The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 7, n. 5 (February 1975)
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Feb 1975

Bascom, John N., Editor
Media Type:
Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; Adieu; Marine News; Winter Lay-up Listings; The End of the Hibou; Steam Engine Wanted; The Arizona and her Acid Cargoes; Ship of the Month No. 46
Date of Publication:
Feb 1975
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Toronto Marine Historical Society
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Friday, March 7 - 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. "Scotty" McCannell and John H. Bascom will present a historical flashback. They will show the lantern slides that Scotty's late father, Capt. James McCannell, used to show as the evening entertainment aboard his vessel the ASSINIBOIA. This program should be a must for all members.

Friday, April 4 - The Annual Dinner Meeting. Details below.

The Editor's Notebook

Our January meeting was an open slide night and we saw a very interesting assortment of members' slides on the chosen subject - passenger vessels. We'll have to repeat this topic in the future as many of our members have other such views that we would like to see.

The Dinner Meeting will be held on Friday, April 4th, in the Ship Inn which is located in the basement of the Marine Museum. Dinner will be served at 7:00 or shortly thereafter and the bar will be open early for those who might enjoy a wee restorative before the meal. The speaker for the evening will be Mr. John O. Greenwood of Cleveland, publisher and shipping company executive, who will show a film on the passage of CLIFFS VICTORY up the Mississippi on her delivery voyage. He will also give an address on the present state of the lake shipping industry and prospects for the future. We hope that many of our out-of-town members will be in attendance.

The cost of the dinner will be $6.75 per person (a reduction from last year) and ladies are more than welcome. Tickets may be obtained from the Treasurer, Mr. James Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto, Ontario M6S 1W9, and we would ask that remittances be made payable in Canadian Funds or the equivalent. Please Note: We have set a deadline for ticket sales of Friday, March 7th. The capacity of the restaurant is limited and we cannot guarantee dinners to persons whose ticket orders are received after that date.

A special feature of this issue of our newsletter is the Crossword Puzzle which will be found on the last page. This puzzle was prepared by member Bob Ireland of London to whom go our thanks. We probably could have made the clues much more difficult, but we wanted to make this crossword a fun trip through lake history rather than an exercise in frustration. We hope you enjoy working it. The answers will be published next month.

In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Wayne Ostrander of Warren, Michigan; to Capt. Ron McLean of Morrisburg, and to Ted Jones of Oakville.


There she sits in all her splendour, her paint a bit faded now but still a cut above the other ships nearby. Her black hull with its bright orange boot-top and red-and-white trunk still looks sound. Big she's not, but beautiful she surely is as she presses her bow up tight against the bridge, lifting her head up majestically as if she really were getting ready to do battle once again with the stormy lakes. As if.......

Forty-six seasons of hard use have been kind to the TEXACO-BRAVE, but the end has to come sometime. Now that time has come.

TEXACO-BRAVE enters the Toronto Ship Channel, Sept. 20, 1970. Photo by the Editor. The flag at half-staff is appropriate to the BRAVE's present situation.The BRAVE began her life back in 1929 as Hull 145 of the Haverton Hill-on-Tees yard of the Furness Shipbuilding Company Ltd. Of course, back then she was christened JOHN IRWIN (I) and she entered service for the McColl-Frontenac Oil Company Ltd., the predecessor of her current owner, Texaco Canada Ltd. With a length of 250 feet and gross tonnage of 1,926, she was a typical steam-powered canal tanker similar to many others produced by British yards for the McColl-Frontenac, British American and Imperial Oil fleets. Her triple-deck bridge was set back off the forecastle and she sported a tall, well-raked funnel sprouting from a cabinless quarterdeck.

She sailed as JOHN IRWIN until 1940, was known as CYCLO-BRAVE until 1947, and then took her present name which, incidentally, is not spelled with the hyphen in the registers, but which is hyphenated on the bow and stern of the ship. She has always been kept in immaculate condition and by now must have more paint on her than any other ship her age. Normally used in lake service, the BRAVE has spent the last two years operating on the St. Lawrence River. During the summer of 1974 she lost almost a month of service due to boiler problems.

TEXACO-BRAVE arrived at Toronto on November 11 and did not let down steam until December 20, a fact that led us to speculate in our last issue that she had received a mechanical refit. Not only didn't we get on base with that guess, we didn't even hit the ball! Seems that Texaco was simply waiting to see if a deal could be closed on a new boat before a decision was made on the future of the BRAVE.

Now Texaco Canada Ltd. has purchased a 2,901-ton, 48,000 bbl.-capacity British tanker which was built in 1970 for Thun Tankers Ltd. and given the unlikely name of THUNTANK 6. In 1972 she was sold to Thames Tankers Ltd. and rechristened with the equally unlikely name of ANTERIORITY. She will make her appearance on the lakes in 1975 under the name of TEXACO-WARRIOR (II). Meanwhile, scrap bids have been called for TEXACO-BRAVE.

