The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 4, n. 6 (March 1972)
Publication:
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Mar 1972


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Creator:
Bascom, John N., Editor
Media Type:
Website
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Meetings; Other Groups; The Editor's Notebook; Lay-up Listings; Captain Frank E. Hamilton; Did The Oconto Start A Fire?; Ship of the Month No. 20; Oil On Troubled Waters (?); If Only It Were So
Date of Publication:
Mar 1972
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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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Toronto Marine Historical Society
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Full Text

Meetings

Friday, March 3rd - Mr. Alan Howard speaks! "My Adventures With the CAYUGA," the story of Toronto's last passenger steamer.

Friday, April 7th - Mr. James Walder will speak on "Toronto - Seaway City." A pictorial survey of salties and lakers calling at Toronto since the opening of the Seaway in 1959.

Other Groups

The annual dinner meeting of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit will be held on Saturday, March 11th, at the Wyandotte Yacht Club; movies.

The Editor's Notebook

Our February Meeting was capably addressed by Mr. Thomas Appleton, the Marine Historian of the Canadian Department of Transport. He showed some excellent slides of various vessels operated by the Department and its predecessors over the years and told many fascinating anecdotes of the service. Our only wish is that there had been more time so that we could have heard more from Mr. Appleton.

Our sincere thanks go to Mr. and Mrs. Appleton for coming all the way from Ottawa in just about the worst weather of the winter to speak to T.M.H.S. They only got as far as Brockville by car and had to take the train the rest of the way. Some of our nearby members also had some considerable trouble in getting to the meeting. Just ask Al Sagon-King!

We should like to thank several members who have stepped forward with suggestions for articles in SCANNER. Our Ship of the Month in this issue is the result of one of these suggestions. May we hear from more of our readers?

In the New Member Department, we should like to extend a most cordial welcome to Patrick Hardy of Toronto, and to Milton J. Brown of Rocky River, Ohio, as well as to Nels Wilson and Miss Barbara Carson of Kingston, Ontario.

Marine News

The Upper Lakes Shipping bulk carrier WHEAT KING has been wintering in the drydock at Port Weller where she was undergoing extensive repair work, including the removal of steam auxiliary facilities aboard. On Wednesday, February 2nd, while workmen were welding in the after end of the motorship, oily waste caught fire and the flames spread to the bilges. Prompt effort by the drydock firefighting team and the St. Catharines fire department confined the actual fire to the after end of the shaft compartment but the resultant heat and smoke caused heavy damage in the crew's accommodations. According to the latest reports reaching us, it would appear that damage is relatively extensive but that repairs will be carried out and the vessel is expected to return to service in the Spring.

The longest ore shipping season ever seen on the Great Lakes closed on February 1st, 1972, with the downbound passage at the Soo of the U.S. Steel bulk carriers BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS and ENDERS M. VOORHEES in that order. The previous record for late navigation at the Soo was set the previous winter when the ore carriers of the same fleet closed the locks on January 29th. The FAIRLESS and VOORHEES passed down to Lake Michigan with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard tug ARUNDEL and icebreaker MACKINAW. The passage through Lake Michigan was made with the assistance of the breaker EDISTO and, after unloading, both steamers went into winter quarters at Milwaukee. The FAIRLESS unloaded her cargo at Gary, Indiana, while the VOORHEES had been bound for South Chicago.

A new shipping company recently incorporated in Cleveland has announced plans to commence operations in the Spring. The firm, Marine Transit Inc., has been formed by four Cleveland lawyers, a law professor and two former executives of the Wilson Marine Transit Co. The company intends to offer employment opportunities to minority ethnic groups. Marine Transit Inc. apparently has a commitment to purchase two bulk carriers from an as yet unnamed fleet and is reportedly negotiating for as many as four self-unloaders. It is to be expected that the bulk carriers will come from the Wilson fleet and that the self-unloaders are the four that American Steamship Co. has suggested it would like to sell, but no confirmation has yet been received. The company claims to have several cargo contracts lined up to keep its vessels active.

