Member Ronald D. Konkol of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has written to ask for information concerning the United Towing and Salvage Company tug CHAMPLAIN, which operated for many years on the lakes. We are always pleased to reply to such requests in the pages of "Scanner", rather than by personal letter (if we have the necessary data), so that all of our readers may benefit from the information.
CHAMPLAIN (C.116999) was built in 1904 at Paisley, Scotland, by Fleming and Ferguson Ltd. She was 120.0 x 30.3 x 9.8, 522 Gross and 235 Net, and was powered by a compound engine with cylinders of 2li and 47 inches, and a stroke of 25 inches. Steam was supplied by one coal-fired, single-ended Scotch boiler. All of her machinery was built for her by the shipyard.
CHAMPLAIN was constructed to the order of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa, for service as a ferry between Riviere Ouelle and Murray Bay, St. Irenee and Cap a l'Aigle on the St. Lawrence River. She remained in her original service until about 1917, at which time she was taken over for coastal patrol work during the First World War.
The steamer was sold in the 1920s to Sin-Mac Lines Ltd., Montreal, for use as a salvage vessel. She was soon transferred to the ownership of United Towing and Salvage Ltd. (a Sin-Mac subsidiary), and she usually was stationed at Sarnia, Ontario. She left the lakes after she was sold in 1942 to Bowaters Newfoundland Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd., of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. It is recorded that CHAMPLAIN foundered in January of 1943 but we have no details concerning the circumstances or location of her loss. If any other members are able to provide additional information, we would be pleased to hear from them.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.