Saturday, May 1st - Annual Dinner Meeting. Please see details below. This will be our last meeting until October, 1982.
The Editor's Notebook
Our March Meeting was a most enjoyable occasion, as Gordon Turner illustrated "These Splendid Ships", the world's great passenger vessels, with some excellent slides and informative comment. We thank Gordon for his address and are pleased that so many members turned out to participate in this memorable evening of nostalgia.
THE ANNUAL DINNER MEETING will be held at the Ship Inn, in the Museum, on Saturday, May 1st. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m., and the bar will open early for those wishing a restorative before dinner. Our guest speaker will be Mr. Donald Page of Kingston, who will recount some of his experiences with Lake Ontario passenger steamers. Tickets will be $14.00 per person, and we would appreciate receiving your early remittance addressed to Mr. James M. Kidd, 83 Humberview Road, Toronto, Ontario M6S 1W9. The restaurant capacity is limited, so please reserve immediately. Reservations must be accompanied by payment, and tickets will be held at the door for all who have reserved. Do plan to join us for what promises to be a most enjoyable evening.
In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to our "second" Bruce Smith (this one is chief engineer of SILVERDALE), of Stokes Bay, to Peter Polichuk of Thunder Bay, to Terry Derbyshire of Mooretown, to Ron Vanderburgh of Southampton, to Frank A. Augsbury, Jr., of Ogdensburg, to Chris Black of Goderich, and to Capt. Harry Moore of Cardinal.
In our March issue, we commented upon the plans of the United States Coast Guard to withdraw from service the big icebreaker MACKINAW as a result of federal government budget cuts. As might have been expected, a frightful howl of indignation went up from all associated with lake shipping, because no one could imagine how the U.S.C.G. could possibly attend to the safety of those who sail the lakes without the icebreaking and rescue capabilities of the 38-year-old MACKINAW. As a result, the Coast Guard reconsidered its position and has decided to retain MACKINAW, stationed at Cheboygan, Michigan, as an operative vessel. She will be kept available for winter ice duty, and a partial saving on her operating cost will be achieved by reducing the size of the crew carried aboard her during the summer months. It seems likely that this decision was influenced by the fact that four of the five new Bay class icebreaking tugs were required to keep a navigable path open through February in the Straits of Mackinac.
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker under construction at Port Weller was removed from the graving dock during mid-winter and was moored alongside the fitout berth for completion, the space she had occupied on the "shelf" being required for the construction of the next Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. self-unloader. According to press reports, the new icebreaker will be named DESGROSEILLERS, in honour of one of Canada's famous explorers. It is said that she will replace the 291-foot steam-powered icebreaker d'IBERVILLE, which was built in 1952 at Lauzon. d'IBERVILLE is apparently considered to be obsolete and she is to be retired from service. She has never operated in the lakes.
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, the Algoma Steel Corporation will not have the Johnstone Shipping canaller CONDARRELL under charter in 1982. Nevertheless, it seems likely that CONDARRELL will carry a certain amount of cargo for Algoma provided that Johnstone is able to resolve its present difficulties. One factor which undoubtedly contributed to the dropping of the charter is the present depressed state of the economy, which has had disastrous effects upon the sale of steel products. We understand that the Algoma plant at Sault Ste. Marie will be operating with a much-reduced work force this year, and reduced sales will surely mean that the services of CONDARRELL will not be required on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Johnstone Shipping Ltd. has taken legal action in the Montreal trial division of the Federal Court against the Cast Shipping group of Switzerland. Named as defendants in the suit are Cast Ship Services Canada Ltd. of Montreal, as well as two Bermuda affiliates, Transatlantic Coal Transportation Ltd. and Eurocanadian Shipholdings Ltd. The action concerns the cancellation of a three-year contract which Cast had let to Johnstone for the movement of Ohio coal to the St. Lawrence River, a contract for which Johnstone had specially purchased the old Columbia Transportation self-unloader J. R. SENSIBAR, which was renamed (c) CONALLISON. Johnstone alleges that a coal cargo assigned to CONALLISON was unsuitable for her unloading equipment and that, as a result of her infamous 8-day unloading escapade at Montreal last August, Cast cancelled the coal contract, using CONALLISON's equipment difficulties as the excuse for cancellation. Johnstone is seeking damages of $1,800,000 plus interest. Meanwhile, press reports indicate that Westdale Shipping Ltd. will also be taking legal action against Cast as regards its own coal contract.
McKeil Work Boats Ltd. of Winona, Ontario, has apparently decided that its veteran "motorship" C. W. CADWELL has no future as a self-propelled vessel. It will be recalled that McKeil bought the CADWELL after she had lain idle at Toronto for many years after having had one of the Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines from the repowered Toronto ferry SAM McBRIDE installed in her. CADWELL, rebuilt by McKeil as a "rabbit" but never operated as such, is now being converted into a derrick barge at Hamilton, and the McBRIDE's engine has been removed.
Ever since the Ford Motor Company announced that it had retired its veteran motorship BENSON FORD, observers have been speculating on the future of this handsome bulk carrier. But now, it seems, there is speculation concerning the future of the entire Ford lake fleet. With the North American automobile industry suffering through some of the worst business conditions that it has ever faced, Ford has spun its steel manufacturing business off into a new firm called the Rouge Steel Corporation, and the Ford fleet has been included in the transfer. Word has it that the Ford insignia will be removed from the boats, and that their operation for Rouge Steel may well be taken over by another U.S. vessel operator. Apart from the idled BENSON FORD, the fleet consists of her sister, the self-unloader HENRY FORD II of 1924, and the straight-deckers ERNEST R. BREECH, (a) CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON (III)(62) of 1952, WILLIAM CLAY FORD of 1953, and JOHN DYKSTRA, (a) RICHARD M. MARSHALL (57), (b) JOSEPH S. WOOD (II)(66) of 1953. It has been said that JOHN DYKSTRA will be renamed (d) BENSON FORD (II) in order to retain that famous name active on the lakes.
