Monday, May 9, 2016

The naming and launch of the sidewheeler Chippewa

The Chippewa in Toronto Harbour

"Again the question of a new name arose, and this time it was considered that the name should still be Indian, but of Canadian origin. Thus the name Chippewa was selected as that of a renowned Canadian tribe of Indians which had flourished in the Niagara River District, and also as a renewal of the name of H.M. sloop Chippewa, upon which General Brock had sailed on Lake Erie. It will be noted that the name is not that of the village and[Pg 174] post office of Chippawa, but is spelled with an "e," being that of the Indian tribe. A fine carving of a Chippewa Chieftain's head, taken from Catlin's collection of Indian portraits, is placed on the centre of each paddle box, similarly as a rampant Buffalo had previously been placed on those of the Cibola. On 2nd May, 1893, the steamer was successfully launched in the presence of many of the citi-townsman, Mr. William Hendrie, and of a number of visitors from Buffalo, Toronto and Montreal. The name was given and the bottle gallantly broken by Miss Mary Osler, daughter of Mr. E. B. Osler, and Miss Mildred Cumberland, daughter of Mr. Barlow Cumberland. Chippewa, the Indian Chief, was the first of our vessels to be constructed of steel. Her tonnage is 1,574 tons. Length, 311 feet; beam, 36, and is authorized to carry 2,000 passengers in lake service. The interior arrangements were more convenient and spacious than any previously, and an innovation was the addition of a hurricane deck, upon which ample space for passengers is provided. The Chippewa had satisfactorily passed through her trial trips, and in May, 1894, the steamer, completed in every respect, sailed from Hamilton to take up her station on the Niagara Route. A goodly number of railway and steamboating officials and friends were on board under the leadership of Sir Frank Smith."

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