Ship Type: Tug boat
Lifespan: Built 1901, Sunk 1929
Depths: 115 ft
Location: Pigeon Island, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
GPS N44.01.12 W76.36.12
During the 1800's, Kingstonian D.D. Calvin built a lumber empire providing the British Navy with lumber, especially oak for British Navy hulls and white pine for their masts. The lumber was assembled into huge rafts at Kingston and then floated down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and from there back to England. The Calvin Company maintained a fleet of 12 to 15 vessels that carried square timber to Garden Island (about 2 miles (3.2km) south of Kingston and just north of Wolfe Island) where the rafts were actually assembled before heading to Quebec City. These huge rafts - some of them between a quarter and a half-mile in length - were among the largest man-made objects of the 19th century.
The Frontenac was built by Calvin's son in 1900 at their shipyard on Garden Island, specifically for towing rafts. The Frontenac saw the wane of the great days of the timber trade. Rafts became fewer and fewer, and the company went out of business at the outset of the First World War. In 1912, the Frontenac was sold to the Donnelly Salvage and Wrecking Company, who owned and worked her up to the spring of 1929. Among other vessels, the Calvin Company also owned the steamer Cornwall, and the William Johnston. In the spring of 1929, the Frontenac was purchased by the Sin-Mac Lines, but didn't last a full year in their employ.
The Frontenac was discovered in 1995 by Spencer Shoniker of Kingston.