Fire of undetermined origin early today destroyed a drydock owned by Ganton Dobson, beached on the west shore of Midland Bay. Mr. Dobson had planned to tow the drydock to Owen Sound.
Burning of the drydock to the water's edge brings to an end the interesting career of the "MAJOR" a lake freighter which was converted into a drydock.
The MAJOR was of wooden construction with reinforced steel arches and Howe truss. She was 292 feet in length, with a 41 foot beam and 20 foot depth.
On Nov. 9, 1913, carrying a cargo of coal, her smokestack snapped off in Lake Superior. Hours after being abandoned by her crew the vessel was picked up and towed to Sault Ste. Marie where her cargo was salvaged.
The MAJOR was bought by James Playfair (since deceased) and taken to Midland. After repairs had been made she carried grain, coal and ore with other Playfair vessels. In 1918 her engines were placed in another ship and the hull was sold to Georgian Bay Shipbuilding and Wrecking Co. She was turned into a drydock and from 1922 to 1940 the MAJOR took nearly 250 vessels on drydock for repairs.
Ivan Brook's Scrapbook
dated September 27, 1941