Friday, January 5th - 8:00 p.m. An illustrated address by a speaker from the Toronto Harbour Commission on the Port of Toronto.
Friday, February 2nd - 8:00 p.m. Two colour films - "Winter Voyage" deals with the winter escapades of the Port Weller built tanker IMPERIAL ACADIA on the east coast -"BP Tanker" is a film on the life and work aboard the oceangoing tanker BRITISH EXPLORER.
Both meetings will be held at the Museum. Members are invited to bring a few slides of topical interest for showing in the first portion of either meeting. Coffee will be served.
The Editor's Notebook
Our November meeting was our first trip away from Toronto for a gathering and took us to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. We were given an interesting minitour of the building and its laboratory facilities and were addressed on the subject of the pollution problem in the Great Lakes and what the Centre is doing to rectify the situation. Our thanks to the Program Committee for a most pleasant evening.
In the New Member Department, we extend a most cordial welcome to Lorne S. Joyce of Port Credit and also to Wil Hudson of Toronto. Mr. Hudson joined us immediately after his return from an extended stay at Cape Dorset in the North West Territory.
Once again the snow is in the air, and the weekly visits to the Welland Canal are yielding photos with white backgrounds. The salties are hurrying to escape from the Seaway before it closes and the lakers are rushing to get in as many trips as possible before they are forced to seek the shelter of a layup berth for the winter months. The steam is rising from the cold lake water. And it is time for your Editor, on behalf of the entire Advisory Committee, to wish to each and every one of you merry Christmas and happiness in the New Year.
It has "been evident throughout this navigation season that the veteran Boland & Cornelius self-unloader UNITED STATES GYPSUM was running on borrowed time. Her certificate had been restricted so as to allow her to operate only in that area of the lakes bounded by the western end of Lake Erie and Port Huron and it was obvious that she would not last long being tied to such a small area of operation. Her apparent end, however, came somewhat unexpectedly and in a bizarre fashion. It seems that on November 5th, the GYPSUM was operating as usual on the Toledo to Detroit coal run when she got into some shallow water and damaged her after end, putting her rudder out of commission. Because of the press of business, BoCo obtained coast guard approval for her to be towed for several trips rather than be put on dry dock for repairs immediately. On Friday, November 10th, she was upbound for the Detroit River on her second trip under tow. The lead tug was the "G-tug" MAINE, the MARYLAND taking the stern. When the tow was abreast of Bar Point, the MAINE, for some reason turned around, went back to the GYPSUM and rammed her in the bows. The steamer sustained a large enough wound for water to flood her hold and she soon settled to the sandy bottom in about 17 feet of water. The steamer was pumped out and taken to Detroit where she was unloaded at the old Great Lakes Engineering Works slip. It appears obvious that the UNITED STATES GYPSUM has made her last voyage for her present owners, as her condition does not warrant any large expenditure of funds.
Moving on to another salvage job, both sections of the SIDNEY E. SMITH JR.(II) were "afloat" by early October and were subsequently made fast to the shore, the stern being moved upriver and moored at the south end of the Peerless Cement dock. Both sections were stripped of cabins and torn steel and the scrap thus removed were sold for $5.00 per ton to Kenneth R. Beaudua, Marine City, Michigan, and John R. Emig, St. Clair, Michigan. We understand that the stern section may be used as breakwater by the Sarnia Yacht Club whose facilities are now more or less open to all the nastiness that Lake Huron can throw onto its southern beaches.
Still another salvage job is in the news. Back on June 26th, 1959, the Liberian liberty ship MONROVIA was rammed and sunk in Lake Huron off Alpena, Michigan, by the Canadian upper laker ROYALTON. MONROVIA was the first salt water vessel to come to grief in the lakes after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway earlier in the same year. In any event, the ship and her cargo of high grade Belgian steel have lain in the depths of Lake Huron ever since. Now three Alpena men have joined forces to remove the steel, the small crane boat MASSEY D. being used for this purpose. The steel is being cleaned by their firm, Alpena Steel & Wire Corp., and is then being sold to a Detroit area company.