Some months back, we reported on the move of the Maritime Commission class steamer PIONEER (III), (a) McINTYRE (43), (b) FRANK PURNELL (I)(66), (c) STEELTON (IV)(78), (d) HULL NO. 3 (79), from Toledo to Sturgeon Bay. The reason for this shift was to get her to the Bay Shipbuilding Corporation yard so that she could be equipped with the necessary machinery to enable Medusa Cement to use her in the Lake Calumet area of Chicago as an unloading and storage facility. Word now comes that she has been renamed (f) C.T.C. NO. 1, a name which undoubtedly refers to the Cement Transit Company. Although she may eventually be used as an active bulk cement carrier, she meanwhile remains as the only "Maritimer" ever relegated to this sort of non-operative status. She has, incidentally, also copped another record, in that she is the only boat of her class to have carried so many different names during her career. There is considerable dispute over whether the name under which she was laid down should be considered official, but we consider that it should. It matters little in any event, for she would still win the name sweeps amongst the "Maritimers" even if it were not. She also happens to be the steamer that won eternal recognition for having knocked down the Port Robinson bridge in the early-morning hours of August 2 5th, 1974.
After a half-century as a landmark on the Toronto waterfront along Queen's Quay, between John Street and Spadina Avenue, the Maple Leaf Mills Limited grain elevator will soon be nothing but a memory. Still known to many observers as "Toronto Elevators" because of the fact that it was built, and operated for many years, by Toronto Elevators Ltd., an enterprise of James Playfair, Gordon C. Leitch, and others, the elevator received it first cargo in 1928. It is still busy unloading winter storage cargoes as these words are written, but it will see little if any use this summer, and the demolition of the concrete silos and other buildings will begin on September 1, 1982. The vegetable oil plant that was located on the west side of the elevator slip was recently demolished. The dismantling of the elevator will mark the disappearance of yet another industry from Toronto harbour, and a further decrease in the number of ships calling here. Ever since Harbourfront Park was begun at the west end of the inner harbour almost a decade ago as an election "plum" from the federal government, the authorities have "encouraged" shipping-related industry to leave the area. Most have either closed completely or else moved to other cities. It is our thought that the Harbourfront complex set out on the right foot in getting industry to remove fences and provide walkways through dock areas so that the public could observe shipping activities firsthand. But, over the years, although much good development has occurred, those in authority seem to have become enamoured of the idea that a harbour is no place for commercial shipping, and that its facilities should be reserved for residential and recreational purposes only. We cannot but disagree...
In recent issues, we have reported the continuing saga of SUNSHINE COAST QUEEN, the British Columbia government's double-ended diesel ferry, which was better known to lake observers as (a) VACATIONLAND, (b) JACK DALTON, and (c) PERE NOUVEL. She was, of course, built as the State of Michigan icebreaking ferry for the Straits of Mackinac, a route that she served from 1952 until the opening of the Mackinac Bridge on November 1, 1957. She was idle until 1960, when she was sold to the Detroit-Atlantic Navigation Corporation for what turned out to be a short-lived "fishyback" trade between Cleveland and Detroit. She was owned from 1961 until 1967 by Compagnie de Navigation Nord-Sud Ltee. of Rimouski, Quebec, which ran her as a ferry between Baie Comeau and Rimouski. She was then sold to the B.C. authorities and became a west coast ferry.
We recently noted that the British Columbia Ferry Corporation, Victoria, B. C, had sold her to the Quesnel Redi-Mix Cement Company Ltd., Vancouver, and that she had then passed, via Canarctic Ventures Ltd., Quesnel, B.C., to Gulf Canada Resources Inc., Calgary, Alberta, for use as an Arctic supply ship for Gulf drilling operations there. We now learn that, according to Transport Canada, the three sales (from B.C. Ferry to Quesnel Redi-Mix, then from Quesnel to Canarctic, and from Canarctic to Gulf) were all billed on the same day, namely November 17th, 1981.
Another recent report from Transport Canada indicates that the registry of the steam tanker GOLDEN SABLE was officially closed in October, 1981, with the notation that she had been scrapped. Her last official owner was shown as Steel Factors Ltd., Montreal. This report is certainly open to question, for we have received no report of the canaller's actual scrapping. GOLDEN SABLE, of course, was the former (a) ACADIALITE (47), (b) IMPERIAL CORNWALL (71), which was built at Haverton-Hill-on-Tees in 1930 for Imperial Oil. Retired by Imperial in 1971, she was purchased by Penn Shipping Ltd., Guelph, Ontario, for whom she made only two trips, both as IMPERIAL CORNWALL. Laid up, she was sold later in 1971 to Messrs Mottershead and MacLean, Toronto, who acted for the Neal Petroleum Company Ltd., Toronto, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Golden Eagle Refining Company. She made one round trip, Quebec to Buffalo, for this owner, and has never turned a wheel since.
Just to indicate how deceiving the government records can be, we note that the registry of the steam sandsucker CHARLES DICK was finally closed on January 25, 1982. CHARLES DICK, of course, was scrapped by Marine Salvage Ltd. at Ramey's Bend during 1977.
