Chicago in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
“Queen of The Northumberland Strait”
—Prince Edward Island Service —
Launched on June 28, 1947
Hull Number: 144
Length: 372.6 ft.
Width: 62 ft.
Gross Tons: 7,600
Service: Operated by Canadian National Railway for service from Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick to Borden, Prince Edward Island, August 14, 1947 until March 2, 1983
Compliment: 65 crew, One complete passenger train, 60 autos and 960 passengers.
Ship’s name: Pronounced (a-beg-wit), meaning “Cradled on The Waves”.
Miles Steamed: 1,145,585
On a warm spring day in June 1947, Mrs. J. Walter, wife of the Premier of Prince Albert Island, swung the traditional bottle of Champagne to christen this ship and fulfill a dream for the people of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Year-round service was now possible from Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick on the mainland. Ice in the Northumberland Strait can be 18 feet thick or more. A ship of this magnitude was needed for continued support of the islanders. The Abegweit was constructed as the world’s largest icebreaker with a hull an inch and one quarter thick, identical to the “Queen Elizabeth” of the Cunard Line. Her interiors of walnut, mahogany, and oak paneling with solid brass fixtures are reminiscent of that great age of trans Atlantic passenger service. The name “Queen
On January 9, 1963, at 2:16 am, the Aberwit was called for her most famous rescue. Sixteen year old Kenneth Blacquiere was trapped and lost on the ice in the Strait. With her carbon arc search lights blazing, the boy was found mid-channel on his way into the North Atlantic. Captain Kean maneuvered the 7,600 ton Abegweit to the boy’s feet without mishap, forever endearing her to the Islanders.
On March 2, 1983, Columbia Yacht Club took posession [sic] of the Abegweit from Canada National Railways. A volunteer crew from the railway and Columbia members sailed the “Little Queen” the 2,000 miles to her new home at the foot of Randolph Street. Today, Abegweit has become an international star with true historical links to the people of Prince Edward Island and all of Canada. A portion of the history of Canada and Chicago are brought together here for everyone to admire and remember.
Location. 41° 53.046′ N, 87° 36.742′ W. Marker is in Chicago, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is on North Lake Shore Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Columbia Yacht Club (here, next to this marker); Monument of the Millennium (approx. ¼ mile away); The Honorable Joanne H. Alter (approx. 0.4 miles away); Illinois & Michigan Canal (approx. half a mile away); Jean Baptiste Beaubien (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Chicago Public Library Cultural Center (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Sisters of Mercy (approx. 0.7 miles away); Carbide and Carbon Building (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chicago.
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 27, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 531 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 27, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.