Historic Detroit

South American

The South American and her fleetmate the North American were popular sights as they took passengers on cruises around the Great Lakes. They made regular runs to Buffalo, N.Y.; Cleveland; Mackinac Island; Chicago; Duluth, Minn.; and Detroit.

The South American made her maiden voyage in 1914, also for the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Co. She was 31 feet longer than her older running mate. In 1967, her final year of service, she shuttled guests to Montreal’s Expo ‘67, a last gasp of glory.

The North had been retired from service in 1963 and languished until being sold to the Seafarer’s International Union three years later in order to be used as a dormitory and classrooms at Piney Point, Md. But on Sept. 4, 1967, while being towed to her new home, she sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

After her fleetmate sank, the South was sold to the Seafarers as a replacement. But the conversion never came, and she rotted for decades near Camden, N.J., before being scrapped at Baltimore in 1992.