The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 9, n. 1 (October 1976)
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Oct 1976

Bascom, John N., Editor
Media Type:
Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; Marine News; Ships of the Great Lakes on Postcards; The Interprovincial Steamship Company; The Shipping Interests of Charles O. Jenkins
Date of Publication:
Oct 1976
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Friday, November 5th - 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. Movie Night. Gordon

Turner has lined up three marine films which should be of interest. They deal with

containerization, the ports of the Netherlands, and the port of Hong Kong.

Friday, December 3rd - 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. A special

program on the restoration of TRILLIUM will be presented by Gordon Champion, supervising

engineer for the reconstruction.

The Editor's Notebook

We've raised steam, pulled up the hook and rung down for

Full Ahead as with this issue we kick off the ninth volume of our little publication. Seems

hard to believe that we have been putting out "Scanner" for so long (eight of those years with

Ye Ed at the helm) but we have and we should like to thank all our members who have kept us

supplied with the news, articles (we still need more to keep us from having permanent writer's

cramp) and the odd bit of moral encouragement. Without the help of those who take the time to

write, even if we can't always get the chance to write a personal reply, we would have packed

this in and retired to the cucumber patch long ago.

If you are one of those who have not yet sent us their

membership dues, draw nigh and listen carefully. Membership fees are now due and payable and we

will not be sending individual notices of this fact. This is the last issue that will be sent

to those who have not renewed, so please be sure to send us $10.00 in Canadian Funds (or the

equivalent bearing in mind the rate of exchange on U.S. Funds) as soon as possible. Please

address our Treasurer, James M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6S 1W9. He's

waiting to hear from you.

In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome

goes out to Doug Cross of Port Colborne, to Bob Welnetz of Manitowoc, to Allan Mann of Wallaceburg

and to Alain M. Gindroz of Dorval, Quebec.

Marine News

As if the Lake Michigan carferries have not had enough

problems recently, what with their owners trying to dispense with their services and abandon

their routes, the Chessie System's ferry SPARTAN put herself out of service with severe bottom

damage sustained when she struck rocks near the south breakwall at the entrance to the harbour

at Ludington on the morning of August 12th. The accident occurred during a heavy fog as the

ship was inbound from Kewaunee. No explanation of how the accident came about has been released

either by Chessie or by the U.S. Coast Guard which was investigating the grounding.

Fortunately, no injuries were sustained by any of the passengers or crew and no automobiles or

freight cars were damaged. SPARTAN damaged about 120 feet of her bottom plating and Chessie

management authorized repairs, a move which was somewhat surprising for a company which has

been seeking so actively to drop its ferry operations. SPARTAN arrived at the Sturgeon Bay yard

of Bay Shipbuilding on August 18th and the following day was put on the drydock. Meanwhile, the

service to Milwaukee and Kewaunee from Ludington was cut to one trip each per day instead of

two, these routes now being handled by BADGER on an alternating basis. CITY OF MIDLAND 41 has

been attempting to maintain the normal schedule of two runs per day to Manitowoc.

In the meantime, studies are continuing relative to efforts

by the states of Michigan and Wisconsin to prevent the Chessie, Ann Arbor and Grand Trunk from

abandoning their ferry operations. A task force is looking into the possibility of subsidizing

current ferry operators or of setting up a bi-state operating authority to assume the

maintenance of the services which the railways do not wish to continue. The whole subject of

the abandonment of the ferry routes is very much a hot issue amongst the residents of the towns

which the boats serve, as they can foresee dark days ahead should the ferries be taken out of


Last issue we mentioned the purchase by the Desgagnes Group

Inc. of the motorship NORTHCLIFFE, the former NORTHCLIFFE HALL. We noted that while still in

the Caribbean she had been renamed TRANSCARIB but apparently this name was never applied by her

owners, Tara Corp. We now learn that Desgagnes has renamed the ship ROLLAND DESGAGNES for her

new service on the St. Lawrence and the east coast.

The coaster IDA LUNDRIGAN has been bareboat-chartered by

Common Bros. to Chimo Shipping Ltd. for a period of ten years. For her new duties on the

Canadian east coats, the ship has been renamed A. C. CROSBIE.

In the Mid-Summer issue we included an item of late marine

news relative to the sinking in Lake Huron on August 1st of a barge being towed by the McLean

tug WILFRED M. COHEN. We now have more details for you. The barge was loaded with a cargo of

steel and at the time of the accident was en route from the Canadian Sault to Cleveland. The

barge apparently listed heavily and then capsized, despite the fact that seas were running to a

height of only two feet. An attempt was made to tow the overturned barge ashore, but she

finally sank just off Middle Island, near Rockport, Michigan, in 103 feet of water. The barge

was owned by Great Lakes Barge Ltd. of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a firm owned jointly by A. B.

McLean and Sons Ltd. and Traders Metal Ltd. Salvage possibilities are being investigated.

The Reoch self-unloader BROOKDALE was the victim

of a grounding incident in the lower St. Clair River near Willow Point on August 30th. The

steamer went aground, was freed and then grounded again. With the help of the G-tug AMERICA,

she was finally freed on September 1st, apparently without damage.

The latter part of the summer saw a slackening of the grain

trade on the lakes and many of the Canadian lakers were put to the wall for a short lay-up or

else were employed hauling ore up from the St. Lawrence, returning downbound light. Toronto

harbour was the temporary home of four such ships, all members of the fleet of Upper Lakes

Shipping Ltd. WHEAT KING arrived on August 17th, JAMES NORRIS on August 18, POINTE NOIRE on

August 28 and R. BRUCE ANGUS on September 1st. All four vessels had left their berths in the

turning basin by mid-September.

