The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 8, n. 7 (April 1976)
Publication:
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Apr 1976


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Bascom, John N., Editor
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Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; St. Lawrence River Ferries; Marine Memories; Our Mistake; City of Ottawa Revisited; Ship of the Month No. 56; The Interprovincial Steamship Company, Halifax; Judgment on a Comedy of Errors; Late Marine News
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Apr 1976
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English
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Meetings

Friday, May 7 - 7:00 p.m. at the Museum restaurant, The Ship Inn. This will be the Annual Dinner Meeting and will be the last meeting of the Toronto Marine Historical Society until October.

The Editor's Notebook

The Annual Dinner Meeting will be held on May 7th at the Ship Inn. The dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter and the bar will be open early for those who might care for a pre-dinner restorative. Our speaker for the evening will be Mr. Thomas E. Appleton who will present a program entitled "The Allan Line - By Sail and Steam to Canada". Mr. Appleton is the author of several books, including Ravenscrag, a history of the Allan Line. We can look forward to a very interesting address.

Cost of the dinner will be $8.50 and as usual guests will be welcome. But space is limited and those wishing to attend should reserve immediately by writing to our Treasurer, Mr. James M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6S 1W9. Please include payment in Canadian Funds. or the equivalent, for each person in your party. Write soon, because there will be no tickets at the door. Deadline for reservations is April 30th.

The March meeting proved to be one of the highlights of our winter season, as Alan Howard spoke to us on his personal reminiscences of Toronto Harbour. His recollections of the vessels that made Toronto famous and of the men that sailed them were fascinating, and provided a unique personal insight into the history of our waterfront.

In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Kevin C. Griffin of Montreal, to E.H. Johnstone of Thunder Bay, to Leonard J. Barr II of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, and to Kenneth H. Lowes of Midland, Ontario.

Marine News

Our lead item this month is a very happy news story on two counts, first that it represents the further growth of the Reoch-Pierson shipping empire and second that it means the preservation and continued operation of two self-unloading bulk carriers that would undoubtedly otherwise be consigned to the wreckers' torches. It has now been confirmed that Westdale Shipping Ltd., Port Credit, Ontario, has purchased the self-unloaders W. F. WHITE and FRED A. MANSKE from the United States Steel Corporation, Great Lakes Fleet, and the American Steamship Company respectively. The two steamers, cast aside by their former operators as excess tonnage, will operate in 1976 in Reoch colours and will be renamed, the WHITE becoming (b) ERINDALE and the MANSKE seeing service as (c) BROOKDALE (II).

W. F. WHITE was built in 1915 by American Shipbuilding at Lorain for the Bradley Transportation Company as a self-unloader and has served the Bradley/U.S. Steel fleet ever since. She is notable in that during the early 1960's she spent several years on the east coast as a barge and at that time it was suspected that she would never appear back in the lakes. Despite this, she returned in 1965 and operated on the lakes through 1974. She was idle in 1975.

FRED A. MANSKE (II) was a 1909 product of American Shipbuilding's Lorain yard and originally bore the name J. S. ASHLEY. Her first owner was the Kinney Steamship Company for whom she sailed as a straight-decker until sold in 1937 to the Pioneer Steamship Company, Hutchinson and Company, Managers. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1937 and was repowered in 1952. Sold to Boland and Cornelius in 1961, she was given her present name the following year. Like W. F. WHITE, she last operated in 1974 and was rumoured last summer to have been on the verge of being sold for scrapping.

In the March issue we reported the formation of the Newfoundland-Ontario Steamship Company which will begin operation soon between St. John's and Oshawa. We are now able to identify the vessels that will be used on the service. The first will be the familiar coaster CONRAD MARIE, a frequent visitor to the lakes, which is being chartered from C. & V. Bouchard. The second vessel will be MARIDAN C, a 2l6-footer of 1018 Gross Tons which, last we heard, was owned by La Societe Maritime de Baillon Inc., St. Joseph-de-la-Rive, Quebec. She was built in 1946 at Aberdeen. If business conditions warrant, a third ship will be used, the MAURICE DESGAGNES, a 274-foot, 2467-ton motorship owned by the Desgagnes group. Just in case they are needed, the line will also be able to charter from Desgagnes the J. A. Z. DESGAGNES, AIGLE MARIN, FORT SEVERN, MONT ST. MARTIN, and FERMONT. It certainly sounds as if the new service will be getting off to a good start.

Readers will recall that when SCOTIACLIFFE HALL left the lakes in the fall of 1974 she was renamed SCOTIACLIFFE and for a while remained in the bulk trades. We now learn that she arrived at the Gotaverken shipyard, Gothenburg, Sweden, on March 10, 1975 and was subsequently converted to a drill-ship. The boat is now owned by Forell Inc. and has been placed in service in her new duties under the name NAVIFOR NORSE.

A recent item appearing in Toronto newspapers was a classified advertisement for the sale of the Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) excursion vessel MARK TWAIN. The boat is a bit of an ugly duckling, a steam-powered sidewheeler with auxiliary diesel power. Although she does rather resemble a floating barn, the ship dates back to the 1890's. MARK TWAIN operated in the excursion and charter trade on the St. Mary's River in 1974 but saw very little (if any) service during 1975.

