CORRECTION: It has been brought to our attention that the report in this column in the Summer issue to the effect that Inland Steel had ordered two 1000-foot vessels from Bay Shipbuilding Inc. was in error. No such contract has been signed and we thank the two members who were able to obtain definite confirmation for us. We regret any difficulties our earlier report may have caused.
The Metropolitan Toronto Parks Committee voted on September 7th to allot the sum of $250,000 for the repowering of the Island ferry SAM McBRIDE over the coming winter months. The 1000-passenger double-ender has been the backbone of the ferry fleet since her construction in 1939 but in recent years her aging Fairbanks diesels have been causing considerable difficulties. It has not yet been announced where the work will be done but it would seem probable that Erieau might be the location since that was the site of the repowering job done on the older (1935) WILLIAM INGLIS several years ago. We understand that the Parks Committee is also considering doing the same work on the third of the big ferries, THOMAS RENNIE (1951) during the winter of 1973-74.
The veteran whaleback tanker METEOR arrived in tow at Superior, Wisconsin on September 11th, having been towed from her lay-up berth at Manitowoc. The 1896-built tanker will be refurbished as a marine museum at the American Lakehead.
The Roen Steamship Company has sold its cranebarge LILLIAN to Bay Shipbuilding Inc., for use as a floating crane to assist in the repairing of ships in drydock at Sturgeon Bay. The LILLIAN's last assignment under Roen ownership was in connection with the construction of the Detroit water intake in Lake Huron north of Sarnia, although for many years she was used in the pulpwood trade. LILLIAN was built in 1910 at Cleveland as the railway carferry MARQUETTE & BESSEMER 2 (II).
We have learned that the canal tanker GOLDEN SABLE, (a) ACADIALITE, (b) IMPERIAL CORNWALL has been sold once again, this time to the mayor of Louiseville, Quebec. She was towed from Montreal on August 12 by the tug R. F. GRANT, but we have yet to learn what her new owner plans to do with her.
The Hall Corporation of Canada has made another purchase, this vessel being the 550-foot salt water bulk carrier FREJA, formerly owned by the Dover Navigation Company Ltd. and registered at Monrovia. FREJA was built in 1958 by Canadian Vickers Ltd. at Montreal and traded into the lakes under the name (a) AVERY C. ADAMS under the colours of the Wilson Marine Transit Company. She was subsequently sold and has since operated on salt water (and occasionally into the lakes) as (b) CYPRESS and (c) UNION. At the time of writing, the vessel was bound into the lakes on her first trip for Halco, having been renamed (e) SCOTIACLIFFE HALL. She will be operating mainly on fresh water in the future.
The steam tug SIR HUGH ALLAN, retired from National Harbours Board duty in Montreal several years ago, apparently sank at her berth at Sorel, Quebec, during the spring months and has not been raised. Her future does not look promising.
We have been given to understand that there is a very strong possibility that the Algoma Central Railway may soon be renaming its motorship A. S. GLOSSBRENNER, purchased last year from the Labrador Steamship Company Ltd.
The 1914 built steel steam tug TWIN PORT which has been lying at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, for over a year, and which has been purchased by Alexander B. McLean (of A. B. McLean & Sons Ltd.), has been stripped of her cabins and machinery. These items were removed intact and have been placed in the new historical site located opposite the head of Little Rapids Cut, in Belleview Park.
It has been announced that Imperial Oil Limited signed a contract on June 15, 1972, with Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. for the building of a tanker which is designed to be a replacement for the aging IMPERIAL SARNIA. The vessel will be generally similar in appearance to IMPERIAL BEDFORD but will have several improvements in her design, including the installation of small revolving rubber wheels on her sides instead of the traditional wooden fender strakes. The new ship will be scheduled for delivery on November 30, 1973, and her owners hope to operate her through the St. Mary's River and canal as late as they can during the 1973-74 winter season.
We hear that a small bunkering tanker named GRINDSTONE ISLAND is now working for the Consortium Ile d'Orleans on the North Traverse dredging project. The vessel is a barge and we wonder whether this can possibly be the rather elderly I.O.L. BARGE 6, formerly the Imperial Oil bunkering vessel at Halifax. The BARGE 6 was retired several years ago when the new IMPERIAL DARTMOUTH was commissioned. BARGE 6 had seen many years of service on the lakes under her original name, SO. Co. No. 41.