The Norwegian full-rigged ship CHRISTIAN RADICH, fresh from

her July 4th appearance in New York's triumphant Operation Sail '76 and a subsequent tour of

various Great Lakes ports, sailed into Toronto harbour via the Western Gap on the morning of

August 31 and moored at Harbourfront Park's York Quay. The 238-foot training ship, which dates

back to 1937, was greeted by a nine-gun salute and martial music on her arrival. She stayed in

port for four days and was open to public inspection, large crowds thronging the Simcoe Street

slip area to get a view of the vessel. The RADICH cleared port on the evening of September 3rd

and in passing out the Western Gap went close to Exhibition Park where the Canadian National

Exhibition was in full progress. Her departure was signalled by the booming guns of H.M.C.S.

HAIDA which created such a commotion that we could feel the house shake on Ward's Island!

CHRISTIAN RADICH then took off down Lake Ontario en route to Montreal and home. Ye Ed caught a

fleeting glimpse of the ship out on the open lake, barrelling along before a northwest wind

which was rising up on her stern. It's been many a moon since we have seen such an

awe-inspiring sight. CHRISTIAN RADICH passed down the Seaway and crossed the Atlantic but on

September 23rd the news media reported that the ship had run into hurricane-like winds in the

Bay of Biscay. The vessel, with 103 persons aboard, is said to have lost much of her sail but

at the time of this writing there was no word of any other damage which the RADICH may have


Motorists seeking to avoid the chore of highway driving

around Georgian Bay by availing themselves of the Manitoulin Island ferry service were much

discombobulated in late August when service between Tobermory and South Bay Mouth was suspended

as a result of an accident involving the new ferry CHI-CHEEMAUN. It seems that the "Big Canoe"

was approaching the Tobermory dock on the evening of August 29th when a gust of wind propelled

her into the slip rather faster than her skipper might have wished. Rather severe damage was

done to the hinged bow of the boat and she was taken out of service and sent around to

Collingwood Shipyards for repairs. But with both NORGOMA and NORISLE sold, there is no stand-by

boat for the popular run and, with the Labour Day holiday weekend approaching, officials of the

Owen Sound Transportation Company were understandably worried over the prospect of thousands of

irate motorists stuck without ferry service. Temporary repairs were rushed at Collingwood and,

CHI-CHEEMAUN's bow gate still inoperative, the vessel was pressed back into service on

September 3rd, it being necessary for vehicles to be loaded and unloaded over the stern. It

seems likely that the ship will finish out the season as is and that complete repairs will not

be undertaken until the winter months.

IMPERIAL LONDON, lengthened but without her new bow and stern, and showing off the old Imperial Oil colours, is inbound at Toronto's Eastern Gap during September 1964. Photo by the EditorLast issue we reported that it seemed probable that the

tanker IMPERIAL LONDON had been sold for scrapping. Unknown to us at that time was the fact

that the idle steamer had already been sold to Marine Salvage Ltd. On August 9th she was towed

into Port Colborne and down through Lock 8, the tow being handled by the tugs DOVER and

PRINCESS NO. 1. The vessel was laid to rest in Ramey's Bend alongside CHARLES DICK and the last

remains of the disappearing HENNEPIN. IMPERIAL LONDON has been thoroughly sealed up, allegedly

as protection against the action of vandals that have recently been causing

considerable grief for Marine Salvage. We understand that this step has been taken in view of

the company's hope of selling the ship for further operation. Those who might want to go to

Humberstone to photograph IMPERIAL LONDON might as well forget it! She is so hidden by the

piles of steel from HENNEPIN as to be practically invisible to the camera.

Readers will recall our previous comments about repairs

done to the bow of ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR at Toronto during early August. At the time of our

earlier report, we had no information about how the damage had been done. We now learn that the

ship had an argument with a lock wall in the St. Lawrence Seaway below Eisenhower Lock while

upbound with ore for Lorain. She unloaded at the latter port and sailed light ship for Toronto

where repairs were put in hand.

The Bultema Dock and Dredge Company of Muskegon has

purchased a 120-foot tug for lake service. The vessel is EDMOND MORAN, obtained from the Moran

Towing Company and formerly used on the American east coast. The tug has been renamed BARBARA

ANDRIE. She is much larger than any of the other Bultema tugs and we are wondering what she

will do for a living in fresh water.

While on the subject of tugs, we should make mention of the

former Canadian Dredge and Dock Company tug HELEN S. which lay idle for many years in the

Kingston boneyard. The tug, partially stripped of her superstructure, had been taken to

Belleville where she lay in a rather sorry state for about two years. Her owner, William

Grimshaw, had plans to convert the hull into a sailing vessel and work progressed slowly with

volunteer help. Moved during 1975 to the south shore of Green Point on Prince Edward County's

Long Reach, the conversion job is now almost complete and HELEN S. has taken shape as a

four-masted sailing ship complete with bowsprit. She was scheduled to sail for Port Credit

during September for the application of the final touches and Grimshaw hopes to have HELEN S.

in commercial service by next summer.

We recently reported on accident damage sustained during

the early summer by the American Steamship Company's self-unloaders SAM LAUD and H. LEE WHITE.

We can now confirm that the LAUD grounding took place at Buffalo on July 4th and caused severe

bottom damage which was subsequently repaired at Lorain. The incident wherein the WHITE rammed

the dock at the Algoma Steel plant in the Canadian Sault occurred not on July 10 but rather

also on the 4th. It looks as if the Glorious Fourth was not so glorious for Bo-Co and rather

more Bi-Accidental than Bi-Centennial ...

