Alligators of the North: The Story of the West & Peachey Steam Warping Tugs

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Dundurn, Mar 16, 2010 - Transportation - 234 pages
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The Alligator was an amphibious machine designed and patented in Canada in the late 1880s. This warping tug was capable of towing a log boom across a lake and then portaging itself to the next body of water. Steam-powered and rugged, it was one of the pioneers in the mechanization of the forest industry and for more than thirty years was ubiquitous in northern Ontario until eclipsed by its worthy successor the Russel tug.

"This long-overdue book on the Alligator Warping Tug, designed and built by West & Peachey of Simcoe, Ontario, is a welcome addition to the libraries of those intrigued by Canada’s story and particularly lumbering history." — R. John Corby, curator emeritus, Canada Science and Technology Museum

"By enabling access to the upper reaches of the Ottawa River and its many tributaries, the Alligator tug extended the social and economic stability provided by the timber industry and supported the populating of this vast region. Alligators of the North is a wonderful touchstone for all who share this heritage." — Mary Campbell, mayor of McNab-Braeside Township, Renfrew County

 

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Contents

1 In the Beginning
1
2 The West Family in Norfolk County
7
3 The West Peachey Partnership 1878
9
4 The Lumber Trade in Norfolk Moves On
15
5 Joseph Jackson and the Warping Tug
21
6 John Wests Other Interests
27
7 Evolution of the Alligator Warping Tug
33
8 AlligatorOperated Portable Sawmills and Other Ventures
45
20 Technical and Operational Details in the Construction of Alligator Tugs
113
21 The Alligator Warping Tugs Steam Engines
119
22 The End of a Dynasty
127
23 The Russel Brothers GasolinePowered Warping Tugs
133
24 The End of the Alligator Era
137
25 Aftermath
145
An Alligator Reborn
153
Appendix A Two Alligator Tales
159

Their Tramway and the Alligator
51
10 Steamboats for South America
55
11 The Diverse Enterprises of West Peachey 189799
63
12 West Peachey Enter the Twentieth Century
67
13 The Alligator Warping Tug in Newfoundland
75
14 TurnoftheCentury Improvement sand Modifications
79
15 The Story of the Cavendish Lumber Companys Alligator Tugs
85
16 The Role of the Alligator in the Ottawa Valley
89
A Distinguished Ottawa River Client
97
18 Timber Operations in Northwestern Ontario
103
19 Some Alligator Accidents Over the Years
109
Appendix B Original Patent Application for Alligator Warping Scow
169
Appendix C Patent Application for CableWinding Mechanism
171
Appendix D Alligator Warping Tugs Production Records
175
Appendix E Known Repairs to Unidentified Alligator Warping Tugs
201
Appendix F Alphabetical Listing of Alligator Warping Tugs
203
Notes
207
Selected Bibliography
217
Index
219
About the Authors
231
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Harry Barrett, a long-time resident of Norfolk County, is a noted naturalist, conservationist, and historian. Harry was the founding chair of the Long Point Foundation for Conservation, and is the author of books on the local history of the Norfolk-Haldimand region of Ontario. He lives in Port Dover, Ontario.

Clarence Coons, now deceased, was a well-known professional forrester in Ontario. While growing up in Lakefield, Ontario, he heard many stories about the white pine harvesting in the Trent Watershed and the "Alligators "at work. Clarence did the original research for this book, and Harry Barrett completed the work.

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