Friday, May 4 - The Ship Inn (in the basement of the Marine Museum). Cost will be $7.00 per person and the meal should be excellent. Speaker will be Mr. Alexander Elliott, Marine Architect at Port Weller Drydocks. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. and the bar will be open before dinner for those who so desire, so come early.
NOTE: We cannot afford another fiasco like our last effort at a Dinner Meeting. Accordingly, reservations ACCOMPANIED BY REMITTANCE must be received by the Treasurer, James M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto 9, Ontario, not later than April 16. Don't wait, write us now and don't forget to enclose a cheque. Members may bring guests if they wish.
The Editor's Notebook
For the first time since SCANNER has been published, there will be no issue distributed at the May meeting. This is because our trusty typist and duplicator operator, Mrs. Tanaka, will be away on vacation and will not be available to prepare the normal May issue. Accordingly, we will have something new, namely a June issue, which will be mailed to all members. We rather like this arrangement since there is usually quite a backlog of news items building up between our May and Mid-Summer numbers and this way not only will we be able to give you a properly prepared SCANNER in June but we can also keep more closely up to date on current news.
In the New Member Department, we extend a most hearty welcome to Greg Mantion who sails aboard TEXACO-BRAVE, Ross W. Leach Jr. of Windsor, Ivan Fuller of Islington, and Carl Ehrke of Toronto.
Just about the best piece of news we have ever been able to bring you in these pages concerns the possibility that one day soon we may have a sidewheel passenger steamboat operating again on the Great Lakes. And right here on Toronto Bay, too! What ship is this? Why, none other than the old ferry TRILLIUM. But, you say, TRILLIUM has been up in Lighthouse Pond at Gibraltar Point for fifteen years, and her cabins are in the last stages of decomposition. Right. Your editor was aboard the old girl in February and she does leave a bit to be desired - the decks rotting, the boat deck carried away on one side by the falling of a rotten willow tree on the shore, items of equipment "appropriated" by passers-by. This could, however, all change very soon! At the urging of the Toronto Historical Board which has long had its eye on TRILLIUM, the Executive Committee has recommended to Metro Council that the sum of $1500 be spent on retaining the necessary persons to do a full survey of the condition of the ferry. (A survey some years ago showed that her steel hull was still reasonably sound and that the major portions of her machinery together with the boilers were still serviceable.) If it should be found that hull and machinery are still good, the Board hopes that the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto through its Parks Department (operators of the Island ferries), will agree to pay the cost of refurbishing TRILLIUM's equipment, stripping her to the hull, rebuilding her superstructure as it was and putting her back in service on the route that she served for 46 years prior to her retirement in 1956. All of our members will, we know, join us in congratulating the Toronto Historical Board in getting action on the TRILLIUM started and in hoping that the job will be seen through to a successful conclusion. All efforts in this direction will have the full support of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.
The sale for scrapping of some of the older Kinsman Marine Transit Company vessels has begun. The first to go is R.E.WEBSTER, formerly the ELBERT H. GARY of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. The WEBSTER has spent the last two years in layup, primarily as a result of boiler troubles. In addition, she is a coal-burner. We understand that WEBSTER has been sold to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, and that UHLMANN BROTHERS may soon follow in the same direction as she is next on the list for disposal. Contrary to earlier reports that she would be scrapped, we now learn that JOE S. MORROW may operate again in 1973 due to a resurgence of the grain trade which will also keep JAMES E. FERRIS in operation.
Scrapping operations continue at Ramey's Bend on ALPENA. Meanwhile, HENRY G. DALTON, moored alongside, has had her bowthruster removed and it appears that she is being sealed in preparation for a sale overseas. We don't know whether there is any connection, but at Toronto the NORTHERN VENTURE of Upper lakes Shipping is being fitted with a bowthruster and we wouldn't be surprised if it is the same unit that was taken from the DALTON.
Speaking of Marine Salvage, it seems that their UNITED STATES GYPSUM, recently bought from the American Steamship Company (although the sale has yet to be approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration), is to be resold to Vado Scali E. Baciai, Sp. A., Genoa, Italy. She will, therefore, be making the long trip across the big pond instead of being cut up at Humberstone.
We understand that an organization called the Narrows Park Group of Point Edward, Sarnia, has been pushing, along with the Great Lakes Heritage Museum, for the development of a land and water museum hopefully to be located on the site of the present C.N.R. - C.S.L. freight terminal below the Blue Water Bridge at Point Edward. With the support of the Mayor of Sarnia, the groups have approached Canadian National with a view to obtaining as exhibits the carferries HURON and LANSDOWNE which are currently in use as carfloats at Windsor but which soon will be retired altogether when C.N. drops its Windsor-Detroit crossing. The ships are not suitable for use in the railway's ferry service at Sarnia and would be interesting exhibits for the museum except for the fact that both steamers have been butchered in their conversion to barges. For instance, LANSDOWNE has now lost not only her pilothouse, but the whole bridge structure and her funnels. In any event, we wish the Sarnia groups the best of luck in their efforts.
