Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The S.S. Keewatin

So I decided to spend the day on the western end of the state yesterday. I originally was going to look at lighthouses but a friend decided that seeing some of the museum ships would be funner. I agreed with him, so we looked at those.

There are actually quite a few of them within a short driving distance of each other. There are a few more that we didn't go see and I guess I'll have to do that some other day.

Our first stop was the S.S. Keewatin in Douglas, Michigan. The town itself is a little bit south of Saugatuck and sits near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. I don't think this ship was in the town proper though, so I can't really say much about the town.

The ship was built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1907 and sailed to Montreal on her maiden voyage. She was longer than the Welland Canal at the time, so she had to split in half in order to make that part of the voyage. She was put back together on the other side.

In 1908, she began her regular passenger service from Owen Sound (on the eastern portion of Lake Huron) to Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) as the Canadian Pacific Railroad didn't connect those cities by railroad. She was retired from service in 1965 as she was deemed a fire hazard with all the wood paneling and what not. She is the last of the classic Great Lakes Steamships still afloat.

This was called the flower deck and was where many of the ladies of the ship would gather. It was actually a pretty nice area.This is one of the crew quarters. As you can see, kind of cramped.

One of the nicer staterooms on the ship. But still a bit crowded for my tastes. I forget what they said it would cost to travel in one of these rooms but they were one of the more expensive rooms.
This was an open air meeting area.
One of the stained glass windows above the flower deck.
An overall shot of the dining room. It could seat 100 people and had a wide range of meals.
The kitchen for the dining room.
This room was used for dances.
Some of the lovely woodwork on the ship. The figure represents one of the major figures of British history as the ship was constructed in Scotland.
One of the lifeboats.
This was a Marconi Wireless Telegraph. This particular one is similar to one that was used on the ship.
A closeup of the telegraph device. This would be communicated using a series of dots and dashes referred to as Morse Code.
The helm of the ship.
The engine telegraph. The helmsman would use this to indicate the speed he would like to go. The engine room would send a signal back to acknowledge.
A detail of the boiler. I had more pictures of the below sections of the ship but I wasn't terribly happy with them.
A shot looking up at the ship.
An overall view of the ship. She was 350 feet long and could carry 288 passengers.


Fudd said...

My father worked on this ship as a steward in the mid-1930s for a couple of summers. His uncle (Joseph Bishop) was captain of the CN fleet in the early 1940s. Both lived in Owen Sound.

Fudd said...
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