Friday, December 7th - 8:00 p. m. at the Marine Museum. William R. Wilson will speak on the subject of passenger vessels and will illustrate with his photographs.
Friday, January 4th -8:00 p. m. at the Marine Museum. A Surprise Movie Night, being a collection of interesting marine films. (All classed "Restricted" - or better!)
The Editor's Notebook
First off, for those of you who may be worrying about whether you paid your fees or not, forget it! If you have received this issue, then you must be paid for 1973-74. We won't tell you what the others get.....
Our little note about the discontinuance of salt water sales listings has brought forth only one person who wants to see them brought back. Salty fans, speak now or forever hold your peace. But on the other hand, we would be more than happy to receive contributions of articles about salt water vessels which have appeared on the lakes. If you can help, let us know.
Our Ship of the Month this issue is something special as you get four in one. We have about a dozen ships lined up for future use and they include a few more old Toronto" ferries since; they always bring favourable response. Suggestions still gratefully received however.
In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Dorothy Wallin, Mrs. Robert Fochtman, Walter Frumveller and Lyle Southwick, all of Port Huron, Michigan, and to Willis Metcalfe of Milford, Ontario, and Harold Fricke of Covington, Ohio.
It was announced on October 5th that the tug and barge combination currently under construction for the Litton Great Lakes Corporation will be named PRESQUE ISLE, a name chosen in a contest open to employees of Erie Marine Inc., the Litton subsidiary which is constructing the barge. The tug, built by Halter Marine Inc., New Orleans, was due to leave for the lakes about mid-October and the two vessels should be ready for sea trials in November, after which a christening ceremony will be held. Although both tug and barge will bear the same name, they will be documented separately and will thus receive different registry numbers. Skipper of the unit when in operation will be Capt. Bill E. Jeffery, formerly of the U. S. Steel craneship CLIFFORD F. HOOD.
Bill Bruce took this view of EDWARD H. ANDERSON shortly after she arrived at Port Colborne in tow of JOHN PURVES and OKLAHOMA on October 1st, 1973.Just when everybody was thinking that the lake fleets were so depleted of surplus units that could be sent overseas for scrap, Marine Salvage Ltd, managed to buy two vessels which many ship fans would probably not even have thought were still in existence. Back in 1958, the completion of the highway bridge across the Straits of Mackinac rendered obsolete the fleet of ferries operated in passenger and auto service by the State of Michigan. At the time, the fleet included three converted railroad ferries, CITY OF PETOSKEY, CITY OF CHEBOYGAN and CITY OF MUNISING. The PETOSKEY was scrapped at Ashtabula in 1961 and the CHEBOYGAN and MUNISING wound up in the ownership of one Edward H. Anderson who used them as potato storage and processing plants at Washington Island on Lake Michigan. In fact, CITY OF CHEBOYGAN was renamed EDWARD H. ANDERSON. Now, after more than a decade of obscurity, the pair has emerged to be the latest in the series of old vessels heading overseas. Towed to Port Colborne in early October and sealed for the Atlantic tow, EDWARD H. ANDERSON was taken down the Welland on October 6th by G. W. ROGERS and SALVAGE MONARCH, the CITY OF MUNISING following on October 11-12. The ANDERSON was built at Cleveland in 1906 as (a) ANN ARBOR NO. 4 while CITY OF MUNISING appeared in 1903, likewise from American Shipbuilding, Cleveland as (a) PERE MARQUETTE 20.
Few photographers caught CITY OF MUNISING in the Welland Canal, but R. T. McCannell took this shot at Port Colborne in October, 1973.We understand that negotiations are underway for the purchase by the Hanna Mining Company of the Interlake Steamship Company's bulk carrier WALTER E. WATSON. It is believed that Hanna may have plans for converting the WATSON to a craneship at some future date. The vessel was built in 1920 by the American Shipbuilding Company at Lorain and entered service as (a) H. H. PORTER, later being known as (b) YOUNGSTOWN. She was given her present name in 1957. WALTER E. WATSON did not operate for Interlake in 1972 but was reactivated in 1973. We understand that her place in the Interlake fleet will probably be taken by COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS which has not run the past two years. The PICKANDS is due for drydocking this autumn.
