Ever since the restored Muskoka Lakes passenger steamer SEGWUN went back into regular service in 1981, after an extensive and very costly rehabilitation, "Scanner" has done its best to encourage T.M.H.S. members to take advantage of this unique opportunity to ride an operating example of the type of vessel that operated on so many of North America's backwaters, as well as on the Great Lakes. SEGWUN has done reasonably well in her few seasons of reactivation, and she has, we think, proved that such a service is eminently possible, even in the 1980s.
However, even though SEGWUN has done well, and advance bookings for 1985 are excellent, she still carries with her a burden of debt relating to her reconstruction, and she will soon require drydocking for yet another quadrennial survey and inspection. Add to all of this the cost of providing routine parts replacement, repairs, etc., for a steamer nearing her 100th anniversary, and it can be seen that 1985 is a crucial year for SEGWUN.
A group of supporters is presently organizing a new enterprise called "The Friends of SEGWUN", and its purpose will be to solicit charitable donations to offset SEGWUN's lingering debt, and to ensure her viability as an operating ship. It is evident that, were it not for major debt items, SEGWUN could pay her own way through passenger support. As the "Friends" develop their programme, we will keep T.M.H.S. members advised, for we are certain that many will wish to support this most worthy cause.
In the meantime, the Muskoka Lakes Navigation and Hotel Company Ltd. (the firm that operates SEGWUN under the reactivated charter of her former owner, and which no longer has anything to do with hotels or navigation except for the running of SEGWUN), has announced its schedule for the 1985 season, subject to a few late arrangements. The steamer will begin her season on June 15 and will run until Thanksgiving Day, October 14. As usual, Gravenhurst will be the base of her operations.
During the High Season, July 1 to September 1, SEGWUN will run the "100 Mile" Cruise on Monday and Thursday, featuring travel on Lakes Muskoka and Rosseau, and transit of the Port Carling lock. A lunch stop will be made on Monday at Clevelands House and on Thursday at Windermere House, both of these being extremely venerable but beautifully maintained Lake Rosseau resort hotels dating to the nineteenth century. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, SEGWUN will run short sightseeing trips out of Gravenhurst, and on Friday and Sunday she will make four-hour "Millionaires' Row" cruises from Gravenhurst to Beaumaris. Every evening of the week, there will be a dinner cruise from Gravenhurst. Certain variations of this basic schedule appear in the timetable for the early and late-season weeks.
Two-day trips (including an overnight stay at one of the famous resort hotels) include the Heritage Cruise (June 22-23), Friends of SEGWUN cruise (June 29-30), Escape Cruises (September 21-22 and 28-29), and Three-Lakes Cruises (September 9-10 and September 38-0ctober 1, these trips including a run on Lake Joseph). Special day-long trips are planned for October 12, 13 and 14, the three days of the Thanksgiving Weekend, and efforts are underway to organize special day-trips to the Village of Rosseau, located at the head of Lake Rosseau, on Dominion Day (July 1) and Labour Day (September 1).
We cannot recommend too strongly that you savour the joys of a SEGWUN trip while the vessel is still in operation, and by so doing, help to ensure that she can be kept running for many years to come. We cannot afford to lose a restored gem such as SEGWUN, particularly when so much tender loving care and personal dedication has gone into her reactivation. This Society supports SEGWUN and sincerely hopes that its members will do likewise.
For further information about SEGWUN's 1985 schedule, and for ticket reservations, interested parties should address the Muskoka Lakes Navigation and Hotel Company Ltd., P.O. Box 68, Gravenhurst, Ontario P0C 1G0 - phone (705) 687-6667, or in Toronto contact Mr. John Lang of The Cruise People Ltd., 1752 Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M1R 1R4 - phone (416) 759-6606.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.