Historic Boblo Island boat destroyed by fire had Toledo connection

Historic Boblo Island boat destroyed by fire had Toledo connection
The SS Ste. Claire was built in Toledo in 1910 (Source: Bobloboat.com)
The SS Ste. Claire was built in Toledo in 1910 (Source: Bobloboat.com)
The SS Ste. Claire ferried passengers to Boblo Island for decades (Source: Wikipedia)
The SS Ste. Claire ferried passengers to Boblo Island for decades (Source: Wikipedia)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's a piece of maritime history with a Toledo connection.

The S.S. Ste. Claire went up in flames Friday in Detroit.

There's a very good chance you rode on her.

The boat, a National Historic Landmark, had been forced to move several times while preservationists tried to raise enough money to restore the vessel.

Fire dashed all hope of doing that at a marina where she rested.

Ste. Claire is destroyed.

"They were made with a steel hull but had a tremendous amount of wood on top. That was part of the deterioration of these boats. Massive amount of wood, super structure above the hull," said Anna Kolin of Toledo's National Museum of the Great Lakes.

The Ste. Claire was built at the Toledo shipyard and launched in 1910.

She spent her life whisking passengers from Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio to and from Boblo Island, eighteen miles southwest of Windsor.

The now defunct amusement park took the boat out of operation in 1993.

The island is now a community of homes and condos serviced by a private ferry.

But the S.S. Ste. Claire and her memories live on.

"These are memories adults who were once young wish they could have their kids now, " said Ms. Kolin.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

There were no injuries.

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