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*Saugatuck's SS KEEWATIN being sold.*

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Old 11-29-2011, 07:27 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584
Default *Saugatuck's SS KEEWATIN being sold.*

Steamboating colleagues:
Press releases this week confirm that Saugatuck, Michigan will lose the classic 350 Ft. SS KEEWATIN, built at Coban, Scotland on the River Clyde in 1906. Mr. Roland 'R.J.' Peterson, 85, owner of Tower Marina in nearly Douglas, MI purchased the classic Edwardian steamship in 1967 CANADIAN PACIFIC vessel to keep her from heading to the scrappers. Peterson cites his age and the vessel's need for intensive repairs/renovations after 44 years in his care. 'Skyline International Development Co.,' a huge Toronto based operation in hotels, resorts, convention work plan to tow the vessel to Port McNicoll on the south end of Georgian Bay where she operated for some 60 years. The deal is to be signed this Thursday. Silting of present Lake Kalamazoo will require $1,000,000 in dredging to move the ship. Though lightened in draft with no fuel [coal in her day], water, cargo, KEEWATIN will need a 12 ft. channel depth.

Those on this web who have visited the ship can testify to her fine lines, interior beauty, fittings with an on-board museum. I recall seeing the KEEWATIN steaming years ago with her stern somewhat 'down' with bunker coal. Her one buff funnel topped in black bore the PC logo. CANADIAN PACIFIC in its peak years operated grand hotels, railways, steamship/steamboat lines claiming, "With CANADIAN PACIFIC you can circle the entire world with us by rail, ship, boat." Her sister in operation had been the SS ASSINIBOIA.

The beautiful oak dining room was manned by waiters famed for taking all meal orders, never writing a menu selection down. Her galley manned by 10 Chinese cooks with only one speaking English in her last days. Though hating to see the KEEWATIN depart Michigan, I wish her well returning to her old home. For years the ship hosted surviving officers, crew, family members from PC days arriving by bus from Canada similar to a Great Lakes Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen meeting. Though not an inland river steamer, the K. is one big 'steamboat.' Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
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