Collingwood & Georgian Bay Line, Royal Line
S S Pacific ~ 928 tons ~ Captain P. M. Campbell
S S Atlantic ~ 740 tons ~ Captain Robt. Foote
S S Northern Belle ~ 500 tons ~ Capt. J. Basset
Manitoulin Expositor, May 24, 1884
However, the crew got the machinery patched up in a short time and the vessel proceeded quietly on her ay; but passengers were never more pleased to escape from a steamer than were those who left the Africa at this port. Manitoulin Expositor, November 15, 1884
Although this is Capt. FOOTE’s first season as master he has been singularly fortunate, never losing a trip or being under the necessity of going on dry dock; a good fortune, by the way which is mainly due to skill and attention to duty. The purser and steward have also have also won golden opinions by their unfailing courtesy, kindness and consideration towards the travelling public. We sincerely wish long life and prosperity to the Atlantic’s crew and trust we may see them all again when the frosts of winter have disappeared before the beneficent rays of Old Sol. Manitoulin Expositor, November 15, 1884
There is the first mate PLAYER to whom cool-headedness as wheelsman of the burning Manitoulin numbers of people owe their lives; first engineer LOCKERBIE, whose thorough professional knowledge and cool courage form a bulwark of strength in hours of danger; Purser STOREY, to whom no trouble, having for its aim the accommodation of the public, is too great; and Steward “Dick” who, in conjunction with his efficient staff of waiters, always so amply provides for the bodily comforts of its passengers. Truly a magnificent vessel and a model crew! May we see them all again in the spring is the wish of everyone. Manitoulin Expositor, November 22, 1884
The following is a record of the departure of last boats from Manitowaning during the past six years:
1879 Nov. 29 Queen
1880 Nov. 29 Emerald
1881 Nov. 27 Emer. & Manitoulin
1882 Nov. 26 Africa
1883 Nov. 25 Pacific & Atlantic
1884 Nov. 27 Magnet
Notes: The Campana passed through Little Current on her last trip down Sunday. The Africa and Magnet left Little Current together Wednesday, the former to wait at Killarney for the latter.
The City of Owen Sound, last of the Collingwood boats, had not arrived at Little Current up to noon Thursday.
Manitoulin Expositor, November 29, 1884
Next to the date of arrival of said boat the most important question is, who will be on her? And in order to satisfy public curiosity on this point we give below a list of the officers on the favorite line for the ensuing season:
Pacific: Capt. Campbell, Engineer Lockerbie, Purser Storey, Steward Tymon. Atlantic: Capt. R. Foote, Engineer Aston, Purser Belcher, Steward Dyon. Belle: Capt. Bassett, Engineer Dee, Purser and Steward Moe.
That the G.N.T.C. knows how to appreciate good men when they get them is shown by the fact that only one of the old officers is off the line this year in the person of Dick Matters. The absence of Dick’s genial face will be matter for general regret but his place will be efficiently filled by Charley Tymon who, as head waiter, gave such universal satisfaction last summer.
Considerable improvements are being made in the way of increasing the efficiency of this popular line which will no doubt be appreciated by the travelling public. Manitoulin Expositor, March 14, 1885
Steam barge Buck-eye, of Chicago, loaded with cedar ties, and coming after her consort Skylark, struck a rock about six miles to the west of this harbour about eight a.m., weather being dark, and misty and the rock not on the chart. A heavy sea was running and the vessel pounded heavily and shortly after striking took fire round the engine. The wind being fresh drove the crew to the small boat who, with great difficulty and in haste, left the wreck saving only a portion of their clothes. The captain and crew of the Buck-eye tender their sincere thanks to the Captain of the propeller Sir. Leonard Tilley and Mr. White of this place. Michael’s Bay, June 13. Manitoulin Expositor, June 20, 1885
Manitoulin Expositor, September 19, 1885
Jas. MAY was on Wednesday last brought before Messrs. PHIPPS and ENGLISH and sent to gaol one month for distributing liquor at Serpent River on the 8th August.Manitoulin Expositor, September 19, 1885
Many Fine Ships Recalled In Days of Busy Lumbering
The ‘Turning Back the Page’ historical column of The Enterprise-Bulletin recently recalled the destruction by fire 40 years ago of two splendid Georgian Bay passenger and freight steamers-the ‘Pacific’ and the ‘Northern Belle’. The two ships went up in smoke within 24 years of each other-the Pacific at her wharf at Collingwood in a fire which destroyed the old Grand trunk freight sheds and wharf while the Northern Belle was burned near Byng Inlet on the east shore
Belonged to old “White Line”
Both boats belonged to the fleet of the Great Northern Transit Co. (the White Line) owned chiefly in Collingwood, and the lost of the two boats crippled the service of the line for a time, but the next season the Str. Germanic was built to replace the Pacific, and a year later the company amalgamated with its old competitor the North Shore Navigation Co. (the Black Line) forming the Northern Navigation co., which now forms an important division of the Canada Steamship Line. The Germanic was burned at Collingwood in 1917.
