Algoma Central was incorporated as Algoma Central Railway Company in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on August 11, 1899. The Corporation proudly celebrated its Centennial Anniversary throughout the year in 1999.
The Company was founded following the discovery of valuable iron ore in the Michipicoten area of Ontario's Algoma Region in the late 1800's. Francis H. Clergue, the Philadelphia promoter and industrialist, needed to move the ore from the Helen Mine to the harbour on Lake Superior. For this purpose, the Algoma Central Railway was incorporated by Special Act of the Parliament of Canada with capital of three million dollars.
Soon after the railway was in operation from the mine to Michipicoten, four steam vessels were purchased in 1900. This was the beginning of the Algoma Central Fleet.
The Company name was changed to The Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company in 1901. From this point on, Algoma Central carried on business as both a railway and a steamship company.
With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, expansion of the fleet was a high priority. Next came a name to change Algoma Central Railway in 1965, followed by the demand for self-unloaders and further expansion of the bulker fleet.
In 1973, Algoma Central Properties was established with major real estate holdings in the Sault. By 1984, Company revenue surpassed $100 million, and by 1987, Marine Division revenues alone exceeded $100 million. In 1990, the Company name was changed to Algoma Central Corporation.
Year 1992 saw the beginning of Algoma Central's Fleet Renewal Program which would ensure Algoma's competitiveness in the future.
With increased emphasis on marine, both the railway and the Algoma Region forest lands held by the Company were sold as the Company divested non-strategic assets.
As expansion of the fleet continued, Algoma Central acquired an interest in Marbulk Canada Inc. to provide a presence in ocean shipping. Algoma Tankers Limited was created with the purchase of liquid-petroleum tankers.
Algoma Central Properties Inc., now committed to the Niagara Region of Ontario, manages six valuable real estate properties in St. Catharines, in addition to its Sault holdings.
In January 2000, the Seaway Marine Transport marketing pool was formed resulting in new synergy and benefits to customers.
Today, Algoma Central Corporation proudly flies its house flag on 29 vessels sailing the Great Lakes.
According to Lloyds the shipping division was made a subsidiary in 1990 as Algoma Central Marine. Post World War 2 Lloyds shows the shipping at times under Algoma Steamships Ltd. and at others under the principal. This would appear to part of a reorganization that saw the principal become Algoma Central Corporation. The company site shows a logo which bears the name "Algoma Central Corporation' and possibly the company had a flag using this but as the 1982 edition of "Know your Ships" shows the funnel bearing the badge with 'Marine' on it as shown on this flag, it seems possible that the maritime division was using the flag prior to 1990.