Historic Alligator Warping Tug Boat comes to Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada
Help Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Renfrew County


Renfrew County -- 150th Anniversary, 2011

June 8, 2011:

Hello all,
 
I have sent this out mainly to the directors of the Canadian Forestry Association, but in my exuberance, I have Bcc'd 
a large number of forestry friends across the country.
 
To participate in the County of Renfrew's 150th anniversary celebrations, www.EXPO150 the CFA has undertaken 
to transport the W.D. Stalker Alligator Steam Tug Boat up to Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley from its berth in the Lynn River in Simcoe, 
Norfolk Country Ontario.  The town of Simcoe needed to dredge their river so the Alligator was dry-docked last year and refurbished in 
preparation for this once-in-a-lifetime excursion.  Norfolk County was Forest Capital of Canada for the years 2008 and 2009.  During that 
time, they celebrated the centennial of the St. Williams Tree Nursery, and Dr. Edmund Zavitz' role in reforestation in Ontario and beyond 
and we plotted to celebrate the Alligator Warping Tug Boat on a grand scale. 
 
As many of you will know from my unabashed promotion last year of the "Alligators of the North" book (that has gone far and wide) the 
alligator boat was a significant - revolutionary forestry workhorse invented and manufactured by the West & Peachey Company of Simcoe.
 
This particular boat was salvaged from the woods a number of years ago by a team of enthusiasts under the leadership of Ron Judd and restored 
to operating condition; in fact it's the only operating West & Peachy Alligator steamer in existence.  And we have it here in the Ottawa 
Valley for the summer of 2011!  
 
It will be a static component of the extensive forestry exhibit at EXPO 150 this week and Ron Judd, his son (Captain) Fred and their 
colleagues are arriving soon to greet and inform the 20,000+ visitors all about the Alligator.  Shortly after we will be trucking the
boat to the Chats Lake level of the Ottawa River to Braeside (site of the old Gillies sawmill) to be launched and eventually steamed up 
for an exciting flotilla that will ply the Ottawa River from Norway Bay Quebec to Braeside on June 25th.
 
Note - in the picture, the wheelhouse and smoke stack had to be removed for transport.  Even in this dismantled state, the boat 
is "oversize" and requires a permit for highway travel.
 
Stay tuned!
 
Dave Lemkay
613-649-2616 home
613-432-5813 office
613-602-0488 cell
W.D. Stalker Alligator Steam Tug Boat W.D. Stalker Alligator Steam Tug Boat


Here is a photo of one of the Alligator Boats at Arnprior in 1907.
Photo Source: The Upper Canada Valley by Clyde Kennedy, page 160. Alligator Boat at Arnprior, Ontario, Canada, in 1907

June 9, 2011: Thanks Al, I will send you more information on the June 25th Norway Bay to Braeside Flotilla. The send-off from the Norway Bay wharf will be rivalled only by the reception at Red Pine Beach at Braeside. That coincides with McNab Days celebrations put on in McNab-Braeside Township that will be underway at Braeside and Waba Cottage at White Lake. Dave
June 25, 2011: Hi Allan, Today is the day that we will steam up the W.D. Stalker Alligator Steam Warping Tug Boat for the Norway Bay to Braeside Flotilla. The crew from Simcoe is here and really enthusiastic about their excursion on the Ottawa. There are two other steamers and all kinds of other watercraft that will be on the water today. I attach a picture taken of the Alligator safely moored at Haughton's Bay near Bristol, Quebec. (before the monsoons of the past few days). Dave Lemkay
Alligator Boat, W.D. Stalker, ready for Flotilla



New July 4, 2011: FYI my brother-in-law Bob Wingrove helped in refurbishing the boat. He did the wheelhouse. His wife told me about it and I found your letter and the picture on line. We have seen the boat on our visits to Simcoe. It's fun to know a member of our family had a part in the restoration. ... Sandy Hewitt
Photographs by Wayne Campbell. The W.D. Stalker on June 25, 2011 Alligator Boat, W.D. Stalker, in the Flotilla
Bagpipes for Alligator Boat, W.D. Stalker Alligator BoatGroup, June 25, 2011 Dave: The tug is towing what looks like a flat-bottomed steel, or iron, skiff, with a frame structure built onto it. There was one of these steel hulls, beached, on the Ontario side, just above the dam at Fitzroy Harbour, for years. Would this be the same steel hull? It would appear to have been abandoned by one of the lumber companies. ... Al ______________ The riverdrive scow (as I call it) was beached for many years at the Chenaux boom. The Haughton family from Bristol bought it years ago and restored it into an honest replica of the early days when it was a bunk house and cookery for the river men at the sorting boom there. They have installed all new flooring, a period cook stove and tables, benches and bunks. Some of the crew visiting from Simcoe slept in there while the flotilla was being prepared for. I don’t know about such a scow at Fitzroy, as to whether it was another vessel, or even maybe this one at one time. I will try to find out. Dave Lemkay Executive Director Renfrew Industrial Commission 613-432-5813 613-602-0488 dave@redc.ca

E-mail Dave Lemkay, Sandy Hewitt and Al Lewis

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