In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U. S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U. S. Congress; because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is referred to informally as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name of the current award is "Medal of Honor." Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the "Medal of Honor", less as "Congressional Medal of Honor". U. S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are "MOH" and "MH". There are three versions of the medal, one each for the Army and Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version; the Medal of Honor was introduced for the Navy in 1861, soon followed by an Army version in 1862.
The Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States armed forces. The President presents the Medal of Honor in Washington, D. C. at a formal ceremony, intended to represent the gratitude of the U. S. people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin. According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3522 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation's soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the American Civil War. In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as "National Medal of Honor Day". Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U. S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge. The modern-day Medal of Honor had a number of precursors; the first medal for military service in the United States was issued in 1780, after its creation in the same year by the Continental Congress.
Known as the Fidelity Medallion, it was a small medal worn on a chain around the neck, similar to a religious medal, awarded only to three militiamen from New York state. They received it for the capture of John André, a British officer and spy connected directly to General Benedict Arnold during the American Revolutionary War; the capture saved the fort of West Point from the British Army. The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by U. S. soldiers was established by George Washington when he issued a field order on August 7, 1782, for a Badge of Military Merit to recognize those members of the Continental Army who performed "any singular meritorious action". This decoration is America's first combat decoration and was preceded only by the Fidelity Medallion, the Congressional medal for Henry Lee awarded in September 1779 in recognition of his attack on the British at Paulus Hook, the Congressional medal for General Horatio Gates awarded in November 1777 in recognition of his victory over the British at Saratoga, the Congressional medal for George Washington awarded in March 1776.
Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U. S. Armed Forces had been established. After the outbreak of the Mexican–American War a Certificate of Merit was established by Act of Congress on March 3, 1847, "to any private soldier who had distinguished himself by gallantry performed in the presence of the enemy". 539 Certificates were approved for this period. The certificate was discontinued after the war and reintroduced in 1876 effective from June 22, 1874, to February 10, 1892, when it was awarded for extraordinary gallantry by private soldiers in the presence of the enemy. From February 11, 1892, through July 9, 1918, it could be awarded to members of the Army for distinguished service in combat or noncombat; this medal was replaced by the Army Distinguished Service Medal, established on January 2, 1918. Those Army members who held the Distinguished Service Medal in place of the Certificate of Merit could apply for the Army Distinguished Service Cross effective March 5, 1934.
During the first year of the Civil War, a proposal for a battlefield decoration for valor was submitted to Winfield Scott, the general-in-chief of the army, by Lt. Colonel Edward D. Townsend, an assistant adjutant at the War Department and Scott's chief of staff. Scott, was against medals being awarded, the European tradition. After Scott retired in October 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles adopted the idea of a decoration to recognize and honor distinguished naval service. On December 9, 1861, U. S. Senator James W. Grimes, Chairman on the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted Bill S. 82 during the Second Session of the 37th Congress, "An Act to further promote the Efficiency of the Navy". The bill included a provision for 200 "medals of honor", "to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen and marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seaman-like qualities during the present war..." On December 21, the bill was passed and signed into law by P
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
USS Marmora (1862)
The first USS Marmora was a stern wheel paddle steamer in the United States Navy. Marmora was built at Monongahela, Pennsylvania, in 1862, was purchased by the Navy at St. Louis, Missouri, on 17 September 1862 from Messrs. Brenan, McDonnell. Early the next morning she stood downriver to join the Mississippi Squadron in operations against the Confederate river stronghold at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Marmora's first action occurred when she attacked and destroyed several barges at Lake Providence, captured two skiffs and demolished a flatboat further down stream. On 29 November Marmora discovered heavy enemy fortifications 20 miles from the mouth of the Yazoo River. On 5 December, Marmora helped to refloat the ram Queen of the West, aground on Paw Paw Island. On 11 December she ran 20 miles up the Yazoo River and discovered several suspicious looking objects floating on the river; when she fired into one of them, a tremendous explosion occurred which shook the ship from stem to stern, though at a distance of 50 feet or more.
She avoided the others and left final destruction of the remaining mines to riflemen ashore. The next day, Marmora led Signal and Pittsburg up the Yazoo until the Union ships sighted several torpedoes. Cairo sent out a boat to investigate the nearest torpedo; as the boat towed the torpedo alongside, another exploded under Cairo, ripping the bottom out. As she sank and the other Union ships sent boats to the rescue and saved everyone. Marmora and her sister ships continued to remove torpedoes and to cooperate with the Army during probing actions seeking to find a weakness in Vicksburg's defenses. On 27 December the squadron heatedly engaged Confederate batteries at Drumgould's Bluff; that day, Admiral David Dixon Porter reported the Yazoo clear of torpedoes within one-half mile of the southern guns. The next day, his gunboats' mobile fire kept Confederate troops off balance while General Forrest Sherman's troops landed to attempt to capture strong southern works at Chickasaw Bluff, a vantage point upstream from Vicksburg.