Every year about this time, stories start making the rounds concerning older ships which may be retired at the end of the season. Needless to say, many of these rumours turn out to be completely unfounded. The "hot" ones for this autumn have it that 1973 will see the last operation of three Q & O vessels, namely PIC RIVER, BLACK RIVER and SHELTER BAY, and one steamer of the Inland Steel fleet, CLARENCE B. RANDALL. Only time will tell....
A minor collision occurred at 3:20 a. m. on September 28th when FRANK R. DENTON and the salty FEDERAL SCHELDE sideswiped each other off Mosquito Bay in the Upper St. Mary's River. The incident occurred during a dense fog. Damage was minor and both ships continued on their way later in the day.
Many observers were surprised that Bethlehem Steel did not dispose of the bulk carrier BETHLEHEM a few years ago when the company purged its fleet of a number of older steamers. In fact, BETHLEHEM has run steadily ever since, but it now seems that she has come to the end of her rope. We are extremely sad to report that she has been sold for use as a grain storage barge in West Germany and will be delivered to her now owners at Montreal between November 15 and 20. She will then be towed across the Atlantic to her new duties. BETHLEHEM was built in 1917 at Ashtabula by the Great Lakes Engineering Works and first sailed under the name of MIDVALE. She is 580 feet in length and is powered by Skinner Unaflow engines installed in 1951.
It seems unpleasant news items always come in bunches and it is certainly true this time around. The Kinsman Marine Transit Company sold the veteran steamer, JOE S. MORROW, plus one other vessel (as yet unnamed), for scrap on September 28th and it looks as if more Kinsman steamers may soon follow suit. One prime candidate for disposal appears to be KINSMAN INDEPENDENT which suffered damage in a grounding on August 21 and is presently laid up. Seems she lost her steering in the Neebish Rock Cut (of all places) and somehow managed to avoid striking the walls of the channel, grounding in the open water below the Cut. We are particularly sorry to see the little MORROW leave the active list as she has long been one of our personal favourites.
The Hall Corporation has purchased the oceangoing motorship TOMMY WIBORG and expects to take delivery of the vessel in December. The company will rename the ship as soon as she is handed over but we understand that the name is not yet chosen.
Another Halco vessel is in the news, and this is the 1957-built canaller CONISCLIFFE HALL which for the last three years has lain idle in Kingston harbour alongside the LaSalle Causeway. The motorship has been purchased by Underwater Gas Developers Ltd., Toronto, and will be converted to a drill rig platform in much the same manner as was the steamer SIMCOE which now serves on Lake Erie under the name NORDRILL. CONISCLIFFE HALL cleared Kingston under her own power at 1400 hours on October 15th and the next day passed up the Welland Canal. She is currently lying in Port Colborne alongside the West Street wharf, roughly in the position where ACTON spent so many years. She will later be moved back below the bridges for the winter. Plans call for the ship, once converted, to take up station in Lake Erie.
Incidentally, we understand that Halco is presently attempting to dispose of the last of their small bulk carriers, namely WESTCLIFFE HALL, EAGLESCLIFFE HALL and NORTHCLIFFE HALL, for off-lakes use. It is hoped that negotiations will be concluded this fall.
The U. S. Coast Guard's icebreaker SOUTHWIND entered the lakes in September bound for Milwaukee where she will be based for the winter months. This will, however, be SOUTHWIND's last year, for she is due to be decommissioned in the spring and will probably be replaced next year by WESTWIND.
In our last issue we reported the sale of the veteran cement carrier SAMUEL MITCHELL to the Selvick Marine Towing Corp. for use in the cement trade on Lake Michigan. We can now advise that the MITCHELL has been renamed MEL WILLIAM SELVICK. From a photo we have seen, she appears to be in horrible condition.
We can all breathe a great sigh of relief, for the DELTA QUEEN will continue to sail the western rivers for another five years. We earlier reported that the House of Representatives and the Senate had voted unanimously in favour of the further exemption from the Safety-at-Sea legislation, and we have now learned that the bill was signed into law by President Nixon on August 18th.