While on the subject of the carfloats, it seems that the winter has been interesting for OGDENSBURG which, under tow of her old tug PRESCOTONT, has operated sporadically in the container trade across the Detroit River. In the early morning hours of February 1st, ice tore her from the C.P.R. dock in Windsor. She struck the N & W barge DETROIT moored at the some location and also attacked the tug R. G. CASSIDY which, with only one of her two diesels operating, was sent out to catch the barge. The other N & W tug, F. A. JOHNSON then was sent out but she broke a steering cable while groping through the heavy ice. Finally her own tug PRESCOTONT was sent out and the errant barge was finally captured. In a minor incident occurring on February 28th at Detroit, we understand that a somewhat less than steady Detroit Harbour Terminals crane deposited a container in the River instead of on the deck of OGDENSBURG.
In our December issue, we reported that the Ford Motor Company had sold its veteran collier ROBERT S. McNAMARA to Dale Osborne of the Detroit Bulk Dock Company for use as a dock in the River Rouge. It now seems that the vessel's new owner has gone into bankruptcy and it would seem logical to assume that Ford will regain ownership of the McNAMARA and sell her for scrapping. In latter years the McNAMARA, with her specially designed deck, operated only on the Toledo to Detroit coal run and hence was almost inaccessible to photographers. For the benefit of those who may wish to get a shot of her before anything happens to the ship, we can report that she is currently lying in the Rouge just above the Jefferson Avenue bridge facing downstream, a good location for photos in an otherwise impossible area.
One more of the "Head Line" vessels that served Toronto for many years has been sold. The Ulster Steam Shipping Company Ltd. of Belfast has disposed of TORR HEAD to the Ocean Tramping Company, Hong Kong. Renamed SHENGLI, she now flies the flag of Somali. The only Head Line lake veteran still in service is the relatively new INISHOWEN HEAD which, converted to a container ship, operates to east coast ports only.
It has been confirmed that the Ford Motor Company will proceed with its plans to convert the motorship HENRY FORD II to a self-unloader this coming winter. The FORD got the 1973 season off to an early start by sailing about March 1st on the Toledo to Detroit coal service. The HENRY has always been a good looking ship but we doubt that the conversion will help things any. By the way, as most of our readers will know, HENRY and her sister ship BENSON FORD have long been known for the odd rhythm of their diesels which produce a series of beats to which some wags have set the words "Making Money, Making Money." Maybe now, with the conversion, Ford should have the HENRY's diesel rebuilt so that it would keep time to "Making More Money, Making More Money"....... if so, they need only look to the old CAPTAIN C.D.SECORD, for she had that beat down pat!
The Interlake Steamship Company really seems to have started something with its lengthening of the ore carriers CHARLES M. BEEGHLY and JOHN SHERWIN, the latter ship being due to emerge from the Fraser yard at Superior this spring. The Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton & Company, has now jumped on the bandwagon and has announced that its ore carriers ARMCO and RESERVE will each be stretched by 120 feet, this job going to Fraser as well. ARMCO is to get the treatment during the coming winter of 1973-74, while the yard will take RESERVE in hand the following winter. The 629.4 foot ARMCO was built in 1953 at Lorain by the American Shipbuilding Company, while RESERVE, the same length but rather more traditional in appearance, came from the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan, likewise in 1953. With the lengthening, the Columbia pair will join the growing ranks of "superlakers" among which are now numbered only STEWART J. CORT, ROGER BLOUGH, CHARLES M. BEEGHLY and JOHN SHERWIN, together with the as yet unnamed barge abuilding at Erie.
A number of lake shipping companies have announced the sailing dates of their various ships from winter quarters in order that the Coast Guard may arrange the necessary icebreaking operations. This listing gives us a good chance to see how many vessels each company will run this year. Among those fleets which had reported by mid-February, the following are planning to operate all their ships in 1973: Bethlehem Steel Corp., Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company, Ford Motor Company, Hanna Mining Company (excluding the GEORGE R. FINK which is currently in the process of sale to the Hindman fleet), Huron Portland Cement (including even J.B. FORD, E.M. FORD and LEWIS G. HARRIMAN), Inland Steel Company, Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., N. M. Paterson & Sons Ltd., and the American Oil Company.
The U. S. Steel Great lakes Fleet this year will reactivate HOMER D. WILLIAMS which was idle last year with shaft problems. CLIFFORD F. HOOD, WILLIAM J. FILBERT, GEORGE G. CRAWFORD, PETER A. B. WIDENER, J. P. MORGAN JR., and WILLIAM P. PALMER will remain in layup at Duluth where they likewise spent 1972. Contrary to rumours which have been circulating, there will be no wholesale retiring of older vessels in the fleet and the only other Tinstack steamer that will not operate in 1973 is PERCIVAL ROBERTS JR. Incidentally, mention of the craneship CLIFFORD F. HOOD above reminds us that there are indications that this veteran may soon be sold to another firm for operation. The prospective buyer has not been identified and our readers may turn their imagination loose on this problem.
A pleasant surprise comes with the word that the Interlake Steamship Company (Pickands Mather) will operate all its vessels except COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS. This means that PM will reactivate WALTER E. WATSON and SAMUEL MATHER (both idle in 1972) and will continue to run ROBERT HOBSON whose future had been in doubt as a result of collision damage sustained last year in an argument with the Peerless Cement dock at Port Huron,
Our faces are red and so are those in the offices of the Hall Corp. As we announced recently, Hall's subsidiary, Algonquin Corporation Ltd., had purchased the tanker IMPERIAL WINDSOR and was in the act of having her name changed to CURLEW. As the papers were being processed, the Canadian Government brought it to Halco's attention that there already was a fishtug by the name of CURLEW on the register and accordingly this could not be used as the new name for the tanker. Since CURLEW was to be named for a former Hall vessel, the company did some quick checking into their fleet lists and came up with the name CARDINAL which will now be used. The new name will honour not only the town of Cardinal on the old St. Lawrence Canals, but also a wooden tug, built in 1875, which served the Hall fleet for a short period around 1911.
