Steamers on Lake Temagami

Some lived into old age - 1903-1945

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Photo:  Iona arriving at Wabun in the 1930s, Temagami

 Iona arriving at Wabun in the 1930s.                                        alex maclean / Wabun CAMP

Iona: Ted Guppy bought the private yacht in Muskoka and moved her to Temagami in 1924 for the opening of his line, Temagami Navigation Company (not to be confused with the earlier company of the same name). By far his largest boat, she was sleek and the fastest, according to Ted and if so, not by much   large boat on the lake. In a show of daily bravado, the competing flagships Belle and Iona would race in the mornings to get through the narrows to the open lake first.

About 1930 she was converted to diesel and operated during the Second World War as the primary large boat on the lake.

She became the property of the railway in late 1944. The same decision by the new owners that sentenced the Belle to the scrap heap in 1945 applied equally to the Iona.










QUEEN OF TEMAGAMI (right): One of the last plays in the O'Connor vision was the launch of the steel, 72-foot Queen of Temagami on May 24, 1909. Somehow she managed to survive in the bloated fleet until the First World War. In 1918 she was sold to Michaud and Levesque of Sturgeon Falls and sailed on Lake Nipissing as a supply boat until 1923. Then she was sent

to Lake Timiskaming where she probably served the logging industry until being scrapped in 1948. Although out of service and beached, she may have been the last surviving steamer to have sailed on Lake Temagami.  


Photo: On board the Keego, Temagami Photo: ML Keego on Temagami

KEEGO: The Keego appears to have been as active as any boat during her 18 years on the lake. This may have contributed to her changing hands more than any other. She was brought to Temagami by Temagami Steamboat, sold upon the death of that line to the incongruously named Temagami Fur Company, which operated the lodge Camp Acouchiching. When the lodge's owner sold out all his Temagami operations she was picked up by Perron and Marsh in 1922.

The 14-ton, 58-foot, steel-framed boat had been built as a steamer but never sailed as one in Temagami. She arrived with a gas

engine in 1909 and was converted to diesel in 1914.

Possibly because she was steel, a Lake Timiskaming operator purchased her in 1926 where, among her duties, she provided support for the production of the movie The Silent Enemy in 1928. In 1939 she was moved to Lake Nipigon in northwestern Ontario.

The group (photo above left) is huddled in the stern with the captain.


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If you have photos, anecdotes or information you would like to contribute to this series on Temagami's boat lines,

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