Friday, January 7th - 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. Theme Slide Night. The subject will be ferries and members are invited to bring up to 20 slides each to illustrate ferries they have observed.
Friday, February 4th - 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. Bruce Smith, our President, will give an illustrated talk about his travels on the Erie Canal and the Rhine River.
The Editor's Notebook
Our November meeting was a film night and was very well received by all present. Our Program Chairman, Gordon Turner, managed to dig up three very interesting documentary films on containerization and various ports and also managed to get his hands on a portion of the film "A Night To Remember", the movie about the sinking of TITANIC. Gordon's efforts were much appreciated.
By the way, Gordon is always looking for suggestions for programs so that he may plan his schedule well in advance. He would appreciate hearing any suggestions and particularly would like to hear from anyone who might care to address one of our meetings.
The Holiday Season will soon be upon us, and as we will not have another chance to speak to you through these pages between now and the end of the year, we would like to take this opportunity to wish to each of you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all happiness in the New Year.
In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Capt. Harold Barklem, one of the skippers of the Toronto Island ferries. We now have the honour of having four of the island ferry captains as members of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.
BAY TRANSPORT is seen at the Port Weller pierheads in this October 25, 1969 phohto by J. H. BascomThe Hall Corporation canal motortanker BAY TRANSPORT, which recently has lain idle at Hamilton, was towed into Toronto Harbour late on the evening of November 4th by the McKeil tug STORMONT (recently acquired from the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority). BAY TRANSPORT was moored on the east wall of Toronto's turning basin and crews from Ship Repair and Supply Ltd. immediately went to work on her, stripping off her upperworks aft and removing her machinery. At present it is unclear whether her hull will be scrapped or converted into a barge. The engines, two 12-cylinder General Motors diesels built in 1944, were installed in the vessel in 1950 when St. Lawrence Dry Docks Ltd., Montreal, converted her from the barge canal bulk carrier ALDEN BARNES FIERTZ to the lake and canal tanker COASTAL CARRIER for Canadian Coastwise Carriers Ltd., Montreal. COASTAL CARRIER was sold to Halco in 1968 and at that time was renamed BAY TRANSPORT. The machinery removed from BAY TRANSPORT will be installed in the tug W. J. IVAN PURVIS which is owned by J. W. Purvis Marine of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The tug, originally the Abitibi Paper Company's MAGPIE and later DANA T. BOWEN for the Hindman Transportation Company Ltd., has long had a reputation for being grossly underpowered and the addition of BAY TRANSPORT'S 1200 h.p. diesels should make her far more suitable for lake towing.
The little Dutch jumboship GABRIELLA, which went through such a rough time in the North Atlantic off Cape Race on October 19th, at which time thirteen of her crew of fifteen were lost, finally arrived at Toronto on November 12 to take on her load (her third of the year) of railway locomotives destined for Algiers. GABRIELLA looked none the worse for her tragic misadventure and remained in port for six days.
We have a report that the National Steel Corporation's 1000-foot self-unloader under construction by the American Shipbuilding Company will be named GEORGE A. STINSON. The keel of the midbody section of the ship was laid at AmShip's Toledo yard on October 2nd as Hull 907. She will be completed at the Lorain shipyard following immediately behind Hull 906 which is a 1000-foot self-unloader for the Interlake Steamship Company, a sistership to JAMES R. BARKER.
The Reoch self-unloader ERINDALE, which during October was laid up at Hamilton for engine repairs, has now been reactivated for the remainder of the season. The engine work was completed in less time than was originally expected and, in addition, the quality of the steamer's accommodations has been considerably upgraded.
Last month we reported that the former St. Lawrence River ferry LAVIOLETTE arrived at Port Weller on September 29 for drydocking. She was given the necessary survey and inspection and on October 9th was towed up the St. Clair River to her new home at Sarnia behind the Hamilton tug LAC MANITOBA. At Sarnia, the finishing touches will be put to the job of converting the old steamer for use in the excursion trade. We have heard that the vessel's new owner, Capt. Al. Avery of Mooretown (a town on the Canadian side of the St. Clair River below Sarnia), intends to rename her BLUEWATER BELLE. We sincerely wish the steamer the best of luck in her new trade; any boat that has wandered so far from the lakes, hit the skids on the American east coast and then gone through a two-year journey back to fresh water in agonizingly slow steps, deserves some good fortune.
