Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Jean Parisien Forebody Moved From Drydock


The Canada Steamship Lines’ self-unloader Jean Parisien’s forebody, recently severed from the stern section at Port Weller Drydocks, was floated out of the drydock Friday night with Seahound at the bow and Vac and Progress to assist. By 7:30 p.m., the severed section was at fit-out wall in preparation for the short trip down the Welland Canal, where it will soon be scrapped. In recent weeks, everything of use, such as anchors, winches and bowthruster has been removed from the front hull section for reuse.

The stern of the Parisien remains on the drydock, where a new forebody will be fabricated in the coming months.

Tugs move the Parisien’s discarded forward section out of the drydock
Another view

Reported by Alex Howard


Port Report



Reported by Barry Hiscocks
Thursday afternoon saw the arrival of the McKeil Marine tug Evans McKeil and her deck barge at the Government Dock in Sarnia,ON. awaiting the arrival of the heavy lift vessel Jumbo Vision from

The Jumbo Vision transported an Italian-made reactor for Sunoco's Sarnia refinery for the production of low-sulphur diesel fuel. At over 100 feet in length, and weighing more than 800 metric tons, onlookers were treated to some very skillfull crane operation, as the reactor was transferred from the ship to the McKeil barge.

The reactor was scheduled to be moved downriver Saturday morning to the Sunoco dock where it will be transferred from the McKeil barge to make the short trip by truck into the Suncor facility. Very windy conditions in the area could cause a possible delay.

The Jumbo Vision departed Sarnia mid-morning Saturday for the Seaway.


Reported by Dick Lund
Thursday saw fleetmates Prinsenborg and Vancouverborg arrive in Menominee. The Prinsenborg arrived early in the morning to load pulp at a local warehouse; however, wet weather has slowed its loading and she remains at the dock as of mid-afternoon Saturday. The Vancouverborg has been at anchor in the bay of Green Bay since Thursday awaiting the departure of the Prinsenborg. Saturday morning saw the arrival of the Catherine Desgagnes at Marinette Fuel & Dock with a load of pig iron.


Reported by Gary Clark
The self-unloader Joseph H. Frantz remains in drydock at Fraser Shipyards undergoing repairs. Reports indicate she may have sustained damage by touching bottom recently in the
St. Marys River.

Frantz at Fraser Shipyard on Oct. 26
Buckeye unloads stone


Today in Great Lakes History

October 31

On 31 October 1888, A W LAWRENCE (wooden propeller tug, 72 foot, 51 gross tons, built in 1880 at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) blew her boiler at 2:30 a.m. off North Point near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The tug quickly sank.  Four of the six aboard were lost.  None of their remains were ever found.  The tug MERRILL rescued the cook and a passenger.  The LAWRENCE was owned by Capt. Mc Coy & Banner and valued at $5,000.

CANADIAN EXPLORER's sea trials were conducted on October 31, 1983, on Lake Erie where a service speed of 13.8 m.p.h. was recorded.

The EDWIN H GOTT was christened October 31, 1978.

On October 31, 1973, the H M GRIFFITH entered service.for Canada Steamship Lines on her maiden voyage bound for Thunder Bay, Ontario to load iron ore for Hamilton, Ontario. GRIFFITH was rebuilt with a new larger forward section,  and renamed b.) Rt Hon PAUL J MARTIN in 2000.

The CADILLAC (4) was launched October 31, 1942,  as a.) LAKE ANGELINA.

ELMGLEN (2) cleared Owen Sound, Ontario on October 31, 1984, on her first trip in Parrish & Heimbecker colors.

On October 31, 1966, while downbound in the St. Marys River loaded with 11,143 tons of potash for Oswego, New York, the HALLFAX ran aground on a rocky reef and settled to the bottom with her hold full of water. She had grounded on Pipe Island Twins Reef just north of DeTour, Michigan.

The CHARLES L HUTCHINSON (3) a.) WILLIAM C MORELAND, struck a reef the night of October 31, 1925 three miles south of Manitou Island, off the Keweenaw Peninsula, on Lake Superior. 

On October 31, 1983, the SYLVANIA was towed out of the Frog Pond by the harbor tugs ARKANSAS and WYOMING. She was handed over to the tug OHIO for delivery to the Triad Salvage Co. at Ashtabula, Ohio arriving there on November 1st. Dismantling was completed there in 1984. Thus ended 78 years of service. Ironically the SYLVANIA, the first built of the 504 foot class bulkers, was the last survivor of that class. During her career with Columbia Transportation, the SYLVANIA had carried over 20 million tons and netted over $35 million.

On 31 October 1883, CITY OF TORONTO (wooden passenger-package freight sidewheeler, 207 foot, 898 gross tons, built in 1864 at Niagara, Ontario) caught fire at the Muir Brothers shipyard at Port Dalhousie, Ontario and was totally destroyed. She previously had her paddle boxes removed so she could pass through the Welland Canal, and she was in the shipyard to have them reassembled that winter.

On 31 October 1874, the tug FAVORITE was towing the schooner WILLIE NEELER on Lake Erie. At about 10:30 p.m., near Bar Point, the schooner suddenly sheered and before the tow line could be cast off, the FAVORITE capsized and sank. One life was lost. The rest of the crew clung to the upper works which had become dislodged from the vessel and they were rescued by the schooner's lifeboats.

On 31 October 1821, WALK-IN-THE-WATER (wooden side-wheeler, 135 foot, 339 tons, built in 1818 at Black Rock [Buffalo], New York) was wrecked on Point Abino, on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie during a storm. She was the first steam-powered vessel above Niagara and her frequent comings and goings during her career were very much in the newspapers in Detroit but her loss was not mentioned not at all since this steamer was virtually the only source of news from the east. Her engine was installed by Robert Fulton himself. After the wreck, it went into the steamer SUPERIOR and later ran a lumber mill in Saginaw, Michigan.

On 31 October 1880, TRANCHEMONTAGNE (wooden schooner, 108 foot, 130 tons, built in 1864 at Sorel, Quebec) was loaded with rye and sailing in a storm on Lake Ontario. She struck the breakwater at Oswego, New York head-on at about 3:00 a.m.. She stove in her bow and quickly sank. The crew took to the rigging, except for one who was washed overboard and rode a provision box from her deck to shore. The Lifesaving Service rescued the rest from the breakwater. The schooner broke up quickly in the storm.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Ferry Algomah Arrives at Soo Shipyard for Inspection


On Wednesday, Arnold Transit Company's traditional ferry Algomah made her run to Sault Ste Marie for her five-year hull inspection at MCM Marine. She departed St. Ignace at 8:30 a.m. under the command of Capt. Sean Whelan. Some strong winds and rain made the first half of the trip a little rocky, but the weather changed to sun inbound of DeTour. Vessel traffic was light in the river, but to every passing freighter, hearty salutes were exchanged. The Algomah reached her destination at 5 p.m. Due to work on Shepler's frieght boat Sacre Bleu, Algomah will remain tied up for about one week. She'll return to Mackinac Island in mid-November for her winter lay-up.