Why do we write this sentimental tripe about the demise of just another superannuated and outmoded ship? Well, we just happen to think that the disappearance of the last example of a particular class of vessel is worthy of special mention. And that is exactly what the BRAVE is - the last operating steam canal tanker on the lakes (excluding the converted CAPE and COVE TRANSPORT). The last of a beautiful breed that was once so common.

She'll never pass this way again and never more will we hear her deep steam whistle echoing across the stillness of a hot August night on Toronto Bay. But for just a little while longer, she'll rest in her spot by the bridge, showing off her lines for all to see, even if most who pass don't care.

So do her honour of going down to the Cherry Street bridge over Toronto's Ship Channel. Sure, take your camera along, but just stand there on the bridge for a minute and think about what you're seeing. And take your hat off, buster, 'cause you're watching the passing of a lady.

Marine News

For the last two years, the Canada Steamship Lines package freighter FRENCH RIVER has lain idle at Hamilton and there have been many rumours making the rounds concerning her future as the cutback in package freight service had rendered her surplus to the fleet's needs. It was even considered possible by some observers that she might become a cement carrier in the same manner as her sister, ENGLISH RIVER. But this is not to be, for on January 15th a deal was closed which will see FRENCH RIVER leave the lakes for use as a coastal autoferry. As yet, we do not have full details, but we expect to hear shortly whether she will be going to the east or west coast of Canada.

While on the subject of package freighters, we'll go out on a limb and predict that 1975 will be the last for the C.S.L. package freight service. The operation itself is only a pale shadow of what it was several years ago and we understand that the company is losing a bundle keeping the boats running. Long gone are the days when the package freighters could be seen loaded to their marks and carrying big deckloads as they passed through the Welland Canal. Unless we miss our guess, arrangements will be made to dispose of the ships by the end of the coming season and we will see the demise of the last regular package freight service on the Great Lakes.

Speculation is still running rampant on the future of the Kinsman Marine Transit Company. AmShip is apparently determined to dispose of its vessel-operating division and this is not really surprising since the majority of its vessels are getting quite elderly and just cannot operate at a profit in the ore trade. (We still think, however, that they could be used profitably in other trades if AmShip were interested in continuing). It could well be that in 1975 there may be no Kinsman vessels operating at all, although at this time no one knows for sure. WILLIAM A. REISS and THOMAS WILSON have been sold to Columbia, of course, and ROESCH and THAYER are under Columbia control. JAMES E. FERRIS and KINSMAN VOYAGER have been sold for scrapping, and when you take a look at the fleet list, there's not much left. Other fleets will no doubt be interested in acquiring some of the ships to fulfill current contracts (and we have heard that Cliffs have been looking at GEORGE D. GOBLE) but there seems little doubt that a number of the units will be going for scrap. S & E Shipping is almost certain to pick up something from Kinsman but the "what" and "when" would seem to depend upon the availability of money. We shall be watching the situation with great interest.

In our last report to you through these pages, we noted that MARTHA HINDMAN had sustained damage to her after cabin as a result of a fire occurring on New Year's Eve. The damage will be repaired so that MARTHA can operate in 1975, but we have yet to hear any explanation of the reason for her sudden and unexpected lay-up at Toronto.

After a busy season which saw her make a number of trips down into Lake Ontario and one trip as far east as Montreal, the Medusa Cement bulk carrier C.H. MCCULLOUGH JR. is laid up at Milwaukee with a storage grain cargo. It is our understanding that she will not operate in 1975 and, in fact, that she will not operate again until such time as she may be converted to a cement carrier. There is no indication that such conversion is imminent.

Our recent report that the old Canadian Dredge & Dock Company's dredge MIDLAND had been towed from the Kingston boneyard for scrapping has proved to be in error. MIDLAND remains in her usual resting place and, according to her owners, there are no plans to scrap her in the foreseeable future. Despite her outwardly dilapidated appearance, it seems that her machinery is in relatively good condition and a number of interested parties have approached Canadian Dredge & Dock with a view to purchasing MIDLAND, refitting her, and putting her into service. The big steam dredge is 130 feet in length and was built in 1931 at Welland.

