Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 23, no. 7 (April 1991), p. 10

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Ship of the Month No. 189 JUNO 10. While in the pages of "Scanner" we frequently have featured modern (or relatively so) steel-hulled freighters or passenger steamers of the twentieth century, we must never forget the role played in the Great Lakes shipping industry by the little, wooden-hulled "steam barge" which was so common around the lakes for so many years before being superceded by more efficient ships. These little vessels carried almost every type of cargo that might become available, but most frequently they were employed in the once-thriving lumber trade. One such vessel was the steamer JUNO (C. 90771), which was built of oak in 1885 at Wallaceburg, Ontario, by W.J. McDonnell for William Allen, of Walkerville (Windsor), Ontario. Registered at Windsor, the JUNO as built was 114. 0 feet in length, 27. 0 feet in the beam, and 9. 0 feet in length, these dimensions giving her a Gross Tonnage of 210. JUNO was powered by a simple compound (two cylinder) engine, with cylinders of 15 and 24 1 / 2 inches bore and a stroke of 30 inches. Steam was provided by one firebox-type boiler which measured 61 / 2 feet by 12 1 / 4 feet, and the boiler undoubtedly was fired originally with wood. The engine was built by Kerr Bros, of Walkerville, and the boiler by Stevenson, of Petrolia, Ontario. Many of the steam barges of the p e r i o d were rather homely in appearance, but oh was JUNO a handsome ship! Of the "rabbit" type, she had a sweeping sheer to her hull, and her pilothouse and all of her cabins were located aft. (Some people called steamers of this type "coffins", because so many of them were lost, along with their c r e w s . ) JUNO had a fully raised forecastle and quarterdeck, and her hull was strengthened by hog braces in the form of arch trusses which were built right into the hull sides and rose as high as the top of the spar deck rail. The braces were visible only when the light glinted at just the right angle along the steamer's sides. JUNO had an open rail around the forecastle head and poop, but a high closed rail down the sides of the spar deck. She carried her anchors atop the forecastle head, and worked them with a radial davit set right at the stem. There were heavy wooden fender strakes running along the hull to protect it from bumps with docks or canal walls, and additional protection was provided by means of moveable fenders hung from the rails. The steamer had three masts, one at the break of the forecastle, one half-way down the spar deck, and one just forward of the quarterdeck. They were tall, heavy poles, each with a decorative ball at the top. A very tall flagstaff was carried at the fantail, shaped just like a small version of the masts, and similarly raked. The quarterdeck was closed in around the fantail, and some of the accommodation was carried in this area. Atop the poop was placed a large deckhouse, with big windows, and most of the crew quarters were located in this cabin. The large and tall pilothouse was set atop the deckhouse; it had three large windows in its front, and a prominent overhang of the roof on all four sides. Large nameboards were carried on each side of the pilothouse. There were no bridgewings, and it would appear that, at this time, most of the navigation was done from inside the pilothouse, rather than from an open bridge on the monkey's island. Atop the roof of the after cabin, abaft the pilothouse, was a clerestory which admitted light into the cabin below. The one large lifeboat was set on this deck, carried under radial davits on the starboard side of the skylight. The smokestack, set not far behind the pilothouse, was tall and fairly thin, with a slight flair just at its top. The stack was raked to match the three masts and the flagstaff. JUNO was given a paint scheme which greatly enhanced her lines. She had a high white boot-top, while the rest of her hull was a dark colour. A shade

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