Before the Columbia Transportation self-unloaders HURON and WYANDOTTE were dispatched overseas for scrapping this fall, their oil burners were removed. We have now heard that these will be installed this coming winter in SYLVANIA and G. A. TOMLINSON of the same fleet. We understand that the steamship inspectors have not had kind words for the present condition of the boilers of either ship.
The 709-foot Norwegian salty ROLWI sustained serious damage in a collision with the Liberian vessel MARATHONIAN in upper Lake Michigan on October 2nd. The collision, a head-on affair, ruined the entire bow of ROLWI which proceeded to Lorain for temporary repairs. With her bow still pushed in, she then descended the Welland Canal on her way home for permanent repair.
The Canadian Coast Guard buoy tender WOLFE will make her way to Port Weller Dry Docks in April 1974 for lengthening by 30 feet and the fitting of an icebreaking bow. The contract, which calls for the delivery of the vessel by the end of June, is worth $1,250,000 to Port Weller. The yard is also low bidder for the construction of a 400 foot carferry for the Canadian National service to Newfoundland and officials of the yard are anxiously awaiting word on whether they will be awarded the contract.
Two salt water vessels have been the victims of autumn groundings in lake waters, both accidents occurring on October 20th. The Liberian tanker OLYMPIC SKY, a regular visitor to Toronto this summer, lost her steering in the Seaway and grounded on Crysler Shoal above Cornwall. The British bulk carrier VANCOUVER TRADER went hard aground the same day in Port Colborne harbour after holing herself on a rock. Both vessels were released the following Thursday.
The American Steamship Company has let a contract with the Bay Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for another self-unloader which will probably be similar to CHARLES E. WILSON. Scheduled for delivery in 1976, the motorship will measure 770 x 92 x 52. Bay Shipbuilding will also build a vessel for Inland Steel and this carrier should be ready by 1977.
One of the most surprising news items to come to light in recent months concerns the 68-year old Boland and Cornelius self-unloader NICOLET. The veteran steamer, still actually owned by the Gartland Steamship Company, will be dieselized this winter at Bay City, Michigan, by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company. Seems the old girl must have lots of life in her yet!
Quite a bit of publicity has been given recently to a young lad from Plymouth, Michigan, who was visiting Pelee Island in Lake Erie during the month of August and found lying on the shore a ringbuoy from the self-unloader CARL D. BRADLEY. The BRADLEY sank in Lake Michigan on November 18, 1958, with the loss of thirty-three lives. Now, we have not been involved in the investigation of this peculiar find nor would we care to suggest that the artifact is not genuine, but we do have our doubts that any lifering could survive fifteen years of exposure to the elements....
At the time of this writing no decision has yet been made by municipal authorities on the proposed rebuilding of the steam sidewheel ferry TRILLIUM, but the three Toronto papers have been giving the plan a great deal of publicity and the general atmosphere amongst the politicians seems to be favourable. With any luck at all, we may be seeing TRILLIUM in operation in a few years. If the project should be approved, the Metro Parks Department, operators of the Island ferry service, hope to use TRILLIUM in the charter service on summer weekday evenings (they already do quite a charter business with the current ferries) and in regular service to Centre Island on weekends.
Lake vessel operators have announced plans to keep at least thirty-two vessels running late this winter in an attempt to demonstrate further the possibilities of an extended shipping season. One surprise is that U. S. Steel plans to keep ROGER BLOUGH going as long as possible. We had thought that, after last winter, they might not push their luck with her. One of the U. S. S. boats, IRVING S. OLDS, is to go to Fraser Shipyards in Superior for conversion from coal to oil firing and Fraser has asked the Seaway Port Authority of Duluth to keep the Duluth entry to the Superior-Duluth harbour open into the first week of February so that the OLDS can proceed there after she finishes her icy duties. She is expected at Fraser's about February 8th.