Just as we had suspected, the cruise vessel STELLA MARIS II will not return to the lakes in 1975. Somewhat surprisingly, however, we learn that her place will be taken by the Danish vessel DISCOVERER which was built in 1974 and was just handed over to her owners in December. She is somewhat smaller than STELLA MARIS II and advance publicity has indicated that this will provide a more intimate atmosphere for the cruises, but we wonder whether "intimate" is a good choice of words. The ship will commence her lake service on May 31, leaving Montreal for Chicago with stops along the way at Toronto, Windsor, Parry Sound (this one's a surprise), and Mackinac Island. The return trip will cover the same route with the exception of the Georgian Bay swing which will be omitted on all downbound trips. DISCOVERER will leave Montreal and Chicago on alternate Saturdays. In addition, there will be three special five-day cruises. One will leave Chicago on June 21 for Sault Ste. Marie, Michipicoten and Thunder Bay, while the other two will depart Montreal on September 20 and October 11 for Quebec, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Bagotville, and the Saguenay River.

Displaying her usual plume of black smoke, HENNEPIN is downbound above the Huron Cut in this photo by John VournakisAt the ripe old age of seventy years, the end has finally come for the Boland & Cornelius self-unloader HENNEPIN. Operating almost the entire 1974 season on the Toledo to Detroit coal run, she sustained numerous mechanical problems during the year and in addition has shown signs of softening up, a condition which would require major structural repairs. Accordingly, the decision has been made to retire HENNEPIN and she is currently laid up at Toledo. For many years a unit of the Redland Steamship Company, a joint venture of the Sullivan and Reiss fleets, she passed in 1969 to the ownership of the Gartland Steamship Company at the time BoCo acquired control of both the Sullivan and Reiss interests. We will miss seeing HENNEPIN and the distinctive towering plume of black smoke which always announced her approach.

The last passage of the season at the Welland Canal entered the waterway on schedule on Friday, January 17th, bringing to an end the extended season which had been arranged so that the Hamilton steel mills could build up stockpiles depleted during a season disrupted by strikes and accidents. The canal had originally been scheduled to close on December 30 and during the extension a total of 68 passages were recorded, most of which were coal boats en route to Hamilton or other vessels with cargoes of storage grain. The last downbound passage was Upper Lakes Shipping's steamer NORTHERN VENTURE which cleared Port Weller on the afternoon of January 17 with coal for Dofasco. The self-unloader FRONTENAC was the last upbound vessel, clearing Port Colborne early on the morning of the 18th. We understand that while the weather remains favourable, FRONTENAC, SAGUENAY and MANITOULIN will continue bringing Lake Erie coal to Port Colborne where it will be unloaded into trucks for transit to Stelco's mill at Hamilton. Meanwhile, the Seaway Authority will be totalling up the extra costs involved in operating the canal for the extended season, as these costs are to be billed to the steel companies and to the shipping firms whose vessels used the canal after December 30.

Toronto recorded one of its latest port closings on record this year as the last arrival for the 1974 season came in on January 18, this being the steamer NORTHERN VENTURE which arrived light to lay up after unloading the last cargo of coal for the year at the Dofasco plant in Hamilton. Her arrival brought to 32 the number of vessels wintering in Toronto harbour this year.

Communication between the east and west halves of the hamlet of Port Robinson was finally re-established on January 24 when the floating pier sections normally placed below Lock 4 in the Welland Canal were finally placed in position end to end across the canal at the spot where Bridge 12 used to be. The bridge is suitable for foot travel only and automobile traffic still has to detour via the Main Street tunnel in Welland or the Allanburg Bridge. It is anticipated that when the footbridge must be removed to allow for shipping in the spring, a 17-foot ferry (gee whiz - a rowboat!) will be put into service. Meanwhile, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority have promised to make a joint announcement on February 1st to reveal plans for the replacing Bridge 12. It is anticipated that the plans will call for the construction of either a tunnel or a bridge across the canal between Allanburg and Port Robinson.

Observers in the Welland Canal area this past summer got their first glimpse of the most recent addition to the fleet of McAllister Towing, the tug CATHY McALLISTER which assisted on the CLIFFORD F. HOOD scrap tow. At the time of this writing, CATHY McALLISTER lies on the bottom of Montreal harbour, the victim of a January 20th accident. It seems that she was towing another McAllister tug, JAMES BATTLE, when both grounded on the south side of the channel. CATHY managed to pull herself free but it was found that her hull had been seriously gashed by the rocky bottom and she began to take on water faster than her pumps could remove it. She was able to get to a nearby pier in harbour section 74 under her own power and then settled to the bottom. Salvage operations were immediately undertaken but at the time of this writing we have no word on whether she has yet been raised.

