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Langell Shipyard Walking Tour

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This is a contributing entry for Langell Shipyard Walking Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The tiles on this marker present an illustration of the propeller-driven steamer NIPIGON downbound in Lake Huron near Lexington, Michigan. The 191 ft. NIPIGON was launched in 1883 after construction at the Langell Shipyard in St. Clair, Michigan. During her first few years of operation, she regularly towed the barge MELBOURNE. A new firebox boiler was installed in 1890 and a larger one in 1909. On July 21, 1906, the NIPIGON crashed through three gates on the Welland Canal in Ontario shattering her stem. In 1919, after several ownership changes, the NIPIGON was renamed the MAPLEHILL. A year later, the name was changed to MAPLEGRANGE. She was laid up and abandoned in Kingston, Ontario in 1925. Later that year, after all salvageable items were removed, the boat was scuttled in Lake Ontario’s deep water.

Marker #14 NIPIGON

Wood, Rectangle, Boat, Picture frame

NIPIGON loaded with its regular cargo of lumber

Boat, Water, Vehicle, Watercraft


Water, Boat, Sky, Vehicle

Vessel Name: NIPIGON

Official Number: 130272

Rig: Propeller

Vessel Length: 191.00 feet

Vessel Width: 34.00 feet

Vessel Depth: 13.58 feet

Gross Tonnage: 626.84

Net Tonnage: 540.39

Hull Material: Wood

Builder: Simon Langell


1883 – August 16, enrollment issued in Detroit, MI; regularly towed barge MELBOURNE

1887 – June, struck Ripley’ Rock, Marquette, MI pier, Lake Superior

1890 – 10’6” x 16’, 110# steam, firebox boiler by Dry Dock Engine works, Detroit, MI

1891 – April 14, owned Whitney Transportation Co., Hamtramck, MI

1892 – September 16, collided with & sank steamer VIENNA off Whitefish Point, Lake Superior

1893 – May, ashore Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior

1896 – Mar 19, two masts

1898 – November, slightly damaged by fire

1905 – March 18, owned Marine Transportation Co., Ogdensburg, N.Y.

1906 – July 21, crashed through three Welland Canal gates, stem shattered

1909 – two 6’ x 11’6”, 140# steam, firebox boiler by Kingsford Foundry Works, Oswego, N.Y.

1913 – March 1, owned William J. Harlow, Toledo, OH; purchased from Skilling, Whitney & Barnes Lumber Co., Ogdebnsburg; towed barge MIDDLESEX

1916 – April 14, owned Max G. Voelker, Buffalo, N.Y.

1916 – December 18, Erie & Montreal Transportation Co., Buffalo

1917 – October 2, owned William P. Good, New York, N.Y.

1917 – November 12, owned Otter Navigation Co., New York, N.Y.

1919 – October 2, renamed MAPLEHILL; C141588; owned Montreal Transportation Co., OUE (194.2’length, 33.9” wide, 13.7’ deep, gross tons 560, net tons 560). This firm soon merged to Canada Steamship Lines

1920 – renamed MAPLEGRANGE

1925 – laid up & abandoned at Kingston, Ontario

1925 – scuttled in the deep water of Lake Ontario near Kingston after salvageable items had been removed.

Great Lakes Maritime Database and photo archives, Great Lakes Maritime Collection, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. “Shipbuilding in St. Clair,” Research Binder, Ships File Cabinet, St. Clair Historical Museum and Research Center archives.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

St. Clair Historical Museum and Research Center

Great Lakes Maritime Database and photo archives, Great Lakes Maritime Collection, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library.