The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 6, n. 6 (March 1974)
Publication:
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Mar 1974


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Creator:
Bascom, John N., Editor
Media Type:
Website
Description:
Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; We Goofed; The Sinking of the Michipicoten
Date of Publication:
Mar 1974
Language of Item:
English
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Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rights holder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Toronto Marine Historical Society
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Full Text

Meetings

Friday, April 5 - 7:00 p.m. at the Ship Inn, basement of the Marine Museum. Bar open early, dinner at 7:00, meeting afterwards. Guest speaker will be Rev. Peter J. Van der Linden who will give an illustrated address "Gone But Not Forgotten".

Friday, May 3 - 8:00 p.m. at the Marine Museum. Four movies including "Tall Ships" (tall ships race from Plymouth to Tenerife) and "Cruise Alaska-style" (about a voyage on C.N.'s PRINCE GEORGE).

The Editor's Notebook

By the time you receive this issue, most of the tickets for our April Dinner Meeting will have been sold. For those who may have to wait until close to the date to decide whether they are coming or not, a few tickets may be available and contact should be made with Mr. James M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto, Ontario M6S 1W9. Cost is $6.95 per person (See, not everything goes up in price these days!) and you are welcome to bring along guests, wives etc.

Our February meeting was a memorable night of slides, but not run-of-the-mill vacation-type slides. A number of our members dug down into their collections and brought along their oldest slides - oldies but goodies! The ooohs and aaahs coming from the crowd indicated that they liked nothing better than seeing such prizes as the ONTARIO carferries, QUINTE, the D&C boats, and W.G. POLLOCK in operation. Return engagement requested...

As you all know, meetings are not usually held between May and October since so many of our members head out of town during the summer. We'd like to hear some suggestions as to possible activities we could consider for the summer months. We'll consider anything the Vice Squad approves!

In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Garry Kazor of Oakville.

Marine News

Last issue, we reported that the Paterson canaller LACHINEDOC might not fit out in the spring, but we have now heard that she will definitely be in operation during the coming year as will the other three canallers of the fleet, namely TROISDOC, CALGADOC and SARNIADOC. We had been somewhat worried about the future of TROISDOC as she sustained rather serious fire damage to her after end while undergoing winter repairs in the Collingwood drydock. The fire, occurring on January 10, heavily damaged the galley and crew's mess and six shipyard workers had to escape by crawling through a porthole, the only one in fact in the after end that was large enough to permit a man to crawl through. TROISDOC is apparently important enough to Paterson's operation that she will be repaired. A sister of CALGADOC and SARNIADOC, she was formerly IROQUOIS of the Canadian Steamship Lines fleet and was purchased by Paterson in 1967.

The former Department of Transport tender MARMOT, towed down to Owen Sound from the Lakehead in August, has now been sold to Don Lee of Port Lambton, Ontario, and we understand that she will be taken to Hamilton for scrapping in the spring.

Another vessel to feel the wrecker's torch at Hamilton is the tank barge (and former steamer) ALFRED CYTACKI, latterly owned by Big D. Lines. Towed for a short period in 1972 by the big steam tug CHRIS M., she did not see any service in 1973 and is presently at Strathearne Terminals. We have heard that CHRIS M. will join her at the scrapping berth sometime in 1974. Anyone want a steam tug?

Both the J. H. HILLMAN JR. (to be renamed CRISPIN OGLEBAY) and J. BURTON AYERS are being converted to self-unloaders at the present time and it is interesting to note that their unloading booms were fabricated by G. & W. Welding in Cleveland and then moved by ship to the shipyards for installation. In November the boom for the HILLMAN went to Toledo on the deck of the Columbia craneship W.C. RICHARDSON and later the same month the boom for the AYERS was transported on the deck of ROBERT C. NORTON (I) .