The diminutive tanker HUSKY 120 has been a feature of the Soo, Ontario, harbour for a number of years now as she has lain below the locks deteriorating as the years passed. During the late 50's and early 60's, HUSKY 120 was used as a bunkering vessel in the harbours at Port William and Port Arthur, but had since been idle. She has now been bought by Harry G. Gamble of Port Dover, Ontario, who intends to use her for cleaning up oil spills and other such duties. HUSKY 120 (she will not be renamed) cleared the Soo under her own power on August 20th.
Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, has sold two of its old hulls for operation in the Mediterranean, apparently under Turkish ownership. ONTADOC, which had lain at Sorel since her retirement in 1970, and G. G. POST, most recently one of the inmates at Ramey's Bend on the Welland Canal, cleared Sorel, Quebec, under tow on September 19th bound for a Turkish port. Bearing in mind the condition of POST, one wonders whether she will ever see the sunny Mediterranean.
It appears that the tug and barge combination currently building at Erie Marine Inc. will not be ready for delivery until at least July 1973, much to the pleasure, no doubt, of the many ship fans who are somewhat less than anxious to see the commissioning of the 1000-foot barge.
The lightship HURON, formerly stationed in lower Lake Huron about ten miles from the mouth of the St. Clair River, and retired from active service in 1970, has made her last trip to a permanent berth at Port Huron's Pine Grove Park. Following her retirement, HURON had been moved by the United States Coast Guard to a lay-up berth at Detroit. She was returned to a berth beside the Michigan National Bank Building in the Black River at Port Huron in 1971 when the city finally gained ownership of the ship after much hard work by a citizens' committee which wrested her from the grip of the city of Grand Haven, Michigan, which had received a prior promise of the vessel. On August 29th, 1972, the tugs TIPPERARY and TABOGA took HURON in tow and moved her to a secluded spot behind the new seawall off Pine Grove Park, just below the Blue Water Bridge. The land will be extended out to the new breakwater and eventually the lightship will be berthed in dry land, to serve as a reminder of the years when lightships were common features of lake navigation.
We understand that the final decision in the battle by American Shipbuilding to purchase the Wilson Marine Transit Company is now awaited from Washington. Some observers feel that it will only be a matter of time until AmShip gets control not only of the three vessels whose sale was approved (THOMAS WILSON, A.T. LAWSON and BEN MOREELL) but also of the remaining idle Wilson steamers. Presumably in the hopes that something may soon develop concerning the vessels, EDWARD S. KENDRICK and B.F.JONES were towed from Buffalo to Toledo on August 28 and August 31 respectively by LAURENCE C. TURNER for drydocking and inspection. Both were idle in 1972 and the KENDRICK did not operate in 1971 either. Presumably, if the deal does go through to completion, there will be much casting out of older vessels from the present Kinsman fleet, and this may even occur with the addition of the three vessels already purchased. Our guess would be that ships such as JOE S. MORROW will not last long. (We hope that JAMES E. FERRIS does not fall under the axe!)
We have more detail on the movement of the old wrecking tug FAVORITE to the Michigan Sault where she will become a museum ship for Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historical Sites Inc. She cleared Cleveland early in the morning of August 19th and arrived at the Sault behind LAURENCE C. TURNER on August 21st.
Fans of the sidewheel passenger ferry TRILLIUM, long a familiar sight on Toronto Bay, will no doubt be saddened to hear that the ferry is presently reposing on the bottom of Lighthouse Pond at Gibraltar Point. She apparently settled to the bottom earlier in the summer or late in spring and efforts are presently being made to refloat her. TRILLIUM was retired in 1956 and lay at the ferry docks until 1958 when she was moved to a berth near the Gibraltar Point lighthouse, destined to be cut down to a barge as was her near-sister BLUEBELL. The work was never done, however, and in the intervening years, the elements have taken their toll as her cabins and decks rotted away. The remains are not a pretty sight, and it might be hoped that municipal officials will put the old girl out of her misery.
The McAllister (formerly Sin-Mac) steam tug YVON DUPRE JR. was towed to her final resting place in the Marine Salvage yard at Humberstone by the tugs DANIEL McALLISTER and HELEN McALLISTER on September 8th, the same day that the pair of tugs arrived with the freighters ALPENA and HENRY G. DALTON. We presume that the DUPRE will soon be broken up. To the best of our knowledge, she was the last steam tug remaining in the McAllister lake fleet.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.