Table of Contents

Site Description

  • Steamer
  • 30ffw 9m
  • 216ft Length
  • Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron
  • N45 58.450 W081 45.740

Chronological History #

  • 1899, Jan 4 Launched.
  • 1899, Aug 20 Ashore 8 miles above Port Colborne, ONT, Lake Erie. 1911 Towed BURMA & CEYLON.
  • 1914 Owned Montreal Transportation Co. Ltd., Montreal, QUE. 1916 Owned Canada Steamship Line Ltd.
  • Date Unknown Rebuilt as conventional bulk carrier. 1917, Jan Owned L.L. Henderson.
  • 1922 Sank with heavy damage, Welland Canal; wreck bought by Reid Wrecking Co., repaired & i
  • Navigation Co., Montreal.
  • Date Unknown Laid up Kingston, ONT.
  • 1926 Owned Ramsey Bros., Sault Ste. Marie, ONT.
  • 1928, Se  5 Burned Manitoulin Island, ONT., Lake Huron.

INDIA composite canaller (C 107735). 1914-1921. 976 tons gross, 572.83 net, 215.9’ (between perpendiculars) (Bascom and Gillham said 228’, presumably overall). Capacity 40,000 bushels of wheat = 1,200 tons on 14’ draft. Launched at Garden Island Ontario on 4 January 1899 for the Calvin Co. Iron frame. Three-cylinder triple expansion engine built at Garden Island = 865.9 indicated horsepower, 126 rated horsepower. 1914 value $14,000. 1914 insurance rating 95/100. 1915 value $13,000. 1916 value $10,000. 1917 value $30,000. 1918 value $26,250. 1919 value $23,250. 1920 value $21,506.85.

The Calvin Co.’s canaller INDIA went ashore 8 miles west of Port Colborne Ontario in August 1899 due to dense smoke from forest fires. Her cargo of iron ore was lightered [see definitions] by her consort barge AUGUSTUS and INDIA were then pulled off. She was repaired in 1910. On 23 May 1912 her propeller was fouled by a line and she was beached.

She was cut down to her ‘tween deck [see definitions], which had been fitted for the lumber trade, after her purchase by Montreal Transportation Co. on 16 July 1914. The ‘tween deck [see definitions] was useful when carrying timber but cutting her down made her more suitable for the grain trade. To an observer, the result of the reconstruction was that she then had a raised fo’c’stle and quarterdeck.

She was stranded near Cascade Point in Lac St. Louis on 19 August 1915 while on passage Port Colborne Ontario – Montreal but got off without difficulty. Large repairs were made to her in the spring of 1918 in the Kingston Ontario dry dock.

In 1918 she was sold to Angel B. Lagueruela of Havana Cuba for $110,000 (a deposit of $25,000). The buyer defaulted and Montreal Transportation Co. took her back. Her ownership was transferred to Canada Steamship Lines in 1921 as part of the final winding up of the Montreal Transportation Co. fleet.

She was a constructive total loss after she hit a Welland Canal lock gate, broke through to the lock below, and sank on 16 June 1922. There was $12,000 in damage done to the canal. Although INDIA was refloated four days later, she was abandoned by the underwriters. She was bought in 1923 by Reid Wrecking of Sarnia Ontario (by then associated with Canada Steamship Lines) and repaired (but the Canada List of Shipping 1924 shows her still owned by Canada Steamship Lines). She was owned by the India Navigation Co. (managers Crawford & Co.) 1923-25 for service as a collier. “Crawford” was Crawford Fuels of Kingston. According to Bascom & Gillham, she often delivered coal to Toronto. She was then laid up at Kingston. INDIA was returned to service 1925-28 by her next owners the Ramsey Steamship Co. of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. On 4 September 1928, she was stranded near West St. Mary Island in the North Channel 8 miles east of Little Current Ontario with a cargo of wood pulp. She caught fire under her boiler the next day and burned to the waterline.

Montreal Transportation Co. Annual Directors’ Reports 1914-20; Montreal Transportation Co. Charter (1917) Schedule A; Montreal Transportation Co. Directors’ Minutes 3 July 1914, 10 August and 10 September 1918 and 11 November 1921; Montreal Transportation Co. Engineers’ Logs India 4 Sept-4 Dec 1917 and 25 April-1 June 1918 and R.G.A. Weaver 1 May- 14 Oct 1917; Montreal Transportation Co. Kingston Grain Ledgers 20 July-18 November 1917, 30 Aug-16 November 1917; Alpena Public Library Great Lakes Maritime Database; American Bureau of Shipping Great Lakes Register 1919; Bascom and Gillham Early Ships of Canada Steamship Lines; Bowling Green Great Lakes Vessels Online Index; Bureau Veritas Great Lakes Register 1914; Canada Annual Report of Department of Marine and Fisheries 1915-16; Canadian Heritage Ship Information Database; Devendorf Great Lakes Bulk Carriers 1869- 1985; Canada List of Shipping 1912, 1918, 1924, 1925 and 1927; Greenwood Namesakes 1920-1929; Lloyd’s Register 1905, 1919 and 1921; Mercantile Navy List 1923 and 1925; Milwaukee Public Library Great Lakes Marine Collection; Miramar Ship Index; New Mills List; Swainson A Shipping Empire: Garden Island; University of Detroit Mercy Dowling website; Canadian Railway & Marine News July 1922; Detroit Marine Historian April 1952; Marine Record 17 and 24 August 1899; Marine Review 15 January 1899; Scanner November 1972, April 1976 and December 1981; Schell “Canada Steamship Lines” Belgian Shiplover 2/73.

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