Last issue, we mentioned that the barge HILDA would soon be going to salt water via the Mississippi River. We now have more details. HILDA is, of course, a former Roen Steamship Company pulpwood barge and was originally the Lake Michigan carferry PERE MARQUETTE 19. She is now owned by Hannah Inland Waterways Corp. and is being refitted at Lamont, Illinois. She is to leave about mid-February and will go via the Illinois Waterway and the Mississippi to New Orleans where she will load on deck a dredge for delivery in Libya. She will be towed across the Atlantic and from Libya after unloading she will be taken to Piraeus, Greece. HILDA will then be placed on a container run between Piraeus and Venice. Provided all these plans materialize, it seems unlikely that we shall ever see her return to the lakes.

Speaking of barges converted from carferries, it looks as if the owners of PERE MARQUETTE 21 decided that discretion was the better part of valour as they have laid the barge up for the winter at Sorel instead of taking a chance on sending her across the Atlantic in mid-winter. She went into winter quarters with the Peerless Cement kiln sections still on deck.

It is not often that a lake vessel will go into winter quarters and then be put back into service before the coming of spring, but that is exactly what has happened to the Misener steamer J. N. McWATTERS. As will be seen from the lay-up listings in this issue, she was laid up in December at Montreal. The mild weather this winter has resulted in the St. Lawrence being relatively free from ice and so early in January the McWATTERS was fitted out again and chartered to carry ore between Port Cartier and Contrecoeur. It is not known at present how many trips she completed, but she arrived back in Montreal on January 17 and went into lay-up status for the rest of the winter.

Our earlier report that SCOTIACLIFFE HALL had been sold to Norwegian buyers may have been in error as regards the nationality of the new owners. It has been brought to our attention that although her crew is Norwegian, the vessel, now renamed SCOTIACLIFFE, is presently under the British flag and shows Hamilton, Bermuda as her port of registry.

The former Halco canaller NORTHCLIFFE HALL, her name now shortened to NORTHCLIFFE, cleared Sorel shortly after Christmas and sailed for the Caribbean where by now she has joined her former fleetmates EAGLESCLIFFE and WESTCLIFFE.

The last salt water ship to clear the Seaway was, as might be expected, the GEORGIOS A. which on December 11 was involved in a collision on the St. Clair River with the BoCo self-unloader H. LEE WHITE. She received temporary repairs at Toledo and was then taken to the yard of Canadian Vickers at Montreal where as of mid-January she was still on drydock. GEORGIOS A. was, until recently, owned by Etablissement pour Culture & Arts, Vaduz & Falsetta A.G., of Basle, Switzerland, She was sold Greek just before the accident but was still sailing under the Liberian flag.

Last month, we raised the question of when and how the former Trois Rivieres ferry LAVIOLETTE got to Norfolk. We now learn that late in 1972 or early 1973 she was sold to Sea Trade & Finance, a company operating out of Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island, B. W. I. She was taken down the east coast en route to the Caribbean and got to Baltimore in January of 1973. She reached Norfolk in June 1973 but there she was accosted by the U. S. Coast Guard which, in its own inimitable fashion, declared her to be unseaworthy. She was not allowed to proceed on her voyage south and has lain at Norfolk ever since.

In a speech delivered on January 8th, to the Palliser Wheat Growers' Association at Regina, Ralph S. Misener, board chairman of Scott Misener Steamships Ltd., urged the federal government to make immediate plans to develop the entire St. Lawrence Seaway system so that it will be able to accommodate the 1000-foot class of lake vessel. Misener warned that plans to twin the present locks without making any provisions for larger ships than can now be accommodated by the canals will only lead to the system becoming obsolete in the near future, a condition which might lead to the United States building a canal to bypass the Welland. So far, we have not heard any reply from Ottawa to Misener's remarks.

An advertisement in the January 1975 issue of Boats and Harbors states that the Canadian Coast Guard buoy tender PUFFIN is for sale at Sorel. The 217-foot motorship was built in 1944 at Glasgow and was originally an L.C.T. designed for wartime service. The ad specifies that the vessel will be sold on an "as is" basis and that prospective purchasers should contact one Raymond Goulet of Sorel. We do not know whether he is acting as a broker or whether he may have purchased PUFFIN from the Ministry of Transport.

A recent report reveals that scrapping operations are well underway on D. B. WELDON at Thunder Bay. The Goderich storage barge was taken to the Lakehead earlier in the year after more than a decade in the service of the Goderich Elevator & Transit Company Ltd. Until 1962 she operated as ALTADOC (II) for the fleet of N.M.Paterson & Sons Ltd., Fort William.

The registration of the steam tanker WESTERN SHELL was officially closed on November 27, 1974, with the notation that the vessel was scrapped. WESTERN SHELL was, of course, (a) LAKESHELL (I) (33), (b) JOHN A. McDOUGALD (50), (c) EASTERN SHELL (I) (69) and (d) FUEL MARKETER (I) (70) but she never operated under the name WESTERN SHELL which was given to her only to free the name FUEL MARKETER for use on another tanker. The vessel did, however, see further service, and this was under the name ALFRED CYTACKI when she served briefly as a tank barge in 1972. It comes as a surprise to most observers that she was never officially renamed ALFRED CYTACKI despite the fact that the name was painted on her hull. Whatever her real name, the CYTACKI was broken up at Hamilton over the winter of 1973-74.