Reported by Arnold Transit Co.

Crew of the Algomah

(More pictures will be posted when the Photo Gallery returns soon)


Small Tug Mojave Busy at Cleveland


The tug Mojave has been at The Lakeside Yacht Club, Cleveland, Ohio, for several weeks working on the rejuvenation of the club's west wall docks. All of the original fixed finger docks are being replaced with floating 50' fingers. The tug is owned and operated by Huffman Contractors, Cleveland. The Mojave may be one of the smallest tugs working the Great Lakes.

Reported by Robert Sapita, Vice Commodore, Lakeside Yacht Club

Starboard view of the Mojave on a typical Cleveland grey autumn day.


Monument Dedication Sunday at South Bay, Ont.


This Sunday marks the 126 anniversary of the terrible night when a sudden squall swept young Moses Dulmage across a stormy Lake Ontario to Stony Point, New York.

The young sailor from South Bay was anchored off Timber Island aboard the schooner Julia and went to visit shipmates aboard another nearby anchored ship, the Olivia. As he left the Olivia to return to his own ship, a sudden blinding squall blew his small yawl out beyond Timber Island and across the wild lake to the far shore. His frozen body was discovered two days later, encased in ice. The body of the young sailor was finally returned home for burial in South Bay aboard the schooner Seabird, accompanied by about 75 other schooners the following spring.

Musician and composer Suzanne Pasternak has kept his memory alive in her musical 'Minerva' which tells of his plight on that terrible night. Through her efforts, a new memorial will be set in place beside Moses's grave in South Bay, Ont..

The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Sunday. All are invited. South Bay, Ont., is just south of Picton in Prince Edward County.

Reported by Brian Johnson


Photo Gallery

Please Note:  Our photo editor is moving this week so there will be delays in posting submitted photos to the Photo Gallery.  It is hoped that everything should be back to normal within the first week or so of November.  Your patience is appreciated!


Today in Great Lakes History

October 30

On 30 October 1863, TORRENT (2-mast wooden schooner, 125 foot, 412 gross tons, built in 1855 at Newport [Marine City], Michigan) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Little Bay de Noc when she foundered in a storm on Lake Erie, 10 miles east of Port Stanley, Ontario.  No lives were lost.

On 30 October 1870, JOSEPH A. HOLLON (wooden barge, 107 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1867 at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was in tow of the tug CLEMATIS (wooden tug, 179 tons, built in 1863 at Cleveland, Ohio) in a terrific gale on Lake Huron.  The barge broke free and drifted off.  The waves washed completely over her and the captain was swept overboard.  Her cabins were destroyed.  The next day the wife of the mate and another crew member were rescued by the bark ONEONTA (wooden bark, 161 foot, 499 gross tons, built in 1862 at Buffalo, New York) and taken to Detroit, but the HOLLON was left to drift on the Lake.  The newspapers listed her as "missing".  Five days later the vessel was found and was towed into Port Elgin, Ontario.  A total of four lives were lost:  three were missing and the fourth was found "lashed to a pump, dead, with his eyes picked out."

The tugs GLENADA and MOUNT MC KAY towed AMOCO ILLINOIS from Essexville, Michigan on October 30, 1985, and arrived at the M&M slip in Windsor, Ontario on November 1st. where she was to be scrapped.

The CADILLAC (4) and her former fleetmate CHAMPLAIN (3) arrived under tow by the Dutch tug/supply ship THOMAS DE GAUWDIEF on October 30, 1987, at Aliaga, Turkey to be scrapped.

The ISLE ROYALE (2) (Canal Bulk Freighter) was launched October 30, 1947, as a.) SOUTHCLIFFE HALL for the Hall Corporation of Canada Ltd. (which in 1969 became Hall Corporation (Shipping) 1969 Ltd.), Montreal.

On 30 October 1874, LOTTA BERNARD (wooden sidewheel "rabbit", 125 foot, 147 tons, built in 1869 at Port Clinton, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise from Silver Islet to Duluth when she foundered in a terrific gale off Encampment Island in Lake Superior. Three lives were lost. She was capable of only 4 miles per hour and was at the mercy of any fast rising storm.

During a storm, the schooner ANNABELLA CHAMBERS was wrecked on the islands off Toronto, Ontario on 30 October 1873. One sailor was washed overboard and lost. The skipper was rescued, but he had the dead body of his small son in his arms.

October 30, 1971 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was laid up due to coal strike. She never sailed again as a carferry.

On 30 October 1877, CITY OF TAWAS (3-mast wooden schooner, 135 foot, 291 tons, built in 1864 at Vicksburgh [now Marysville], Michigan as a sloop-barge) was carrying 500 tons of iron ore when she struck a bar outside the harbor at St. Joseph, Michigan while attempting to enter during a storm. She drifted ashore with a hole in her bottom and was pounded to pieces. One brave crewman swam ashore with a line and the rest came in on it.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Judge Agrees to Rehear Oglebay Norton Reorganization Plan


Oglebay Norton Company said that United States Bankruptcy Judge Joel B. Rosenthal of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware Thursday granted the company's motion for a rehearing of evidence on confirmation of the company's plan of reorganization.

On Oct. 5, 2004, the judge refused to confirm the company's plan because of concerns about the adequacy of insurance for future tort liability claims related to asbestos and silica products. The judge will hear more evidence on the question of insurance coverage at a hearing on Nov. 16, 2004.

The company and its wholly owned subsidiaries – one of which is the Great Lakes fleet Oglebay Norton marine Services – filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 on February 23, 2004.

Reported By Oglebay Norton Co.


Cliffs' earnings surge as pellet demand remains strong


Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. reported a record net income of $87.5 million in the third quarter, reflecting the strong worldwide demand for iron ore pellets manufactured at Cliffs' mines in Minnesota, Michigan and Labrador.

"The year 2004 is expected to be a record year for our company in many respects," John Brinzo, Cleveland-Cliffs chairman and chief executive officer, said in the company's quarterly report. "Record sales and production volumes at very favorable sales margins, coupled with the gain realized from Cliffs' investment in ISG, will result in the most profitable year in our company's 157-year history."

For the first nine months of 2004, Cliffs reported a net income of $120.3 million. That compares with a net loss of $23.8 million after the first nine months of 2003.

Third-quarter pellet production at the three Minnesota mines managed by Cliffs increased by about 1.1 million tons versus a year ago, helped by the start-up of United Taconite.

At Hibbing Taconite, quarterly pellet production was 2.2 million tons, up from 2.1 million during the same 2003 period. The plant is projected to produce 8.2 million tons for the year, up from 8 million last year. The plant ships its pellets by rail and by ship through the BNSF ore dock in Superior, Wis.

United Taconite, which Cliffs purchased in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in December, produced 1 million tons of pellets during the third quarter. United Taconite -- formerly EVTAC -- also ships pellets through the BNSF dock.

