1953 – The Paterson steamer SCOTIADOC sank in Lake Superior near Trowbridge Island after a collision in wind and fog with the BURLINGTON of Canada Steamship Lines. One man was lost when the starboard lifeboat was swamped after being launched.

On this day in 1943, the IRVING S. OLDS departed Two Harbors with 20,543 tons of ore and the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS departed Two Harbors with 20,386 tons of ore. It was the first time that two lakers departed the same harbor on the same day with cargos in excess of 20,000 tons.

The SENATOR (steel propeller freighter, 410 foot, 4,048 gross tons) was launched by the Detroit Dry Dock Company (Hull #122) at Wyandotte, Michigan, on 20 June 1896, for the Wolverine Steamship Company. She lasted until 31 October 1929, when she collided with the steamer MARQUETTE in fog off Port Washington, Wisconsin, and sank with her cargo of 241 automobiles.

On 20 June 1893, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1,841 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #98) at West Bay City, Michigan. She lasted until 1909, when she stranded and burned on Lake Erie.

The WILLIAM P. COWAN (Hull#724) cleared Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage in 1918. Renamed b.) AMOCO ILLINOIS in 1962. Scrapped at Windsor, Ontario, by M & M Steel Co., in 1987.

In 1903, the twin-screw rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN (Hull#92) was launched at Toledo, Ohio, by the Craig Ship Building Co., for the Grand Trunk Carferry Line, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1954 – The bulk carrier PATRIA, built in Canada during World War Two as the tanker MOOSE MOUNTAIN PARK, was declared a total loss after coming ashore 1 mile northwest of East Point, Santa Rosa Island, California. The ship was salvaged, repaired and made one trip through the Seaway in 1961 as PATAPSCO RIVER before being scrapped at Hirao, Japan, in 1963.

1973 – The bulk carrier ATLANTIC TRADER first traded through the Seaway in 1961 and returned on a regular basis as INVEREWE beginning in 1962. It was back again as d) THEOKEETOR in 1972 but sank June 20, 1973, after a collision with MARINA L. in dense fog off the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. All on board were saved.

1978 – A fire broke out in the cargo of coal aboard WILLIS B. BOYER and the ship docked at River Rouge where part of the cargo was unloaded to get at the fire. The vessel was enroute from Toledo to Silver Bay.

1995 – SAULT AU COCHON, built by Port Weller Dry Docks as a pulpwood barge in 1969, buckled and sank at Forestville, QC. The hull was refloated and taken to Hamilton for repairs later in the year.

2007 – KAPITAN RADIONOV first came to the Great Lakes in May 1992 with coal tar for Cleveland. It sank in severe weather on this date in 2007 as i) ALEXANDRA C. after flooding began in the engine room the previous day. The vessel went down 95 miles off Socotra Island, Yemen, while enroute to Australia with ammonium nitrate. All 19 crew on board were rescued.

On June 20, 1959, the SEAWAY QUEEN began her maiden voyage. The vessel was appropriately named, as at the time she was the largest Canadian vessel on the Great Lakes, the 2nd largest on the Great Lakes overall (behind the EDMUND FITZGERALD), and she entered service the same week that Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the St. Lawrence Seaway. She was one of the more popular and classic looking vessels on the Great Lakes. June 20, 1936 – PERE MARQUETTE 21 was blocked in Manitowoc following an accident that disabled the Manitowoc Tenth Street Bridge, making it impossible to raise the structure.

June 20, 1993 – BADGER struck the Ludington breakwall while arriving Ludington. She was sent to Sturgeon Bay for repairs. Ten operating days and 21 sailings were lost. The 230-foot wooden freighter JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull#4) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan, for James Davidson at his shipyard on 20 June 1874. JAMES DAVIDSON was wrecked in Lake Huron in 1883.

The MINNEHAHA, a wooden “clipper” schooner, was launched at James A. Baker’s shipyard in Oswego, New York, on 20 June 1857. Her dimensions were 110 foot keel, 125 foot overall, x 25 foot 6 inches x 10 foot 6 inches. She could carry 13,000 bushels of grain. Mr. James Navagh, her master builder, received a gold watch and chain worth $200 in appreciation of his fine work on this vessel.

On Wednesday night, 20 June 1877, the schooner EVELINE (wooden schooner, 118 foot, 236 gross tons, built in 1861, at Litchfield, Michigan) was struck by lightning about sixty miles out from Alpena, Michigan. The bolt shattered the mainmast, throwing three large pieces over the vessel’s sides. The large spar was split perpendicularly in two and the lightning bolt followed the grain of the wood in a circular manner until it reached the main boom jaw, which is enclosed in a band of iron fastened by a large bolt. This bolt was literally cut in two. The mate, George Mayom, had the left side of his body blistered and the skin burned off from the shoulder to the foot. His right leg, hands and arm were also severely burned, and he suffered internal injuries and bled freely. The vessel made it to port and she was repaired. She lasted until September 1895, when she sank off Kewaunee, Wisconsin.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Skip Gillham, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

Scotiadoc. Tom Manse Collection

Burlington. Tom Manse Collection

Seaway Queen nears completion in 1959. Skip Gillham Collection

William P. Cowan. Ed WIlson

Seaway Queen Captain Frank D. Harpell. Skip Gillham Collection

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