Elsewhere in this section we have reported the sinking of the tug CATHY McALLISTER at Montreal on January 20. We now learn that when she sank, she rolled away from the dock onto her side and in that position is making things difficult for her owners who are trying to raise her. After several other efforts at righting her failed, McAllister Towing had the big winch removed from the retired steam tug SALVAGE PRINCE which is lying at Kingston. The winch has been shipped to Montreal apparently in the hope that it will provide the necessary power to get CATHY back on an even keel and in a position for raising.

The new auto and passenger ferry currently under construction and intended for the Kingston-Wolfe Island service is expected to be delivered in the early autumn of 1975 and we have learned that she is to be named WOLFE ISLANDER II. Why, you might well ask, will she be given that name when she will actually be the third vessel to bear the name WOLFE ISLANDER? Well the explanation given by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is that the current WOLFE ISLANDER will be held as reserve boat and the "II" will serve only to differentiate between the two. Typical muddy government thinking! In any event, we understand that someone from the Ministry's current ferry operation will be sent to England prior to the delivery of WOLFE ISLANDER II for a period of training on a similar vessel in operation there.

The ferry ST. JOSEPH ISLANDER, which has been lying at Kingston for about two years since the cessation of her St. Mary's River duties, has now been rebuilt with her pilothouse on a bridge over the car deck and has been renamed GLENORA by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. She is scheduled to begin operation this spring on the Prince Edward County ferry route between Glenora and Adolphustown and in this capacity she will join one of the two present ferries, THE QUINTE LOYALIST which dates from 1954. An older ferry, THE QUINTE, a veteran of 1939, will be retired and as yet there are no plans for using her on any other Province-operated ferry route.

Winter Lay-up Listings

Normally at this time of year we like to present in these pages a listing of the vessels laid up for the winter in various local ports. We do this for the benefit of those who would like to visit these ports to observe and photograph the ships in winter quarters there. This year, however, the vessels have been extraordinarily late in laying up (indeed, there are still a good many in operation), a condition attributable to mild weather and the delayed closing of the Welland Canal. As a result, we are a month late in presenting these lists.

There follow listings for several ports and we will have more for you in our next issue. We solicit the assistance of our readers in supplying the information necessary to compile these records and look forward to hearing from some of our out-of-town members.






































For their help with this report, our thanks go to Rene Beauchamp, to Perry Haughton and to Bill Waller.

The End of the Hibou

Two months ago, we featured as our Ship of the Month the passenger and package freight motorship HIBOU which came to grief off Owen Sound on November 21, 1936. We noted that after being salvaged and rebuilt, she was taken to salt water in 1943 by the Pan American Steamship Corporation of Panama S. A., Puerto Cortes, Honduras. She remained in the Pan American fleet until about 1953 when she was sold. At the time we wrote the story, we did not know the final disposition of the ship.

We have now heard from new member Ivan S. Brookes of Hamilton, who has been able to trace the end of HIBOU and whoso assistance we gratefully acknowledge.

HIBOU was apparently sold late in 1952 or early in 1953 to Tocutex, S.A., although she did not last long enough in this ownership to show in the registers as having been sold by Pan American. She came to grief on March 24, 1953, when she foundered in the Pacific Ocean off Tocopilla, Chile, in a position 22.59 South, 70.50 West.

To further fill out the story of HIBOU, David T. Glick of Dearborn has been able to determine that her Hull Number was 403.

Steam Engine Wanted

Wanted to Buys Small vertical marine steam engine, about 3" x 4". Prefer Stephenson Link Motion reversing. Please send particulars to: Robert Ireland, 90 Goldwick Crescent, London, Ontario, N5V 2LI.

Member Bob Ireland is hoping to build a steam launch somewhere in the 18 to 24-foot range. He is not worried about the availability of a boiler for the craft and is prepared to build the hull himself if a suitable used hull is not obtainable. The big problem is the engine, for he wants an authentic marine engine, not the type of machinery which is built now for the purpose. If you can help him out, or if you know where such an engine might be located, please drop him a line.

We know of few ship fans more qualified to embark on such a venture. For 14 years, Bob was engineer on vessels of the Imperial Oil, Owen Sound Transportation, and Upper Lakes Shipping fleets. He currently is employed as a boiler inspector by the Commercial Union Assurance Company Ltd.

