The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 4, n. 1 (October 1971)
Publication:
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Oct 1971


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Bascom, John N., Editor
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Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; More Marine News; Marine Photo Salon; Norgoma To The North Channel; Ned Hanlan is Rescued; Books; The McColl Frontenac Oil Company Limited
Date of Publication:
Oct 1971
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English
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rights holder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Meetings

Friday, October 1, 1971 - Slide Night of members' summer steamboating.

Friday, November 5, 1971 - Dinner Meeting. Robert J. MacDonald will speak on Great Lakes Shipwrecks.

The Editor's Notebook

This issue starts off Volume IV of our newsletter and we hope that you will like some of the articles that we have planned for you. Please be sure to let us know if you have any special requests for articles dealing with any particular marine subject. We'll try our best.

We are also reminded that membership fees are now due for the 1971-72 season. While we know that all readers will get their dues in promptly, we might say that this is the last issue that will be sent to those who do not renew. Don't put off sending in that cheque; we have bills to pay too! By the way, fees are also due from those new members who elected to receive back issues at the time of joining. Please remit directly to the Treasurer, Jim Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto 9. Other correspondence may be sent to the editorial office (address in the Masthead) but please do not send material to the Museum. We do not maintain an office there and do not wish to trouble the Museum staff.

Our group continues to grow and we should like to extend a welcome to the following new members: Ashe Lorriman, Islington, Ontario; John Crosse, Toronto; Peter Worden, Royal Oak, Michigan; Rudy Maki, Hancock, Michigan; The World Ship Society, Montreal Branch; and Richard D. Bibby, Duluth, Minnesota. We are pleased to see our membership list growing so rapidly; with the assistance of our current members, it should continue to do so.

The Steinbrenner Years

People are fond of labelling periods of time according to the great historical events commonly associated with those years. Thus in the annals of lake shipping, the late 1960's will be known as the BoCo years, the era in which the American Steamship Co., under the direction of the late H. Lee White, engaged in a remarkable program of expansion, gobbling up the fleets of the Reiss Steamship Co. and the Gartland Steamship Co., as well as the smaller Red Arrow Steamship Co. and the Redland Steamship Co., and making efforts to acquire several others. So far, the early 1970's have seen the forced shrinking of the Boland and Cornelius empire, but this has been far overshadowed by the spectacular growth of the Kinsman Marine Transit Co. of Cleveland into a shipping power taking a back seat to none other.

Kinsman, now a part of the American Shipbuilding group headed by George M. Steinbrenner, is operated by his father, Henry, and has been in the news on many occasions over the last decade through the purchase of single, older ships that have been cast off by other owners. Indeed, its only large vessel acquisition was the absorption, several years ago, of the Buckeye Steamship Co.'s four steamers JAMES E. FERRIS, BUCKEYE MONITOR, LACKAWANNA and HENRY LALIBERTE.

However, the Spring of 1971 brought news that Kinsman had purchased three veterans, SILVER BAY, PETER ROBERTSON and HARRY L, ALLEN, from the Republic Steel Corp. Then it became known that Amship would build, at the Lorain yard, two stemwinding self-unloaders for Kinsman. Now, all within a two week period, the company has made two startling purchases. First, at the beginning of September, came word that American Shipbuilding had bought the entire lake operation of Litton Industries Inc., including the shipyard at Erie and the fleet of the Wilson Marine Transit Co. As a result, the Kinsman fleet was expanded by ten vessels, C. L. AUSTIN, J. BURTON AYERS, FRANK R. DENTON, J. H. PULLMAN JR., B. F. JONES, EDWARD S. KENDRICK, A. T. LAWSON, BEN MORELL, A. E. NETTLETON, and THOMAS WILSON.