The Canadian Dredge and Dock Company Ltd. appears to have given up plans to build a new tug at Kingston, a replacement for G.W. ROGERS. The tug was to be constructed this winter and, in fact, some of her steel was actually assembled in preparation for the job. We presume that the company feels it can make do with its present tugs for the time being. The ROGERS is normally stationed at Toronto and this winter she and GLEN ROVER are looking after moving all the storage hulls in port.

Your editor must admit that we were caught with our pants down when, in the February issue, we expounded at great lengths on the subject of lake cruises during the 1974 season and the passenger ship GALAXIAS which we had been led to believe would be operating the service. So many people came to our assistance in forwarding details of this vessel, that we just had to splurge with a big article. The day after we mailed the issue, we learned that GALAXIAS would not be operating in the lakes after all! Granted, we did find it somewhat strange that, despite the fact GALAXIAS was scheduled to run here, we saw brochures advertising her Aegean Sea cruises for '74, but then again we have been so starved for some sort of passenger service in this area that we were ready to believe just about anything. But, dear reader, do not despair, for there will still be a cruise ship operating on the lakes this season. Her name is ORION, and elsewhere in this issue you will find a description and history of the ship. Now, if there are no other sudden changes before April, we may just come out of this without too much egg on our faces.

One of the best pieces of news we have heard in many a moon concerns a proposal by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to operate a ferry service between Manitoulin Island and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The fate of the proposal appears to hinge on the availability of docking facilities on the Michigan side and the Commission seems to be eyeing the Cedarville area for a terminal. From the description of the two vessels (unnamed in the newspaper release) which the Commission would like to use on the service, it is apparent that they can only be NORISLE and NORG0MA which will be displaced from their normal Tobermory - South Bay Mouth run later this year with the entry into service of CHI-CHEEMAUN. This new plan is one which we would very much like to see carried to fruition and we hope that preparations for the service will go smoothly.

Navigation through the St. Mary's River came to a close for the 1973 season one week into the month of February, 1974. The last ships to pass through the Soo Locks were the downbound U.S. Steel vessels JOHN G. MUNSON and ROGER BLOUGH. The MUNSON transitted the canal late on February 6 while the BLOUGH was timed down at the Poe Lock at 12:10 a.m., February 7. Thus the 1973 season which began with the first passage on March 28 became the longest northern lakes navigation season ever recorded. Late operations were hampered by heavy ice on the river and in the lock and the constant movement of ships on the river prevented the formation of the natural ice bridge which normally keeps the Sugar Island ferry channel free of heavy ice movements. The ferry SUGAR ISLANDER was in trouble in the ice on many occasions during January and early February and when the ferry was unable to make the crossing the United States Coast Guard tugs ARUNDEL and NAUGATUCK filled in.

We have just learned that there are no vessels (except harbour equipment) wintering in Buffalo harbour this year. This is quite surprising, since even in poor years for lake shipping, there have always been many ships both light and with storage cargoes laid up at Buffalo. A recent look at the Lake Carriers' Association report for 1918 indicates that over the winter of 1918-1919, there were 121 vessels with storage cargoes wintering at Buffalo plus a number of other ships not loaded with storage grain. How the mighty have fallen!

JOE S. MORROW, on her last trip under her own power, heads up the Cuyahoga River to Montana Mills at Cleveland. Photo by Al Sweigert.On February 16, your Editor observed in lay-up at Quebec City the former Kinsman steamers JOE S. MORROW and HENRY LaLIBERTE. Both these ships made their last trips down the Welland Canal under tow in December and it was thought that they might have been towed across the Atlantic already. It appears that their present owner may have looked at the total number of such ships lost during the long tow and decided that discretion is the better part of valour; that the pair can wait until the spring to go across.

The salt water bulk carrier ADELFOI which grounded in the St. Lawrence at the Ile d'Orleans on December 26th is still hard aground and the ATLANTEAN NO. 1 is presently at the scene trying to free the ship. ADELFOI, a 1950-built Liberian motorship, was a visitor to the Great Lakes in 1973, and was outbound after her last visit when the accident took place.

