Maritime History of the Great Lakes
New Mills List
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  • Glenholme (1919)
        Official No.: 141252; 103x31x10 Owned by Saint John Steamship Co. 1927; to Eastern Canada Coastal Steamships Ltd. 1935. Launched 16/04/19. Stranded 22/08/19 Spencer's Island, Bay of Fundy. Ship licensed for freight only, yet subsidized for passengers by Government.
      Official No.: 141252; 103x31x10 Owned by Saint John Steamship Co. 1927; to ...
  • Grace M. (1905)
        Official No.: 121703; 69x14x5 Owned by Mickle & Dyment, Gravenhurst Ont. Built by D. B. Abbey, Gravenhurst 1905. Engine 7½x16 by Goderich Engine Co.
      Official No.: 121703; 69x14x5 Owned by Mickle & Dyment, Gravenhurst Ont. Built ...
  • Grace Boehner (1919)
        Official No.: 141631; 113x26x10 Owned by H. W. Gillett, Twillingate Nfld.
      Official No.: 141631; 113x26x10 Owned by H. W. Gillett, Twillingate Nfld.
  • Gowganda (1907)
        Official No.: 126521; 46x11x4 Owned by F. E. Clark, Sturgeon Falls Ont. 1910; Montreal River Navigation Co., Cobalt 1917.
      Official No.: 126521; 46x11x4 Owned by F. E. Clark, Sturgeon Falls Ont. ...
  • Grace (1881)
        Official No.: 83442; 77x23x8 Owned by T. H. Cooper. Confiscated by U.S. for sealing "illegally" (they said) and sold 26/03/89 Port Townsend Wash. ; Final Location: Bering Sea, Seized By U.S.A.
      Official No.: 83442; 77x23x8 Owned by T. H. Cooper. Confiscated by U.S. ...
  • Grace Hankinson (1917)
        Official No.: 141580; 84x19x10 Owned by Weymouth Transportation Co., Weymouth N.S., to Eastern Canada Coastal Steamships Ltd. 1929. Former minesweeper. Wrecked while towing "Ruby L. II" 25/01/30 near Digby Neck N. S. ; Final Location: Near Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada, Foundered
      Official No.: 141580; 84x19x10 Owned by Weymouth Transportation Co., Weymouth N.S., to ...
  • Gracie (1894)
        Official No.: 103880; First Rebuild: Official Number: 103880 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 47 x 14 -- 11 tons Rebuilt: in 1898 42x9x3 Owned by C. E. Gault, Montreal 1895; M. A. Jessamer, Cornwall Ont. 1901. Built by G. St.Onge, Lachine 1894. Engine 6x9 by Bertram Engineering Works, Dundas Ont. [sic] (made ...
      Official No.: 103880; First Rebuild: Official Number: 103880 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 47 ...
  • Grace Darling (1884)
        Other Names: Maude (1902); Official No.: 85706; First Rebuild: Official Number: 116481 Propulsion: Screw Dimensions: 60 x 14 -- 19 tons Rebuilt: Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada in 1902 51x13x5 Owned by J. W. Taylor, Wallaceburg 1895; J. H. Kittermaster, Sarnia 1901; W. H. Biden, Chatham 1917, 1921. Built by W. Taylor, ...
      Other Names: Maude (1902); Official No.: 85706; First Rebuild: Official Number: 116481 ...
  • Grace Darling (1886)
        Official No.: 85498; 50x14x6 Owned by C. Noble, Collingwood 1895; A. J. Shaw, Parry Sound 1901. Built by J. Storey, Collingwood 1886. Fish tug.
      Official No.: 85498; 50x14x6 Owned by C. Noble, Collingwood 1895; A. J. ...
  • Gordon Kelly (1904)
        Official No.: 130269; 37x11x3 Owned by G. Gordon & Co.,Cache Bay Ont. Built by Peachey & West, Simcoe Ont. 1904. Alligator (warp tug).
      Official No.: 130269; 37x11x3 Owned by G. Gordon & Co.,Cache Bay Ont. ...
  • Gordon Brown (1901)
        Official No.: 94716; 69x12x5 Owned by A. C. Brown, Port Stanley 1901; G. H. Jackson et al., Union Ont. 1917, 1921; W. Wollatt et al., Walkerville 1927. Fish tug.
