Hindman Transportation Company

The Hindman Transportation Company was a well-known Great Lakes shipping company for many years. Here you will find pictures of many of the Hindman ships


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The Great Lakes Raconteur

I am pleased to provide you with pictures of many of the vessels that sailed with the Hindman Transportation Company of Owen Sound. The pictures were graciously provided to me by Dr. Steve Briggs, a well-known maritime historian. Below I have provided some information about the Hindman Company and its founder, Captain George Hindman. The information for this section came from several sources, but of primary importance was the information found in The Scanner: The Monthly News Bulletin of the Toronto Marine Historical Society whose editor was the highly respected Great Lakes maritime historian John Bascom.

The Hindman Transportation Company of Owen Sound was formed in 1954 by Captain George Hindman. But this was not the first shipping company that George Hindman had been at the helm of. 

Diamond Steamship Lines

In 1940, he formed the Diamond Steamship Lines whose vessels sailed from the company’s home port of Owen Sound, Ontario. 

Diamond Steamship Lines, flag ship was the George Hindman (this was the first of three vessels to be called by this name). This vessel formerly the Brookton owned by Colonial Steamships was the “canaller” that Hindman had purchased. Over the course of the next decade three more canallers were added to the Diamond fleet. (Scanner v. 2, no. 7, April 1970)

george hindman (1)George Hindman formerly the Brookton
Courtesy Dr. Steve Briggs

In 1951, or 1952 (depending upon the source) Diamond sold its “canallers” to Reoch Steamship Company of Montreal (Scanner v. 2, no. 7, April 1970)

Captain George Hindman had a long history as a Great Lakes mariner before he formed the Diamond Steamship Lines. 

His first sailing experience occurred when he worked for the Reid Fleet out of Sarnia Ontario. After working for the Reid company, he sailed with several different companies and vessels as a wheelsman. One of the ships he worked on was the S.S. Keewatin. Then, after serving as a First Mate on the S.S. Manitou he passed his Master’s License.

After the First World War, Hindman sailed with many different Great Lakes companies during the 1920s and 1930s until 1940, when he decided that he wanted to be at helm of his own company.

In 1922 George Hindman broadened his financial interests when he purchased 100 acres of forested land on Manitoulin Island and created the Hindman Timber Company Ltd.

Hindman Transportation Company

The sale of his canallers to the Reoch Company did not mark the end of Captain Hindman’s interest in Great Lakes maritime commerce. In 1954 he created the Hindman Transportation Co. of Owen Sound.

To increase the tonnage capabilities of his new company, Hindman purchased the Risacua in the Caribbean. He brought the vessel back to Owen Sound where it was refitted and named the George Hindman

This vessel would change names again in the early 1960s to be called the Susan Hindman. The reason for the name change was that the company had purchased a larger vessel, the Baird Tewksbury from the Midland Steamship company. And, this vessel was to carry the moniker, the George Hindman.

susan hindmanSusan Hindman
Courtesy Dr. Steve Briggs

Captain George Hindman passed away in 1969.

Ships of the
Hindman Transportation Company

Listed below, in alphabetical order and with year of building, are the vessels owned by Diamond Steamship Co. Ltd., and Hindman Transportation Co. All are self-propelled bulk carriers unless noted otherwise. Capitalized names denote Hindman operation. (NOTE: This list was compiled from an article by John Bascom in The Scanner: The Monthly News Bulletin of the Toronto Marine Historical Society  v.1, n.9, April 1969

  1. DANA T. BOWEN, tug, 1938 (a) Magpie
  2. DELKOTE, barge, 1897 (a) Carrington (b) Cordova (II).
  3. HELEN EVANS 1906 (a) James Laughlin.
  4. PARKER EVANS, 1908 (a) Harry A. Berwind (b) Harvey H. Brown.
  5. PAUL EVANS, tug, 1903 (a) Planet (b) Racey.
  6. BLANCHE HINDMAN (I) 1903 (a) S. N. Parent (b) Voulettes (c) Glenarm (d) Camrose (e) Palmleaf. later (g) Parkdale (I).
  7. BLANCHE HINDMAN (II), 1908 (a) Theodore H. Wickwire (b) Harry Tates (III). ELIZABETH HINDMAN, 1921 (a) Glenclova (b) Anticosti (c) Risacua (d) GEORGE HINDMAN (II).
  8. GEORGE HINDMAN (I) 1902 (a) Tadanac (b) Iroquois (c) Colorado (d) Dornoch (e) Brookton, later (g) Brookdale
  10. GEORGE HINDMAN (III), 1914 (a) William D. Crawford (b) Baird Tewksbury.
  11. HELEN HINDMAN (I) 1903 (a) Robert Wallace (b)Tregastel (c) Glendowan (d) Chandler (e) Aspenleaf, later (g) Grovedale (I).
  13. HOWARD HINDMAN (I) 1890 (a) LaSalle (B) Eastrich, later (d) Forestdale
Howard Hindman beside George HindmanHoward Hindman beside George Hindman
Courtesy Dr. Steve Briggs
  1. HOWARD HINDMAN (II) 1910 (a) A. A. Augustus
Linda HindmanLinda Hindman (Tug)
Dr. Steve Briggs
  1. LYNDA HINDMAN, Tug, 1908 (a) William A. McGonagle (b) Marguerite W. (c) RUTH HINDMAN (I)

