Whether it is because they simply like to reminisce about the ships of yesteryear or whether it is that vessel passages appear these days in so few newspapers of the Great Lakes area, our members seem to like seeing reprints of old passages in these pages. We are more than happy to oblige.
This time around, we present an excerpt from the "Navigation News" column which appeared on Monday, October 7th, 1929 in the Toronto Globe. We must remember that, in the early autumn of 1929, business conditions were still good and vessel operators were running just about every hull they could get their hands on and which was in sufficiently good condition for active service. It was, however, less than a month later that conditions began to deteriorate and many boats headed to the wall, a good number of them never to run again. A clue of what was to come can be gleaned from the leading item of that column. There was a general uneasiness in the air but the panic had not yet set in and few observers could have guessed what was to come.
Cleveland. Oct. 6 - (Special) - Although there is a large amount of grain in store at the upper lake ports, cargoes are not coming out any more freely, as sales are small, according to reports. The demand for tonnage for all loading ports was light the last few days and not much chartering was done. Vessels of medium size are taking most of the grain to unload and two steamers of that class were placed yesterday to take cargoes at Fort William for Buffalo at two cents. Grain carriers are getting pretty good dispatch at Buffalo, but cargoes are being handled slowly at Port Colborne and Montreal and a large number of vessels are on the waiting list at the two ports.
Mackinaw City. Mich., Oct. 6, Upbound - R. L. AGASSIZ, 5:30 p.m., Friday; PHILIP MINCH, 8:80; CADILLAC, CRESCENT CITY, 9:10; JOSEPH SELLWOOD, 9:40; SULTANA, 12:40 a.m., Saturday; HENRY PHIPPS, 9:30; KEARSARGE, 11:40; JOSEPH BLOCK, 4:30 p.m.; STEEL ELECTRICIAN, 6:40; F. B. SQUIRE, 7; JAMES A. FARRELL, 8:10; ROBERT HOBSON, 9:40; CHARLES C. WEST, 10; COLONEL, 11:10; EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON, 11:30; KING, 1 a.m., Sunday; GEORGE STEPHENSON and consort, 1:40; CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON, 4:20; W. E. FITZGERALD, 5:30; SIERRA, LYNFORD E. GEER, 6:40; CARL D. BRADLEY, 9:30; GEORGE F. BAKER, RENSSELAER, noon; O. S. McFARLAND, 2 p.m.; T. S. CHRISTIE (departed), 4:10; LAKE CHELAN, 5 p.m.
Mackinaw City. Oct. 6, Downbound - WILLIAM McLACHLAN, 6 p.m., Friday; ROBERT W. E. BUNSEN, 6:40; STEEL CHEMIST, 8; FRED W. SARGENT, 8:30; PENOBSCOT, 9; ALPENA, 10:30; JOSEPH BLOCK, 11:10; W. C. RICHARDSON, VEGA, 11:15; STEPHEN M. CLEMENT, midnight; SAUC0N, 1:10 a.m., Saturday; JOHN McCARTNEY KENNEDY, 2:10; JOHN W. GATES and consort, 4:40; F. A. BAILEY, 5:30; MARTHA E. ALLEN, 6:40; THOMAS LYNCH, 7:10; HORACE JOHNSON, 8:20; ODANAH, 1:10 p.m.; JOHN McLEAN, 3; MARTIN MULLEN, UTICA, 3:30; CARL D. BRADLEY, 4:10; JAMES E. FERRIS, 5:30; B. H. TAYLOR, 7:15; GEORGE G. CRAWFORD, 7:30; DALWARNIC, 9:10; CHARLES M. SCHWAB, 9:30; QUEEN CITY and consort, 10; JAMES J. HILL, 11:30; OTTO M. REISS, 1 a.m., Sunday; J. L. REISS, 1:30; FRANK SEITHER, 2:30; A. F. HARVEY, 3; JOHN W. BOARDMAN, 11:10; JOHN GEHM, noon; HENRY CORT, 12:40 p.m.; WILLIAM K. FIELD, 1; M. A. BRADLEY, 2; RICHARD J. REISS, 3; CHARLES S. HEBARD, 4 p.m.
