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Study to look at display area for Hallett/Owandem

By Randy Thoms Jun 19, 2023 | 2:04 AM

The Hallett sits on blocks after removed from its berth on the Rainy River. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

The final resting spot for the Hallett and Owandem falls upon a Winnipeg firm to design.

The Hallet remains on blocks after being removed from Rainy River during last year’s flooding.

The Owandem is in storage after undergoing some work.

Little Bluestem Landscape Architecture was the only one to submit a proposal.

Interim Chief Administrative Officer Travis Rob says the firm was not interested in rehabilitating the Hallett.

“The original intent of the request for proposal was to site and design berths for both vessels, as well as provide a scope of work at the design stage for us to tender for the rehabilitation of the Hallet. They declined to bid on that component because it is quite specialized work,” says Rob.

The town is now reaching out to others.

“We are trying to engage people in the boat building and repairing business, and I’m talking like large shipbuilding-sized firms that would be able to come in and address the rehabilitation portion, help us put together a scope of work so that we can tender that as part of the work as well.”

The Russell Brothers of Owen Sound built both vessels that played important roles in the area’s logging industry.

The Hallett pulled large log booms across Rainy Lake.

The Fort Frances Museum acquired the Hallett after it was decommissioned and placed it at Point Park in 1983.

In 2009, it was refurbished and relocated near the Sorting Gap Marina.

The Owandem was used to maneuver logs in the Rainy River toward the mill in Fort Frances before it was decommissioned in the 1970s.

Photo supplied by Fort Frances Museum

It landed in the hands of a Fort Frances resident before sold to Arden Erickson Barnes, a former U.S. Coast Guard captain in Ranier.

The vessel was donated to the Fort Frances Museum six years ago following Barnes’s passing.


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