Close on the heels of this announcement came the news that the U.S. Justice Department had approved the divestiture by American Steamship Co. of a number of units of its Reiss and Gartland fleets. American Shipbuilding is accepting, as partial payment for a new BoCo self-unloader building at Toledo, seven vessels which will now become part of the Kinsman fleet. The seven are CHICAGO TRADER, JOHN P. REISS, OTTO M. REISS, JOE S. MORROW, WILLIAM A. REISS, RAYMOND H. REISS and GEORGE D. GOBLE, but of these, RAYMOND H. REISS will apparently be resold to the Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co. The involvement of CHICAGO TRADER in the "sale" results from a ruling that BoCo need not dispose of all the Reiss boats but may substitute equivalent tonnage. Thus BoCo will probably retain NICOLET, JOHN A. KLING, CHARLES C. WEST and RICHARD J. REISS, while disposing of J. L. REISS to the Erie Sand Steamship Co. and Gartland's W. E. FITZGERALD to Dwor Metals Ltd. (Marine Salvage Ltd). The former Redland steamer HENNEPIN and Boland's own UNITED STATES GYPSUM are currently awaiting disposal as are the Reiss units JACK WIRT and PETER REISS. Further operation seems unlikely for any of the latter four veterans.

Quite obviously, Kinsman's operations could hardly employ all the vessels which it will have in its fleet as a result of these deals. It seems likely that many will head for the scrapyard, although George M. Steinbrenner has mentioned the possibility of starting a Reserve Fleet. This would involve some vessels lying idle until needed, but being upgraded by repowering and rebuilding in order to be ready for use in emergency. For certain, we have not heard the end of the Kinsman expansion story but, come what may, this period in time will surely be remembered as the Steinbrenner Years.

More Marine News

Information is gradually coming to light regarding the extent of the damage suffered by the U.S. Steel bulk carrier ROGER BLOUGH in that disastrous fire at Lorain earlier this year. Fortunately, earlier fears that a whole new after end would have to be have proven to be unfounded, and no major hull damage has been discovered. The two Pielstick diesels were damaged beyond repair, however, and two new engines have been ordered from Fairbanks Morse, the company from which the ship's first single diesel had been ordered prior to the switch to Pielstick. The reduction gearing may require considerable work and, of course, there is much other equipment that will be in need of restoration. The engines are expected to be delivered in January, and the target date for the entry into service of the vessel has been set back to August, 1972.

A major collision occurred on August 27th at the lower end of Lake Huron. The Brazilian salty NETUNO, downbound, apparently failed to make the turn at the buoy above the narrows at the Blue Water Bridge and struck the upbound German freighter TRANSMICHIGAN. The latter ship received a bad gash in her No. 2 hold and was beached below the bridge. Temporary repairs were made at Sarnia so that the vessel could sail to Lorain. NETUNO received little damage.

Another casualty is the Q & O flagship THOROLD which suffered severe bow damage when she rammed a wall in the Welland Canal after a steering failure in late August. The ship was taken to Port Weller Drydocks where she received temporary repairs, but we understand that complete repair would bo so expensive that the company intends to retire the steamer at the end of this season.

One more aging laker will soon be heading to the scrapper's yard. The MICHIPICOTEN, a unit of Algoma Central's Providence Shipping Co. Ltd., was surveyed for scrap recently while unloading in Hamilton. It appears that the steamer, built in 1905 and for many years known as the tin-stacker HENRY C. FRICK, will finish out the year but she obviously holds no place in the future of the completely modernized Algoma fleet.

It seems that major news items have been appearing so frequently during the past few weeks that not all can be given their due coverage in these pages for want of space. Elsewhere in this issue, we recorded the final demise of the remains of the Gartland Steamship Co., and it now becomes our unpleasant duty to comment on the winding up of the Tomlinson Fleet Corp. This company, whose vessels have made the red stack with silver bands a familiar sight around the lakes for many decades, was one of those firms which, at the end of the 1950's, found itself with a fleet made up of aging and somewhat decrepit tonnage. One by one the ships were retired until only three were left, the self-unloaders SYLVANIA and G. A. TOMLINSON and the straight-deck bulk carrier JAMES DAVIDSON. Indeed, the latter has not been a recognizable unit of the Tomlinson fleet for a number of years in that she has recently operated in the colours of first the Buckeye Steamship Co. and latterly the Columbia Transportation fleets. Now, all three ships have been sold to Oglebay Norton & Co.'s Columbia division and the self-unloaders are already carrying their new colours. Tomlinson's affairs are expected to be wound up by the end of the year, and so ends the history of the fleet whose ships for so many years bore the familiar names' beginning with the letter S and ending with A, a la SHASTA, SPARTA and SINALOA. The future looks good for G. A. TOMLINSON and SYLVANIA, but somewhat less rosy for the DAVIDSON.