The Arizona and her Acid Cargoes

In our Ship of the Month feature of January issue, we described the difficulties of the steamer ARIZONA when, in November 1887, she burned at Marquette in a freak accident involving the upsetting of a carboy of acid. Our Treasurer, Jim Kidd, has informed us that this was not the only occasion on which acid disagreed with ARIZONA. During October 1882, a case of nitric acid was upset aboard the steamer while she lay in Duluth harbour. The tugs RAMBLER and WILLIAMS came to the scene and pumped enough water into ARIZONA to sink her, thus averting what might have been a disastrous fire.

Jim has also given us a few more details on the accident of November 17, 1887, at Marquette - details that go to prove that the most tragic of accidents may sometimes have an ironic twist to them. ARIZONA had sheltered for about 24 hours at Marquette, a north-west gale raging on the open lake. Capt. Glaser became impatient to deliver his cargo which consisted of acid, consigned to the Hancock Chemical Company at Hancock, Michigan, and machinery which was to be unloaded at Duluth for the McDougall Shipyards.

On November 17, Glaser took ARIZONA out into stormy Lake Superior and, of course, soon had to turn back when the motion of the ship in the heavy seas upset the acid and set fire to the vessel. For all the good it did him to sail, the captain might as well have remained in port because, unbeknown to him at the time, the plant of the Hancock Chemical Company had been destroyed by an explosion and fire on November 14, three days earlier!

ARIZONA was refloated from the waterworks slip at Marquette in the spring of 1888 by the Reid Wrecking Company and was taken to Port Huron where her hull was rebuilt by Dunford & Alverson. Her machinery was reconditioned by the Iron Bay Works.

Ship of the Month No. 46


Undoubtedly the most long-lived and probably the most popular of all the wooden-hulled ferries which over the years plied the waters of Toronto Bay was the little LUELLA, a ship which in many ways more resembled a private yacht than a workhorse passenger ferry, LUELLA laboured for 56 years at her job of getting residents and excursionists alike safely across the Bay to and from the Islands.

The year was c.1908 when the camera of Rowley W. Murphy caught LUELLA in the lagoon at Hanlan's Point bound for Lakeside Home.LUELLA was built right at the foot of Bay Street on Toronto's old waterfront by Armour of the Doty Engine Company and she was launched on May 24th, 1880 - Queen Victoria's birthday. Given official number 80591, she had a length of 66.0 feet, a beam of 13.3 feet, and a depth of 6.0 feet. Her tonnage was registered as 38 Gross 26 Net. She was powered by a 24 h.p. high pressure non-condensing engine built in the Doty Engine Company's shops in Toronto.

As built, LUELLA was at best a curious-looking craft. She was a single-decker and sported a ram bow. Her boilerhouse, located amidships, protruded up above the level of the boat deck and gave the boat deck the appearance of having a step in it. Forward on the boat deck she carried an octagonal pilothouse (commonly referred to as a "bird cage") which sat right against the forward end of the boilerhouse. This pilothouse was incongruously large for the ship and tended to ruin her delicate lines and give her an appearance of top-heaviness. The lower deck was completely open forward and aft of the boilerhouse and in inclement weather was closed in by dropping canvas curtains. She carried only half-height wooden bulwarks and heavy wooden rails surmounted the closed section to ensure that inquisitive children remained on board and did not take an unexpected bath in the Bay.

On July 30, 1880, Thomas McLean for the Registrar of Shipping for the Port of Toronto recorded the fact that LUELLA's traditional 64 shares were owned by one Robert Scott, engineer, of Toronto. Although she was operated in the Turner Ferry Company's fleet, Capt. John Turner, manager, the press referred to her as "Armour's Steam Yacht." On September 7, 1880, the Registrar recorded that she had been purchased by John Turner of Toronto. Turner died in 1887 and on April 9th of that year, for the sum of $14,600, the assets of the Turner Ferry Company were acquired from the Turner Estate by the Doty Brothers operating as the Doty Ferry Company. On July 23, 1887, Thomas McLean once more made an entry on LUELLA's certificate of enrollment, this time to the effect that her 64 shares had been purchased by John Doty, machinist, of Toronto.

