The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 2, n. 9 (Mid-Summer 1970)
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Aug 1970

Bascom, John N., Editor
Media Type:
[Introduction]; Meeting; Marine News; Ship of the Month, No. 9; Delta Queen Forever; Salty Changes
Date of Publication:
Aug 1970
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Toronto Marine Historical Society
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This issue of SCANNER marks our first effort to publish during the summer months and we hope that all our readers will enjoy the result. The Marine News section should bring all our members up-to-date on current events and we have our usual other features along as well.

This SCANNER will be mailed to all members, whether they reside out-of-town or in the city, and will go to all those who are members for the 1969-70 season. Perhaps now would be a good time to remind everyone that.


All those who have not yet joined for the coming season are asked to forward their dues directly to the Treasurer, Mr. J. M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Rd., Toronto 9, Ont. Our United States members are requested to remit in CANADIAN FUNDS since the lower exchange rate no longer compensates for the Bank Charges on U. S. cheques.

This is the last SCANNER that will be sent to persons not signed up for the 1970-71 season.


Our first meeting in the Autumn will be held on Friday, October 2nd, at the Marine Museum. All members are welcome and may bring guests if they wish. We are always glad to see any out-of-town members who may be able to make it in for a meeting.

Marine News

As usual, the Kinsman Marine Transit Company of Cleveland is in the news again. This time it is as a result of the commissioning of another unit for the fleet. The former Interlake freighter, E.A.S. CLARKE, has entered service as the KINSMAN VOYAGER after being refitted at Lorain, Ohio. The ship had been inactive for the better part of a decade.

Usually we are quite pleased when a new laker enters service but, in the case of the newest unit of the Cleveland Tankers fleet, we are not so sure. A previous issue of this newsletter reported the launch of the tank barge PHOENIX. Now we must say that her appearance is not particularly striking since she is little more than an overgrown barge-canal tank barge. Nevertheless, she is the largest carrier in the Cleveland Tankers fleet, and is undoubtedly most economical to operate. Pushed by the tug JAMES TURECAMO, her first voyage into the Lakes brought her to the Sunoco Dock in Toronto where she arrived on May 4th.

The sale of the craneship WILLIAM H. DONNER to Miller Compressing Company of Milwaukee, was completed in April and on the 25th of the month, she arrived at the Lake Michigan port under tow of the Roen tug JOHN PURVES. She will be operated as a barge, still with her own cranes, and will be used to complete the loading of salt water vessels.

The U. S. House of Representatives has passed a bill designating the Great Lakes as the fourth seacoast. The effect of this legislation is that federal operating and construction subsidies will be available to U. S. lake fleets operating in foreign trade. Lake vessel owners will be permitted to establish a tax-deferred reserve fund for new construction and for the rebuilding of older carriers.

Many of our readers will be pleased to hear that the veteran Upper Lakes Shipping steamer MAUNALOA II will be with us for some time to come. She was up for survey in June; however, her owners received permission to operate her for a further period believed to extend into the 1971 season. We trust that business conditions will remain such as to warrant her further service. The MAUNALOA II is the last existing unit of the old Minnesota Steamship Company, Duluth, for whom she was built in 1899.

The Upper Lakes Shipping bulk carrier, RIDGETOWN, as well as the Kinsman vessels, LACKAWANNA and KINSMAN VENTURE, has been purchased by Canadian Dredge and Dock Co., for use as a breakwater in connection with the construction of the slip at the new Ontario Hydro plant at Nanticoke on Lake Erie. RIDGETOWN cleared Toronto under tow on June 1st and was subsequently loaded with stone at Port Colborne. Within the month, all three ships were placed in position end to end across the mouth of the new harbour. It is understood that the ships will be raised and sold for scrapping at such time as the construction is completed.

On May 15th, George M. Steinbrenner announced that Campbell W. Elliott, 56, senior Vice-President - Administration of the Midland-Ross Corp., had been elected President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Shipbuilding Company, effective June 1st.

The Neebish Rock Cut has always been known as one of the more dangerous channels in the Lakes system and on May 24th it was the scene of another mishap. The Columbia craneship W. C. RICHARDSON, downbound with slag from the Algoma Steel plant at the Soo for Lackawanna, failed to negotiate the turn at the upper entrance to the Cut and went ashore, suffering bow damage. Temporary repairs were completed at DeTour.

The Hall tanker FUEL TRANSPORT, idle since 1968 at Toronto, fitted out this Spring and cleared port on June 2nd. She was sold to Panamanian buyers for $60,000.00 and has now left the Great Lakes.