Two days despite excellent support from naval guns. Sherman's troops, hindered by heavy rains and opposed by reinforced Confederate units, withdrew. Marmora participated in the attack on Fort Hindman, Arkansas, 4 to 11 January 1863, when it was taken. In February 1863, Marmora joined four other ships in preparations for the Yazoo River Expedition, departing Helena on 27 March; the joint Army-Navy Expedition captured CSS Fairplay and destroyed newly constructed Confederate batteries 20 miles up the Yazoo. For the next few months, Marmora concentrated on patrol supply runs. Guerrilla activities caused Marmora to stop at Gaines' Landing on 13 through 15 June to burn houses. Steaming up the White and Little Red Rivers on 8 August, the ships sought information on the location of General Sterling Price's army, the ships found St. Charles, deserted as Union forces had taken it on 16 June and had control of White River. Cavalry from the ships did encounter Confederate resistance on landing at Devall's Bluff on 17 August.
In November Marmora worked at the mouth of the Yazoo to prevent Confederate blockade of the river. Although Union forces had taken Yazoo City, their position was not secure. Confederates attacked the city en masse on 8 March 1864, causing Marmora and other rams to steam to the rescue. Marmora remained off this point with the other ships for several months, as Union forces mounted the campaign in Red River. Three of her sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor for going ashore with a howitzer and assisting in the fight at Yazoo City on 5 March; these men were Seaman William J. Franks, Seaman Bartlett Laffey, Seaman James Stoddard. Marmora was placed in reserve while still in commission. After fighting stopped, she decommissioned on 7 July 1865 and was sold at Mound City, Illinois to D. D. Barr on 17 August 1865; this article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here. Photo gallery at Naval Historical Center
USS Stoddard (DD-566)
USS Stoddard was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Master's Mate James Stoddard, decorated for heroism during the Civil War. She was the last Fletcher to be stricken from the U. S. Navy, in 1975. Stoddard was laid down at Seattle, Washington, by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. on 10 March 1943. Following her shakedown training out of San Diego and post-shakedown availability at Seattle, Stoddard screened a convoy to Pearl Harbor, departing the west coast on 16 July and reaching Hawaii on the 29th, she entered another brief availability period at Pearl Harbor headed north. On 8 August, she arrived in Adak and joined Task Force 94, made up of light cruisers Trenton, Concord and the destroyers of Destroyer Division 57; the mission of TF 94 was to harass Japanese outposts in the Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan proper and west of the Aleutian Islands. On 14 August 1944, Stoddard sailed with the task force to make her first offensive sweep of those forward enemy positions.
Poor weather conditions forced the ships to abandon the mission. Task Force 94 was redesignated TF 92 between that first abortive mission and the second one, begun on 26 August. Foul weather again foiled the American attack, the task force put into Attu; the storms were so bad and came so that TF 92 did not complete a raid until late November. During the evening hours of 21 November, the cruisers and destroyers pounded the Japanese installations at Matsuwa, damaging the airfields and other installations heavily. Heavy winds and seas slowed TF 92's retirement speed to nine knots, but the bad weather prevented pursuit by enemy aircraft; the warships returned safely to Attu on the 25th. From Adak, DesDiv 113, including Stoddard, was routed to the submarine base at Dutch Harbor. After spending the first two weeks in December at Dutch Harbor, the destroyers put to sea on the 13th and rejoined TF 92. On 3 January 1945, the task force embarked upon another sweep of Japan's Kuril defenses. Two days under the cover of snow squalls but with calm seas, the task force bombarded the Suribachi Wan area of Paramushiro damaging canning installations and airfields.