The Columbia Transportation Division steamer SYLVANIA went back into service this autumn, apparently none the worse for the fire damage which she suffered in her cargo hold while laid up at Lorain this summer awaiting a repair berth at the AmShip yard. What damage there was has since been repaired and the vessel is reportedly in very good condition for a ship of her advanced years (she is now 71). Her owners expect to be able to operate the self-unloader for at least four more years, barring any unforeseen problems. SYLVANIA normally operates on the Toledo - Detroit coal run.
The tanker TEXACO WARRIOR, making a rather rare visit to the lakes (she normally stays on the St. Lawrence River), was involved in a somewhat messy accident at Port Huron on October 20th. The WARRIOR had been docked at the Imperial Oil wharf in Sarnia and was intending to shift downstream to the Sun Oil dock. This move entailed heading the ship upstream and turning her on a port wheel to proceed downriver. The tanker apparently got caught in the river current and swung all the way across the river, striking the Grand Trunk carferry dock in Port Huron. TEXACO WARRIOR did some damage to her port bow but the dock was the main victim as it sustained damage amounting to about $200,000 and was expected to be out of service for approximately six weeks. The accident sounds remarkably similar to the 1967 mixup wherein RENVOYLE attempted to clear the C.N.R. dock in the Huron Cut, turn on a port wheel and head downstream. She didn't, but instead swung right across the channel, ramming and sinking SYLVANIA which was moored at the Peerless Cement dock. It was as a result of that accident that the Coast Guard instituted the requirement that ships not turn in the Huron Cut but rather head out into Lake Huron to turn. Perhaps that regulation should be extended to cover ships moored at any of the docks along the shore of the "Chemical Valley". Quite frankly, we cannot understand how this latest accident could have happened. While the river is very narrow at the Huron Cut, it is extremely wide where TEXACO WARRIOR came to grief and we are led to wonder whether a certain amount of inattention on the bridge might have contributed to the mishap.
The scrappers at Thunder Bay have gradually nibbled away at the old steamer RUTH HINDMAN to the point where, we understand, only a few feet of her hull above the waterline remain intact. Granted, we would have liked to have been able to take a photo of her during scrapping and we wouldn't have passed up a chance to secure some artifact from her for the collection, but we just could not have watched such a grand old lady slowly disappearing under the torch. We're glad that we were not there to watch.
Meanwhile, also at Thunder Bay, the wreckers have begun the attack upon NATIONAL TRADER, thus turning into so much wishful thinking our personal prediction that the steamer would not likely be scrapped but rather would be sold for further operation. Would that it were so, for NATIONAL TRADER was far too good to be scrapped and, unlike RUTH HINDMAN which had reached the end of her tether, should have had many more good years left in her. It is reported that her forward cabins have already been removed.
Nipigon Transport Ltd., Montreal, which operates LAKE WINNIPEG and LAKE MANITOBA, has purchased another vessel for its fleet. The latest acquisition is the British motorvessel TEMPLE BAR which is due to make her first voyage into the lakes next summer. Over the winter months, TEMPLE BAR will be converted at Singapore for her entry into lake service. We have yet to hear the details of her conversion, but we imagine that she will retain the appearance of a "salty" in order to enable her to operate on salt water during the winter months. TEMPLE BAR, which ventured up the Seaway last year, will be renamed LAKE NIPIGON by her new owners.
Ever since the beginning of the current spate of vessel lengthenings, observers have been speculating on which vessels will receive the stretching treatment. Almost always excluded from such speculation have been the ships of the Ford Motor Company since it has generally been considered that a stretched laker could never make it up the River Rouge to Ford's Detroit plant. But now that theory has gone up in smoke, for recently the Cleveland-Cliffs steamer EDWARD B. GREENE, a healthy 767 feet in length overall, safely made the trip up the River Rouge to the Ford plant with a cargo of iron ore. Accordingly, we have it on the best of authority that we should watch for the early lengthening of WILLIAM CLAY FORD, JOHN DYKSTRA and ERNEST R. BREECH. These steamers are amongst the busiest on the lakes and seldom unload anywhere but at the Rouge, so it is understandable that FORD would take advantage of the opportunity to increase their carrying capacity per trip.
We normally do not report personal items in these pages hut we do make the odd exception. One is due in this case as we report the death of Capt. George E. Matheson of Marathon, Ontario. Capt Matheson died in early October on board his ship, the canal-sized motorvessel D. C. EVEREST. What is remarkable about this is that Capt Matheson had commanded the EVEREST ever since she was built in 1952. She has always been a pretty ship, this being due principally to the fact that she is always kept in immaculate condition, a great credit to her late master.
