A BRO reader has dug up some fascinating footage of the side-wheel coal-burning excursion steamer named the “See and Bee, or the SS Seeandbee”. See for the Letter “C” and Bee for the letter “B”. The two letters represented two main port cities – Cleveland and Buffalo.
“This is possibly the only video of the Sea and Bee aka Cleveland and Buffalo Passenger Ship,” says our BRO reader. “It raises the question whether a Great Lakes Cruise Ship will once again dock in Buffalo Harbor. After all, the DL&W was where it docked and the Buffalo Creek Casino is right across the street. It would only make sense for the Senecas to promote both a Cruise Ship and a Light Rail extension to Niagara Falls where disembarking patrons could spend a night at either casino, visit the falls or downtown Buffalo. Traditionally Buffalo was integrated with Cleveland and Detroit – if all 3 cities are on the upswing, shouldn’t the three cities start talking with each other on things each city could do to complement the other?”
The excursion steamer was deemed successful and financially viable until the depression and competition from trucks and trains. Ultimately the ship was converted (in Buffalo) to a military training aircraft carrier (on the Great Lakes), which meant that the 470 staterooms and 24 parlors were dismantled. At that time she became known as the USS Wolverine, IX-64.
To learn more about the ship, and her unique history as it pertains the Great Lakes, visit www.cruiselinehistory.com.
Photo: The S.S. Seeandbee docked in Buffalo, ca. 1930. Cleveland Press Collection, CSU Archives