By the time this appears in print, we doubt that any of our

readers could possibly have missed hearing the song entitled "The Wreck of the EDMUND

FITZGERALD" which recently has been burning up the pop charts. Written and recorded by

well-known Canadian performer Gordon Lightfoot, the ballad presents an interesting, if not

entirely realistic, account of the circumstances of last fall's tragic accident and has

produced quite a stir in local music circles, possibly since songs written about Great Lakes

freighters are few and far between. The record is available as a single or as a cut on

Lightfoot's "Summertime Dream" album. Well worth a listen ...

The forward section of the new BoCo 1000-foot self-unloader

BELLE RIVER was launched September 9 at the Sturgeon Bay yard of Bay Shipbuilding. The vessel

is the first 1000-footer to be built by Bay and is the yard's Hull 716. She should be delivered

to BoCo during 1977.

By the time you read this, the new Upper Lakes Shipping

self-unloader now under construction at Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. will have been officially

christened CANADIAN OLYMPIC. Christening ceremonies for the stemwinder are due to be held at

the shipyard on Saturday, October 2nd.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company has now

doubled its fleet size by placing in service the giant (it may be a blah word but we can't

think of a better one...) steam-powered sternwheeler MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, recently completed by

Jeffboat Inc., Jeffersonville, Indiana. The massive cruise vessel, by far the largest such

craft ever to be seen on the waters of the Ohio or Mississippi or any of their tributaries,

made her trials during July and on July 20th cleared Louisville's Cox Park Landing with a

goodly load of dignitaries and assorted invited guests for a two-day shakedown cruise downriver

to the scenic Ox Bow Bends. The first scheduled way stop made by the new boat (this would be a

good candidate for the stickler in a trivia quiz years from now) was at Brandenburg, Kentucky,

on July 21st. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN seems to have made a good splash in the press and amongst many

travellers (despite the fares charged) but the comments we have heard from riverboat purists

lead us to believe that they are having a hard time convincing themselves that this $21.5

million gargantuan hotel-on-a-barge belongs on the river. As for Ye Ed, having seen MISSISSIPPI

QUEEN just before her completion, we believe that we'll be satisfied with DELTA QUEEN for quite

a while yet to come. We aren't yet ready to be pampered with saunas, pools, movie theatres and

the like while we're steamboatin' on the river.

Speaking of DELTA QUEEN, we are pleased to report that the

U.S. House of Representatives voted early in July to approve a further five-year extension of

the boat's exemption from the safety-at-sea legislation, thus ensuring a continued period of

operation for the venerable steamer. The vote was all but unanimous and it seems unlikely that

the Senate will reverse the decision of Congress. Three cheers for a grand old lady!

The Columbia Transportation self-unloading steamer SYLVANIA

seems to have come upon hard times this summer. On August 20th, the ship was lying in the Black

River at Lorain, having been towed to that port for repairs which were to be completed by the

American Shipbuilding Company. That morning, a fire broke out in her cargo hold and the local

fire department had to be called to the scene. The fire was extinguished but we understand that

there was damage occasioned to the vessel. It is to be hoped that SYLVANIA will be repaired and

put back into the coal trade, but bearing in mind the age of the steamer (she dates from 1905),

it is entirely possible that if the damage is anything but very minor, Columbia might decide to

junk the old girl. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

The former Goderich Elevator and Transit Company barge C.

S. BAND is now reposing at the McNamara Marine yard at Whitby, Ontario. Until recently, the

BAND, which now is owned by McNamara, was being used in connection with the construction of the

Ontario Hydro nuclear generating plant at Douglas Point on Lake Huron. She was towed into Port

Colborne on September 21st by McNamara's tug SOULANGES and was taken down the canal the same

day by G. W. ROGERS and PRINCESS NO. 2. She spent the next day at the old Empire Hanna coal

dock in Port Weller harbour and then made the trip across Lake Ontario to her current resting

place. It is not known what plans McNamara may now have for the veteran barge. The C.S. BAND

last operated in the mid-fifties as OWENDOC for N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd. and prior to her

acquisition by McNamara she had served as a grain storage hull at Goderich.

Ships of the Great Lakes on Postcards

The above is the title of a volume recently published by

one of our newer members, Bob Welnetz of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It is an 80-page softcover in

which are reproduced a number of postcards illustrating Great Lakes vessels and harbour scenes,

some of them familiar issues and some not so familiar. Each is dated (where possible) and is

identified by its original caption from the back of the card. Postcard captions are

never noted for their accuracy in describing the subject and these are no exception, so the

author has added notes of his own. The cover is a montage of interesting lake boat cards

although, strangely enough, right in the middle of the front cover appears the famous Hudson

River Day Line triple-stacked, beam-engined sidewheeler ROBERT FULTON!

Ships of the Great Lakes on Postcards is the first in a

planned series of similar volumes. It is available at a cost of $3.50 (postage and handling

included) from Welnetz Studio, 3501 Custer Street, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220, U. S. A.

The Interprovincial Steamship Company

Several issues back, we carried in these pages a history of

the Interpro-vincial Steamship Company together with a profile of each of the ships which the

company operated during the years it served lake ports. We have now received further

information on these ships from Jim Kidd who has been continuing his investigation of some of

the question marks in the ships' histories. Much of the material has come from Mr. Len Grey of

the World Ship Society. Here follow various corrections and comments:

DELIA, (C.145292). Originally built for Dampschiffahrts

Gesellschaft Neptun, Bremen. Sold 1921 to Anglo-Portuguese Steamship Company Ltd. (M. Isaacs

and Sons Ltd., managers), London, who owned her until sold 1927 to Frank K. Warren. She was

then registered at Newcastle and was not registered at Halifax until 1929. Mr Grey has the

interesting opinion that DELIA was surrendered as a prize at the end of World War I, although

confirmation cannot be supplied. This could possibly explain the transfer from

German to British ownership.

