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Beaver Line / Canada Shipping Company
Formed in 1867 as the Canada SS Company, this line sailed from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal. They ordered four 1,000 ton sailing ships, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. They were partly replaced by the second hand ship Lake Saint Clair. In 1872, they chartered steamers on an experimental basis for passenger and cargo use. These vessels included the Redewater, Harold, South Tyne and Atholl. The company started to order their own steamships in 1874.
In 1875 the Canada Shipping Company, Limited, ran a service from Liverpool to Canada, also to Portland, Maine & Baltimore. There were occasional voyages from London. In 1881 a New York service was inaugurated and intermediate calls at Boston began in 1887. Saloon fare was $50 in the 1890s but $60 on the Lake Superior (second). Because of the Beaver on their flag, the company soon became known as the Beaver Line.
The company experienced difficulties in the early 1890s, and in 1894 liquidators, under Canada Shipping Company Limited (D. & C. MacIver, Managers), took control. They suspended sailings until the spring of 1895 when creditors received a payment. A new company, Beaver Line Associated Steamers was floated in November, 1897 and operated a weekly service from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal in the summer and Halifax and Portland in winter, with a call at Moville (Ireland). In December, 1898 Elder Dempster & Co settled Beaver Line's outstanding claims. There were two sailings from Batum in the Black Sea to Halifax in December, 1898 and the company made their last transatlantic sailing on 20th May, 1899. Services resumed later in May, 1899 under the title Beaver Line of Steamers (Elder Dempster & Co).
Many thanks to Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.
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