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City of Ottawa: 1907

City of Ottawa: 1907

Cleveland circa 1907. "Steamer City of Ottawa entering Cuyahoga Creek." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Tugging at your heart

The tug WILLIAM L. SCOTT, built in 1890, was steam powered and of wood construction, weighing 54 gross tons, with dimensions of 67.9 x 17.4 x 10 feet. It was dismantled in 1915 at Union Dry Dock, Buffalo Shipbuilding.

I suspect the boat may have been named for Pennsylvania congressman William Lawrence Scott (1828-1891).

Getting A Lift

For fans and non-fans of moving bridges, the current edition at or near that same spot is a rather impressive rail lift bridge, rather than swing version. Everything's up to date in Cleveland.

Swing bridge?

Never was a real fan of bridges that move. Really like them sitting still and anchored.

Launched on June 20, 1871 at Buffalo

for the Atlantic, Duluth & Pacific Company by Gibson & Craig and the King Iron Works, the India was the first of a trio of state-of-the-art iron passenger and freight vessels running between Buffalo and Duluth, the others the China and Japan. Beginning the next year and for the next decade it ran for the Lake Superior Transit Company, allied with a pool of railroad-related steamship companies and after that with the Anchor Line, part of the Pennsylvania Rail Road. Sold in 1906 to the Montreal & Lake Erie Steamship Company, reflagged Canadian, repowered, and renamed the City of Ottawa, the vessel operated as the firm's name implies. Its passenger accommodations were removed in 1913 when Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. acquired the vessel and placed it in the package freight trade between Hamilton and Montreal. Laid up in 1926, the City of Ottawa was sold back into American registry briefly in 1928 and renamed India, and the next year back into Canadian registry for the Algoma Central Railway Company and renamed Sault Ste. Marie, running between Fort William and Toronto. In 1930 it again entered American registry and reverted again to the name India, cut down to a coal barge. Requisitioned by the Maritime Commission for war service in 1942, the India was brought down the Chicago River, Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers for a conversion that never occurred. The India was dismantled on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain in 1945.

The William L. Scott was built at Buffalo in 1890 by the Union Dry Dock Company for that city's Hand & Johnson Tug Line. It was abandoned and dismantled in 1915, probably at Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Name Game

City of Ottawa had a pretty long life on the lakes, a nearly went further. Christened the INDIA in 1871, she joined sister ships in service known as CHINA and the JAPAN. From the annals of the Toronto Maritime Society, these were no run of the mill steamers plying the Great Lakes.

"...The passenger cabin of each was a veritable palace compared to other ships then operating. The staterooms opened off a long open passageway in which the dining tables were set at mealtimes. At the forward end of the cabin was the men's smoking room, while at the after end of the passenger area the cabin opened out into a spacious and luxuriously appointed ladies' cabin, complete with grand piano. The woodwork up to the level of the clerestory was varnished, while the deckhead was painted white. Woodcarvings were in evidence everywhere. The entire cabin was fitted with carpeting and an elegant companionway led down to the main deck where the purser's office was located. As usual for the period, bathroom facilities were not provided in the staterooms but each room did boast "running water" in that reservoirs mounted over the sinks were filled daily by the stewardesses and after that gravity did the rest. The galley was located on the main deck and the food (of excellent repute) was brought to the cabin by means of a primitive lift."

Ironically, while she went by City of Ottawa renaming for most of her sailing days, the ship started as INDIA and ended that way as well, while being refitted for saltwater use during WWII. She was sent down the Mississippi River to New Orleans but deemed too old and unfit, was eventually laid up along Lake Ponchartrain, where it's believed she meet her end to scrappers in 1945.

What is supporting that bridge?

Was this photo somehow manipulated or am I just not seeing the bridge/ferry landing properly? The shadows do not look correct, nor does the water beneath it. Is the dark pile which is barely visible made of steel, and all that is bearing the weight?

[It's a swing bridge in the open position. -tterrace]

Thanks Dave...makes perfect sense now! I hadn't considered that it was pointing 90 degrees from its normal orientation :-) (even though I have a defunct center pivot one close by)

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