Who Was Captain Robert Wilson?

THE MAN BEHIND THE NAME

Captain R. Wilson, a resident of Oakville from 1806 to 1888, was the captain of two Lake Ontario schooners, the "Lady Colborne" and "Baltic".  According to information found in the book "Oakville and the Sixteen", Captain Wilson was instrumental in aiding escaped slaves to the safety of the harbour at Oakville ; the African American escapees could be concealed in the grain vessels aboard his ship.

 "Captain Robert", as he was known, also built a house (at 279 Lawson Street ) which became known as 'Mariner's Home'.  This was because of his custom of welcoming and accommodating ill and homeless sailors during the winter months.  Following the American Civil War, many former slaves would come to George's Square in Oakville, to celebrate Emancipation Day, and those who had been helped by Captain Robert Wilson would visit him at his nearby home.