Readers will recall that in the last issue we gave details of the collision on October 5th of the Bethlehem ore carrier ARTHUR B. HOMER and the Greek salty NAVISHIPPER in the Fighting Island Channel of the Detroit River. Subsequent to the collision, the NAVISHIPPER was held in Detroit by Coast Guard officials until such time as her owners posted bond to cover potential damage claims. The bond of one million dollars was posted on October 11 and that evening the ship prepared to leave the Detroit Marine Terminal dock in the Rouge River. As tugs of the Great Lakes Towing Company were taking the vessel down the Short Cut Canal past the lower end of Zug Island, she broke her lines and struck the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railway bridge across the canal, putting same out of commission for about 24 hours. The NAVISHIPPER arrived at Toledo where repairs were taken in hand, the next day.
LAURENTIAN FOREST outbound into Lake Ontario at Port Weller Piers on her trials, September 27, 1972. Photo by Fred Sankoff.Another ship - bridge collision occurred on November 8th when the new salt water ship LAURENTIAN FOREST was returning to her berth at Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. after her second set of sea trials in Lake Ontario. While leaving Lock One, the edge of the after loading door struck the bridge which carries Lakeshore Road over the canal. The bridge was apparently twisted slightly and was closed after the accident for repairs. This naturally caused considerable traffic problems since persons wishing to cross to the east side of the canal, including all the traffic to the shipyard, had to detour to the Carlton Street bridge above Lock Two. The bridge reopened for traffic on the morning of November 22nd.
The barge A. E. NETTLETON, currently under charter to the Escanaba Towing Company, very nearly came to grief in Lake Superior recently. On the 2nd of November, she was downbound with a cargo of grain for Buffalo, in tow of the tug OLIVE L. MOORE. High winds and heavy seas caused the towline to part and the NETTLETON drifted helplessly during the night, the MOORE being unable to render assistance. With morning light Coast Guard ships and aircraft set out in search of the barge and found her at anchor near the south shore of the lake and about eighteen miles west of the dreaded Keweenaw Peninsula. It is understood that she had taken on considerable water and had a list of about fifteen degrees. There were no injuries to the crew of the barge. It seems that Escanaba's problems are continuing without respite.....
The ISLAND TRANSPORT, newest unit of the fleet of tankers operated by the Hall Corporation, has now entered service having been converted from the enlarged canal bulk carrier ROCKCLIFFE HALL by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal. Quite frankly, your editor had been looking forward to seeing the result, thinking that the rebuilt ship would probably be as good-looking as the bulk carriers that Vickers produced when they were still in the shipbuilding business. Sadly, this is not the case, and the ISLAND TRANSPORT is one of the ugliest ships on which we have ever cast our eyes. The entire bridge structure (pilothouse and texas cabin) has been moved aft and the two cabins have been set atop a very small house much smaller even than the pilothouse, and this gives the bridge a top-heavy appearance. The original diminutive after cabin has been left in place as has the short funnel. However, it was apparently decided that exhaust uptakes should be higher and, instead of raising the funnel, the rebuilders have seen fit to add to the stack seven exhaust pipes all of which take an abrupt turn aft just above the rim of the funnel. Three of the ship's four extremely heavy masts remain in place (although for what reason we do not know, since there is no need for heavy cargo booms now) and the bridge structure has had a hole cut in its backside so that it now rests right up against the mainmast. ROCKCLIFFE HALL had a very blunt bow, typical of modern canallers, but it still looked better before the rebuild. Someone has seen fit to add to the bow, but for some reason only to the upper part of the bow, a sharp section which points up and out from the rail. This may have been intended to give the ship a flare similar to salt water vessels, but the entire effect is one of phoniness, exceeded only by its apparent uselessness since, if the addition were designed to keep water from spraying back on the deck, this effect will surely be counteracted by the gaping anchor pockets just below. We could go on, but need we bother? We only hope that the entry into service of this monstrosity will not displace one of the older and infinitely more handsome steam tankers of the Hall fleet.
The Welland Canada pilots' work stoppage in late October to reinforce contract demands has long since been concluded, but still the salt water ships are lined up at both ends of the canal. Traffic has been rather heavy in the past few weeks, but no matter how empty or full the canal itself has been, there always seems to be a long line of ships waiting for pilots, especially at the Lake Erie end where the salties are gathered for their last downbound passage prior to the closing of the canals for the winter season. The Welland will close on the 15th of December and there will be no extension of this date since the entire period when the canal is closed will be needed to connect the new section of the canal which will bypass the city of Welland. As of November 13th, there were still 110 salt water vessels above Port Colborne, and more ships were waiting to pass up into Lake Erie.