Third-quarter production at Northshore Mining Co. in Babbitt and Silver Bay was 1.2 million tons, the same as last year. For the year, Northshore is projected to produce 5 million tons, up from 4.8 million during 2003. Northshore ships pellets by ship through its own dock in Silver Bay.

Reported by Al Miller


Detroit Marine Mart Set for Dec. 4


The annual Great Lakes Maritime Institute Marine Mart will be held on Dec. 4 at the Casino on Belle Isle from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The casino is not a gambling establishment but used a meeting point for individuals and groups. It is located in full view of the shipping channel near the entrance of the island just east of the Scott Fountain. The Marine Mart features dealers selling books, photographs, postcards, artwork and artifacts.

For more information call 313 - 852-4051 on Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. During the week during normal business hours call (313) 297-8366.

Reported by Dossin Great Lakes Museum


Port Report



Reported by Jim Hoffman
The salt water vessel Federal Kumano was at the ADM/Countrymark Elevator loading grain.The Canadian Leader was at Andersons "K" Elevator loading grain. The Atlantic Huron was at the Torco Ore Dock unloading ore. The tug/barge combo Michigan/Great Lakes was at the BP Dock.

The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the salt water vessel Onego Traveller on Friday. Her coal cargo is scheduled to arrive sometime Friday morning.

The Calumet and Lee A. Tregurtha are due in on Saturday. The Adam E. Cornelius on Monday. The Charles M. Beeghly and Algosoo on Wednesday, followed by the Lee A. Tregurtha on Thursday.

The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Dock will be the Nanticoke on Tuesday (2 Nov.). The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on Friday (5 Nov.) followed by the Canadian Navigator on Saturday.

At the Shipyard it is believed to be the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug Kozoil and several barges are at this facility. The future gambling casino boat Detroit Princess, and the new oil barge under construction remain in both drydocks at the yard.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
Thursday saw two vessels call on the Saginaw River.  The Agawa
Canyon was inbound late in the morning headed upriver to unload at the Sargent Dock in Zilwaukee.  She completed her unload and was headed to turn at the Sixth Street basin around 10:30pm before departing for the lake.
Following behind the
Agawa Canyon was the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader.  The pair stopped at the Wirt Dock in Bay City to lighter before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw Wirt dock.  They were expected to be outbound late Thursday night.
This is the third straight trip to the Saginaw River for the Joyce L./Trader and the second for the Agawa


Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The J.A.W. Iglehart arrived in port on Wednesday to load cement for Milwaukee. The Alpena also came in on Wednesday and tied up at the Lafarge coal dock to wait for more product and its turn to load which was sometime Thursday night.  The G.L. Ostrander barge Integrity took on cargo Thursday afternoon and departed by 6 p.m. heading for Detroit.
The Richard Reiss took on cargo at Stoneport on Thursday and delivered it to Alpena. The Reiss arrived in the Thunder Bay River by 5 p.m. and unloaded stone at the Alpena Oil Dock.



Today in Great Lakes History

October 29

The whaleback barge 127 (steel barge, 264 foot, 1128 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Company of W. Superior, Wisconsin on 29 October 1892.  She lasted until 1936 when she was scrapped at New Orleans, Louisiana.

On 29 October 1906, the schooner WEST SIDE (wooden schooner, 138 fot, 324 gross tons, built in 1870 at Oswego, New York) was carrying pulpwood from Tobermory, Ontario to Delray, Michigan when she was caught in a severe gale on Lake Huron.  There was no shelter and the vessel was lost about 25 mile off Thunder Bay Island.  The skipper and his crew, consisting of his wife and three sons aged 10 to 18, abandoned in the yawl.  They all suffered from exposure to the wind and waves, but luckily the FRANK H PEAVEY (steel propeller freighter, 430 foot, 5002 gross tons, built in 1901at Lorain, Ohio) picked them up and brought them to Port Huron, Michigan.

ALGOLAKE (Hull# 211) was launched October 29, 1976 at Collingwood Shipyards, Ltd. for the Algoma Central Railway.

On October 29, 1986, the JAMES R. BARKER, who had suffered an engine room fire, was lashed side-by-side to the thousand-foot WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY and towed this way to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for repairs.

The b.) CANADIAN EXPLORER was christened on October 29, 1983, at the Port Weller Dry Docks.

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled on October 29, 1991, that Total Petroleum was responsible for the fire that destroyed the tanker JUPITER because of faulty moorings and exonerated the BUFFALO from primary responsibility.

On the afternoon of October 29, 1987, while upbound with coal from Sandusky, Ohio, the ROGER M. KYES, b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS went aground on Gull Island Shoal in Lake Erie's Middle Passage and began taking on water. About 3,000 tons of coal was transferred to the AMERICAN REPUBLIC after which the KYES freed herself the next morning. Damage from the grounding required extensive repairs.

The tug portion of the PRESQUE ISLE (2) departed New Orleans, Louisiana on October 29, 1973.

The H. C. HEIMBECKER's last trip started at Thunder Bay, Ontario with a load of grain bound for Owen Sound, Ontario where, on October 29, 1981, it was discovered that one of her boilers was cracked. When unloading was completed on October 30th, the HEIMBECKER proceeded under her own power to Ashtabula, Ohio for scrapping.

On 29 October 1892, ZACH CHANDLER (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 194 foot, 727 gross tons, built in 1867 at Detroit, Michigan) was carrying lumber from Ashland, Wisconsin in tow of the steamer JOHN MITCHELL when the two became separated in a northerly gale in Lake Superior. The CHANDLER was overwhelmed and broke up on shore about three miles east of Deer Park, Michigan. Five of the crew made it to shore in the lifeboat and the Lifesaving Service saved two others, but one perished. Three years earlier, the CHANDLER stranded at almost the same spot and sustained heavy damage.

On 29 October 1879, AMAZON (wooden propeller freighter, 245 foot, 1406 tons, built in 1873 at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying "provisions" - 900 tons of freight plus 7000 barrels of flour - from Milwaukee to Grand Haven, Michigan. She struck the notorious bar off of Grand Haven in a gale and broke up. All 68 aboard survived. Her engine was later recovered.

On 29 October 1880, THOMAS A. SCOTT (4-mast wooden schooner-barge, 207 foot, 1159 tons, built in 1869 at Buffalo, New York as a propeller) was riding out a storm at anchor one mile off Milwaukee when she was struck by the big steamer AVON (wooden propeller, 251 foot, 1702 gross tons, built in 1877 at Buffalo, New York). The SCOTT sank quickly. She had been bound from Chicago for Erie, Pennsylvania with 44,000 bushels of corn. Three of her crew scrambled onto the AVON while the seven others took to the yawl and were towed in by the Lifesaving Service.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series’

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Ground Broken for Thunder Bay Maritime Heritage Center


Ground has been broken for a visitors center at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, near Alpena, Mich.

The 20,000-square-foot facility will preserve and highlight the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes and the shipwrecks of Lake Huron's Thunder Bay, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

When completed, it will feature a "discovery center" with more than 8,000 square feet of exhibits on the Great Lakes, shipwrecks, archaeology and maritime history.