As our more avid photographers will have noted, traffic on the rivers and canals of the lakes has not been particularly good this past summer. A declining demand for iron ore combined with labour troubles to relegate many carriers to lay-up status. The steelworkers' strike set for August 1st did not actually hit any companies apart from Pickands Mather, but even so, many vessels were sent to the wall in anticipation of trouble, lay-ups being most common in the P.M., Inland, Bethlehem and U. S. Steel fleets. While Bethlehem soon returned to full operating strength, U.S. Steel is still holding several older ships in reserve, Interlake, which had no ships running at the height of the troubles, reactivated all but COL. JAMES PICKANDS, WALTER E. WATSON and SAMUEL MATHER which will remain in ordinary. Inland's L. E. BLOCK went to Manitowoc for extensive refitting and work was done on other ships of that fleet, including CLARENCE B. RANDALL during the forced pause in operations.

Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. has announced its plans to continue with the conversion of bulk carriers to self-unloaders, a trend that had been halted for the past year or two. The motorship SAGUENAY will soon enter Port Arthur Shipyards for the conversion work which will include an eleven foot increase in molded depth. The manager of the Port Arthur yard indicated that another similar conversion would follow on the heels of the SAGUENAY job. C.S.L. also has a new self-unloader on the ways at Collingwood and we are anxiously awaiting news of the name to be given this ship.

Details have been very slow in coming to light concerning a fire that occurred aboard the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad ferry CITY OF SAGINAW 31 on July 29th. The 1929-built Lake Michigan ferry was laid up at the yard of the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. where she was undergoing engine repairs and a general refit when a fire, possibly started by a welder's torch, swept through her accommodations on the upper deck and in the bow. Damage appears to be extensive.

In our last issue, we reported the circulation of an unconfirmed report that Pickands Mather's Interlake Steamship Co. was intending to dispose of its bulk carriers CHARLES M. BEEGHLY and HARRY COULBY to the Inland and Cleveland-Cliffs fleets, respectively. Happily, we have now received official confirmation that no such sales or transfers are in the works, so that rumour may be laid to rest!

Our last report to you on the trials of the tanker GOLDEN SABLE had her riding at anchor in Montreal after seizure by disgruntled and unpaid crewmen. Late in August, the ship was taken over from Penn Shipping Ltd. by Neal Petroleum Ltd., Toronto, a subsidiary of the Golden Eagle Refinery. She began operation in the Lake Erie area.

The craneship O. S. MCFARLAND, whose sale to scrappers had fallen through as reported in earlier issues, and which had reverted to Columbia ownership, was sold in August to the Escanaba Towing Co. for use in the Toledo to Detroit coal trade. She was towed from Saginaw and passed down the Detroit River on August 14. The veteran began service in her new role but we understand that many problems have arisen. She is, of course, being used as a barge.

The little craneship YANKCANUCK journeyed far from her usual stamping grounds on the Soo to Windsor steel run recently. Towards the end of August, she loaded steel products for Pugwash, Nova Scotia. From Pugwash, she headed back to Sept Isles where she loaded ore for Cleveland. After delivery of this cargo, she took coal from Toledo back to her home port of Soo, Ontario.

