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The Beaver Line was formed in 1867 as the Canada Steamship Company. The company had first ordered four 1,000 tons sailing ships, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. They were partly replaced by the second hand ship Lake Saint Clair. In 1872, they chartered steamers on an experimental basis for passenger and cargo use. These vessels included the Redewater, Harold, South Tyne and Atholl. The company started to order their own steamships in 1874. Because of the Beaver on their flag, the company soon became known as the Beaver Line. It was not a very well known line by Norwegian emigrants before in 1883. The line was then often called Bæver Lilien or just "Bæver". The line maintained a service from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal. Because of this, Norwegian emigrants had to travel via England, to embark the Beaver Line ships there. The most comman route was via Hull by the Wilson Line ships, and from Hull to Liverpool by train.

In 1875 the Canada Shipping Company, Limited, ran a service from Liverpool to Canada, also to Portland, Maine & Baltimore. There were occasional voyages from London. In 1881 a New York service was inaugurated and intermediate calls at Boston began in 1887. In 1883 the agent in Kriatiania, Ths. C. Hansen, was authorized to convey emigrants from Norway via Liverpool by the Canada Shipping Company's - Beaver Line steamships to America and on to the final detinations.

The company experienced difficulties in the early 1890s, and in 1894 liquidators, under Canada Shipping Company Limited (D. & C. MacIver, Managers), took control. They suspended sailings until the spring of 1895 when creditors received a payment. A new company, Beaver Line Associated Steamers was floated in November, 1897 and operated a weekly service from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal in the summer and Halifax and Portland in winter, with a call at Moville (Ireland). In December, 1898 Elder Dempster & Co settled Beaver Line's outstanding claims. There were two sailings from Batum in the Black Sea to Halifax in December, 1898 and the company made their last transatlantic sailing on 20th May, 1899. Services resumed later in May, 1899 under the title Beaver Line of Steamers (Elder Dempster & Co).

In 1903 the ships and service of the Beaver Line was taken over by the The Canadian Pacific Railway Company for their Canadian Pacific Line.

Their authorization was to convey emigrants via England from Liverpool (or Bristol) to Quebec, St.John NB, Halifax, Montreal or Boston and to the final destinations in America. The inland voyage naturally by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The police department in Kristiania was informed on oct. 13th 1903 that the Beaver Line had changed the name to Canadian Pacific Railway Co's Atlantic Line.

Their main transatlantic routes were:
Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal (summer)
Liverpool - St John, NB (winter)

Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SAssaye1891 Harland & Wolff 5 129 gross 
  S/SCarlisle City1894 William Doxford & Sons 3 002 gross 
  S/SGallia1878 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 4 809 gross 
  S/SLake Champlain (1)1874 London & Glasgow Co. Ltd. 2 207 gross 
  S/SLake Champlain (2)1900 Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. 7 392 gross 
  S/SLake Erie1899 Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. 7 550 gross 
  S/SLake Huron1881 London & Glasgow Co. Ltd. 4 040 gross 
  S/SLake Manitoba (1)1880 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 3 322 gross 
  S/SLake Manitoba (2)1901 C. S. Swan & Hunter 8 850 gross 
  S/SLake Megantic (1)1875 London & Glasgow Co. Ltd. 2 218 gross 
  S/SLake Megantic (2)1884 William Denny & Co. 5 026 gross 
  S/SLake Nepigon1875 London & Glasgow Co. Ltd. 2 209 gross 
  S/SLake Ontario1887 James Laing & Co. 4 502 gross 
  S/SLake Simcoe1884 John Elder & Co. 4 912 gross 
  S/SLake Superior1884 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 4 562 gross 
  S/SLake Winnipeg1879 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 3 300 gross 
  S/SMarisata1893    
  S/SMontfort1899 Palmer‘s Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd. 5 519 gross 
  S/SRuapehu1883 John Elder & Co. 4 262 gross 
  S/STongariro1883 John Elder & Co. 4 163 gross 

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Some companies may have had additional ships in their fleets to those mentioned above. They might not have been included if the ships were not engaged in the conveyance of emigrants. Some ships mentioned in the fleet lists may have been chartered from other companies, see the ship's description and history for more details.

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Articles
A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
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