The center also will have an auditorium for showing films and live video feeds from Thunder Bay shipwrecks, an archaeological conservation laboratory and an education resource room, a spokesman for the federal agency said Tuesday. The center is expected to draw 70,000 visitors a year.

"The new center will be a national destination that will allow people of all ages to share in the discovery, exploration and preservation of the Great Lakes' historic shipwrecks and rich maritime past," sanctuary manager Jefferson Gray said in a news release.

"In addition, the laboratories, archives, dockage for research vessels and a field station for visiting scientists will make the center a regional research facility, not just for historians and archaeologists, but for other scientists working to ensure the health of the Great Lakes," he said.

The center is located in a former paper mill undergoing renovations with an initial investment of $2.5 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency signed a 20-year lease with the building's owner in September.

The 448-square-mile Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve was established in 2000 to protect an estimated 200 historically significant shipwrecks ranging from 19th-century wooden side-wheelers to 20th-century steel-hulled steamers. It is managed by the federal agency and Michigan.

Thunder Bay is one of 13 national marine sanctuaries that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Survey Seeks Thoughts on Port Huron Maritime Center


Boatnerds have been asked by Acheson Ventures, the company currently refurbishing Port Huron's waterfront, to submit their thoughts on a possible maritime center at the site. Let them know by taking the survey on the main page.

Take the Survey



Lee Murdock in Concert, Book Signing at Dossin Museum


The Great Lakes Maritime Institute presents Lee Murdock in Concert at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle Sat., Nov. 13 from 2-4 p.m. 

The Great Lakes folk singer will bring to the Detroit River venue a wide variety of maritime history subjects - of storms, sailing ships and life sailing the Great Lakes over the years. The concert will be in DeRoy Hall overlooking the passing freighter traffic on the Detroit River. Tickets for GLMI members are $10 and $12 for non-members.

To order tickets in advance call the Dossin Great Lakes Museum (313) 852-4051 on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. During the week during normal business hours call (313) 297-8366 for tickets or additional information.

Also on the 13th, before the concert, there will be a special book signing by author Patrick Livingston. Come and meet the author of the new book - “Eight Steamboats: Sailing in the ‘60s,” detailing Life on board various freighters, the South American and the Bob-Lo boat Columbia. The author signing will take place from 11 a.m.-1:45 p.m. in the Gothic Room.

 Reported by Dossin Great Lakes Museum


Schooner Highlander Sea Arrives at the Soo


The gaff-rigged topsail Schooner Highlander Sea was upbound in the St. Marys River Wednesday. She will be spending the winter at MCM Marine in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Part of the work being done is replanking with three- inch white oak.

The 154 foot schooner was designed by W. Starling Burgess and built in 1924 in Essex, Mass. Originally christened Pilot, it was a Boston Harbor pilot ship for 47 years.  After a series of owners and adventures, including an attempt to circumnavigate the globe, she was purchased by Acheson Ventures in 2002 and became the city of Port Huron's flagship. Used as a training vessel, she was seen frequently this past summer in the Straits area.

Reported by Bonnie Barnes

Highlander Sea, Lee A. Tregurtha pass
Highlander Sea below Mission Point


Paint Jobs Continue on Muskegon Museum Ships


A late season trip on the Lake Express this past week revealed fast, and not so fast, completion of new paint schemes on two of Muskegon's more famous floating citizens. Progress on the Milwaukee Clipper's starboard side has been slow, while LST-393 is now 99 percent repainted in its W.W.II camouflage markings.

Reported by Andy LaBorde

The Lake Express turns in front of its dock while departing Milwaukee
Coming up to speed. The short burst of exhaust smoke is the lag before the turbos kick in.
A rainbow at 34 MPH.
A full car deck.
The Milwaukee Clipper.
LST-393 with a  fresh coat of paint.
A bow view of the LST.


Train Whistle Earned Ship Salutes in Port Huron


Gray skies and cool temperatures this past weekend made for less than ideal boat watching conditions at Port Huron. Fortunately there was something else to watch.

One of Port Huron's more famous citizens was Thomas Edison. The city of Port Huron held a week long celebration commemorating the 125th anniversary of the  incandescent light bulb. A ceremony was held Thursday night, Oct. 21 at the base of the Blue Water Bridge. The Steam Railroading Institute of Owosso, Mich., brought its 0-4-0 steam engine to Port Huron for the weekend. Thomas Edison working on locomotives of this type early in his career. New security lighting was recently added to the main bridge supports on both sides of the river. After a short ceremony the engine's steam whistle let loose with a long salute and the new lights were turned on.

The Steam Railroading Institute's crew quickly discovered that blowing the passing ship traffic a salute would earn them a salute in return. The little steam engine had an almost 100 percent success rate the entire weekend.

Reported by Andy LaBorde

The locomotive coming off the lowboy Thursday.
BridgeRaising steam.
Saluting the bridge and Thomas Edison.
Some unusual river traffic Sunday morning.
Which way is Tahiti?
Marine Mart, also held Saturday in Port Huron


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
The Michipicoten and Charles M. Beeghly loaded ore at Marquette on Wednesday. Work continues on the fencing at the ore dock, but early indications are that it may not be as extensive as first reported.


Photo Gallery Updated

Please Note:  Our photo editor is moving this week so there will be delays in posting submitted photos to the Photo Gallery.  It is hoped that everything should be back to normal within the first week or so of November.  Your patience is appreciated!


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

October 28

On 28 October 1891, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867 at Cleveland, Ohio) was dragged ashore off Fairport, Ohio by a strong gale.  She was stranded and declared a total loss.  However, she was salvaged and repaired in 1892 and lasted one more year.

The CANADIAN PIONEER's maiden voyage was on October 28, 1981, to Conneaut, Ohio to take on coal for Nanticoke, Ontario.

The CANADIAN TRANSPORT (2) was launched October 28, 1978, for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., Toronto, Ontario.

Cleveland Tankers GEMINI was christened October 28, 1978, at Huron, Ohio.

The GEORGE M. CARL (2) was launched October 28, 1922, by American Ship Building Co. at Lorain, Ohio as a.) FRED G. HARTWELL (2) (Hull# 781) for the Franklin Steamship Co.

D. M. CLEMSON (2) (Hull# 716) was launched October 28, 1916, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

CHARLES M. WHITE was launched October 28, 1945, as a C4-S-A4 cargo ship a.) MOUNT MANSFIELD for the U.S. Maritime Commission (U.S.M.C. Hull #2369).

On 28 October 1887, BESSIE BARWICK, a 135 foot wooden schooner built in 1866 at St. Catherines, Ontario as a bark, left Port Arthur for Kingston, Ontario with a load of lumber during a storm. For more than ten days, her whereabouts were unknown. In fact, a westerly gale drove her into the shallows of Michipicoten Island and she was pounded to pieces. Her crew was sheltered by local fishermen and then made it to the Soo in a small open boat.