Whenever a municipality goes on an austerity drive, it is bound to mean that the public will lose some facility which will be sorely missed. The city of Detroit has been having its problems with financing recently and this has had two effects on persons sharing a marine interest. Firstly, the cutback has forced the fire department to lay up its big steam firetug JOHN KENDALL, for years a familiar sight on the river. The 128 foot two-stacker was built in 1929 at Toledo and was recently best known for her melodic triple chime whistle which she inherited, in reverse chronological order, from JESSE JAMES, E. G. MATHIOTT and R. E. MOODY. The KENDALL was decommissioned on January 27th and there seems little chance that she will be reactivated. The second result of the municipal money troubles is that the Dossin Museum, which houses the Great Lakes Maritime Institute and a sizeable collection of marine material, is in danger of having to close its doors to the public. The Museum is currently trying to avoid that possibility by staging a major drive for funds.

A charge of violating the Beach Protection Act which had been laid against the Ontario Lake Erie Sand Co. Ltd., was dismissed in Windsor on January 13th. It had been alleged that the sandsucker W. M. EDINGTON had, on September 17th, 1969, taken a load of sand from an area in Lake Erie that she had not been licensed to work. A similar charge against the National Sand steamer CHARLES DICK had previously led to a conviction.

Residents of the Michigan Sault's Sugar Island area have once more been extremely vocal in their condemnation of the ferry service provided across Little Rapids Cut by the Wellington Transportation Company's carferry SUGAR ISLANDER. Late navigation forced ice to pack into the restricted channel and the ferry encountered severe difficulties in maintaining its schedule during the latter part of January. In addition, the ferry further downstream operating between DeTour and Drummond Island was also forced to abandon attempts to fight the heavy ice. Emergency service on both routes was provided by the Coast Guard. Some of the Sugar Islanders have petitioned U. S. government representatives to provide an ice-breaking ferry for the area. One wonders what their tax bill would look like should such a ferry be provided,.....

Yankcanuck Steamships Ltd., which has for two years, been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Algoma Steel Corporation, became the Marine Division, Algoma Steel Corp., at the beginning of 1972. The former owner of the fleet, Capt. P. Manzzutti, will apparently remain in a consulting capacity until his retirement this May.

The McQueen tug AMHERSTBURG has been fitted at Sturgeon Bay with certain electronic equipment designed to assist in the location of underwater Arctic oil fields. The tug has been testing the machinery in the ice of Green Bay, Lake Michigan.

Another vessel has been added to the rapidly growing fleet of the Consortium Ile d'Orleans, the group concerned with the St. Lawrence dredging project. The ship that we reported in the last issue as named ILE D'ORLEANS is not, in fact, the old BULKARIER, but rather the east coast dredge LOADMASTER. This vessel was long known on the lakes as Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation's canaller NORMAN B. MacPHERSON. She was sold in 1959 and left the lakes that fall, being converted to a dredge by the St. John Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd. She was operated by that firm first as a steamer and latterly as a barge. In 1967 she was sold to Engineering Consultants Ltd., Saint John, and was fitted with outboard propulsion. She was acquired by McNamara Construction in 1971 and was refitted at Whitby. In the interim, she has returned to the Sorel area in preparation for her new duties. She has been transferred to the ownership of the consortium and the rename has been officially registered.

Three more wartime-built lakers are being updated during the winter months. The tinstackers SEWELL AVERY and ROBERT C. STANLEY are having their decks strapped while in lay-up at Superior, Wisconsin, while Columbia's FRANK PURNELL is getting new plating in her holds as well as automated boiler controls, this work being done at Cleveland.

Salvage experts are currently attempting to devise a method of raising the burned out hulk of the liner QUEEN ELIZABETH which now lies on its side in the mud of Hong Kong harbour. The consensus of opinion seems to be that further operation of the ship is next to impossible and so she will probably be removed for scrap. Unfortunately, the bottom of the harbour is covered by an extremely mobile layer of mud and it is feared that this will have seeped into the ship, greatly increasing the weight that must be lifted. It is feared that there may be serious consequences should the wreck not be removed prior to the arrival of the typhoon season.

