Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Hunt Johnston Rolston Large (1876-1947)

Mechanic, entrepreneur.

Born at Shelburne, Ontario on 17 June 1876, son of John and Elizabeth Large, he arrived in southern Manitoba sometime between 1901 and 1903 and established a repair and machine works at Coulter. In 1909, he built the Empress of Ireland, a boat measuring 66 feet long and about 10 feet wide, and launched it into the Souris River, intending to transport cargo between Napinka and Scotia, North Dakota. The following year, he moved the boat to the Assiniboine River at Brandon where he believed the prospects of economic return were better. It was destroyed by an arson fire in 1911. He rebuilt it as a riverboat-freighter to transport coal to the proposed site of a railway bridge over the river, renaming it the Assiniboine Queen. It was sunk during a torrential rainstorm in the spring of 1913, after which Large opened a machine shop at Waskada. At the outbreak of the First World War, he returned to Ontario and and supervised a munitions factory near Toronto. He eventually moved to Sault Ste. Marie where he died on 10 April 1947.

See also:

Captain Large’s Prairie Riverboat by Roy W. Brown
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 24, Number 3, Spring 1979


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 September 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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