MINNEDOSA schooner barge (C 94884). 1890-1905. 1,081.44 tons gross, 1,041.38 tons register, 245.0’ (between perpendiculars), 250’ (overall). Capacity 90,000 bushels. Launched at Kingston Ontario by James Roney from Montreal Transportation Co.’s Place d’Armes Shipyard on 26 April 1890 although she stuck when the ways spread under her weight and she did not completely float until the next day. 6,000 people watched the launch. Cost $70,000. She had four relatively short masts. Round stern. Iron fastened. Steel belted (8” wide, 3⁄4” thick) around the top of her ribs. Diagonally strapped. Very heavily built. Centreboard. Steam winch. Bow metal- sheathed. At first had a figurehead in gold leaf (Ceres, goddess of the harvest, with vegetables, wheat, etc., and beavers) that cost $1,000. The figurehead was soon removed due to clearance problems in canal locks. Hull painted black with two orange stripes on the bulwarks. She could make as much as 15 knots under sail by herself, but that required a crew of 12 or more. Usually operated as a tow barge with a crew of eight. 1890 and 1892 rated A1* and valued at $61,000. 1897 rated A1 for 10 years. 1897 rated A11⁄2 and valued at $43,000. 1903 value $18,000.

In October of 1892 MINNEDOSA was shoved against the side of a Welland Canal lock when Fairgrieve’s new propeller ARABIAN (C 100394, 1,073 tons gross) (later owned by Montreal Transportation Co.) broke open the upper lock door. MINNEDOSA suffered a “disalignment” of her side and keel that would cost $15,000 to repair. Montreal Transportation Co. collected the insurance money but did not repair her. She was lost on Lake Huron 21⁄2 miles off Harbor Beach Michigan on 20 October 1905 with the loss of all hands (nine lives including her captain’s wife). She was, together with the Montreal Transportation Co. barge MELROSE, being towed by the Montreal Transportation Co. canaller WESTMOUNT at the time. She was self-insured and on the company books for $17,000. Her registry was closed on 18 April 1906. Together with the barge KILDONAN she was often towed by the Montreal Transportation Co. tug WALKER in the grain trade from the head of the lakes to Kingston.

The Minnedosa region of Manitoba was, and is, the source of great quantities of grain.

Montreal Transportation Co. Annual Directors’ Reports 1903 and 1905; Montreal Transportation Co. Kingston Grain Ledgers 23 April-14 July 1900, 25 April-26 July 1900, 5 May- 4 Aug 1900, 27 July 1900-14 June 1901, 27 July 1900-26 June 1901, 29 June-6 Dec 1901, 8 July 1901-29 May 1902, 12 May 1902-2 May 1903, 30 May 1902-4 May 1903, 14 July-12 Aug 1902, 25 March-6 Aug 1903, 13 June-7 Dec 1903, 28 Aug-7 Dec 1903, 21 May-17 Dec 1904, 27 April-28 Sept 1905, 28 Sept-6 Dec 1905; Alpena Public Library Great Lakes Maritime Database; Bowling Green Great Lakes Vessels Online Index; Canada List of Shipping 1895; Canadian Heritage Ship Information Database; Gillham Ships in Trouble Great Lakes 1850-1930; Inland Lloyd’s Vessel Register Canadian Hulls 1890, 1892 and 1897; Marine Museum of the Great Lakes Canadian Ship Registers on line; Metcalfe Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters; Milwaukee Public Library Great Lakes Marine Collection; British Whig 26 April and 28 May 1890; Marine Review 24 March and 14 July 1898; Neilson “Montreal Transportation Company” Freshwater 1989; Scanner January 1973.

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