Saturday June 23rd, The SS Keewatin Returned To Georgian Bay

The "Friends of Keewatin" a volunteer group from Port McNicoll invited all of the boats in the Midland, Penetang, Georgian Bay area to come and celebrate the return of the SS Keewatin.  Literally hundreds turned out!

There were boats of every size and description taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime event. Many boats opted to anchor along the route and gave the proud ship a salute as she went by. She was decorated with bunting and flew the Red Ensign and the Union Jack, flags that she had been flying when she was decommissioned in 1966. With her sparkling white paint and imposing presence, it made for a spectacle that drew people who had never even heard of the Keewatin into the flotilla.

Kerrwil Publications' Lynn Lortie was on the water and there in person. She said, "We have been boating in this area for almost 40 years and never have we seen so many boats come out for a single event. We felt honored and proud to be part of an event that brought a piece of local history back to her home port."

100 years ago the Canadian Pacific steamer SS Keewatin started a regular service from Port McNicoll to Fort William (now Thunder Bay) that ended in 1965. The SS Keewatin was then purchased and moved to Michigan where she has been a floating museum for 45 years in a place called Saugatuck Douglas.

Now she's back at her home port. The SS Keewatin is the only surviving Edwardian-era steamer in the world. She is 5 years older than the Titanic and 350 feet long.

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