The canal-sized self-unloader VALLEY CAMP was featured last issue as our Ship of the Month No. 118. We commented that her career was largely free of untoward incidents. Al Sykes, however, has brought to our attention that VALLEY CAMP was involved in an altercation with a bridge on the old St. Lawrence canals about 1958. We have no details at all on this matter and would be pleased to hear from any member who might remember the accident.
George Ayoub has cleared up the question of when VALLEY CAMP's registry was transferred to Canada. He advises that she was registered at Newcastle until 1932, at which time St. Catharines, Ontario, became her port of registry. George also advises that the registered owner of VALLEY CAMP until 1932 was her builder, Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd.
Another of the early self-unloading canallers was the Coal Carriers Corp. Ltd. steamer COALFAX, which later finished out her days in the Hall fleet, and was scrapped in Spain in 1967, the same year that VALLEY CAMP was dismantled at Hamilton. COALFAX and VALLEY CAMP had quite a rivalry going between them for many years concerning which of the two would take the honours for being the first boat of the year into the various ports of the lower lakes. Some of the "openings" credited to VALLEY CAMP were at Prescott on April 13, 1936, at Hamilton on April 9, 1940, at Port Colborne on April 10, 1930 and April 6, 1931, and at Toronto on April 6, 1940 and April 8, 1943.
We also mentioned that, under Reoch colours, VALLEYDALE carried just about anything to wherever it was needed. Al Sykes confirms, from one of the vessel's logbooks, that VALLEYDALE delivered 135 cargoes in 1965, and carried some 452,343.75 tons of cargo. She made 122 trips with coal, 11 with stone and two with salt. The salt cargoes were loaded at Goderich and unloaded at Port Huron and St. Clair, while all of the stone was loaded at the Century Dock, Port Colborne, and discharged at Cleveland. The coal was loaded at Toledo, Ashtabula, Conneaut and Sandusky, and unloaded at such places as Port Burwell, Port Stanley, Erieau, Port Colborne, Windsor and Thorold.
And to close off this issue, just a reminder that THE ANNUAL DINNER MEETING will be held on Saturday, May 14th. Please see the front page for details and contact our treasurer for reservations. We look forward to seeing you at the Ship Inn for an enjoyable evening.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.