We have learned that the self-unloading bulk carrier building at Sturgeon Bay as Hull 711 for the American Steamship Company (BoCo) will be christened H.LEE WHITE. BoCo will then have to rename the current vessel of that name (the old JOSEPH S. YOUNG) and here we go again. This fleet has long been known for the periodic shifting around of the names of its ships.
Speaking of American Steamship, we have heard talk that the current owners are attempting to dispose of their interest in the operation. As yet we have no other details whatsoever and shall be most interested to see who tho prospective buyers may be.
In our last issue, we reported that all was not rosy for the future of the steam tanker TEXACO-BRAVE, At the time of writing this, however, it is a virtual certainty that the tanker will operate during 1973 as fit-out crews have already been aboard and we understand that she is due to sail in early April. Although she will probably spend almost all her time running downriver from Montreal, she may make a few trips on Lake Ontario before she leaves these waters.
It seems that Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. are not only anxious to get rid of their surplus package freighters, but would like to sell the 623 foot straightdeck bulk carrier COVERDALE as well. The vessel, completed in 1950 as Hull 34 of Midland Shipyards Ltd., and powered by 4-cylinder Unaflow engines, operated for a number of years under the Hamilton, Bermuda, C.S.L. subsidiary, Ocean Lines Ltd., but was brought back into Canadian registry in 1972 under another subsidiary, Pipe Line Tankers Ltd.
The salt water bulk carrier NORSE VARIANT, a familiar visitor to lake ports, foundered in heavy weather off Cape May in the Atlantic on March 22nd while en route from Norfolk to Bremen with a cargo of coal. At the time of writing, only one crewman had been found alive on the storm-tossed waters, NORSE VARIANT was a 541.5-foot stemwinder built at Uddevalla, Sweden, in 1965, and registered at Oslo. She came to the lakes in her first year of operation and returned annually. When last seen in Toronto during 1972, she was unloading automobiles in the Turning Basin.
On the weekend of March 17-18, the Southern Ontario area was struck by a most severe and unexpected spring storm which brought havoc and destruction in the form of heavy snow, high winds, and serious flooding of shoreside areas already threatened by extremely high water levels. Very little information appeared in the press about one aspect of the storm which caused anxious moments in Goderich. It seems that high winds screaming in off Lake Huron during the height of the blizzard tore loose a number of the vessels wintering at the port. A number of collisions ensued and the most seriously damaged vessel was PATERSON which apparently had a hole punched in her engineroom. We should like to learn more about the incident.
Last month we mentioned that the self-unloading barge MARQUIS ROEN had been sold for off-lakes use. We now learn that the buyers are the Burnside Terminal Company, New Orleans, who intend to use her as a grain lighter.
A recent visit to Whitby harbour gave us a view of ISLE ROYALE whose conversion from the self-unloading bulk carrier OREFAX, to a sludge carrier for the North Traverse dredging project is nearly completed. The ship is being painted in McNamara colours except for the stack which is all black. The Halco "H" is gone, but the V-design in white remains.
The new Welland bypass channel of the Welland Ship Canal was officially opened on March 28th with the upbound passage of the Canadian icebreaker GRIFFON. The first commercial passage came the same day with the passage downbound of Mohawk Navigation's stemwinder SENNEVILLE which had wintered at Humberstone. The St. Lawrence section of the Seaway also opened on the 28th as the salt water vessel DAVID MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN passed up the St. Lambert Lock. Strangely enough, the same day saw the opening of the American locks at Sault Ste. Marie as U. S. Steel's self-unloader JOHN G. MUNSON passed upbound with coal for Duluth.
Honours To A Member
At the annual dinner meeting of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit, held at the Wyandotte Yacht Club on Saturday, March 10th, 1973, one of our members who assisted in the formation of the Toronto Marine Historical Society was honoured by our Detroit confreres with the distinguished award "Marine Historian of the Year."
This award to John H. Bascom is in recognition of the tremendous contribution he has made to the advancement of research in all aspects of Great Lakes ships and shipping.
In my forty-three years of interest in our Great Lakes ships, John is one of four men I have known whose enthusiasm is exceeded only by his desire to achieve accuracy as evidenced by his work on the Fleet Lists published in the SCANNER. I am sure that you will join me in offering sincere congratulations!
21st March 1973 - James M. Kidd
As our regular readers will know, we make it a practice to present a few words in these pages whenever one of our members brings out a book or any other written material on subjects of marine interest. This month, we are pleased to be able to mention NAMESAKES II, the latest effort from one of our most avid members, John O. Greenwood of Cleveland, Ohio.
Those who have read Mr. Greenwood's earlier work, NAMESAKES OF THE LAKES, will be familiar with its format. It presented photos of all ships currently serving in lake trade and provided descriptions of the ships and their previous histories. Most important, the book gave the derivation of the name of each ship together with a biographical sketch if the ship were named for a person. NAMESAKES II handles each ship in the same way but is a much more important volume, historically speaking, since it deals only with those vessels active on the lakes between 1940 and 1972 and no longer in service. It covers, therefore, many ships which have been elusive both to photographers and to those who would know their complete histories. It is to the great credit of John Greenwood that he has unearthed some extremely rare photos of these ships and has done as complete research into their background as may possibly ever be done.