The renaming of the Branch Lines tankers has been the subject of much confusion since early January, and the actual names will probably prove to be the subject of confusion and argument for many years to come. Historians would do well to make careful notes about the situation now. We had originally reported that MAPLEBRANCH would become ERABLE 1, JOS. SIMARD would become FRENE 1, EDOUARD SIMARD would become CHENE 1, LEON SIMARD would become ORME 1, LUDGER SIMARD would become SAULE 1, and ARTHUR SIMARD would become CEDRE 1, but such is not, precisely, the case. The first three renames to receive official approval were ARTHUR SIMARD to LE CEDRE NO. 1, LUDGER SIMARD to LE SAULE NO. 1, and MAPLEBRANCH to L'ERABLE NO. 1, although ship bulletins reported two of these names as CEDRE UN and SAULE UN. Now, as if all that is not sufficiently confusing, we must report the manner in which the new names have actually been painted on the ships. The first to show the rename was ARTHUR SIMARD, which was observed at Montreal in mid-January with the name CEDRE 1 painted on her. LUDGER SIMARD has been operating during the winter with the name painted on her bows as LE SAULE 1. LEON SIMARD got her new name at Sorel in late February and she wears it on her hull as L'ORME 1. MAPLEBRANCH (laid up at Sorel for the winter) and EDOUARD SIMARD, at least, did not show any signs of their new names by mid-March. To put it mildly, it would appear that Branch Lines, Division of Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., has created a monster of gargantuan proportions with these name changes!
After almost a year on the bottom of Toronto's Yonge Street slip, the sunken NORMAC is at last receiving some real attention, albeit of the destructive sort. Ever since her altercation with TRILLIUM last June and her subsequent sinking, her owner has been engaging in litigation and press battles with Metro Toronto (owner of TRILLIUM), with the Toronto Harbour Commission, and with his own insurer (which declined to pay his "claim"). NORMAC began to fall apart as wave and ice action ground away at her flimsy, aluminum upperworks, and McAllister Towing refused to become involved in salvage operations because of this damage. But, during mid-March, a crew appeared aboard and began to dismantle the former ferry's ugly "pseudo-superstructure", and not before time. Regardless of John Letnik's reasons for letting the wreckers at NORMAC, we know that we shall never again see her functioning as Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant.
At last, there have been developments in regard to the financial embarrassment of Sherwood Marine Inc., Toronto. Norman Rogers, of Algonquin Island, Toronto, the fellow who has been involved in the protracted and as-yet-unfinished conversion of the steam tug CHRIS M. to the sailing vessel EMPIRE SANDY, has formed Coastal Corp., which has acquired CAYUGA II from Sherwood's receivers. She is to be operated in the charter trade, but first must overcome some serious mechanical problems which involve all three of her engines. Unconfirmed reports also indicate that Rogers may acquire NIAGARA and SHIAWASSIE, Sherwood's two smaller excursion boats, which were returned to Toronto from Niagara-on-the-Lake and wintered at Pier Five. Meanwhile, there has been no news concerning what will happen to the steam excursion boat CALEDONIA, which was operated by Sherwood but only one-quarter owned by the company. We sincerely hope that she will be rescued from this morass, and that her melodious chimed whistle will continue to echo around Toronto Bay on summer evenings.
The Straits of Mackinac steam carferry CHIEF WAWATAM, after two seasons of hectic activity, is now down to making but one trip per week between St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. The Michigan Transportation Commission has cut off the subsidization of the rail line from Petoskey to Mackinaw City, and so very little freight is now moving downstate via the Michigan Northern Railroad and the ferry line. The State has also threatened to reduce and eventually eliminate the subsidy for the ferry. All things considered, the future does not look good for the 71-year-old CHIEF WAWATAM.
As we go to press, there is much speculation concerning the future of certain Canadian lake fleets, even though the grain market remains strong in 1982. The question of whether or not certain companies will fit out their ships and, if so, which ones, will be answered only when we can actually observe what is running after the canals open.
Although things still look bad on the U.S. side of the lakes for 1982, primarily due to the deterioration of the steel business and the lack of demand for iron ore or taconite, we understand that United States Steel has decided to fit out ROGER BLOUGH. It seemed incomprehensible that this large self-unloader might not operate, although we can readily understand the relegation to temporary lay-up status of smaller ships such as the company's "Maritimers" and "supers".
Press reports made much of the explosion and sinking of the "barge" POLING BROS. NO. 9 whilst she was passing under the Williamsburg Bridge in the East River at New York on February 27th. In fact, this vessel was not a barge, but rather a motortanker of the barge-canal type. U.S.233,333. she was 251.3 x 40.0 x 12.8, 1242 Gross, 779 Net, and was built as Hull 822 of United Dry Docks Inc. in 1934 at Mariners Harbor, New York. Although she had operated exclusively on the east coast in recent years, she was long a familiar visitor to the Great Lakes, where she operated for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company as NEW HAVEN SOCONY, which was her original name.
Cape Trinity Revisited
Readers will recall that the photo of CAPE TRINITY, which appeared on our March photopage to illustrate the appearance of the steamer during her last period of operation, showed her outbound at Toronto's Eastern Gap, passing the inbound Port Dalhousie dayboat DALHOUSIE CITY. We would have commented upon this most interesting photo had we had sufficient space in the text, but we were very short of space in that issue. We were, however, happy to note that several readers picked up on the significance of the photo. For those who might not have noticed the interesting coincidence contained in it, an additional comment or two would now seem to be appropriate.
