Alligator Tug, The

By the late 19th century, lumbering in Ontario had retreated from easily accessible waterways and movement of logs became difficult and expensive. An imaginative solution to this problem, the amphibious steam warping (or winching) tug was developed in 1888-89 by an inventive local entrepreneur, John Ceburn West. His remarkable vessel, commonly called the Alligator was driven by paddle wheels and housed a powerful winch that enabled the scow to tow large log booms cheaply and efficiently and to pull itself over land from lake to lake. West's iron foundry, West and Peachey of Simcoe, quickly became the major producer of Alligators supplying the North American lumbering industry with some 200 tugs by 1932. Although considerably modified, the Alligator is still in use today.


In Lynnwood Park, Norfolk Street North at Alligator Lane, Simcoe

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Norfolk (District)

Municipality: County of Norfolk