John's innumerable hours of research have paid off in an extremely handsome hardcover volume of 667 pages. It is printed on heavy glossy stock and each ship is listed on a different page. This will give readers some idea of how many vessels are covered in the book. NAMESAKES, II sells for the price of $19.75 (extremely-reasonable bearing in mind its size and content) and is available from Freshwater Press Inc., Room 446, The Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio 44114, U.S.A. We heartily recommend NAMESAKES II to anyone interested in lake vessels.
Bruce Hudson Again
Readers will no doubt recall that our January and February issues contained much information on the fleet of Lloyd Tankers Ltd., and particularly on the trials and tribulations of the little tank barge (later steamer) BRUCE HUDSON. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Lorne Joyce of Port Credit, who himself worked at the Port Credit refinery, we can now report further on two of the many accidents involving the HUDSON.
We had reported that the fire involving the HUDSON at Chicago occurred on July 27, 1943. Actually, that was the date the outside world became aware of the occurrence, but the explosion and fire really took place during the evening of July 26. The HUDSON, under the command of Capt. Ross Linwood Hindman of Midland, had loaded at the East Chicago dock of the Phillips Petroleum Company, her cargo being casinghead, that is, the light ends of natural gasoline from the top of an oil well. Casinghead is an extremely volatile liquid and contains the highly explosive substance ethane, methane, butane and propane. It was a hot night and four hoses had been playing on the deck in an effort to reduce the temperature of the steel plating to avoid an accident. In addition, all of the steamer's hatches had been left open to let excess fumes escape prior to sealing the ship for the trip down the lakes.
Capt. Hindman was always very careful about his movements aboard the little HUDSON and he made sure that his crew acted likewise. Nevertheless, with the fumes from 11,000 barrels of casinghead in the air, the slightest mistake would spell disaster. The HUDSON's lines had been singled up as the crew made ready to sail.
Details of what actually happened are sketchy, but it appears that there was an electrical spark, possibly inside the deckhouse. The casinghead fumes ignited at once and several explosions shook the tanker, sending sheets of flame 150 feet in the air. Serious burns were sustained by Capt. Hindman, his sixteen year old son Stanley who had moved over to the HUDSON from the passenger steamer ASSINIBOIA, so other crew members could take their holidays, and Arthur Plouffe, age 30, of Waubaushene, an oiler. In addition, wheelsman William Goneau, 23, Midland, his clothes afire, leapt overboard in an effort to escape the flames. All four were taken to St. Catharine's Hospital where they died on July 27th. Capt. Hindnan had intended taking his wife along on the trip but at the last minute she had declined to accompany him.
The East Chicago Fire Department, summoned to the scene, managed to keep the fire from spreading shoreside while the U. S. Coast Guard cleared the area of other ships. The superstructure of BRUCE HUDSON was severely damaged but she did not sink and was, in due course, towed to Muir's Drydock at Port Dalhousie where repairs were effected.
Another accident of which we had not previously been aware occurred in 1947. HUDSON, by now rebuilt and lengthened, the work having been done at Port Weller in 1946, was upbound in Lake Erie bound for Toledo. She got into heavy weather on November 27, 1947, and put into Port Stanley for boiler repairs. Late that night, she set out again but apparently suffered further boiler trouble and lost power. As she was dangerously near the treacherous Southeast Shoal, her crew sent out distress calls on the radio and these were answered by the tankers ROCKET and IMPERIAL MIDLAND which after hours of searching finally found the HUDSON wallowing in the heavy seas. The HUDSON was taken in tow and later the tankers transferred the tow to the tug ATOMIC which had been dispatched from Amherstburg. The job was made all the harder by the fact that the steamer in distress could send messages (these being heard as far away as Chicago), but could not herself receive calls from her would-be rescuers. At the time of this latter escapade, BRUCE HUDSON was under command of Capt. Howard Drinkwater.
Much of the above information comes from clippings which Lorne Joyce obtained through the courtesy of Mr. George Thompson who at one time served as deckhand aboard the HUDSON. If any other readers have information on the ill-starred life of the tanker, we would appreciate being advised.
Ship of the Month No. 30
As a follow-up to our article in the March issue dealing with two of the large double-ended paddlers of the Toronto Ferry Company, we present here the story of one of the popular wooden single-ended propllers which operated in and around Toronto for many years and which also ventured far afield as her various owners tried to find a lucrative trade for her.
The hull which was eventually to become JASMINE was built in 1884 at Port Burwell, Ontario, and was named WILLIAM M. ALDERSON (Can. 73920) in honour of her owners. The builders gave the wooden steamer a length of 98 feet, a beam of 21 feet and a depth of 8 feet and her Gross Tonnage was shown as 122. Alderson operated his namesake, mostly in the Lake Erie excursion trade, until August 4, 1891, when she was severely damaged by fire at Port Dover, Ontario. Her upperworks were completely destroyed.