TF 92 retired to Attu at high speed and returned to Dutch Harbor on the 13th for a ten-day recreation period. On 16 January and Rowe headed south for operational training in the Hawaiian Islands, they departed on 7 February to return to Attu. They reached Massacre Bay on 13 February, just in time to join the group headed for the bombardment of Kurabu Zaki; the ships arrived off Paramushiro just after sunset on the 18th. They bombarded the island until midnight and retired to Attu, where they arrived on the 20th. Three days they shifted to Adak for supplies and repairs, they returned to Attu on 8 March. On 15 March, they hit Matsuwa again. From 1 to 17 April, Stoddard joined the task force in exercises in the vicinity of Adak. On the 18th, she and the rest of DesDiv 13 bade farewell to the cold winds and waters of the Aleutians chain. Stoddard entered Pearl Harbor for the third time on 24 April 1945. For a month, her crew enjoyed recreation in the islands and conducted operational training in preparation for assignment to Okinawa and the Fast Carrier Task Force.
Stoddard sailed from Pearl Harbor on 11 May, in the screen of Ticonderoga, bound for Ulithi. Along the way, Ticonderoga's air group got in a little live-ammunition practice on 17 May, when they struck the Japanese forces isolated on Taroa and the other islets of Maleolap Atoll; the task group reached the lagoon at Ulithi on 22 May. A week Stoddard departed the atoll to take up station off Okinawa. On 2 June, she took up radar picket station. Though the Okinawa campaign was nearing its conclusion, the proximity of airfields in Japan and on Formosa allowed enemy air power to continue to harass the ships around the island. Although the initial intensity of Japanese suicide plane attacks had abated, such attacks continued in significant numbers. Stoddard covered the withdrawal of several cargo ships on 4 June during a typhoon-evasion maneuver. At sunset on 7 June, two suicide planes attacked, but both were sent hurtling into the sea before they could reach the ships. During her tour of duty on the picket line, Stoddard claimed two Japanese planes for herself, two assists, one probable kill.
She left Okinawa on 17 June in the screen of Mississippi. Three days she passed through Surigao Strait into Leyte Gulf. For the remainder of the month, she took on provisions at San Pedro Bay, she put to sea again on 1 July, this time in the screen of TF 38, the Fast Carrier Task Force. For the next 45 days, she guarded the carriers as their planes made repeated strikes on the Japanese home islands. Stoddard was detached once during that period of time, on 23 July, to join DesDiv 113 in a bombardment of Chi Chi Jima in the Bonins. After the cessation of hostilities on 15 August, she continued to cruise the waters near Japan with TF 38 to cover the occupation forces, she cleared Japanese waters from 21 September until 7 October, while she underwent availability at Eniwetok returned for training exercises until November. On 18 November, she departed Japan for the United States, she transited the Panama Canal a month and arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard two days before Christmas. Stoddard went through a yard overhaul until late March 1946 ferried personnel to Charleston, S.
C. in April. She began inac
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U. S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States; the metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art and design. Detroit is a major port located on the Detroit River, one of the four major straits that connect the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway; the Detroit Metropolitan Airport is among the most important hubs in the United States. The City of Detroit anchors the second-largest regional economy in the Midwest, behind Chicago and ahead of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 13th-largest in the United States. Detroit and its neighboring Canadian city Windsor are connected through a tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest international crossing in North America.
Detroit is best known as the center of the U. S. automobile industry, the "Big Three" auto manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler are all headquartered in Metro Detroit. In 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, the future city of Detroit. During the 19th century, it became an important industrial hub at the center of the Great Lakes region. With expansion of the auto industry in the early 20th century, the city and its suburbs experienced rapid growth, by the 1940s, the city had become the fourth-largest in the country. However, due to industrial restructuring, the loss of jobs in the auto industry, rapid suburbanization, Detroit lost considerable population from the late 20th century to the present. Since reaching a peak of 1.85 million at the 1950 census, Detroit's population has declined by more than 60 percent. In 2013, Detroit became the largest U. S. city to file for bankruptcy, which it exited in December 2014, when the city government regained control of Detroit's finances.
Detroit's diverse culture has had both local and international influence in music, with the city giving rise to the genres of Motown and techno, playing an important role in the development of jazz, hip-hop and punk music. The erstwhile rapid growth of Detroit left a globally unique stock of architectural monuments and historic places, since the 2000s conservation efforts managed to save many architectural pieces and allowed several large-scale revitalizations, including the restoration of several historic theatres and entertainment venues, high-rise renovations, new sports stadiums, a riverfront revitalization project. More the population of Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit, various other neighborhoods has increased. An popular tourist destination, Detroit receives 19 million visitors per year. In 2015, Detroit was named a "City of Design" by UNESCO, the first U. S. city to receive that designation. Paleo-Indian people inhabited areas near Detroit as early as 11,000 years ago including the culture referred to as the Mound-builders.
