Early this year, we mentioned the sale of the craneship WILLIAM H. DONNER, to the Miller Compressing Company of Milwaukee. It has now been announced that the DONNER'S running mate, CAMBRIA, has also been sold to the Milwaukee firm, and with the sale, the Bethlehem Steel Corp. disposes of its last craneship. The ships were actually managed by Boland and Cornelius of Buffalo and, in earlier years, this arrangement also covered the operation of three other craneships, LAGONDA, VENUS and ELBA, all since sold. The CAMBRIA will be delivered to her new owners at the end of her operating season and will be used for the storage and handling of scrap in Milwaukee harbour. She was built in 1910 at Wyandotte by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. and entered service under the name E. H. UTLEY.
The U. S. Steel self-unloader, W. P. WHITE, is undergoing repairs at Cleveland necessitated by an accident suffered while docked at the Peerless Cement plant at Port Huron, Apparently her port boiler was severely damaged by an "unexplained" loss of water and she will be out of operation for at least a month.
Work has commenced on the stripping of the Canadian National carferry, LANSDOWNE. Romeo Machineshop of Windsor has removed the pilothouse and work is underway on levelling the wooden cabins. Meanwhile, the HURON keeps plugging along under her own steam. The two tugs ordered by C. N. for their river operations are being built by P. M. Yorke & Son Ltd., of Vancouver at the yard of Hike Metal Products located at Wheatley, Ontario.
While on the subject of the river carfloats, we should mention that the Norfolk & Western is still having considerable difficulty with the "Lead Zeppelin," alias ROANOKE. She is proving very cranky and has been involved in an embarrassing number of accidents.
We have learned that the Hall Corp. has already this year carried 650,000 barrels of oil to the Del-Ray plant of the Detroit Edison Co, This information would seem to indicate that rumours of Halco building two more tankers are not unreasonable.
A long-standing ferry service came to an end, apparently, when the Ogdensburg pier of the Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer Co. burned on September 25th after being struck by lightning. The service across the St. Lawrence between Prescott and Ogdensburg had latterly been maintained by the tug and barge combination of PRESCOTONT and OGDENSBURG. We have heard of no plans for rebuilding the dock.
The tanker, CORPUS CHRISTI, latterly operating on the Gulf of Mexico, has been sold to West Indies Transport Ltd. and has been renamed WITSUPPLY. She was better known to us under the names HORACE S. WILKINSON (I), BELGIUM, MICHIGAN and TEXACO-MICHIGAN, and served on the lakes from 1902 until 1964. She was originally built as a bulk carrier.
We have received confirmation of the safe arrival of several more lakers at European ports where they will be dismantled. PARKDALE arrived at Carthagena, Spain, on June 8, 1970. PORTADOC and NIXON BERRY put in at Vado, Italy, on July 1, 1970, while MARTIAN and MATHEWSTON arrived at the same port later the same month, although the exact date is not known. ALEXANDER LESLIE did not leave Lauzon during the Spring and was still there during the Autumn. Meanwhile, ONTADOC, is lying at Sorel awaiting her turn.
Correspondent Ian Crighton of Winnipeg has advised that plans are afoot for the purchase of the veteran Lake Winnipeg passenger ship, KEENORA, by a group interested in moving her to Fort Francis, Ontario, and restoring her as an attraction, KEENORA, built in 1897 and latterly operated by the Selkirk Navigation Co. Ltd., has lain idle at Selkirk since 1965 when she was retired in accordance with Canadian government safety regulations.
The Medusa Portland Cement Co. has exercised its option to purchase the Interlake steamer, C. H. McCULLOUGH JR. The vessel will continue to be used as a barge by Interlake on the Lake Michigan ore trade during 1971, but she is then expected to be converted to a bulk cement carrier so that she may join MEDUSA CHALLENGER. This latter ship was also a unit of the Interlake fleet and for many years was known as ALEX D. CHISHOLM.
On October 10th, the steamer, JOE S. MORROW, backed into the mud while manoeuvring in Duluth harbour. She was taken to Fraser Shipyards in Superior for repairs to her stern and rudder. Normally a routine item of this sort would not bear mentioning, but the fact that this small ship, considered to be one of the "fringe" units of the American Steamship Co., is even being drydocked and repaired would indicate the severity of the rules applied this year to the BoCo operation of the former Reiss vessels. It is believed that American cannot dispose of any of the Reiss vessels for scrap, no matter how uneconomical they may be.