However, the ALDERSON's hull must still have been in reasonably good shape since it was towed to Toronto in the autumn of 1891, the ownership having passed to A. J. Tymon & Company, Toronto. The vessel was lengthened and rebuilt at the foot of Berkeley Street by George Dickson who, during the reconstruction, installed a new steeple compound engine built by Polson Iron Works Ltd. For their account, Polsons took back a mortgage on the boat. After the rebuild, the steamer measured 130.5 feet in length, 21.6 feet in the beam and 8.7 feet in depth. Her tonnage was listed as 194 Gross, 132 Net. She was reregistered at Toronto on July 7, 1892, as (b) A. J. TYMON (Can. 100038), being named in honour of "Andy" Tymon who operated ferries to Centre Island (then known as Island Park) across Toronto Bay.
The A. J. TYMON appears to have operated west from Toronto to Long Branch and Lorne Park, and across the lake to Grimsby and Jordan Harbour, the latter ports being on the south shore between Hamilton and Port Dalhousie. In 1894 she was commanded by Capt. J. J. Quinn and that year she operated on weekends for Alderman Thomas Davies to Victoria Park, a not overly successful amusement park and picnic grounds located east of downtown Toronto near the foot of what is now known as Victoria Park Avenue. This park was being promoted by Davies. When it is considered that passengers were carried from the Toronto waterfront to Victoria Park, a distance of more than five miles each way, for the grand sum of 25¢ return including park admission, it is evident that the uncertainties of local weather could make or break the most enterprising operator in a very short time. Nevertheless, in the 1890's day steamer rides to the various parks and beaches were one of the few public entertainments available, there being no automobiles, radio or television, and in many cases neither steam nor electric railways served these areas.
True to form, financial difficulties developed with the passing years and on March 2nd, 1903, Judge Thomas Hodgins in Admiralty Court turned over the shares of A.J. Tymon, James McSherry and John D. Murphy (the principals of A.J.Tymon & Company) to George Gooderham of Toronto. Mr. Gooderham was a member of the socially prominent family connected with the Gooderham and Worts distillery and also had an interest in the development of Lorne Park, located about fifteen miles west of Toronto.
In her first year of service on "The Hiawatha Route", OJIBWAY was caught by the camera of A. E. Young at Sault Ste. Marie, 1903.Gooderham was successful in finding a buyer for the A. J. TYMON and on May 18, 1903, made a deal for the sale of the ship to George Thomas Marks of Port Arthur. Gooderham decided to hold the $4,000 mortgage himself. Marks took the TYMON to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and on June 15, 1903, renamed her (c) OJIBWAY. He advertised her as operating on the "Hiawatha Route" between the Soo and the North Channel ports of Bruce Mines, Thessalon, and Blind River. The venture did not prove to be particularly successful but Marks did make enough money to pay off the Gooderham mortgage. When Marks sold OJIBWAY to Capt. Benjamin V. Naylor on May 7, 1906, he took back a mortgage himself for $4,700.
Capt. Naylor, who lived in Noyan, Quebec, thought that the steamer had a future in the Richelieu River trade and so in July 1906 he took her all the way down to Sorel where Telesphore Miseau refitted her. After the work, her dimensions were given as 112.4 x 21.91 x 7.4' and her tonnage as 298 Gross, 184 Net. Whether she was actually shortened by eighteen feet at this time is not clear. Possibly her length was now shown as "between perpendiculars" rather than "overall" as it may have been measured before. Certainly photos of the ship as OJIBWAY and those taken in later years when she served as a Toronto ferry do not indicate evidence of any major reconstruction, except for the removal of a cabin on the promenade deck. Perhaps the water she had been pushing had a shrinking effect!
JASMINE, showing her years, is seen preparing to leave Centre Island dock in 1927. Toronto Transportation Commission photo.Her new service did not last long, for on May 21st, 1907, the mortgagee, George Marks, died. The Executor of his estate, Toronto solicitor Hamilton Cassells, arranged for Capt. Naylor the sale whereby OJIBWAY was turned over to the Toronto Ferry Company Ltd. on March 27th, 1908. The steamer was reregistered at Toronto as (d) JASMINE and, in so naming her, the Toronto Ferry Company continued its practice of naming ferries after flowers. With the purchase, the ship was returned to Toronto where she had spent twelve of her earlier years.
At the time of the purchase of JASMINE by the Toronto Ferry Company, one of the Toronto newspapers reported that the company had acquired the steamer ROTH which had previously operated at Noyan, Quebec, and that she would be converted to a double-ender in time for the 1909 season. It is not known whether Capt. Naylor had intended to rename OJIBWAY as RUTH or whether the article was referring to a completely different vessel which was never purchased. In any event, JASMINE remained a single-ender.
In her years with the Toronto Ferry Company, JASMINE was undoubtedly a more profitable venture for her owners than she had ever been before. She became a long-time favourite with both the summer residents of Centre Island (her normal route was to Centre) and the picnickers who thronged her decks. Familiarly referred to as "Jazz-mine" (those who knew her never pronounced her name as one normally does when speaking of the flower), she was commanded for many years by Capt. Osborne who also held an interest in the merry-go-round at Centre Island Park. He was succeeded by Capt. Tommy Bryan, JASMINE's last Skipper, whose close adherence to scheduled departure times frequently left tardy commuters fuming on the dock. Her engineer was named Jeffries. During the T. F. Co. years, the vessel was licensed for 400 passengers.
