Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Freight-Passenger-Commercial Fishing Vessels of Lake Nipigon from 1909
Remembered by Adolph King of Rossport, 1974

Nipigon Museum Archives


The largest vessel that sailed the waters of Lake Nipigon in early construction days of the C.N. R. was the vessel "Ombabika" which was shipped into Lake Nipigon via the Town of Nipigon then by the crude short railroad into Lake Nipigon's S.E. end.

The "Ombabika" was shipped as what is known as a "knock-down" unit meaning it had to be put together at the point of destination - in other words the vessel was shipped in sections.

"Ombabika" was 82 feet in length, designed for freight and passenger service having a double deck.

The upper deck consisted of rooms for passengers; also life boats propelled by single screw, staple compound engine and Scotch boiler, horsepower rating of 10 nominal horsepower, giving Ombabika cruising speed of 9 and a half mph.

At the end of construction of the C.N.R. at the North end of Lake Nipigon, "Ombabika" was pulled up on shore on the west side of Lake Nipigon from where she was again put into service for the commercial fishing industry which began in 1917.

The engine of the "Ombabika" was sold to scrap dealers, the boiler is now in about 3 feet of water and can be seen approximately one mile south of Macdiarmid as well as some of the bones of "Ombabika", her final resting place, which came in the early 1930's.

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