the last rum runners to be seized off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1938. Nellie J. Banks was renamed Leona G. Maguire in 1941.


Nellie J. Banks was a schooner with two masts (the usual foremast and two top masts) the hull was black. The ship was 57 feet 3 inches long, with a beam of 18 feet, and a depth of 7 feet. She had a GRT of 35. She was propelled by sail until 1916 when an engine was brought aboard.[1] Nellie J. Banks was constructed with the object of speed as she was built for the cod fishing industry. She was designed by Freeman Pyzant of Lockeport. It has been said that she looked more like a yacht than a fishing schooner, being neatly rigged and having such sheer.[2]

Brief History[edit]

The ship was built by Alfred Banks from Nova Scotia in 1910 and launched 21 October 1910 from the shipyard of Howard Allen and Company of Allendale Nova Scotia. Her port of registry was Shelburne, Nova Scotia. She was used for fishing until 1926. During September 1926 Ray Clarke and Captain Edward Dicks bought her for about $2,000. They decided to buy her because they thought she was the perfect vessel for smuggling booze to Prince Edward Island; they were the province mostly affected by the 1901 prohibition.[3] In 1927 she was seized by the coastguard ship Bayfield. That was only a small setback for Nellie J. Banks and crew; she would continue smuggling until she was finally seized in August 1938 by the R.C.M.P cutter Ulna. She was then towed back to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In 1941 Nellie J. Banks would be renamed Leona G. Maguire after her new captain's daughter.[4] In the early part of 1943, a sea Captain named Roberts lived aboard her in Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island. In 1947 she was permanently tied up in Murray Harbour, PEI. When she became too old and an eyesore she was taken out of the water to see if she could be repaired. When there was not enough money to restore her to her former beauty Captain Maguire scuttled her by lighting her on fire in 1953 on the shore of Murray Harbour, PEI.[5][6]

See also[edit]

Rum-running in Windsor


  1. ^ List of Shipping 1912. Ottawa: Department of Marine and Fisheries. 1912. 
  2. ^ "Murray Harbour". Layout & Design created by Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Lawlor, Allison (2009). Rum-Running. Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing Limited. p. 122. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Geoff & Dorothy. The Nellie J. Banks. Williams & Crew Ltd Summerside, PEI. 
  5. ^ "Murray Harbour". Layout & Design created by Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Searles, Jack. "They called her the Nellie J. Banks" (PDF). 1998. Retrieved 8 February 2013.