In the Mid-Summer issue, we ran a feature article on the Hudson River Day Line sidewheeler ALEXANDER HAMILTON, cautioning all those who had not had the pleasure of a cruise aboard this steamer to hurry to New York in view of the impending retirement of the vessel. Well, it has now happened. Complete with press coverage, the Grand Old Lady of the Hudson made her last trip on Labour Day. Reports reaching the writer indicate that a sizeable crowd was aboard to take part in this most solemn occasion, but we suspect that there were many hundreds of persons aboard who had no idea that they were a party to the passing of the last major sidewheel excursion steamer on the North American continent. All things must pass, but must they pass so quickly?

Another lake fleet that will disappear at the end of this season will be that of the Republic Steel Corporation. Having disposed of its three conventional steamers HARRY L. ALLEN, PETER ROBERTSON (II) and SILVER BAY (the latter having, incidentally, returned to service after extensive bow repairs) to the Kinsman Marine Transit Company, the fleet was left with only the trio of salt water conversions, CHARLES M. WHITE, TOM M. GIRDLER and THOMAS P. PATTON. It has now become evident that these three will pass to the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co, when this firm takes over the contract for hauling Republic ore from the present carrier, the Wilson Marine Transit Co.

The Canadian Dredge and Dock Co. Ltd. has a contract to do some landfilling work in Hamilton Bay at the Steel Company of Canada plant. Apparently, the job will involve the construction of a permanent wall or breakwater and, to this end, the company has obtained the veteran lake steamers HENRY R. PLATT JR. and GROVEDALE. The former, which has lain at the Marine Salvage yard at Ramey's Bend in the Welland Canal since last fall, has now been stripped of her cabins and we understand that the same operation has been performed on GROVEDALE in Hamilton. The two vessels will be moved to the Stelco site this fall, but more old hulls will be needed next year and we understand that Canadian Dredge will bring to Hamilton the LACKAWANNA, KINSMAN VENTURE and RIDGETOWN which are owned by the firm and are now being used as a temporary breakwater during construction of the Nanticoke hydro plant.

In response to mounting pressures from various ecologically minded groups, the Federal Government this summer began considering ways of removing the 22,000 gallons of bunker C fuel oil from the rusting hull of the tanker IRVINGLAKE which has lain in the Bay of Chaleur, near Bathurst, New Brunswick, ever since she grounded there in 1963. The tanker's owners, the Irving Oil Co. Ltd., had made no effort to recover either the ship or her cargo, IRVINGLAKE is lying close to the shoreline, and it has been feared that, as her condition deteriorates, a major oil spillage might occur. Early in September, the first attempts at remedying the situation were made and gasoline was being pumped into the holds and set afire in an effort to get the heavier bunker oil burning, IRVINGLAKE, to the best of our knowledge, has never appeared on the lakes under that name, however, she was a frequent visitor to our area during the 1950's while trading under the name NIPIWAN PARK. She carried for B.A. Oil at that time. She is, perhaps, best known for her close escape from destruction during the second war when she had her entire bow section blown off by a torpedo in the Atlantic off Halifax in 1944.

With the amount of traffic crossing the Detroit River by carferry apparently on the increase, it is neither unnatural nor unexpected that the Canadian Pacific Railway should begin using its own ships again on the run that it abandoned so many years ago. In past years, most of the C.P.R. freight cars have been taken across the river by the Norfolk and Western's four barges, but during mid-September, Canadian Pacific moved its tug PRESCOTONT and railferry barge OGDENSBURG to Windsor. This pair, formerly on the Prescott to Ogdensburg route, has not operated since the unfortunate destruction of the Ogdensburg wharf by fire. There is some indication that the Bultema Dock and Dredge Co.'s barge MANISTEE, formerly the Lake Michigan ferry ANN ARBOR 3, and latterly used as temporary replacement for CHIEF WAWATAM on the Straits route, may serve as a second boat on the C.P.R. service. One thing we know for sure: the handsome tug PRESCOTONT will provide a good contrast to the dubious pulchritude of the N & W and C.N.R. pusher tugs!