The Hall Corp. has, let it be known that its small bulk carriers CONISCLIFFE HALL, EAGLESCLIFFE HALL and WESTCLIFFE HALL are available for purchase by some other operator. The three motorships are currently, laid up at Kingston. This is roughly the same status as that of SHIERCLIFFE HALL and STERNECLIFFE HALL, the last of the company's steam powered bulk canallers which have lain at Toronto for several years.

We understand that the Roen Transportation Co. of Sturgeon Bay is anxious to dispose of the odd assortment of vessels accumulated by the late Capt. John Roen during the course of his operations in the last few decades. Capt. Roen died last year and the heirs have not shown interest in maintaining operations. The fleet includes three large tugs, JOHN PURVES , JOHN ROEN IV and JOHN ROEN V, the barge MARQUIS ROEN equipped with cranes and an unloading boom, and four crane barges, LILLIAN, MAITLAND NO. 1, HILDA, and SOLVEIG (the first three being converted carferries), as well as various old hulls in differing stages of decomposition.

The U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender WOODBINE was officially decommissioned on February 15 in a ceremony at Detroit. The vessel, usually stationed at Grand Haven, was retired in a recent service reorganization which affected the lakes as well as salt water. The WOODBINE will be held in reserve at Detroit pending disposal.

Earlier in this news section we reported that the Detroit fireboat JOHN KENDALL had been laid up as a result of municipal pennypinching. We now learn that the Mayor of Detroit has received a strongly worded protest from the International Ship Masters' Association. This group is concerned that vessels and shore installations will not receive adequate fire protection without the KENDALL and the message also stated that the fireboat could prove of great assistance in the event of an oil spillage on the Detroit River or up the Rouge. There is no fireboat stationed at the Canadian port of Windsor across the river.

Lay-up Listings

For the benefit of those who may keep personal records of the winter fleets or who may wish to go to some harbour to see or photograph a particular vessel, we are pleased to present listings of the ships wintering at several more Canadian ports.

Humberstone

E. B. BARBER

W. E. FITZGERALD

GEORGIAN BAY

GLENEAGLES

G. G. POST

QUETICO

SENATOR OF CANADA

TADOUSSAC

THORO (THOROLD)

Port Colborne

ALGOCEN

A. S. GLOSSBRENNER

HERBERT A.

HILDA MARJANNE

GORDON C. LEITCH

MAPLECLIFFE HALL

T. R. McLAGAN

Port Weller

TARANTAU

WHEAT KING

Thorold

OUTARDE

Welland

NIPIGON BAY

Montreal

ANDREW C. CROSBIE

EASTERN SHELL

JOHN A. FRANCE

FRONTENAC

FUEL MARKETER

GOLDEN SABLE

GRANDE HERMINE

HUDSON TRANSPORT

MURRAY BAY

PETITE HERMINE

RICHELIEU

RIMOUSKI

ROCKCLIFFE HALL

SIMCOE

SINGAPORE TRADER

TEXACO-CHIEF

Quebec

ANTICOSTI

BEAVERCLIFFE HALL

BIENVILLE

CAP SAUMON

CITE DE LEVIS

CITE DE QUEBEC

CASTOR CONSOL

LOUTRE CONSOL

MENIER CONSOL

VISON CONSOL

FORT KENT

FORT LENNOX

GASPESIEN

LOUIS JOLLIET

LONGBOAT

MERIDAN C.

NORTHERN VENTURE

ORLEANS

QUEBECOIS

ST. PIERRE

TROIS RIVIERES

Sorel

SIR HUGH ALLAN

BLACK RIVER

GEORGE M. CARL

N. A. COMEAU

CREEK TRANSPORT

ELMBRANCH

FORT GASPE

GLOBAL ENVOY

HUTCHCLIFFE HALL

ILE D 'ORLEANS

LAVIOLETTE

LUCIEN L.

ONTADOC

QUEDOC

RADISSON

SILLERY

JOS. SIMARD

JEAN TALON

For their help with this listing, our thanks go to Bill Bruce and Rene Beauchamp.

