City of Grand Rapids

City of Grand Rapids

Built: 1879
Fate: Sunk in Big Tub Harbour 1907
Depth: 15 ft

Type: Wooden Steamer
Length: 122.5 ft

At the turn of the 20th century, the mainstays of Tobermory were fishing and timber. As a result, everything was built with and heated by wood (including the boats).

On occasion, a boat would catch fire. In those days, they made no attempt to fight boat fires at the dock. If they were unsuccessful, it was likely that the docks and adjacent buildings would also be destroyed by fire. Therefore, they usually tied a tow line to a burning ship and towed it out to sea to allow it to burn itself out.

The City of Grand Rapids was a grand passenger ship docked in Little Tub Harbour when she caught fire. As per the custom, she was towed out into Georgian Bay until the tow line burned and the burning ship floated free. The east wind blew her into Big Tub Harbour where she ran aground, burned to the waterline and sank.

Today, only the timbers from the bottom of the hull remain. Parts of the steam engine, crankshaft, the boiler, propeller shaft and coupling are present. The rudder and the propeller are on display outside the St. Edmunds Township Museum.

This wreck is located 100 feet off the bow of the Sweepstakes. Both wrecks can easily be seen on one dive.