On 28 October 1882, RUDOLPH WETZEL (wooden propeller tug, 23 tons, built in 1870 at Buffalo, New York) was racing for a tow with the tug HENRY S. SILL when her boiler exploded 12 miles north of Racine, Wisconsin. She quickly sank. All three on board were killed and none of the bodies were ever found.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Fingers Crossed As News of Mega-merger Spreads


The mega-merger of Ispat Inland Inc. and International Steel Group Inc. inspires both hope and fear in suppliers, mayors, and those concerned about the regional economy.

There is no doubt that East Chicago will maintain its "steel town" standing and the hope is the merger will enlarge it, said Mayor Robert Pastrick in a story in Tuesday’s Northwest Indiana Times.

"We want them to be very successful, because we need employment very badly in Northwest Indiana," Pastrick said.

Like Pastrick, others were also crossing their fingers Monday when it comes to employment at the four major mills in the region owned by the two companies. Small steel supply companies were also hoping the new steel giant would remember them.

The deal announced by Ispat Inland on Monday has steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal first combining his two international companies, Ispat Inland and LNM Holdings. The merged company, called Mittal Steel Co., will then buy ISG for $4.5 billion in cash and stock.

Ispat Inland's steel mill dominates one side of the Indiana Harbor in East Chicago. ISG's East Chicago mill, which it acquired out of bankruptcy from LTV Steel, dominates the other side. ISG also owns mills in Burns Harbor, Riverdale, and nine other locations in the United States. "First, I want to make sure this merger does not negatively impact steel employment in Northwest Indiana or the United States," stated U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., in a release on Monday.

It's no secret that East Chicago officials would like Ispat Inland's national headquarters located in their city. Pastrick said any such move by the company in the wake of the merger would be "wonderful." Analysts generally agreed on Monday that there will be no major mill closures as long as the steel boom, fueled in large part by demand from China, continues unabated. That means no mass layoffs of blue-collar workers. But white-collar workers could be vulnerable where there is duplication.

Reported by Northwest Indiana Times


Smoke But No Fire on Northern Lake Michigan


The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City and Station Manistee searched for the source of reported commercial vessel on fire in the middle of northern Lake Michigan Oct. 12.

The District 9 Command Center received a report from the FAA in Minneapolis of a large commercial vessel on fire. The fire was first reported by a commercial jetliner flying at 12,000 feet. A second report came from a small aircraft 50nm away. The FAA diverted a third commercial flight to pinpoint the location while an HH-65 from Air Station Traverse City and a 47-foot small boat from Station Manistee proceeded to the last known position. The third aircraft provided an accurate latitude and longitude of the vessel placing it closer to shore near Manistee, MI.

The vessel Saginaw was located in that approximate position and found to be no distress. The case was suspended based on a probable false alarm, smoke from the vessel’s stack in extremely clear visibility.



Shipwreck Lecture at Erie Maritime Museum


The Flagship Niagara League and the Erie Maritime Museum, in cooperation with the Erie County Historical Society, will present the lecture “Interrupted Journey: the Saga of the Steamer Atlantic” by Dr. David Frew. 

Frew, a noted maritime author and executive director of the Erie County Historical Society, will speak at the Erie Maritime Museum’s Hirt Auditorium, 150 East Front St., Erie, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14.

“Interrupted Journey: the Saga of the Steamer Atlantic” is the third book in Frew’s “Lake Erie Quadrangle Shipwreck Series.” It gives life to the tragic sinking of the Steamer Atlantic off of Long Point in Lake Erie in 1852.  The palatial side-wheel steamer was carrying 600 immigrants from Buffalo to Detroit when she collided with the freight Steamer Ogdensberg; as many as 300 passengers drowned as Atlantic quickly sank in Lake Erie. 

A number of attempts to salvage the vessel were made over the years, including a famously controversial attempt in the early 1990s.  Dr. Frew is author of many books including “Home Port Erie: Voices of Silent Images” (with Robert J. Mac Donald) and “The Lake Erie Quadrangle: Waters of Repose” (with Dave Stone) as well as two previous “Lake Erie Quadrangle Shipwreck Series” narrated histories, “Kiss of the Devil Wind: The Sinking of The Steamship Gerken” and “Long Gone: The Mystery of the Marquette & Bessemer No. 2.”

The lecture is offered free of charge; Dr. Frew will have copies of the book available and will sign them after the lecture. For additional information, please call 814-452-2744. Website:

Reported by the Erie Maritime Museum


Marblehead Coast Guard Station Haunted This Weekend


Coast Guard Station Marblehead is scheduled to host the second annual Haunted Coast Guard Friday and Saturday between 7-10 p.m.

Admission for the event is $2 or two canned good foods.  The money raised will be donated to the hurricane victims in Florida.  Last year the station raised $100 and 500 pounds of food, which they are trying hard to surpass this year. 

Reported by U.S. Coast Guard


Photo Gallery Updated

Please Note:  Our photo editor is moving this week so there will be delays in posting submitted photos to the Photo Gallery.  It is hoped that everything should be back to normal within the first week or so of November.  Your patience is appreciated!


Photo Galleries


Today in Great Lakes History

October 27

While in tow of the tug MERRICK on 27 October 1879, the NIAGARA (wooden schooner, 204 foot, 764 gross tons, built in 1873 at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the PORTER (wooden schooner, 205 foot, 747 gross tons, built in 1874 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) which was in tow of the tug WILCOX at the mouth of the Detroit River.  The PORTER sank but was salvaged and repaired.  She lasted another 19 years.

The PAUL THAYER, b.) EARL W. OGLEBAY) was christened on October 27, 1973 at Lorain, Ohio.

While the JAMES R. BARKER was up bound October 27, 1986, on Lake Huron above buoys 11 & 12, a high pressure fuel line on the starboard engine failed causing an engine room fire, which was extinguished by on-board fire fighting equipment. Fortunately no one was injured. On October 29th the BARKER was lashed side-by-side to the thousand-foot WILLIAM J. DE LANCEY, b.) PAUL R. TREGURTHA) and taken to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

On her maiden voyage the HOCHELAGA (2) departed Collingwood on October 27, 1949 for Fort William, Ontario to load grain for Port Colborne, Ontario.

The FRANCIS E. HOUSE was laid up at Duluth, Minnesota on October 27, 1960, and remained idle there until April, 1966, when she was sold to the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland and was renamed c.) KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (1).

On October 27, 1973, the HENRY LA LIBERTÉ struck an embankment while backing from the Frontier Dock Slip at Buffalo, New York and damaged her steering gear beyond repair. As a consequence she was laid up there.

The RED WING (2) and the FRANK A. SHERMAN departed Lauzon, Quebec on October 27, 1986, in tandem tow by the Vancouver based deep-sea tug CANADIAN VIKING bound for scrapping in Taiwan.

