Many historians have been wondering what has been accomplished with the restoration of the veteran Muskoka Lakes passenger steamer SEGWUN since our last report. SEGWUN is a 124-foot iron-hulled propellor which was built back in 1887 as the sidewheeler NIPISSING. She last operated during the summer of 1958 and has since languished at Gravenhurst, part of her time spent housing museum exhibits. She is currently owned by the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society, and with the help of funds provided by the Ontario government and the Ontario Roadbuilders' Association, work has been progressing on the readying of SEGWUN for an eventual return to service.
As of mid-August, the necessary engine refurbishing was progressing well and the major work on the interior of the superstructure was scheduled to start early in September. The required hull work had been completed several years ago. The entire restoration is being done in such a manner as to keep SEGWUN as traditional as possible, and for this reason, she has been granted the necessary official dispensation to allow her to remain a hand-fired coal-burner.
Present plans call for SEGWUN to be ready for steam trials during the summer of 1979, and if all goes well, she should be able to make a few preliminary trips late that season. She will begin full operation in 1980. Much of her time will be spent running short day cruises, presumably from Gravenhurst, but it is hoped that she will be able to operate two and three-day post-season trips which would take her all over the Muskoka Lakes system, overnight stops being made at various hotels. Studies have indicated that most of the municipal and hotel wharves, formerly used by the Muskoka steamers, are still in good condition, so no docking problems are expected.
We wish SEGWUN and her operators every success. We will keep our readers up to date as her reactivation approaches, as we are anxious once again to hear the echoes of her whistle along the Indian River.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.