A dispute in early October between crewmen of the Great Lakes Towing Company's tugs and the members of the Upper Great Lakes Pilots Inc. led to chaos at Duluth and Superior as salt water vessels began to back up and clog the harbour. The dispute allegedly started when tugmen refused to deal with the pilot assigned to the Belgian vessel FEDERAL SCHELDE and the pilots replied by refusing to handle any other vessels. At our last report things were still up in the air as relations between the groups remained strained.
Another hot spot at Duluth-Superior was the Arrowhead Bridge which, on October 2nd, was struck by the Kinsman steamer PETER ROBERTSON. The vessel sustained little if any damage, but the bridge required replacement of two main supports, a fender and a pile cluster, a job estimated to take approximately two weeks. The bridge which carries heavy interstate traffic was to be closed to autos for the repair period.
Ship of the Month No. 34
Griffin, Joliet, La Salle and Wawatam
In the year 1853, the mining of iron ore was in its infancy, only a few years having passed since the Houghton expeditions to Lake Superior in the 1840's, explorations which led to a realization of the richness of the great mineral deposits in the Lake Superior area. 1853 saw the founding of the Lake Superior Iron Company, an enterprise of the three Ely brothers of Marquette, Michigan - Herman, George and Samuel. The purpose of the firm was to mine and market ore from the Marquette Range of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is interesting to note that, at a later date, James J. Hill, "the Railroad Builder," appears to have become a major shareholder.
At the end of the next last decade of the nineteenth century, the Lake Superior Iron Company ordered four bulk carriers from the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company. Delivered in 1890 and 1891, they were GRIFFIN (U. S. 86140), JOLIET (U. S. 76873), LA SALLE (U. S. 141050) and WAWATAM (U. S. 81324). Generally similar in appearance, the ships divided off into two pairs of sisterships as far as dimensions were concerned. GRIFFIN and WAWATAM measured 266.0 feet in length, 38.2 feet in beam, and 19.6 feet in depth, and both showed tonnage of 1856 Gross, 1526 Net. JOLIET and LA SALLE measured 266.0 x 38. 0 x 19.9 and each of these had tonnage shown as 1921 Gross, 1596 Net. Only two of the Hull numbers are known to your writer, LA SALLE being Hull 6 and GRIFFIN being Hull 12. All four steamers were fitted with the same machinery, triple expansion engines with cylinders of 17", 29" and 47" and a stroke of 36".
The Lake Superior Iron Company operated the four steamers until November 1898 when they were sold to Andrew Carnegie's Pittsburgh Steamship Company (no relation to the later fleet of the same name which will be mentioned further on in this history). Carnegie had found out that his rival, John D. Rockefeller (the Bessemer Steamship Company), was not disposed to carry Carnegie ore in his vessels and accordingly Henry W. Oliver, as Carnegie's agent, was attempting to put together a fleet of steamers to transport the Carnegie ore to the blast furnaces of the Lake Erie region. As a result of the sale, the quartet of vessels traded their L. S. I. Co. colours (black hull, white cabins, black stack with a white "S") for the livery of the Pittsburgh Steamship Company, namely, red hull, white cabins and black stack bearing a white "P" similar to the current Paterson funnel marking.
During these years, however, another giant was in the making. This was J. Pierpont Morgan's United States Steel Company which was formed largely as a result of the efforts of Morgan's financial "advisor", Elbert H. Gary. Together they managed to force Carnegie's hand and on February 25, 1901, Carnegie's vessels came under the ownership of United States Steel's subsidiary, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. During the very early years, the vessels of this very large fleet were painted an olive green colour, with white houses and all-silver stacks. Very shortly, however, the funnels acquired a more practical black smoke band over the silver and the hull colour was changed to the familiar red still used by U. S. Steel vessels today.
Although they were small by standards set early in the new century, the four L. S. I. Co. steamers proved to be successful and three of the four saw long service. In fact, two of the ships saw service past their seventieth year. Their stories began to diverge in 1911 and from there we shall deal separately with each vessel.