A new addition to the scenery at Ramey's Bend on the Welland Canal in May was the large tug TRIDENT STAR, now owned by Marine Salvage Limited. Steam powered, 158 ft. long and built in 1904 at Camden, N. J., she previously bore the names LENAPE, E. E. JOHNSON (II) and GOOD NEWS. Under the latter name, she spent considerable time idle at Hamilton and Toronto in the early 1960's.

The Gartland Steamship Company's bulk carrier, HENRY R. PLATT JR. (II), which became part of the Boland & Cornelius fleet in 1969, has been sold to Transworld Steel Corp. of Panama for scrapping. At present laid up in Cleveland, she did not operate for BoCo.

Speaking of Boland & Cornelius, there have been recent repercussions to the 1969 takeover by that concern of the Reiss and Gartland fleets. An antitrust suit has been filed in Buffalo by the U.S. Justice Department. American Steamship, which has consented, is now forced to dispose of all former Reiss ships to another operator within two years. It would appear that the firm cannot avoid competition by scrapping the older vessels. In addition BoCo cannot buy any other operating lakers or purchase stock in any other bulk fleet on the lakes for the next five years. During that period, any expansion of the fleet will have to be by means of new tonnage.

Exit another canaller. HERBERT A. and JAMES WHALEN en route to Hamilton, pass Dain City with MANZZUTTI, May 18, 1970. Photo by Skip GillhamThe Hindman Transportation Co. Ltd., has sold its upper lake bulk carrier RUTH HINDMAN, to Marine Salvage Ltd. The ship, formerly known as the NORWAY, of the Great Lakes Steamship Co. and Wilson Marine Transit Co., will remain in service until she falls due for survey at the end of August and will then, presumably, be scrapped.

The last two "Wolvin" type canallers on the lakes, MANZZUTTI and MANCOX, were towed down the Welland Canal on May 18th by the tugs HERBERT A. and JAMES WHALEN, enroute to Hamilton where they will be demolished by United Steel & Metals. Owned by the Yankcanuck Steamship Co., the two ships have been idle for several years at Sault Ste. Marie.

Our salt water fans will be interested to learn that the LURLINE, Matson's flagship, has been sold to Chandris Lines and will be renamed BRITANIS. The exodus of large liners from American registry seems to be continuing.

Fellow member, Al Sagon-King, of Thorold took this fine shot of HULL 1173 upbound in the Welland Canal below Lock 7 at 6:30 p.m., on June 12th, 1970.The much-heralded arrival of STUBBY, the bow and stern sections of the new Bethlehem 1000-footer, became a reality when the odd vessel passed up the Welland Canal on June 12th. The two sections were joined to produce a ship only 185 feet long and 75 feet wide. HULL 1173, as she was officially known, proceeded to Erie, Penna., where her midbody section will be inserted.

Two more lakers have made their last trips down the Welland Canal enroute for scrapping and, by your Editor's calculation, the departure of Misener's NIXON BERRY and MATHEWSTON brings to 99 the number of such passages since 1960. The following details should bring us up-to-date on the subject:

ALEXANDER LESLIE departed Quebec, May 12th, in tandem with PARKDALE in tow of tug SALVONIA.

NIXON BERRY passed down the Welland Canal, under her own power, on May l6th with a cargo of salt. She cleared Quebec May 30th in tandem with PORTADOC in tow of tug ROTESAND.

MATHEWSTON passed down the Welland Canal , under her own power, on May 31st. She cleared Quebec June 8th in tandem with MARTIAN in tow of tug JANTAR.

Word has come that the former canaller FARRANDOC (II), latterly operated as SAN TOME under the Venezuelan flag, has been broken up in the Orinoco River.

There have been many changes in the lake carferry situation since our last report. The Norfolk & Western Railway has renamed its two Detroit River tugs. The S.P. REYNOLDS is now the F.A. JOHNSON while the ST. JOSEPH will sail as R.G.CASSIDY.

Former C & O ferry, CITY OF FLINT 32, has been renamed ROANOKE and it now comes to light that the job of cutting her down included reversing her ends. While ferries operating on the open lake load at the stern, river ferries usually load from the bow, and accordingly her stern is now......

Switching to look at the C.N.R. ferry picture, we note that the two ships to be used on the Sarnia service, ST. CLAIR and SCOTIA II, were both at Port Weller drydock during the late spring to be reduced to barges. The tug AMHERSTBURG took ST. CLAIR out of Sarnia on May 22nd, and she brought SCOTIA II down the Welland Canal on June l8th. We understand that C. N. will be commissioning its own Detroit River tug in September, and that she will be an import to the lakes.

On the carferry scene, however, the cruelest blow of all has been the forced retirement of LANSDOWNE as a steamer as a result of her blowing both ends out of her port cylinder on June 24. She is now laid up at Windsor and will soon be reduced to a barge, but in view of the lack of suitable tug to push her, HURON, latterly pushed by AMHERSTBURG, has been reactivated as a steamer and this development, albeit only temporary, does a little to make up for the loss of the LANSDOWNE.

