The Shipbuilders

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
G. A. Tomlinson Souvenirs
6. Ship of the Month No. 92
The Shipbuilders
Additional Marine News
Table of Illustrations

- The Revelation of the Answers to our March Quiz-

Judging from some of the comments we have heard, a goodly number of our readers have found the March quiz, prepared by Captain John Leonard, to be a challenging exercise in marine history and trivia. We hope that you enjoyed trying the quiz and we present herewith the correct answers so that you can see how you did. Although there were twelve major questions, we asked for exactly fifty individual pieces of information; for a correct score, give yourself fifty points, one for each sub-question.

1. The port was Ogdensburg, N.Y., and the shipbuilder was the St. Lawrence Marine Repair Dock Corporation. Its Hulls 1 and 2, built in 1929 and 1930, respectively, for the Federal Motorship Corporation, were the barge-canal motorships EMPIRE STATE and BUCKEYE STATE. From 1942 until 1945, they were chartered to the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd.

2. The port we were looking for was Oswego, N.Y. In answer to part two, we will accept the name of any of the wooden-hulled steamers or schooners built there, but we were really looking for the first propeller-driven steamer on the Great Lakes. This was the 138-ton VANDALIA which was built at Oswego during the winter of 1840-41.

3. Kingston, Ontario, was the port and its major shipyard was the Kingston Shipbuilding Company Ltd., although other yards did function there over the years. The vessels we were looking for were:

a) Tug and Tender POLANA (23), (b) JALOBERT (54), (c) MACASSA (II)(65), (d) QUEEN CITY - built 1911 and presently serving as an excursion boat in the Detroit - Windsor area.

b) Tug and Tender BELLECHASSE - built 1912 and scrapped at Sorel 1954.

c) Canal-sized motorvessel D. C. EVEREST - built 1953 and still operating for American Can of Canada Ltd. which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1979.

4. The port was Deseronto, Ontario, and its most famous marine facility was the shipyard of E. W. Rathbun and Company. The passenger steamer whose identity we were seeking was the 260-foot CIBOLA, built by W. C. White of Montreal at the Rathbun yard in 1887 for the Niagara Navigation Company Ltd. As a matter of interest, CIBOLA burned at Lewiston, N.Y., on the night of July 15, 1895 and her machinery was later placed in CORONA. CIBOLA's hull is alleged to have been buried in landfill during the Toronto waterfront extension of the early 1920s.

5. The port was Hamilton, Ontario, better known for shipbreaking than for shipbuilding. We were seeking the names of the following vessels:

a) CHIPPEWA - passenger steamer built 1892, Hull 2 of the Hamilton Bridge and Shipbuilding Company Ltd., for the Niagara Navigation Company Ltd. Later operated by C.S.L. and scrapped at Toronto and Hamilton in 1939.

b) ARABIAN - iron-hulled package freighter built 1892, Hull 1 of the Hamilton Bridge and Shipbuilding Company Ltd., for the Fairgrieve Brothers, Hamilton. Eventually passed to C.S.L. fleet. Sold 1926 and reduced to a barge. Final disposition not known.

c) HAMILTON - steel barge built 1901, Hull 4 of the Hamilton Bridge and Shipbuilding Company Ltd., for the Montreal Transportation Company Ltd. Later operated by C.S.L. Rebuilt as a steamer and lengthened in 1921, then scrapped 1937 at Sorel.

d) MYLES (06), (b) CATARACT (27), (c) THERESE T. - composite package freighter built 1882 at Hamilton for Myles and Company. Passed through hands of many owners including C.S.L. Burned 1910 and rebuilt. Reduced to barge 1916. Rebuilt as steamer 1918. Again reduced to barge 1927. Final disposition unknown but appears to have been dismantled at Kingston during the late 1940s. This is the vessel that appeared on the March photopage, the illustration showing her after an accident of unknown nature.

6. The village of Bridgeburg, Ontario, is presently known as Fort Erie. The three vessels whose names we were seeking were:

a) E. B. OSLER (27), (b) OSLER (54), (c) R. O. PETMAN - steel bulk carrier built 1907-08 by the Canadian Shipbuilding Company Ltd. for the St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Company Ltd. Passed to C.S.L. in 1916 and converted to a self-unloader in 1939. Scrapped at La Spezia, Italy, in 1968.

b) TRANSITER (42), (b) TRANSTREAM (69), (c) WITSUPPLY - steel tanker built 1935, Hull 2513 (i) of the Horton Steel Works Ltd., as the pioneer unit of the fleet of Transit Tankers and Terminals Ltd. Lengthened 1937. Exploded 1941 and later rebuilt and again lengthened. Sold 1969 for service in the Caribbean. (The Lloyd Tankers barge BRUCE HUDSON was also built by Horton Steel in 1935 but TRANSITER is the boat we were seeking.)

c) INTERNATIONAL (II) - iron-hulled river carferry built 1872 for the Grand Trunk Railway. Latterly served the Pere Marquette between Port Huron and Sarnia. Sold 1934 and converted to a derrick barge. Final disposition not known.

7. The city we were looking for was Cleveland, Ohio. At one time, the Globe Iron Works, the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company, and the Great Lakes Towing Company were all building vessels at the port. Of course, other shipyards had functioned at Cleveland in earlier years. Globe and Cleveland Shipbuilding were eventually merged into the American Shipbuilding Company which has since abandoned its Cleveland facilities. The Great Lakes Towing Company still maintains a floating dock at Cleveland to service its own fleet of tugs.