Speaking of the new canal section, perhaps we should elaborate for the benefit of those who have not seen the new channel. The new section has now been watered, but not completely, and the channel is still blocked by dikes below Humberstone and above Port Robinson, just inside the new section. However, the old canal banks have been out through at the spots where the canals meet, and thus the end sections of the new cut are fully watered. Much more clearance of mud will, however, be needed at these locations. It appears that the old channel will be kept open from Humberstone north to a point just south of the Union Carbide plant at Welland where closure will be forced by a new railroad right-of-way currently being prepared on either side of the channel. Negotiations are currently underway on how to keep this section of the old channel from turning stagnant once regular vessel traffic stops. We have no word yet on what this section of the canal will be used for, nor have we heard any final decision on the uses to which the City of Welland will put those portions of the old channel falling within its boundaries. Incidentally, for the benefit of photographers, it would appear that there will be roads on each side of the new channel for its entire length, so our photography will not be hindered.
Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. freight handlers, on strike at various ports since September 6th, ratified a new contract proposal on November 14th. The contract calls for substantial wage increases over a three-year period. However, despite the settlement, the C.S.L. package freighters have not returned to service, presumably because of the advanced state of the season which would make it uneconomical to fit out for only one or two trips. Cargo has been removed from those ships whose holds were filled with goods. We trust that the service will resume next spring ......
Work has started on the stripping of WIARTON which has lain at the Strathearne Street slip in Hamilton for some considerable time now. The cabins and machinery have been removed from the after end, and the foremast has been lifted out, but no other work done. We might suspect that the hull may be destined for some future use as a barge or breakwater, but only time will tell.
The U. S. Steel bulk carrier BENJAMIN P. FAIRLESS will be converted to burn oil fuel this winter by Defoe Ship Building Company, Bay City, Michigan. In addition, the vessel will be fitted with automated boiler controls. We understand that the same work will be done on ENDERS M VOORHEES, a sister ship to FAIRLESS, next spring.
Meanwhile, the same firm's new self-unloader ROGER BLOUGH continues to suffer problems of one sort or another. Difficulties have been encountered with the bunker tanks, with the sewage system, and with the propeller which creates a funnel-shaped disturbance in the water beneath the stern that leads to a significant problem of vibration in the after end of the ship.
Western Engineering Service Ltd. of Thunder Bay, a local towing firm, has acquired a new tug, the 1944-built British tug BEAMISH. The tug, originally constructed as a "Coastwise" class Admiralty tug for wartime service, is 113' 5" in length and it will be interesting to see what she will be used for in the lakes.
The fleet of self-unloaders operated by Canada Steamship lines Ltd. continues to grow in size. We have learned that the diesel bulk carrier FRONTENAC, the newest of C.S.L.'s maximum-sized straight-deckers, is to be converted this winter at Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. There will be no changes in hull form (as there were with SAGUENAY) but the unloading boom will be carried aft rather than forward as in the case of all other conversions done by C.S.L. She will also differ from SAGUENAY in that she will have two belts in her hold instead of three.
For collectors of vital statistics who have not as yet been able to obtain this information, we are pleased to be able to give official numbers and tonnages on two recent additions to the lake fleet:
ROGER BLOUGH - Official Number U.S. 533062. Gross 22041, Net 14114.
ALGOWAY - Official Number Can. 331090. Gross 16187, Net 11087.
On the same subject, here are the details of ISLAND TRANSPORT which we have described elsewhere in this section: Length overall 352'6". Beam 43' 10". Depth 26' 6". Gross 3542, Net 2478. Capacity 42360 bbls at mid-summer draft of 20'7". She has eight cargo tanks.
Our readers will remember that the former Boland & Cornelius self-unloader PETER REISS was to be operated this year in the coal trade under tow of the tug JOHN PURVES which was purchased from the Roen Steamship Company by Clepro Marine for the purpose. The REISS, which was to be renamed but never was, operated for only a short period before being caught in the middle of a strike which threatens to put an end to the service for good.
Court action taken against the Wellington Transportation Company of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, by residents of the Sugar Island community in an effort to block fare increases on the ferry SUGAR ISLANDER which went into effect in May 1971, has been dismissed by a judge of Chippewa County circuit court. Also dismissed was the request from residents that the court declare the 1971 renewal of the Wellington's ferry-operating franchise void so that a new license and franchise might be negotiated. We congratulate the Wellingtons, members of T.M.H.S., on their success.