In the 17th century, the region was inhabited by Huron, Odawa and Iroquois peoples. The first Europeans did not penetrate into the region and reach the straits of Detroit until French missionaries and traders worked their way around the League of the Iroquois, with whom they were at war, other Iroquoian tribes in the 1630s; the north side of Lake Erie was held by the Huron and Neutral peoples until the 1650s, when the Iroquois pushed both and the Erie people away from the lake and its beaver-rich feeder streams in the Beaver Wars of 1649–1655. By the 1670s, the war-weakened Iroquois laid claim to as far south as the Ohio River valley in northern Kentucky as hunting grounds, had absorbed many other Iroquoian peoples after defeating them in war. For the next hundred years no British, colonist, or French action was contemplated without consultation with, or consideration of the Iroquois' response; when the French and Indian War evicted the Kingdom of France from Canada, it removed one barrier to British colonists migrating west.
British negotiations with the Iroquois would both prove critical and lead to a Crown policy limiting the west of the Alleghenies settlements below the Great Lakes, which gave many American would-be migrants a casus belli for supporting the American Revolution. The 1778 raids and resultant 1779 decisive Sullivan Expedition reopened the Ohio Country to westward emigration, which began immediately, by 1800 white settlers were pouring westwards; the city was named by French colonists, referring to the Detroit River, linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie. On July 24, 1701, the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, along with more than a hundred other settlers began constructing a small fort on the north bank of the Detroit River. Cadillac would name the settlement Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, after Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. France offered free land to colonists to attract families to Detroit. By 1773, the population of Detroit was 1,400. By 1778, its population was up to 2,144 and it was the third-largest city in the Province of Quebec.
The region's economy was based on the lucrative fur trade, in which nume
Port Robinson, Ontario
Port Robinson is a small community in the southernmost part of Thorold, Canada. The community is divided in half by the Welland Canal, as there is no bridge in the immediate vicinity to connect the two halves of the community. In the summer, a small free ferry for pedestrians and cyclists runs across the canal. In the winter, residents must use the bridge on Highway 20, which results in a 13.3 km trip to get to the other side. Like all the ports on the first Welland Canal, Port Robinson was named after a member of the Family Compact that once ruled Upper Canada, as Ontario was named. Sir John Beverly Robinson was Attorney General of Upper Canada at the time the first Canal was built, the port was named Port Beverly. Bridge St in Port Robinson was linked by a vertical lift bridge, numbered as Bridge 12 by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. On August 25, 1974, the 600-foot ore carrier Steelton, travelling northbound on the canal and destroyed the bridge; the east tower of the bridge toppled over.
The bridge span was pushed into the water deformed. The damage to the bridge was estimated as between $15 and $20 million, it was scrapped in its entirety. The removal of the towers from the canal the counterweights, necessitated the use of a special heavy-duty floating crane; the canal was closed until September 9 for the repairs. The Steelton suffered damage to its pilot house, estimated at about $1 million; the repairs were made at the southern terminus of the Welland Canal. There was no loss of life; the bridge master, Albert Beaver, a watchman on the ship suffered minor injuries. The ensuing investigation concluded that the ship failed to blow the whistle to signal its approach and the bridge could not be raised in time. After the accident, rebuilding the bridge or building a tunnel to replace it was considered. In the end, it was concluded that the volume of local vehicular traffic was not sufficient to warrant such an expense. Instead, a passenger ferry service was launched in early 1977; the ferry can transport people and bicycles, but is not big enough for cars, thus forcing residents who want to use a car to take the long route.
In 2015, amid debate about discontinuing the ferry, it was estimated that the ferry carries 2000 pedestrians and 6000 touring cyclists per year. A similar accident occurred at Bridge 11 in Allanburg in 2001; that bridge was lowered onto the passing bulk carrier Windoc. The ship was a total loss, but no injuries were reported, Bridge 11 suffered minor damage and was repaired. While repairs were underway, Port Robinson residents wishing to travel by car to other side of the community had to drive farther than usual to use the Main Street Tunnel in Welland. Aftermath of Welland Canal Bridge 12 Collision The Welland Public Library's Canal history pages contain many newspaper clippings and photos documenting the Canal's history in general, the Port Robinson bridge accident in particular. Pictures of the canal's bridges are available, including some of the destroyed bridge. Images from the Historic Niagara Digital Collections at the Niagara Falls Public Library Whaddya Mean, I Have to Wait for the Green Light?
- Marine History of the Great Lakes website Port Robinson at Natural Resources Canada Geographical Names