This photo by A. E. Young shows JOLIET above the Soo Locks in 1911, her last year of service. She was soon to be lost by collision.This steamer remained in the Pittsburgh fleet until 1911 and was the first of the quartet to fall by the wayside. Perhaps an accident that befell her very early in her life was an omen of things to come. In August of 1890, she was forced ashore in the St. Mary's River by an errant log raft which filled the entire channel. JULIET sustained severe bottom damage from striking the rocky shore, but she was quickly repaired and put back in service.
On September 22, 1911, JOLIET was anchored in the upper St. Clair River at Sarnia, waiting out one of the late summer fogs which so often descend on the area. In the dense fog she was run down and sunk by the big steamer HENRY PHIPPS, a unit of the same fleet, which had not anchored to await clearing weather. The eighteen crew members of JOLIET were picked up by the nearby steamer POLYNESIA (later the A. D. MacBETH) and no lives were lost. Meanwhile the PHIPPS, having dealt JOLIET a fatal blow continued on downstream and collided with the Wyandotte Chemicals self-unloader ALPENA which sustained minor damage.
Pittsburgh decided that JOLIET was not worth the cost of salvage and the company engaged the services of the Reid Wrecking Company of Sarnia and Port Huron to break up the wreck by means of dynamite. As the wreck was close by the St. Clair River railroad tunnel, reduced charges had to be used. In 1941 the U. S. Government located the wreck and close examination proved that the small explosive charges had only bulged the hull plating. New efforts were made and thereupon the hull of JOLIET was finally broken up.
In 1913 the Pittsburgh Steamship Company sold the three remaining vessels of our quartet. Ownership passed, through Thomas Morrison of Cleveland, to the Atlas Steamship Company of Duluth, R. C. Helm, manager. WAWATAM, however, did not linger long in this fleet for in 1914 she was purchased by James Playfair's Great Lakes Transportation Company Ltd. of Midland, Ontario. She was brought into Canadian registry (C. 134261) and was renamed (b) GLENLIVET.
WAWATAM is seen in her later years, serving the Playfair fleet as GLENLIVET. Young photo dated 1924.GLENLIVET operated in the Canadian grain trade, bearing the Playfair gray hull and red and black funnel, until April 1926 when she and the other vessels in the G. L. T. Co. Ltd. wore absorbed by Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal. During the summer months she was given her final name, (c) SASKATCHEWAN, but she did not operate long with this new name. The takeover of the Playfair fleet had given C. S. L. a number of smaller and older carriers which were surplus to the company's requirements and SASKATCHEWAN was one of these. She did not operate after the 1928 season and, along with PORTSMOUTH (GLENSANNOX), HUGUENOT (GLENRIG) and SARNIAN, she lay idle alongside the shipyard at Midland. In 1937 she was finally sold for scrapping and was dismantled right at the shipyard where she lay.
We know of only one major accident in WAWATAM's life. On September 7, 1901, with the whaleback barge 202 in tow, she was caught in heavy weather and stranded on Gratiot Beach above Port Huron. She does not appear to have suffered serious damage. Two other vessels went aground but a stone throw away from where WAWATAM and her tow were in trouble, these being the wooden steamer JOHN H. PAULY and her tow, the barge AMARANTH.
Along with her mates, this steamer changed her colours in 1913 for those of the Atlas Steamship Company. She stayed with Atlas the longest of any of the three ships for it was not until 1928 that she was purchased by the Eastern Terminal Elevator Company Ltd. (the Northern Steamship Company Ltd.), a concern controlled by James Richardson and Sons Ltd., well-known Canadian grain dealers. At this time, she was renamed (b) EASTRICH (C. 138870) and was fitted with grain unloading equipment intended for use in lightering vessels which had run into difficulties. Unfortunately, she saw very little service for her now owners and lay idle for the better part of a decade and a half at the Canadian Lakehead.
Finally in 1942 she was sold to the Diamond Steamship Company Ltd. of Owen Sound (Capt. George Hindman) and was renamed (c) HOWARD HINDMAN (I). The grain unloading machinery was removed and she was placed in the grain trade to the Bay Ports, although from time to time she picked up cargoes of pulpwood. She was reboilered in 1943.