Captain Frank E. Hamilton

It is with deep regret that we must report the death on January 22nd, 1972, at his home at Kelley's Island, Ohio, of noted marine historian and member of the Toronto Marine Historical Society, Captain Frank E. Hamilton,

Captain Hamilton, in his eightieth year at the time of his passing, was acknowledged to be an expert on lake shipping and particularly on the subject of Lake Erie passenger vessels. His knowledge, which was sought by many historians and authors, came in large measure from his many years of sailing. He started his career afloat in 1910 as cabin boy on the Lake Erie sidewheeler ARROW. He worked up in her to the position of wheelsman and then moved to the same position in LAKESIDE (the U. S. steamer, not the one that ran Toronto-Port Dalhousie).

He obtained his master's license in 1918 and his first command was the COLONIAL of the Western Reserve Navigation Co., in 1923 and 1924. In 1922 he had led an expedition to Lake Ontario to salvage the sidewheels from the ALEXANDRIA whose wreck was reposing off Toronto's Scarborough Bluffs. The wheels were placed on COLONIAL when she was rebuilt by the company. In 1925 he moved over to the firm's KEYSTONE (the former D & C CITY OF CLEVELAND). In 1927 he took command of Capt. Win. Nicholson's Erie to Port Dover ferry DOVER, better known in her earlier years as the flyer FRANK E. KIRBY. In 1928 he was on the bridge of ERIE, this ship being destroyed by fire the following winter. His last major command was the famous excursion steamer PUT-IN-BAY which he skippered on the Sandusky-Detroit run from 1942 until the service was ended in 1947.

The Captain was accorded many honours over the years, not the least of which was his being named "Great Lakes Historian of the Year" in 1970 by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit. He was born on Kelley's Island and his mother was from the family for which the Island was named. He spent all his years ashore on the Island and there he was buried on January 24th.

With his passing, we have lost one of the most devoted historians the lakes have ever known.

Did The Oconto Start A Fire?

Fellow member Scotty McCannell was going through some old newspaper clippings in his collection recently, when he came across several which he consented to share with us in the hopes that they might prove interesting to our readers. One of them was taken from the "Manitowoc Herald News" in the early 1930's and concerns an incident involving the Goodrich Transportation Company's small wooden propeller OCONTO.

The author of the article was Capt. Edward Carus, a veteran of many years of lake sailing and an avid marine historian. Capt. Carus knew whereof he spoke for as mentioned in the article, he was wheeling OCONTO at the time of the incident.

"The propeller OCONTO was built in Manitowoc in 1872 by G. S. Rand for the Goodrich Transportation Co. The steamer gained some prominence by being given the blame for setting the 'big fire' at Green Bay on September 20, 1880, 53 years ago last month.

"In that fire, 78 buildings were destroyed. It was a wild night at Green Bay. A gale was blowing from the southwest. The OCONTO passed through the Cherry Street bridge at 3 p.m. on her way to De Pere. Soon after passing the old Astor planing mill which was located where the present C. M. and St. Paul depot now stands, it was discovered that the mill was afire.

"It was the contention of Green Bay citizens that cinders from the stack of the OCONTO set fire to the mill. Long drawn-out litigation followed which lasted six years, in which the Goodrich company was eventually victor. The Green Bay fire at that time burned a strip two blocks wide, extending from the Fox River to the East River, which included 59 homes, a school, churches, stores, a bank, and a vinegar factory.

"On this trip, the OCONTO was commanded by Capt. F. W. Spafford, Ray Flint Sr., was Chief Engineer and the late John Mahnke, for years our city treasurer, was Steward. The writer was wheelsman.

"The OCONTO was 143 feet long, 32-foot beam, 10-foot depth of hold, and had a tonnage of 505. In 1883 President Goodrich sold her to Detroit parties (on August 15, 1883, to a Mr.Caldwell - Ed.) and in 1886 she was again sold to the Grand Trunk Railroad. The OCONTO was taking a valuable cargo of silk from Detroit to Quebec (1886) in command of Capt. James Martin when she struck a rock in the St. Lawrence River and went down in 100 feet of water. The OCONTO was a total loss."