In our last issue we mentioned the purchase by the Erie Sand Steamship Company of the self-unloading cement carrier ATLAS TRAVELER for the Lake Ontario cement trade. She arrived at Charlotte (Rochester) in early November and the work to ready her for her new role was put in hand, this work consisting mainly of adapting her to suit shoreside facilities at Picton and Charlotte. ATLAS TRAVELER attempted to leave port on November 19 for her first cross-lake run but had to turn back with engine difficulties and was still at her berth as of November 22nd. When she arrived from the coast, ATLAS TRAVELER had a black hull and white cabins, while her funnel was white with a very narrow black band and the United States Steel Corporation's insignia. We have not as yet seen the ship for ourselves, but we understand that she looks somewhat like the Shell tanker ARCTIC TRADER.
Meanwhile, ATLAS TRAVELER's predecessor on the Picton - Charlotte run, the little motorship PEERLESS, has been sold to Venezuelan operators. As of November 22, she was all fitted out for her delivery voyage and was expected to leave Charlotte imminently. Although she was flying a new flag, there was no observable change in name or port of registry.
As diving becomes more and more popular, the long-lost wrecks of the Great Lakes are one by one being located. Seems that late in September, four divers from Wisconsin were searching the floor of Lake Huron for the Norwegian steamer VIATOR which had been lost in 1935 by collision. Instead, they found a wreck that had been there twenty-two years longer and whose whereabouts had been a mystery for more than six decades. The wreck they located was that of the 504-foot steamer ISAAC M. SCOTT which was built in 1909 at Lorain for the Virginia Steamship Company (the M. A. Hanna Company, managers) and lost on Lake Huron in the Great Storm of November 1913. The SCOTT is lying upside down in about 175 feet of water, some seven miles off Thunder Bay Island. The divers were unable to examine the hull closely enough to determine the reason for the sinking of the steamer but they will be returning next summer and no doubt in due course we will find out what happened to ISAAC M. SCOTT in that storm of 63 years ago.
The motorvessel INLAND SEAS, latterly owned by Lee Marine Ltd. of Port Lambton, Ontario, left her St. Clair River home of the last few years on September 28th bound for New London, Connecticut, where she will serve as a private yacht. Prior to her acquisition by Lee Marine several years ago, the boat had served as a ferry to Isle Royale and as an oceanographic research vessel.
Cleveland Tankers Inc., which over the last few years has disposed of all of the older vessels in its fleet with the exception of POLARIS, a former L.S.T., has once again gone to an off-lakes shipyard for the construction of a new ship. The company has contracted with a shipyard at Orange, Texas, for the construction of a tanker scheduled for 1978 delivery. It is our understanding that she will not look like the two newest Cleveland Tankers units, the glorified barges SATURN and JUPITER, but what this statement is intended to mean, we do not know. There exists, we suppose, the possibility that she might look even worse....
Eder Barge and Towing Inc., Milwaukee, has decided to station one of its tugs at the Michigan Soo in order to be able to participate in local towing and rescue work, a field that in recent years has been all but left to the McLean tugs from the Ontario Soo. The tug to be posted to the Soo will be the former Roen Steamship Company tug JOHN ROEN V, a 142-foot diesel of 2,000 h.p. which dates back to 1898 but which was rebuilt in 1951. JOHN ROEN V will make her home in the old Carbide Dock on Portage Avenue east of the Edison Sault hydro generating plant. She will be commanded by Captains James and John Wellington, long-time friends of this Society, who formerly owned and operated the Soo ferry SUGAR ISLANDER, and who have recently worked for Eder aboard both JOHN ROEN V and JOHN PURVES. John Wellington is also regular master of the Soo tour boat LE VOYAGEUR. We wish the Wellingtons the best of luck with their new venture. The Michigan Soo has not had the benefit of regular tug service for the decade and a half which have passed since the Great Lakes Towing Company withdrew its vessels which were stationed there.
The Shell Canada tanker EASTERN SHELL got into a spot of trouble on November 18th when she ran aground on a sandbar in the St. Lawrence five miles below Trois Rivieres, Quebec. The vessel was holed and about 1,000 gallons of kerosene managed to escape into the river. Shell chartered the Branch Lines tanker EDOUARD SIMARD and she went to the aid of EASTERN SHELL, lightering off her cargo. Both vessels then proceeded back to Montreal the following day and when she was safely berthed, EASTERN SHELL was surrounded by an oil boom to prevent the fouling of the river which any more of her cargo escaping would have accomplished quite nicely. An unfortunate occurrence, but just think how much worse it would have been had her cargo been heavy bunker oil instead of kerosene....