CAPE TRINITY, (a) GERONIA (14), (b) SYRACUSE (20), came from the yard of the Collingwood Shipbuilding Company Ltd. as its Hull 29. She was launched June 7, 1911, ran her trials on July 18, and began her delivery voyage to Toronto on July 23. DALHOUSIE CITY was also built at Collingwood in 1911, and was the very next ship out of the yard after GERONIA, for she was the builder's Hull 30. DALHOUSIE CITY was christened at Collingwood on June 24, 1911, and sailed for Toronto on August 14, less than a month after GERONIA cleared. It would be very interesting to be able to locate a photo of the two Lake Ontario passenger steamers together at Collingwood, although we sincerely doubt that we should ever be lucky enough to do so.
DALHOUSIE CITY enjoyed a much more successful career than did CAPE TRINITY, and served the Port Dalhousie route until the close of the 1949 season. She then ran excursion service out of Montreal, as (b) ISLAND KING II, until she was gutted by fire on the night of November 13-14, 1960. She was to have been made into a barge, but instead was scrapped at Montreal in 1961. For full details of DALHOUSIE CITY, please refer to our Ship of the Month No. 75, which appeared in Vol. X, No. 8, our tenth anniversary issue of May, 1978.
Meanwhile, we stand corrected concerning the final departure of CAPE TRINITY from Toronto. We stated that R.C.CO. TUG NO. 2 and J. R. BINNING towed CAPE TRINITY from the Ship Channel on Tuesday, September 28, 1937, and that they took her across the bay and out the Western Gap on the way to Port Weller. While all of our other details were correct, we are assured that the tugs took CAPE TRINITY out into the lake via the Toronto Eastern Gap. The corrected information comes from Capt. John Leonard, who witnessed the sad event, and who found himself presented with a unique and unexpected opportunity to honour the bedraggled old CAPE TRINITY as she left Toronto for the last time on her way to the scrapyard.
We devoted much space in our last three issues to listings of boats laid up for the winter at various lake and river ports. The new navigation season is now at hand and the time for thinking about lay-ups is past, but we return briefly to the subject to correct the record for one particular port.
Toledo: Add to previous list - GEMINI, PAUL THAYER.
Our thanks to Mike Nicholls for this information.
We could not produce lay-up lists without the assistance of our members. As next autumn rolls around (not that we are looking forward to it, mind you), please remember that we need your help to make our lay-up records as accurate as possible. Lay-up information has always been of value to us in preparing "Ship of the Month" features, and we believe that historians of the future years will feel likewise and may look back to what we have published as a reference source. "Scanner" takes pride in the accuracy of its material and we wish to maintain that most enviable reputation. You, all our members, can help us to do just that.
Only In Loch Ness, You Say?
The Toronto "Globe", of Tuesday, June 25, 1872, reported the following peculiar news item which we thought our readers might enjoy. The parentheses are ours.
"Another sea 'monster', says a Buffalo paper, has been discovered, and has produced the usual (!) amount of excitement. This time, the 'critter' was seen in Lake Ontario. The citizens of Olcott, Niagara County (New York), aver that the recent agitation of the waters of that lake was caused by a huge serpent. They say that their attention was drawn to the lake by a low, rumbling sound. About three miles out from shore, the water seemed to be greatly disturbed, much as if an explosion had taken place underneath. But, in about ten minutes after this phenomenon was observed, a bellowing sound was heard, and a monster shot up from the midst of the boiling waters to a distance of fifty feet, and then fell back again. After lashing the waters into a foam, the monster went off to the northward. They attribute the disturbances at Charlotte and Oswego to the antics of this monster in the water near the shore."
Perhaps we should add sea monsters to the list of perils which confront lake sailors in the execution of their daily duties, although we would not wish to impinge upon the fame of the inhabitant of the well-known Scottish loch. If nothing else, the news item speaks well for the quality and quantity of the spirits which must have been available at the tavern in Olcott, New York.
The article comes to us from the collection of our late member Willis Metcalfe, through the courtesy of Lorne Joyce.
Our May Issue
As many of our members know, the date of our Annual Dinner Meeting each May depends upon the schedule of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, for the Ship Inn at the Museum must keep its dining room open to the public on evenings when the team is playing a home game at Exhibition Park. Thus, we can only have a private party at the restaurant when the team is away. The Jays have obliged us by being off on a road trip on the night of Saturday, May 1st, and hence that is the date of our dinner.
But the meeting date comes almost a week earlier than it would normally have done had we met on our usual "First Friday", and that puts considerable pressure on Ye Ed. as regards the preparation of "Scanner". As well, we shall be away from Toronto on two occasions during the month of April, and it would be impossible for us to have the May issue ready for distribution at the dinner without sacrificing size and quality.
We pride ourselves on always having "Scanner" ready for passing out to those present at our monthly meetings, and thus making considerable savings against the present outrageous postal rates for mailed copies. But this time, for the first occasion in the thirteen years that Ye Ed. has been in charge of these pages, we will be unable to make that deadline. As a result, we will produce the May issue somewhat later in the month than usual. This will also assist us in reducing the usual long delay between our May and Mid-Summer issues, and will help us to keep up to date on the many items of marine news that are certain to develop during that period.
It will seem strange not to have "Scanner" available at the meeting, but we would prefer to delay publishing than produce a product of inferior quality . We trust that our members will agree.