The two Pielstick diesel engines for the new U. S. Steel freighter under construction at Lorain arrived at Cleveland during November aboard the HELEN MILLER. The ship, chartered to Manchester Liners, picked the engines up in England, where they were built. The diesels were shipped by rail to the American Shipbuilding Company's yard at Lorain.
The first winter lay-up arrival in Toronto this fall was Upper Lakes Shipping's WIARTON which arrived on November 15th with a storage cargo. This steamer, one of the longest on the lakes at the time of her building, has just finished her sixty-fourth season, A product of the Chicago Shipbuilding Company in 1907, she sailed for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company under the name THOMAS LYNCH, until her sale to Upper Lakes in 1965.
The long life of the steamer, WOLVERINE, is about to come to an end. Many of our members will not be familiar with this vessel since she has not operated under her own steam for seventeen years. Built in 1896 by the Globe Iron Works at Cleveland, the ship entered service as the SIR HENRY BESSEMER of the Bessemer Steamship Co. In 1901 she was absorbed into the newly-formed Pittsburgh Steamship Company and she served this fleet until sold in 1928 to the Lakewood Steamship Co. Her operators from 1928 to 1935 were the Valley Camp Coal Co., and in 1929 they renamed her MICHAEL J. BARTELME (II). In 1935 she was transferred to the Columbia Transportation Co., Oglebay Norton & Co. She became WOLVERINE in 1943 and operated as such until she was retired in 1953. The following year, she was sold to the Merritt, Chapman & Scott Corp., and was used as a stone storage barge during the building of the Mackinac Bridge. It was then that she suffered a crack in her hull and she has been used for no useful purpose since. She was sold to the Roen Steamship Co, and has laid idle at Sturgeon Bay ever since. In 1965 she was bought by the Waterman Steamship Co. of New York and traded to the U. S. Maritime Administration for new tonnage. Word now comes from member Oakman Mullen that she was towed from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay, Wisconsin, on November 11th, and that she is to be dismantled.
Over the last few seasons, the cost of bunker coal has gone spiralling up while the supply has decreased. As a result, it seems that the day of the coal-fired steamer is rapidly passing, especially on the lower lakes. Scott Misener Steamships Ltd., has decided to convert their ROYALTON to oil fuel and the job will be done this winter at Hamilton. We understand that Upper Lakes Shipping is considering the same type of conversion for POINTE NOIRE.
It seems that while the CHARLES DICK goes about her task of digging sand on Lake Erie, her Master, Capt. John Leonard, spends a good deal of time observing the goings on in marine circles. He has sent word of several more early layups of American vessels. SAMUEL MATHER and WALTER E. WATSON have gone to the "wall" and the "Prog Pond" respectively (!) in Toledo while the cement carrier, J. B. FORD, is also now at this port for drydocking. KINSMAN VOYAGER and LEWIS G. HARRIMAN both went to Buffalo with storage while the barge WILTRANCO tied up at Escanaba. ROBERT HOBSON and COL. JAMES PICKANDS both are at Superior and HARRY L. ALLEN and SILVER BAY laid up in the Corrigan McKinney basin at Cleveland,
A report received from the noted river historian, Capt. Frederick Way, Jr., indicates that DELTA QUEEN unloaded her final passengers at New Orleans on November 1st and was then laid up in the Industrial Canal. Your Editor does not know New Orleans harbour, but a place called an "Industrial Canal" does not sound like a fitting place for the lady to repose. There has been no further word from the Greene Line about the possibility of either a new boat or the continued operation of the D.Q.
The small Lake Ontario sandsucker, C. W. CADWELL, was the victim recently of an accident which left her resting on the bottom of the Niagara River. On the night of November 25th, 1970, she was attempting to dock at Queenston when she struck the wharf, severely damaging her hull plating, Her crew was apparently able to beach the steamer and she settled with her bow dry but her stern section flooded. It remains to be seen whether her owners will consider repairing the little veteran. The CADWELL was built in 1911 at Superior, Wisconsin, by the Superior Shipbuilding Company.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.