A containership named CAST BEAVER grounded at Quebec on December 19 and, although quickly freed, spent about a month in drydock at Lauzon. The ship will be remembered as the former INISHOWEN HEAD of the Ulster Steam Shipping Company Ltd., the Head Line. She is now operating for Cast Containers.

Despite the sinking of her towmate BUCKEYE MONITOR in the North Atlantic on December 19th, ROBERT S. McNAMARA did make it safely across behind the tug SEETRANS 1. Confirmation has been received that the McNAMARA arrived at Santander, Spain, on January 11, 1974.

A recent report on winter shipping in the St. Lawrence area and on the east coast has yielded some interesting information. There follows a breakdown by fleet for some of the companies.

Imperial Oil: IMPERIAL QUEBEC, IMPERIAL ACADIA and IMPERIAL BEDFORD are operating on the east coast and BAFFIN TRANSPORT has been chartered from Halco for a few trips.

Paterson: Two ships only are operating. PRINDOC and LABRADOC are running newsprint down the east coast from St. Lawrence ports.

Halco: SCOTIACLIFFE HALL is out on charter to Bunge Canada Ltd. and is carrying U.S. grain from east and Gulf coast ports to Europe. CHEMICAL TRANSPORT is on charter to Dow Chemical and is ferrying caustic soda from Texas to Port Alfred. BAFFIN TRANSPORT is out to Imperial, and four other tankers are running on the St. Lawrence.

Bomar: Bomar Navigation Ltd. has their ONTARIO running to Europe.

Canada Steamship Lines: ESKIMO has been chartered to Bomar Navigation and just made a trip to Portugal. FORT CHAMBLY has been on charter to Netumar Line (Brazilian) and is running from the east coast to Brazil. FORT ST. LOUIS is out on charter to Q&O who are using her as a runningmate for THOROLD on the newsprint trade from our east coast to New York and Florida.

The military artifacts committee of the Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) historical sites board is at present making contact with the Crown Assets Corporation who are to dispose of the old warship H.M.C.S. SAULT STE. MARIE. They would like to obtain the ship and take her to the Soo for historical display.

We hear that the Erie canal barge motorship ANDROS MARINER (ex ROBERT BARNES FIERTZ) has been sold to two persons from South Carolina who plan to rebuild her to look like a Confederate blockade runner and fix her up as a period restaurant inside. Now that's a rebuild we would like to see. We think someone is dreaming. ROBERT BARNES FIERTZ looked about as much like a blockade runner as CHICORA (a real one) resembled an airplane!

We Goofed

We were so concerned with getting the "Ship of the Month" article (ALGOMA, ALBERTA and ATHABASCA) ready for the February issue that we completely overlooked giving credit to the one person without whose assistance that story could not have been prepared. To R.T. "Scotty" McCannell go our thanks for the use of the clippings from the Glasgow Herald which formed the backbone of the article and which were really our reason for starting into the whole thing. We had not originally intended telling the whole history of the ships, but the clippings gave us such a good jumping-off point that our pen just kept on writing. Scotty also let us have the photo of ALGOMA on her maiden lake voyage that accompanied our feature.

We have already lined up a few more items from the McCannell collection for features in upcoming issues, so keep watching.

The Sinking of the Michipicoten

In the stormy North Atlantic off Anticosti Island, November 18, 1972. MICHIPICOTEN begins to break in two. Photo by captain of the Polish tug KORAL. Courtesy John O. GreenwoodThe steamer MICHIPICOTEN made her last trip for the Algoma Central fleet (Providence Shipping Company Ltd.) in October 1972. On November 15, 1972, in tow of the Polish tug KORAL, she cleared Quebec City bound for a Spanish breaker's yard. Whilst in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Anticosti island on November 17th, she broke away from the tug in heavy weather and soon broke in two. The two halves separated the following day and the stern section quickly foundered. The bow half remained afloat until November 19 when it reared up almost perpendicular to the seas and disappeared in the spume of the storm-swept Gulf.