Ship of the Month No. 110
Longtime members of the Toronto Marine Historical Society will recall that, many years ago, we featured in these pages a corporate history and fleet list of Point Anne Quarries Ltd., a company which dug stone from quarries at Point Anne, Ontario, on the Bay of Quinte, and distributed the stone to the construction industry throughout Southern Ontario. This company was active during the first quarter of the twentieth century, but ceased doing business in the Toronto area about 1925. Point Anne Quarries Ltd. operated a quite substantial number of wooden vessels over the years, and also owned two steel canallers which had been built in British shipyards prior to the beginning of the First World War.
One of the directors of Point Anne Quarries Ltd. was J. F. M. Stewart, of Toronto, a financier who eventually became manager of the company. But the stone quarries and the company's vessels were certainly not Mr. Stewart's sole connection with Great Lakes shipping. In fact, he was no stranger to the vessel management business, and his name has been mentioned in this publication on several previous occasions concerning his involvement with various steamers.
One of J. F. M. Stewart's enterprises was the Bruce Trading Company Ltd. of Toronto, of which he was the manager. In March of 1923, Stewart contacted various British shipyards for the purpose of securing bids on the construction, to his own order, of a canal-sized steamer. The firm selected to build the ship was the Smith's Dock Company Ltd., which constructed her as its Hull 779 at the company's shipyard at South Bank-on-Tees, England. She immediately followed from the yard two sistership canal steamers, KEYSTATE and KEYBAR, which had been built for Keystone Transports Ltd., Montreal, as the builder's Hulls 777 and 778, respectively.
British yards were quite adept at the rapid construction of canallers, and Stewart's boat was no exception to the rule of speedy delivery. She was launched on April 14, 1923, and was christened DONALD STEWART, in honour of Donald Elias Stewart, the then-29-year-old younger son of J. F. M. Stewart. The steamer was enrolled as C.147765, and was soon completed. After running her trials, she was sent off under her own power to Canada, no doubt with a cargo of British coal in her holds.
DONALD STEWART was 250.0 feet in length, 42.9 feet in the beam, and 18.7 feet in depth, with Gross tonnage measured at 1781 and Net Registered tonnage calculated at 1074. She was designed for a deadweight carrying capacity of 2,300 tons on a draft of fourteen feet. The hull had a cellular double bottom all fore and aft, and was given after peak tanks. She had three watertight and two non-watertight bulkheads which divided the hull into compartments. She was built to Lloyd's 100 Al class for service on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The vessel was powered by a direct-acting, surface-condensing, triple-expansion steam engine, with three inverted cylinders, 16, 26, and 44 inches in diameter, by 33-inch stroke. It was supplied with steam, at 180 p.s.i. working pressure, by two coal-fired, cylindrical, multitubular boilers, each 12 1/2 feet diameter by 10 1/2 feet long, which worked under forced draft. This machinery was built especially for DONALD STEWART by the Smith's Dock Company Ltd., and was to remain with her for her entire life.
DONALD STEWART was generally similar to Keystone's bulk carriers KEYSTATE and KEYBAR, but she appeared to be of rather more heavy construction. Whether this was actually the case is now anyone's guess, but the STEWART did seem to be noticeably more substantial. She had a straight stem and elliptical counter stern, with considerable sheer to her deck (a feature sadly lacking from the design of many of the mass-produced canallers). She was given a raised forecastle and quarterdeck, with each of these structures surmounted for most of their length by a closed rail.
Her texas cabin was a squarish structure, which was graced by large observation windows, rather than portholes, across its face and down its sides. Atop it was the rounded pilothouse, which sported five large, varnished-framed windows in its face. Large bridgewings protruded from either side of the bridge deck. An open navigation bridge was provided on the monkey's island above the pilothouse, originally protected from the elements by a canvas dodger strung on the open rail and by awnings above. A closed rail was later built around the equipment on this open bridge. One rather handsome feature of DONALD STEWART's pilothouse was its sunvisor, which was a broad brim running parallel to the deck rather than being curved or bent downwards.
Her after cabin was large, and contained accommodation for the engineers, stewards, etc. An overhang of the boat deck provided shelter from the elements down its sides and around the fantail. The STEWART was given a large well-proportioned stack, which rose from the boilerhouse without much rake. It was this large funnel that gave the STEWART her balanced profile.
DONALD STEWART was equipped with six large hatches, five on the spar deck and one on the raised quarterdeck in front of the boilerhouse, and all six were fitted with wooden sectional hatchcovers. The tall, heavy foremast, located right abaft the pilothouse, and the equally tall mainmast, stepped between hatches four and five, each carried cargo booms. To assist with the handling of cargo via these booms, the steamer was equipped with a double-cylinder windlass, and two double-cylinder seven- and ten-inch steam winches.
DONALD STEWART's hull was painted a distinctive dark green colour, this green extending even to the forecastle rail. Her cabins were all painted white, while all of the wooden trim, such as windowframes, etc., was varnished. Her stack was painted black, with a narrow white band.
Once safely on the Canadian side of the North Atlantic, DONALD STEWART was placed in service by the Bruce Trading Company Ltd. J. F. M. Stewart was also much interested in the British Empire Steel Company Ltd., of Sydney, Nova Scotia, and he served as a director of that firm. It was little wonder, therefore, that DONALD STEWART spent much of her time hauling steel rails from Sydney into the Great Lakes. She would frequently return back down the lakes with cargoes of grain for the St. Lawrence River ports. A good illustration of her attachment to the rail-carrying trade was the fact that she spent the winter of 1925-26 at Sydney, an unusual place for a laker to lay up.