8. The shipyard was the Jenks Shipbuilding Company which operated facilities on the Black River at Port Huron, Michigan. The three vessels mentioned in the quiz were:

a) EASTLAND (17), (b) U.S.S. WILMETTE - steel passenger and freight steamer built 1903 for the Michigan Steamship Company. Passed down through several owners and capsized at Chicago on July 24, 1915, with the loss of 835 lives. Salvaged and rebuilt as a naval patrol boat and training vessel. Scrapped 1948.

b) HENRY STEINBRENNER (I) - steel bulk carrier built 1900 for the Kinsman Transit Company. Sunk in collision with HARRY A. BERWIND in Lake Munuscong, December 6, 1909. Salvaged and rebuilt 1910. Foundered in heavy weather near Isle Royale, Lake Superior on May 20, 1953.

c) JAMES R. ELLIOTT (31), (b) NORMAC - steel firetug built 1902 for the Detroit Fire Department. Sold 1931 to the Owen Sound Transportation Company Ltd. and converted to a passenger and freight motorship. Retired from service 1968 and now used as a restaurant at the foot of Yonge Street, Toronto.

9. The ship was the iron-hulled railroad carferry HURON which was fabricated by Palmer and Company, Yarrow-on-Tyne, and assembled in 1875 at Point Edward, Ontario, by John H. Smith for the Grand Trunk Railway. HURON's hull is still in use on the Detroit River as a carfloat.

10. The shipbuilder was James Davidson who, for many years, built vessels for his own fleet at his shipyard at West Bay City, Michigan. Davidson also built ships for other operators. We asked for the name of at least one of the famous boats he built, and any of the following (for example) would suffice: AUSTRALASIA, BERMUDA, CARTAGENA, CITY OF GLASGOW, MADAGASCAR, MONTEZUMA, NICARAGUA, ORINOCO, PANAMA, RAPPAHANNOCK, SACRAMENTO, SHENANDOAH, VENEZUELA, etc.

11. The Georgian Bay port we were looking for was Owen Sound and the yard was that owned and operated by the Polson Iron Works Ltd. of Toronto. The three steamers whose identity we were seeking were:

a) MANITOBA - steel passenger and freight steamer, Hull 23, built 1889 for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Ltd. Operated for the C.P. R. lake service until retired at the close of the 1949 season. Scrapped 1950 at Hamilton.

b) ONTARIO - steel river carferry, Hull 25, built 1890 for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Ltd. for service on the Detroit River. Sold 1916 and later reduced to a lumber barge. Foundered on Lake Superior on October 13, 1927.

c) SEGUIN (20), (b) MAPLEBORO (25), (c) CITY OF MONTREAL (II)(26), (d) ARVIDA - iron-hulled lumber carrier, Hull 24, built 1890 for J. B. Miller and the Parry Sound Lumber Company. Later converted to a package freighter and eventually wound up in the C.S.L. fleet. Sold for scrap 1937, although her engine survived and was placed in the tug J. E. McQUEEN, (a) ESSEX (ferry), (c) STOIC, which eventually served for Imperial Oil Limited in South American waters.

12. We asked a number of questions concerning Alexander McDougall and his famous whalebacks. We will answer them in the order in which they were posed.

a) BARGES 101, 102, 103, 104 and 105, together with the steamer COLGATE HOYT (Number 106) , were built at Duluth, Minnesota. In actual fact, 101's bow and stern sections were built by the Pusey and Jones Company at Wilmington, Delaware, and were shipped to Duluth where they were added to the midbody that had been built there. Lake yards had not yet gained sufficient experience to build the elliptical (or conoidal) bows and sterns, although 102 was wholly constructed on the lakes.

b) The remaining 34 lake-built whaleback steamers and barges were constructed at West Superior, Wisconsin, after McDougall obtained the backing of the Rockefeller interests and Superior, with much foresight, had outbid Duluth in an effort to make facilities available for the building of the whalebacks.

c) McDougall's famous shipyard was the American Steel Barge Company and it was eventually merged into the American Shipbuilding Company when that giant was formed. And yes, the American Steel Barge Company did build vessels other than whalebacks, examples being the barges JOHN SMEATON and CONSTITUTION.

d) Whalebacks were built at yards off the Great Lakes. CITY OF EVERETT was built by the Pacific Steel Barge Company at Everett, Washington, and BARGES 201 and 202 were built by Hendren and Robins at Brooklyn, N.Y. One other whaleback was built off the lakes, but neither by nor for McDougall; she was the Belgian SAGAMORE, built at Sunderland by William Doxford and Sons Ltd. in 1893. Neither CITY OF EVERETT, later converted to a tanker, and the proud possessor of a most interesting life history until her loss at sea in 1923, nor SAGAMORE ever entered the lakes, but 201 and 202 did serve on the lakes from 1890 through 1905.

e) The last lake whaleback constructed and, in fact, the last whaleback built anywhere in the world, was ALEXANDER MCDOUGALL, Number 140, which was launched on July 25, 1898. With a length of 413 feet, she was also the largest of the whalebacks. She differed from all of the others in that she had a normal steamer's bow instead of the conoidal bow that characterized the other products of "McDougall's Dream".

Thus endeth this quiz. We should like to congratulate Duff Brace of Ashtabula who scored a total of 43 out of a possible 50 points. Watch for our next exercise in trivia and frustration in an upcoming issue.


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