In the November issue, we featured a list of port arrivals and clearances for May 20, 1905. We hope that our members enjoyed reading some of the long-forgotten names appearing in that report, and that they had some fun with our little quiz on its contents.
We asked for the name of one particular steamer which is still active as a crane barge, although not on the lakes. She is, of course, ROBERT W. E. BUNSEN, which was listed as clearing Escanaba for Lake Erie, presumably with a cargo of iron ore. Latterly operated by the Roen Steamship Company as the self-unloading barge MARQUIS ROEN, she is presently used for the loading and unloading of salties along the Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, La.
Now for the answer to our question about whalebacks. Sharp-eyed readers will have found the names of the steamers WASHBURN, BAYVIEW and PATHFINDER, and the barges BAVARIA, 131, 133 and 137. But what's that you say? Something about our having mentioned five barges rather than four? Well, if you have followed our little quizzes in these pages over the years, then you will know that we are not above throwing the odd curve at our readers.
Some of you might have added to the list the barge SAGAMORE, which was shown as arriving at Two Harbors in tow of PATHFINDER. But then you would have been wrong. The barge mentioned in the passages was actually SAGAMORE (II), not the famous whaleback barge. The whaleback SAGAMORE (I) was lost on Lake Superior on July 29, 1901, as a result of a collision with the steamer NORTHERN QUEEN, a package freighter.
SAGAMORE (II) (47), (a) DAVID Z. NORTON (I) (04), (c) KENORDOC (II), which was built in 1898 at Cleveland as Hull 73 of the Globe Iron Works for the Wilson Transit Company, later became a sort of replacement for the lost whaleback. She passed through a number of fleets in her life, finally winding up with N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd., Fort William. She was eventually scrapped at Hamilton in 1956. It is interesting to note from our passages that she was being towed by the whaleback PATHFINDER, the same steamer that was towing SAGAMORE (I) when she was rammed and sunk back in 1901.
Only one of our readers answered both questions correctly and even caught on to our little trick. Our hat is off to Ron Beaupre of Port Elgin, Ontario. We will have more old vessel passages for you in future issues, and perhaps even another short quiz.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.