The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Frances Smith (Steamboat), 1 May 1867

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Launch of the "Frances Smith"
      4,000 People Present
      "AIgoma" Arrives
      At the hour of 2 o'clock, p.m. on Tuesday last, an immense concourse of people from town and country,
all in holiday attire assembled on either bank of the river to witness the launch of Captain Smith's new steamer,
the 'Frances Smith.'
The appearance_of the sky in the morning betokened an unpleasant day; but after a short shower. the sky
became clear; the sun came out and as beautiful a day as could be desired, greeted the assembled thousands.
The arrival of the Algoma from Collingwood loaded with excursionists, added interest to the scene; and as the preparations for the launch progressed, excitement became the more intense.
The new Owen Sound band stood upon the forward deck, the various flags were furled at the foot of their
respective masts, when the ceremony of the PRESENTATION OF COLORS proceeded with.
A platform, erected near the larboard bow of the steamer, was occupied by the Committee, consisting of the
Mayor, Judge Macpherson, A.M. Stephens and Horatio Secord, Esquires.. appointed by the subscribers, to
present the new colors to Captain Smith
The Mayor, Thomas Scot, Esq., read the following address:
Dear Sir -We your fellow townsmen participate in the pleasure which you must this day feel in the
successful completion of a project which for some time, has been the object of your ambition, via" the
construction of this large, staunch and beautiful steamship.
Your efforts heretofore in providing us with swift and commodious means of transit, conferred upon us a
boon possessed by few other towns, we are unmindful of those favors and feel much satisfaction in
witnessing in this noble vessel the substantial result of these endeavors.
During your residence amongst us, your career exhibits a spirit of enterprise which elicits our warmest commendations; it is this same spirit of enterprise which has built up our large and wealthy cities; traversed
our county with railroads and canals, and founded a Dominion in a land but recently a gloomy forest
Your persevering efforts to advance your own welfare- ever honorable- have been such that we as a
community, have shared largely in the benefits occurring therefrom; our .laboring men and mechanics have
been provided with employment, the business of our town has been enlarged, and our farmers in the
surrounding country have been enabled to obtain an increased reward for their labors. .
which we hold you we beg to present you with this set of colors to be carried by this splendid
steamer whose launch we are about to witness; Her fine model great strength and superior
workmanship attest the skill and integrity of her architect and under the able command of
yourself the traveling public may rest assured of safety speed and comfort together with kind and
courteous treatment.
We wish you success in this undertaking we hope and trust that it may be profitable to
you and that you and your esteemed family may long enjoy the fruits of your persevering energy.
The colors were then hoisted and floated beautifully in the breeze. The Union Jack at the
stem the Red Ensign at the stern the Red Cross of St. George midship, and on the wheelhouse
the Canadian emblems, the Beaver and the Maple Leaf, were displayed on smaller flags with
blue and white grounds respectively, while at the peak, still furled, was the burgee, awaiting the
signal to disclose to the waiting spectators the name of the steamer:.
Captain Smith in a few well chosen words returned thanks for he handsome gift which
had been presented_to him and while acknowledging the many kindnesses received from the
people of Owen Sound during his residence amongst them, expressed his great obligation for
this most appropriate mark of their esteem. He dwelt at some length on the superior natural
capabilities of the Owen Sound Harbor, claiming that it possessed all the requisites for an
excellent dock-yard, and expressed a hope that this launch of a magnificent steamer, being the
first, would be followed by many others, and that ere long, the merchant marine of Owen Sound
might occupy no second place in these Western waters of the Dominion of Canada. He desired
to acknowledge his indebtedness to the superior skill and ability of Mr. Simpson, the builder of
the beautiful craft, they were now about to launch into its proper element; and should her
beautiful proportion astonish the finny inhabitants of these Western waters all praise was due to
him. He thanked them for their kind wishes to himself and family and hoped that the vessel
would long float to bear the beautiful colors which through their kindness now graced it.
The preparations having now been completed ,the noble vessel was resting on its slippery
ways the creaking of the ropes which held her to terra Firma betokened its desire to be set afloat.
When one -two -three was spoken the several ropes were simultaneously severed by the
workmen, and in a moment she was tossing about in the disturbed waters of the river. Cheer
after cheer rent the air and hearty congratulations were exchanged on the great success attending
the launch.
The following are the dimensions of the new craft: -Length of keel 190 feet; length over
all 197 feet, length of beam 30 feet, width over all 50 feet depth of hold 11 feet 4 inches;
tonnage, 640 tons; Engine 250 horse power; length of stroke 12 feet; diameter of wheel 34 feet;
length of bucket 6 feet 10 inches; dip 30 inches.
The dispatch which has attended the construction has been truly marvelous the work
having been commissioned in December last since which time there have been on the average
seventy men employed upon her. She is expected to commission her trips to Collingwood by the
middle of this month.
We heartily congratulate Captain Smith the successful result of his new and beautiful
      Owen Sound Advertiser
      May 2,1867

      The Frances Smith
This splendid new steamer made her trail trip on Friday last from Owen Sound to
Collingwood and back calling on her way down at all the intermediate ports. Nothing could be
more satisfactory than the manner in which she behaved in every respect. Both Mr. Simpson her
builder and Captain Smith her owner have reason to be gratified with the success of their
undertaking. Judging from the time which she made from Collingwood to Owen Sound although
running against a heavy wind we are informed by those who profess to know about such matters
she is likely to be unsurpassed for speed in the northern or western waters, She answers her helm
beautifully and has very little motion even in a heavy seas. She is now running daily between
this port and Collingwood
      Owen Sound Advertiser
      June 6,1867

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Launch, Owen Sound, &c.
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Frances Smith (Steamboat), 1 May 1867