The luck of the Hall Corporation seems to be holding - and all of it bad! At 4:10 a.m. on July l4th, the EASTCLIFFE HALL, bound up to Saginaw with pig iron, struck Crysler Shoal, 18 miles west of Cornwall and quickly settled to the bottom taking with her nine persons. Only the ship's masts are visible and it would appear that she is a total loss. Disposition of the wreck has yet to be announced. The EASTCLIFFE HALL was built as a canaller by Canadian Vickers at Montreal in 1954 and was lengthened and deepened in 1959.

Ship of the Month, No. 9 Hiawatha

The Royal Canadian yacht Club ferry, HIAWATHA, is seen arriving at the Island Dock in October 1968, in this photo by the EditorThe past few years have seen such a drastic reduction in the number of lake passenger vessels, of both the overnight and excursion types, that it has become relatively easy to keep track of the remaining examples of this once-prolific type of ship. Bearing this in mind, we find it surprising that very few of our Toronto members realize that they have, right under their noses, what appears to be the oldest operating passenger vessel on the Great Lakes.

Back in the early 1890's, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto had, as their tender and passenger ferry, the wooden former steam yacht ESPERANZA, but by mid-decade she was no longer capable of handling the large number of members making the crossing between the club's city and Island properties. As a result, the R.C.Y.C. ordered from the Bertram Engine Works Ltd., Toronto, a new steel ferry and this craft was launched on July 9th, 1895. Christened HIAWATHA and given official number 100763, she was 56.0 feet in length, 13.3 in beam and 6.3 in depth. Her tonnage was 46 Gross and 31 Net. A single-decked ship, she carried a wooden cabin with an open deck aft and pilothouse forward and was powered by steam. She burned anthracite coal and never made much smoke.

HIAWATHA was completed shortly after her launching and entered service during the summer of 1895. Her first Master was Capt. David Reynolds, whose former command, the ESPERANZA, was now retired. It is interesting to note that in contrast with today's skyrocketing shipbuilding costs, the total bill for HIAWATHA amounted to only $7,000.

Around the turn of the century, the R.C.Y.C. disposed of their city property and HIAWATHA then served to take city members over to the club's premises located near Centre Island. Even HIAWATHA proved too small to handle the traffic alone and in 1912 she was joined by KWASIND, built by Polson Iron Works Ltd. The new ferry was roughly similar to HIAWATHA in appearance, but was fifteen feet longer and cost $13,000. more to build. The two ships have maintained the service together ever since.

During the winter of 1944-45, the steam engine and boiler were removed from HIAWATHA and were replaced by a gasoline engine. The KWASIND received the same treatment shortly thereafter. This is the only major alteration done on either ship, with the exception HIAWATHA received a new pilothouse during the early 1960's. Both ferries received the club's new blue and white livery in 1965.

KWASIND now does most of the work, but HIAWATHA usually operates in inclement weather and as a relief boat at other times. Both ships run on days of heavy passenger traffic and both have, at times, carried special parties on lake excursions and served as tenders at club races. The R.C.Y.C. maintains their ferries in excellent condition and, barring any unusual problems, the long-lived HIAWATHA should serve many more years.

Delta Queen Forever

Around a bend in the beautiful Ohio River, a mournful whistle wails and the echoes bounce back from the hills along the Kentucky shore. Slowly and majestically the white superstructure of the riverboat comes into view and a peculiar feeling comes into your throat, as if you were seeing, for a very brief moment, an image from the past. In a way, that is what she is, but the DELTA QUEEN is still very much alive and is off on another cruise to Louisville. Or is it Kentucky Lake, or Nashville, or even New Orleans?

Even so, you take out your camera for another photo of the old ship because you have the feeling that you might never see her passing again. For, you see, DELTA QUEEN has only until November 1, 1970, to live as an overnight passenger vessel. As of that date, she will be ruled off the rivers by legislation for "Safety at Sea" that has put her in the same class as deep sea vessels. DELTA QUEEN hardly fits into the category in which she has been placed since she never operates in open water and stays in the restricted waters of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Although wooden from the main deck up, she has been made as fire-resistive as possible without destroying her quaint character.

The whole problem has been well summed up by Capt. Frederick Way, Jr., editor of S & D REFLECTOR, the quarterly Journal of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen.