On 27 October 1869, ALFRED ALLEN (wooden schooner, 160 tons, built in 1853 at Pultneyville, New Jersey as J J MORLEY) was bound for Toledo, Ohio with 500 barrels of salt when she went on the Mohawk Reef near Port Colborne, Ontario in a blizzard. She washed free and drifted to the mainland beach where she was pounded to pieces. No lives were lost.

During a snow storm on the night of 27 October 1878, the propeller QUEBEC of the Beatty Line ran aground on Magnetic Shoals near Cockburn Island on Lake Huron. She was four miles from shore and one of her arches was broken in the accident.

October 27, 1854 - Well-known Pere Marquette carferry captain Joseph "Joe" Russell was born in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at B.G.S.U and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.



New Steel-Making Giant WIll Be Created By Merger


European steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal announced plans on Monday to take over U.S. steelmaker International Steel Group (ISG) as part of a three-way merger to create a global metals mammoth. The combined company will be known as Mittal Steel Company NV.

ISG has plants in Burns Harbor, Ind., and Cleveland, Ohio, which are served by the Great Lakes 1,000-footers Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor, operated by ISG. It is unknown how the merger will affect the vessels, however they may have to be operated by a third party, as the U.S. law known as the Jones Act prohibits foreign-owned vessels from engaging in trade between U.S. ports.

The two-step deal will bring together companies with combined sales this year of $31.5 billion and 165,000 employees, rivaling the world's largest steel and mining conglomerates. Its size will mean economies of scale in purchasing raw materials and possibly advantages in setting global prices for steel, analysts said. Its headquarters will be in Rotterdam.

In the complex plan, Rotterdam-based Ispat International NV - in which the Mittal family has a majority stake - will issue $13.3 billion of shares to buy another Mittal family company, LNM Holdings NV. That company will buy U.S.-based ISG for stock and cash, valuing it at about $4.5 billion.

The deal must be approved by regulators. Mittal said he does not plan layoffs. He said he expected the LNM part of the deal to close by the end of the year and the ISG merger to close in the first quarter next year.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Port Report



Reported by Jim Hoffman
The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was loading grain at Andersons "E" Elevator. The Mississagi was upbound in the Maumee River Monday afternoon bound for Andersons "K" Elevator to load grain. The salt water vessel Balaban I was loading grain at the ADM/Countrymark Elevator. The CSL Niagara was at the CSX #2 Dock waiting to load grain, it is believed that she will follow the Paul Martin at Andersons "E" Elevator.

The salt water vessels Lake Michigan and Prinsenborg were at the T.W.I. Dock unloading cargo. There were no coal or ore boats in port at the time of this report.

The gambling casino boat Detroit Princess is in drydock at the shipyard. Construction continues on the new oil barge being built. Courtney Burton remains in layup at the Lakefront Docks with no activity aboard her.

The salt water vessel Onego Traveller still remains at the old ore dock at the CSX Docks waiting for her coal cargo to arrive. Should be loading her coal cargo any day now. The next scheduled coal boats due into the CSX Docks will be the John G. Munson on Tuesday morning (26th).The Calumet and Lee A. Tregurtha on Saturday followed by the Adam E. Cornelius on Monday.

The next scheduled ore boats due  in at the Torco Ore Dock will be the Atlantic Huron on Friday morning (29th) and the Nanticoke on Tuesday.

Sturgeon Bay

Reported by Wendell Wilke
On Monday the tug James A. Hannah was at the yard. The tug Jane Ann IV was still on the drydock, but should be off Tuesday to remate with her barge Sarah Spencer, which is anchored off Sherwood Point north of the yard. The new tug Capt. Hagen (for the saltwater firm Penn-Maritime) is at the fitout wall. She is Bay SB HULL 754 for delivery before freeze-up with the new barge U.C. in the graving dock.


Reported by Al Miller
The entrance to St. Louis Bay in the Duluth-Superior harbor was busy late Sunday afternoon. A limestone-stained Cason J. Callaway was outbound after unloading stone at the DMIR ore dock. It was bound for Two Harbors to load taconite pellets. Not far away, Joseph H. Frantz was docked in Fraser Shipyards for repairs and J.A.W. Iglehart was paying one of its infrequent visits to the LaFarge Cement dock in Superior.

On Monday morning, the Iglehart was unloading the second half of its cargo at the LaFarge plant in Duluth. Canadian Enterprise was inbound at the Duluth piers en route to Midwest Energy Terminal. The Frantz remained in the shipyard. In a rare sight, the CSL boat Spruceglen was under the whirley cranes at the Duluth port terminal unloading steel coils -- something that in the past has almost exclusively been performed by salties.

A couple of interesting vessel moves are in the works at Midwest Energy Terminal. American Mariner is scheduled to load there Wednesday with coal destined for Ashland, Wis. -- a once-busy port that now receives only a handful of vessel cargoes each year. Middletown is scheduled to load Oct. 30 with coal for delivery to the CLM dock, about a mile from the Midwest Energy Terminal. CLM, which receives numerous stone cargoes during the season, also takes a load or two of coal each year, and transporting it by self-unloader is undoubtedly cheaper and easier than using trucks.

Another interesting note: Edgar B. Speer and Edwin H. Gott once called almost exclusively in Two Harbors, with occasional trips to Duluth. Recent ownership changes, however, now have both vessels calling at the BNSF dock in Two Harbors. The Speer was due there Monday, and the Gott is due there Friday.

Green Bay

Reported by Jason Leino
Sunday was a busy day for the port of Green Bay. The Voorneborg departed Green Bay after a three day visit. The Adam E. Cornelius brought in a load of limestone for Western Lime and was followed shortly after by the John D. Leitch, which brought in a load of marblestone for the Fox River Dock which will be exported to Waupaca, Wisc. The Buffalo was the last to arrive bringing in a load of coal for Georgia Pacific.  The John G. Munson, Dorothy Ann Pathfinder, and Philip R. Clarke are all due in this week with loads of coal for the Fox River Dock.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The Wolverine was inbound the Saginaw river Sunday afternoon calling on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City.  After unloading, she was outbound for the lake late Sunday night. The American Republic was inbound Sunday night headed to the Bay Aggregates to unload.  She entered the slip just after the Wolverine departed.  The Republic is expected to be outbound early Monday morning.


Photo Gallery Updated (2 Today)

Please Note:  Our photo editor is moving this week so there will be delays in posting submitted photos to the Photo Gallery.  It is hoped that everything should be back to normal within the first week or so of November.  Your patience is appreciated!


Photo Galleries


Today in Great Lakes History

October 26

On 26 October 1878, the new steamer CITY OF DETROIT (composite side-wheel passenger-package freight steamer, 234 foot, 1094 gross tons, built in 1878 at Wyandotte, Michigan) arrived in Detroit from Cleveland with 276 tons of freight, mostly iron, on deck, and no freight in her hold. This experiment was tried to see if the steamer would show any signs of "crankiness", even under a load so placed.  She responded well and lived up to the expectations of her designers.

On 26 October 1882, the sunken schooner-barge NELLIE McC GILVRAY was dynamited as a hazard to navigation by the Portage River Improvement Company.  She sank at the entrance to the Portage Canal in the Keweenaw Peninsula on 28 August 1882 and all attempts to raise her failed.

