Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 22, no. 7 (April 1990), p. 14

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Ship of the Month - cont'-d. 14. bound for Buffalo from Chicago, also had to miss a Cleveland stop, and so many of her passengers had become seasick during the storm that only 9 0 out of 45 0 were able to make it to the diningroom for dinner Friday night. Several ships sought shelter at Erie, in the bay formed by Presque Isle. The Great Lakes Transit Corporation package freighter DANIEL WILLARD was blown onto a sandbar just inside Erie's inner channel. She was pulled free by the harbour tug BUFFALO, but the wind then pinned her against the north pier of the channel, by the Coast Guard station, and she was trapped there for se veral hours. The storm even caused problems on Lake Ontario, where it caught the C. S. L. sidewheeler CORONA on a trip from Lewiston to Toronto. She suf fered sufficient damage that she had to be laid up at Toronto for repairs. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers detailed a steamer to Erie to attempt to locate the wreck of HOWARD S. GERKEN which, after all, was not believed to have sunk in particularly deep water. The vessel swept the area for several weeks, but found no trace of the GERKEN. As far as we are aware, the wreck never has been located on the floor of the lake, but that is not particular ly suprising, in that a poor little sandsucker would not rank high in the interest of most wreck searchers. The ROSAMOND BILLETT - T. P. PHELAN - HOWARD S. GERKEN was a vessel (or ves sels, depending on how one looks at the situation) which had a short life, and one that never was particularly happy. She seemed to be unsuccessful at everything she did, particularly on the Great Lakes for which she never was suited. Perhaps, if the war had not intervened and she had remained on Lake Winnipeg and the Red River, she might have lived out her days in a more friendly environment. * * * Notes to the Above: We would like to thank Ron Beaupre for the tremendous amount of work that he put into the researching of this special feature and obtaining some very rare photographs to illustrate it. We apologize for any changes in the text which the blue pencil of the Editor was required to make for considerations of space, etc. Ron, in his turn, wishes to express his sincere thanks to all of the T.M. H. S. members who participated in the devel opment of the article, and in particular to George Ayoub, Duff Brace, Bob MacDonald, Dan McCormick, Jack Messmer, Ralph Roberts and Alan Sykes. With out the invaluable assistance of dedicated researchers such as these, fea tures of this kind would not be possible. * * * * * SEAWAY SHIPS 19 89 The seventh annual edition of T.M. H. S. member Rene Beauchamp's little book been expanded considerably and the title changed to reflect its more broad coverage of the Seaway scene. Now entitled Seaway Ships 1989. it still deals primarily with ocean vessels which made their first Seaway transit during the past year, with a cumulative list of ships that made their first Seaway trip from 1982 through 1988. There is a special retrospective listing by our member George Ayoub of salties which first came to the Seaway in 1982. New features include a listing of scrap tows in 1989. together with a most comprehensive list of ships of all sorts (including tugs, passenger ships, naval and coast guard vessels, etc. ) which were seen in the Seaway during the year. There is also a full review of Canadian lake fleets and their 1 9 8 9 ac tivities. The 37-Page softcover features an excellent black and white cover view of ATLANTIC HURON leaving the lakes, and there are two other photopages. The book is a "must" for almost every lake or deep-sea ship historian and may be ordered direct from the author, Rene Beauchamp, 904 1 Bellerive, Montreal,' Quebec H1L 3 S 5 . The cost, including postage, is $6.00 Canadian, or $ 5 .50 if remittance is payable in U. S. Funds.

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