Last month we mentioned in these pages the Railway Revitalization Act which is now in effect in the United States, and cited its effect on the Ann Arbor Railroad's Lake Michigan carferry service. Fortunately, the Act has not only saved the Ann Arbor boats but has also postponed the planned February 27th withdrawal from service of the Straits of Mackinac carferry CHIEF WAWATAM. The "Big Chief" has now been guaranteed operation through April 1st and stands to see continued service in the future since the Michigan Department of Highways and Transportation has agreed to provide an operating subsidy and to give financial assistance for the takeover of the ship and docking facilities should an operator come forward who would be willing to keep CHIEF WAWATAM in operation. The state seems to feel that the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority would be the proper organization to take over from the defunct Mackinac Transportation Company.

Speaking of ferries, it looks as if ferry operations in the area of the Michigan Sault may change somewhat. Public hearings have been held on the subject of federal, state and municipal funding to the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority for the purpose of repairing docks for the Drummond Island and Sugar Island ferries and purchasing the SUGAR ISLANDER and NEEBISH ISLANDER. The Authority already owns the ferries in use on the Drummond Island - DeTour service. Of the money to be made available, there would be the sum of $202,000 from the State of Michigan and $2,014,388 from the federal Urban Mass Transit Administration.

Work is proceeding at Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wisconsin, on the lengthening of the U.S. Steel self-unloader JOHN G. MUNSON. The ship is being stretched by 102 feet, but unlike other lengthening jobs done by Fraser, the new midbody was not constructed earlier for floating into place. The MUNSON's new midsection is being built in place while the ship is resting in the drydock. It may well be that this method of lengthening was needed in view of the multiplicity of equipment located in the vessel's holds, a situation very different from that faced by the yard in stretching a regular straightdecker.

WALTER A. STERLING is not the only vessel in the fleet of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company that will be lengthened during 1976. EDWARD B. GREENE is already in the process of receiving a 120-foot midbody and this work should be finished by June. The GREENE's midbody will be inserted in one piece rather than being built in place as with WHEAT KING and JOHN G. MUNSON.

We are still hearing rumours to the effect that the steamer MILWAUKEE CLIPPER will be put back in service and used to run daily excursions out of Chicago, but we have still been unable to find out anything more about the Chicago group that will allegedly operate the vessel. MILWAUKEE CLIPPER, (a) JUNIATA, is owned by the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Company and is presently laid up at Muskegon where she has lain since her retirement several years ago. We wonder if something on this subject may have been heard by our Chicago area members...

On December 2, 1975 the 1965-ton Greek motorship XENY, owned by Conty Cia. Nav. S.A., was in a position 40.30 N., 11.00 W. on a voyage from Port Harcourt to Rotterdam. Fire broke out aboard the vessel and the crew was forced to abandon ship. She was taken in tow and on January 1, 1976 was towed into Cadiz roads. Unfortunately she capsized there the following day and sank on her side, becoming a total loss. Why do we bother reporting this event which occurred so far from the lakes? Well, it is because the ship was built in 1955 at Hardinxveld, Holland, for the Maats Zeetransport N.V., commonly known as the Oranje Lijn, and for thirteen years she traded into the lakes under the name PRINS WILLEM II (II). She was sold in 1968 and was renamed (b) AMARYLLIS, and in 1969 she became (c) GOTHIC PRINCE. She took on her last name (d) XENY in 1971. To the best of our knowledge she had not returned to the Great Lakes since her sale out of the Oranje Lijn fleet.

We understand that the Kinsman (S & E) vessels will be getting off to an early start this year, an indication that the company may remain in the lake shipping business for a few years to come after all. We have heard that the fleet will operate the same vessels as in 1975 (with the exception of course of WILLIAM R. ROESCH and PAUL THAYER which are no longer on the roster) and that in addition CHICAGO TRADER will be commissioned. It appears that MERLE M. McCURDY may also see some service.

Some of the other lake fleets will have a large percentage of their ships in service during 1976, an indication of improving business conditions. The Bethlehem fleet will have all its vessels in service and Hanna will run all its boats with the exception of NATIONAL TRADER. All of Inland Steel's vessels will be commissioned and in addition the company will christen its newest unit JOSEPH BLOCK on July 20th. She is expected to be in service shortly thereafter, and it will be interesting to see whether CLARENCE B. RANDALL will stay in service after the advent of the BLOCK.

International Harvester will commission THE INTERNATIONAL in April and the Interlake Steamship Company will have all eight of its vessels in service during the same month. The first of Interlake's new self-unloaders should be ready for service during the autumn. Cleveland-Cliffs will have twelve of its fourteen ships in operation, one of the two inoperative units being THOMAS F. PATTON which also sat out the 1975 season.

The Columbia Transportation Division is hoping to have fifteen vessels in service, but this figure is a bit puzzling. There will be one craneship out, BUCKEYE, but W. C. RICHARDSON will remain at the wall. Five straightdeckers will operate and since WILLIAM A. REISS, THOMAS WILSON, ARMCO and RESERVE will certainly be four of them, it looks as if either ASHLAND or MIDDLETOWN will not start. Nine self-unloaders are to run and this accounts for the fleet's whole complement of them if one considers ROESCH and THAYER not to be included in the Columbia fleet proper, but rather in Pringle. But the big surprise of the year is the fact that the U.S. Steel Great Lakes Fleet will run only 21 ships plus the chartered PRESQUE ISLE, the latter making a late appearance due to needed repairs. The boats scheduled to fit out are BLOUGH, ANDERSON, CALLAWAY, CLARKE, FAIRLESS, FRASER, FERBERT, VOORHEES, OLDS, AVERY, STANLEY, LAMONT PARGNY, WILLIAMS, THOMAS, WATSON, IRVIN, AFFLECK, JOHNSON, HATFIELD and LINDABURY. This is quite a reduction over even last year's fleet, the most notable names missing being GOVERNOR MILLER and JOHN HULST. We can only hope that business improves during the year ...

