Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia sailed through ceremonial gates marking the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway June 26, 1959



boat0071The S.S. Yankcanuck was the last of the composite hull vessels (iron above the water-line, oak below for easy replacement in case of damage) still working the Great Lake area in the 1950s. She was owned by Yankcanuck Transportation Co. Ltd., of Sault Ste. Marie, run by a Canadian skipper and his American wife, which gave rise to the name of the vessel. In 1954 she wintered in Cornwall’s drydocks where her planking and frame were renewed.

boat0069The Wellandoc was built as Edward L. Strong in Trois Rivieres, Quebec in 1922 to sail the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes. In 1926 she was sold to the Canada Steamship Lines and renamed Sherbrooke. During the Second World War she sailed under that name as a registered British vessel and saw service in the Maritimes and along the French coast. After the war, in 1946, she was sold and registered in Panama as Arosa. In 1951 she was sold to an Italian firm and called Ida O. A year later she returned to Canada when she was acquired by N.M Patterson and Sons Ltd. and named the Wellandoc.


Posted: November 28, 2013 in Boats
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The Weehawk could carry 36 cars, summer 1958.

The Weehawk and John L. Walsh carried traffic across the St. Lawrence’s south channel between Cornwall Island and Rooseveltown during the summer of 1958 for the Hudson River Co. The two boats maintained a 15 minute schedule between the mainland and the island.


Posted: November 28, 2013 in Boats
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boat0065The wooden hulled Venus was built over the winter of 1912 to replace the Sirius. The new boat was launched on April 18, 1912. It was fitted to carry passengers, as well as cars, across the river.

boat0063The Transriver was built in Bordeaux, France in 1929, as the coastal vessel Sotteville. Sold the next year to another French firm she became the Greeur.

Ogilvie Flour Company later purchased the boat along with others to transport grain. Operating under Ogilvie’s firm Tree Line Ltd., the ship was renamed the Maplebay. She was finally taken over and refitted for tanker duty by Canadian Coastwise Carriers Ltd. of New Brunswick.

boat0054The canal package freighter Selkirk was constructed by Davie Shipbuilding and Repair Co. in 1926 for Canada Steamship Lines. It was scrapped in Hamilton in 1964.

boat0061The ship Success was built in Burma in 1790 for members of Cockerell & Co. She served as a British merchant vessel, living up to her name, until 1802 when she was chartered by the British government to transport convicts with life sentences to Australia. She was fitted with 72 cells, intended for three prisoners each, but on some voyages there were over 350 prisoners who were crammed in. She transported prisoners until 1851, when she was permanently stationed in Hobart’s Bay, Australia as a receiving prison. She continued to be used as a prison ship until 1885, when she was scuttled and sunk. She was raised five years later as an exhibit to educate and remind people about the almost forgotten history of convict ships.

boat0060In 1912, Capt. D.H. Smith bought the Success and sailed it from Liverpool to Boston navigating her under her own sails. The accomplishment of Smith and his crew was compared to Christopher Colombus’ voyage across the Atlantic. Smith and his crew continued along the East coast, through the Panama Canal and up the West coast, where the ship was visited by huge crowds. She stopped in Cornwall in 1923, for repairs to her hull before heading on to the Great Lakes. She continued as an exhibit ship until 1943, when she was acquired by Walter Kolbe. She stayed near Port Clinton where Kolbe had some land until 1946, when she burned to the water line. The cause of the fire is unknown, though many suspect Kolbe set the fire because the Coast Guard was pressuring him to remove the ship.


The tug Myra pulls the convict ship Success to the Cornwall dry docks for repairs, 1923.

boat0056The St. Lawrence was built by Davie Shipbuilding and Repairing Company in 1927. She worked for Canada Steamship Lines until she was broken-up in 1967.

boat0055In 1876 the St. Francis, along with its sister steamer Bohemian, began running between Cornwall and Montreal. Commanded by Captain Duncan Rankin, this deep bottomed steamer was wrecked in the Lachine Rapids under another Captain while Rankin was ill.

The St. Francis was remembered by the Huntingdon Branch of the Navy League, which named their Cadet Corps after the vessel.