ULVA, (C.135321). Was sold 1920 to the Anglo-Polish

Steamship Line Ltd., Leopold Walford (London) Ltd., managers, and was renamed POZNAN. Sold 1922

to the Scandinavian Shipping Company Ltd., Glen and Company, managers, Glasgow, and renamed

ULVA. This latter firm operated her until she was sold to Warren.

Incidentally, Mr. Grey confirms that DELIA did appear in

Lloyds Register so we stand corrected re a comment that we had made to the contrary. In

addition, member George Ayoub has found that DELIA was in Lloyds between 1908 and 1922.

The Shipping Interests of Charles O. Jenkins

One of the more interesting fleets to operate on the Great

Lakes during the first four decades of the twentieth century was that of the Jenkins Steamship

Company, Cleveland, and its affiliates. Very little has ever been written about Charles O.

Jenkins or his vessel operations and for a number of years we have been hoping to put this

story in print. For their assistance in researching the material and putting it together into a

cohesive account of the Jenkins operations, we wish to thank John O. Greenwood and James M.


Charles Orlando Jenkins, after whom the Jenkins Steamship

Company was named, became an Admiralty Lawyer in 1898 after graduating with degrees from both

Yale and Harvard. He married into the family of the late Captain William S. Mack, a prominent

Cleveland shipowner. Capt Mack originally hailed from the Kingston, Ontario, area and he had

first become a vessel owner in 1886 when he purchased the wooden freighter DAVID BALLENTINE. In

the following year, Mack acquired the steamer CHARLES J. KERSHAW, also a wooden vessel.

The Mack operations broadened in 1890 when the Captain

joined forces with William H. Becker and William D. Becker of Cleveland and with C. C. Hale,

John A. Donaldson and James Ash of Buffalo. Capt Mack continued as managing director of the

expanded operation until his death on September 14, 1896, after which he was succeeded by his

son, William Henry Mack. However, by the very early 1900's, the Mack and Becker interests

parted company and it was at this time that Charles O. Jenkins became involved in the shipping

business in his efforts to handle the affairs of the Mack Estate.

On July 10, 1911 WILLIAM HENRY MACK rammed and sank JOHN MITCHELL on Lake Superior. This Young photo shows her downbound at the Soo Locks for repairs not long after the accident.In 1902 the Mack Steamship Company, owned by the Mack

Estate but managed by Charles O. Jenkins, ordered a steel bulk carrier from the American

Shipbuilding Company's Cleveland yard and later in the year the company contracted for another

steel steamer to be built by the Jenks Shipbuilding Company of Port Huron. The two boats were

delivered in 1903 and were christened WILLIAM HENRY MACK and F. B. SQUIRE, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Jenkins Steamship Company had been

incorporated at Cleveland in 1902, with the Mack Estate being one of the principal shareholders

of the new concern. The company did not own any ships of its own for the first few years, but

instead busied itself with the operation of the Mack vessels. By 1905, however, Jenkins had

become financially established and began to contact shipyards in search of a good deal on the

building of a ship for his own account. A contract was let to the Detroit Shipbuilding Company

and from their yard at Wyandotte on May 19, 1906 was launched SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY which had

been built to the order of the National Steamship Company, a subsidiary which Jenkins had

incorporated at Cleveland on January 18, 1906 with a capital of $165,000. In addition to

Jenkins, the original directors of the company were W. R. Gilbert, C. E. Sullivan, S. S. Pelow

and C. F. Wallace. He then arranged for the outright purchase of WILLIAM HENRY MACK and F. B. SQUIRE from the Mack Estate, both ships becoming the property of the Jenkins

Steamship Company. In addition, he managed the 1905-built JAMES P. WALSH for the Ohio Steamship

Company, of which he was President until 1910.

By April 1911, the fleet of the Jenkins Steamship Company

consisted of four vessels. Included were the MACK and the SQUIRE, together with the

SHAUGHNESSY, which had been transferred from the National Steamship Company, and the CHARLES

O. JENKINS which had been built at Wyandotte by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company in 1907.

Jenkins possessed the drive and determination necessary to

make his shipping concerns successful but he also had a fiery disposition, as is evidenced by

the reports of the annual meetings and board meetings of the Jenkins Steamship Company. Jenkins

was operating with limited financial resources and he was therefore unable to control his

stockholders. At a meeting held on January 31, 1911 he resigned as president of the firm. A. T.

Kinney took over the presidency and that year was general manager as well, although Jenkins

held on as vice-president. At the meeting held in January 1912, Jenkins was ousted completely,

Col. J. J. Sullivan of the Central National Bank and the Pioneer Steamship Company being

elected president and James C. Wallace vice-president. In April 1912, Jenkins had himself

appointed as manager of the company but two years later he resigned from that position.

Thereupon, James P. Walsh was elected president of the Jenkins Steamship Company and Hutchinson

and Company were appointed managers of the fleet, this situation lasting until January 1916, at

which time Jenkins was re-appointed to the position of manager. He immediately arranged a deal

with M. A. Hanna and Company for the ore contracts necessary to keep the fleet's boats busy for

the 1916 season. From 1916 through 1932, Jenkins was his own boss and was able to maintain

control over the operation.