It has been announced that Pickands, Mather and Company, Cleveland, will not operate its coal bunkering facility at DeTour during 1976. The fuel dock, which is located on Spring Bay just inside the mouth of the St. Mary's River, is run by the DeTour Dock Company and has for many years been one of the most frequently used bunkering docks for lake vessels. The dock closed in October 1975, an unusually early winter closing, and will not reopen with the commencement of navigation this spring. There has been no word of the closing being permanent, but we cannot help but think that it will be in view of the fact that the number of coal-burning ships in operation on the lakes has dwindled to almost none.

Several months ago we reported that the tandem tow of JAMES E. FERRIS and KINSMAN VOYAGER had arrived at Hamburg, Germany, on July 4, 1975, both ships seemingly destined for the cutting torch. But now comes word that the boats have been sold to vessel broker Poul Christensen of Nakskov, Denmark. The two lake veterans are at present laid up at Hamburg awaiting a possible resale for use as storage hulks. Whether an ignominious end such as FERRIS and VOYAGER may be facing is preferable to scrapping we are not certain, but ye Ed. would have preferred this pair to end their days in lake waters.

After a century of service on the Great Lakes, the career of the carferry HURON may have come to an end. The vessel, formerly a steam river-type railroad ferry for the Canadian National, and for the last few years a cut-down barge hauling railroad cars loaded with containers, sank at her Windsor dock on the evening of March 15th. At the time of the accident HURON, now owned by the Detroit-Windsor Barge Line, was unloading railroad cars with full containers at the C.N. Windsor slip. One of the flatcars apparently derailed while aboard HURON and this caused the ship to heel over and take on water. The U.S. Coast Guard was called to the scene but before anything could be done HURON sank in about twenty feet of water, seriously damaging the wooden dock in the process. But the old hull might just survive this accident, for twice before she has sunk in the Detroit River and each time came bouncing back to fight again. The first sinking came on April 14, 1901, the vessel having holed herself in a collision with a rock on the river bottom two days earlier. The second occurred on August 20, 1907 when HURON, canted forward at the Windsor dock for propellor repairs, was swamped and sunk by the wake from the passing flyer TASHMOO. Just how much bounce the old gal has left in her when she has reached her 101st year will remain to be seen.

The canal motorship (former steamer) SANDLAND of Beaconsfield Steamships Ltd. was a familiar sight around the lakes until 1961 when she was sold to Sandland Shipping Ltd., Nassau, and was taken to the Caribbean. From there we managed to lose track of her until Gordon Turner found her in his 1974-75 Lloyds Register under the name TRITON, her owner being shown as I.A. Diaques y Astilleros Nacionales of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. So, armed with this information, we set out to trace her ourselves. She was still owned by Sandland Shipping in 1963 according to the A.B.S. Record but by 1967 she had become TRITON and was registered to Sociedad Anonima Venezolana de Empresas Maritimas of Puerto Cabello. The same owners are still shown in the 1971 A.B.S. Record. So it looks as if our old friend is still active in the warm waters of the southern climes.

It is indeed easy for lake observers to lose track of lake vessels which have made the long trek southwards to the Caribbean. One of the largest groups of such vessels is that owned by Challenger Ltd. and its associated corporations, a fleet that includes WIT (OIL TRANSPORT), WITCROIX (COASTAL CLIFF), WITFUEL (FUEL TRANSPORT), WITSHOAL (GASPEDOC) and WITSUPPLY (TRANSTREAM). Little has been heard about any of these boats since they strayed from lake waters, but at least we know that one of them is still in operation. A recent listing of vessel movements on the Panama Canal showed WITSHOAL passing through on Boxing Day, December 26th, 1975. Now we would like to hear from some of the others as well...

St. Lawrence River Ferries

Information on the many ferryboats operating on the St. Lawrence River is often hard come by for observers from the lakes. With the many changes over the last few years, it has been difficult to keep track of the comings and goings of these interesting craft. Thanks to the assistance of new member Kevin C. Griffin of Montreal, who incidentally is Commercial Manager, Newfoundland Services - Steamship Division, Clarke Transportation Canada Ltd., we are pleased to present the complete roster of major ferry operations on the St. Lawrence for the 1976 season. Operators are listed alphabetically with a notation of the route served and vessels operated.

Cartier Navigation Company Ltd.. St. Louis. Ile-aux-Coudres.

Route: St. Joseph-de-la-Rive / St. Louis.

Vessels: TROIS RIVIERES, 882 tons, 1962. ?

LA MARJOLAINE, 346 tons, 1914. (Spare Boat)

Clarke Transportation Canada Ltd.. Montreal.

Route: Riviere-du-Loup / St. Simeon.