In 1952 she was sold to the Reoch Steamship Company Ltd. and for the last time was renamed, this time becoming (d) FORESTDALE. She remained in the grain trade throughout her Reoch years, although for the last year or two she carried on her dock a small whirly crane to facilitate the unloading of stone cargoes which she occasionally picked up.
FORESTDALE was rapidly running out of time, however, and she last operated in 1960, laying up at Hamilton at the end of the season. She was sold in 1961 to the Steel Company of Canada Ltd. for dismantling but before she went to her end she was, it seems, determined not to go without a fight, her seventy years having failed to rob her of her spirit.
On May 3rd, 1961, the little diesel tug BERT VERGE took FORESTDALE in tow, bound for the Stelco cutting berth. BERT VERGE was really much too small for the task, especially with the strong winds that were sweeping Hamilton Bay that day. Once on open water, FORESTDALE was grabbed by the wind and, riding very high in the water, she was swung sideways. BERT VERGE was dragged around stern-first on the towline and, as had happened with many other tugs over the years, was pulled right over on her beam ends. The tug sank in deep water and took two members of her crew to the bottom with her. Another tug came to the scene and took over the tow, in due course shepherding the wayward FORESTDALE to the Stelco yard where she was finally cut up. BERT VERGE was subsequently raised and still sees service in the Hamilton area.
This steamer stayed with the Atlas Steamship Company from 1913 until 1918 when she was sold to the Charcoal Iron Company of America. They took her to Superior, Wisconsin, and converted her to a craneship for the carriage of pig iron. In this trade she operated with CICOA, (a) JOHN SHARPLES.
Then in 1926 she was transferred to the Wolverine Steamship Company. The year 1929 saw her sold again, this time to the Jones Transportation Company, a subsidiary of the Jones Lumber Company of North Tonawanda, New York. Her cranes were removed by the Buffalo Drydock Company and for the next seven years she carried lumber down the lakes to North Tonawanda. In 1936 she was purchased by the short-lived Central States Transit Company.
In 1937 GRIFFIN passed to her last owners, the Erie Sand Steamship Company of Erie, Pennsylvania. She was renamed (b) JOSEPH S. SCOBELL and converted to a self-unloading sandsucker at Erie. At this time her tonnage was altered to 1445 Gross and 1206 Net. Her steam engine was removed in 1948 and replaced by a new General Motors 12-cylinder diesel.
JOSEPH S. SCOBELL continued in the sand trade around Lake Erie until the late 1960's when she was retired, her almost eighty years of service having caught up with her. After several years of inactivity, she was sold in 1970 to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, and she was dismantled at Humberstone during the winter of 1970-71. builders, would have been proud if they had any way of knowing how long she would serve.
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Readers of these pages will know that your fearless leader (i.e. the Editor) does not mince words when it comes to making comment on some noteworthy development on the shipping scene. They will also be aware that our tastes in marine architecture run strongly to the traditional.
In our last issue we commented to the effect that, in our opinion, the C. S. L. motorvessel FRONTENAC was the ugliest self-unloader conversion yet unleashed upon unsuspecting shipwatchers. Yet the fact remains that FRONTENAC is basically a good-looking ship and only her new equipment makes her look so ghastly.
Quite the opposite is true of CHARLES E. WILSON, latest addition to the American Steamship Company's fleet of self-unloaders. Her unloading boom is a cleanly-built tubular affair and it springs from a very unobtrusive mount just forward of the after cabin. There is no unsightly elevating device in view.
The basic design of the ship itself, however, must surely hit an all-time low in the beauty and imagination departments. Without a doubt, she is the ugliest ship on which we have ever laid eyes! She is roughly similar in profile to J. W. McGIFFIN, but much less pleasing in appearance if such a thing could be possible., WILSON has a completely rounded bow which is not even graced by a raised forecastle. On the bow squats a small squarish cabin, looking much like a floating construction-site privy, and atop this are mounted two square boards bearing the sidelights. Why these latter necessities were not placed on the bridgewings is quite beyond us. One cannot help wondering just how much water she will shovel up over the bow in a head sea and the thought of freezing temperatures and flying spray brings to mind interesting possibilities.
