From the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society
100 years ago...
Largest Cargo on the Great Lakes, June 15, 1914
The W. GRANT MORDEN was an 8,074 ton lakes bulk carrier christened on April 4, 1914 at the yard of the Western Drydock and Shipbuilding Co. at Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). She was built for the newly formed Canada Steamship Line and named after W. (William) Grant Morden, who was largely responsible for the amalgamation of several Canadian shipping companies into the Canada Steamship Line (CSL).
On June 15, 1914, her first trip was from Escanaba, MI on Green Bay to Port Colborne, ON with a load of iron ore. She set a record that day for carrying the largest cargo on the Great Lakes. She loaded 12,606 gross tons or equivalent to 14,119 net tons of ore and was drawing 19 ft. 8 in. forward and 19 ft. 11 in. aft. At that time she was the largest lake freighter in Canada and later set several records for tonnages hauled.
She was re-christened DONNACONA in 1926, named after an Indian chief whom Jacques Cartier encountered in 1535 and took back to France with him.
The vessel continued to operate for CSL until 1969 when sold to Marine Salvage, Ltd. for dismantling abroad. She left Quebec on June 21, 1969 for Spain.
The J. H. G. HAGARTY was launched June 18, 1914 from the yard of Collingwood Shipbuilding Company, Ltd. in Collingwood, ON. This 550 foot long, 7462 ton bulk freighter was built as hull 42. The vessel was named for Sir John Hawkings Grassett Hagarty, a 19th century Toronto barrister and judge, later Chief Justice of Ontario. He was also one of the principal owners of the St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Company for whom the ship was originally built. She had 22 plates damaged during her launch, which required drydocking at Great Lakes Engineering Works in early August 1914, yet she had a long and productive career on the Lakes.
The J. H. G. HAGARTY was built to take the place of the JAMES CARRUTHERS. The CARRUTHERS was launched May 22, 1913 at Collingwood for the St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Company and foundered during a gale November 9, 1913 on Lake Huron taking 22 lives with her.
She was renamed HAGARTY in 1926.
She was towed for scrapping with her fleet mate COLLINGWOOD to Santander, Spain, where they arrived on October 28, 1968.