The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Simcoe (Propeller), C78023, 1879

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in 1880 the propeller SIMCOE went down in upper Lake Huron the public welcomed the disclosure of a few facts of this kind as throwing some light upon causes of the disaster. Not long after this distressing event, it seems, the press reported that the SIMCOE's sister ship, the ZEALAND, had met a like fate in the same waters. Worse still, it became widely known that both ships were not what they appeared to be; they were really old craft of ill repute masquerading under new names. Originally the CITY OF CHATHAM and the MARY ANN ROBINSON, respectively, they had been built by the same man and had the same misfortunes on the water. After only a few busy seasons afloat they were burned, and sank, the CHATHAM in Burlington Bay, Lake Ontario, the MARY ANN in Byng Inlet, Georgian Bay. In 1879 a shrewd, thrifty shipbuilder of the Georgian Bay lifted both hulls and proceeded to give them new identities.
      Upon each hull new upperworks were raised. In their bright garb of fresh paint both vessels looked as spick and span as absolutely new creations. The CHATHAM was christened ZEALAND and the MARY ANN, SIMCOE, and then, after being officially declared safe and sound, were commissioned to ply the waters of the Great Lakes for the season of 1880. Late in that season both ships went down in Lake Huron not many days apart. All that is known of the ZEALAND is that she vanished. The story of the SIMCOE's last hours and of her gallant though vain fight against the elements is an old and well attested chapter in the chronicles of Great Lakes shipping. [part]
      Inland Seas
      Spring 1952 pps. 29-32


Freighter MARY R. ROBINSON; SIMCOE (1879) Official Canada No. 78023. Of 378 gross tons. Built Chatham, Ont., 1872. Rebuilt (?) 1880. as 635 tons gross. 136 x 24 x 11. DISPOSITION:-- Sank Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, November 24, 1880.
      Preliminary List of Canadian Merchant Steamships
      Inland & Coastal 1809 to 1930. World Ship Society

The SIMCOE. -- This new steamer built here during this winteris nearly completed. She appears strong and fully able to weather the storms of the upper lakes. The building of this steamer has given employment to a large number of our citizens at a time when employment is not generally plentiful. The Georgian Bay Transportation Co. deserves the thanks of the people of Collingwood.
      Collingwood Bulletin
      April 28, 1880

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Simcoe (Propeller), C78023, 1879