The WILSON's after cabin is much reminiscent of a cardboard orange crate - it is squarish and has a few holes in it! The lack of any number of portholes and the almost total absence of outside walkways should suffice to bring on a good case of claustrophobia in any crewman unlucky enough to be quartered in this structure, but on further thought, the entire crew should be candidates in this department as there doesn't appear to be any accommodation at all elsewhere on the ship. The cabin is topped with a pilothouse, much like that of McGIFFIN (except for the fact that the windows are not evenly spaced), and a very square single funnel hardly high enough to be seen over the bridge. The lifeboats are, for some strange reason, mounted on the deck rather than atop the cabin.
The stern is the usual (for these days) transom variety but has been rendered even more distasteful by the appearance of diagonal creases in the steel running up and forward from the curve at the waterline. The stern has none of the relatively smooth lines seen in the after end of WILLIAM R. ROESCH. The hull itself is noticeably hogged (intentionally, we presume) and her side plating is so wrinkled already that it reminds one of tissue paper stretched over the ribs.
Yes, this is surely the most complete aesthetic abortion ever set free upon the lakes and the frightening part of the whole thing is that the way things have been going, the next one will surely be worse. Hang in there CANADIAN CENTURY and J. W. McGIFFIN, you weren't so bad after all!
Super Duper Sand Snooper
Believe it or not, that is the title of a feature article which appeared in the September 16th magazine section of the Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer. Not only does the excellent illustrated story by Dwight Boyer about the CHARLES DICK spread itself over six pages inside the magazine, but there, plain as day right on the cover, is the smiling face of our fellow member Capt. John Leonard, skipper of the DICK!
Now it's not often that a sandsucker and her Master achieve such heights of publicity of the favourable variety. In the past few years, every time the name CHARLES DICK has hit the papers, it has been the result of the loud noises made by residents of Lake Erie's north shore who have the temerity to claim that sandsucking operations out in the lake have been causing shoreline erosion problems!
We are very happy to see that after all these years of faithful service the DICK and Capt. John are finally getting their well deserved accolades. For those who have not seen the article, we can heartily recommend that you try to obtain a copy. That is, unless the DICK's crewmen have bought up all the copies themselves!
Additional Marine News
The newest Branch Lines tanker, ARTHUR SIMARD, cleared Sorel bound for Quebec City on her maiden voyage on September 30, 1973. There will be yet another tanker on the way at Sorel for Branch Lines but this would not seem to endanger any of the older vessels in the fleet since a recent newspaper review of tanker operations on the lakes quoted a representative of Branch Lines as saying that the company had more business offered to it than could possibly be handled by the ships currently available. All the major Canadian tanker fleets seen to be in the same situation.
From time to time, a few American upper lake carriers pay visits to Lake Ontario to bring grain down to Oswego. Although the Hutchinson and Cargo Carriers fleets used to look after these cargoes when necessary, passages in the past few years have been limited to a few regulars, such as Kinsman's JAMES E. FERRIS or BUCKEYE MONITOR. The most recent upper lake visitor is the Medusa Cement steamer C. H. McCULLOUGH JR. which a few weeks ago unloaded grain at Buffalo and then took a part cargo of barley on down to Oswego. She passed through the Welland downbound on October 19th and returned for upbound transit of the Canal on the 21st. Built in 1907 as WARD AMES for the Acme Steamship Company, the McCULLOUGH was for many years a unit of the Interlake Steamship Company. Sold to Medusa in 1970, the steamer is apparently awaiting eventual conversion to a bulk cement carrier. As far as we know, this is the first Welland passage the ship has ever made.
As our readers will remember, the former Wilson Transit steamer J. H. HILLMAN JR. is currently incarcerated at Toledo where the American Shipbuilding Company is rebuilding her as a self-unloader for her new owners, the Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton & Company. She was to have been ready by October 1973 but one of our spies saw her recently and says that there is much work left to do and that it seems unlikely she will sail this year.