The cement barge SEA CASTLE (ex. JOHN L. A. GALSTER) broke away from her tug LAUREN CASTLE off Charlevoix, Michigan, in heavy weather on October 16. She grounded between Fishermans Island and Norwood on Lake Michigan and was not released until October 20th when another tug managed to pull her off. Both LAUREN CASTLE and SEA CASTLE sustained damage and repairs were taken in hand on both ships by Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay.
When the Reiss Steamship Company was purchased by the American Steamship Company in 1969, it did not take long for BoCo to rechristen the large steamer REISS BROTHERS. Her new name was, of course, GEORGE D. GOBLE, in honour of the head of grain transportation for The Pillsbury Company. The ship has since passed to the ownership of the Kinsman Marine Transit Company. It now appears that Mr. Goble has been one of the active voices in opposition to the purchase of the Wilson fleet by the Kinsman parent firm, American Shipbuilding, so what are the bets that the GOBLE comes out with a new name in 1973?
The last log boom was to be taken across Lake Superior this fall, bringing to an end one of the more interesting chapters of lake history. The last of the great booms was, however, not destined to reach shore intact for, while en route to Ashland, Wisconsin, on October 20th, the boom broke up in very heavy weather and the hundreds of logs that escaped from the tow have since been making navigation more interesting on the lake although interesting is hardly the word we would use to describe the result should a steamer run foul of a group of these logs.
The old motor tug HERBERT A., latterly owned by Herb Fraser and Associates of Port Colborne, passed down the Welland Canal under her own power on October 24th bound for Sorel, Quebec. She has been sold to the Carrick Corporation of Nassau, Bahamas, but it has not yet become clear whether they will operate her as a tug or whether they may use her as a coastal cargo vessel.
In our last issue, we noted that the veteran Providence Shipping steamer MICHIPICOTEN was due at the Welland Canal on her last voyage on Friday, October 27th, bound down the St. Lawrence with salt. As it turned out, the vessel did not pass down the Canal until Sunday, October 29th, but it really made very little difference to would-be photographers since the weather was so horrible on the Sunday that no good photos could be obtained.
Speaking of MICHIPICOTEN, one of her sisters is also in the news. These days, it seems that the old coal-fired steamers are dropping like flies since the cost of bunker coal has skyrocketed and there are so few ports (and none east of Port Colborne at all) where coal can be obtained by a vessel. It is, therefore, very happy news when we learn that one such coal-burner is to be converted to oil fuel rather than being consigned to the scrappers. It is all the more pleasant news, since the vessel concerned is the Reoch bulk carrier WESTDALE, a frequent visitor to our harbour. The job of fitting oil-burning equipment is apparently to be done by Herb Fraser & Associates at Port Colborne during the winter months. WESTDALE is, incidentally, the last of four sister vessels to remain in service. All four were built in 1905 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, the WESTDALE being originally christened GEORGE W. PERKINS. Of the others, WILLIAM E. COREY (later Upper Lakes Shipping's RIDGETOWN) is now part of a breakwater at Nanticoke, Ontario; HENRY C. FRICK became MICHIPICOTEN and has just been sold for scrapping; and the last of the group ELBERT H. GARY is now Kinsman Marine Transit's R. E. WEBSTER and is currently idle with little hope of further service as a result of boiler troubles and the recent expansion of the Kinsman fleet. The vessels were very similar in appearance but the COREY could always be readily distinguished by her forecastle which was a whole deck high, rather than just half a deck as in the other three ships.
It has been learned that two more self-unloading bulk carriers will soon be built for the Kinsman Marine Transit Company. As our readers will, no doubt, be aware two such vessels are already under construction at the yard of American Shipbuilding in Lorain, Ohio. Hull 901 is to be ready for 1973 delivery while Hull 902 is to follow in 1974 The two new orders will also come from the Lorain AmShip yard and will be, naturally, Hulls 903 and 904. The reason for the new order is that Kinsman has just won the contract for hauling stone for the Republic Steel Corporation, the contract previously being held by Boland & Cornelius. The obtaining of this contract may well prolong the life of some of the older Kinsman vessels until such time as the new self-unloaders are in service.
