Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 30, no. 4 (January 1998), p. 14

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Ship of the Month - cont'd. 14. zell steel hull of the 1887-built Niagara Navigation Company passenger steamer CIBOLA, which burned at Lewiston in 1895. The hull was brought to Toronto and CIBOLA's machinery was installed in her 1896-built replacement which was christened CORONA. Thereafter, CIBOLA's hull lay derelict for thirty years until it, too, was buried in the landfill of the new water­ front. Many people believe that CIBOLA today lies under the Redpath Sugar plant at the foot of Jarvis Street. It is generally thought that ROLLER BOAT's re­ mains lie under the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Boulevard, as a steel obstruction was hit when one of the supports for the elevated expressway was being built. Some sources think it is in the Frederick - Sherbourne Streets area, but if the Harbour Commission's account is correct and ROLLER BOAT was simply buried where she lay, without being moved, then she is substantially farther to the east and nearer to Parliament Street. It is rather fitting that the whereabouts of ROLLER BOAT'S bones is a mys­ tery, since there are so many other unanswered questions concerning the ves­ sel's history. For today's shipping observer, the biggest mystery probably would centre around why the ROLLER BOAT ever was built at all. Had it not been for the fertile but apparently none-too-practical imagination of Fre­ derick Augustus Knapp, it is unlikely that any craft like her ever would have been seen on our Great Lakes. * * * Ed. Note: Our sincere thanks go to Capt. Gerry Ouderkirk for pushing for a centenary feature on ROLLER BOAT, and for rounding up most of the material we needed. We also wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, the research efforts and/or previously-written material of Ron Beaupre, Bob Graham (of the Institute for Great Lakes Research, from whence also came several of the photos you have enjoyed with this feature, including the third one on the December photopage, and numbers two and three on this month's), Mike Izzard, Shane Peacock, Bruce Rudolph, Bob Stephenson, Charles Taws and Don Withrow. And, of course, in what poor state would local marine history be today, if not for the work done so many years ago by the late C. H. J. Snider? We would be pleased to hear from anyone who may have additional significant ROLLER BOAT material. * * * * * MARINE NEWS - CONTINUED H. M. C. S. ATHABASKAN cleared Port Weller on December 4th. Dofasco's new Number 5 ore bridge was put into commission during December, thus rendering unnecessary the transfer barge HAMILTON TRANSFER. We still hear that Upper Lakes Shipping will have her in operation in 1998... Two Great Lakes grain elevators are bowing from the scene. The big Tiffin elevator at Midland is making way for a residential, commercial and marina development, and the mayor of Midland took the first swipe at the structure with a crane-wielded wrecking ball on December 10th. Tiffin was once a major grain destination, as was the much older Aberdeen elevator, located along the same area outside the Midland harbour entrance. Meanwhile, at Toronto, January 15 was the scheduled start date for demolition of the Canada Malting part of the old Victory Mills elevator at the foot of Parliament Street. The plant has been much in news recently as a result of its occupation by a large group of otherwise homeless "street kids" who nicknamed it the "Roos­ ter Squat" in reference to a large rooster painted on the elevating tower. Civic officials have been trying to find other lodgings for the squatters because the derelict plant is in such dangerous condition.

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