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Up on the roof top, spot the ship

Remember This: A birds-eye view of a sidelaunch
The Hagarty is side launched from Dry Dock 2 in 1914 at the Collingwood Shipyards. Huron Institute No. 67, Collingwood Museum Collection X974.815.1

Anyone lucky enough to have witnessed a ship launch in Collingwood knows that rooftops were prime locations from which to watch the spectacular side launch event.

Upon initial inspection, this photograph from June 18, 1914, provides an inclusive view of Collingwood’s historic shipyard property. At the photograph’s centre, Hull 42 J.H.G. Hagarty is seen leaning perilously to the east as it plunges dramatically into the launching basin. Today this basin is easily accessed via the Promenade along the Collingwood trail system. In 1914, this flooded launching basin was known as No. 2 Dry Dock and provided a necessary space for ship repairs.

Looking closer still, small figures may be seen along the roofline of the GTR Freight Shed in the photograph’s foreground. The stacks of wood along the water’s edge to the right of the launching ship are also topped by spectators.

JHG Hagarty replaced the ill-fated James Carruthers that perished in the great storm of 1913 only six months after its completion at the Collingwood Shipyards. The Hagarty suffered an incident in its first year that required the replacement of 22 hull plates. In 1926, the vessel’s name was formerly shortened to Hagarty. On October 28, 1968 Hagarty was scrapped at Santander, Spain alongside another Collingwood-built vessel, the Collingwood.

Remember This is a weekly series of historic photographs submitted by the Collingwood Museum to These photographs were originally collected and documented by the Huron Institute in an historical catalogue entitled Huron Institute Paper and Records: Volume III. Much of Collingwood’s early history has been preserved due to the dedication and foresight of the early museum’s founders, namely its secretary-curator David Williams, upon its establishment in 1904.