The railways have, in recent years, been stealing much trade from the lake fleets through new concepts which have been developed to facilitate the hauling of almost any commodity by rail. The Ontario Paper Company Ltd, has almost dropped the shipment of pulpwood by water and now comes word that no paper will be shipped by water in future. The last cargo of paper to be taken by boat from the plant at Thorold to Chicago will be loaded aboard CHICAGO TRIBUNE during the winter months and she will take it up the lakes in the Spring. This does not mean, however, that the Quebec & Ontario Transportation Company Ltd., the shipping arm of Ontario Paper, will be going out of business. Rather, the company is turning its eyes more and more to the grain trade, with considerable emphasis being placed on the grain run to the Bay Ports, a service in which Q & O has not engaged for at least half decade.
We have heard that Canada Cement Lafarge Ltd. may have dropped the idea of shipping cement in tug-barge combinations. Readers will recall that such vessels were being studied as a replacement for the aging but still efficient electric motorvessel CEMENTKARRIER and to handle the increased production which will result from the opening of a new plant at Bath, Ontario. In place of the tug and barge, we think interested parties might be well advised to watch for Canada Cement purchasing another lake vessel for conversion to a cement carrier.
M. V. Laurentian Forest
By Fred Sankoff
Late in 1972, the first of two new Canadian-built Roll-on-Roll-off (Ro/Ro) vessels will go into service on the North Atlantic run to various British ports and North Europe. This vessel, nearing completion) at Port Weller at the time of writing, has been named LAURENTIAN FOREST while her sister, currently in the early stages of construction, will be christened AVON FOREST.
Each of the 20,000 ton DWT motorships will have a capacity of 1,250,000 cubic feet. When both are in service, they will provide a 20 knot, twice-monthly service. From Eastern Canada, mixed cargo will be carried, including paper products and asbestos as well as aluminum ingots from Arvida on the Saguenay River. On the westbound trip LAURENTIAN FOREST and her running mate will bring British automobiles to Montreal.
Highly sophisticated hydraulically operated watertight doors located fore and aft on the starboard side together with an associated hydraulic ramping system permit cargo to be moved on or off the ships at all phases of the tide without the necessity for special shore-ramping facilities. Computerized sensing devices ensure stable ramp angles under all tidal conditions.
The ships for this new Ro/Ro service are built to Lloyds' Ice Class 1 and are capable of year-round service to all St. Lawrence River ports. With engines developing 18,000 BHP, they are designed to withstand the heavy winter conditions on the rough North Atlantic, Anti-roll tanks will help to ensure smooth damage-free passages.
The twin vessels have been built for the account of the Burnett Steamship Company Limited of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a subsidiary of Federal Commerce & Navigation Company Limited of Montreal. Members of the Society who have seen LAURENTIAN FOREST at Port Weller will undoubtedly have been struck by the vivid red hull paint which is much like that of the Simard tankers or the Lauritzen polar vessels. This colour was selected for the new motorships by Mr. Pathe, President of Federal Commerce.
LAURENTIAN FOREST left the Port Weller yard on Wednesday, September 27th, 1972, at about 8:00 a.m. and was secure in Lock One a bit over an hour later. At about 10:15 a.m. she proceeded out into Lake Ontario on her first sea trials. Apparently while undergoing various engine trials, she developed generator problems, not an uncommon event for new ships. Her delivery has been delayed somewhat and all indications are that it will be sometime late in November before she will be ready to proceed downriver to Montreal, where the sheds will be filled with cargo awaiting her arrival. She will load there and then go to Trois Rivieres for additional cargo. Before setting out for overseas on the maiden voyage, her final call will be at Arvida, Quebec. We wish her well and all who may sail in her.
Builders: Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., St. Catharines
Designers: Knud E. Hansen, Copenhagen
Length Overall: 683'0
Maximum Draft: 29'6"
Maximum Deadweights: 19,850 tons
Capacity: 1,250,000 cubic feet
Automobile Capacity: 2,250 cars
Classification: Lloyds' 100 A1 - LMC UMS Ice Class 1 British Flag.
Main Engines: Two 9000 BHP 18 PC2V Pielstick Engines manufactured by Crossley Premier Engines Ltd., Manchester, England. Engineroom fully automated.
Service speed with newsprint cargo: 18.5 knots.
Bow Thrust Propeller: 1000 BHP
More on Sidney E. Smith Jr.
