Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 33, no. 2 (November 2000), p. 12

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BEAVERTON and EDMONTON - continued from Page 5 : 12. The water level in the rapids could change quite quickly as a result of wind direction. In preparation for the joke to be played on the pilot, the crew of EDMONTON took one of the heavy, wooden gangways and stood it up on its edge upon the 'tween deck. When the steamer entered the Galops Rapid above Morrisburg, Horace Beaton was standing up on the spar deck watching for "the signal". Just as EDMONTON passed down over "The Jump" (the rock on which MILVERTON stranded and broke her back), Sliver Anderson looked at Horace and nodded his head. Beaton tapped on a vent with a pipe wrench and the crew below heaved the gangway over onto the 'tween deck. The resulting thump and noise sent the pilot running from door to door in the pilothouse, yelling every­ thing from "Sound the tanks" to "Run her ashore"! All the while, Captain Anderson pretended that he hadn't heard a thing, while the crew enjoyed a great laugh at the tricked pilot's expense! If any other members have anything to add to the history of BEAVERTON and EDMONTON, we would be very pleased to hear from them. Meanwhile, we extend sincere thanks to Ray, Len, Don, Terry and Ron for their assistance with this follow-up. * * * * * Marine News - continued from Page 4 : The Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society, Gravenhurst, has announced the signing of a contract with McNally Construction Inc., of Hamilton, for the construction of a new passenger ship, to be named WENONAH II. Her name will honour the Muskoka Lakes' very first steamer (meaning "first-born daughter" in Ojibwa), and she is to be completed by late September of 2001. The first new Muskoka vessel of any size since CHEROKEE of 1907, WENONAH II will be 127 feet in length and 28 feet in the beam, with a draft of six feet. She will have a service speed of about 11 knots and will be licensed for 200 passengers. Powered by twin 385 h. p. diesels, she will have twin screws and rudders, and will be equipped with a bowthruster. Her hull will be built in nine sections near Belleville, and assembled at Gravenhurst. Her advent will complement the service offered by the 1887-built steamer SEGWUN, and will permit regularly scheduled trips on each of Lakes Joseph, Muskoka and Ros­ seau. During September, the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority ad­ vertised for bids on the sale of the 84-foot, 1947-built passenger and auto ferry DRUMMOND ISLANDER, replaced by the newly-built DRUMMOND ISLANDER IV. Bids were to be submitted by September 29, but we have no word yet of any sale of the ferry. Early in September, the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society signed a no­ rent lease which will allow the volunteer group to proceed with the preser­ vation and restoration of the 69-year-old light tower located off the lower entrance to the St. Mary's River. Ye Ed. recalls the lighthouse when it was in active, manned status, with one of the most mournful-sounding foghorns we ever have heard. Much has been rumoured in recent months concerning a sale to new owners of the USS Great Lakes Fleet Inc. 's self-unloading motorships MYRON C. TAYLOR (of 1929); CALCITE II, (a) WILLIAM G. CLYDE (61) (of 1929), and GEORGE A. SLOAN, (a) HILL ANNEX (43) (of 1943). It does, indeed, appear that there has been a sale, although official confirmation is lacking. It is said that two of the ships will remain in U. S. registry, while one will come Canadian. All three are expected to winter in Sarnia for refurbishment before they take up service for their new owners. Stay tuned for... the rest of the story! There reportedly will be more changes in the "tinstack" fleet.

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