In the June, 1970, issue, Capt. Way said, in part:

"The DELTA QUEEN is of course in a peck of trouble, condemned to cease blowing for her landings come November, 1970. This desist order is due solely to U.S, legislation enacted a few years ago. Vessels flying the U.S. flag carrying overnight passengers in excess of 50 persons must comply with new safety standards. The crime of the QUEEN is her wooden superstructure. Boats in such service henceforth must have non-flammable housing where the tourist is confined, and in which he plays bingo, eats, sleeps, and where he writes post cards to those peons he left ashore when the stage is hoisted .....

"Oh the QUEEN is guilty all right. She's sort of old-fashioned in her crinoline and sachet and old lace. She was brought to the Mississippi to replace a tourist boat two years her senior, the old GORDON C. GREENE. The GREENE had become too small for the traffic. Nobody had complained that she was made of wood; she was just hanging in there refusing to die...

"Oh the QUEEN is guilty all right. Not that she's done anything wrong except to come from a proud lineage built of wood. The QUEEN hasn't committed any breach of morals; she hasn't caused pain or suffering. She did not transgress or break the commandment. There wasn't anything in the books they could hang on her, so a new law was created atop of Capitol Hill. Thou shalt not be made of wood."

Can we afford to let legislation as inappropriate as this "Safety at Sea" Bill rob this and all future generations of the opportunity to enjoy the slow pace and dreamy atmosphere of life on the river? We think not, and would urge all our U. S. members to write to their elected representatives and state their position. The "Save The Queen" campaign has reached a fever pitch as the deadline draws ever nearer, but still there is much doubt that the QUEEN can survive the apparent vendetta being waged against her by several unsympathetic authorities.

Still, the QUEEN herself sails on, seemingly oblivious to all the furor she is causing, and booked to virtually 100 percent of capacity for the rest of the year. The Toronto Marine Historical Society adds its voice to the many others that are saying that DELTA QUEEN must be allowed to continue serving the people of the North American continent as she has ever since Capt. Tom Greene had the foresight to bring her to the River to serve as his flagship.

Long Live The QUEEN!

Salty Changes

Listed are salt water ships which have traded into the lakes along with former names under which they may have appeared in these parts.

ALMERIAN (ASIA, ASSYRIA), 3649, 1956, British. Sold Cypriot, renamed THEOKLETOS.

ATHANASIA (BASSANO), 4984, 1946, Greek. Sold to Mainland Chinese breakers.

ATLANTIC DUKE, 10930, 1952, Liberian. Sold to Italian breakers.

ATOMENA, 22310, 196l, Swedish. Sold Italian.

GUY BARTHOLOMEW, 3636, 1943, Canadian. Sold within Canada, renamed FORT KENT.

BRISTOL CITY, 8907, 1959, British. Sold Greek.

CATE BROVIG, 16210, 1952. Norwegian. Sold Greek.

GUNNAR BROVIG, 9882, 1949, Norwegian. Sold to Spanish breakers.

BYKLEFJELL, 8500, 1952, Norwegian. Sold within Norway.

EXILONA, 6445, 1943, American. Sold within U. S. , renamed ILONA.

ISOLDE, 6892, 1956. Swedish. Sold Panamanian.

JULIA (SANTA CECILIA), 8357, 1946. American. Sold to Taiwan breakers.

LOUIS L. D., 11280, 1957, French. Sold to London Greeks.

MARATHA ENDEAVOUR, 15380, 1962, British. Sold Greek.

MORMACFIR, 10690, 1945, American. Sold within U. S.

MORMACOAK, 7329, 1944, American. Sold within U.S., renamed OAK. Resold to Taiwan breakers.

MORMACPINE, 10624, 1945. American. Sold within U.S. Resold to Taiwan breakers.

PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR (SUVA BREEZE), 4970, 1943, Panamanian. Sold to Taiwan breakers.

PRINS PHILIPS WILLEM, 5120, 1950, Dutch. Sold Greek, renamed CAPETAN GEORGIS.

SAN GERASIMOS (WILHELM NUBEL) 2736, 1950. Lebanese. Sank in heavy weather in Ionian Sea after machinery failure.

SUNDOVE (MABELLA) 3890, 1960, Norwegian. Sold Greek; renamed ASTRONAFTIS.

TAKESHIMA MARU, 11880, 1952, Japanese. Sold Greek.

TIA PEPITA (FLYING SPRAY), 5092, 1944, Panamanian. Sold to Taiwan breakers.

TSUNESHIMA MARU, 11945, 1953, Japanese. Sold Greek.

U. S. TOURIST, 7646, 1944, American. Sold to Taiwan breakers.

VENUS VICTORY, 7611, 1945. Liberian. Sold to Taiwan breakers.

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Scanner, v. 2, n. 9 (Mid-Summer 1970)

[Introduction]; Meeting; Marine News; Ship of the Month, No. 9; Delta Queen Forever; Salty Changes