We should be thankful that Capt. Carus cared enough to write down the details of this incident of almost ninety years ago. And our thanks go to Scotty for sharing it with us.

Ship of the Month No. 20

Yukondoc

Most of the canallers operated by Canadian fleets in the pre-Seaway days fell into general groups as far as their appearance was concerned. Vessels built at any given yard around the same time were very similar in design, but one of the odd canallers that did not really fit into any of the groups was YUKONDOC. This ship was in the fleet of Paterson Steamships Ltd. for only a relatively short period of time, being purchased in August 1926 from William M. Connelly of Buffalo and then sold early in 1929, while in winter quarters at Toronto, to the Hudsons of Midland. She had an interesting and checkered career, serving on both fresh and salt water.

YUKONDOC, seen below the Soo Locks in this 1927 Young photo, is obviously in some sort of trouble, as shown by her deep draft and the derrick scow alongside.Originally named FORDONIAN and given official British registry number 133077, she was built in 1912 at Port Glasgow, Scotland, by the Clyde Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. She was given a length of 250'0, a beam of 42'0 and a depth of 23'6, these measurements producing tonnage of 2368 Gross and 1905 Net. FORDONIAN was equipped with side ports and 'tween decks for the package freight trade. She was powered by somewhat temperamental Swedish "hot bulb" diesel engines, 18 1/2" x 32 1/4", and while some sources have concluded that these were removed shortly after her arrival on the lakes in favour of steam machinery, we are inclined to believe that this diesel actually served her until 1934.

FORDONIAN entered service for the Canadian Interlake Line (Merchants Mutual Steamship Co. Ltd.), Montreal, and operated in the package freight and grain trades, Canadian Interlake Line became Dart of Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal, in December 1913 and for the next two seasons FORDONIAN continued operating on the lakes, but under C.S.L. colours. In 1915 she was taken to salt water due to the urgent need for tonnage created by the hostilities of the Great War. C.S.L. continued operating her after she was released from government service in 1918 but she remained on salt water and in 1921 was sold to the American Mediterranean Line of New York.

In May 1923, a Buffalo attorney, William M. Connelly for whom an upper lake bulk carrier was named, gave up his law practice to become manager of FORDONIAN on her return to the lakes. Ownership appears to have remained with American Mediterranean. From 1923 until 1925, Connelly chartered the ship to the Canada Atlantic Transit Co., which operated a package freight service from Chicago and various Lake Michigan ports to Depot Harbour, Ontario, in conjunction with the Canadian National Railway Co. A Chicago firm, Elphicke & Company, had operated this route for many years on behalf of the C.N.R. and its predecessors.

As indicated, Paterson Steamships Ltd., Fort William, took over the ship in August of 1926. They named her (b) YUKONDOC in honour of the most westerly of Canada's northern territories. This is one of the few names that has not been repeated by the company since the sale of the vessel. Paterson employed the ship in the grain trade, mostly on the upper lakes. YUKONDOC was an odd ship for Paterson, most of whose canallers were of standard design. She was, firstly, the only diesel canaller the company owned at the time. She had a handsome forward end, with a large and beautifully ornamented wooden pilothouse and a very heavy foremast. Her after end, however, left much to be desired, The main mast was well forward of the after cabin and no mast was stepped aft. Her "boilerhouse" was very high and boxlike and its blankness was accentuated by the appearance of a short and extremely thin funnel.

When sold to the Northwest Transportation Co. Ltd. which was formed by Capt. A. A. Hudson and Capt. D'Alton Hudson in 1929, she was renamed (c) GEORGIAN and her appearance was much improved by the fitting of an outer stack around the original funnel. James Playfair of Midland would appear to have had some interest in this venture because she was painted in his distinctive colours, grey hull, white forecastle and cabins, and crimson stack with a black smokeband. The white paint was stripped off the pilothouse and it was given a coat of varnish. The vessel looked better at this stage than at any other time during her career.