Detroit, Oct. 6, Upbound - WILLIS L. KING, 8:05 p.m., Friday; WILLIAM T. ROBERTS, 8:40; PRINCETON and ALFRED KRUPP, 10:15; JOHN G. MUNSON, 10:25; W. J. CONNERS, 10:40; CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON, 10:50; W. E. FITZGERALD, midnight; WILLIAM B. PILKEY, 12:30 a.m., Saturday; HOME SMITH, MERTON E. FARR, 12:30; J. P. MORGAN JR., 12:40; JOSHUA A. HATFIELD, 12:50; CLARENCE A. BLACK, 2; SIERRA, 3:45; FRONTENAC, 4:30; GEORGE F. BAKER, 4:40: GUARDIAN and CONSTITUTION, 5; GEORGE F. RAND, 6:10; TAURUS, ROBERT FULTON, 6:30; ISAAC L. ELLWOOD, 7; LEONARD B. MILLER, 7:05: GEORGE B. LEONARD, CONNEAUT, 7:30; FINLAND, 8:10; AMAZON, 8:30; LAKE CHELAN, 10:05; LEONARD C. HANNA, 10:10; W. C. FRANZ, 12:05 p.m.; JOHN A. TOPPING, 12:45; ALEXANDER MCDOUGALL and MARTHA, l:45; VICTORY, 2:05; KENORA, 2:50; EMORY L. FORD, 3:10; ALEX B. UHRIG, 4; CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON, 4:30; SONOMA, 5; J. PIERPONT MORGAN, 5:15; JAMES MCNAUGHTON, 6; A. T. KINNEY, 6:20; ZENITH CITY and SIR ISAAC LOTHIAN BELL, 8:10; SHASTA, 8:15; JOSEPH H. FRANTZ, 8:30; E. C. COLLINS and JAMES NASMYTH, 9:20; CALCITE, CALUMET, 9:30; SARNOLITE, 10; WILLOWBAY, 10:05; SYLVANIA, 10:45; ROBERT L. IRELAND, 11:30; PENTECOST MITCHELL, HOMER D. WILLIAMS, 12:50 a.m., Sunday; CLAREMONT, 1:15; EDWARD N. SAUNDERS JR., 2; AUGUST ZIESING, 2:05; GENERAL GARRETSON, GRIFFIN, 2:30; SUMATRA (arrived), 2:40; NEPTUNE, 3:50; CORNELL, 5; GEORGE H. INGALLS, 5:35; J. M. DAVIS, 6:05; P. E. CROWLEY (arrived), 6:25; A. A. AUGUSTUS, 6:40; PATHFINDER, 7; HOWARD L. SHAW and GEORGE H. CORLISS, 7:10; W. C. RICHARDSON, 7:55; WYANDOTTE, 8; GEORGE G. BARNUM, HENRY G. DALTON, 8:20; W. G. POLLOCK, 8:45; AUGUSTUS B. WOLVIN, 8:50; ANDREW S. UPSON, 10:20; HERBERT F. BLACK, 11:20; E. M. YOUNG, 11:40; P. E. CROWLEY (cleared), 11:55; S. B. COOLIDGE, 12:35 p.m.; DOUGLASS HOUGHTON and MAGNA, 1:05; C. H. McCULLOUGH JR., 3:15; THEODORE H. WICKWIRE, 4:15; D. O. MILLS, 4:20; WILLIAM J. FILBERT, 5:30; TRISTAN, 7; FAYETTE BROWN, 7:50 p.m.