For those who do not know the location, the Centre Island dock lies in a sheltered but extremely restricted pond to which entry is gained by negotiating a turn in the narrow channel between Cannon Point on the west and Olympic Island to the east. JASMINE, once in, was too large a vessel to back out through the channel and then turn outside for the return trip to the city. To avoid stranding, she had to use a springline and pivot or warp around the end of the dock. This was a very interesting manoeuvre, although hard on the snubbing posts on ship and dock and even harder on the springline. It is said that on a quiet day, the sounds of this snubbing operation could be heard all the way to Ward's Island!
For twenty years, JASMINE sailed back and forth across the Bay, her low but very soft whistle announcing her comings and goings. The Toronto Ferry Company was formally taken over on November 1st, 1926, by the City of Toronto and when, on Feburary 21st, 1927, the Toronto Transportation Commission assumed control of operations from Mr. Lawrence Solman, JASMINE was included in the transfer. She was, however, nearing the end of her usefulness. Her hull had lost its good lines and had begun to hang down at the stern in addition to developing a rather alarming dip in the area of the funnel.
Despite her age, however, JASMINE operated through the 1927 season and in the Spring of 1928 was fitted out and given a fresh coat of paint. She did not run for many weeks in 1928 before the Government steamship inspectors paid her a visit in June. They obviously were more impressed by the tiredness of the old girl than by her new paint and accordingly she failed to pass muster, being refused a further certificate for operation. The T.T.C. promptly laid her up at Hanlan's Point and there she rested in retirement until August of 1929.
During these same years, there flourished on the shores of Humber Bay, west of the downtown area, a popular amusement park and beach known as Sunnyside Park and operated by the Toronto Harbour Commissioners. It seems that management of the operation employed a group of publicity men with pyromaniacal tendencies and on several occasions round about this time they decided that the burning of a ship in the lake off Sunnyside was just what was needed to bring the citizenry to the park in droves. Apparently they were right.
JASMINE, sold by the T.T.C. to the Toronto Harbour Commission, was towed to a spot inside the breakwater at Sunnyside and, on the evening of August 2nd, 1929, loaded with combustibles, was put to the torch as a spectacle suitable for the celebration of Civic Holiday. The poor old steamer provided the high point of the evening's entertainment as she burned to the water's edge. Several days later the remains of the hull were found floating in the lake and had to be removed. The Harbour Commission later dredged up the propeller and shaft which had sunk to the bottom of the lake and brought them into the harbour atop a barge. For some years they rested on the T.H.C. dock in the Keating Channel.
Over the years, other vessels were burned at the stake in the same manner. The small ferry JOHN HANLAN was the first to go and met her end on July 19, 1929, less than a month ahead of JASMINE. Another old ferry, CLARK BROS., went on June 30, 1930, and the schooners JULIA B. MERRILL and LYMAN M. DAVIS followed on July 1st (Dominion Day), 1931 and 1933, respectively. Thereafter, this barbaric custom, was mercifully discontinued.
And so in the flames died a gallant steamer that for forty-five years had wandered thousands of miles providing good times for her ever-loving passengers. JASMINE will long be remembered by Torontonians with a nostalgia feeling for those "good old days."
(Ye Ed. would like to extend special thanks to Jim Kidd for his help on JASMINE, and particularly for much technical data on the early years of the steamer. The photo of JASMINE at Centre Island was taken June 1st, 1927, and is reproduced through the courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission.)
Winter Lay-up Listings
As most lake vessels have either left their winter quarters or are now fitting out for the new season, we bring to an end our listing of ships wintering in the various lake ports. Our thanks to those who sent listings to us. We hope that we may have your support again next winter.
Incidentally, we should note that one ship was omitted from the list in the March issue. To the port of Milwaukee should be added the steamer ROBERT HOBSON.
Late Marine News
The port of Toronto officially opened for business on March 29th with the arrival of the Q & O motorship CHICAGO TRIBUNE with a cargo of barley from the Lakehead. The ship was to have arrived last fall to winter here but was unable to make the Welland Canal before its early closing last December and spent the winter moored at the Government House in Port Colborne. Although the TRIBUNE's master, Capt. Fred Bingham, was awarded the ceremonial top hat for the achievement, we should note that the first arrival of the year was actually the bunkering tanker GULF SENTINEL which wintered here, cleared the harbour on March 23, and returned on March 24 with a cargo of oil to bunker other vessels fitting out in port.
For Ha! Ha! Bay
... calling at Murray Bay, Riviere du Loup and Tadoussac, the splendid new steamer
UNION, William Russell, Captain,
Will leave Montreal every Monday evening during the season, at 5 o'clock, and Quebec on Tuesday morning, at 8 o'clock, for the River Saguenay. This steamer was built last year expressly for the navigation of the Lower St. Lawrence, and is far superior in size, space and comfort, to any boat hitherto on the route. Parties from Upper Canada would do well not to take through tickets till they have an opportunity of judging for themselves.
Quebec, June 18 (1867)From the Toronto Daily Globe
Point Anne Quarries Ltd
- A Fleet list -
Just prior to 1910, Michael J. Haney and Roger Miller of Toronto formed a company called Point Anne Quarries Ltd. for the purpose of digging and distributing stone obtained from quarries located at Point Anne on the Bay of Quinte. The firm maintained a distributing dock at the foot of West Market Street on the old Toronto waterfront.
Toronto financier J. P. M. Stewart was a prominent officer in the new company. Michael Haney had been interested in a number of similar ventures including a brick works at Port Credit (see the January issue article on Lloyd Tankers Ltd.) and also marine contracting. Roger Miller was also involved in marine contracting.