marthahindmanlsmithMartha Hindman
When it was still the Lyman C. Smith
Courtesy Dr. Steve Briggs
  1. MARTHA HINDMAN 1905 (a) Lyman C. Smith.
  2. MARY E. HINDMAN, barge, 1941.
Ruth HindmanRuth Hindman
Courtesy Dr. Steve Briggs
  1. RUTH HINDMAN (I), 1910 (a) Norway.
  1. SUSAN HINDMAN, tug 1911 (a) Watchfall (b) Zelda (c) Northern (d) Charles R. Randle, (e) HELEN HINDMAN (I)
  1. MITSCHFIBRE, barge 1895 (a) Marcia.
  1. SULPHITE, tug, 1919 (a) Ballew.
  1. SWEDEROPE, barge, 1897 (a) Sidney G. Thomas.
  1. VIGILANT, barge, 1904 (formerly steamer - Canadian Governmental Patrol Vessel)

Georgian Bay Shipping

List of Lighthouses on the Great Lakes: If you have names and/or pictures of Great Lakes Lighthouses please submit them along with details of their location.

Georgian Bay Ships: A List of all the ships that sailed on Georgian Bay until the 1960s. This list is not complete. If you know of a ship that sailed the waters of Georgian Bay please contact me with information about that vessel, and, if you have a picture that I could post with it, that would be much appreciated.

1885: A Memorable Summer Job for Owen Sound teenage boys on the Great Lakes would have historic importance, not mention a possible exciting career opportunity.

Hindman Transportation Company was a well-known Great Lakes shipping company for many years. Here you will find pictures of many of the Hindman ships

Owen Sound Harbour – A Photographic History, by Robert A. Cotton is a book that interests my historiographical curiosity.

Commercial Great Lakes Fishing  It is probably safe to suggest that the commercial fishing industry was an important part of the early growth of this region.

A Georgian Bay fishing vacation has long been a popular attraction in the Bruce Peninsula region. During fishing derbies, the regional waterways are dotted with fishing boats of all shapes and sizes. 

The Georgian Bay Mackinaw, designed by William Watts of Collingwood is an example of a Georgian Bay innovator creating a vessel to service the needs local mariners.

Great Lakes fishing is an asset that is protected and developed, not only for its economic potential but also for those who just enjoy spending a day by the side of a river or in small fishing boats trying to catch “the big one”!  

Great Lakes Fishing History is not without its controversy. The impact of the fishing industry was such that it played an important role in the development of communities along the Georgian Bay and Lake Huron shoreline.

Georgian Bay Travel Before the Winter Freeze-Up could be a dangerous time for mariners in the early years in this region.

A Harbinger of Spring on the Great Lakes in pioneer times, was the eagerly awaited news that a lighthouse had been lit and shipping traffic could begin sailing from port to port.

Lumber Hookers  Lumber hookers and tugs were an important innovation to improve the transportation of lumber on Georgian Bay. 

Mapmakers on Georgian Bay were also explorers. They mapped the Georgina Bay shoreline noting safe harbours, dangerous reefs and other guides for sailors and pioneer settlers looking for a place to call home.

Paddling Georgian Bay & Pondering: traversing parts of this great waterway in a canoe leads one to wonder about the ships of a bygone era battling the rough seas they encountered.

Parry Sound Shipping History: The Parry Sound area has always been connected to the southern regions of the Province of Ontario by a system of good roads. Or has it?

Parry Sound’s shipping history 2 is more than the tragic sinking of the Waubuno or the later catastrophe surrounding the sinking of the Asia. 

Sailing Season Closing: A Frantic Time on Peninsula as ships raced from port to port delivering and picking up passengers and produce before the waterways froze.

Ship Captain Andrew Port was not only a dynamic and brave Georgian Bay mariner, he was a personal favourite historical character of mine.

Ships Stuck in Ice: The Oak Glen was icebound in 1996 but this sailing hazard has been impacting vessels on Georgian Bay since the beginning of time.

Lake Huron shipwrecks, the Hibou often occurred in the Georgian Bay region of that Great Lake due to the often violent waters that could strike unsuspecting vessels like the Hibou.

Shipwrecks: The "Asia" wrecked off the eastern coast of Georgian Bay taking all but two of the more than 100 passengers to a watery grave.

Masters, Mates, and Pilots Association created its first Canadian chapter on Georgian Bay, providing maritime safety education, and other seafaring issues to better inform its membership.

Pioneer Travel Aboard the Fly  Tells the story of a sailing vessel as the tenuous link between survival and death in a pioneer settlement in the 1840's in Upper Canada.

Sailing Stories: the Captain Who Smelled his way into Port The Captain Who Smelled his Way into Port details how pioneer seamen on Georgian Bay safely sailed the rough waters without the aid of the modern technological tools so readily used by today's mariners.

Sailing Story: The Voyage of the Prince Alfred the incredible voyage of the Prince Alfred, fraught with danger for both vessel and the crew in the winter of 1880.

Shipbuilding As the southern Georgian Bay region became more populated shipping traffic increased to meet the needs of an expanding market place.

The Summer of 1844 was No Picnic for the early settlers in the pioneer area near what would become Owen Sound on Georgian Bay.

The CPR Grain Elevator Fire of 1911 spelled the end of Owen Sound's role as the eastern terminus of the CPR Great Lakes Fleet.

Georgian Bay shipping occurred long before the first Europeans paddled these waters. But the fur and timber trades opened Georgian Bay to shipping in a big way! 

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