Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 33, no. 5 (February 2001), p. 2

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BEAVERTON'S DECKLOAD 2. As yet another follow-up to our feature on the Mathews/C. S . L . canal-sized package freighters BEAVERTON and EDMONTON, we ran in the January issue a photo kindly supplied by member Don Boone, of Collingwood. It was taken aboard BEAVERTON in the 1930s, and showed her with a full deckload of new cars and trucks. To assist in dating this unusual photo, we asked the mem­ bers whether anyone could identify the make of the autos and the model year. We need not have worried. Our members are people with many interests and areas of expertise. Accordingly, we now can say without doubt that the ve­ hicles were 1935 Fords. In those years, the new year's models did appear in the latter part of the previous year, but much later in the autumn than is now the custom. Hence, as the trees visible in the background of the photo seem to be in full leaf, we must assume that the view was taken in the late spring or summer of 1935, rather than in the autumn of 1934. For their assistance in answering our query, we extend our thanks to Roger Chapman, to Bas Headford, and to Bob Graham (of Massena). * * * * * MARINE NEWS Despite some of the worst late season-ice experienced in recent years, lake navigation has continued later than most observers would have thought possi­ ble. The St. Mary's River below Nine Mile Point was a problem, but one that was resolved when the Soo Locks closed for the season. The official closing was January 15th, but the last commercial passage was PHILIP R. CLARKE, upbound on the evening of January 12th. The Poe Lock is scheduled to reopen on March 25th. Meanwhile, shipping continued in other areas, but ice was a problem almost everywhere, and the icebreakers were kept very busy. The worst conditions existed from the St. Clair River to Pelee Passage, with the Livingstone Channel of the Detroit River being a particular bottleneck clogged with brash ice. Late-moving cargoes have included salt from Goderich and Windsor, and coal being taken to Ontario Hydro's Lambton and Nanticoke power generation plants. Ship fans from all over the area have been travelling to Sarnia this winter to observe a most unusual sight, namely three U. S. -flag vessels moored side- by-side in the North Slip. They are the USS Great Lakes Fleet Inc. 's venerable self-unloading motorships CALCITE II, MYRON C. TAYLOR and GEORGE A. SLOAN, and they were laid up there in anticipation of a sale which was to involve all three vessels. At last report, however, the sale had not been completed, so we have no details to report at this time. We urge the members to take advantage of this rare photo opportunity as soon as possible. In the January issue, we reported on the plans of the LTV Corporation to file voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code, and also to close down its Hoyt Lakes taconite plant as of February 24th. In fact, LTV did make the Chapter 11 filing, and hopes to present reorganiza­ tion plans to the Court during March. But in the first week of January, LTV announced that the Hoyt Lakes plant would be closed immediately, not in February. The plant originally had been set to close in the summer of 2001. Wintering at Thunder Bay is the hybrid ULS seIf-unloader CANADIAN TRANSFER, which spent virtually the entire 2000 navigation season on the ore shuttle from Marquette to the Algoma Steel plant at the Soo. The TRANSFER sustained bottom damage on November 27th when she grounded in the area of Vidal Shoal whilst making her approach to the Algoma slip. In the last issue, we mentioned the scrapping of the P. S. BARGE NO. 1, (a) EDWIN T. DOUGLASS, one of the last of the canallers, and latterly owned by Le Groupe Ocean Inc. We have learned, however, that the scrapping actually was completed in 2000, and that it occurred not at Quebec City itself, but rather on the beach at Beauport, an eastern suburb of Quebec. The dismant­ ling was done by a private company hired for the job by Groupe Ocean.

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