GEORGIAN operated mainly carrying package freight from Toronto to the Lakehead and on the return trip she usually had grain for Toronto Elevators Ltd. She made the news in 1930 when, on the 21st of April, she officially opened Lock One of the new Welland Canal, passing upbound and being the first ship to use the new facility. The entire canal was not, of course, operational until 1931 and, in fact, the system was not officially opened for traffic until August 6th, 1932. GEORGIAN was not, however, destined to spend many years on her new route, for she was driven ashore on Lake Superior's Keweenaw Point on December 12, 1932, while downbound on her last trip of the season. Her owners abandoned her to the underwriters.

Salvaged in 1933 by Sin-Mac Lines Ltd., and their upper lake subsidiary United Towing & Salvage Co. Ltd., she became a unit of the Sin-Mac fleet, the intention apparently being to use her as a salvage lighter. She reverted to her original name at this time and thus became (d) FORDONIAN. Sin-Mac sold her in 1934 to the Federal Motorship Corp., Buffalo and she was taken to the Ogdensburg, New York, yard of the St. Lawrence Marine Repair Dock Corp., where she was rebuilt as a barge canal type motorship (sometimes referred to as a "bridge skimmer"). Her depth was reduced to 16'7 and her tonnage dropped to 1540 Gross and 1118 Net. Her original diesel was removed and she was fitted with a smaller six-cylinder diesel 18" x 22" built by the Bessemer Gas Engine Co., of Grove City, Pennsylvania. She returned to service as (e) BADGER STATE and along with two newer vessels built for the trade, BUCKEYE STATE and EMPIRE STATE, she operated on the lakes and the Erie Canal. Starting in 1942 and continuing for the duration of the Second War, all three motorships were chartered to the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd., for the movement of newsprint from the mill at Baie Comeau, Quebec, to New York City via the relatively safe inland waterways of the St. Lawrence River, the Erie Canal, and the Hudson River. Shipments of this nature were banned from the open east coast routes which were subject to enemy interference. On the return trip, the canal boats carried bauxite ore to Port Alfred, Quebec.

At this stage, BADGER STATE had her oddest appearance ever. She was a typical canal boat in that she was low in profile and carried a squat pilothouse sitting right on deck, hinged pipe masts, and an almost non-existent funnel. However, her lines made her past history obvious. The shape of her deck made it painfully clear that she had been cut down and not built that way and, in addition, she was one of only a few canal motorships ever to have a counter stern (the others were also conversions). She was a very strange combination indeed.

The end of her career came, unfortunately, in a violent manner. On January 14, while operating in the Gulf of Mexico, she struck a submerged object, possibly a wreck, and tore her bottom so severely that she foundered soon afterwards. And so ended the life of a ship that seemed unable to settle down to any lengthy period of operation in a given trade. Perhaps she would have lasted longer had she avoided the clutches of the dreaded Keweenaw and stayed on the lakes.

Oil On Troubled Waters (?)

The "St. Catharines Standard" recently reported that on February 18th a St. Thomas court levied several fines under the Canada Shipping Act,

The charges had arisen out of an incident involving a cargo spillage from the tank barge ALFRED CYTACKI back in December. Capt. James Nelson, Master of the tug CHRIS M., was fined $500.00 for not reporting the discharge of gasoline, while the tug and barge were each fined $1000.00 for not carrying cargo record books.

If Only It Were So

MONTREAL, AUGUST 8, 1945 (CP). - Claude C. Bonter, passenger traffic manager of Canada Steamship Lines, said today the company was making arrangements for the construction of two $2-million luxury steamers to be built at a Great Lakes ship yard, and which will be launched in 1947. One will be named HAMONIC, to replace the vessel of the same name destroyed by fire at Sarnia, Ontario, July 17, and the other will be called the KINGSTON.

Construction of the ships, which will be part of the company's post-war reconstruction program, will be subject to priorities on materials. They will be built entirely of steel. Equipment will include a hospital, telephones in staterooms and public rooms, a library, music lounge, cocktail bar, elevators and chapel.