LOUIS R. DESMARAIS was christened October 26,1977.

On October 26, 1968 the R. BRUCE ANGUS grounded in the St. Lawrence River near Beauharnois, Quebec Sixteen hundred tons of iron ore were lightered to free her and she damaged 65 bottom plates.

HUTCHCLIFFE HALL and OREFAX were sold October 26, 1971 to the Consortium Ile d'Orleans of Montreal made up of Richelieu Dredging Corp., McNamara Construction Ltd. and The J.P. Porter Co. Ltd.

On October 26, 1924, the E.A.S. CLARKE (2), anchored in the Detroit River opposite the Great Lakes Engineering Works because of dense fog was struck by the B. F. JONES (1) near her after deckhouse which caused the CLARKE to sink. No lives were lost.

On October 26, 1977, the MENIHEK LAKE struck a lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway sustaining damage estimated at $400,000.

On October 26, 1971, the ROGERS CITY’s (2)  A-frame collapsed while unloading at Carrollton, Michigan on the Saginaw River. Her unloading boom was cut away and temporary repairs were made at Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Michigan.

The tug ROUILLE was launched on October 26, 1929, as Hull 83 of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.

The schooner HEMISPHERE, which was being sought by the U.S. Marshals at Detroit and the St. Lawrence River, escaped at the Gallop Rapids and has gone to sea.

On 26 October 1851, ATLAS (wooden propeller, 153 foot, 375 tons, built in 1851 at Buffalo, New York) was carrying flour from Detroit to Buffalo when she was blown to shore near the mouth of the Grand River (Lorain, Ohio) by a gale, stranded and became a total loss. No lives were lost.

On 26 October 1895, GEORGE W. DAVIS (wooden schooner, 136 foot, 299 gross tons, built in 1872 at Toledo, Ohio) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Erie when she stranded near Port Maitland, Ontario. On 26 October 1895, a few days after the stranding, she floated off on her own, drifted two miles up the beach and sank. No lives were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Birchglen Loads Ore at Duluth for China


The motor vessel Birchglen loaded an unusual cargo at Duluth Wednesday. The Canada Steamship Lines-operated vessel took on 25,000 gross tons of taconite pellets destined for Laiwu, China. She is the first saltie to load at the DM&IR Dock in Duluth since the mid-1980s. After loading, the Ukrainian-crewed ship was expected to sail direct to China via the Panama Canal.

Reported by the Duluth Shipping News


Port Report


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
It was a ballet of ship movements on the Saginaw River Sunday night as three vessels all unloaded in the same area of the river.  The Canadian Transfer, inbound late Sunday night, checked back and waited at the Consumers Energy dock for the Wolverine to pass outbound.  She then continued upriver to the North Star dock in Essexville to unload. The Wolverine had unloaded at Bay Aggregates in Bay City and had backed from the dock allowing the American Republic, who had stopped upriver at the Dow Chemical dock to wait, to back down river and enter the Bay Aggregates slip to unload.  The American Republic was also expected to be outbound early Monday morning.


Green Bay

Repored by Wendell Wilke
At noon Sunday, the John D. Leitch was unloading stone at Fox River Dock and the Adam E. Cornelius was unloading stone at Western Lime. This was the first time the Leitch has been into Green Bay under her present name.


Port Huron

Reported by Kevin Davis
Attendees at Saturdays Port Huron Marine Mart at the Port Huron Marine Terminal had a good day for boatwatching and selling items such as books, pictures and memorabilia. The boat traffic was good as well. The Marion Green was upbound in the morning, the Algoeast was making a dock at Sun Oil, the Algoisle was loading at Cargill in Sarnia, H. Lee White, Mississagi, Fred R. White Jr. and John G. John Munson were downbound, The Algorail, Richard Reiss, Frontenac and Southdown Challenger were upbound.

Keweenaw Waterway

The self-unloader Joseph H. Frantz passed through the Keweenaw waterway on Saturday. This used to be a common practice for smaller vessels seeking more sheltered waters during stormy fall weather, but has become more and more unusual in recent years. The Frantz was upbound with coal for Superior, Wis. After unloading, she is expected to shift over to the Harvest States elevator to load grain.

Photos courtesy

Frantz in the Keweenaw
Another view


Gemini Involved in Collision


Saturday afternoon the tanker Gemini was upbound in the lower Detroit River below Grassy Island when a 35-foot wooden pleasure boat misjudged the Gemini's distance and cut across the bow of the tanker. The pleasure craft was struck by the tanker, which had no way of stopping or adjusting coarse. The pleasure craft was destroyed, the wooden hull disintegrated. The crew on the Gemini responded by stopping the tanker and assisting the four occupants of the small boat. All occupants were quickly recovered by another pleasure craft as pieces of their boat floated down river. The occupants of the boat were taken to a local hospital. Amazingly, their injuries consisted of only cuts and bruises while the owner of the boat showed signs of hypothermia.

Numerous agencies responded to the incident including local law enforcement. The Canadian Coast Guard was on scene with boats from their Amherstburg Base. A 41-foot boat (41306) and a 25- footer (255042) from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Belle Isle also responded to the scene.

The Gemini continued upbound to the Belle Isle Anchorage off Detroit for inspection, there were no visible signs of damage to the vessel as she passed Detroit. She arrived in the anchorage about 6 p.m. The Gemini was cleared to sail late that night or next morning. The incident in under investigation by Group Detroit's Marine Safety Office.

Reported by Jason Leslie

More information on the Gemini


DeTour Reef Light Restoration Nears Completion


A mile offshore in northern Lake Huron the newly restored DeTour Reef Light proudly displays an American and state of Michigan flag.  After a two-year major exterior and interior restoration project using mor than $1 million in funding from state, federal and private grant sources and donations, the lighthouse will begin to offer educational tours of this historic resource in 2005.

Additional lighthouse restoration work to be accomplished include refurbishing of a barge to be used as a docking platform along with a ladder system for safe access to the lighthouse deck, outfitting the keeper’s quarters with 1931 period furnishings, interpretative educational displays, fabrication and installation of the second deck crane, and other projects. DRLPS, who holds a lease on the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard, is applying for ownership from the Federal government through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.

Built in 1931 on a 60-foot square, 20-foot high concrete crib in 24 feet of water, the DeTour Reef Light structure is a unique steel-framed square tower of three distinct levels that rises 63 feet above the deck and marks a dangerous reef to help guide ship traffic from and to Lake Huron and Lake Superior via the St. Marys River at the southeastern edge of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The light was automated in 1974. In 1997, the lighthouse was declared surplus property by the U. S. Coast Guard due to sophisticated navigational systems aboard ships, and the Coast Guard’s not having the funding to care for the structure in accordance with historic preservation guidelines.