Her first season on the lakes, 1923, seems to have been uneventful for DONALD STEWART, but 1924 was somewhat less so. She went on the drydock at Kingston during the month of July, 1924, for the repair of damage to both her port and starboard sides, this work necessitating the replacement of fifteen shell plates. We do not know how this damage was caused, but it probably resulted from canalling incidents, for each upbound or downbound trip required DONALD STEWART to run through the many small locks of the old Welland and St. Lawrence canals. Then, from August 13 through 15, 1924, she was ensconced in the Canadian Vickers Ltd. drydock at Montreal for survey and the repair of damage to her bottom shell plating and internals. Once again, there is no explanation of what happened to her, but she obviously struck bottom somewhere, probably in the lower canals, only shortly after she had emerged from the first drydocking at Kingston.
DONALD STEWART spent the winter of 1926-27 laid up at Toronto. She had, however, seen her last operation in the service of J. F. M. Stewart. In addition to his various vessel holdings, Stewart had been involved in the operation of the Home Bank, and the failure of this institution was one of those unfortunate events that made the news across Canada as a result of the number of Canadians that were ruined by the bank's collapse. The failure of the Home Bank caused the implementation of a number of strict regulations concerning the operation of banks that are still in effect today. Be all this as it may, however, Stewart was out of the vessel business shortly after the collapse of the bank in which he had holdings.
Sometime during the winter of 1926-27, probably very early in 1927, DONALD STEWART was acquired from the Bruce Trading Company Ltd. by the International Waterways Navigation Company Ltd., Montreal, which was a concern that was operated by two well-known shipping entrepreneurs, Robert A. Campbell of Montreal, and John E. Russell of Toronto. We know that they acquired STEWART before the beginning of the 1927 navigation season, for it was announced early in 1927 that International Waterways had offered an issue of $400,000 of 6% first mortgage ten-year sinking fund bonds, dated March 1, 1927 and due March 1, 1937, and that the bond issue was to be secured by direct first mortgages on the company's four steamers, namely BELVOIR, DONALD STEWART, JOLLY INEZ and ARAGON.
DONALD STEWART was not to remain in the International Waterways Navigation Company Ltd. fleet for more than two full seasons, but she was painted up in the company's colours. Her hull was all black, while her cabins were white. Her stack was blue, with a black smokeband. Unfortunately, her service with this fleet was brought to an untimely end as a result of an accident which involved the small, wooden-hulled, Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. steamer CATARACT, (a) MYLES (06), (c) THERESE T.
As a result of the litigation arising out of this accident, wherein Canada Steamship Lines claimed against International Waterways for the damages sustained by CATARACT, the DONALD STEWART was handed over to C.S.L. in 1929 as payment of the judgment. It was thus that she came to wear the colours for which she is best remembered. It is interesting to note that Canada Steamship Lines did not keep the wounded CATARACT, but rather sold her off after the accident to the Sorel Sand Company Ltd., which had her cut down to a barge.
DONALD STEWART was given the usual C.S.L. livery and entered into the various trades in which the company kept its bulk canallers occupied. Her main service was in the grain and coal trades. She spent the winter of 1929-30 laid up in the Soulanges Canal, where the company's IGNIFER, (a) CARLETON (16), was also lying. Not only was the following navigation season to be an unhappy one because of the gradually worsening business conditions, but it also saw DONALD STEWART involved in yet another accident.
On Thursday, August 21st, 1930, DONALD STEWART was downbound from Port Colborne for Montreal with grain. At the entrance to the Cardinal Canal, she met the Keystone steamer KEYVIVE, which was upbound with a cargo of pulpwood for Erie, Pennsylvania. As she passed through the canal piers, KEYVIVE's mate failed to see the approaching STEWART, or else he would have tied up his boat. Instead, they met, and a collision ensued. The officers of both steamers were censured by Capt. L. A. Demers, Dominion Wreck Commissioner, who presided over the subsequent enquiry, and it seems fairly certain that harsh disciplinary action would have been taken had it not been for the fact that no particularly serious damage had resulted from the collision.
The remainder of DONALD STEWART's years in Canada Steamship Lines service were apparently quiet, although she could hardly have failed to be involved in the numerous scrapes to which all canallers fell victim as a result of having to operate at close quarters for most of their lives. She spent the winter of 1931-32 at Sarnia, 1935-36 at Kingston, 1936-37, 1937-38, and 1938-39 at Montreal. She laid up again at Kingston for the winter of 1939-40.
Like many of the canallers in the C.S.L. fleet, DONALD STEWART was caught up in the hostilities of World War Two. Shipping losses on the North Atlantic were reaching epidemic proportions, and operable hulls were very much in demand. The little canallers were hardly designed for deep-sea service, especially in the foul winter weather of the North Atlantic, but they were pressed into such operation in any event. DONALD STEWART was requisitioned by the government for war service on salt water, and she passed to the control of the British Ministry of War Transport. She was destined never to return to her home waters of the Great Lakes.
There occurred, during the late summer of 1942, what has now come to be called (somewhat derisively) the "Battle of the St. Lawrence". The event and its true meaning were little known at the time, and not much was said in contemporary press reports. In fact, German U-boats had penetrated into the St. Lawrence River, and the Canadian government was undeniably embarrassed by this state of affairs, particularly because one of the U-boats managed to torpedo and sink a Canadian warship, the corvette H.M.C.S. CHARLOTTETOWN.
Several German submarines were involved in this escapade, but the one that created most of the havoc was U-517, which was sailing under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Paul Hartwig. A first-hand report of the U-517's voyage into the St. Lawrence River was not available until 1972, when Hartwig gave his story to an interviewer for publication in a string of Canadian weekend newspaper magazine supplements.