Right Size for North Shore
The Pacific was one of the best boats ever on the North Shore run. It was about the same type as the Str. Caribou, but considerably larger. It held a reputation of being a sea-worthy ship, of about the right size to navigate the channels and little harbors of the North shore, and at the same time handle profitable cargoes and passenger lists.
Built in Owen Sound
The Pacific was an Owen Sound product. The hull constructed of wood and it was built by the veteran ship-builder, the late Capt. John SIMPSON at his yards on the west side of the harbor in 1883. The first season it was in command of Capt. James FOOTE of Owen Sound, who left to take charge of one of the early C.P.R. boats which went into commission the next year. Then Capt. P.M. CAMPBELL (Black Pete) became master of the Pacific and was in charge until 1894 when he was transferred to the newly-built ‘Majestic.’ He was one of the most picturesque figures among marine men of the Upper Lakes of that day.
Old Steamboat Races
The Pacific could develop considerable speed and ‘Black Pete’ CAMPBELL took his ship into the odd steamboat race. The old side-wheeler ‘Carmona’, then running out of Owen Sound was its chief speed rival. Stories of the races from Killarney and Collingwood were frequent and sometimes the old ships were stoked so hard that flames accompanied the smoke coming out of the stack.
Capt. R.D. FOOTE followed Capt. CAMPBELL in charge of the Pacific and was master in 1898 when on November 3rd, the ship burned as it was tied up at the G.T.R. freight shed at Collingwood. The Pacific was valued at about $75,000 and was insured for about half the amount. There was no loss of life.
In its early operation the Pacific had as its running mates the Str. Baltic (formerly the Frances Smith) and the Atlantic. About 1894, the Baltic was withdrawn from service, and the newly constructed Majestic took its place.
Boats Called at Wiarton
The regular weekly trips of the Pacific and other local boats at that time was from Collingwood and Owen Sound to Sault Ste. Marie via the North Shore. The Pacific would leave Collinwood after the arrival of the noon G.T.R. passenger train from Toronto, and call at Meaford, arriving in Owen Sound about 7 p.m. and after loading cargo from Owen Sound would leave after the arrival of the evening train. In the ‘eighties and early ‘nineties’ these boats called at Wiarton on the way from Owen Sound to Killarney to take on passengers and freight from the G.T.R. branch which had its terminus there but after 1893, when the G.T.R. line was built from Park Head to Owen Sound, the Wiarton call was discontinued.
When Lumber Trade Boomed
The steamer calls along the North Shore were much more numerous than now. The lumber business was at its peak in the north and big mils were operating at many points. There was no motor travel and the Algoma Eastern Railway had not been built to Little Current so that the only means of going to or from Manitoulin Island was by boat. Passenger traffic was a real factor and even late in the season the boats usually carried heavy lists of passengers. These boats carried the mails also.
Mackinac Trip for $10.00
During July and August all these local boats made a weekly call at Mackinac after leaving the Sault and offered special low rates for round-trippers. Twelve dollars and even $10 for a time was the round trip-fare-including meals and berth. Of course boats were operated for a fraction of today’s costs. Needless to say these Mackinac trips were popular.