A fleet of old wooden vessels was brought together to transport the stone from Point Anne to Toronto. Some of the vessels were already owned or operated by Haney and Miller. It will be noted from the individual listings that most of the ships were on their last legs at the time of their acquisition!
This is the only known photo of the wooden steamer JUNO, at one time a unit of the Point Anne Quarries fleet. Courtesy Rev. E. J. Dowling, S. J.In addition to the wooden vessels, the new company also ordered the steel canaller RENVOYLE (l) from Scottish builders, although she seems to have been chartered to the Canadian Interlake Line from the outset and never was actually operated by Point Anne Quarries. Similarly, the company appears to have had a partial interest in the PRINCE RUPERT, owned by the Kingston Shipping Company Ltd. The Calvin Company Ltd, of Garden Island, Ontario, also had an interest and in 1914 the steamer passed to the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd. She later became a war casualty.
Point Anne Quarries Ltd. ceased doing business in the Toronto area about 1925. We list herewith the vessels operated by the company during the period 1909 to 1925, wooden vessels first and the two steel steamers bringing up the rear.
D. P. DOBBINS, (U.S.6095) (C. 126228). Wooden schooner barge built 1863 at Cleveland. 162.3 x 31.6 x 12.2. Gross 448, Net 425. Named in honour of Capt. D. P. Dobbins, a famous Buffalo shipowner. Owned by numerous U.S. operators which included the Argo Steamship Co., Cleveland. Acquired by Point Anne Quarries Ltd. about 1914 from the Reid Wrecking Co., Sarnia. No longer in service by the early 1920's, she lay in the West Market St. slip, Toronto, until removed c. 1926, to make way for harbour development. Hull then raised, towed out into Lake Ontario and scuttled.
GILBERT, (C. 85712). Wooden tug built 1884 at Cardinal, Ontario. 72.0 x 19.0 x 5.5. Gross 41, Net 28. Spent much of her life in St. Lawrence River service. By 1914 was owned by Haney and Miller and operated for several years towing Point Anne Quarries barges. Laid up during the early 1920's in the West Market St. slip, Toronto, where she gradually disintegrated. Broken up c. 1926 in preparation for harbour development.
JUNO (C. 90771). Wooden bulk carrier built 1885 at Wallaceburg, Ontario, by McDonald for William Allan, Walkerville, Ontario and registered at Windsor. 114 x 27 x 9. Rebuilt 1898. 139.7 x 26.8 x 8.8. Gross 288, Net 196. Sold 1902 to W. J. Pulling & Co., Windsor. Acquired February 20, 1908 by Haney & Miller, Toronto. Registry transferred to Toronto, March 10, 1909, by M. J. Haney. Transferred September 30, 1909, to newly-formed Point Anne Quarries Ltd. On November 1, 1912, while en route with stone from Point Anne to Toronto with schooner barge P. B. LOCKE in tow, heavy seas caused the LOCKE to founder in Lake Ontario off Port Hope. JUNO, leaking badly, made Cobourg harbour and sank in shallow water on November 2, 1912. While still on the bottom, sold February 14, 1913, to Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co. Ltd., Montreal. Raised in the Spring of 1913 and returned to service at a cost of $3,000. Ownership actually transferred to R & O same year. Legal transfer of ownership to C.S.L. did not take place until February 11, 1915. Immediately mortgaged to Vickers Ltd., London, England, and Furness Withy & Co. Ltd., also of London, both of which firms were shareholders of C.S.L. on its formation in 1913. Engines removed from JUNO c. 1918. Registry closed September 29, 1920.
LAKE MICHIGAN, (C. 88537). Wooden freight steamer built 1872 at St. Catharines. 136.0 x 33.9 x 11.5. Gross 402, Net 157. Originally built for the Lake & River Steamship Co. and operated for many years by the MacKay interest of Hamilton. Later owned by Charles Bennett, Kincardine, Ontario. Operated for a short period by Point Anne Quarries Ltd. but was retired by 1920 and left to rot near the West Market St. slip, Toronto). Hull covered over with fill c. 1926 during harbour redevelopment.
P. B. LOCKE, (U.S. 20416) (C. ? ). Wooden schooner barge built 1872 at Toledo. 135.9 x 26.0 x 11.4. Gross 285, Net 270. Acquired from U. S. interests in the early 1900's by Haney & Miller. Loaded with coal from Erie, she was caught at anchor with her consort, the steamer RESOLUTE, on a lee shore off Toronto's Western Gap in a gale on November 21, 1906. The steamer was lost but LOCKE rode out the storm at anchor although taking on water. Transferred 1909 to Point Anne Quarries Ltd. Bound for Toronto with stone in tow of JUNO, she foundered 3 miles S. E. of Port Hope on November 1, 1912, in heavy weather. Loss of ship was placed at $2,000 while stone cargo valued at $500.
