The North American and her sister, the South American, were childhood favorites of mine. My earliest memories of them came from a comment my father made about how each of them crossed the water like swans.

   From our cottage on the lower river we could always tell their distinctive whistles which we would hear when they came around the bends at either Marine City or Algonac and saluted.

  The North American slips under the Blue Water Bridge, down bound in 1953. An image by noted Port Huron photographer, Russell Sawyer.

   A recently discovered family photograph shows the South American down bound in the lower St. Clair River in 1920. I was astonished to see just a single smokestack as all my memories were of two stacks as seen above.

   However, the South American was damaged by fire in September of 1924 and during the winter she had her coal fired boilers replaced by oil burning boilers and a second stack was added. The North American had the same upgrades the previous year

Join the last cruise of the Passenger Ship, South American

The Passenger Ship, North American