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July 18, 2012

The S.S. Keewatin is Back Home!

S.S. Keewatin in Port McNicoll
The S.S. Keewatin is back in Port McNicoll Ontario.

The Keewatin was a 350 foot long passenger liner that once sailed between Port Arthur and Fort William (now Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior and Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) in Ontario, Canada.

She carried passengers between these ports for the Canadian Pacific Railway's Great Lakes Steamship Service. Freight was also carried.

The Keewatin was built and launched in 1907 so she's over 100 years old! In 1966 she was retired and became part of a historical preservation, docked first in Detroit then Douglas Michigan from 1967 until recently. Now she's back in Port McNicoll which was once known as the Chicago of the North due to the trains and ships coming into its harbour. In 1965 the trains and ships left and Port McNicoll's heyday was over.

S.S. Keewatin
The ship will be restored and will become a permanent display as a maritime museum and event facility in Port McNicoll.

Keewatin was among the last of the turn-of-the-century style overnight passenger ships of the Great Lakes. Hubs and I live nearby so yesterday we took a short car ride to see her. She's very impressive with her wooden passenger cabins and structure.

The ship was a floating set for several maritime-related documentaries and television docudramas, including the torpedoed ocean liner Lusitania, the burned-out Bahamas cruise ship SS Yarmouth Castle, Canadian Pacific's Empress of Ireland as well as the Titanic.
And so a little piece of history comes back home.

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