(1921) 1923 Poplarbay 1962 (1982)
Steel twin-screw St. Lawrence River canal size bulk freighter
One of a fleet of vessels, ten or more, built shortly after the end of World War I for the French government for coastal service in the coal trade. Cabins aft with twin screws, they were near sisters named for occupations involved in the construction or operation of ships. Built by six or more different shipyards, they all had slightly different dimensions and tonnages. Of the vessels brought to the Great Lakes, half were propelled by fore and aft compound engines and half by triple expansion engines. Ten of these vessels were purchased in late 1922 primarily for the grain trade by Ogilvie Flour Mills, Montreal QC, renamed for trees native to Canada with –bay suffix honoring their operating company, each vessel owned by a separate company indicating the name of the vessel, and brought to the Great Lakes in 1923.
Built at Arles-sur-Rhone by Soc. Anciens Etab. Henri Satre
Launched as Peintre (painter). Renamed Biessard 1922
229’6” LOA, 219’5” LBP, 34’2” beam, 14’9” depth
1 deck, arch cargo hold construction, coal-fired boilers, 2 triple expansion engines, 700 IHP
Enrolled at Montreal QC 1923 as Poplarbay
219.4 x 34.3 x 12.7, 1263 GT, 664 NT Can 150833 to:
Poplarbay Steamship Co., Montreal QC, Bay Line Steamships Ltd., Mgr. (home port Montreal QC)
Entered Great Lakes service 1923
Managing firm renamed Tree Line Navigation Co. 1924
Sold 1937 to Tankeroil Ltd., Valleyfield QC, Transit Tankers & Terminals Ltd., Mgr. and renamed Translake.
Converted to tanker at Port Dalhousie ON by Muir Bros., boilers to oil firing.
Severely damaged Sept 24, 1947 in collision with str. Milverton near Morrisburg ON, St. Lawrence River.
Seven lives lost aboard Milverton. Raised, repaired at Montreal QC and returned to service 1948.
Transferred 1951 to Canadian Coastwise Carriers Ltd.
Laid up 1958 and did not operate again in Great Lakes service.
Sold 1962 to Foundation Marine Ltd., Halifax NS for off-Lakes service. Towed to Halifax and reduced to bunker barge.
Renamed Halfueler 1962 and M.I.L. Fueler 1973
See history in Scanner Jan 1981 (#98)