Member Dyke Cobb spotted the following squib in the October 9th, 1972, issue of "Chemical and Engineering News" and thought that our readers might find its details on the SMITH salvage job interesting. No doubt we had all wondered what it was that they pumped into the hull to make it float. We quote from page 19:
"Polyurethane Foam, Raises Another Sunken Ship. In the largest such venture to date, Olin supplied isocyanate and polyol starting materials for three million pounds of foam to a salvaging company working under the U.S. Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers. The foam, formed under water in the St. Clair River between Lake Huron and Detroit, was implanted in the bow section of the 489-foot freighter SIDNEY E. SMITH JR. which sank after a collision. The foam gave the bow section enough buoyancy for the tow to the beach."
In an effort to give you a better publication, we are most happy to print corrections to any errors which may have slipped into "Scanner", There were two errors in the last issue which we would bring to your attention.
On Page 2 of the November issue, we reported the sale of the tug JOHN ROEN III. The name of the purchaser should read Selvick Marine Towing Corp., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and not as reported.
On Page 4, a line was left out of the third paragraph of the article on the steamer SEGUIN. The penultimate sentence of the paragraph should read:
"Subsequent to the final demise of SEGUIN over a half century later, they were installed in the big tug STOIC, which had been built at Toledo in 1913 as the steel ferry ESSEX for the Detroit and Walkerville Ferry Company."
Our thanks to those who spotted the errors and wrote to us about them.
Ship of the Month No. 26
Oatland and Joyland
This month we present the stories of two early lake package freighters which were notable not only because each served for more than forty years, an extraordinarily long life for a hard-used wooden ship, but because the careers of the two sisters ran parallel for some thirty-eight of those years.
WM. A. HASKELL, later to be known as JOYLAND, is shown at the Soo Locks in this 1907 photo by A. E. Young.One of the many railroads which engaged in lake transportation as well as maintaining its normal rail operations was the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad (later to be known as the Central of Vermont). In 1883 the railroad formed a subsidiary known as the Rutland Transit Company, whose purpose was to transport package freight between Ogdensburg, New York, and Chicago. The new firm immediately placed orders with the Detroit Dry Dock Company for three steamers, the first of which, named WALTER L.FROST, was delivered the same year. This vessel, although a workhorse for the fleet until she was lost on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan on November 4, 1903, is not the subject of our story, rather the two vessels that followed her into service.
Hulls 67 and 68 of the Detroit Dry Dock Company were wooden hulled 'tween deck package freighters delivered to the Rutland in 1884. They were named WM. A. HASKELL (U. S. 81025) and WM. J. AVERILL (U. S. 81027) respectively, presumably in honour of executives of the parent railroad. The records of the shipyard indicates that the overall dimensions of the two sister ships were 255'0" x 37'2" x 25'6" but these measurements will not be found in any official register of shipping. In fact, the 1896 American register shows the length of the AVERILL as 241'7 (registered length, not overall) and that of HASKELL as 242'5. It was not uncommon for the measurements of wooden vessels to change slightly over the years as the hulls warped and bent with the strain of operation and assorted accidents. Tonnage of the AVERILL was 1603 Gross and 1425 Net, while that of the HASKELL showed as 1530 Gross and 1440 Net.
The builders fitted the HASKELL and AVERILL with their own engines numbered 122 and 123 respectively, these being Compound engines with cylinders of 27" and 44" and having a 40" stroke. This machinery gave each vessel Indicated Horsepower of 600 and Nominal Horsepower of 800. Steam was supplied for each ship by a pair of coal-fired firebox boilers measuring 8' 0" x 15'6", the company assigning its builders numbers and 2 to the boilers fitted in the HASKELL and 3 and 4 to those in her sister.
The two freighters were very handsome specimens, much better looking in your editor's opinion than the five later ships that followed for the Rutland from the same builders over the next few years. The HASKELL and AVERILL were typical of their period, being high-sided, flush-decked vessels, the deck cluttered by an assortment of cabins, and the pilothouse set back from the bow atop a rather large texas cabin. Unlike their single-stacked successors, this pair carried twin funnels athwartship, as did the earlier FROST. They carried auxiliary sail in case of difficulties with the steam machinery.