The date is 1927 and the camera of A. E. Young has caught WM. F. FITCH pushing her way through Spring ice above the Soo locks.By 1923, the Jenkins fleet was operating the JENKINS,

SHAUGHNESSY and SQUIRE and in addition had the steamer WM. F. FITCH and barge ALEXANDER

MAITLAND which had been purchased from the Pioneer Steamship Company in October 1923. As well,

Jenkins managed the steamer G. J. GRAMMER which had been bought by Nisbet Grammer from the

Pioneer Steamship Company, Jenkins acting as middleman in the sale. WILLIAM HENRY MACK was no

longer in the fleet as she had been sold in 1914 to a Canadian concern, Lake Commerce Ltd., who

had renamed her VALCARTIER.

The Jenkins association with Nisbet Grammer provides an

interesting sideline to the story of the Jenkins Steamship Company. Grammer had formed and was

president of the Eastern Steamship Company Inc. In 1923 he also formed the Eastern Steamship

Company Ltd. which contracted for eleven canallers to be built in the United Kingdom for

operation under Canadian registry. A few years later, Eastern was to order ten more such

vessels. The export of grain via the port of Montreal had become a booming business, despite

the restrictions on the length of vessels trading to the river port which were imposed by the

size of the locks in the old St. Lawrence and Welland Canals. Perhaps it was from Grammer's

actions that Jenkins got the idea of going into the canal trade himself.

Charles O. Jenkins in September 1925 organized and became

president of the Fairport Warehouse and Elevator Company to provide an elevator for the

transshipment of grain from his upper lakes vessels to canallers which would take it to

Montreal for eventual transfer to the European market. The only problem was that there were no

canallers available for sale or charter at the time. Accordingly, in 1929 Jenkins took delivery

of five steam canallers which had been built on speculation by (or for) Swan Hunter and Wigham

Richardson Ltd. in the U.K. Two, FAIRLAKE and FAIRRIVER, were placed under the ownership of the

Fairport Shipping Company Ltd., while LOCKWELL, PORTWELL and STARWELL were registered to

Welland Steamships Ltd. The head office for these two companies was Welland, Ontario. Jenkins

headed each firm as president and serving with him as directors were H. R. Sullivan

and Elizabeth Jenkins.

Meanwhile the Jenkins Steamship Company had added to its

fleet the steel bulk carrier JAMES WATT which dated back to 1896 when she had been built for

the Bessemer Steamship Company and which had been purchased by Jenkins from the Pittsburgh

Steamship Company on October 31, 1928. The only recent deletion was the barge ALEXANDER

MAITLAND which had been abandoned to the underwriters as a total loss as a result of the severe

damage which she had suffered in 1924 when the Port Huron grain elevator had burned down while

the MAITLAND was moored alongside. The barge was later sold Canadian and served for many years

under the name GLENBOGIE.

The drive and determination of Charles Jenkins came to a

grinding halt as the effects of the Great Depression spread over North America. Jenkins was a

small, independent operator who depended upon the larger companies for contracts for the

carriage of their iron ore. With the depression, this business virtually died out, as any

contracts which the larger firms could get were used to keep their own vessels in operation and

there were few cargoes left over for the likes of Jenkins to carry. Things were going no better

for the Canadian canallers and in 1931 the builders and mortgage holders, Swan Hunter and

Wigham Richardson Ltd., took back possession of the five vessels and transferred their

registrations from Newcastle, England, to Montreal. They were laid up at anchor in the St.

Lawrence River near the Montreal shipyard of Canadian Vickers Ltd. until in 1932 they were sold

to Capt. Robert Scott Misener who formed Huron Steamships Ltd. to operate them.

As far as the Jenkins upper lakers were concerned, they

were having to depend upon the grain trade to keep them busy now that they were virtually

frozen out of any of the ore contracts which otherwise would have been forthcoming from firms

such as Hanna and Hutchinson. The grain business that Jenkins did secure necessitated operation

of the boats until very late in the season if any profit was to be made. Three of the ships

operated into January of 1932, such operation being without the benefit of insurance coverage.

The steamers all sustained considerable ice damage to their hulls and in the autumn of 1932 the

United States Coast Guard surveyors caught up with them and ordered essential (and extensive)

hull repairs.

Jenkins obtained shipyard quotes for these repairs but when

he approached various banks for assistance in paying for them, not only did they say no but

they also decided that the time had come when they no longer could finance Jenkins' vessel

operations as they had been doing for some time. The Central United National Bank of Cleveland

filed an Equity Case (bankruptcy) on January 4, 1933 against the Jenkins Steamship Company,

claiming the sum of $140,000. Mortgage foreclosure on the ships was effected and H. R. Sullivan

was appointed Receiver on March 25, 1933.

Carmi A. Thompson of the Midland Steamship Company Inc. was

a director of the bank and he became involved in an effort to help both Jenkins and the bank,

although one might wonder about his motives in so doing. In addition to holding office with

both the bank and with Midland, Thompson was involved in the liquidation of the Becker

Steamship Company and, strangely enough, Becker's boats ended up in the Midland Steamship

Company's fleet! Going back for a minute, let us remember that H. R. Sullivan had been an

associate of Jenkins for many years. He had served as Jenkins' treasurer from 1913 until

shortly before the forced end of operations and was also an officer of the two Canadian

affiliates. Then, when Jenkins was put out of business by the bank, Sullivan had been duly

appointed as Receiver.

Thus the stage was set for Carmi Thompson to arrange with

Sullivan for the charter of CHARLES O. JENKINS during the seasons of 1933 and 1934. Thompson

was also granted an option to purchase and in 1935 he exercised this option,

buying the JENKINS for his Tower Steamship Company. She was in 1938 transferred to the Midland

Steamship Company Inc. and served this fleet until 1961 as JOHN W. DAVIN and MICHAEL GALLAGHER


The depressed economic conditions of the period hampered

the disposal of the rest of the units of the Jenkins fleet. Early in 1935, however, it must

have been decided by the bank that the boats had to be sold regardless of the amount of the

proceeds. A concentrated effort was made and eventually all of the vessels were sold. Each sale

had its own interesting story.