Difficulties continue to plague the new Bethlehem carrier STEWART J. CORT. Most of the problems have been worked out and the vessel has passed her sea trials, but is not expected to enter service until sometime in October due to trouble with her unloading system. The future of ships of her type planned by Litton for building at Erie, Pennsylvania, would seem in doubt since the purchase of the Erie yard by American Shipbuilding.

A familiar sight around the Toronto waterfront for several years, the Lunenburg fishing schooner HARRY W. ADAMS has been sold to American interests. The vessel, owned by Capt. Arthur Scott, had been completely rebuilt for cruising service but plans to use her for excursions for local school children had been abandoned because of continuing obstacles placed in the way by the Federal Government. The ADAMS, which has made a number of trips this year in charter service, was sold to Grand Banks Schooners Inc. and then resold to Chicago buyers. She left Toronto in mid-September. A similar but smaller vessel, ROBERT J. KNICKLE, is still at Toronto.

For the past two seasons, the excursion steamer COLUMBIA has delighted many hundreds of persons who have taken part in her special holiday trips to Port Huron. The Labour Day excursion this year, however, was probably somewhat more exciting than normal. While attempting to turn in the St. Clair River after leaving the dock in Pinegrove Park at Port Huron, the steamer encountered difficulties and made an unscheduled landing amongst some wooden pilings on the Canadian shore. The dock suffered damage in the area of $10,000 and COLUMBIA, after returning to her Detroit pier, was sent to the American Shipbuilding Co.'s yard at Toledo where the necessary inspection and repairs were completed.

Marine Photo Salon

Due to our desire to keep down the size of our mid-summer issue, we omitted the report on the Marine Photo Salon which we held Friday, May 7th, following our Spring dinner meeting.

We had approximately 22 entries in the three classes specified, but the number of members participating was disappointing. We do, however, realize the problems involved for our out-of-towners. The limiting of entries to black and white prints also proved to be a difficulty.

The judge for our contest was Mr. Jim Beveridge of Toronto Camera Club fame, a very qualified and talented individual who spoke to us, following the dinner, on the techniques of improving our photographic efforts. An informative and spirited question and answer period followed.

Ribbon winners in the three classes were:

Lakers:

1st

Jim Kidd

JOHN E. F. MISENER

2nd

Al Sagon-King

SARNIADOC

3rd

Fred Sankoff

SIR. DENYS LOWSON

4th

Jim Walder

KEEWATIN

Salties:

1st

Jim Walder

SAARSTEIN

2nd

Fred Sankoff

PLAYA DE MASPALOMAS

3rd

Al Sagon-King

NORBETH

4th

Bill Wilson

HOLMSIDE

General Marine:

1st

Al Sagon-King

THOROLD - at Pulp Dock by night

2nd

John Bascom Jr.

SOUTH AMERICAN: Even the heavens weep.

3rd

John Bascom

KEEWATIN Boat Drill.

4th

Jim Walder

MARTIAN - at Canada Malting

Our thanks to all those who entered. The photos made an extremely handsome display in the Marine Museum.

Norgoma To The North Channel

We regret not making mention in the mid-Summer issue of a wonderful cruise organized and directed by fellow T.M.H.S. member Charles Bieser of Cleveland. The leisurely trip on NORGOMA from Owen Sound on June 20 to Manitoulin Island ports (as advertised in the March issue) proved to be a delightful, scenic cruise enjoyed by everyone aboard, including the crew!

Jim and John Wellington, of Sugar Island ferry fame, and also Fr. Dowling came aboard at Sault, Ontario, for the four hour trip through the Canadian lock into Whitefish Day and return.

The race between steam and diesel on June 23 was exciting, particularly as this was the first time NORISLE and NORGOMA had travelled from South Bay Mouth to Tobermory together in the same direction. The steam safety valve on the leading NORISLE blew after an hour or so and NORGOMA immediately checked, so consequently there was no declared winner.

Everyone enjoyed a little side venture into the "Big Tub" where Capt. Morrison turned NORGOMA around as if he did it every day.

