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E.B. "Skip" Gillham Collection - GLMS 34

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


This one-half cubic foot collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes on December 18, 1987 by Skip Gillham. The instrument of gift was signed January 22, 1988. Literary and property rights were dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for the purposes of conservation and research.

Biographical Sketch

E.B. "Skip" Gillham was born at Toronto, Ontario in 1941 and developed an interest in the history of the Great Lakes region early in his life. Gillham's interest in research and education led to his careers in teaching and Great Lakes scholarship. Degrees in History from the University of Toronto and Physical Education from McMaster University prepared Gillham for teaching and guidance counseling at the Beamsville District Secondary School in Beamsville, Ontario. Skip and Carol Gillham reside in Vineland, Ontario. They have two sons, David and Douglas.

In addition to teaching and guidance work, Gillham is a frequent contributor of articles on Great Lakes history to Telescope, Steamboat Bill, Seaports and Shipping World and numerous other periodicals. Since 1970 his series "Ships that Ply the Lakes" has appeared weekly in the St. Catharines, Ontario Standard and, since 1973, in the Port Huron, Michigan Times Herald.

Skip Gillham's writing extends to authorship of Ships along the Seaway vol. 1 (1971), vol. 2 (1975), vol. 4 (1986); The Best of Ships along the Seaway (1981); The Welland Canal Mission (1981); Ten Tales of the Great Lakes (1983); and The Ships of Collingwood (1992).

Co-authored works include The Changing Seaway (1985) with Alfred Sagon-King; The Welland Canal: A Visitor's Guide (1986) with Don Revell; Index of Ship Names Appearing in..."Ships that Ply the Lakes"; (1987) with Captain G. Hawthorn; Pulp and Paper Fleet (1988) with Al Sykes; and Canadian Fleets along the Seaway (1989) with Alfred F. Sagon-King.

Scope and Content

This collection presents readers with information from 1968-1991 on Great Lakes vessels, shipping statistics for the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company and data on the history of the Welland Canal.

Correspondence from 1987 compiles Welland Canal information for readers. Cargo reports for 1968-1983 detail the activities of one company fleet for 15 years. Cargo data shows the relative importance of particular commodities in the overall structure of what the boats in the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company fleet was contracted to carry. The 1991 issues of Skip Gillham's "Ships that Ply the Lake" column from the St. Catharines, Ontario Standard present histories of individual vessels in a weekly series.

Series Description


Box 1, Folder 1
Arranged chronologically.
Series contains correspondence regarding the history of the Welland Canal from February 1987.


Box 1, Folder 2
Arranged chronologically.
Series contains reports describing cargoes carried by vessels in the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company fleet. Summary sheets for each season describe cargoes for all the fleet vessels and individual sheets describe cargo for specific vessels. Types of cargo, number times per season this cargo was carried, loading ports and discharge ports are recorded.


Box 1, Folder 3
Arranged chronologically
Series contains articles from Skip Gillham's "Ships that Ply the Lakes" column that appeared in the St. Catharines, Ontario Standard in 1991. This weekly column featured a specific vessel in most editions and recorded both news of recent events for the boat and incidents from its past.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1987
  2. Cargo Reports, 1968-1983
  3. Newsclippings, 1991

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