The first steamer to go in the depressed market was WM. F.

FITCH. It so happened that the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company had a contract to

transport new automobiles, this in addition to their thriving passenger services, and the firm

had made its requirements known to Mr. P. J. Gunn, a Buffalo ship chandler. Gunn arranged with

Sullivan, the Jenkins receiver, to hold a public auction for the FITCH at Milwaukee where she

had been lying. Gunn purchased the ship on April 3, 1935 for the princely sum of $14,500. D

& C formed a separate corporation to handle its freight business and it was accordingly to

the Detroit and Cleveland Steamship Company that WM. F. FITCH was eventually transferred. She

was extensively rebuilt and reconditioned for her new role as an automobile carrier.

The Great Lakes Towing Company had an outstanding unpaid

bill for towing against the Jenkins Steamship Company and the steamer F. B. SQUIRE. The tug

firm took legal action to collect and was successful in Admiralty Proceedings against both the

ship and Sullivan, the receiver, with judgment being given in the amount of $30,000. Great

Lakes Towing certainly did not need a 512-foot bulk carrier, but it did need the money it was

owed and the company arranged with the court to have the SQUIRE sold at public auction by the

U.S. Marshal at Cleveland on June 4, 1935 for an amount in excess of $30,000 to satisfy its

claim and legal costs. Two bids were filed for F. B. SQUIRE; Thomas Reid of Port Huron entered

a bid of $33,000 in the name of Sin-Mac Lines Ltd. of Montreal, while John T. Hutchinson,

acting on behalf of the Buckeye Steamship Company, bid $35,000. Hutchinson was the successful

bidder and by August 7th the SQUIRE was in service for Buckeye under the name HARRY WM.


The unsuccessful bidder for the SQUIRE, Thomas Reid, then

put in a bid of $50,000 for SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY. In bidding on the two steamers, he had been

acting for Robert Campbell of Montreal who was president of International Waterways Navigation

Company Ltd. as well as of Sin-Mac Lines Ltd. Receiver Sullivan accepted Reid's offer for the

SHAUGHNESSY and on application to the United States Shipping Board permission was given for the

sale to International Waterways. The sale was consummated on October 23rd, 1935.

JAMES WATT had been idle at Chicago since 1932 and was the

last of the Jenkins upper lakers to be sold. It was 1936 before a sale was arranged, the ship

being acquired by Carriers Transport Corp., Cleveland, for the sum of $35,000. It is believed

that she did not operate for these buyers and, to satisfy certain claims against the ship, she

was resold on March 3, 1937 at a U.S. Marshal's sale held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The

buyer was William Nicholson who had the WATT registered to his Erie Steamship Company.

And thus was dispersed the fleet that Charles Jenkins had

worked so hard to create. With the dissolution of his vessel interests in the bankruptcy

proceedings, there disappeared from the lake scene one of the most enthusiastic entrepreneurs

of the early years of this century. It is not known whether Jenkins ever again became involved

in the shipping industry subsequent to the bankruptcy, but if he did it was not in a capacity

of sufficient importance that his name would become known. Charles Orlando Jenkins passed away

at Cleveland during September 1953, two decades after seeing his ships sold out from beneath


There follows a listing of the various ships

operated by Jenkins over his thirty years on the shipping scene:

The Jenkins Steamship Company. Cleveland. Ohio.

WM. F. FITCH, (U.S.81807). Steel bulk carrier built 1902 at

Wyandotte by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company, Hull 147, launched April 12, 1902. 346.0 x 48.0

x 28.0, Gross 3629, Net 2632. Originally built for the Franklin Transportation Company (D. R.

Hanna, Pres.), and operated by the M. A. Hanna Company. Sold June 19, 1923 to the Pioneer

Steamship Company, Hutchinson and Company, managers. Sold October 15, 1923 to the Jenkins

Steamship Company. Inactive at Milwaukee 1932-35. Sold at public auction at Milwaukee on April

3, 1935 for $14,500 to the Detroit and Cleveland Steamship Company which had been formed

January 5, 1935. Converted to an auto carrier and operated by D & C until requisitioned

1942 by the U.S. Maritime Commission and towed to New Orleans via the Mississippi River.

Converted at New Orleans to a floating machine shop for the U.S. Army by Bo-land Machine and

Manufacturing Company. Revised Gross 3982. Later transferred to the U.S. Navy as a repair depot

ship for service in the Pacific. In this 1942-43 rebuild her pilothouse was moved from the

forecastle to a position aft of No. 2 hatch. Ownership returned to D & C 1946 along with

$2,142,000 paid by the War Shipping Administration for the loss of use of WM. F. FITCH and

GREATER BUFFALO. The FITCH did not return to the lakes and remained laid up on the west coast.

In 1949 D & C decided it had no further use for the ship and she was scrapped on the coast

between 1949 and 1951.

CHARLES O. JENKINS (43), (b) JOHN W. DAVIN (56), (c)

MICHAEL GALLAGHER (II), (U.S.204306). Steel bulk carrier built 1907 at Wyandotte by the Detroit

Shipbuilding Company, Hull 170, launched June 27, 1907. 504.0 x 54.2 x 31.0, Gross 6285, Net

4827. Built for the Jenkins Steamship Company. Idle 1932. Operated 1933-34 under charter to

Carmi A. Thompson's Tower Steamship Company, Cleveland, and purchased by this firm 1935.