Last issue, we mentioned some of the vessels currently lying at the shipyard at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, amongst them being the former Kinsman Marine Transit Company steamer GEORGE E. SEEDHOUSE. We reported on the modifications made to her deck and stern, but stated that her forward end appeared untouched. What we could not see from the aerial photograph was that a large door has been cut in her bow, a door large enough for trucks loaded with steel to be driven right in and onto the tanktop. The vessel's forecastle and forward cabins have not been touched, the cut for the upper edge of the door having been made just below the hawseholes. We wish to thank the several members who sent us photos of the SEEDHOUSE in her new role.
The first of the new Gulf Oil tankers built by Marine Industries Ltd. at Sorel, GULF GATINEAU, is now in service and trading on the east coast and St. Lawrence River. Meanwhile, one of our spies saw the second tanker, GULF MACKENZIE, at the fitting out berth at Sorel on November 20th. She was all fitted out and was undergoing machinery trials. It seems evident that she will have entered service by the time these words appear in print.
The same observer saw the barge PERE MARQUETTE 21 at Sorel on the same day, November 20. You say you thought she had been renamed ESGRAN when last we reported on the former carferry? Well, that's what we thought too! But even though earlier in the year she was boasting the name of ESGRAN and the port of registry of Panama, R.P., she is now PERE MARQUETTE 21 of Wilmington, Delaware. Your guess is as good as ours as to what is going on with the boat as we have yet to hear any official explanation for the name-juggling. When we find out, we'll let you know!
We would be remiss if we did not follow up on our comments in the last issue concerning the Toronto excursion boat CAYUGA II. Readers will recall that there was a problem in finding a way to have the boat drydocked for the winterizing of the seacocks, the problem being rendered more acute by the precarious financial position of the owners. Arrangements were finally made for CAYUGA II to be hauled out of the water at the Oshawa Marina and that is where she was at the time of this writing. Since the 1976 season had all the appearances of an absolute disaster for the boat, we are rather amazed that all indications at present point to CAYUGA II being back on the Bay in 1977. To be quite honest, we were really expecting to see her revert to her builders at the end of the past season.
The oldest of the diesel ferries operating regularly to Toronto Island, the 1935-built WILLIAM INGLIS, (a) SHAMROCK (II), is having much work done on her electrical system this winter. Apart from her repowering about a decade ago, this is one of the few major jobs ever done on the 91-foot double-ender. In addition to the rewiring, the INGLIS will be given hot air heating in her lower cabin and this will be a well-received benefit to Islanders who, in bad weather in the past, have spent many a frigid trip across the bay listening to their teeth chatter while waiting for a bit of warmth to be exuded by the radiator pipes running underneath the seats.
We have heard a report to the effect that PIERSON DAUGHTERS will be given a new forward cabin during the coming winter lay-up period. We have so far been unable to find out whether this means that she will receive a whole new bridge structure from forecastle up, or whether her cabin will just have a third deck added.
There follows the listing of winter lay-up ports for the various vessels of the fleet of Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. which we trust will be of interest. Some of the names sound a bit strange? If so, that is because the list is not for the winter 1976-77 but rather for the winter 1936-37, exactly forty years ago! Perhaps it will get you in the mood for the upcoming lay-up season. By the way, only one of the ships is still in the fleet. Can you spot her?
Fort William: EMPEROR, FAIRMOUNT, KENORA, RENVOYLE, SASKATOON, SELKIRK, SIMCOE, WEYBURN, WINNIPEG, WINONA.
Port Colborne: GLENELG.
Buffalo: ASHCROFT, GLENEAGLES, GODERICH, OSLER.
Sarnia: HAMONIC, HURONIC, NORONIC, PORTSMOUTH, RENFREW.
Midland: BRENTWOOD, GLENROSS, HUGUENOT, SASKATCHEWAN, VALCARTIER, WESTMOUNT.
Windsor: CALGARIAN, CITY OF WINDSOR, GRANBY, MIDLAND PRINCE.
Toronto: CAPE TRINITY, CAYUGA, CHIPPEWA, COALHAVEN, COLLINGWOOD, CORONA, ELGIN, FERNIE, KINGSTON, KNOWLTON, MAGOG, MARTIAN, MIDLAND KING, PRESCOTT, STADACONA, TORONTO, WATERLOO.
Hamilton: CITY OF HAMILTON, CITY OF KINGSTON, LEMOYNE, LETHBRIDGE, STARMOUNT.
Kingston: ANTICOSTI, ARVIDA, CAMROSE, CANADIAN, CANMORE, CHANDLER, CHAPLEAU, CHATSWORTH, CITY OF TORONTO, COURTRIGHT, GRAINMOTOR, HAMILTON, HASTINGS, KINMOUNT, KIPAWA, LENNOX, MAPLEHEATH, MAPLEHILL, MAPLETON, NORFOLK, OXFORD, ROYAN, THUNDER BAY, VINMOUNT.