Vessels: TRANS-ST. LAURENT, 2173 tons, 1963. RADISSON, 1149 tons, 1954.*

Route: Baie Ste. Catherine / Tadoussac.

Vessels: CHARLEVOIX, 535 tons, 1962.

SAGUENAY, 429 tons, 1958.

PIERRE DE SAUREL, 538 tons, 1957. *

Compagnie de Traverse du St. Laurent Ltee., Sorel.

Route: Sorel / Ile St. Ignace.

Vessel: LUCIEN L., 867 tons, 1967.

Cooperative de Transport Maritime & Aerien, Magdalen Islands.

Route: Souris, P.E.I. / Magdalen Islands.

Vessel: LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY, 4245 tons, 1965. #

Societe des Traversiers du Quebec, Quebec.

Route: Quebec / Levis.

Vessels: ALPHONSE DESJARDINS, 1741 tons, 1971. *

LOMER GOUIN, 1741 tons, 1971. *

Traverse Matane - Godbout Ltee.. Matane.

Route: Matane / Baie Comeau / Godbout.

Vessels: CAMILLE MARCOUX, 6122 tons, 1974. *

SIEUR D'AMOURS, 2558 tons, 1968. *

Traverse Trois Pistoles - Escoumains Ltee.. Trois Pistoles.

Route: Trois Pistoles / Les Escoumains.

Vessel: LE GOBELET D'ARGENT, 386 tons, 1973.

Note: # Indicates ferry supplied by the Canadian Ministry of Transport.

* Indicates ferries supplied by the Quebec Department of Transport.

It is interesting to note the involvement of the Quebec provincial government in St. Lawrence ferry operations. The Societe des Traversiers du Quebec (Quebec Ferry Corporation) actually owns seven of the ships listed above although it only operates two itself. In addition, the authority also subsidizes free ferry fares at Sorel.

Two former St. Lawrence ferries, N. A. COMEAU and MANIC, which have been replaced by CAMILLE MARCOUX and LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY respectively, are at present up for sale, the first by the Quebec government and the latter by the federal authorities.

Marine Memories

Very shortly before our printing deadline for this issue, we received in the mail a package from Alan R. Capon, Editor of the Picton Gazette. Inside was a copy of a book which, despite the fact that we have not as yet had the time to read it from cover to cover, looked so interesting that we thought we should acquaint all our members with it.

Entitled Marine Memories, the 124-page softbound is the work of fellow member Willis Metcalfe of Milford, Ontario, an acknowledged expert on the subject of the history of shipping on eastern Lake Ontario. It is Mr. Metcalfe's second book, the first being Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters which appeared almost a decade ago. Like its forebear, Marine Memories is a collection of personal reminiscences about the shipping of Prince Edward County and area, interspersed with contemporary accounts of wrecks and other interesting happenings. But unlike Canvas and Steam. Mr. Metcalfe's new book is printed in a much more pleasing and easy-to-read format, with indexed chapters dealing with specific items or occurrences. The photo reproduction is excellent and there are a great many copies of newspaper advertisements and timetables for various early Bay of Quinte steamboats.

A quick look through Marine Memories yielded many tidbits of marine information of which ye Ed. was not aware, and the book bears promise of giving us many more choice items as we go through it in more detail. We congratulate Willis Metcalfe on his most recent effort and heartily recommend it to all our readers. Marine Memories is available at a cost of $4.95 from The Picton Gazette Publishing Company (1971) Ltd., P.O. Box 80, Picton, Ontario, K0K 2T0. But you had better hurry as it has been published in a limited edition of only 1,000 copies and they'll go like hotcakes.

Our Mistake

Two months ago we mentioned in these pages the repowering of the BoCo self-unloader RICHARD J. REISS and we stated at that time that she was the first of the Maritime Commission class lakers to receive new power. How we managed to make a statement like that without seeing the light, we do not know, and we thank those who brought this faux pas to our attention.

In fact, RICHARD J. REISS is the second of the Maritimers to have replacement power installed. The first was, of course, FRANK ARMSTRONG which will be sailing the lakes this year as SAMUEL MATHER (VI). All the Maritimers originally had 2500 horses in them, the L6-S-A1 class being fitted with four-cylinder compound machinery, while the L6-S-B1 class received triple-expansion engines. But in the spring of 1960 the ARMSTRONG had her original machinery removed and in its place was fitted a 4400-horsepower five-cylinder Unaflow, a surplus engine which had been built in 1944 by the Nordberg Manufacturing Company for the U.S. Navy.

Now to our way of thinking, there are two rather funny things about this whole episode. First is the fact that although the ARMSTRONG rates as the most powerful of all the Maritimers, you would never know it from seeing her in action. Second point is that BoCo is only putting 2800 horses in the RICHARD J. with her new diesel plant, a rather unusual move bearing in mind not only the fact that she is a very heavily used boat, but also considering that twelve years ago a far more powerful plant was placed in DIAMOND ALKALI, a vessel twenty feet shorter and twenty-six years older.

City of Ottawa Revisited

Readers will recall that CITY OF OTTAWA was featured as our Ship of the Month No. 54 in the February issue.

