Friday, March 22, 2013

cruising the lakes

For nearly 100 years, from the early 1800s, packet boats (dual freight and passenger) were the predominant mode of transportation through the Great Lakes. As vessels grew in size, and iron hulls and steam power became more sophisticated, the demand grew for ships that were in fact floating hotels rather than freight boats. Vessels became quite luxurious with the interiors made of the finest wood that would rival the quality of accommodation on the great ocean liners of the day. Overnight cruising also came into its own, and by the ‘20s and ‘30s, there were many lines offering ships with all levels of accommodation. 

But by the 1960's the decadent era of steam ship travel sputtered to an end - mostly due to the expensive new fire regulations after the catastrophic disaster of the S S Huronic's sister ship the S S Noronic which burned at dock in 1949.

I remember the S S Assiniboia's sister ship, the S S Keewatin. It is the only Edwardian ship left and is now resettled in Port MacNicoll on Georgian Bay as a museum. I hope to see it this summer.

The S S Huronic was built in 1901 and owned by the CSL (Canada Steamship Lines). She ran aground in 1928, was refloated and converted to cargo use in the 1930's and later scrapped at Hamilton in 1950.

The S S Assiniboia was built in 1907 and was the last ship still in service until the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) discontinued the passenger service in late 1967. It unfortunately burnt down in 1969 while under conversion to a floating restaurant in New Jersey.

I am not sure which boat is under all this ice.
    both of these cards are linen from around 1920.  Postcard Friendship Friday


  1. Violet!!! These are incredible! Wow--thank you for posting these postcards. The history behind the ships is also fascinating.


    Have a great day, and happy PFF!

    1. thanks, I was pretty excited when I found these cards. now to find the other famous boats...

  2. They are such good looking ships and must have been fun to sail on. The Great Lakes are like enormous seas, aren't they? I imagine you get rough weather there too. It would be quite an adventure to travel on them with one of these ships.

    1. the lakes are enormous. though the freshwater and the long winters helped preserve these boats so they lasted for much longer than the ocean going vessels would have.
      I am not sure if I was ever on the Keewatin, but I do remember going to see it when it came into Port. I would have been less than 8 years old.

  3. Happy PFF. I think I have both of those cards. The second one for sure.

  4. Great post, I love these linen cards. Thanks for sharing, have a happy weekend!


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