The ships will be constructed so that if the St. Lawrence waterways project is completed, they will be suitable for cruises between the head of the Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

The St. Lawrence And Chicago Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

A Fleet List

The St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., was a Toronto-based company formed in 1888 by three prominent Torontonians, John H.G. Hagarty, Capt. Samuel Crangle and wharfinger W. A. Geddes, for the principal purpose of transporting grain down the Great Lakes. Its first two vessels were the British-built bulk carriers ALGONQUIN and ROSEDALE. These two steamers were built generally on salt water lines, having their bridges aft of the forecastle. They were originally operated by the Marks interests of the Canadian Lakehead, but soon passed into the ownership of St. Lawrence and Chicago.

This spirited photo by Wm. Traill shows ROSEDALE leaving Yonge Street Dock, in 1898. Note the sails on the fore and main.The company added six newly-constructed steamers to its operations over the ensuing years, selling off older ships as newer units were added. Its last new vessel was J. H. G. HAGARTY, built at Collingwood in 1914 to replace JAMES CARRUTHERS which had fallen victim to the Great Storm of 1913, one of the only two serious accidents sustained by company vessels.

The CARRUTHERS was a new ship, having been completed in the early autumn of 1913. She cleared Port William on her last trip late on the evening of November 6, 1913, and passed down the Soo Locks during the evening of November 8th, having been delayed by fog. She proceeded down the St. Mary's River, taking on bunker coal at the Pickands Mather dock at DeTour. She then entered Lake Huron. On the afternoon of the following day, the 9th, as the ship was somewhere southeast of the area of Pointe aux Barques, the storm of hurricane intensity which had been hovering to the northwest for several days, unleashed its full fury on the lakes and particularly on Lake Huron. The CARRUTHERS, along with seven other vessels in the same general area at the time, never made port again. She took all 24 of her crew to a watery grave presumed to be somewhere off Harbor Beach, Michigan. JAMES CARRUTHERS was the largest ship destroyed by the storm.

ALGONQUIN is downbound in Little Rapids Cut in this 1911 photo by A. E. Young.The construction of J. H. G. HAGARTY had been planned prior to the loss of her sister. Construction was begun as soon as possible and the plans were changed to include the use of heavier steel plating. The new ship was fitted with old-style wooden hatch covers instead of the telescoping steel covers which were thought to have failed under the weight of the seas and led in part to the earlier disaster. Whether in a superstitious attempt to avoid another tragedy or for some other unexplained reason, HAGARTY was built facing the opposite way in the Collingwood shipyard!

The only other major accident occurred in 1897 when ROSEDALE, always known as a difficult ship to handle because despite her size she was equipped only with steering gear of the "armstrong" variety, ran on Charity Island in Georgian Bay. She was severely damaged but was eventually salvaged. Her steering problems killed at least one wheelsman over the years, a blow on the head from a wheel spinning out of control causing a fatal injury.

The company continued operations until 1916. On April 20th, the firm was purchased for the sum of $1,787,840.00 by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal. The acquisition was approved by C.S.L. shareholders on July 27, 1916.

ALGONQUIN - Br. & Can. 95051. Steel bulk carrier built 1888 at Yoker, Scotland (Glasgow), by Napier Shanks & Bell Ltd. 245'0 x 40'1 x 20'6. Gross 1806, Net 1172. Originally owned by the Canadian Northwest Steamship Co. Ltd. (Thos. Marks & Co.), Port Arthur, but soon sold to St. Lawrence & Chicago. Sold c. 1912 to Port Colborne & St. Lawrence Navigation Co. Ltd. (Maple Leaf Mills Ltd), Toronto. Sold December 20, 1915 to A. B. McKay, Hamilton, Requisitioned for war service in 1916, and taken to salt water. Apparently sold to U.S. owners 1917. U. S. 214637. Lost by enemy action off Scilly Isles, March 12, 1917, the first American ship so lost in the Great War.

JAMES CARRUTHERS - Can. 131090. Steel bulk carrier built for the company 1913 by the Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. 536'0 x 58'4 x 27'3. Gross 7390, Net 5635. Launched May 22,1913. Lost with all hands on Lake Huron, Nov. 9, 1913.

