A note on sources, and a Thank You from the webmaster...

Mar. 2007. Steve Briggs beside the Ancaster
at the Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum.

Sun Times photo by James Masters.
Acting as compiler, webmaster and archivist, I began this digital archive in 2004. It arose out of my volunteer duties at the Marine & Rail Museum where I had been digitizing museum materials for posterity. After I put it online, contributors from all across Canada and the world came out of the woodwork! The initial spark for the project really came from getting Robert B. Farrow's excellent and large collection of Russel boat photos, and his prior work with Gerry Ouderkirk in compiling a listing of registry entries of known Russel craft. I thought it would be fun to compare the original factory photos with the "where are they now?" photos I got from Rob and Gerry. Both these marine historians have been invaluable sources of information and are much more expert on this topic than I'll ever be.

All of the substantial contributors have their own photo collection pages. Of these, I have to specially mention Yves Cloutier in Quebec, Mac Mackay in Nova Scotia, and Doug Gagnon, Joe Fossey and Shaun Vary from Ontario. All of these folks contributed massive amounts of photos and corrected or confirmed my historical queries.

I got extensive materials on specialty topics as well. Gerry George's exhaustive photo collection of the Toronto fireboat Wm Lyon Mackenzie, Greg Aldworth's Maid of the Mist archive, Rejean Boisvert's photos of the Rapide Des Coeurs, Rod Morrison's photos of the Atomic, Terry Scott's of Kayvee and Penny, Michel Tremblay's Youville photos and John Pomeroy's Chelsea Russels are good examples.

And then there's the Owen Sounders...Former Russel employees David Low, Robert Plakholm, and Ted Eldred all had many photos and anecdotes. Engine man Howard Donovan and boat shop hand Ed Krohn told me specifics of what is was to work there. Paul Capel deserves special mention for his photos and historical backgrounds. My Homecoming Tugboat Festival committee was Norm Meneray, Paul Capel, Ed Griffiths, and special advice came from Bob Corrigan and Scott Cameron. Jim Hoffman organized the volunteers. Don Miller took photos of the event and supplied all the excellent merchandise.

I've tried to make this archive as accurate as possible. It is by no means complete, and will likely never be. It also does not address all the other products and activities Russel Brothers engaged in as a company and Owen Sound corporation. The last CEO and owner of Russel Brothers Richard Warkentin did not contribute, but also did not hinder my efforts. I have no doubt Russel materials will continue to surface in the future, and I hope at some point someone will write a book about the history of this (in Mr. Warkentin's words), "greatest little company in the world".