The SS Kyle was built by Shawn Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. in
Newcastle-on-Tyne, England in 1913. Constructed as part of the Reid Newfoundland Co's
Alphabet Fleet, the ship provided Labrador with its first regularly scheduled service.
Shortly after commissioning, the SS Kyle was assigned to the North Sydney/Prot-aux-Basques
ferry service. The vessel was pruchased by the Earl Brothers Fisheries of Carbonear in
1960 and used in the seal trade until 1967 when an iceberg accident caused her to be
moored in the Harbour Grace harbour. During a storm the SS Kyle broke its moorings and
drifted to Riverhead where it has been standing ever since. The Provincial Government
pruchased the ship for $ 4, 000 in 1972.
In December of 1996, almost 30 years after the SS Kyle found her resting
place in Riverhead, Harbour Grace, the years of lobbying the federal and provincial
governments paid off. At this time, the town of Harbour Grace, sercured a partnership with
these governments for an initial step in the restoration of the vessel. The SS Kyle's
exterior is now painted its original colors- the hull is painted black and white while the
smokestack is canary yellow. As of April 1997 this dream has become a reality and the SS
Kyle can now be seen in much of its original splendor.