WM. A. HASKELL and WM. J. AVERILL had a gruelling life in the service of the Rutland. They had the longest run of any of the American lake package freight lines since not only were they the only company to operate down into Lake Ontario (most had their eastern terminus on Lake Erie), but they went as far east in the St. Lawrence River as their home port of Ogdensburg. Their cargoes westbound consisted of the usual general cargo plus large quantities of granite being shipped to Chicago for the building trades. Eastbound, they could be found with their holds filled with grain. The service was even more of a grind since each round trip necessitated two tedious passages through the many locks of the old Welland Canal,
The AVERILL and HASKELL walked up and down the Canal on their usual route until they were superceded by newer tonnages. The company commissioned new steel package freighters starting in 1906 with OGDENSBURG and RUTLAND. BROCKTON followed in 1908 and ARLINGTON and BRANDON appeared in 1910. It is safe to assume that our wooden twins were laid up by at least 1910, their usefulness to the Rutland at an end. However, an event which killed off the railroad lake lines brought new life to the retired steamers which otherwise might have lain in idleness until no longer fit for use.
In 1915, the United States Government enacted the Panama Canal Act, one of whose provisions served to prohibit American railroads from operating competing water routes. Six companies, the Rutland, the Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Erie Railroad, the Delaware & Lackawanna, and the Lehigh Valley, were forced to divest themselves of their lake fleets and, on February 22, 1916, it was announced that the directors of these firms had united to form the Great Lakes Transit Company of Buffalo, New York, which company would purchase the steamers from the various railroads and operate them.
Accordingly, AVERILL and HASKELL were purchased by the G.L.T.Co. in the spring of 1916 but since they were no longer economical to operate and since there was an excess of good tonnage due to the rationalization of operating policies in the new firm, they remained available for purchase by other operators. In due course they were, in fact, sold, the purchaser being Roy M. Wolvin's Lake and River Transportation Company, Montreal. WM. J. AVERILL was renamed (b) OATLAND (Can. 138107) while WM.A. HASKELL became (b) JOYLAND (Can, 138108) Under Canadian measurements, the former's tonnage was shown as 1854 Gross and 1063 Net, while JOYLAND was listed as 1845 Gross, 1070 Net.
The following year, 1917, OATLAND and JOYLAND were transferred to the fleet of the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd., the parent firm of Lake and River. During the period 1917 to 1920, they were actually managed by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., in which concern Wolvin also had considerable interest. The two steamers, by now showing the strain of their years of labour, ran up the lakes with cargoes of package freight for C.S.L., returning from the Canadian Lakehead to Montreal with grain for M.T. Co.
The formal absorption of M.T.Co. into C.S.L, in 1920 had little effect on the two vessels which remained as running mates until accident separated them in 1922 by removing JOYLAND from the C.S.L. fleet. More on this later. Meanwhile, however, OATLAND kept on her old route until 1925 when her condition forced her retirement. She was laid up at Kingston where she remained for some years, her timbers falling victim to decay. Eventually her hull was towed away and discarded on an island in Lake Ontario near Cape Vincent, New York.
The accident we mentioned previously befell JOYLAND on April 22, 1922, when she stranded in the St. Lawrence River near Clayton, N. Y. Canada Steamship Lines abandoned her since a vessel of her age and condition was obviously not worth any great expenditure of funds for salvage. Nevertheless, the famous John E. Russell of Toronto started work on the wreck. He removed her early in 1923 and took her to Toronto. where she was completely refurbished while lying at Russell's yard in the Keating Channel.
Russell sold JOYLAND to the Aube Steamship Company Ltd., Montreal, one of the companies in the Mapes and Fredon group, and she was given the usual distinctive funnel colours, black with three gold bands. The rebuilt JOYLAND cleared Toronto in the latter part of the summer of 1923 (probably during August) and one of our members recalls the day she steamed out of the Eastern Gap, her fresh paint sparkling and, strangely enough, with sail set on the mainmast. Mapes and Fredon ran JOYLAND until 1925 when she was purchased by the Maitland Sand and Gravel Company Ltd., Port Maitland, Ontario. At this time she was converted for use as a sandsucker and gravel carrier, her looks being spoiled by a strange assortment of equipment that was mounted on deck immediately forward of the boilerhouse.
JOYLAND operated for another decade despite her age and the signs of wear that were causing her to lose the splendid lines that the Detroit Dry Dock Company had given her hull. Eventually, about 1937, JOYLAND reached the end of her usefulness and was laid to rest along the shore of Lake Erie that she had come to know so well in her comings and goings of the preceding twelve years.