Montreal: BARRIE, BEAVERTON, CITY OF MONTREAL, DONALD STEWART, DUNDAS, IGNIFER, LANARK, MEAFORD.
Quebec: ACADIAN, KINDERSLEY, SAGUENAY, SHERBROOKE.
Port Stanley: COLLIER, PENETANG.
Sorel: QUEBEC, RAPIDS KING, RAPIDS PRINCE, RICHELIEU, ST. LAWRENCE, and TADOUSSAC.
Ship of the Month No. 61 BRULIN
The steam canallers of the 1920's were generally a pretty hardy breed. They had to be in order to withstand the bumps and scrapes of their frequent passages up and down the small locks of the old Welland and St. Lawrence canals. Most of the canallers never sustained any serious damage during their travels apart from a few damaged plates from time to time. But some of them did get involved in serious problems and a few actually proved to be downright accident-prone. One of these is our ship of the month.
During the twenties, things were booming for Canadian lake shippers and British shipyards turned out dozens of steam-powered canallers for these operators. One of those who attempted to cash in on the bonanza was R. A. Carter of Montreal who managed the Carter-Wood Company Ltd. This concern obtained the bulk carriers CHEMONG and DRUMAHOE which were built in Londonderry by the North of Ireland Shipbuilding Company Ltd. under sub-contract from Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. They were completed in 1924.
Carter-Wood also represented two other vessel owners, one being the Montreal Forwarding Company, (Bruce Lindsay Bros. Ltd., Leith, Scotland) and the other being the Rahane Steamship Company Ltd., Montreal, (Canadian Terminal Systems Ltd., Montreal). Each of these two firms contracted for the construction of a canal-sized steel bulk carrier in 1924, the vessels being christened BRULIN and RAHANE respectively. They were very similar in appearance to three other canallers, namely NORTHTON, GLENROSS and BELVOIR (I) which were built during 1924 and 1925 for other operators. Four of the ships were built at Wallsend-on-Tyne by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. but BRULIN was built at Newcastle by Palmer's Shipbuilding and Iron Company Ltd. as their Hull 949.
This is BRULIN as she looked in Carter-Wood colours. Photo by Capt. Wm. J. Taylor dates to the late thirties.BRULIN (C.148087) measured 248.0 feet in length, 43.1 feet in the beam and 22.8 feet in depth. Her tonnage was registered as 2241 Gross and 1576 Net. She was powered by a triple-expansion engine with cylinders of 18", 30" and 49" and a stroke of 36", this machinery being constructed by MacColl and Pollock of Sunderland. Steam was provided by two single-ended Scotch boilers manufactured by the same firm and measuring 10'6" by 13'3". On 180 lbs. of steam pressure, the engine developed 1050 I.H.P.
BRULIN and her near-sisters were particularly substantial in appearance, unlike some of the canallers which seemed rather flimsy in construction. They were high in the bows and carried a full forecastle. BRULIN was given a square texas cabin, a rounded pilothouse, and a very substantial after cabin mounted on a flush quarterdeck. The ship carried two masts, both being rather light poles but quite tall, the main being stepped well aft of the steamer's tall and quite heavy funnel. After she had been on the lakes a while, she was also given two very heavy kingposts on which were mounted cargo booms designed to assist in the handling of pulpwood cargoes.
BRULIN's name, of course, came from a contraction of Bruce Lindsay Bros. Ltd. She was painted black and her forecastle rail and cabins were white. For most of the years that Carter operated her, the vessel's stack was painted all black, but in the early years she carried on it a large white 'O' inside of which were inscribed the letters 'Co'. BRULIN soon lost this insignia but RAHANE continued to carry it for a considerably longer period of time.
BRULIN ran in the canal trade under Carter's management for a decade and a half, her usual cargoes being grain, coal and pulpwood. Things went along well for the steamer and her fleet-mates through the twenties, but the great depression brought hard times to the Carter-Wood operations as it did to almost every other lake vessel operator. Carter was unable to keep up his payments to the shipbuilders and in 1932 CHEMONG, DRUMAHOE and RAHANE were repossessed by Swan Hunter and eventually were turned over to Capt. R. Scott Misener for operation. Somehow, BRULIN managed to escape this fate, whether because her builders had been paid we do not know, but in any event she carried on under Carter-Wood management and was the sole vessel in the fleet until 1938 when R. A. Carter acquired three other canallers, CEDARTON, OAKTON and BIRCHTON, and formed the Gulf and Lake Navigation Company Ltd. to operate them.