The Doty Ferry Company had a very short life, for on September 24th, 1889, the Toronto Globe was informed that E. B. Osler, "in partnership with others," was negotiating for the purchase of the firm. On January 3rd, 1890, the Registrar transferred LUELLA's 64 shares to William Hendrie of Hamilton, contractor, and Edmund Boyd Osler of Toronto, broker, as joint owners. On February 27th, the Toronto Ferry Company Ltd. was registered as a joint stock company with capitalization of $250,000, the directors being F. W. Doty, Henry Beatty, Edmund Boyd Osier (president) and William Hendrie (vice president). It was on May 3rd, 1890, that Thomas McLean once more took pen in hand to document the transfer of LUELLA's 64 shares to the Toronto Ferry Company Ltd,

LUELLA received several rebuilds during her lifetime, the first coming in 1896 although we are unaware of whether this was simply routine maintenance or whether repairs were necessitated by an accident. The second occurred after she was damaged by fire at her dock at the foot of Yonge Street on May 9, 1904. It appears that she returned to service in 1906 and it is possible that her first day of service was July 4th when she took up duties on the run to Lakeside Home which was located on the Island near Gibraltar Point midway between Island Park (Centre Island) and Hanlan's Point. The dock to which she operated was on the south shore of Lighthouse Pond. The "Lakeside Home for Little Children" had been built in 1882 by John Ross Robertson as a summer sanitarium for the Hospital for Sick Children. A large new main building was erected in 1891 and it served until it was destroyed by fire on April 22, 1915. The hospital continued to operate the home into the 1920's using the outbuildings which had surrounded the main structure.

During the 1906 rebuild, LUELLA lost her pilothouse and thereafter (her appearance much improved) she was steered from a position on the main deck forward of the boilerhouse. A row of passenger seats faced inward on each side of the bow quite close to the wheel and the master at the wheel had to contend not only with exposure to the elements but also with the crowds of passengers and the inquisitiveness of small children. It was only quite late in her service that LUELLA's master received the benefit of the shelter afforded by a wind and weather screen which was installed in front of the wheel. A three-sided affair, it had windows on each side at eye level.

At the same time as she lost her pilothouse, LUELLA appears to have received normal waist-high bulwarks both fore and aft. Further refinements came over the years and it was about 1915 that she lost her ram bow. About this time she also had her after deck partially enclosed. Wooden sides with large windows were fitted to give shelter to the passengers, but openings were left at the stern and on each side where the snubbing posts were located. These open areas could be closed with canvas curtains as could the foredeck, although the forward curtains were seldom used as they blocked the captain's view. One refinement that LUELLA never got was electric lighting and throughout her 56 years she operated with only kerosene lamps. This must have seemed quite an anachronism in her final years and, in fact, she was one of only two ferries in the T.T.C. fleet that did not have electric light, the other being JOHN HANLAN.

LUELLA operated for the Toronto Ferry Company Ltd., which was managed by Lawrence Solman and to whom full control passed about 1915, for more than three and a half decades. On November 1st, 1926, the Corporation of the City of Toronto acquired the assets of the Toronto Ferry Company Ltd. and the Registrar of Shipping recorded the transfer of LUELLA's 64 shares on the day following. Solman and his company received payment of $337,500 for their vessels and shoreside properties and Solman himself remained as manager of the ferry operations until February 21, 1927, on which date the city handed over operation of both the ferry service and the Hanlan's Point amusement park to the Toronto Transportation Commission, the operator of the city's street railway system. On April 15, 1927, the ferries began their first year of service under T.T.C. control and on that day three steamers were put into operation. LUELLA was one, the other two being JOHN HANLAN and CLARK BROS.

It was about 1927 that LUELLA was involved in a rather humourous accident which also involved the double-deck steamer JOHN HANLAN. LUELLA had broken her shaft and was lying disabled at the Ward's Island dock. The HANLAN was dispatched to tow her back to the city dock and she put a line aboard the disabled ship. When the line had been secured, the HANLAN started to pull, her master unaware that LUELLA's lines had not been cast off from the dock. If the towline had parted with the strain, there would have been little damage, but unfortunately it held and the towing bits together with a goodly portion of the stern were pulled right out of the HANLAN. Presumably another steamer was sent to collect LUELLA.

Although as the years passed LUELLA spent more and more time at the Toronto Dry Dock Company for repairs to hull and machinery, she continued in service until October 31st, 1935, when age (and also probably the steamship inspectors) finally caught up with her. She had begun to hog rather noticeably and her yacht-like lines had long ago disappeared. Once retired, LUELLA's boiler and engine were removed and she was hauled ashore at Hanlan's Point amusement park. The worn-out hull was placed in a cradle not far from Durnan's boathouse and it was intended that LUELLA would be used as a hot dog and soft drink stand. This, fortunately, did not take place and the boarded-up vessel rested behind a picket fence, a sign placed on her side proclaiming her many years of service. Her condition, however, deteriorated very rapidly and about 1944 it was decided that the old ship was an eyesore. LUELLA was finally broken up for firewood.