Almost Daily Boat Service
At one time in the nineties when both the White and Black line were in full operation there was almost a daily boat service form Collingwood and Owen Sound to Manitoulin. Each line had three boats in operation. For a time the Black line had the City of Collingwood, City of Midland and City of London on the Soo route, while the Black Line had the Majestic, Pacific and Atlantic. Those were busy days in the North shore trade. The first two of the ‘Cities’ were burned.
Only a few trips before it was destroyed the Pacific was in collision with the Str. J.H. Jones in Kagawong Bay. The Pacific was not seriously damaged but the Jones was sunk. Towards the end of the season the boat was raised and was in commission the next spring. Ten years later the Jones went down off Cape Croker and all aboard were lost.
Loss of “Northern Belle”
The ‘Northern Belle’ was at one time on the Collingwood-Owen Sound-North Shore route, but for many seasons prior to her loss she made semi-weekly trips from Collingwood to Killarney via East Shore ports-Parry sound, Point-au-Baril, French River, etc.
When the fire broke out on the Northern Belle it was in the Magnettewan River, a few miles from Byng Inlet. It occurred in the morning and the vessel burned to the water’s edge. All aboard got off in safety but members of the crew lost their personal effects. The Northern Belle was a much smaller and older boat than the Pacific and was valued at $15,000 and carried insurance of $10,000.
Many Captains on the ‘Belle’
Built in the winter of 1875-6 in Marine City, Mich., it was first named the ‘Gladys’ and was to run between Detroit and Port Huron. After the first trip the boat was bought by Chas. CAMERON, of Collingwood, manager for the newly organized Great Northern Transit Co., and came to the Georgian Bay under Cap. Dan CAMERON, a member of a family of mariners out of Collingwood for years. The name Northern Belle was given as a compliment to a daughter of Chas. CAMERON, now Mrs. ROSS in Toronto.
In 1877, Capt. P.M. CAMPBELL took charge of the Northern Belle and was followed in succeeding years by Capt. James FOOTE, Capt. D. TAYLOR, Capt. J. B. SYMES, Capt. Neil CAMPBELL, Capt. James BASSETT, Capt. James WILSON and Capt. C. JASUES, in command at the time of the fire.
Other Boats Meet Similar Fate
One of the running mates of the Pacific and Northern Belle-the Str. ‘Atlantic’ met a similar fate five years later-almost to a day. The Atlantic was destroyed by fire off Red Rock, on November 10th, 1903. The Baltic also burned at Collingwood in 1895. In fact nearly all those old local boats departed by the fire route.
The Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin
Aug 1, 1912
Steamer Haggard Sank at Moorings At New Ontario Dock
AND NOW LIES AT THE BOTTOM OF FIFTEEN FEET OF WATER
At 3:30 this morning July 20th the steamer John Haggard, owned by T.S. Sims of Little Current, Captain Pocock, sank at her moorings at New Ontario Dock, and now lies at the west pier in fifteen feet of water. The steamer arrived at the dock at 10 last night on Manitoulin Island and was leaking badly, her pumps having been in operation during the entire trip. At 3 this morning she seemed to have settle and suddenly listing to starboard her cargo of hay and lumber shifted and she sank. But a small portion of her upper deck works could be seen above the water. The large cargo of hay was consigned t o the the Algoma Produce Company but they had not yet taken it over pending an inspection.
It is feared that an unknown man who was seen about the docks early this morning in an intocicated condition shortly before the vessel sank may have gone down with her. It is presumed that he boarded the Haggard to sleep among the hay, and was caught between the bales when the cargo shifted. An investigation will be made today upon the arrival of Mr. Sims from the east. He was notified of the sinking of the Haggart this morning and upon his arrival will arrange for raising her.
The value of the vessel and insurance cannot be learned until the arrival of Mr. Sims.
Just as we go to press we are assured by the New Ontario Dock officials that there was no one on the Haggart when she sank this morning.- Soo Star.