BRULIN's first major accident (of which we are aware) occurred in her ninth season of operation. On October 15. 1932, BRULIN was downbound in Lake Ontario with a cargo of grain loaded in Port Colborne for delivery to Montreal. She carried a crew of nineteen and was under the command of Capt. Roderick Leonard at the time. The weather was calm and somewhat hazy, the visibility ahead being indistinct as a result of a cloud of smoke thrown out by a vessel ahead. The steamer passed inside of Main Duck Island (the subsequent inquiry heard the comment made that this was an unusual course for BRULIN to have taken but the point was not pursued) and she continued on at full speed, passing Nine Mile Point at the prescribed distance. Course was shaped for the Portsmouth range lights and BRULIN followed this course until she ran at full speed on Melville Shoal. The steamer struck heavily and severely damaged herself, it being necessary to summon tugs from Kingston in order to refloat the ship.
In due course, the Dominion Wreck Commissioner, the much-feared Capt. L. A. Demers, called for an investigation into the stranding. Demers was assisted by Capts. E. F. Raeburn and H. J. Clark who served as nautical assessors. The hearing was held at Montreal on November 2nd and Demers was extremely critical of the fact that the steamer had maintained full speed despite the reduced visibility. He also was at his acerbic best when commenting upon the fact that the main compass aboard BRULIN showed a 12 degree deviation on the northwest quadrant. Mr. Carter was present and he attempted to put the blame for the accident on a clump of trees which he alleged made the Portsmouth ranges very difficult to observe. His evidence does not appear to have evoked a favourable response from Capt. Demers.
The Wreck Commissioner finally wound up by suspending Capt. Leonard's certificate for the balance of the season and rubbed in the salt by formally stating that his judgment had been very lenient. He then severely criticized the two assessors, stating that due to "sentiment" they had concurred only very reluctantly with the suspension of Leonard's ticket. In Demers' words, their actions in this regard were "not in line with the wording and the spirit of their oath of office".
BRULIN resumed service after repairs were carried out and when the 1933 season started, Capt. Leonard was back in command, the suspension of his certificate having expired. The seasons of 1933 and 1934 proved to be uneventful for the steamer but in 1935 she was involved in a rescue that not only was a source of pride to her crewmen but also rewarded them in a far more tangible manner.
Readers will recall that in the February 1973 issue of this publication we mentioned the tank barge BRUCE HUDSON which was a unit of the fleet of Lloyd Tankers Ltd. On July 16th, 1935, BRUCE HUDSON, then in her first year of service, capsized in Lake Ontario while off Cobourg and in tow of the big tug MUSCALLONGE. The barge was towed upside down to Toronto where her cargo was siphoned off and, still upside down, was towed to Port Weller where she was righted by the GATELIFTER. The HUDSON was soon repaired and back in service, but it was not long until she was in trouble again.
On November 15, 1935, BRUCE HUDSON was out on Lake Ontario in tow of the tug ETHEL. While the tow was off Cobourg (a town that seems to have been rather unlucky for the barge), the ETHEL ran low on fuel. As the weather was foul and the barge was icing badly, ETHEL took on board the HUDSON's crew, cut the barge loose, and headed to Cobourg for shelter and for bunkers. When she returned the next day, BRUCE HUDSON was nowhere to be found.
During the morning of November 16th, BRULIN, under the command of Capt. Leonard, was bucking her way up Lake Ontario against a stiff northwester. When the steamer was about 37 miles past Point Peter, the watchman, Leonard Ditchburn of the Prince Edward County town of Milford, sighted an object in the water ahead. Capt Leonard brought BRULIN up to the object cautiously and soon found that it was BRUCE HUDSON which was wallowing helplessly and totally deserted in the heavy seas. BRULIN was hove to and eventually a line was put aboard the barge and a towline made fast. Of course, the men on the steamer had no idea why the tank barge had been abandoned nor could they have known where her crew had gone. Accordingly, BRULIN took BRUCE HUDSON in tow and dropped her off at Port Weller. By this time, her owners had been told what had become of their barge and they took possession of her once again at Port Weller. Late in 1936, "the Exchequer Court of Canada awarded to the owners and crew of BRULIN salvage fees amounting to $9,999.00 for the safe rescue of the wayward BRUCE HUDSON. The funds were not paid immediately and it took a seizure of the barge by the court the following summer to expedite payment, but eventually those responsible for saving the barge got their just reward.