INDIA unloads grain at a Montreal elevator. The date would be about 1921.We stated that the ship ran in 1929 for the Algoma Steamship Company of Hamilton under the name (d) SAULT STE. MARIE, but that the service was not successful and that she passed in 1930 to the Pine Ridge Coal Company, Detroit, as a result of a bailiff's sale. Actually, we now learn that she did not pass to Pine Ridge Coal right away. Seems she was purchased in 1930 by the Detroit Tug Line which obtained her from Algoma and cut her down to a barge, giving her back her old name INDIA. The Detroit Tug Line, however, soon went into bankruptcy and it was then that she passed to Pine Ridge Coal via the bailiff's sale.

Mention was also made in our article of the fact that during the 1930's, when INDIA was owned by C. W. Bryson's India Navigation Company, she was frequently towed by MARITA, a rather strange steamer which Bryson owned and had registered in the name of his Copper Steamship Company. It appears that MARITA and INDIA visited Toronto at least once during this period to load scrap for delivery to a Lake Erie port.

Ship of the Month No. 56

India of Garden Island

Two months ago this section of "Scanner" featured the iron steamer CITY OF OTTAWA which started life as the Anchor Line passenger and package freight carrier INDIA. This time around we have chosen another vessel which bore the name INDIA, but a ship very much different from her earlier namesake. In fact, this latter INDIA was one of the better known wooden freighters to come from a shipyard on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes.

INDIA (C.107735) was constructed at Garden Island, Ontario, a very famous island in Lake Ontario near Kingston at the head of the St. Lawrence River. Built by the Calvin Company Ltd. in their own yard for their own fleet, the steamer was launched in 1899. She measured 215.9 feet in length, with a beam of 36.4 feet and a depth of 15.0 feet. Tonnage was 976 Gross and 573 Net.

The Calvin yard on Garden Island was well known for the many sailing vessels, river barges, tugs and steamers which were built there for the company's own business as timber forwarders. Many hundreds of thousands of feet of timber were brought to the company-owned island in schooners during the early days, and latterly in steamboats and their consort barges. The timber was discharged at Garden Island and was formed into rafts which were then sent down the St. Lawrence to the timber coves at Quebec for shipment to European markets.

INDIA was specially designed for the timber trade and was a flush-decker with high freeboard, somewhat akin to a package freighter. Since the carriage of timber tended to be rough on ships, INDIA was strongly constructed. She was given timber ports in her bows to facilitate the loading and unloading of sticks of timber which were customarily picked up at small harbours and even on beaches around the upper lakes. The Calvin steamers had a look all their own, "sturdy and conservative", and could easily be picked out anywhere on the lakes by those who were able to recognize a shipyard's "build" when they saw it.

The triple-expansion machinery which was fitted in INDIA was built by the Calvin Company at the boiler and machine shops on Garden Island. The only other large engine that the Calvins had ever before built was a fore-and-aft compound for the wooden tug REGINALD. INDIA's boilers were not built by the Calvins and had to be brought to the island for installation in the hull. It is a distinct possibility that they were built at Toronto by the Polson Iron Works who in 1903 supplied the Calvin Company with boilers for the wooden steamer SIMLA.

Like other Calvin steamers (for instance, D. D. CALVIN, ARMENIA, SIMLA and BOTHNIA), INDIA was painted a bright green with white trim and cabins and a black funnel. She could usually be seen towing at least one barge and sometimes she would have two on the string. Some of the barges in the Calvin fleet were CEYLON, BURMA, VALENCIA, NORWAY and AUGUSTUS, and no doubt INDIA towed all of these at one time or another.

When the timber business was slack, and in later years this occurred more frequently as less and less timber was exported, INDIA carried her share of wheat, iron ore and coal to various Canadian ports. But the Calvin boats ran at a disadvantage when they tried to compete with other carriers in the general freight trades. Because of their specialized construction, they were suitable only for the timber trade and were hard pressed to earn their keep in any other service. Finally about 1914, when the export timber trade was a thing of the past, the Calvin Company Ltd. sold its vessels to the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd. From then on the INDIA operated for the M.T.Co. fleet in the bulk trades. This move was not an unnatural one since for some years prior to 1914 the Calvin family had held an interest in Montreal Transportation.

Early in 1916 control of the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd. was acquired by Roy M. Wolvin who at that time was an executive of Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., and who had, in fact, been instrumental in the creation of that shipping giant. As a result of Wolvin's dual association, there was a very close relationship between M.T.Co. and C.S.L. during the period 1916 to 1920; C.S.L. operated the M.T.Co. vessels and some of them even appeared in C.S.L. colours. This relationship came to an end in 1920 when C.S.L. actually absorbed the remaining units in the M.T.Co. fleet (some of the better ships having been sold elsewhere by Wolvin at a good profit).

By the time INDIA became a C.S.L. vessel, she was a much different boat than she had been during the Calvin years. Sometime during the war, she had been rebuilt as a conventional bulk carrier with raised forecastle and poop. In other words, she had lost the enclosed 'tween deck area which had been admirably suited to the timber trade but which proved bothersome when the ship operated in the grain, coal and ore trades.

The decade of the twenties was one which saw a major change in the types of vessels used by C.S.L. As the decade dawned, the company found itself with a grand collection of small wooden boats, most of which had seen better days and many of which had come from Wolvin's M.T.Co. As a result, C.S.L. began to have to replace many of these old veterans and their ranks were depleted quickly as newly-built canallers appeared from the builders' yards.

