Historic James Whalen Looking Tipsy at Kam River Park

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James Whalen Tug Boat
The James Whalen is leaning outward some of the securing material appears to have broken away.

THUNDER BAY – The James Whalen looks like the old tug boat had a few too many this holiday season. The boat which is anchored to the Kam River Park Walkway on the Fort William Waterfront is leaning over.

Likely the ice in the river has shifted causing the break and the lean of the venerable old ship
Likely the ice in the river has shifted causing the break and the lean of the venerable old ship

Walking on the Kam River Park Walkway is a little treacherous as well. The walkway, which is a beautiful place to walk is more like a skating rink than a sidewalk.

The walkway at the Kam River Park - tough to safely walk.
The walkway at the Kam River Park – tough to safely walk.

A few years ago, the James Whalen was closed for the annual Riverfest. The boat had been broken into and was littered with debris. The following year, the Riverfest festival was cancelled.

James Whalen
The James Whalen in happier times at the Kam River Park.

At 180 feet in length and 950 horsepower, the James Whalen Tug was built to tow heavy steamers and break ice 40 inches thick. Source of the first marine wireless message ever sent from the Lakehead, today she is a permanently moored feature of the Kaministiquia Riverfront Heritage Park.

Today, the James Whalen, like much of Kam River Park is looking rather rough, and run down.