      Official No.: 94716; 69x12x5 Owned by A. C. Brown, Port Stanley 1901; ...
  • Good Luck (1930)
        Official No.: 157432; Later Registration: Newfoundland (1931) 90x19x10 Owned by Nova Scotia Shippers Ltd., Halifax 1945, 1948.
      Official No.: 157432; Later Registration: Newfoundland (1931) 90x19x10 Owned by Nova Scotia ...
  • Gooding (1904)
        Official No.: 130267; First Rebuild: Official Number: 130267 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 29 x 9 -- 27 tons Rebuilt: Macamic, Quebec, Canada in 1917 29x9x3 Owned by Abitibi Power & Paper Co. Fabricated by Peachey & West, Simcoe Ont. Alligator (warp tug).
      Official No.: 130267; First Rebuild: Official Number: 130267 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 29 ...
  • Gold Star (1899)
        Official No.: 107856; Previous Registration: U.S.A. (1899) 94x22x3 Owned by G. Remillard; to T. Nixon, Dawson Yukon 1900. Engines (2) 10x48 by United Engine Works, San Francisco, to "Thistle". (Sternwheel). Wrecked by ice breakup 13/05/02 Dawson. ; Final Location: Dawson, Yukon, Canada, Wrecked By Ice
      Official No.: 107856; Previous Registration: U.S.A. (1899) 94x22x3 Owned by G. Remillard; ...
  • Greenwood (1897)
        Official No.: 103913; 89x17x4 Owned by A. L. Brownlie & L. Greenwood 1897. Built by L. Greenwood, Okanagan Lake 1897. Engines (2) 9x48 by Willamette Iron Works, Portland Ore. (Sternwheel) Destroyed by fire 01/02/99 Okanagan Falls B. C. ; Final Location: Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, Canada, Burnt
      Official No.: 103913; 89x17x4 Owned by A. L. Brownlie & L. Greenwood ...
  • Greenwood (1900)
        Official No.: 107936; 44x12x4 Owned by Greenwood Canning Co., Eburne (Marpole) B.C. 1901; H. Emeris, Vancouver 1917; W. N. Simpson, Vancouver, 1921. Built by J. J. McDonald, New Westminster 1900. Engine 8x8 by Schaake Machine Works, New Westminster.
      Official No.: 107936; 44x12x4 Owned by Greenwood Canning Co., Eburne (Marpole) B.C. ...
  • Green (1910)
        Official No.: 131339; 92x18x11 Owned by Canadian Northern Pacific Whaling Co. 1914; Victoria Whaling Co. 1919. Engine 12-18-30x18 (maker unknown).
      Official No.: 131339; 92x18x11 Owned by Canadian Northern Pacific Whaling Co. 1914; ...
  • Greenland (1872)
        Official No.: 65085; 151x27x16 Owned by J. & A. Allan (Canada & Newfoundland Sealing Co.) 1872; Canada & Newfoundland Fishing Co. 1877; J. Lamb, St. John's Nfld. 1880; to R. S. Munn, Harbour Grace Nfld. 1881; J. Munn, St. John's Nfld. 1895; Baine Johnston & Co. 1906. Built by A. ...
      Official No.: 65085; 151x27x16 Owned by J. & A. Allan (Canada & ...
  • Grenada (1883)
        Official No.: 85711; 80x15x4 Owned by A. Smallman, Dundee Que. Built by Woods Bros., Prescott 1883. Engine from "Sam Perry". Ferry. Last used 1907.
      Official No.: 85711; 80x15x4 Owned by A. Smallman, Dundee Que. Built by ...
  • Great Western (1866)
        First Rebuild: Official Number: 80576 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 220 x 40 -- 1080 tons Rebuilt: Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1882 220x40x13 Owned by Great Western Railway of Canada; to Grand Trunk Railway 1882. Built by "Mr. Currie" at Jenking yard, Windsor 1866. Fabricated by Barclay Curle & Co., Glasgow Scotland, ...
      First Rebuild: Official Number: 80576 Propulsion: Sidewheel Dimensions: 220 x 40 -- ...
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New Mills List