Huge Freighter Goes Down Near Clapperton
Steel Steamer Western Star Struck Rock 18 Miles From Little Current and Disappears With 7,000 Tons of Coal. Crew and Passengers Are Saved
Little Current, Sept 25. – the steel steamer. “Western Star” of Detroit struck on Robertson Rock, north of Clapperton Island Friday morning and sank in six hours. The crew of twenty and four passengers rowed to Clapperton Island, half a mile in lifeboats and then were towed by a gasoline boat fifteen miles to Little Current. The steamer was carrying seven thousand tons of coal from Toledo to Little Current. It is thought both vessel and cargo can be saved. The vessels bow is in only fourteen feet of water.
The City of Owen Sound has been partly raised but work is suspended owing to lack of pontoons. It is expect she will be afloat in a very short time.
The Steam Barge Bruno with her consort was wrecked in the straits of Mississauge this week. The crews were exposed for thirty hours to the weather but all hands were finally saved. The vessels are a total loss.
Wrecking Notes 1882
Until the Manitoulin was burnt people had no idea of the strength of boat. Her hull was almost one mass of iron belts, Capt. Simpson did his work well.
Purser McDougall says our last week’s estimated of the loss of life was exaggerated and that not more than the number first reported were lost.
Mrs. Handbury’s body was sent below by the Belle for burial.
We cordially agree with the Pioneer as to the necessity of more care being exercised for the prevention of fire on board steamboats. We would add that it should be obligatory on captain’s to exercise their crews regularly in fire and life boat service.
Capt. Campbell arrived in charge of a tug Wednesday evening and left for Owen Sound Thursday evening with the hull of the Manitoulin in tow.
The Caption’s prompt decision and clear orders to beach the vessel no doubt saved very many lives. His subsequent bravely in giving directions and encouragement, and his gallant rescue of a little girl from the fames, showed that he is made of the right stuff for a captain, and are worthy of all praise. Pet his orders would have availed little had they not been carried out by the brave engineer and wheelsman. All honour to such men. We are proud of them. Their noble example will be not only a lasting honour to s
Some bones and pieces of flesh were found in the hold of the Manitoulin when she was cleaned out. Dr Frances says they were the remains of an aminial.
One would think after reading our exchanges that there were about 500 ladies on the Manitoulin when she was burnt. Almost every paper we pick up gives an interview with an eye witness from its neighborhood and each of these narrators was, according to his own account the last to leave the wrck and before doing so he assisted some half dozen ladies overboard.
Capt. Thos. Hessey and Wm. Cousins arrived Saturday and have started to fit out the dredge. They intend to have everything ready so as to be able to start work as soon as the weather will permit.
Capt. James Jarmin arrived down from the Soo Saturday and on Monday started his men fitting out the drills and dredge. Everything will be put in first class shape for a big season’s work. The Capt. Is a hustler and he wants to see the rock fly and it will not be his fault if it does not. Good work has been for the past two seasons and an immense amount of rock removed. With the plant they now have hear the dredge will be kept constantly at work.
The steam barge Monohansett and consort Nelson Bloom are loading with lumber at the red mill this week. These tow boats had a hard time in the recent storm. Something went wrong with Monohansett’s machinery and she lay rolling in the heavy sea. The Nelson Bloom hoisted her sails and took her in tow. Bu this means they kept out of the trough of the sea until a steamer came along and towed them into shelter.
The Steamer Cambria
Detroit, Aug. 7 . – the steamer Cabria, which went ashore near Sarnia several days ago, and was released and towed into Port Huron for repairs, has been surveyed and found to be damaged almost to the extent of her insurance, she was valued at $15,000, and insured for $10, 000 in companies represented by the Western of Toronto. Her damage is $9,000. Not only is her hull strained and broken in places, but the bed plate of the engine is broken, the machinery more or less damaged. Nothing has yet been done towards repairing her, but it is said to be the intention of her owners to fix her up again in time for some of the season’s business. By hard work she can be gotten out before this month is ended. – Globe.