The undoing of INDIA as far as C.S.L. was concerned came in 1922 when she was involved in an accident on the Welland Canal. The company did not feel that she was worth the effort and expense of repairing and accordingly they abandoned her to the Reid Wrecking Company. Reid repaired her and sold the steamer to the India Navigation Company of Montreal, Crawford and Company, managers. For the next few years she was a frequent visitor to the port of Toronto, bringing in many cargoes of coal.

But INDIA was nearing the end of her usefulness. She spent a period of time laid up at Kingston and then in 1926 she was sold to the Ramsay Brothers of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. They used her for two years. Her end came on September 5, 1928 when she caught fire in the North Channel behind Manitoulin Island, some eight miles east of Little Current near West Mary Island. INDIA was completely destroyed in the spectacular blaze and her last remains are today marked by a buoy in the channel.

The Interprovincial Steamship Company, Halifax

The Interprovincial Steamship Company was formed in 1928 by Frank K. Warren, Halifax, to provide a freight service between the Maritime ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, and various points on the Great Lakes. The company used five ships on the route, all being of the oceangoing type. Two of them were built especially for the firm.

While much of the westbound traffic was consigned to Toronto and Hamilton, the principal cargoes being bagged sugar and steel coils, the vessels operated to the Lakehead ports of Fort William and Port Arthur. The usual eastbound cargoes were flour and grain for the east coast. A regular fortnightly service was maintained in the 1930's during the lake navigation season, while in the winter months the ships usually traded to Newfoundland and the West Indies from Halifax.

Each of the vessels in the fleet was owned by a separate company whose corporate name reflected the name of the ship. For example, DELIA was owned by the Delia Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax. The Interprovincial Steamship Company was the operator. The ships had black hulls with white trim and white cabins. Stacks were black with a broad white band on which appeared the letter 'W' in black. The Interprovincial service into the Great Lakes was brought to an end in 1939 with the outbreak of World War II. The four steamers then remaining in the fleet were required for salt water service, primarily on the east coast of Canada.

DELIA. (C.145292). Steel steamer built 1907 at Newcastle by Wood, Skinner and company. 225.2 x 34.2 x 14.3, Gross 1267, Net 775. Originally owned by the Anglo-Portuguese Steamship Company (M. Isaac and Sons, Managers), London. Not listed in Lloyds Register until 1920's. Purchased 1928 by Frank K. Warren's Delia Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, for operation by the Interprovincial Steamship Company. During the next few years she was chartered at times by the Newfoundland Canada Steamship Company Ltd., Halifax. Trapped in ice at Drook Point, Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, on March 8, 1937 while loaded with cod fish. Crushed in icefield and foundered March 11, 1937. Crew rescued by C.G.S. SAGONA.

This spirited photo of MOYRA in the Welland Canal was taken by James M. Kidd in the mid-thirties.MOYRA (46), (b) HEIKA (56), (c) MARISCO. (C.161562). Steel steamer built May 1931 at Sunderland by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 248.0 x 39.5 x 14.9, Gross 1396, Net 759. Built for Frank K. Warren's Moyra Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, and operated by the Interprovincial Steamship Company between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Requisitioned 1941 by the Canadian government and sold to the Government of Newfoundland (Newfoundland Railway, Steamship Dept.). Badly damaged by fire May 14, 1945 when about 20 miles below Quebec City while en route from Montreal to Newfoundland. Beached near Beauport, P.Q., where the fire was extinguished. Sold 1946 to A/S Heitmann's Rederi (H. Heitmann and Son, Managers), Oslo, Norway. Sold 1956 to Cia. de Nav. Altamar S.A., Panama, of whom the principals were said to be Italians. Foundered October 20, 1959 in the Gulf of Laconia, Greece. After World War II this vessel traded into the lakes as both HEIKA and MARISCO.

During 1937 SONIA encountered a hurricane and was driven ashore on the east coast. Aboard at the time was the late Rowley W. Murphy and this photo comes from his collection.SONIA (41), (a) NIDARNES (28), (b) DELSON (29), (d) LIVERPOOL PACKET. (C.154442). Steel steamer built 1926 at Newcastle by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 248.1 x 37.2 x 14.7. Gross 1188, Net 654. Originally owned by Rederi A/S Nidaros (A.L. Ombustvedt, Manager), Oslo, Norway. Sold 1928 to the Delson Steamship Company Ltd., Montreal. Sold 1929 to Frank K. Warren and transferred to his Sonia Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, for operation by the Interprovincial Steamship Company. Operated between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Sold 1941 to the Markland Shipping Company, Liverpool, Nova Scotia (Mersey Pulp and Paper Company Ltd.). Torpedoed and sunk May 30, 1942 south of Cape Sable.

ULVA, (a) CARRONPARK, (b) POZNAN (28). (C.135321). Steel steamer built 1912 at Alloa, Scotland, by Mackay Bros. 241.0 x 36.0 x 16.7, Gross 1401, Net 840. Originally owned by Denholm Line Steamers Ltd. (J. & J. Denholm, Managers), Glasgow. Later owned by the Scandinavian Shipping Company (Glen and Company, Managers), Glasgow. Sold 1928 to Frank K. Warren's Ulva Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, for operation by the Interprovincial Steamship Company. Sank in the ice at Port Colborne, Ontario, on December 7, 1929. Raised, refitted and returned to service 1930. Operated between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Torpedoed and sunk September 3, 1940 northwest of Ireland.

