The steamer Conestoga was built by Quale & Son of Cleveland for Anchor Line and launched July 6, 1878. A considerable amount of money, technical design and skill went into construction, as evidenced by the description in the Cleveland Daily Plain Dealer on July 8, 1878: “Fitted out in all proportions with a care to strength, durability and beautyÖ it is estimated that her cost will be near $90,000.00. The Conestoga was powered by a steeple compound engine capable of a speed of 8 knots.
The upper portion of the steeple engine protrudes above the river, marking the site. She sank on May 22, 1922 outside Lock 28 of the Old Galop Canal, one mile east of Cardinal, Ontario. A fire broke out in the engine room while awaiting passage at the lock. The ship was flushed from the Lock and allowed to ground and sink in her present position. Loss was estimated at $200,000.00. She was carrying 30,000 bushels of wheat, much of which was salvaged.
Take exit 730 from highway 401 and head South on Shanly Road straight past the Highway 2 intersection until you are in the parking lot of the Legion building. Take the tiny unpaved road west of the building which passes between a waterfront beach/park and a small canal. Park your car near the ship’s smokestack, which can be seen protruding from the surface about 50 feet (14 meters) from shore.