Vessel Passages

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
Salty Changes
Winter Lay-up Listing
Spotlight On C. Sundt And Dronning Maud
Vessel Passages
Ship of the Month No. 13 Overland, Simon Langell and Claremont
Table of Illustrations

It is the editorial policy of this publication to keep its readers up to date on all recent developments on the lake shipping scene. Consequently, we take pleasure in bringing you the latest vessel passages received over our wire services.

October 12 UPBOUND
CRESCENT CITY, 11:15 a.m.; MARS, 1:20 p.m.; JOHN DUNN JR., 1:35; JAMES H. REED, 1:40; PONTIAC, 1:50; AMASA STONE, 2:50; GEORGE B. LEONARD 3:30; QUINCY A. SHAW, 3:40; B.P. JONES, 5:30; (big) SAMUEL MATHER, 5 :40.
October 12 DOWNBOUND
J. E. UPSON, 12:00 noon; JOHN OWEN, 12:10 p.m.; SAXONA, 12:30; WILLIAM F. FITCH and barge ALEXANDER MAITLAND, 12:40; J.T. HUTCHINSON, 12:50; DUNELM, 1:20; EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, 1:40; SHELDON PARKS, 2:15; JAMES LAUGHLIN, 3:45; JOSEPH G. BUTLER JR., 5:15; TURRET CROWN, J.L. WEEKS, 6:30; STADACONA, 6:45; CHRISTOPHER, 7:25; R.E. SCHUCK, 7:30; C. W. WATSON, 8:00.
October 13 UPBOUND
October 13 DOWNBOUND
October 12 UPBOUND
KENSINGTON, 10:00 p.m.
October 13 UPBOUND
JAMES S. DUNHAM, 1:00 a.m.; MUELLER, 8:30; M. A. BRADLEY, 9:30; HENRY A. HAWGOOD, 10:30.
October 13 DOWNBOUND
ANDASTE, 12:00 midnight; THOMAS LYNCH, 1:30 a.m.; J. M. JENKS, 1:30; DORIC, 2:00; AUGUSTUS B. WOLVIN, 5:30; WILLIAM G. MATHER, 6:30; W.C. RICHARDSON, 7:30; COLONEL, 10:00; ASSINIBOIA, 11:00.

What's that? You say you never heard of most of those ships? Quite right! If you are a newcomer to the marine scene, you probably won't recognize the majority of the names, and the reason for this is that the passages have been reprinted from October 14, 1909, issue of the "SANDUSKY REGISTER". Our thanks to Dave Glick for sending along the original clipping.

Of the vessels listed, only fourteen are now extant, and of these, no more than ten operated during 1970. Not one still serves under the same name as the one under which she was logged in 1909.

In order of appearance, the vessels still sailing are SAMUEL MATHER (GODERICH, Upper Lakes Shipping). JAMES LAUGHLIN (HELEN EVANS, Hindman), JOSEPH G. BUTLER JR. (GROVEDALE, Reoch), STADACONA (ROBERT S. McNAMARA, Ford), JAY C. MORSE (SHELTER BAY, Q&O). ARTHUR H. HAWGOOD (GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER, Kinsman), JAMES S. DUNHAM (OTTO M. REISS, American Steamship), HENRY A. HAWGOOD (W.W. HOLLOWAY, Columbia), THOMAS LYNCH (WIARTON, Upper Lakes), and WILLIAM G. MATHER (NICOLET, American Steamship).

In addition, AMASA STONE is now part of a dock at Charlevoix, Mich., and FRANK W. GILCHRIST serves as a storage barge at Goderich under the name R. G. SANDERSON. KENSINGTON, now known as O.S. McFARLAND, lies at Saginaw awaiting a tow overseas as does J.T.HUTCHINSON (ALEXANDER LESLIE) at Quebec.

Two of the ships reported at the Soo eventually came to fiery ends: MUELLER and ASSINIBOIA finished out their lives in this manner.

Generally speaking, steel lake ships have had a pretty good record as far as safety is concerned, but this group of steamers appears to have been a particularly ill-starred lot. Thirteen of the vessels came to a violent end, either by collision or by stranding or sinking.

The victim of a 1944 collision. JAMES H. REED is seen passing down Little Rapids Cut in this 1921 Young photo from the Bascom collection.
JAMES H. REED now rests on the bottom of Lake Erie off Port Burwell, Ontario. She was sunk in collision with ASHCROFT on April 27, 1944. PONTIAC, having been renamed GOUDREAU, and sailing under the flag of W.C. Richardson, became a total loss in Lake Huron on November 23, 1917, after grounding. B. F. JONES came to the end of her road in the St. Mary's River near Lime Island where she was seriously damaged in collision with CASON J. CALLAWAY in August, 1955. She was never repaired and felt the breaker's torch at Duluth. JOHN OWEN was a "composite" steamer, that is, she had steel frames and topsides, but was planked with oak below the waterline. She foundered with all hands in Lake Superior near Caribou Island on Nov. 12, 1919.

Two of the vessels reported at Port Huron were to be lost en route to European scrappers. SAXONA, later known as LAKETON, broke tow and foundered in the North Atlantic on January 13, 1968, while EDWARD Y. TOWNSEND, already retired in 1966 due to storm damage, broke in two and sank some 400 miles S.E. of St. John's, Nfld., on October 7, 1968.

JOHN OWEN pushes her way through Spring ice above the Soo Locks in 1917, two years before her loss. Young photo. Bascom collection.
TURRET CROWN became a total loss by stranding on Manitoulin Island, November 2, 1924. R.E. SCHUCK of the Gilchrist fleet was later renamed HYDRUS by Pickands Mather and disappeared in Lake Huron during the Great Storm of November, 1913. There were no survivors. The package freighter HURON later became the HURONTON of the Mathews Steamship Co. and was lost in a collision with CETUS on Lake Superior, October 11, 1923. Another collision victim was the Lehigh Valley Railroad's upper lake package freighter WILKESBARRE. Serving the Great Lakes Transit Corp. under the name EDWARD E. LOOMIS, she ran down the Algoma Central steamer W.C.FRANZ in Lake Huron on November 21, 1934. The FRANZ sank almost immediately and her crew was rescued by the LOOMIS which then proceeded to Buffalo. The LOOMIS never ran again due to a combination of poor business conditions and the severe bow damage she had sustained. She was scrapped in 1940 at Hamilton.

ACADIAN was an early canaller built in 1908. She was in wartime service on salt water when she was torpedoed on September 16, 1918, with the loss of 25 lives. ANDASTE was a Monitor; that is, she had squared lines with a raised forecastle, a box-like two-decked cabin aft, and sides that slanted outwards towards the waterline. Converted to a self-unloader in 1925, she sailed out of Ferrysburg, Michigan, into Lake Michigan on September 9, 1929, and was never seen again.

The last of the casualties is W.C.RICHARDSON. At the time of her appearance in our passages, she had less than two months of life ahead. The RICHARDSON was downbound with a cargo of flax for Buffalo when she stranded on Waverly Shoal, just a few miles from the Buffalo breakwater, on December 8, 1909. She became a total loss.

Yes, 61 years have passed since our vessel passages appeared in print, but a small clipping, yellowed with the years, can bring back a lot of memories of the ships that were a part of the boom years in lake shipping.


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