Transferred 1938 to the Midland Steamship Company Inc. Sold April 1961 to Coal Export Company,

New York, and resold to Terrestre Maritime S.A. for scrapping overseas. Towed across Atlantic

by tug ELBE in tandem with DENMARK and arrived at La Spezia, Italy, on August 6, 1961.


C.116573). Steel bulk carrier built 1903 at Cleveland by the American Shipbuilding Company,

Hull 414, launched February 7, 1903. 354.0 x 48.0 x 28.0, Gross 3781, Net 2923. Built for the

Mack Steamship Company, Cleveland, and operated by the Jenkins Steamship Company. Sold to

Jenkins April 1906. Rammed and sank the steamer JOHN MITCHELL off Vermilion Point, Lake

Superior, July 10, 1911. Sold 1914 to Lake Commerce Ltd., Toronto, and given Canadian registry.

Remeasured as 361.0 x 48.2 x 24.0, Gross 3755, Net 2248. Collided May 13, 1915 with steamer A.

W. OSBORNE one half mile above Corsica Shoal, Lake Huron, while en route Fort William to Port

Colborne. Sustained damage of $35,000 to hull and $125,000 to grain cargo. Sold December 5,

1916 to the Sault Shipping Company Ltd., Soo, Ont. Sold 1920 to the Montreal Transportation

Company Ltd. and passed 1921 to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., Montreal. Sold 1937 to Frankel

Bros. and scrapped at Midland, Ontario.


C.152645). Steel barge built 1902 at Buffalo by the Buffalo Dry Dock Company, Hull 202,

launched July 10, 1902. 366.0 x 44.0 x 26.0, Gross 3351, Net 2998. Built for the Franklin

Transportation Company (D. R. Hanna, Pres.) and operated by the M. A. Hanna Company. Sold June

1923 to the Pioneer Steamship Company, Cleveland, Hutchinson and Company, managers. Sold

October 1923 to the Jenkins Steamship Company. Damaged by fire while moored alongside the Grand

Trunk Elevator at Port Huron which burned December 9, 1924. Abandoned to the

underwriters the next day. Purchased early 1925 by A.E.R. Schneider, Cleveland, and immediately

resold to James Playfair for his Great Lakes Transit Corp. Ltd. Reregistered Canadian, Gross

2819. Sold 1926 to Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. but in 1927 passed back to Playfair's Midland

Steamship Company Ltd. Transferred to Great Lakes Transit Corp. Ltd. 1928. Sold 1938 to Upper

Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Company Ltd., Toronto. This firm reorganized 1959 as

Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. After many years of inactivity at Toronto, sold November 21, 1966 to

United Metals Company, Hamilton, and towed to Hamilton by tug ARGUE MARTIN. Scrapping completed

at Strathearne Terminals by 1968.

SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY, (U.S.203170, C.158636). Steel bulk

carrier built 1906 at Wyandotte by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company, Hull 164, launched May 19,

1906. 480.0 x 52.2 x 30.2, Gross 6276, Net 4665. Built for the National Steamship Company (C.O.

Jenkins) and transferred April 1911 to the Jenkins Steamship Company. Rebuilt 1920 at

Cleveland, Gross 5507. Net 3996. Sold October 23, 1935 to International Waterways Navigation

Company Ltd., Montreal, and reregistered Canadian. Remeasured as 486.7 x 52.2 x 26.3, Gross

5846, Net 3994. Transferred 1936 to the Mohawk Navigation Company Ltd. Sold 1969 to Steel

Factors Ltd., Montreal, and resold to Spanish breakers. Passed down Seaway May 22, 1969 under

own power. Towed across Atlantic in tandem with ASHCROFT and arrived at Castellon, Spain,

August 9, 1969.

F. B. SQUIRE (35), (b) HARRY WM. HOSFORD, (U.S.200560).

Steel bulk carrier built 1903 at Port Huron by Jenks Shipbuilding Company, Hull 26, launched

October 17, 1903. 410.0 x 50.2 x 24.0, Gross 4582, Net 3694. Built for the Mack Estate,

Cleveland, and registered to the Mack Steamship Company (Jenkins Steamship Company, managers).

Sold April 1906 to Jenkins Steamship Company. Rebuilt 1921 at cost of $480,000 (original

building cost was $275,000). 512.9 x 50.2 x 24.0, Gross 5156, Net 3951. Sold June 4, 1935 to

the Buckeye Steamship Company, Hutchinson and Company, managers. Sold May 1961 to Luria Bros.

and resold to Eisen und Metall A.G., Hamburg, West Germany. Towed from Lorain to Cleveland and

loaded scrap cargo. Subsequently towed overseas and arrived at Hamburg on October 22, 1961, for


JAMES P. WALSH, (U.S.201811). Steel bulk carrier built 1905

at Toledo by the Craig Shipbuilding Company, Hull 103, launched May 16, 1905. 488.6 x 52.0 x

31.0, Gross 5630, Net 4772. Built for the Ohio Steamship Company, Cleveland (C.O. Jenkins,

Pres.). In January 1911 the other directors of the firm bought out Jenkins and turned

management over to Hutchinson and Company. Sold 1916 to the Pioneer Steamship Company,

Cleveland, Hutchinson and Company, managers. Rebuilt winter 1916-17 at Cleveland by Rud Machine

Company, Gross 5326, Net 3925. Sold April 1961 to Marfax Steel and Railway Equipment,

Milwaukee, and resold to Eisen und Metall A.G., Hamburg. Towed down Welland Canal May 24, 1961

in tow of MATTON and J. C. STEWART. Later towed from Quebec in tandem with PRICE McKINNEY and

arrived at Hamburg July 18, 1961 for scrapping.

