Macassa Revisited

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
Macassa Revisited
The Survivors
A. Andrew Merrilees
Ship of the Month No. 89 Thordoc (I)
Additional Marine News
From The Wheelhouse
Charles Barker
Toronto Harbour's Winter Fleet
Table of Illustrations

We featured the Hamilton Steamboat Company's passenger boat MACASSA in the December issue but, as readers will recall, we were unable to explain how this famous steamer came by her name. No sooner had he read our piece on MACASSA, than member Jack Heintz of Burlington set out to research the problem. After an extensive search of the records of the local press, he believes that he has the answer to this perplexing question.

Hamilton Harbour is, of course, situated on a body of water known as Burlington Bay. The bay is separated from Lake Ontario by Burlington Beach, a narrow strand severed near mid-point by the ship canal which gives access to the Hamilton dock areas. Burlington Bay has, for many years, been touted as an example of what can happen to a body of water should the outpourings of industrial effluent not be checked. The situation has been improved of late, but we are still not in any position to describe Burlington Bay as did the Indians, who referred to it as "Beautiful Water". The Indian word for this quaint description of the bay was, as one might now guess, Macassa, and as such the local residents knew the bay before the coming of the white man.

The name itself has long since disappeared into antiquity, although one famous Hamiltonian once used "Macassa" as the name for his cottage on the Beach. It follows, however, that the H.S.B.Co. could scarcely have picked a more appropriate name for its new steamer back in 1888.

We extend our sincere thanks to Jack Heintz for his efforts in solving a most difficult problem. We are pleased that, after all these years, we finally have the answer.


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