Western Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company

shipyard on Lake Superior

The Western Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company operated at Port Arthur, Ontario, now part of Thunder Bay, on Lake Superior from its organization in October 1909 until its reorganization in November 1916 as the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company.[1] It was probably a subsidiary of the Cleveland-based American Ship Building Company[2] until entrepreneur James Whalen took control in 1916.[3] Whalen was president from 1909–1916.

Its dry dock and shops were located at Bare Point at the extreme eastern end of the Thunder Bay harbour. They were constructed in 1910. The first launching of a vessel was June 27, 1911, a scow or barge for the Great Lakes Dredging Company.[4]

During the First World War, the company also produced shells and munitions for the Imperial Munitions Board. It also built Big Bull tractors in 1915.[5]

Ships built by the company

  • Hamiltonian (steel package freighter, 1912)
  • Calgarian (package freighter, 1913)
  • Noronic (passenger steamer, 1913)
  • Nasookin (passenger steamer, 1913)
  • Sicamous (passenger steamer, 1914)
  • W. Grant Morden (lake bulk carrier, 1914)
  • Blaamyra (ocean freighter, 1916)
  • Thorjerd (ocean freighter, 1916)


  1. Port Arthur Daily News, October 14, 1909.
  2. Port Arthur Daily News, October 5, 1914.
  3. Port Arthur News-Chronicle, November 7 & 11, 1916.
  4. Port Arthur Daily News, June 27, 1911.
  5. Port Arthur Daily News, May 20, Aug 14, 1915.

48°27′11″N 89°10′45″W / 48.45306°N 89.17917°W / 48.45306; -89.17917