INTRODUCTION

The aim of this List is to include all inland and coastal steam and motor vessels operating in Canada, over about 45 feet in length for 19th Century vessels, and about 60 feet for those between 1900 and 1930, though some smaller vessels have been listed as well. A few that were registered outside Canada have been included where they ran for an appreciable time in Canadian service (e.g. charter). In the years covered here, British registered ships could operate here on the same basis as Canadian. Warships and those used in transocean services have been excluded. Gross tonnage is used. Listings are under the earliest name held as a Canadian vessel, with references to the last-previous or first-subsequent foreign name where known. Two unregistered vessels that never received names are shown following “Z’.

Much information here, particularly for earlier listings, has been derived from contemporary newspaper news reports and advertisements. In areas not yet penetrated by railways, shipping was of vital interest to all, and the doings and mishaps of steamboats were carefully noted. In the absence of modern news services, the papers copied freely from each other so that a general coverage can be obtained. In a remarkable number of cases this primary source contradicts information contained in other records and has usually been used here; thus this List does not always agree with data appearing elsewhere.

Another source is the Reports of the Board of Steamboat Inspection published annually from 1868 to 1920. These suffer badly from misprints and no single Report can in itself be taken as “gospel”. However if they are systematically tabulated year by year, anomalies can be detected and ignored. The tonnages given can be relied on since many tolls and charges (including the inspection fee itself) were based on them. These Reports have been the source of information on many rebuildings and renamings. Disappearance from the Reports is usually a better indication of retirement than the date of Removal from the Register since the latter date can be twenty years or more after the fact; it is used here only when no more specific information is available.

The Lists of Wrecks and Casualties appearing with the Inspection Reports are less useful than they seem, both because of the misprint problem and also because of the questionable nature of the dates given, which sometimes seem to be the date the “Casualty” was reported rather than the date of the mishap itself. Different dates for the same event are sometimes given in different sections of the same Report, or a different date appears under each name for a mishap (e.g. collision) affecting more than one vessel. This is one reason why dates are given in year/month format only. (The other is that when reading a report in a weekly paper, quoting another weekly, each published on different days of the week, it is impossible to tell what day is meant by (e.g.) “last Tuesday”.)

REGISTRATION IN EARLY DAYS

Registration in the nineteenth century was somewhat haphazard and some vessels in outlying areas were never registered at all, and are given here with such information as is available. They are denoted by “U” in the Official Number column.

The biggest problem is the eccentric history of registration (or non-registration) on the inland waters of Eastern Canada. Originally there was no Canadian register as such; “sea-going” vessels (a very all-inclusive category) were registered at Quebec or Montreal under the Imperial Merchant Shipping Act. They had to be measured for tonnage at one or other of these ports, and since it was impossible for those located above the Lachine Rapids to reach them they were simply ignored, officially speaking. In practical terms all vessels on the Great Lakes and Upper St.Lawrence River before 1845 were unregistered, and are shown by “N” in the Official Number column.

Late in 1845 the Province of Canada (as it then was) passed the Inland Navigation Act which created a Provincial registry system, the Collectors of Customs being required to act as Registrars of Shipping. The purpose was primarily to establish ownership, and hence liability, in case of accident; no central registry existed and records were kept in the various Customs offices. Virtually all of them have disappeared, and there is no official data on any of these vessels unless they lasted long enough to appear on the first List of Shipping published in 1873. Registration under the Inland Act was limited to Canadian-built boats, and it was the custom to register foreign-built craft at Montreal under the Imperial Act regardless of where they were located.