This was NORGOMA's first trip of the season and she was in immaculate condition, befitting such an auspicious group. T.M.H.S. members aboard included Charlie Bieser, Dave Glick, Ashe Lorriman, Bill Luke, Bill Sharp and Peter Worden. In addition, our friends from the Steamship Historical Society of America made up a passenger list which guaranteed three days of "solid steamboating."

---- Jim Kidd

Ned Hanlan is Rescued

Several issues ago, we told of plans by the Toronto Historical Board to preserve the steam tug NED HANLAN if the necessary funds could be raised. It has now been announced that, thanks to Mr. David Stewart of the MacDonald Tobacco Co., sufficient funds have been accumulated and the vessel will be lifted from the murky water of the Rees Street slip this fall. She will be moved by trailer to a spot just to the west of the Marine Museum and there will be placed on a special cradle, with filling operations to be completed after the ship is in place. Eventually, and hopefully by next spring, she will be restored to operating condition for viewing by the local citizenry.

It appears that T.M.H.S. may be given an opportunity to assist in the job of preserving this fine tug and we trust that, if requested, we will have the full support of all of our local members.

Books

New books dealing with ships appear fairly frequently; those particularly concerned with the Great Lakes, however, are somewhat less numerous. Our members who take great interest in such material will, no doubt, be sufficiently aware of such publications that mention of them in these pages will not be necessary. We do, however, feel that mention should be made of publications produced by members of our society.

Your editor has no intention of placing himself in the position of a book critic. We shall merely advise of the subject, cost and availability of our members' works as a service to T.M.H.S. members.

SHIPS ALONG THE SEAWAY by Skip Gillham - Stonehouse Publications, $2.25.

Skip Gillham is no stranger to shipping enthusiasts in this area. Originally from Toronto and now a resident of Vineland, Skip is one of our more enthusiastic photographers and historians and is author of SHIPS THAT PLY THE LAKES, a weekly feature of The St. Catharines Standard.

His latest effort, SHIPS ALONG THE SEAWAY, is an attempt to produce, for the benefit of visitors to the Welland Canal, a description of the various types of ships using that waterway. The author has chosen several vessels representing each type of carrier and has given a short history of the ship together with a photo. In all, thirty-nine vessels are featured, the majority being lakers.

The book, fifty-two pages in a paperback format, is not intended as a reference work for historians, but should amply serve to enlighten the casual ship-watcher. It may be obtained in the concession booths at Locks 1 and 3 or may be ordered from Stonehouse Publications, R. R. #1, Fonthill, Ontario.

GREAT LAKES LOG by John Lamour - Lamour Printing Co., $2.00

John Lamour, of Monroe, Michigan, is the writer of a panel (a la Ripley) appearing regularly in newspapers in the lakes area. Entitled GREAT LAKES LOG, the series features short, illustrated notes on interesting ships, places, and historical items of interest to persons living around the lakes.

John has now combined fifty-three of these panels into a small, paperback book for the benefit of collectors. It is available directly from the author, 123 East Front Street, Monroe, Michigan, 48161.

The McColl Frontenac Oil Company Limited

A Fleet List

One of the first companies to distribute petroleum products in the Toronto area was McColl Brothers Ltd., a small firm dating well back into the nineteenth century which maintained a refinery of sorts in the east end of the city near the Don River. During the 1920's, the company, having decided to transport its oil by ship, chartered from John E. Russell of Toronto the bulk river and lake type barges NADINE and HILDA. The plan was to carry the oil in the holds of the barges, but no special equipment, apart from the necessary pumps, was added. As might be expected, the experiment was highly unsatisfactory and very few trips were made.