Off Anticosti Island, November 18, 1972. The bow and stern sections of MICHIPICOTEN separate. Photo by captain of the Polish tug KORAL. Courtesy John O. GreenwoodThere has now come to light an amazing series of photographs of the whole sinking and they are, to our knowledge, the first photos ever of a laker sinking while en route to a European scrapyard, although eleven ships have been lost in tow during the last decade. They were taken by the skipper of the tug KORAL and they illustrate the mountainous waves which MICHIPICOTEN encountered on salt water, seas which she was never designed to withstand.

For his permission to use these photos (two are reproduced on this month's photopage), our thanks go to John O. Greenwood of Cleveland.

Orion to the Rescue

As mentioned in the "Marine News" section of this issue, the Greek vessel GALAXIAS will not be able to carry out a projected series of lake cruises during 1974 due to commitments in the Aegean area. Nevertheless, the Kavounides group (Hellenic Cruises) has managed to free another of its ships for the lake route and, come April, we will see the steam turbine vessel ORION heading into our inland seas.

ORION was built as ACHILLEFS (we take this name with a grain of salt, but that is the way it is reported in the American Bureau of Shipping) by Ansaldo at Leghorn, Italy, and was completed in 1953. Measuring 415.3 feet in length, 55.2 feet in the beam and 26.7 feet in depth, her original gross tonnage was shown variously as 5509 and 5566 but is now listed as 6064. She is a twin screw vessel with geared turbines and her shaft horsepower is 8,000. At some point in her early career, her name was changed to the more probable ACHILLEUS.

Along with her sister ship AGAMEMNON, the ACHILLEUS was built for the Greek government under repatriations account and was placed on the Southern Europe to Eastern Mediterranean route. Ports of call included Venice, Brindisi, Piraeus, Alexandria, Limassol, Beirut, Naples and Marseilles. She also made occasional cruises. ACHILLEUS carried 146 first, 148 second and 102 tourist class passengers. She had a succession of owners including Nomikos Lines, Olympic Cruises and Dorian Cruises.

In 1966 ACHILLEUS and AGAMEMNON were put up for sale but no immediate purchaser could be found. Eventually Kavounides Shipping Company bought ACHILLEUS and in 1969 she was rebuilt. She now has 128 cabins and can accommodate 328 passengers. The ship is fully air-conditioned and each stateroom has private facilities. She was renamed ORION at the time of the purchase in 1968.

A brochure issued by Midwest Cruises indicates that ORION will operate weekly from April through October and that she will follow the same schedule as that previously announced for GALAXIAS. Fares for the one-way trip between Montreal and Chicago will run from $340 to $665 per person - a bit steep, we should think, but beggars can't be choosers. The fares, incidentally, do not include $25 per person canal fees, $30 per person fuel surcharge, embarkation or disembarkation taxes.

Let's hope there are no further changes before April. Our fingers are crossed, but then they have been that way since 1967!

(Credit for their help on ORION goes to Gordon Turner and Herb Frank.)

Lay-up Listings

We continue this month our listing of the ships laid up for the winter months at various Great Lakes ports:

CLEVELAND: WILLIS B. BOYER A.T. LAWSON RAYMOND H. REISS

CADILLAC LYMAN RESERVE

JAMES E. FERRIS MARKHAM WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR

GEORGE D. GOBLE BEN MOREELL ROBERT C. STANLEY

GOODTIME II PEERLESS G.A. TOMLINSON

HOFFMAN THOMAS WILSON

BUFFALO: No vessels wintering.