G. R. CROWE - Br. & Can. 123324. Steel bulk carrier built for the company 1907 at Dundee, Scotland, by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. 252'0 x 43'4 x 22'9. Lengthened to 331'0 at Collingwood 1910. Gross 2940, Net 2347. Sold Dec. 18, 1915 to A. B. McKay, Hamilton. Resold Apr. 11, 1916, to Warner-Quinlan Asphalt Co. and converted to a tanker at Midland. Owned 1918 by the Montezuma Transportation Co. Ltd., Toronto. Taken to salt water about this time. Severely damaged by fire at Brooklyn, N. Y., 1921.

J. H. G. HAGARTY (26), (b) HAGARTY - Can. 134250. Steel bulk carrier built for the company 1914 by the Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Hull 42. 536'0 x 58'4 x 27'3. Gross 7462, Net 5704. Sold to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. 1916. Last operated 1967. Sold 1968 to Steel Factors Ltd., and resold to Spanish breakers. Arrived at Santander, Spain, in tow on October 28, 1968.

(THE) IROQUOIS (20), (a) TADENAC (02), (c) COLORADO (22), (d) DORNOCH (22),(e)BROOKTON (40), (f) GEORGE HINDMAN (I) (52), (g) BROOKDALE - Can. 111855. Steel bulk carrier built on speculation 1902 by the Bertram Engineering Works Ltd., Toronto Hull 36. 252'5 x 43'2 x 22'3. Gross 2359, Net 1452. Sold on completion to St. Lawrence & Chicago. Sold to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. 1916. Taken to salt water for war service 1916 and sold to foreign interests 1920. Sold 1923 to Mathews Steamship Co. Ltd., Toronto, and returned to lakes. Laid up 1931 and did not operate through 1940 although acquired 1933 by Colonial Steamships Ltd. Sold 1940 to the Diamond Steamship Co. Ltd. (Hindman), Owen Sound. Sold 1952 to the Reoch Steamship Co. Ltd. Retired 1965, laid up at Toronto. Sold 1966 to United Steel & Metals Ltd., and scrapped at Hamilton.

W. D. MATTHEWS (26), (b) BRENTWOOD - Can. 116264. Steel bulk carrier built 1903 for the company by the Collingwood Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. 366'5 x 48'0 x 28'0. Gross 3965, Net 2450. Sold to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., 1916. Laid up at Midland 1932 due to poor business conditions. Scrapped 1937.

E. B. OSLER (26), (b) OSLER (54), (c) R.O. PETMAN - Can. 125977. Steel bulk carrier built for the company 1908 at Bridgeburg, Ontario, by the Canadian Shipbuilding Co. 491'3 x 56'0 x 26'5. Gross 6787, Net 4361. Sold to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., 1916. Converted to a conveyor-type self-unloader 1940-41 at Collingwood. Gross 7051, Net 4784. Retired 1967 and sold to Marine Salvage Ltd. Resold to Italian breakers and arrived in tow at La Spezia, Italy, June 17, 1968.

ROSEDALE - Br. & Can. 95265. Steel bulk carrier built 1888 at Sunderland, England, by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Co., for the Canadian Northwest Steamship Co. Ltd. (Thos. Marks & Co.), Port Arthur. 180'0 x 35'0 x 21'1. Gross 1040. This was the first vessel ever to take a cargo through from Montreal to Chicago without transshipment. Sold after a short period to St. Lawrence & Chicago. Lengthened 1891 at Kingston to 246'1 by inserting a new section between the bridge and engineroom, both of which were amidships. Gross 1507, Net 977. Sold c. 1910 to Rosedale Ltd., Hamilton, a subsidiary of Inland Lines Ltd. Absorbed into Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., 1913. Requisitioned for war service on salt water 1916. Sunk in collision with steamer LUELLA on North Atlantic, April 8, 1919.

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Scanner, v. 4, n. 6 (March 1972)


Meetings; Other Groups; The Editor's Notebook; Lay-up Listings; Captain Frank E. Hamilton; Did The Oconto Start A Fire?; Ship of the Month No. 20; Oil On Troubled Waters (?); If Only It Were So