JOHN IRWIN unloads at the McColl Frontenac Toronto terminal c. 1935. J. H. Bascom photo.The firm then decided to use Erie Canal type barges and, to this end, obtained the services of THOMAS TOMLINSON and PASSAIC, both steel-hulled, as well as the wooden JAMES F. CAHILL. The former two were fitted as tankers, but the latter was nothing more than a typical wooden bulk Erie Canal barge with the usual distinctive peaked hatches. The barges were used on the Buffalo-Toronto crude oil trade and were usually towed by the Welland Canal tugs J.R. BINNING and METEOR. None of them remained in the fleet for long. Very little is known about any of the three but, from details of a suit commenced by the mate of the CAHILL after her loss, it is learned that the action was against McColl Bros. Ltd., the Russell Towing Co., and C. D. Secord, the owner of record who, incidentally, was the owner, under the name Ohio Tankers Corp., of the B.B. McCOLL when she operated as A.J. PATMORE a few years later. It is, therefore, to be assumed that Russell, who had connections with many operators, was operating the barges in McColl's service.

In 1926, the company bought its first steamer, the PULOE BRANT, formerly a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker, and brought her to the lakes. Renamed B. B. McCOLL, she entered service in 1927 but was not to serve for long. In 1928, the aforementioned JAMES F. CAHILL was loading oil in Buffalo Harbour when she caught fire. The blaze, apparently started by an oil lamp on the tank barge(!), destroyed the CAHILL and spread to the nearby McCOLL as well as to the firetug W.S.GRATTAN. The B.B.McCOLL was severely damaged and was abandoned to the underwriters. Subsequently rebuilt, she is still active on the lakes for other owners.

Shortly after entering lake service, CYCLO-CHIEF heads down the Toronto Ship Channel in this photo by J. H. Bascom.In 1929, the firm began a building program to develop a more respectable fleet but, by this time, McColl Bros. Ltd. had amalgamated with John Irwin's Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd., Montreal, to form the McColl Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd. The fleet took delivery of its first modern canal tanker, christened JOHN IRWIN, the same year. In the following year, her builders, the Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. of Haverton Hill-on-Tees, turned out two additional steamers, CYCLO-CHIEF and CYCLO-WARRIOR, these two having greater capacity than their earlier sister due to an increased depth. This pair served mainly on the Chicago-Toronto crude run.

The operations of McColl Frontenac, still a relatively small concern in that it served only Ontario and Quebec, came to an end in 1947 when it was absorbed into the large international Texaco organization. At this time, the three tankers were transferred to Texaco Canada Ltd. which still operates one of them in its current lake fleet.

a) CHARTERED VESSELS

Although many other vessels have been chartered for short periods at various times, the following are those employed for any appreciable length of time.

J. R. BINNING Can. 138226. Wooden tug, built 1916, Sorel, Que. 53.1 x 15.5 x 7.7. Gross 58, Net 31. Owned for a short period by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal. Operated for many years on the Welland Canal by J. W. Harrigan, Port Dalhousie. Engines removed 1942 and hull abandoned in Muir's Pond, Port Dalhousie.

METEOR Can. 107950. Wooden tug, built 1902, Port Robinson, Ont. 52.0 x 16.4 x 9.1. Gross 47, Net 32. Owned 1914 by James Pendergast, Cornwall and 1918 by Port Colborne Tug Co. Ltd. Operated for many years on the Welland Canal by D. McGrath, St. Catharines. Rammed and sunk by a barge below Port Colborne c. 1930.

NADINE Can. 107681. Steel bulk barge built 1899, Toronto, Ont., for Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd. 166.0 x 29.8 x 12.6. Net 484. Acquired 1921 by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. Sold 1924 to R. G. Weddell, Trenton, Ont. Later purchased by John E. Russell, Toronto. Sold 1929 to the Pyke Towing & Salvage Co., Kingston. Later sold to A.B. McLean & Son, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Foundered near Brush Point, St. Mary's River 1945.

HILDA Can. 96870. Steel bulk barge built 1898, Toronto, for the Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd. 160.0 x 30.0 x 12.3. Net 418. Acquired 1921 by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. Sold 1924 to R. G. Weddell, Trenton, Ont. Later purchased by John E. Russell, Toronto. Sold 1929 to Pyke Towing & Salvage Co., Kingston, later McAllister-Pyke Salvage Ltd. Sold 1969 to United Steel & Metals Ltd., Hamilton, for scrapping but found to be in such bad shape that she was scuttled in Lake Ontario off Kingston, October 1969.

