Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 36, no. 4 (January 2004), p. 13

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13. Ship of the Month - cont'd. ANGUS M. and SOULANGES to Sorel Tugs. The HUNTLEY was laid up at Port Hawkesbury, N. S., during the winter of 1992-1993. We reported in the October 1993 issue of "Scanner" that CHARLES R. HUNTLEY had left the east coast during May of that year, and had been acquired by Verreault Navigation Inc., of Les Mechins, Quebec. We also noted that she had been renamed (b) BV RAYNA, but did not then know what the name meant. In fact, ' BV ' stood for Borromee Verreault, a member of the owning family, while Rayna was the Christian name given to an infant Chinese girl who was adopted by one of the Verreaults. In June of 1993, the ship was on the Ver­ reault drydock for a refit, during which she was given an entirely new and much larger (although not very handsome) pilothouse. By August, she was hard at work dredging in the Lower Traverse of the St. Lawrence below Ile d'Or­ leans. She returned to Les Mechins during the autumn for continuation of the refit. Despite all the work done on her, however, 1994 was her last season of operation, following which she was laid up at Matane, Quebec. She never ran again. It was suggested during 1999 that she was then being broken up, but such proved not to be the case. Scrapping did, however, begin during the summer of 2003, and by early August, most of her forward end was gone. We imagine that, by now, the dismantling will have been completed. CHARLES R. HUNTLEY enjoyed a life of 77 years, far more than ever could have been ima­ gined for her by her builders or her original owners. * * * Ed. Note: It was early December and, faced with a "short month" before the January issue of "Scanner" would have to be ready, Ye Ed. was wracking his brain for a good idea for a ship to be featured. Along came Gerry Ouderkirk with the suggestion of CHARLES R. HUNTLEY, on which he served for a period of time when Alexander Hume Inc. owned her. He lent us his entire file of HUNTLEY material, which fleshed out the information to be gained from period press, and from the collections of James M. Kidd, John H. Bascom and Ivan Brookes. Thus came to be this history of the famous canaller. Our thanks also go to Rene Beauchamp and to Don Boone, and to John Greenwood for biographical details of Nisbet Grammer, Judge Hart and Charles R. Huntley. * * * * * MARINE NEWS - Continued from Page 3 Several other lake vessels will be operating off-lakes this winter. The tug EVERLAST and barge NORMAN McLEOD are again chartered by the Irving interests for service on the east coast, and it is hoped that EVERLAST will be able to make it through the winter without further mechanical problems. Meanwhile, C. S. L. 's ATLANTIC SUPERIOR will be on the gypsum run on the east coast through the winter months. With her sale to New York interests apparently fallen through, the 101-year- old former BobLo Island ferry steamer COLUMBIA has continued to languish at the Nicholson yard in Ecorse, her superstructure rotting away but the hull, apparently, still in relatively decent shape. The Detroit River Conservancy, charged with overseeing a $500 million redevelopment of the riverfront from Hart Plaza to Belle Isle, will conduct a feasibility study, to cost up to $300, 000 and take some six months, as to whether the COLUMBIA could be re­ furbished for service along the Detroit River. Sections of the RiverWalk are scheduled to open in 2005 and 2006, and the Conservancy believes that COLUMBIA could be an important attraction for people to reclaim their water­ front. This is, however, only a feasibility study and not a guarantee that the famous old steamer can be returned to service. Continued on Page 14

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