(Ed. Note: There seems to be considerable dispute over the spelling of the original name of OATLAND. The records of her builders show the name as WM, J. AVERILL and this is the way the name appears in the 1896 "List of Merchant Vessels of the United States". This spelling is also supported by biographical references to the Averill family. However, later U.S. government registers of shipping, such as that for 1910, show the spelling of the name as AVERELL and this spelling is also used in Canadian registers of later years when quoting the OATLAND's former name. There are not many photographs of the ship in her original colours, although her sister vessel was captured on film many times. One photograph in our collection, taken by the late William A. Traill in the mid-1890's, shows a group of vessels in Port Dalhousie harbour, among them being the elusive ship, and on her fantail is plainly visible the name spelled AVERELL. We would welcome the comments of any readers who may have information on this subject or who may have photos of the vessel in their collections).
The Red Funnels are Coming!
By Fred Sankoff
When the M. V. CITY OF OTTAWA arrived in Toronto on September 18, 1972, she began a new service into the lakes under the flag of the Canadian City Line. For the time being, the ships of this new line will terminate their Seaway passage at Toronto, but the route may be extended.
This Sankoff photo shows CITY OF OTTAWA outbound at Toronto's Western Gap on her first lake trip for Canadian City Line Ltd., September 22, 1972.Three ships were selected from the Ellerman fleet to be used on the new service. The vessels have been renamed to honour Canadian cities and each ship bears the crest of its namesake city on the bow. The funnels have been changed from the Ellerman and Bucknall colours to a new and distinctive red with a white diamond and red maple leaf that can be spotted from a considerable distance. They fly a house flag which is red with three white diamonds, the centre one bearing a maple leaf and the wing diamonds carrying the letter "O" in red.
The new line is a joint venture of Ellerman and Bucknall of London and McLean-Kennedy of Montreal, their North American agents, who since 1936 have operated a service between Canada, India, Pakistan and Ceylon. With the advent of the Great Lakes route, South Africa is also added to the list of countries served. During the Seaway season, all of the Canadian City Line vessels will operate to Montreal and Toronto but in the winter they will run from St. John, N.B. Principal eastbound cargoes will be Canadian newsprint, woodpulp, machinery, asbestos, lead, zinc, copper and aluminum. Westbound, the ships will bring in tea, coffee, cashews, coconut, burlap, jute products, and other such items.
CITY OF OTTAWA (a) CITY OF GLASGOW. (Br. 304535). Hull 173, Vickers-Armstrongs (S.Bs) Ltd., Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1963. 456'6 x 66'6 x 41'1. Gross 9710, Net 5478. 10723 DWT. 8-cylinder Sulzer diesel, 10300 BHP, 17 knots.
CITY OF TORONTO (a) CITY OF EASTBOURNE. (Br. 302928). Hull 172, Vickers-Armstrongs (S. Bs) Ltd., Newcastle, 1962. 465'6 x 66'6 x 41'1. Gross 9704, Net 5400. 10733 DWT. 8-cylinder Sulzer diesel, 9300 BHP, 17 1/2 knots.
CITY OF MONTREAL (a) CITY OF SYDNEY. (Br. 302514). Hull 744, Barclay Curie & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, 1960. 470'9 x 67'0 x 42'0. Gross 10242, Net 5799. 11570 DWT. 9-cylinder Sulzer diesel, 11700 BHP, 17 1/2 knots.
Late Marine News
Just as we were preparing this issue for printing, we learned that the veteran Imperial Oil steam tanker IMPERIAL WINDSOR has been sold to one Jack Beauchamp of Corunna, Ontario, a small town downriver from Sarnia, He apparently intends to rename her LENA BEAUCHAMP but his intentions for the future of the steamer are not clear as yet, We presume that she will be resold eventually. IMPERIAL WINDSOR was, of course, built in 1927 at Haverton Hill-on-Tees by the Furness Ship Building Co. Ltd., as (a) WINDSOLITE and has been owned by Imperial ever since. She last operated in 1971.
For about a decade and a half, the 244 foot 1921-built self-unloading sandsucker AMERICAN of the Construction Aggregates Corporation lay in the river at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, gradually rusting away since there was no work for her. On October 2nd, 1972, she was towed away to Kewaunee by the tug JOHN ROEN IV and we presume that she will soon be broken up.
The steamer ROBERT S. McNAMARA of the Ford Motor Company has been sold to Dale Osborne, owner of the Detroit Bulk Dock Company. This firm had intended to use the vessel as a dock in the River Rouge but plans have stalled pending Corps of Engineers' approval. The McNAMARA last operated in July 1971 on the Toledo to Detroit coal run.