BRULIN continued to be operated by Carter-Wood for her original owners until 1940 when she was sold to the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd., Montreal, a subsidiary of the Ontario Paper Company Ltd., Thorold. The boat was renamed (b) OUTARDE (I) in honour of the Riviere-aux-Outardes which runs into the St. Lawrence on the west side of the Manicouagan Peninsula, just upstream from the towns of Haute Rive and Baie Comeau, the latter being the location of a plant of the Quebec North Shore Paper Company, another affiliate of Ontario Paper.
OUTARDE was placed in service bearing her owner's then-distinctive and familiar colours and she was used primarily to carry pulpwood and newsprint. A typical round trip for the steamer would see her (and her canal-sized fleet-mates) bring pulpwood up from the St. Lawrence to the Ontario Paper plant at Thorold. There she would discharge the sticks and would load rolls of newsprint for delivery to Chicago and destined eventually to be used in the printing of the Chicago Tribune. The downbound trip would be made with a cargo of grain, normally for delivery to Montreal. This same routine would last for OUTARDE for the majority of her years in the Q & O fleet, a period of two decades, although occasionally she would pick up her pulpwood at Heron Bay on Lake Superior instead of going down the St. Lawrence for it. OUTARDE could manage to stow away in her holds and on deck 1,295 cords of pulpwood or 2,050 tons of newsprint and when she was in the grain trade she could handle 130,000 bushels of wheat.
OUTARDE was requisitioned in 1942 by the Canadian government for war service and she was then handed over to the United States Maritime Commission for operation on the east coast in the coal trade. In January 1943 she was on a trip to St. John's, Newfoundland, with a cargo of newsprint when she managed to run aground near the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She was lightered and released and repairs were put in hand at Norfolk, Virginia. OUTARDE went back into service for the U.S. Maritime Commission and operated on the east coast until June 13, 1943 at which time she was handed back to Q & O, her war service at an end. The vessel resumed her normal trade, although still painted in her wartime grey, but this time she only managed to stay out of trouble for two years.
On November 30, 1945, OUTARDE was making what proved to be her last trip of the season and, being in need of bunkers, she put in to the town of Clayton, New York, on the upper St. Lawrence River, in order to take on coal. There was a very strong wind blowing at the time and the river was quite rough. As OUTARDE attempted her landing, she was blown hard against the pier and impaled herself on a piece of steel which was protruding from the wharf below the waterline. The steamer holed herself so badly that she sank to the bottom right alongside the George Hall Company Inc. fuel dock. The water was deep enough that only a portion of her cabins as well as her funnel and her masts showed above the surface of the river and she was canted over at an awkward angle to port, or outwards and away from the dock. Nothing could be done about raising her that fall due to the lateness of the season and so OUTARDE stayed on the bottom at Clayton during the winter months.
The date is January or February 1946 as OUTARDE (I) lies on the bottom of the St. Lawrence River at Clayton, New York. Photo supplied through the courtesy of Nels Wilson.During the winter freeze, a cofferdam was built around OUTARDE by placing a wood plank and canvas wall around the lower (port) side of the steamer. Efforts were made in March 1946 to raise the vessel and on March 17th the pumping operations achieved success as OUTARDE was at least partially refloated. Over the following night, however, the vessel once again settled to the bottom and the Sincennes-McNaughton wrecking crews had to start all over again. This time, a more substantial cofferdam was constructed and OUTARDE was virtually enshrouded in a capsule of wood and canvas attached to her sides. OUTARDE was pumped out again in April and this time she managed to stay on the surface. While the ship was still encased in her cocoon of canvas, steam was raised in her boilers and she was moved to Kingston where she was placed on the drydock. Substantial repairs were necessary to enable her to return to service late in 1946.
OUTARDE looked much the same in her post-war years as she had earlier, although she had gained a "doghouse" right aft on the boat deck for additional crew's quarters. During the ship's stay on the east coast, a gun placement had been added to the top of this cabin. The only other major change in OUTARDE's appearance occurred in the early 1950's when her small rounded pilothouse was removed and replaced by a much larger square structure. This new cabin was probably very functional, but it looked rather odd, particularly in that it had only three windows across its front.
Then in due course came the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Q & O, like many other Canadian operators, found themselves with a large fleet of canal-sized vessels that not only were no longer necessary but also were completely uneconomical to operate in that the upper lakers could carry a great deal more cargo with relatively little increase in the size of crew per ship. Q & O no longer needed the fleet of steam canallers which had served the company for so long and among the first of the canallers sold was OUTARDE which in 1960 was purchased by the Buckport Shipping Company Ltd., Montreal, an enterprise of one James J. Buckler who in 1962 would also purchase OUTARDE's near-sister BELVOIR which had been bought by Q & O in 1933 and operated as NEW YORK NEWS (II).