Toronto's West Market Street slip looked like this on October 5, 1914. At the Point Anne Quarries gravel dock is SOPHIA MINCH while on the right is Pat McSherry's steamer ONGIARA.SOPHIA MINCH, (U.S.115166) (C. 116956). Three masted schooner built 1873 at Vermilion, Ohio, for the Minch interests (early beginnings of the Kinsman Marine Transit Co.). 184.5 x 33.5 x 13.5. Gross 635, Net 603. Cut down to a schooner barge during the 1880's. Sold July 1899 to L. P. & J. S. Smith, Cleveland. On July 8, 1899, while on the way to be delivered to her new owners at Cleveland, she was in tandem tow with the barge GEORGE P. WASHINGTON behind the steamer JOHN N. GLIDDEN. About 10 miles west of Ashtabula, heavy weather forced the steamer to cut the towline and the barges drifted ashore, the MINCH being assumed to be a total loss. Sold Spring 1900 to Miles Barry, Chicago, and salvaged with little damage. By 1905 had been sold to Capt. James Sheehan, Detroit. She was in the Point Anne Quarries Ltd. fleet by 1910, carrying stone from Point Anne to Toronto. Retired by the early 1920's, she lay rotting in the West Market St. slip, Toronto, until removed c. 1926, for harbour redevelopment. Pumped out and towed to Hanlan's Point where she settled and lay for several years until towed out into Lake Ontario and scuttled.
DAVID MORAN, (U.S. 35598) (C. 134244). Wooden scow-type cargo barge built 1901 at West Bay City, Michigan, for the Kelley Island Line & Transportation Co. 160.0 x 35.0 x 8.0. Gross 491. Sold 1914 to Point Anne Quarries Ltd. Retired about 1923 and laid up in the Bay of Quinte. Finally abandoned c. 1930.
JOHN ROLPH, (a) RESOLUTE (08). (C. 88241). Wooden freight steamer built 1883 at Deseronto, Ontario, by Rathbun Bros, for their Deseronto Navigation Co. Ltd., 126.0 x 27.8 x 10.3. Gross 336. Originally built for use in her owners' extensive lumber operations. Rebuilt 1887, 136.6 x 27.8 x 10.3, Gross 372, Net 262. Passed in the early 1900's to Haney & Miller for use in the coal and construction material trade into Toronto. On November 21, 1906, she arrived off Toronto's Eastern Gap, coal laden from Erie and with the barge P.B.LOCKE in tow. In the strong easterly gale, she was unable to enter the harbour and both vessels went to anchor to the west in Humber Bay, in the lee of the Island. When the wind backed to the west, the ships were caught on a lee shore and were severely battered. The LOCKE survived but RESOLUTE was swamped and foundered at anchor with the loss of seven lives. Her skipper, Capt. John Sullivan, rode safely right through the Western Gap and into the calm waters of Toronto Bay perched atop a section of the after deckhouse which floated clear of the wreck. The hull was salvaged in October 1907 and was rebuilt at Toronto in 1908 as (b) JOHN ROLPH, Gross 421, Net 212. Transferred 1909 to Point Anne Quarries Ltd. Remained in service until laid up 1923 in the West Market St. slip, Toronto, where she settled in the mud. Pumped out c. 1926, to make way for harbour redevelopment and taken to Hanlan's Point where she lay for several years before being scuttled in deep water in Lake Ontario.
SLIGO (a) PRINCE OF WALES, (74). (C. 72711). Wooden barque built by Louis Shickluna at St. Catharines in 1860 for Capt. J.C. Graham, 137.0 x 23.0 x 11.8. Gross 509. Christened by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) who was touring Canada at the time, first cargo was from Cleveland to Liverpool with coal oil in barrels. On her return from salt water, converted to a "three and aft" schooner and tonnage reduced to 335. Rebuilt at St. Catharines 1874 and renamed (b) SLIGO. Thereafter she engaged in the lumber trade for four years and then carried general cargo including rails and supplies for the C.P.R. Later cut down to a tow barge of 284 tons. Operated 1900 by R. Thompson and in 1902 by Pullery & Co., St. Catharines, Acquired later by Haney & Miller and transferred 1909 to Point Anne Quarries Ltd. About 1910 was moored at West Market Street when Adamson's Elevator (built about 1880 for the grain trade but later used for the storage of crushed stone) collapsed and buried her under 1000 tons of stone, timbers, and galvanized iron. She was forced to the bottom of the shallow slip but when the debris was removed she was found to be not seriously damaged and was returned to service. Foundered in Humber Bay off Sunnyside 1918 while bound for Toronto with stone and lies there yet.
PRINCE RUPERT (l4), (b) NORTHMOUNT. (C. 124260). Steel bulk canaller built 1908 at Dumbarton, Scotland, for the Kingston Shipping Co. Ltd. 249.0 x 43.0 x 19.5. Gross 1908, Net 1172. Passed 1914 to the Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd. Requisitioned 1915 for war service on salt water. On December 18, 1915, while bound from Newport News, Va., to Trinidad, she foundered in position 34 ° 40' N, 74 ° 45' N.
RENVOYLE (l). (C. 126836). Steel package freight canaller built 1910 at Port Glasgow, Scotland, for Point Anne Quarries Ltd. 250.0 x 42.7 x 16.3. Gross 1830, Net 1176. Chartered to the Canadian Interlake Line from the outset. Absorbed into Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., 1913. Requisitioned for war service on salt water 1915, she did not return to the lakes after the Armistice. Foundered December 4, 1920, in Belle Isle Roads, Bay of Biscay.
It will be noted that details on some of these old vessels are very sketchy. We would be pleased to hear from readers having any information to add.
By the way, we wonder how many of our readers, after going through the Point Anne Quarries fleet list, are now wishing that they could go back to about 1925 and, armed with several cameras, take a stroll around the West Market Street slip where all the vessels were lying, slowly rotting away.