ZENDA (41), (b) LIVERPOOL LOYALIST (46), (c) ALA (51), (d) SAGAR PRABHA. (C.161567). Steel steamer built 1932 at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 248.2 x 39.5 x 14.9, Gross 1416, Net 797. Built for Frank K. Warren's Zenda Shipping Company Ltd., Halifax, and operated by the Interprovincial Steamship Company between the Maritimes and the Great Lakes until 1939. Requisitioned 1941 by the Canadian government and then immediately returned to her owners who sold her on February 14, 1941 to the Liverpool Loyalist Shipping Company Ltd. (Markland Shipping Company Ltd., Managers), Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Sold April 8, 1946 to E.B. Asley, Oslo, Norway. Sold 1951 to the Merchant Steam Navigation Company, Bombay, India. Reported to have been damaged by fire at Hong Kong in 1956. Sold 1960 for scrapping at Bombay.

(Ed. Note: For his help in the preparation of this corporate history and fleet listing, our thanks go to Jim Kidd. The assistance of the Central Record of the World Ship Society is also acknowledged.)

Judgment on a Comedy of Errors

The QUEEN was a steel-hulled, beam-engined passenger steamer built in 1888 at Montreal by W.C. White for the Ottawa River Navigation Company. She was renamed SOVEREIGN before entering service and from 1889 through 1905 the 162.4-foot vessel operated between Montreal and Carillon. On March 17, 1906 she burned while in winter quarters at Lachine and the hull sank. Abandoned to the underwriters, she was sold to Charles Sessewein in 1906 and was raised and towed to Sorel where she was rebuilt and lengthened to 200 feet. She was then sold in 1907 to the St. Lawrence Canadian Navigation Company Ltd. and in 1907 and 1908, under the name IMPERIAL, she ran the Montreal -Quebec route along with WHITE STAR.

After 1908 IMPERIAL operated for the King Edward Park Company from Montreal to King Edward Park, being managed at various times by Alexandre Desmarteaux and Charles Mignault. In 1928 she was bought by the Georgian Bay Transit Company, Midland, and was taken to the latter port for service on Georgian Bay. However, her hull and boilers were condemned before she could be commissioned and she was broken up for scrap instead.

But in 1907 she was involved in a rather interesting accident at Montreal. The whole comedy of errors is recounted in the following report by O.G.V. Spain, Dominion Wreck Commissioner.

Judgment in IMPERIAL and GERMAINE Collision Case

The court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above mentioned shipping casualty, and, after hearing all the evidence it was possible to obtain, finds as follows:

It appears from the evidence adduced that the steam vessel SOVEREIGN (so-called IMPERIAL) is a vessel reconstructed from the wreck of the Ottawa River Navigation Company's steamer SOVEREIGN which was burnt in March 1906 and purchased by the present owners, the St. Lawrence Canadian Navigation Company Ltd., from Charles Sessewein; and she has been plying between the ports of Montreal, Three Rivers, Sorel and Quebec without a proper certificate of registry or license since shortly after the opening of navigation. The vessel has been lengthened considerably and been reconstructed without any special survey, though a copy of the certificate of survey (written in pencil) signed by William Paul, surveyor for the port of Sorel (who is also the manager of the company), was handed into court. In his evidence, manager Paul stated that he was assisted in the survey by a man by the name of J.K. Noel, of H.B.M. Customs; Mr. Noel under oath denied this.

Mr. J.K. Noel of H.B.M. Customs, whose duty it appears from his evidence is to inspect all vessels and to see that their certificates of registry and inspection are in proper order, knew that the steamer IMPERIAL (so-called) had no certificates and yet allowed her to continue to run with passengers and cargo between the ports aforesaid, in direct contravention of the law relating thereto; this whole matter appears to have been most irregular and is brought by the court to the attention of the Department of Customs.

At about 5:00 p.m. on August 23, 1907 the steamer IMPERIAL (so-called), in charge of William Paul, senior, as master, backed out from her berth at Sec No. 20 (Montreal harbour) and when clear of the end of Victoria Pier, starboarded her helm to cant the vessel head down river; when orders were given to steady the helm, the wheel could not be righted and the vessel continued to move in obedience to her starboard helm till she struck and sank the barge GERMAINE; the wheel chains are supposed to have jammed in the rudder blocks and freed themselves again when she backed out after striking the barge. The evidence is also very unsatisfactory with regard to the signals to the engineroom; the master in his evidence states that although he knew the bells could not be relied upon, he gave the signals to stop and go astern by the bell, but finding that the engines were still going ahead, he went down to the engineroom himself to communicate with the engineer, instead of using the whistle as he was in the habit of doing to signal the engineer to stop and go astern, there being no means of repeating the signals or communicating with the bridge from the engineroom either by a repeating signal or a voice tube. Section 621, Chapter 113. entituled "An Act respecting Shipping in Canada" is as follows:

"Every passenger Steamboat shall be provided with wire tiller ropes, or iron rods or chains, correctly and properly laid with suitable rollers for the purpose of steering and navigating the vessel, and shall use wire bell pulls for signalling the engineer from the pilothouse where the bells are used, together with tubes of proper size so arranged as to transmit the sound of the engine bells to the pilothouse, or other arrangement approved by the inspector to repeat back the signal. 61. V. c. 46. s. 32." The evidence proves that there was a lack of discipline and want of organization and of regular inspection on this vessel and that she was navigated in a haphazard manner.

