Photo of the S.S. Bruce

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The S.S. Bruce was a classic Victorian steamer, elegant and powerful. Built by the A&J Inglis shipyard on the Clyde River in Scotland, the S.S. Bruce arrived in St. John's on October 13, 1897, before the railway from St. John's to Port aux Basques was completed. While the railway being finished, the S.S. Bruce sailed weekly from Placentia to North Sydney, Nova Scotia. The first crossing from Port aux Basques to North Sydney took place on June 30, 1898 and she returned to Port aux Basques on July 3. The S.S. Bruce maintained a three times a week service to North Sydney until March 24, 1911 when the Captain misjudged his position in heavy ice and snow squalls and the steamer ran aground on the rocks of Main-a-Dieu near Louisbourg. Two people drowned in heavy seas. Service continued with the S.S. Glencoe and the S.S. Invermore until a new S.S. Bruce was built and arrived for ferry service in 1912. In 1916, the British Admirality commandeered the second S.S. Bruce and sold her to Imperial Russia for war service.



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