Detroit. Oct. 6, Downbound - DENMARK, 8 p.m., Friday; LAKETON, 9:40; SENATOR, 11; W. G. POLLOCK, 12:30 a.m., Saturday; HEMLOCK, 1:10; JOHN S. MANUEL, 2:45; H. P. McINTOSH, 3; JAMES LAUGHLIN, 3:15; GEORGE G. BARNUM, 3:50; WILLIAM C. ATWATER, 6:10; HARRY COULBY, 7:35; J. E. GORMAN, 7:40; SULPHITE and CORDOVA, 7:50; D. B. HANNA, 8:10; FRED G. HARTWELL, 8:20; J. F. DURSTON, 10:10; ISHPEMING, 10:25; YOSEMITE, 10:30; CAYUGA, B. LYMAN SMITH, 10:55; CALCITE, J. E. SAVAGE, 12:50; CUYLER ADAMS, 2:05; OSCAR J. LINGEMAN, 2:40; COL. JAMES M. SCHOONMAKER, WILLIAM P. COWAN, 2:50; FRANK BILLINGS, 3:30; BETHLEHEM, 3:40; WM. F. FITCH, 5:50; W. F. WHITE, 6:10; S. B. WAY, 6:30; GODERICH, 7:45; SWEDEN, 8:50; SASKATOON, 9:05; MUNISING, 10:30; FRED W. SARGENT, 10:40; HARRY R. JONES, 11; CYGNUS, J. E. SAVAGE, 11:30; CHARLES HUBBARD, 12:20 a.m., Sunday; FRANK H. GOODYEAR, 1:15; BARRALTON and LAKE FRUGALITY, 1:20; SINALOA, 4:45; VEGA, 7; STEEL CHEMIST, 7:50; SUMATRA, 8:10; ALPENA, 8:45; VENUS, 9:45; WILLIAM A. PAINE, 10:30; BEECHBAY, 11:50; MARTHA E. ALLEN, noon; GUARDIAN and CONSTITUTION, 1:10; J. A, CAMPBELL, 2:20; R. R.. RICHARDSON, 3:05; PRICE McKINNEY, 3:25; EDWARD CHAMBERS, 3:45; B. F. AFFLECK, 4:45; SATURN, 5:15; UTICA, 5:30; JAMES H. REED, 6:15; J. J. TURNER, 6:50; STEPHEN M. CLEMENT, 7:10; MALIETOA, 7:45 p.m. .
One of the best known fleets operating on the lakes in 1929 was that of the Great Lakes Transit Corporation. Its beautiful package freighters, with their white hulls and cabins, green boot-top, and red and black stacks, were familiar sights from Buffalo to Chicago and Duluth, and a day seldom passed that at least one of them did not pass by any given vantage point. Seven of them are listed in these passages, namely FRED W. SARGENT, UTICA, W. J. CONNERS, J. M. DAVIS, P. E. CROWLEY, J. E. GORMAN and EDWARD CHAMBERS.
Twenty of the ships reported here met their end by accident, either during operation on the lakes or salt water, or whilst being towed overseas for scrap. These were CARL D. BRADLEY, MARTIN MULLEN (SCOTIADOC), J. L. REISS (SIDNEY E. SMITH JR.), HENRY CORT, WILLIAM B. PILKEY (FRANK E. VIGOR), W. C. FRANZ, TRISTAN (LEPUS), FAYETTE BROWN, LAKETON, SENATOR, T. S. CHRISTIE, A. F. HARVEY (CEDARVILLE), J. A. CAMPBELL (BUCKEYE MONITOR), JAMES H. REED, LAKE FRUGALITY (EASTERN LUCKY), CAYUGA (ALBA), CLAREMONT (GEORGE J. WHELAN) , KING (EVGENIA), J. J. TURNER (W. WAYNE HANCOCK) and D. B. HANNA (COLLINGDOC). The latter steamer was actually a war casualty.
By our count, thirty-two of the boats were still active on the lakes during the 1978 season, although at least three more will have been deleted from this roster by the close of navigation. This time around, instead of naming all these vessels ourselves, we would ask our readers to cast their eye closely and carefully over the list to see if they can pick out all of them. Drop us a line and let us know how many of them you have been able to find.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.