SANDUSKY: CHALLENGER COMMUTER KELLEY ISLANDER

CHICAGO TRADER CORSAIR PETER ROBERTSON

JOHN R. EMERY

HAMILTON: Add to earlier listing ALFRED CYTACKI

KINGSTON: CONCRETIA NORTHCLIFFE HALL SIMCOE

CRISPIN OGLEBAY

PRESCOTT: BAIE ST. PAUL CAROL LAKE MENIHEK LAKE

FRANKCLIFFE HALL WESTCLIFFE HALL

CARDINAL: CALGADOC LACHINEDOC SARNIADOC

SOREL: Add to earlier listing INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORT LORNA P.

LUDGER SIMARD

MONTREAL: Add to earlier listing IMPERIAL LACHINE IMPERIAL VERDUN

H.M.C.S. PROTECTOR

ST. ANTOINE DE TILLY: NANOOK

LAUZON: HALIFAX

QUEBEC CITY: BEAUPORT FORT GASPE HENRY LaLIBERTE

CASTOR CONSOL FORT LENNOX JOE S. MORROW

LOUTRE CONSOL GASPESIEN NICOLET

MENIER CONSOL LOMER GOUIN RADISSON

VISON CONSOL HAVRE ST. PIERRE ST. PIERRE

ALPHONSE DESJARDINS LOUIS JOLLIET ST. YVES

EIDER SKUA

For their assistance with the above information, our thanks go to: Alan Sweigert, Rene Beauchamp, Jim Dziak, Nels Wilson and Bill Waller.

Ship of the Month No. 38

"The Ship with the Golden Rivets"

During the last decade of the nineteenth century, one of the most prominent names in iron ore and lake shipping circles was that of John D. Rockefeller of Cleveland. He managed to gain control of certain iron ore properties in the Mesabi Range during the financial recession of 1893 and he established the Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mining Company at this time. Recognising the need to control the transportation of his ore to the furnaces of the lower lakes, he founded the Bessemer Steamship Company and began to assemble a fleet of steamers.

In addition to almost monopolizing the shipbuilding facilities on the lakes to build his vessels, Rockefeller also began buying up tonnage from other fleets in an attempt to outsmart his archrival Andrew Carnegie. Bessemer Steamship Company built twelve vessels in 1896 and two more in 1897 in addition to buying two steamers and two barges. Then in 1898, the company built three ships, following this up with the purchase of one vessel and the construction of five large carriers in 1899 and 1900.

Amongst these latter five ships was the CHARLES R. VAN HISE built by the Superior Shipbuilding Company at West Superior, Wisconsin, as their Hull 144 and launched on June 23, 1900. Given official number U.S. 127426, the new steamer measured 458.0 feet in length, 50.2 feet in the beam, and 25.0 feet in depth. Tonnage was 5117 Gross and 3673 Net. She was powered by quadruple expansion engines, built by the Chicago Shipbuilding Company, having cylinders of 20 1/2", 30", 43%" and 63" and a stroke of 42", and developing Indicated Horsepower of 1750.

When CHARLES R. VAN HISE entered service, she bore the distinctive colours used on all of the Bessemer vessels. Her hull was red, whilst her cabins were painted white and the funnel was black with a large white block letter 'B'.

In March of 1901, Rockefeller sold out his interest in lake ore and shipping to the United States Steel Corporation which had been formed the previous month by J. Pierpont Morgan and Elbert H. Gary. CHARLES R. VAN HISE thus became a unit of U.S. Steel's shipping arm, the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. She was painted in their colours and her hull became a dark olive green shade and her stack was all silver. About 1905, the stacks of the Pittsburgh vessels were given a black smokeband at the top and about the same time the hulls were painted red. Despite these changes, masts, anchors and other trim continued to carry the green colour.

CHARLES R. VAN HISE served Pittsburgh in the ore trade for eighteen years and probably would have operated for the company much longer had not World War I interfered to bring an end to her normal service. With the entry of the United States into the conflict, the U.S. Shipping Board requisitioned many lake steamers for service on salt water. A number of vessels acquired in 1916 and 1917 were cut in two for the passage down through the Welland and St. Lawrence canals. These ventures proved highly successful and in 1918 the government purchased twelve more, all longer than the limited canal length of 261 feet. Eleven of these ships were less than 44 feet in width and hence the sections of the steamers were able to pass through the canals on the keel.

