Ontario (1891)
Close Up of the Ontario
Canadian Pacific Ontario
Ontario (1891, Ferry)
By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The steel hulled paddle-wheel train ferry,Ontario was built in 1890 at Owen Sound, Ontario by the Polson Iron Works, hull no. 25, for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Capacity: 16 rail cars. Originally ran between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Retired from service in 1916 after the Canadian Pacific Railway acquired right-of-way through the Detroit-Windsor railroad tunnel. She was laid up at Windsor. Sold in 1926 to the Newago Tug Co., Ltd, Port Arthur and was dismantled and made into a pulp wood barge by the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. The vessel was then used to haul pulpwood between Port Arthur, Ontario and Ashland, Wisconsin.
The official registry number was Canadian 94885. At the time of loss the vessel was reportedly worth at least $25,000 and the cargo was valued at $30,000.
Final Voyage

The Canadian barge Ontario foundered on 13 October 1927 while in tow of the tug Butterfield, along with the smaller barge Michigan. The tug Butterfield along with the two barges left Port Arthur while a storm was moving in. By mid-Lake Superior things turned critical for the Ontario, the pumps could not keep up and the boilers became swamped. The crew sent distress signals to the Butterfield and attempted to launch the lifeboat, but it was washed overboard The Butterfield pulled along side the Ontario to rescue the four crewmen and cut the sinking vessel loose, which then sank in seconds almost taking one of the sailors with.

The Ontario sunk in 100 feet of water. There was no salvage attempt.
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