Page 25 - Lakeboats on the Bras d'Or
ISSUE : Issue 15
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/12/1
all day long and they dried out a bit and got to Sydney. I went on the Lakeview in 1928c She was built at the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company in New York in 1914. Youngs in Sydney bought her after the Marion had burnt. They had a little tugboat in and out here from Sydney by the name of the MacHenry • she made a few trips. And there was the New Bras d'Or that they had • she made trips up the lake. She used to go up south through St. Peter's Canal and a- round to Margaree Harbour and Grand Etang and Cheticamp. Then she burned. Then they got another old boat similar to the Lake- view • she was the St. Andrews, an American boat • but they changed her name to the Bras d'Or. After the New Bras d'Or burned. Ths Bras d'Or was tied up for years at Kelly's Cove • and then she sank. There was another one by the name of the Rich? mond • she ran from St. Peters, Red Island and Grand Narrows • a smaller boat. But the old Lakeview when she came down first her name was the Princess. They used her in New York Harbour. It was a water-tube boiler that was in her and she only drew about 5 feet of water. She was top-heavy and she didn't prove very satisfactory. She was supposed to have turned over in the harbour with an excursion crew on her. How true that story is I don't know. She was taken down here and they converted her • put a steam boiler in her. Then she had more of her in the water, she had a better grip. But she was a pretty fast boat • she'd make 15, 14, 12 knots an hour. George Morrison; When the Lakeview first started it only had coils of pipe and there was no weight to her • and then her tubes started getting bad and they turned around and got a new marine boiler • that weighed 39 ton • and that brought her down in the water, so she was quite the sea boat then. We often got into good storms. Pitching and rolling and I often had the fire taken out of the boiler. She come up and come down like this, you know, right hard on another sea and knock the fire right out of her. I often had water go right clean over us, come down the ventilators. (You were the fireman?) Yes, I was keeping steam to her. Then I was operating the engines as much as I was down below. I was back and forth, help the engineer out. Be roughly 140 degrees down there. Lots of coal dust. Put all those clinkers out, then hoist the ashes up. You had to keep the steam right up- feed the fire and had to watch the gauge. We were on a schedule. We left Whycocomagh in the morning at 7 o'clock and in 40 minutes we were due at Little Narrows and from there to South Cove • and they were always right on the wharf. LAKEVIE>V The boats on page 1 and above are among those that ran from Sydney and North Sydney through the Bras d'Or lakes. Elva Jackson in her history o.f North Sydney says the NEW GLASGOW may have been the first of them, in the lakes as early as 1845. Others were the BANSHEE, built 1851, and the LADY OF THE LAKE, built 1865 and deliberately broken up at Sydney, December 16, 1893. The NEPTUNE, here by 1867, ran 17 years with, out opposition • then the CLYDE, a sidewheeler of 596 tons, and others came into ser? vice, Robert Elmsley, Postmaster in Baddeck, recorded in his diary for Tune 1, 1887. the MAY QUEEN, MARION, NEPTUNE and ST. PIERRE (the last probably not a regular lake boat) all in at the wharf. The MARION burned October 21. 1922. The first BRAS D'OR burned at St. Peters;the second sank at Kelly's Cove, New Camp? bellton. She was abandoned as a wreck in 1943. Capt. John Parker told us; "At the beginning of the war they tried to pump her out. W.N.MacDonald took on the Job of of trying to salvage her because they wanted anything that would stay afloat. Ihis vessel had been abandoned there for some time • and what happened inevitably in a laid up ship like that, the kids would get aboard to get at the brass fittings and they'd tear out a valve somewhere and she'd gradually fill up. That's what happened. Anyway, they went over and plugged the holes and put some pumps on • but when they pumped her out they were just pumping the ocean through her. Gradually they stopped all the holes but then the outside pressure of the water collapsed the whole struc? ture • she just caved in through worms and age." The LAKEVIEi'f was the last lake boat.
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