There was manifestly a want of care taken in reference to the equipment; the rudder chains had been foul on previous occasions from preventable causes, and the signal bell to the engineroom had also failed to work on account of the members of the crew having used the bell wires as clothes lines. The Inspector of Hulls overlooked the fact that there was no system whatever of repeating signals from the engineroom to the bridge; this should have been taken exception to by the inspector at the time of his inspection, and he should have called the attention of the owners to the omission. The defence of inevitable accident cannot be sustained. Captain William Paul, who holds a certificate as master of a passenger steamer on minor inland waters, is severely censured and warned to be more careful in the future, as the court considers that it is the master's duty to see that the steering gear and means of communicating his orders to the engineroom are in proper order, more especially since, as stated above, similar circumstances have occurred frequently. It is also recommended by the court that the Department of Marine and Fisheries deal with the Inspector of Hulls for his negligence in this respect.

The court therefore finds the steamer IMPERIAL (so-called), her master, and owners are responsible for the sinking of the barge GERMAINE, which was providentially unattended with loss of life.

- Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, 1908.

Late Marine News

The two new Reoch self-unloaders ERINDALE and BROOKDALE should be making their respective appearances in Canadian waters shortly. BROOKDALE (FRED A. MANSKE) will be sailing from South Chicago during the next two weeks or so and will be going on the dock at Port Weller for work on her tailshaft. The ERINDALE will likewise require drydocking and she will then proceed to Toronto where she is scheduled to have a complete refit in preparation for her new duties.

At the close of the 1975 navigation season it was rumoured that the Paterson canaller SARNIADOC (II) had sailed her last in her owner's service. It now appears that the rumour mill called this one right, for we have received word that SARNIADOC has been sold to the same buyers that last year purchased the same fleet's canaller CALGADOC. The ship has, however, not been paid for as yet and we presume that Paterson will want to see the colour of the purchaser's money before letting the ship out of their clutches,

At long last, the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd. seems to have chosen the funnel design that is to be borne by all vessels in the fleet. As readers will recall, the various ships of the line sported a number of variants of the new colours during 1975 with most of them eventually being given the blue, white and green bands with the blue evergreen design on the white band. But a few issues back we noted that BLACK RIVER, currently in winter quarters at Toronto, was carrying a quite different design. We now learn that this is the one that will now be applied to all units. It consists of a black funnel (both top and bottom) with two narrow blue bands and between them a wide white band on which the blue "evergreen" insignia appears. This colour scheme is really quite pleasing and does not offend the eye as did the clash between the blue and green of the old livery. We sincerely trust that Q & O will settle down and stick with the new design for a while.

Speaking of Q & O, we have heard that the company may be looking to expand its fleet again. It is thought that Q & O may be seeking two ocean-going vessels and one laker. This is certainly a far cry from the blues the firm was singing several years ago when it seemed to be on the verge of quitting the lake shipping business altogether.

It has been announced by the Interlake Steamship Company that its new self-unloader, presently under construction as Hull 905 of the American Shipbuilding Company's Lorain yard, will be christened JAMES R. BARKER. The vessel, first of two which AmShip is building for Pickands Mather, is scheduled to enter service in the autumn.

The Westdale Shipping Ltd. self-unloading steamer NORDALE, (a) STADACONA (II), will soon be fitted with a bowthruster. The installation will be made by Herb Fraser and Associates. We wonder whether possibly the ship will receive the thruster salvaged from HENNEPIN during the scrapping of the latter ship.

By the time these words appear in print, the navigation season on the Welland Canal should be well underway. But although the canal does not officially open until April 1st, there was much activity at the Port Colborne end of the waterway on Sunday, March 28. Recent strong winds have packed Port Colborne harbour with ice and an icefield about five miles wide was lying off the breakwater. CANADIAN LEADER departed Port Colborne at 8:25 a.m. on the 28th and became stuck in the packed ice about 500 feet from the breakwater. She was freed by C.C.G.S. GRIFFON under the command of Capt. Pat Connors. SEAWAY QUEEN cleared Port Colborne at 9:40 a.m. the same morning and by 10:00 a.m. she was stuck not more than a mile from the pierheads. She also was broken out by GRIFFON. The eastern end of Lake Erie is full of ice and the broken floes going down the Niagara River have caused the formation below the Falls of one of the most spectacular ice jams seen in those parts in many years.

Victims of late winter navigation on the lakes are PHILIP R. CLARKE and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker MACKINAW which were involved in a collision on Whitefish Bay near Ile Parisienne on March 21. MACKINAW was breaking a path for the CLARKE when she stopped in the heavy ice and was run down by the ore carrier. Fairly severe damage was occasioned to the starboard quarter of the icebreaker and to the port bow of the CLARKE. No one was injured.

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Scanner, v. 8, n. 7 (April 1976)


Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; St. Lawrence River Ferries; Marine Memories; Our Mistake; City of Ottawa Revisited; Ship of the Month No. 56; The Interprovincial Steamship Company, Halifax; Judgment on a Comedy of Errors; Late Marine News