During the day of September 2, 1942, U-517 stalked an outward-bound convoy which was making its run to the Atlantic via the Strait of Belle Isle, a stretch of water which lies between the Quebec shore and the northwesterly edge of Newfoundland. The submarine ran on ahead of the convoy and lay in wait for it, planning an attack for the wee small hours of the morning. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, September 3rd, U-517 attacked the lead ships of the convoy, coming at them out of the moonlight while the escort vessels, two corvettes, were stationed on the dark side of the lines of merchantmen. In a position approximately 50.32 North by 58.45 West, in the westerly approaches to the Strait of Belle Isle, the submarine fired two torpedoes. One of them missed, and the other found its mark in a direct hit on the poor DONALD STEWART. The submarine then fled from the scene, hotly pursued by the two corvettes.
A direct hit from a torpedo was enough to sink almost any canaller, but Hartwig's hurried choice of DONALD STEWART as a target was particularly unfortunate. The steamer was carrying a cargo of aviation fuel in barrels and the hit resulted in a tremendous explosion. She was soon enveloped in searing flames that were so hot that even Hartwig, on the bridge of his submarine, could feel the heat, and the explosions aboard the STEWART made such a commotion that he had trouble making his orders heard by the U-517's wheelsman. DONALD STEWART sank less than twelve minutes after she was hit by the torpedo.
If there was any consolation to be found in this tragic event, it would be such cold comfort as could be gained from the knowledge that DONALD STEWART was not U-517's only score so close to the Canadian coast. The submarine sank a total of nine vessels in the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In addition to CHARLOTTETOWN and DONALD STEWART, she destroyed a troop transport and six other freighters. Amongst the other merchantmen sunk was another Canadian canaller, the OAKTON of the Gulf and Lake Navigation Company Ltd. She went to the bottom, with the death of two crewmen, on September 7, 1942, some 15 miles off Cape Gaspe.
(Ed. Note: Much of the information concerning DONALD STEWART'S early comings and goings has been taken from various issues of "Canadian Railway and Marine World". The story of Lt. Cmdr. Paul Hartwig and his U-517 appeared in the February 26 and March 4, 1972, issues of "The Canadian Magazine".)
Who's On First...?
Last month, we presented the account of a marine court of enquiry which was held to investigate the circumstances of a rather peculiar accident, the excuse presented by the responsible skipper having been to the effect that he had been unable to respond to another steamer's passing signal as a result of a rule against blowing steamboat whistles in the vicinity of a hospital. Always looking for amusing items for our readers, we present yet another such report this month, only this court of enquiry was faced with the most unusual problem of trying to determine who had actually been in charge of a steamer when she stranded. Once again, the indomitable Capt. L. A. Demers was in charge of the court and, as usual, his acerbic comments make interesting reading, although one would not likely have felt particularly comfortable if one had been on the receiving end of those same comments.
The vessel involved was the passenger steamer DUCHESS OF YORK (25), (b) SOREL (27), (c) PELERIN (35), (d) BELOEIL, C.103342, which had been built in 1895 at Montreal and was equipped with the beam engine out of the earlier steamer PRINCE OF WALES. DUCHESS OF YORK spent some years in the service of the Ottawa River Navigation Company, but most of her career was spent in the picnic and excursion trade out of Montreal. She was reduced to a barge about 1938 and was broken up in 1943-44.
The following account comes to us from the October, 1924, issue of "Canadian Railway and Marine World":
"Enquiry held at Montreal, August 28, 1924, by Capt. L. A. Demers, Dominion Wreck Commissioner, assisted by Captains C. Lapierre and J. P. Dufour, as nautical assessors, into the stranding of the DUCHESS OF YORK, on July 13, about 1:30 p.m. in the St. Lawrence River, near Isle au Foins, at the entrance to the Berthierville Channel, while she was bound to the latter place (Berthierville) with over 100 passengers.
"The DUCHESS OF YORK was built in 1890 [sic] at Montreal, and is 156.8 feet long, 25.3 feet wide, 9.4 feet deep, 490 Gross tonnage, 262 Registered tonnage, has 39 horsepower, and is propelled by paddle wheels. The joint owners, at December 31, 1923, were registered as James E. Wilder, et al., Montreal. She carried a crew of ten, including a mate and two engineers. One of the joint owners was present at the beginning of the proceedings, but left after the examination had proceeded for a short time. Only two witnesses were available, the captain, Paul Beauchemain, and the mate, Jos. Jean. The son of one of the joint owners, who was a passenger, was to be produced, but he failed to put in an appearance.
"The report states that the examination of the master and mate showed a pitiful lack of rudimentary laws of navigation and seamanship. Each witness endeavoured to throw the responsibility on the other. The master acknowledged that he was in control of the navigation, but trusted the mate, and left him to his own devices practically to steer the ship, by withdrawing from the wheelhouse, and place of vantage, and smoking his pipe contentedly under the shelter of some protecting construction from the heat of the sun.
"The ship left Montreal without the necessary obligatory procedure of signing the crew, the exact number of which the captain ignored, throwing on the owners' shoulders the arrangements made with respect to all matters. On the other hand, the mate, Jean, whom the captain termed the second captain, disclaimed all knowledge of the route that was to be followed, saying that he was at the wheel to do the master's bidding. This left the court wondering who was really the master of the situation, which was not satisfactorily explained, though the mate said that he was engaged at $10 a trip.
