Friday, September 02, 2005

Canadian Tugboat Icon On display At Marine Museum

A picture of the Tugboat Ancaster had been on the back of the Canadian one dollar bill since 1973.
Reverse side of the Canadian one dollar bill
Older people will remember this bill and the depiction on the other side of two boats on the Ottawa River with the House of Parliament in the background. Ancaster was the name of one of the many tugboats employed by the E. B. Eddy Company in its logging operations on the Ottawa River. Ancaster is Hull #900, one of the about 330 manufactured in Owen Sound by the Russel Brothers. The Ancaster was launched on the Ottawa River April 3, 1951. Its last appearance was in the 150th Anniversary Rideau Canal Floating Parade in 1982. She sat in dry dock for few years until she was finally bought by the Owen Sound Historical Society for $25 in 1991. The $1 bill shows two Russel tugs, the larger one, the Missinaibi, and the smaller one, the Ancaster, made from a 1963 photo by Malak Karsh, entitled Paper and Politics. It depicts the two boats rounding up logs from a sudden break in the log boom below the Parliament Buildings. Ancaster was from a design by Harry Warkentin from Owen Sound. On Nov. 3,1982 the chairman of Ontario Hydro wrote, "Credit must be given to Mr., Harry Warkentin, the designer, and to Russel Bros., the builders, because after 31 years, the boat is now in good condition, even though on more than one occasion it had been totally submerged. For many years it was in dry-dock with little or no attention given to it." The Ancaster returned to Owen Sound one day short of 40 years after it was launched; April 2, 1991. No research has turned up the reason for the choosing of the name but it is still on view at the Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum.

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