PASSAIC U. S. ? Steel Erie Canal tank barge.

THOMAS TOMLINSON. U. S. 167266. Steel Erie Canal tank barge, built 1918, Kingston, N.Y. Gross 422.

JAMES F.CAHILL U.S. 165740. Wooden Erie Canal bulk barge, built 1914, Brooklyn, N.Y. Gross 396. Purchased c.1926 by C. D. Secord, Cleveland. Destroyed by fire and explosion in Buffalo Harbour 1928.

b) OWNED VESSELS

B.B. McCOLL (31), (a) SERVITOR (23), (b) PULOE BRANI (27), (d) A.J. PATMORE (39), (e) ROTARY (42), (f) A.J. PATMORE (46), (g) PEGGY REINAUER (55), (h) DETROIT. Br. ? U.S. 229053. Royal Fleet Auxiliary steam tanker, built 1914, Chatham Dock Yard, Chatham, England. 200.0 x 34.2 x 16.2. Purchased 1926 by McColl Bros. Ltd. After two unsuccessful attempts to cross Atlantic under own power, was towed to Montreal. Arrived Lake Ontario, November 1926. Became total loss by fire at Buffalo, 1928. Abandoned to underwriters. Sold to (Ohio Tankers Corp. and rebuilt 1930 by Electric Boat Works as barge canal type diesel tanker. Gross 858, Net 673. Damaged by explosion 1932 while unloading gasoline at Toronto. Rebuilt. Later sold R.T.C. No. Eleven Corp., Lyndhurst, N. J., for service on East Coast. Requisitioned by U.S. War Shipping Administration 1942. Purchased 1946 by Reinauer interests, U.S. East Coast. Sold 1953 to Michigan Tankers Inc., returned to lake trade. Lengthened 1959 to 249.5 x 34.2 x 15.2. Gross 1156, Net 895. Currently in use on Lake Michigan.

JOHN IRWIN (I) (40), (b) CYCLO-BRAVE (47), (c) TEXACO-BRAVE. Can. 160718. Steel canal tanker, built 1929, Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees, Hull 145. 250.0 x 43.2 x 18.0. Gross 1926, Net 1116. Reboilered 1952, Owners: l) McColl Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd., Toronto (1929-47). 2) Texaco Canada Ltd.

CYCLO-CHIEF (47), (b) TEXACO-CHIEF (I) (55), (c) FUEL TRANSPORTER (59), (d) FUEL TRANSPORT (70), (e) WITFUEL. Can. 160729. Steel steam canal tanker, built 1930, Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees, Hull 177. 250.0 x 43.3 x 24.2. Gross 2500, Net 1422. Lay idle 1954-55 at Port Weller and 1968-70 at Toronto. Sold 1970 for service in the Caribbean, Owners: l) McColl Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd. (1930-47). 2) Texaco Canada Ltd. (1947-55). 3) Gayport Shipping Ltd., Toronto (1955-59). 4) Hall Corporation of Canada Ltd. (1959-70). 5) West Indies Transport Ltd.

CYCLO-WARRIOR (47), (b) TEXACO-WARRIOR (69), (c) LAKE TRANSPORT (II). Can.160731. Steel steam canal tanker, built 1930, Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees, Hull 178. 250,0 x 43.3 x 24.2. Gross 2500 Net 1422. Severely damaged bow by ramming entrance to Toronto Ship Channel, October 1950. Repaired. Grounded and sank in Welland Canal at Thorold South 1964. Refloated and repaired. Owners: l) McColl Frontenac Oil Co. Ltd., (1930-47). 2) Texaco Canada Ltd. (1947-69). 3) Hall Corporation of Canada Ltd.

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Scanner, v. 4, n. 1 (October 1971)


Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; More Marine News; Marine Photo Salon; Norgoma To The North Channel; Ned Hanlan is Rescued; Books; The McColl Frontenac Oil Company Limited