One of LUELLA's earliest masters had been Capt. Jack Hinton who is remembered mainly because he wore gold earrings! For a lengthy period during her later years, the steamer was commanded by a rugged Georgian Bay mariner, Capt. Mike McCormick, who was not only an efficient skipper but also a lifesaver of some fame. On several occasions he rescued tipsy passengers who tumbled off the gangplank into the murky waters of the Bay. LUELLA's last master was Capt. George Browne who later commanded the larger double-ended ferries in the service including the paddlers BLUEBELL and TRILLIUM and the diesels WILLIAM INGLIS and SAM McBRIDE.

Capt. McCormick's long-time mate on LUELLA was a gentleman by the name of Walter Rutherford who, we believe, came from an Oakville or Port Credit family of lake sailors. He was a wispy little man with a droopy mustache and he moved slowly because he suffered from rheumatism. He frequently paid one of the local Island boys a small fee to handle the aft lines of the ferry (for obvious reasons, only at the Island end of the run) while he soaked his feet in a pail of warm water.

The open engine pit and boiler faced aft into the stern passenger section and was only fenced off from the passengers by a waist-high, semi-circular bulwark. Small passengers (and many not so small) used to enjoy leaning on the rail to watch the faithful engineer, Teddy, tending his engine and throwing the occasional shovelful of coal into the furnace. Teddy seemed always to be chewing (tobacco, of course) and his prominent jaws moved in rhythm to the exhaust sounds from the engine.

The engine was not the only piece of machinery which was open to the view of the passengers. The rudder post came right up through the passenger area aft and connected with the quadrant (really only a steel crossbar) located in plain view near the cabin ceiling. The crossbar was attached at either end to rods which ran forward through the boilerhouse into the open forward end where they connected to the steering wheel. Of course, there was no steering engine and wheeling was done by the "armstrong" method.

During the course of her career, LUELLA operated from most of the city ferry docks - Church Street, Yonge Street, York Street, Brock Street, and latterly Bay Streets We understand, however, that she never ran to the Island from the Gerrard Street docks on the Don River as did several of her early contemporaries. Indeed, anyone familiar with the Don River in its 1975 state must wonder how any ships navigated such a course at all. Towards the close of her career, she not only ran from the city docks to Ward's Island but also on summer evenings and weekends provided an Inter-Island service between Ward's Island, Centre Island and Hanlan's Point.

Today, there are few relics to remind us of the 56 years of faithful service put in by LUELLA. One which exists somewhere, although it has disappeared from sight, is the high and melodious chime whistle which she carried in her later years. It was originally on the JOHN HANLAN and served there from the time of her building in 1884 until she was retired and burned as a public spectacle at Sunnyside Park in 1929. It was then moved over to LUELLA and there it acted as her voice through 1935. Before LUELLA was placed in the park at Hanlan's Point, it was removed and transferred to the freight-boat-turned-passenger-ferry T.J.CLARK. This ship last operated in 1959 and lay idle during the 1960 season in the west slip of the old ferry docks. She was broken up over the following winter at the Toronto Dry Dock but by that time the whistle had disappeared, apparently having been removed during the summer months. It would be most fitting if this whistle could be recovered and displayed as a memorial to the three famous steamers on which it served.

To illustrate the affection held by the people of the city of Toronto for the little LUELLA, we can do no better than to quote a few words from a newspaper obituary which appeared at the time the steamer was taken out of services:

"She was never intended to be beautiful or impressive or smart. She is so old-fashioned now that she is quaint; with her wood structures, her puffy high-pressure engine and her kerosene lamps. A friendly old donkey, so she is. Island people have depended on her and she has never betrayed their trust. For years and years it was her part of the game to be first out in the spring and last out in the fall. Statesmen and aldermen and high chief executives have availed themselves of her plodding services.

"Since the day that LUELLA was launched .... she has been the favourite of Toronto children. The waifs of the waterfront adored her and the kids of the Old Ward who rustled fuel and sustenance around the docks of the old harbour regarded her as a sort of maritime good angel which was certain to carry them to the Island sometime during the summer season when the Christian Institute or St. Andrew's or the I.P.B.U. or St. George's or St. Michael's staged a picnic.

"And to the more favoured sons and daughters of St. George Street and Rosedale she was nice and comfy and little and not a bit like the ugly, big, rough double-enders. She was ever the young folks' friend......

"LUELLA is old and obsolete and finally out of commission. All her companions are withered and gone or sunk or burned or rim wracked and gone. Now there is only LUELLA. She has outlasted the best and the worst of them and the entire kit and boiling of them. And by decree of the powers, she has made her last trip. LUELLA is napoo."

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Scanner, v. 7, n. 5 (February 1975)

Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; Adieu; Marine News; Winter Lay-up Listings; The End of the Hibou; Steam Engine Wanted; The Arizona and her Acid Cargoes; Ship of the Month No. 46