"It was stated by the master that the mate had asserted his knowledge of the route, whilst the latter refutes this assertion. It is evident, however, by a statement made by the mate, that the master had told him three times to steer more east, which shows that he could not have attended to the steering, or to his duties as wheelsman, for the time being. Both were asked to indicate on the sectional chart the place where the ship stranded, but without avail. Apparently, their knowledge of the chart is limited to that which indicates outlines of land and water. There was a compass on board, but neither appeared to know the utility of it, and the master stated that it was of no use.
"The ship stranded when going full speed, her whole length being imbedded in the sand. There was no shock felt, and no panic, as the passengers were unaware of the ship's plight. The mate, or wheelsman, or second captain, was the first to go in the boat and on the scow which was brought from Sorel to carry the passengers ashore. There were six boats on board, but with the exception of the small one, which was used to go and seek assistance, no attempt was made to lower any to disembark the passengers. It is true that there was no immediate danger, but the court is of the opinion that, had there been danger, the crew could not have coped with the situation of lowering the boats with the crew available at the time.
"When the scow was brought by the side some two hours later, the mate and one sailor or fireman were the first ones on board. The passengers were landed somewhere, and it was dark before arrangements had been completed to have them sent to their destination. There were women and children.
"The master, in examination, showed a crass ignorance of his duties. The mate, whatever representations he may have made to the master as to his knowledge, did not impress the court favourably as to his ability as a seaman and navigator. Both hold passenger certificates of ancient date.
"The court found that, although examination was brief, it revealed the fact that both master and mate were careless, indifferent and ignorant; that although the passengers were landed without accident, and the ship came off 29 days later [!] without structural damage, no credit is due to the officers. The court cancelled both certificates - Paul Beauchemain, No. 1,168, and Joseph Jean, No. 3, 180 - and recommended that, after one month has elapsed, a certificate of lower grade, that of master, tugboat, be granted to each party, as the court considers both men to be unfit in knowledge to hold a certificate permitting them to carry passengers. The court has called the attention of the competent authorities to the fact that the ship left Montreal without complying with the requirements of signing the crew."
More about Midland Queen
Our Ship of the Month No. 108, which appeared in the February issue, was the Playfair canaller MIDLAND QUEEN. We are always pleased when a feature provokes comment from our members, for in that way we can all expand our mutual fund of information regarding the boat in question. That, surely, is the principal reason of the publication of this journal.
Regarding MIDLAND QUEEN's machinery, we mentioned the measurements of her triple-expansion engine but could not identify the manufacturer, for contemporary reports indicated only that the machinery came "from the Tyne". Member George Ayoub, of Ottawa, has ascertained that the QUEEN's machinery was built for her by the shipbuilders, namely, the Caledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee, Scotland, who completed the boat in 1901 as their Hull No. 160.
George has also commented upon our remark that MIDLAND QUEEN was registered originally in Great Britain, as were so many of the British-built Canadian canallers. In fact, the registry records indicate that MIDLAND QUEEN was first registered at Toronto in 1901, and that her port of registry was altered to Midland in 1906. MIDLAND QUEEN remained on the Canadian register for the rest of her life, and her registry was finally closed on October 1, 1915. It will be recalled that MIDLAND QUEEN was sunk by gunfire from U-68 in the North Atlantic off Fastnet on August 4, 1915.
Member Ron Beaupre of Port Elgin, Ontario, has also added information concerning MIDLAND QUEEN, this being an item excerpted from the May, 1906, issue of "The Marine Review", and reprinted in Vol. 19, No. 9, of "The Detroit Marine Historian", journal of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit. It reads as follows:
"The steamer MIDLAND QUEEN had quite a May for herself. Early in the Month, she collided with the WILLIAM G. MATHER (I) at Amherstburg. She went to Wyandotte for repairs. She then went to the Canadian Lakehead for a load of wheat for Kingston. On her downbound trip, she missed the harbour entrance at Port Colborne and went ashore east of the breakwater. She had to be lightered of 10,000 bushels of grain before she could be freed."
We sincerely appreciate the assistance of Ron and George in filling out the story of this most interesting canaller, the first laker sunk by enemy action during World War One.
Edward "Ted" Jones
It is with great regret that we report the passing, on March 28th, 1982, after a lengthy illness, of Edward "Ted" Jones of Oakville, Ontario.
T.M.H.S. Member No. 211, and a longtime lake shipping enthusiast, Ted Jones worked for the C.N.R. for many years and spent a considerable period of time at Port Colborne. Although in falling health in recent years, Ted maintained his connection with this Society, and frequently expressed his regrets at not being able to attend more of our meetings.
To Mrs. Jones and to the family, we express our deepest sympathy at this time. We have lost a valued member and friend.
Additional Marine News
For the second time, the launch of ALGOWEST at Collingwood has been rescheduled. Already moved from April 22 to April 29, the gala event will now be held on Wednesday, April 28, 1982.
The opening of the Canadian canals has been considerably delayed this year due to the quantity of ice which blocks navigation in eastern Lake Erie. In other years, navigation has been well underway by late March, but mid-April seems a reasonable date for 1982. The ice is said to be some eleven feet in depth in some portions of the lake.
Toronto Island ferry service, interrupted on January 11 by ice, resumed on March 16, after the longest winter hiatus in recent memory. But, commencing March 22, the Islanders were forced back to the airport route due to severe mechanical problems which forced the Metro Parks Dept. carferry ONGIARA out of service. None of the other ferries were in shape to fill in for her and the situation has resulted in much criticism of the ferry operation.
Annual Dinner Meeting
Don't forget the dinner meeting at the Ship Inn on Saturday, May 1st. For late reservations, please see details on page one and contact our Treasurer.