The twelfth and final ship purchased in 1918 was CHARLES R. VAN HISE and she was intended to mark the beginning of a new era in transferring lakers to the coast, for she was more than six feet too broad to pass through the old locks. The government was actually seeking a method of building, at lake shipyards for ocean service, ships of greater beam than the 44-foot limits imposed by the dimensions of the Welland locks.

The VAN HISE was taken to the yard of the Lake Shipbuilding Company at Buffalo and there she was deepened to 28.7 feet, the hull being raised almost four feet, and her capacity being increased by 2000 tons. She was then cut in two sections and bulk-headed and the two halves were towed into the outer harbour at Buffalo where they were rolled over on their side to permit passage through the canals. This rolling operation was most interesting and proved highly successful, although it has never been repeated since as there has been no need for it. Temporary tanks were fitted on the deck of each section at the port side and filled with water to provide the additional weight necessary to begin the roll. With the aid of two tugs, the rolling operation was completed, the added tanks now giving each section stability while floating on its side.

Owing to the lateness of the season and the onset of poor weather conditions, neither half of CHARLES R. VAN HISE passed down the canals in 1918. The bow section was towed to Port Colborne and in a trial effort on December 10th was successfully moved through the first lock. This half of the ship was left in the canal at Port Colborne for the winter, while the stern section remained at Buffalo.

By the spring of 1919, when the sections could once more be started on their way to the East Coast, hostilities had been brought to an end and the expensive and novel experiment was not carried through to its conclusion as originally planned. The two halves of the hull were towed back up Lake Erie to the yard of the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ashtabula, Ohio, where they were once more joined together after being righted. A new midsection was fitted and this gave the steamer a length of 542.4 feet and increased her tonnage to 6874 Gross, 5288 Net. As originally built, the VAN HISE carried her bridge structure aft of Number One hatch, but during the course of this rebuild her texas and pilothouse were placed on a raised island amidships.

The steamer returned to service in 1920 and by this time had been purchased by the Morrow Steamship Company. She was renamed A. E. R. SCHNEIDER and entered her new service bearing the distinctive colours of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company. The SCHNEIDER, sporting one of the most strange and recognizable profiles on the lakes, continued under Morrow ownership and Cliffs operation until 1926. At that time, the Morrow-Cliffs connection was terminated and she then began operating in conjunction with the Valley Camp Steamship Company.

The steamer was given yet another new name in 1931 for that year she appeared bearing the name (c) S.B. WAY (II). She did not, however, see much service under this name, for it was now the Depression Years and cargoes were very scarce. In addition, Valley Camp had run into financial difficulties. In 1935 she was sold to the Columbia Transportation Company, Cleveland, and it was suggested that she be renamed JOHN T. KELLY in honour of the manager of Columbia's fleet. This change never took place, however, and instead she was rechristened (d) J.M. OAG in 1936. Mr. Oag was fleet engineer for Columbia. The vessel never actually operated with the J.M. OAG name, however, for she was not fitted out in 1936 and during that same year she was sold out of the fleet.

Shortly after her sale to Mohawk, CAPTAIN C.D. SECORD passes down Little Rapids Cut, Sault Ste. Marie. Bascom collection.The 1936 sale saw J.M. OAG purchased by R.A. Cambell's Mohawk Navigation Company Ltd., Montreal, and she was transferred into Canadian registry (C. 158644) as (e) CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD. This name honoured a veteran shipmaster and owner of Cleveland, who appears to have had some interest in Mohawk.

Despite the change in ownership, our steamer continued to cost her owners dearly for her continued upkeep. Over the winter of 1942-43, she received a new tanktop while laid up at Toronto and the price of this job was in excess of $100,000 - an almost unbelievably high figure for those years.