First Boat – the first boat to arrive here this season from Collingwood was the steamer Caribou, commanded by Capt. J.L. Baxter. She reached here Tuesday about four o’clock in the afternoon. Having broken the ice from Killarney the tug Cynthia followed her and while she was in Manitowaning the Cynthia came up by Sheguiandah bay and reached here about an hour of her. Both boats were given a royal welcome. The Caribou tried to go up to Gore Bay that night but had to return Wednesday she tried to get up by the north channel assisted by the Iroquois. The ice was too strong and they returned. The Caribou then went around the Island to go to the Sault.
Str. Windsor Seized
On Friday last acting under instructions from the Marshal of the Maritime Court, Chief Wilde seized, on behalf of Capt. Campbell, the City of Windsor, which is now a subject of litigation between Capt. p.m. Campbell and the executors of the Long estate. On Saturday morning the vessel was released, but again seized on behalf of the executors in the afternoon. Now, so to speak, there are two prize crews in charge of the vessel. Capt. Campbell, we understand, is claiming $1400 arrears of salary as manager. – Enterprise Messenger.
Capt. And Mrs. Robert Foote, who have been visiting his brother, Mr. G.S. Foote, left Sunday for Ferus where they will spend a short time with friends are returning to Sarnia. We understanding the Capt. Will commence fitting up the Huronic about the 1st of March.
The Germanic in coming up from Sheguiandah Sunday took the inside channel and this channel is very narrow in places she grounded in the mud. The tugs Gidley, Glen and steamer Iroquois pulled her off. No damage was done.
The Iroquois when coming up from Manitowaning yesterday morning met with an accident by melting the babbit metal out of one of her journals on the engine. The Germanic towed her into port. The journal was soon repaired but it delayed her too long to make the trip. She had on board a large number of passengers for Gore Bay who were going up on the jury. The Davidson and Cuyler took the passengers and mail.
Steamer Lincoln Burned
Sandwich, April 7th. – The passenger steamer Lincoln, which has for several years operated between Windsor, Amherstburrg and Pelee Island , was completely destroyed by fire late last night.
The Lincoln was owned by W.B. Rosevear of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and the Erin by T. and J. Conlon of Thorold Ont. Hard luck has pursued the Lincoln since the closing of navigation last fall. Almost immediately after being laid up for the winter at Windsor the steamer was cut through by ice and sank in deep water. She was raised and repaired and was being fitted out for the coming season, when the fire last night destroyed her. The origin of the fire is unknown.
Sept 14. 1914
Barge Scott Sunk
The steam barge Thos. R. Scott, owned in Wiarton, bound from Cockburn Island to Owen Sound, loaded with lumber, went down off Cabot’s Head for shelter but before reaching there she sprung a leak and rapidly went down.
Dominion Trans. Co. Officers
The officers of the United States and Dominion Transportation Co. steamers have been announced for the season as follows: Caribou Captain J.I Baxter, first officer R.H. Carson, chief engineer J.C. Cosford, second engineer Robert Sinclair, purser T.J. Tolan, stewart J.P. Fitzgerald. Manitou – Captain Arthur Batten, first officer Norman McCoy, chief engineer Robert Orierson, purser Mickle McAuley, stewart Jos. McLeod . Telegram – Capt. McKenzie, engineer Carefoot.
Notice to Marine Men
Notice has been given by the Marine Department as to the dates to which lights and other aids to navigation will be dept in operation. All Canadian lights on the River St. Lawrence will be kept in operation until the close of navigation. All Canadian lights and fog alarms on Lake Superior will be kept in operation this Autumn until the close of navigation, with the exception Caribou Island ,Otter Island, Michipicoten Island, east end ; Gargantus, Michipicoten Harbour, Corbell Point, and Ile Parisienne, from which stations the keepers may be removed at any time after the 1st December. All Canadian lights and fog alarms on Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake St Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and connecting waters will be kept in operation until the close of navigation, excepting the South east Shoal light – ship, Lake Erie, which may be forced to abandon her station by ice conditions before the general close of navigation, and also Lonely Island Light, Georgian Bay which may be closed of navigation. All gas buoys and other floating aids to navigation, spar markers will be laid down if possible.