White Star Revisited

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Edmund Fitzgerald
Marine News
More About the Steamboats to Hamilton
The November Meeting
White Star Revisited
Ship of the Month No. 53 King Edward
Late Marine News
Table of Illustrations

In our Ship of the Month article last month we featured the passenger steamer WHITE STAR and with the help of Lorne Joyce we can now pass along a bit more information. WHITE STAR was built in 1897 at Montreal and in our last issue we stated that the Oakville Navigation Company was her first operator. As it now develops, this was not so. She was not purchased by that firm until 1899, so we are now faced with the problem of not knowing what she did during her first two years of life.

The Oakville Navigation Company was formed in the spring of 1899 when the sum of $25,000 was subscribed by a group of local merchants and fruit growers in order to ensure the existence of a regular steamship service for Oakville. The existing service operated by the steamer GREYHOUND was very unsatisfactory and the ships of the Hamilton Steamboat Company were unable to call at Oakville regularly because of the shallowness of the harbour. The founding group consisted of Allan S. Chisholm, T. C. Hagaman, George Andrew, John McDonald and W. H. Speers. Hedley Shaw of Foulds and Shaw who owned the flour mill at Oakville was named president of the Oakville Navigation Company at its formation. The company bought WHITE STAR, apparently from a St. Lawrence River operator, and placed her on the Oakville service under the command of Capt. William Boyd. Her purser was W. S. Davis who in 1902 became general manager, secretary and treasurer of the company.

Later in his career, Hedley Shaw set up a flour mill at St. Catharines using machinery and materials taken from a dormant mill at Oakville. This was the beginning of the Maple Leaf Milling Company and Hedley Shaw was its founder. Mills were soon set up at Thorold and Welland, and in 1911 the big mill at Port Colborne was opened.


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