CTV NEWS WEB ARTICLE
K.C. Colby, KC Colby, CTV Barrie
Published Saturday, May 10, 2014 1:37PM EDT
The Keewatin Passenger liner that sailed the Great Lakes offers some new features in 2014. In addition to a new model collection there are more artifacts and renovations to some staterooms.
“We’ve got more rooms set up from each decade that go through the time period the Keewatin was in service from the early 1900’s till 1965,” says the Keewatin’s chief historian Scott Garrett.
The S.S. Keewatin open for the season in Port McNicoll on Saturday May 10, 2014. (K.C. Colby / CTV Barrie)
Some call the ship Port McNichol’s floating antique but it’s more than just her timeless beauty that keep Ian Kinder coming back to see her.
“It’s a nice gentle feeling – like you are going back in time,” says tourist Ian Kinder.
The ship’s kitchen was staffed by mostly Chinese help – some copies of their original notes are on display and the kitchen would serve more than 1,000 meals a day for passengers in the dining room. That is where you can find an original waiter’s tuxedo can be found and on the tables other original pieces.
“Along with all the original china, silverware is set up for this year,” added Garrett.
In the ceiling in the ship’s ballroom has been redone too. During its heyday it was one of the most popular rooms for the ship’s 288 passengers.
“There was live bands right up until the 1940’s – then recorded music after that,” says Garrett.
During it’s almost 60 years on the Great Lakes, the Keewatin has acquired many stores and maybe even a ghost or two. In fact, dating back to the years the ship was anchored in the U.S – three ghosts have been seen onboard. The most recent sighting was done by a watchman in the ballroom.
“One night he saw the lights in the ballroom on and a woman dancing circles around the room,” says S.S. Keewatin President Eric Conroy.
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Travis Mealing photo
MIDLAND – Tay Township Mayor Scott Warnock, left, listens as Eric Conroy, president of Friends of the Keewatin, points out the features of scale models of the SS Titanic and the much smaller SS Keewatin on Tuesday night at the Boathouse Eatery.
The restaurant was the site of a fundraising event called Taste of Titanic that featured menu items from the ill-fated liner, which sank 102 years ago to the day.
All proceeds from the evening went to the restoration of the Keewatin, a Titanic-era vessel now docked in Port McNicoll.
Barrie CTV news has video.