Unregistered vessels could use any name their owners chose, and later apparently the Custom-House authorities were not careful of this matter; the newspapers have proved invaluable in attempting to unravel this particular snarl.

TONNAGE AND NUMBERS

During the period of dual registration (Imperial or Inland), tonnage was computed on different formulae by the two authorities, the one used by the Inland Act (called Custom-House Measure) giving a smaller figure since less of the space above the main deck was counted. The new Dominion of Canada rationalized the system and after 1874 all new registrations were made under new regulations equivalent to the Imperial Act. In 1877 and 1878 all vessels using Custom-House Measure were resurveyed, sometimes with startling effects on their official particulars; the tonnage of some large passenger boats virtually tripled overnight. The resurveyed figure has in all cases been used here.

Official Numbers were assigned from blocks in the British series set aside for the purpose. The use of Official Numbers began in 1855; at that time all vessels then operating and registered under the Imperial Act were given numbers, those in the Province of Canada (registered at Montreal or Quebec) in the 32000/33000 series and those in the Maritime Provinces in the 34000/35000 series. It should be noted that those transferred from British to Canadian register retained their British numbers unchanged. Early registrations before the creation of Official Numbers are also indicated by “N”.

The Custom-House authorities did not use numbers and such vessels are indicated by a dash in the Official Number column. When they were incorporated into the unified Canadian register no numbers were assigned to them unless a resurvey was required due to rebuilding. The last steamer with no Official Number (PIERREPONT) was withdrawn in 1930. The Federal Government did not register many of its own vessels until the time of World War I. The record is unquestionably held by TRUDEAU which was purchased in 1876 but not registered until 1914, almost at the end of her long career.

I must express my appreciation to Prof. Eugene Clevenger and Mr. Charles Rae for their expertise and hard work in the computerization of these records, condemned as they were to work with a computer-illiterate Luddite; also to Mr. Maurice Smith and Dr. Gordon Shaw for their help and encouragement. Most of the research was performed over a period of almost thirty years in the extensive library collection of the University of Toronto, whose staff could not have been more helpful.

John M. Mills

MYSTERY SHIPS

The following vessels were in service as indicated, but are known only from newspaper references and/or Inspection Reports. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Alma: Rideau-Ottawa 1858-62
Augusta: Upper St. Lawrence 1848-50
Beaver: Saskatchewan River 1901-05
Brantford: Grand River 1843
British Queen: Rice Lake Ont. 1850’s
Cornwall: Upper St. Lawrence 1823-32
Dalhousie*: Montreal 1820
Dragon: Upper St. Lawrence 1838-40
Empire: Rideau Canal 1848-49
Felicite: Montreal 1833-36
Fly: Kawartha Lakes 1855-60
Georgie: Fraser River B.C. 1878-80
Glengarry: Upper St. Lawrence 1854
H.P. Redner: Lake Ontario 1860-65
Hastings: Thames River 1848-55
Hope: Lake Ontario 1851-59
Locomotive: Lake Ontario 1855
Longueuil: Montreal 1858
Mohawk: Rideau Canal 1840-42
Moira: Lake Ontario 1844-47
Napoleon: Lake Ontario 1854-56
Neptune: Grand River 1842
Newcastle: New Brunswick 1868-73
Nil Desperandum: Ottawa River 1880’s
North Star: Cobden Ont. 1855-57
North Star: Minden Ont. 1874
Ontario: Ottawa-Rideau 1860-63
Prescott: Ottawa-St. Lawrence 1861-71
Rival: Upper St. Lawrence 1845
St . Anne: Trois Rivieres Que. 1864-70
St. Eustache: Ottawa River 1864-65
St. Paul: Trois Rivieres Que. 1866-72
Sarah: Lake Ontario 1869-71
Victoria: Upper St. Lawrence 1841
Victoria: Lake Ontario 1851-65
Watchman: Lake Superior 1877-83
Welland: Toronto 1856-68

*Note: This is not the better-known steamer on the Upper St. Lawrence 1822-34.