OUTARDE was Buckport's first vessel and, although they had shelled out the sum of $30,000 simply to acquire the vessel for scrapping, they decided to put her into operation, the idea being to carry pulpwood between Baie Comeau and Thorold for Ontario Paper, the parent firm of her old owner. Buckport commissioned the steamer in June 1960 as (c) JAMES J. BUCKLER but they were not to enjoy her services for long, for on June 13th, while on her first voyage, she stranded on Red Islet in the St. Lawrence River near the mouth of the Saguenay River. Salvage operations were begun but on June 16th the ship allegedly broke apart and sank in deep water. We say "allegedly" because there are reports to the effect that she was still on Red Islet Bank in August 1960. Regardless of this discrepancy, JAMES J. BUCKLER was never recovered and was abandoned as a total loss, her registry being closed on August 8, 1960.
And so the career of BRULIN came to a violent end. After having had so much bad luck during her operating life, we suppose that it is only fitting that she should have ended it all in another accident. It did enable her to escape an ignominious demise at the hands of the breakers which would undoubtedly have been her lot not so many years distant. As a matter of interest, OUTARDE's running-mate NEW YORK NEWS (II) went to Buckport Shipping Company Ltd. in 1962 and, renamed BUCKPORT and operating only intermittently, lasted only until 1965 when she was dismantled at Montreal.
Last month we threw out to our readers a question concerning the scrapping of the steamer OUTARDE (II). We have had no replies to our enquiry and so we are as yet unable to help out member Jim Kaysen who posed the question.
Meanwhile, member Robert Ireland of London has asked for information on the tugs KEENAN and MINNIE A. CLARK. Our records on these two vessels are far from complete but we'll pass along what we have. We would appreciate hearing from any reader who may have more information on either of these tugs.
MINNIE A. CLARK (C.116362) was a wooden tug built in 1903 at Goderich. She measured 69.3 x 15.0 x 6.5, Gross 36 and Net 25. Her machinery (of what sort we do not know) developed 11 H.P. She operated for many years out of Owen Sound and the 1914 and 1918 registers show her owners as the Dominion Fish Company Ltd., Winnipeg. We know nothing of her final disposition except that she was apparently out of documentation by the second war.
KEENAN (C.122414) was a wooden tug built in 1907 at Midland as (a) WINNANNA. She was burned at Tobermory on October 12, 1909 and the wreck was later purchased by the Keenan Towing Company Ltd., Owen Sound. Renamed (b) KEENAN, she was rebuilt in 1910 at Owen Sound, 91.0 x 20.8 x 10.0, Gross 133. Net 91. Her machinery (type unknown) gave 37.5 H.P. KEENAN ran out of Owen Sound until about 1936 when she was sold to J. P. Porter and Sons Ltd., Montreal. She was observed on at least one occasion in Toronto subsequent to this sale. The tug was out of documentation by 1946 although she was still in the Porter fleet during the early years of the war. Her final disposition is unknown
Additional Marine News
CANADIAN OLYMPIC left the shipyard at Port Weller on her maiden voyage shortly after midnight on November 28. She headed up the canal and cleared Port Colborne at about 10:00 a.m. the same day.
ALGOSEA, her conversion for lake service completed, left Port Colborne on November 20 bound for Goderich to load salt. She made her first trip downbound through the Welland Canal on November 27th.
The new cabin structure that PIERSON DAUGHTERS will receive is a brand new pilothouse which is now being prefabricated by Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. As the boat makes her last canal passage this fall, the cabin will be placed on her deck and she will carry it to Toronto where she will lay up with storage grain. The new pilothouse will be installed during the winter. -- CHICAGO TRADER, which laid up during October, was observed in drydock at Toledo on November 9, so it looks as if she has been given her inspection. -- IRVING S. OLDS grounded in the Detroit River near Amherstburg on November 27. She was lightered by McQueen Marine's T. F. NEWMAN and the four G-tugs from Detroit pulled her free during the evening.
As of November 30, JOHN SHERWIN was aground on Escanaba Shoal and the Columbia craneship BUCKEYE was being sent to lighter her. Tugs were not immediately available to render assistance.
The salty OCEAN SOVEREIGN lost control and struck a lock wall on the upper level at the Soo on November 13. disabling her rudder. To get her out of the Seaway before closing, she was towed down the lakes by WILFRED M. COHEN, JOHN ROEN V, JOHN PURVES and JOHN McLEAN. Despite heavy weather, they had her in Port Colborne on November 30. Other tugs were to do the rest.