Union Transit named its ships in honour of various individuals connected with the firm. These included, in addition to Capt. Foote, David Blythe Hanna who was the first President of the Canadian National Railway Co. and a director of many companies including Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., William Schupp who was an executive of the Toronto Insurance and Vessel Agency, and George R. Donovan, the President of Union Transit Co. It is interesting to note that Mr. Donovan's son, George R. Donovan, Jr., was later President and Manager of Lakeland Tankers Ltd. of Toronto which operated LUBROLAKE and MAKAWELI.
The single unit of the Foote Transit Co, Ltd. was named in honour of Capt. Foote's bank manager, Mr. F. V. Massey of the King and Victoria (Toronto) branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia. Foote Transit, following closely on the heels of Union Transit, left the ship ownership scene when it disposed of its vessel in 1946.
GEO. R. DONOVAN (39), (b) KENORDOC (I). Can. 147782. 1926 Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees. 253.0 x 43.2 x 17.8. Gross 1780, Net 1280. Requisitioned for war service on salt water 1940. Sunk by enemy action in Atlantic, Sept 15, 1940. Owners: 1) Union Transit Co. Ltd. (1926-39). 2) Paterson Steamships Ltd., Fort William (1939-40).
JAMES B. FOOTE (39), (a) EUGENE C. ROBERTS (26), (c) PORTADOC (I). Can. 147246. 1924 Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. 253.0 x 43.1 x 17.8. Gross 1746, Net 1246. Sunk by enemy action, April 4, 1941. Owners: 1) A. B. McKay, Hamilton, (1924-25). 2) Union Transit Co. Ltd., (1925-39). 3) Paterson Steamships Ltd., (1939-41).
D. B. HANNA (39), (b) COLLINGDOC (I). Can. 147780. 1925 Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees. 252.5 x 43.2 x 17.8. Gross 1780, Net 1285. Requisitioned for war service on salt water 1940. Sunk by enemy action, July 13, 1941. Owners: 1) Union Transit Co. Ltd., (1925-39). 2) Paterson Steamships Ltd., (1939-41)
WILLIAM SCHUPP (45), (b) MONDOC (II), Can. 160713. 1928 Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill-on-Tees, Hull 138. 252.5 x 43.3 x 17.8. Gross 1779, Net 1285. Operated during war years by Paterson, primarily on Goderich grain service. Retired 1960. Scrapped at Deseronto, Ont., 1961. Owners: 1) Union Transit Co. Ltd., (1928-45). 2) Paterson Steamships Ltd. (later N.M.Paterson & Sons Ltd.) (1945-61). 3) S. Spiegel Ltd. (1961).
WAHCONDAH (64), (b) ALALC. Can. 102577. 1903 Russell & Co. Ltd., Port Glasgow, Scotland, Hull 509. 230.4 x 37.1 x 21.8. Gross 1575, Net 976. Sold off lakes 1917. Returned 1922. Supposedly to be renamed AHERN COASTER 1955 but never made official. Taken to Gulf of Mexico in early 1960's. Laid up New Orleans 1964. Later operated in Mexican waters. Scrapped in Mexico 1968. Owners: 1) Canadian Lake Line, (R. O. & A. B. McKay), Hamilton (1903-11). 2) New Ontario Steamship Co. Ltd., Inland Lines Ltd., (R.O. & A. B. McKay and Jas. Playfair), (1911-13). 3) Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., (1913-17). 4) Hartlepool Seatonia Steamship Co. Ltd., (Hessler & Co., Mgrs.), West Hartlepool, England (1917-20). 5) Williams Bros., Cardiff, Wales, (1920-22). 6) A. B. McKay, Hamilton (1922). 7) Capt. James B. Foote, (Union Transit Co. Ltd.), 1922-25). 8) Wahcondah Steamship Co. Ltd., (Abitibi Navigation Co. Ltd.), Toronto (1925-55). 9) Benjamin Newman, St. Catharines (1955). 10) Ahern Shipping Ltd., (S. Ahern & B. Newman), Montreal (1955-64). 11) Aceitera y Transportadora Continental de Puerto Mexico, S.A. (1964-68).
Union Transit steamers had black hulls, white cabins, and black stacks. The funnels originally carried a white monogram incorporating the letters T.I.V.A. The letters were soon changed to U.T.Co., also in white.
F.V.MASSEY. Can..160720. 1929 Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., South-Bank-on-Tees, Hull 873. 253.0 x 44.1 x 10.6. Gross 1895, Net 1190. Retired 1961. Scrapped at Montreal 1962. Owners: 1) Foote Transit Co. Ltd. (1929-46). 2) Mohawk Navigation Co. Ltd., (R.A.Campbell, Mgr.), Montreal, (1946-62).
BIRCHTON. Can. 147893. 1924 A.McMillan & Son Ltd., Dumbarton, Scotland, Hull 489. 250.0 x 43.2 x 15.5. Gross 1732, Net 1006. Deepened to 20.4 by Muir Bros. Drydock Co. Ltd., Port Dalhousie, 1950. Gross 2047, Net 1389. Retired 1961, Taken to East Coast 1964 and partially stripped in preparation for conversion to a 175 foot floating drydock. Conversion not completed due to company's insolvency. Towed to Halifax for scrapping 1968. Owners: 1) Mathews Steamship Co. Ltd., Toronto (1924-31). 2) Lake Steamship Co. Ltd. (1931-38). 3) Gulf and Lake Navigation Co. Ltd., Montreal (1938-62). 4) Century Metals & Equipment Co Ltd., Ville St. Pierre, Que. (1962-63). 5) Bathurst Marine Ltd., Bathurst, N.B. (1963-68).
CEDARTON. Can. 147891. 1924 A.McMillan & Son Ltd., Dumbarton, Hull 488. 250.1 x 43.2 x 15.5. Gross 1732, Net 1005. Deepened to 20.5 at Lauzon. Que., 1951. Gross 2009, Net 1407. Retired 1961. Scrapped at Montreal 1962. Owners: 1) Mathews Steamship Co. Ltd. (1924-31). 2) Lake Steamship Co. Ltd. (1931-38). 3) Gulf and Lake Navigation Co. Ltd. (1938-62). 4) Century Metals & Equipment Co. Ltd., (1962).
OAKTON. Can. 147857. 1923 A.McMillan & Son Ltd., Dumbarton. 250.0 x 43.2 x 15.5. Gross 1727) Net 1001. Torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence, 15 miles west of Cape Gaspe, by U-517, September 7, 1942. Three lives lost. Owners: 1) Mathews Steamship Co. Ltd., (1923-31), 2) Lake Steamship Co. Ltd., (1931-38). 3) Gulf and Lake Navigation Co. Ltd. (1938-42).
An interesting point in connection with JAMES B. FOOTE is that she was originally christened EUGENE C. ROBERTS and served A. B. McKay under that name for two seasons. However, to the best of your editor's knowledge, no photograph of her as ROBERTS has ever been found. We would be pleased to publish such a picture if it should ever be located.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.