Russel Brothers Limited   OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO   Steelcraft Boat Builders

Canadian List of Shipping 1956; Babikan [C.173697] registered at Port Arthur; built at Owen Sound in 1945, 285 x 83 x 32; 5 g.t.; 3 n.t.; 77 hp. Owned by Abitibi Power & Paper Co. Ltd., Iroquois Falls, Ontario. Canadian List of Shipping 1970; Steel tug Babikan [C. 173697] registered at Port Arthur. Built at Owen Sound in 1945. 29; 5 g.t. Canadian List of Shipping 1994; Babikan. Transport Canada List 2003; Owned by William Morriseau, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

RBF notes (Jan. 11, 2008): I can't find Babikan anymore and no one I know has any idea. It's Indian owned. Maybe it will resurface one day.

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Ginny Flett says (July 22, 2008): I grew up on Lake Nipigon at a place named Virgin Falls where my father (George Flett) was camp foreman. His boat was the Babikan and the sad pictures of the existing boat lying like a dead fish on the shores of Squaw Bay do not tell the story of a great little boat.

The Babikan was on lake Nipigon from 1945 to 1973 and all of my 4 brothers and my father were either log men or operators on her. She came to my father new and he always thought of it as being his baby. Her predecessor was a wooden boat known as The Red Wing. I probably knew more about her and her engine, winch, tow posts and cleats than any other little girl!

This boat has a family history, we lived most summers at Virgin Falls. Because it was remote and plagued by bear problems, if a bear ventured on the camp site my father promptly shot it. Many a bear was winched onto the bow and took their last ride to a dumping ground down the river. The Babikan's main purpose was to spill rafts for Abitibi, she worked in conjunction with the Tugs Nipigon and Orient Bay. I can remember my father leaving early in the mornings to go and spill rafts.

The Ogima II was also a boat the I remember well as it was used to bring supplies to the tugs as well the camps on the river (Miner and Devil Rapids). The operator Art always used to bring my brothers and myself treats when he came to bring supplies. Other boats on the river drive I remember were the P.P.M. 31, the Wabinosh, Ghost, Outan, Picotan, Onaman, and the Goki. I shall always treasure my memories of that time in my life. I just wanted you to know that The Babikan was a great little boat that was well used and loved.


1983 Nipigon Gazette article on the logging history and tugs of the Nipigon River. Mentions Russels Wabinosh, PPM 31, Outan, Purdom, Babikan.
article online source:
Easy to read text version of article with photos

Click for easy to read text version of article with photos


For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
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