St Lawrence Saga: The Clarke Steamship Story – Contents And Chapter Links

For further information on this manuscript please e-mail KCGriffin@outlook.comNew Northland at Montreal 1935 Geo. Beullac

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Chapter 1: To The Gulf of St Lawrence

For further information on this manuscript please e-mail KCGriffin@outlook.com css Saguenay R&O

 The Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co’s Saguenay made a special cruise to Clarke City in June of 1912 to inspect the recent installations of the Clarke-owned North Shore Power, Railway & Navigation Co.

The Clarke Steamship Company, whose ships plied the Gulf of St Lawrence for the best part of the 20th century, owed its formation to an unusual set of circumstances. Four prosperous Toronto-born brothers of Irish descent visited the Bay of Sept Iles in the closing days of the 19th century, liked what they saw, and decided to establish the first of several businesses, which would come to include, eventually, a shipping company…   To pdf version of Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Before Clarke Steamship

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EPSON scanner ImageThe Quebec Steamship Co’s  s.s. Cascapedia served the Gulf of St Lawrence from Montreal and Quebec.

Although this is really the story of the Clarke Steamship Co, the routes that the Clarke ships served had much history. Not only that, but some of its predecessors had also operated in southern waters, where Clarke would be active as well. The trials and risks of ice navigation in northern waters in the winter time meant that many northern ships engaged in southern employment when they could…   To pdf version of Chapter 2

Chapter 3: The Clarke Steamship Company – Formative Years

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EPSON scanner Image

The Clarke Steamship Co’s s.s. Gaspesia (left) and s.s. North Shore (right) at Montreal c. 1922

During its formative years, although they had successfully been able to export their woodpulp in chartered ships, the Clarke enterprises on the North Shore had most recently suffered from poor inbound transport services. Several companies had tried to establish subsidized steamship services between Quebec and the North Shore, but the fact that they had met with shipwreck and failure meant that the contract had changed hands quite often, especially since the outbreak of war in 1914…   To pdf version of Chapter 3

Chapter 4: A New Ship, Southern Cruising And Northern Ice

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New NorthlandClarke’s eight-month-old s.s. New Northland arriving at Palm Beach on January 10, 1927, to begin the first program of weekly cruises ever offered from Florida

The order for a “steamer of special specification, strengthened for navigation in ice” mentioned by “The Gazette” in 1925 was placed with shipbuilders Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd of Newcastle upon Tyne, where, on January 30, 1926, the 3,445-ton Northland was launched at their Neptune yard…   To pdf version of Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Local Services In The Lower St Lawrence

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JeanBrillantàFranquelin,1939La Cie du Transport du Bas St Laurent’s m.v. Jean Brillant at Franquelin

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While developments to 1930 had revolved around Clarke’s main line services, the existence of a fleet of six ships, some of which now offered year-round service in the Gulf of St Lawrence and from Florida had given the Clarke Steamship Co a base on which to acquire and develop further shipping enterprises…   To pdf version of Chapter 5

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Chapter 6: Labrador Cruises, Trade Missions And The Depression

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CSS North VoyageurThe s.s. North Voyageur (i), which made many Labrador cruises,  at Quebec in the early 1930s.

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Less than a decade after its founding, Clarke now had a fleet of five ships in main line service. The flagship, New Northland, cruised the Gulf of St Lawrence by summer and ran from Miami in the wintertime. The North Voyageur, Gaspesia and North Shore each offered their own distinctive summer cruise programs. And the Bras d’Or Bay Navigation Co’s Sable I operated a scheduled passenger and cargo service to and from the North Shore…   To pdf version of Chapter 6