The first major change in the appearance of the SECORD since 1920 came over the winter of 1953-54 when she was repowered at the yard of Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., an operation that saw her very tall and thin stack replaced by an extraordinarily fat and squat funnel. The old "quad" engine was lifted out of the SECORD and in its place was installed an 8-cylinder Burmeister and Wain Diesel (25-9/16 x 55-1/8) originally built in 1942 by Harland and Wolff Ltd. of Belfast for the "Ocean" class tanker EMPIRE METAL (II) of 9200 tons. This vessel had been bombed and sunk at Bone, Italy, on January 2, 1943 and hence the engine had hardly been used. It was salvaged from the wreck in 1950 and was reconditioned before being fitted in the SECORD. The new power plant seemed to work well for the big laker as she had quite a good turn of speed after the repowering. During the early 1960's, however, problems developed with the diesel that forced SECORD into Port Arthur Shipyard for a prolonged period while the engine was completely dismantled and rebuilt.

The new engine produced two interesting effects which made the SECORD a bit of an oddity. Firstly, her diesel was very noisy and, especially when it was working hard, would give out a most fascinating assortment of sounds including beats which hardly seemed synchronized. In addition, the vents in her stack were such that on the occasions when she did give off any black exhaust, it was blown forcibly into the air, forming perfect smoke rings.

CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD was involved in only one serious accident which we can recall, an accident occurring fairly late in her life. On June 22, 1959, the SECORD had gone to the aid of the MOHAWK DEER, a steamer of the Beaconsfield Steamship Company Ltd. which was controlled by the same interests as the Mohawk fleet. SECORD managed to get MOHAWK DEER under tow and took her to Collingwood where repairs could be put in hand by Collingwood Shipyards. MOHAWK DEER had no power of her own as she had fractured her shaft. When the two ships arrived off Collingwood harbour, the C.S.L. harbour tug BAYPORT (I) came out to take over the tow. A line was passed from the SECORD to the little steam tug, but the SECORD still had way on and before the line could be cut, she had overtaken BAYPORT. The strain on the line pulled the tug over on her beam ends and BAYPORT quickly filled and went to the bottom, taking several of her crewmen with her. The tug was later salvaged.

The SECORD did make up for this misdemeanor when, on one occasion in the late fifties she retrieved the Hindman large DELKOTE which had broken away from the towing freighter GEORGE HINDMAN in heavy weather on Lake Superior. The HINDMAN did not have the power to do so, and so CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD, on hearing of the situation, took off in pursuit of the barge, locating her and getting a line on her before she could come to grief on the rocky shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The SECORD herself often towed a barge, Mohawk's ALFRED KRUPP; however this practice was discontinued about 1960.

The sixties saw CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD still in operation but her age was giving rise to increasingly costly maintenance problems. It was probably only her large carrying capacity (10,850 at mid-summer draft) that kept her running as long as she did. The axe fell at the end of the 1967 season when the decision was made that she should be sold for scrapping. She went to Prescott with a load of storage grain and in the spring of 1968 was sold to Steel Factors Ltd., Montreal, who resold her to Eckhardt and Company, Hamburg, West Germany. She was towed to Quebec City where she was sealed for the tow across the North Atlantic. Resold once again to Spanish breakers, she departed Quebec on August 21, 1968 along with the former Paterson steamer BRICOLDOC in tow of the Polish tug JANTAR. The two old lakers arrived safely at Santander, Spain, on September 13, 1968 and were subsequently broken up.

And so ended the long life of the vessel that had become known over the years as "The Ship with the Golden Rivets". On very few occasions has a lake boat had so much money poured into her over the years as had the CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD. As if her subsequent rebuilding and other jobs had not cost enough, the U.S. Government had sunk a grand total of $3,140,000 into the aborted attempt to take her to the east coast, a sum at least ten times as great as her original construction had cost John D. Rockefeller.

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Scanner, v. 6, n. 6 (March 1974)


Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; We Goofed; The Sinking of the Michipicoten