This boat was built around 1930 in Owen Sound, Ont. by Russel-Hipwell.
Powered by a 3 cylinder engine developing 27 HP, the engine was made in England by Lister Dursly, serial number 21FR3ME2. 28 feet long by 8 feet wide and 10 feet tall, the steel boat weighs close to 7 Imperial tons.
Owned by Consolidated Bathurst, it was used in the Gatineau river log drive in the Ouatouais.
The St-Maurice River Drive (STMRD) Company purchased the McNeil from Ontario, for use in Grandes-Piles, QC.
The cabin was rebuilt in June 1987 to ease the work of the operaters and deck hands.
Between 1987 and 1991, before autumn ice-up, the boat towed barges loaded with logs and anchors. The boat was also used to open and close booms.
(YC clarifies: To understand what logging was in the 80's, one must know that the river was shared. Logging operations were conducted during the week and logs were confined in a "boom corridor' between St-Roch and Grand-Mère. The logs were enclosed in booms on weekends and released at the beginning of the week by opening the booms. Opening a boom meant releasing one end to let the logs free, closing meant blocking the path of the logs by installing a boom from one pillar to another or from one side of the river to the other. The company had to clean some parts of the river and the best way not to leave anything behind was to load stray logs in barges. The anchors were used to anchor the booms because it was not always possible to tie them to the shore.)
The STMRD donated the boat to the village of St. Roch de Mekinac in June 1998, prior to ceasing operations in Dec. 1998. The company was started in 1908.
Since its arrival in St. Roch, it has been displayed in the Parc Des Loisirs. The boat is probably one of the last logging boats to have been built in North America.