Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 32, no. 5 (February 2000), p. 12

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Ship of the Month - cont'd. 12. A most interesting use for OSSIFRAGE at Wallaceburg came after the end of the excursion season for 1914. In late October of that year, she was char­ tered by the Dominion Sugar Company for use as an additional source of steam for use in processing the sugar beet run at the company's Wallaceburg plant. For this purpose, OSSIFRAGE was moored alongside the wharf in the company's slip along the Sydenham River. That wharf still exists today. There was no press mention of OSSIFRAGE running any Wallaceburg trips during 1917, but it is unclear when she left the Chatham - Detroit service. The 1918 Dominion register still showed her as owned by William Ball, manager of the Chatham Navigation Company. It does, however, now seem fairly apparent that OSSIFRAGE left the lakes during 1918, although whether she was active right to the end we do not know. An article dated January 2, 1919, in the "Collingwood Bulletin", listed va­ rious marine accidents of the 1918 season and one entry reads: "September 15th - Passenger Steamer OSSIFRAGE ashore Thousand Islands, below Cardinal". The "Daily British Whig", Kingston, reported on September 18, 1918: "The Donnelly Wrecking Co. 's tugs FRONTENAC and WILLIAM JOHNSTON returned on Wed­ nesday from Sparrowhawk Point, near Cardinal, where they released the pas­ senger str. OSSIFRAGE, which was taken to Cornwall. " OSSIFRAGE, as we noted in our first instalment of the feature, finished out her days when, as a barge, she stranded in the Straits of Northumberland on September 25th, 1919. She broke up soon after the grounding. * * * Ed N o t e : For their great assistance with all of this additional information on OSSIFRAGE, we extend our most sincere thanks to Jack Messmer, to Ralph Roberts, to Ron Beaupre, to Alan Mann, and to Gerry Ouderkirk. The photos we have featured in this issue were all supplied by Ralph, Alan and Ron, and we are especially indebted to Ralph and Alan who made special arrangements to rush photos to us so as to beat our printing deadline. Can we say anything more about OSSIFRAGE? We think that we have now exhaus­ ted the subject, but if anyone has additional information, we would, as usual, be pleased to hear from them. By the way, in our January issue, when identifying the vessels in the 1887 Mackinac Island photo, we noted that at far right could be seen "ATLANTIC (C. 85491), rebuilt in 1883 by Melancthon Simpson out of the burned-out re­ mains of MANITOULIN (I) of 1880". Wrong! Yes, the steamer is the Great Northern Transit Company's ATLANTIC, but it was John Simpson who rebuilt her at Owen Sound from MANITOULIN's remains, not Melancthon Simpson. * * * * * THE FLEET HISTORIES SERIES Volume Seven in John 0. Greenwood's The Fleet Histories Series is now avai­ lable and will be of interest to lake marine historians. Following the same format as earlier volumes in the series, it features the fleets of James Da­ vidson, George Tomlinson, Lake Transit Company, Brown & Company, the Canada Starch Company, Port Colborne & St. Lawrence Navigation Company, Coal Car­ riers Corporation, Bayswater Shipping, and the Jupiter Steamship affiliates. Much obscure information concerning these fleets is presented and, as usual, many extremely rare photographs appear. If this hardcover volume is not available at your local bookshop, contact may be made with Freshwater Press, Inc., 1700 East 13th Street, Suite 3-R, Cleveland, Ohio 44114-3213. Phone (216) 241-0373 or fax (216) 781-6344 for ordering information.

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