JAMES WATT, (U.S.77236). Steel bulk carrier built 1896 at

Cleveland by the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company, Hull 26, launched September 23, 1896. 405.0 x

48.0 x 23.5, Gross 4090, Net 3105. Built for the Bessemer Steamship Company, Cleveland, and

acquired 1901 by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. Rebuilt 1925, Gross 3807, Net 3105. Sold to

the Jenkins Steamship Company October 1928. Sold 1936 to Carriers Transport Corp., Cleveland,

but apparently not operated by these owners. Sold March 3, 1937 to the Erie Steamship Company

(William Nicholson, Detroit) and transferred the same year to the Nicholson Transit Company.

Sold April 1961 to Acme Scrap Metal and Iron Company, Ashtabula, and resold to Spanish

breakers. Arrived at Gijon, Spain, September 25, 1961 for scrapping.

The Fairport Shipping Company Ltd., Welland, Ontario.

FAIRLAKE (44), (b) RALPH S. MISENER (I)(54), (c) C. A.

ANSELL, (C.161520). Steel canal bulk carrier built 1929 at Whiteinch, Scotland, by Barclay,

Curie and Company, Hull 633, under contract to Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 252.7 x

43.4 x 17.8, Gross 1940, Net 1160. Built on speculation and turned over 1929 to Fairport

Shipping Company Ltd., although still registered 1929-31 to Swan Hunter. Repossessed 1931 and

registry transferred Newcastle to Montreal. Sold 1932 to R. Scott Misener and registered to

Huron Steamships Ltd. Transferred 1938 to Sarnia Steamships Ltd., in 1951 to Colonial

Steamships Ltd. and in 1959 to Scott Misener Steamships Ltd. Sold 1959 to Marine Salvage Ltd.

and scrapped 1960 at Humberstone, Ontario.

FAIRRIVER (44), (b) FRANK WILKINSON, (C.161524). Steel

canal bulk carrier built 1929 at Whiteinch, Scotland, by Barclay, Curie and Company, Hull 635,

under contract to Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. 252.7 x 43.7 x 17.8, Gross 1940, Net

1160. Built on speculation and turned over 1929 to Fairport Shipping Company Ltd., although

still registered 1929-31 to Swan Hunter. Repossessed 1931 and registry transferred Newcastle to

Montreal. Sold 1932 to R. Scott Misener and registered to Huron Steamships Ltd. Transferred

1938 to Sarnia Steamships Ltd., in 1951 to Colonial Steamships Ltd. and in 1959 to Scott

Misener Steamships Ltd. Sold 1961 to Newman Steel Company, St. Catharines, and scrapped 1962 at

Port Dalhousie.

Welland Steamships Ltd., Welland, Ontario.

LOCKWELL (44), (b) J. N. McWATTERS (I)(60), (c) CARDINAL,

(C.161519). Steel canal bulk carrier built 1929 at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan Hunter and Wigham

Richardson Ltd., Hull 1393. 253.0 x 43.4 x 17.8, Gross 1928, Net 1148. Built on speculation and

turned over 1929 to Welland Steamships Ltd., although still registered 1929-31 to Swan Hunter.

Repossessed 1931 and registry transferred Newcastle to Montreal. Sold 1932 to R. Scott Misener

and registered to Huron Steamships Ltd. Transferred 1938 to Sarnia Steamships Ltd., in 1951 to

Colonial Steamships Ltd. and in 1959 to Scott Misener Steamships Ltd. Renamed 1960 to clear

name for new ship but never operated as CARDINAL. Sold 1961 to Crawford Metals Ltd.,

Belleville, and scrapped 1961 at Deseronto, Ontario.

PORTWELL (44), (b) LT. JOHN MISENER (54), (c) H. L. WYATT,

(C.161517). Steel canal bulk carrier built 1929 at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan Hunter and Wigham

Richardson Ltd., Hull 1391. 252.8 x 43.4 x 17.8, Gross 1928, Net 1148. Built on speculation and

turned over 1929 to Welland Steamships Ltd., although still registered 1929-31 to Swan Hunter.

Repossessed 1931 and registry transferred Newcastle to Montreal. Sold 1932 to R. Scott Misener

and registered to Huron Steamships Ltd. Transferred 1938 to Sarnia Steamships Ltd., in 1951 to

Colonial Steamships Ltd. and in 1959 to Scott Misener Steamships Ltd. Sold 1959 to Marine

Salvage Ltd. and scrapped 1960 at Humberstone, Ontario.

STARWELL (44), (b) JOHN A. FRANCE (I)(59), (c) AVONDALE (I),

(C.161518). Steel canal bulk carrier built 1929 at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan Hunter and Wigham

Richardson Ltd., Hull 1387. 252.8 x 43.4 x 17.9. Gross 1938, Net 1158. Built on speculation and

turned over 1929 to Welland Steamships Ltd., although still registered 1929-31 to Swan Hunter.

Repossessed 1931 and registry transferred Newcastle to Montreal. Sold 1932 to R. Scott Misener

and registered to Huron Steamships Ltd. Transferred 1938 to Sarnia Steamships Ltd., in 1951 to

Colonial Steamships Ltd. and in 1959 to Scott Misener Steamships Ltd. Sold 1959 to Reoch

Transports Ltd., Montreal. Sold 1962 to International Metals Company, Hamilton, who scrapped

her at Hamilton 1962 for the Steel Company of Canada Ltd.

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Scanner, v. 9, n. 1 (October 1976)

Meetings; The Editor's Notebook; Marine News; Ships of the Great Lakes on Postcards; The Interprovincial Steamship Company; The Shipping Interests of Charles O. Jenkins