THE M.V. CHIPPEWA III
The M.V. Chippewa III (ex “Maid of the Mist”) is the oldest member of one of the world’s best known line of small ships. In the spring of 1955, a terrible fire consumed the fleet of wooden hulled Maids of the Mist. With the 1955 season fast approaching, the owners decided it was time to re-build the fleet in steel.
The well known shipyard of Russel-Hipwell, in the Georgian Bay city of Owen Sound, was contracted to build this new generation of ships. Launched during the 1955 season, this stout little ship, based on a Canadian design for an Arctic research vessel, plied her trade in the boiling waters below the Falls until 1990. She was then retired from that most famous fleet after 35 years of faithful service.
The summer of 1992 found her under new ownership and headed for Lake Ontario waters. Instead of walls of water, towers of glass and steel formed her new backdrop in Toronto’s magnificent Harbour. The old name, carefully chiseled into her bow so long ago, was now painted over for ever. She was now the M.V. Chippewa III, and would sail old York Town’s Harbour until the spring of 1994. Fate then intervened again and she was prepared for a move to new home. A delivery crew cast off for the Welland Canal, on the south side of Lake Ontario. There, she would be carried up and over the huge escarpment which gives Niagara Falls its 59 m (195′) fall. Days later, the weary crew sailed into Parry Sound after a transit of Lakes Erie, Huron and Georgian Bay. Since that time, Chippewa III has introduced thousands of people, from all round the globe to the waters of Parry Sound and the magic of the 30,000 Islands.
In this, Chippewa’s second half century, please join us to celebrate the life of this wonderful little ship and the beautiful northern waters she sails.