In our April issue, we mentioned that once again this year, the rumours were flying concerning a possible sale of the C.S.L. self-unloader GLENEAGLES to Westdale Shipping Limited. Such a transfer has now become a reality after many years of speculation and with the removal of GLENEAGLES from the C.S.L. fleet, the company has lost its last vessel powered by reciprocating engines. GLENEAGLES has been acquired in order to service the needs of the Ontario Stone Company of Cleveland for whom she has operated in the stone trade for many years. The Century Stone Dock at Humberstone is included in the deal. She has been registered in the name of Dale Transports Limited and will be operated by Westdale. By the time these words appear in print, she will have entered service under the name (b) SILVERDALE after undergoing stem repairs at Port Colborne.
Measuring 582.0 x 60.2 x 28.3, 8582 Gross and 4739 Net, GLENEAGLES was constructed in 1925 as Hull 14 of the Midland Shipbuilding Company Limited at Midland, Ontario. She was built to the order of James Playfair's Great Lakes Transportation Company Limited, Midland, and was absorbed into the C. S. L. fleet in 1926. Converted to a self-unloader in 1963, she was transferred to the C.S.L. affiliate Ocean Lines Limited, Hamilton, Bermuda, in 1964 and in 1973 she was placed under the ownership of a Canadian subsidiary, Pipeline Tankers Limited. GLENEAGLES has long been a personal favourite of ours and we wish for her many years of successful operation in her new colours.
The removal of certain pieces of navigation equipment from LEADALE makes it obvious that Westdale Shipping does not intend to operate this 68-year-old steamer in 1978 or thereafter. She is presently lying at the foot of Yonge Street in Toronto where she spent the winter with a storage cargo of soya beans for Victory Mills.
During the winter months, much was made of the speculation that the Q & O steamer SHELTER BAY (II) might not operate in 1978, primarily due to severe boiler problems which she encountered during 1977. Her retirement now appears to have become a sad reality and she continues to lie in the Toronto ship channel near the mouth of the turning basin. We have heard that she may be sent to Goderich for use as a storage barge by the Goderich Elevator and Transit Company Limited.
Another Canadian steamer which seems to have fallen on hard times is the Scott Misener Steamships Limited bulk carrier ROYALTON. This vessel, a 536.5-footer built at Collingwood in 1924 for the Mathews interests, has in recent years operated in the grain trade during the spring and fall, her summers being devoted to the ore trade between Thunder Bay and Indiana Harbor for the Inland Steel Company. She spent the past winter at Toronto and on the morning of April 4th, she was taken in tow by the tug BAGOTVILLE and removed to Hamilton where she is presently lying. We understand that her owner intends to hold her in reserve at the moment but that she may fit out for the grain trade this autumn. The fact that she is not being used in the ore trade this summer is probably due not only to the recent addition of JOSEPH L. BLOCK to the Inland Steel fleet but also to the planned cessation of ore mining activities at Steep Rock, from whence most ore shipped via Thunder Bay has originated.
The wooden east coast fishing vessel AVALON VOYAGER II spent last summer grinding herself away against the inner end of the Ward's Island pier of Toronto's Eastern Gap and somehow she made it through the winter without falling victim to the pressure of ice in the bay. The 124-foot boat has lain idle at Toronto for a good few years and at one time was used as a floating office for Waterman's Services (Scott) Limited, the firm which operates the Toronto pilot tugs. We now learn that she has been sold for use at Kincardine, Ontario, in connection with catering for a construction operation. She is expected to leave Toronto for her new home in the not-too-distant future.
Scrapping operations have begun at Strathearne Terminals, Hamilton, on the motortanker CONGAR (II) which latterly was operated by Johnstone Shipping Ltd., Toronto. As of mid-April, her stack and a large portion of her after cabin had been removed. CONGAR, of course, served Imperial Oil for many years on the east coast as IMPERIAL HALIFAX.
Several issues ago, we mentioned that Johnstone Shipping Ltd. was attempting to procure the Branch Lines tanker CEDARBRANCH (II) as a replacement for its retired CONGAR (II) which is presently being scrapped at Hamilton. This arrangement has now become a reality and CEDARBRANCH is now trading as (b) SECOLA under the ownership of Secola Shipping Limited, Toronto, an affiliate of Ship Repairs and Supplies Limited and Johnstone Shipping Ltd. Her name is taken from the words "Sea, Coast, Lakes", an indication of the varied service in which she will operate. CEDARBRANCH was built as a canaller in 1951 by Marine Industries Limited of Sorel, Quebec, and was lengthened to 284.6 feet in 1965 by her builders. A near-sister of WILLOWBRANCH (II) which was built the previous year at the same yard, she has been operated ever since by Branch Lines Limited. We wish her every success in her new career and hope that we shall see her often in her new colours.
The newest unit of the fleet of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Great Lakes Steamship Division, the 1,000-foot self-unloader LEWIS WILSON FOY, was christened on April 23rd at the Sturgeon Bay yard of Bay Shipbuilding. Due to enter service later in the 1978 navigation season, the FOY was originally to be named BURNS HARBOR in honour of the ore-receiving port on Lake Michigan but plans were changed before the ship was far along in construction.
Another Bethlehem boat much in the news of late has been the steamer SPARROWS POINT whose future was in considerable doubt as a result of the extensive damage which she suffered in an accident in the St. Lawrence Seaway late in the 1977 season. We are now pleased to report that, at the time of this writing, SPARROWS POINT is on the AmShip drydock at Lorain where full repairs are being put in hand. It seems, therefore, that SPARROWS POINT will remain in the Bethlehem fleet and will not be sold to another operator.
Following the sale of RICHARD V. LINDABURY to the S. & E Shipping Corporation, Kinsman Lines, for whom she will operate as KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (II), many observers have been speculating as to whether the U.S. Steel Great Lakes Fleet would reactivate another vessel to serve as a replacement. Unfortunately, we must report that this will not be the case. During the 1978 navigation season, the "steel trust" will operate all the vessels which ran in 1977 with the exception, of course, of LINDABURY and of the 1923-built near-sister JOSHUA A. HATFIELD which will not fit out. Of the "Bradley" self-unloaders, all will run with the exception of the perennially-idle IRVIN L. CLYMER which still lies at Rogers City. Observers, therefore, need not look for the reactivation of any idle tinstackers, most of which will never again see operation, especially considering the new boats which the company will soon be adding to the fleet.
The on-again-off-again sale of the steam tanker IMPERIAL LONDON is definitely on as we go to press with this issue and a crew should shortly be arriving at Ramey's Bend to fit out the vessel for Caribbean service. Readers will recall that a similar sale of the boat during 1977 fell through after she had been taken all the way to Whitby for drydocking. It seems that the Honduran purchasers have now coughed up sufficient funds to persuade Marine Salvage Ltd. to part with IMPERIAL LONDON.
We understand that the American Steamship Company does not plan to fit out its steamer JOSEPH S. YOUNG (II) this season. The 554-foot YOUNG, (a) WILPEN (27), (b) DAVID P. THOMPSON (69), was built in 1907 at Ecorse and was converted to a self-unloader in 1957 while a unit of the fleet of the Pioneer Steamship Company. She was repowered in 1959 with a Unaflow engine.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.