|Bourgeon de l'Ile
I have what I think is an old Russel alligator which could have been built in Fort Frances. The boat is pretty old and the motor is a 2 cyl 20 HP. On the wheel in the pilot house is stamped "Russel Brothers, Fort Frances, Ont."
The boat is 27' 10" X 8' X 34". The cabin is 13' long and is made of 3/4" marine plywood. The towing gear has been removed. The cage around the propeller has also been removed and the rudder modified to "give more control", I guess. The motor was rebuilt in 1988.
I had the starter, solenoid, generator, controlbox, magneto, gas pump and carburetor rebuilt. The steel propeller is 24" and the shaft 1 3/4". I was able to go back 2 owners but before that the story gets harder to follow. There is no manufacturer plate on the boat but maybe the cabin was changed for a wooden one and the plate that is usually on the port side wall of the steel cabin is long gone.
In the bilge on a frame is stamped "Illinois Steel". I find it plausible that if the steel came from Illinois, then the boat could have been built in Fort Frances like the wheel and probably the motor. When we look at a map we see that Illinois is pretty near Fort Frances compared to Owen Sound.
The serial number on the motor is missing ( there was some soldering done on the motor head at that end of the motor).
My guess is that the boat was modified at some time and there was freeboard added to the boat by raising the sides (there seems to be 2 types of soldering on the hull) and adding handrails.