Local citizens formed the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society (DRLPS) in 1998 as a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization to restore and preserve the lighthouse which sits between the two communities of DeTour Village and Drummond Island. DRLPS dedicated volunteers have worked diligently to build the membership-based society and acquire donations and grant funding for their educational and restoration programs to preserve the DeTour Reef Light and enhance the importance of the rich maritime heritage of the region. Chuck Feltner, President of DRLPS, stated “We believe that the worth of a society will be measured, in part, by the extent to which they value their history. On the Great Lakes, lighthouses are a key piece of the maritime history and development of the Great Lakes basin; in Michigan, they are our greatest maritime historical monuments. They must be preserved for future generations to enjoy. This has been our mission.”

Lighthouse restoration contractor Mihm Enterprises, and architect U.P. Engineers & Architects have performed an outstanding job on the restoration project which began in 2002 and was completed in September 2004. DRLPS is very grateful to the contractors and to its committed and talented Board of Directors, devoted volunteers, loyal membership and donors, and for the steadfast support from State and Federal government officials, and to the grant providers that include the State Historic Preservation Office, Michigan Coastal Management Program and Clean Michigan Initiative of the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Michigan Department of Transportation. DRLPS is also thankful for the support of the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan Lighthouse Project, Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper’s Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the local communities’ governments, in this important joint endeavor to preserve the historic, cultural, recreational and educational value of this significant Michigan maritime monument.

A film of the DeTour Reef Light has recently been produced by Ric Mixter of Airworthy Productions with DRLPS Vice-president Dave Bardsley titled “Gateway to Superior: Saving the DeTour Reef Light” utilizing a Michigan Coastal Management Program grant, and is available in DVD format for $20 plus $3 shipping from DRLPS, PO Box 307, Drummond Island MI 49726, 906-493-6609,

To learn more about the lighthouse and how you can become a volunteer and member of the DRLPS team, or for information on the See-the-Light educational tours, Be-a-Lighthouse-Keeper and overnight stay programs, please contact DRLPS at or 906-493-6711.

Reported by DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society        

Exterior view
Interior view


Port Report



Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
Friday was an active day in the area with four vessels. The Mississagi unloaded a cargo of sand during the early morning hours on Friday at the Alpena Oil Dock on the Thunder Bay river. The Fred R. White Jr. also delivered a load of coal to Lafarge Friday morning. The J.A.W Iglehart was also in port waiting under the silos for cement. The Iglehart didn't begin loading until later in the afternoon. The Alpena was also out in the bay, and came in once the White departed. It tied up at the coal dock to wait for its turn to take on cargo.

The G. L Ostrander/barge Integrity was in port earlier in the week and is now delivering to various places on Lake Michigan. The Paul H. Townsend is in lay-up at Muskegon.

The Great Lakes Trader was loading at Stoneport on Friday and the Philip R. Clarke was on the schedule for Saturday.



Reported by Lee Rowe, Art Pickering
The Paul R. Tregurtha brought coal to Marquette's WE Power Plant on Wednesday. The Mesabi Miner was in the harbor on Saturday with a load of coal, but the weather kept her from coming in to the dock.

The Joseph H. Thompson/Jr. and the David Z. Norton came in for ore on Friday. Saturday was expected to be a busy day with trips from the Charles M. Beeghly, the Lee A. Tregurtha, the Michipicoten (also with a load of coke) and the Herbert C. Jackson. All these were put on hold because of the weather.

The Mesabi Miner was finally able to go to the coal unloader Saturday once the winds abated. Charles M. Beeghly came in for a load of ore.  The Tregurtha also came in, but had to anchor in the harbor waiting a turn at the dock.



Reported by Charlie Gibbons
Kapitan Georgi Georgiev arrived at Redpath Sugar dock Saturday morning; assisted in by McKeil's tugs Atomic and Glenevis, both tugs now sporting the new McKeil color scheme. Canadian Progress was in with salt late Friday and departed early Saturday.

The trawler Miss Kristy, owned by Toronto Drydock Co. is on the drydock undergoing a rebuilding. The vessel has been sold and will be departing the Great Lakes by way of the New York State Barge Canal for a new home in the Bahamas lobster fishing trade.


Saginaw River

Reported by G. Garris
The Joyce L. Vanenkevort/Great Lakes Trader were in bound the Saginaw River around 4 p.m. Saturday with a split load for Sargent Essexville and Saginaw Rock Products Dock. The Trader arrived up river in Saginaw shortly after 7 p.m. The pair were expected to be out bound early Sunday morning.



Sunday the Federal Hunter departed out toward Maumee Bay and passed Balaban I of Er Denizcilik Sanayi Nakliyat Ve Ticaret A.S.,Istanbul, Turkey, on her way up to ADM Elevators escorted by Illinois and Idaho of Great Lakes Towing.

Onega Traveller remains at CSX RR Docks. Canadian Prospector remains loading at The Anderson’s Kuhlman Facility. Detroit Princess is in the short drydock at Toledo Shipyard and can be viewed afoot from Jamie Farr Park on N.Summit Street near Galena Street off I-280. Algorail was coming in at 1800 hrs possibly to The Andersons Erwin Facility but there was some linkage difficulties postponing her daytime entry outside of the CSX RR Bridge.


Sturgeon Bay

Reported by Wendell Wilke
As of Friday, the tug Jane Anne IV was on the drydock at Bay Shipbuilding while the barge Sarah Spencer remains anchored off Sherwood Point (north of the yard). Also at the yard is the Washington Island Ferry Line ferry Voyageur, in the same slip as the Edward L. Ryerson. The Voyageur has reportedly been sold to Shoreline Marine of Chicago.



Today in Great Lakes History

October 23

On 23 October 1887, the small wooden scow-schooner LADY ELGIN was driven ashore about one mile north of Goderich, Ontario in a severe storm that claimed numerous other vessels.  By 26 October, she was broken up by the waves.

The CECILIA DESGAGNES was launched October 23, 1970, as a.) CARL GORTHON, for Rederi A/B Gylfe, Hälsingborg, Sweden.

The rail car ferry GRAND RAPIDS was launched October 23, 1926, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the Grand Trunk-Milwaukee Car Ferry Co., Muskegon, Michigan. She entered service in December of 1926.

WILLIAM B SCHILLER was launched October 23, 1909, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

October 23, 1953 - The str. SPARTAN arrived Ludington on her maiden voyage. Captain Harold A. Altschwager was in command.

On 23 October 1868, F T BARNEY (wooden schooner, 255 tons, built in 1856 at Vermilion, Ohio) collided with the schooner TRACY J BRONSON and sank below Nine Mile Point, Northwest of Rogers City in Lake Michigan. The wreck was found in 1987 and sits in deep water, upright in almost perfect condition.

On 23 October 1873, the wooden steam barge GENEVA was loaded with wheat and towing the barge GENOA in a violent storm on Lake Superior. She bent her propeller shaft and the flailing blades cut a large hole in her stern. The water rushed in and she went down quickly 15 miles off Caribou Island. No lives were lost. This was her first season of service. She was one of the first bulk freighters with the classic Great Lakes fore and aft deck houses.

On 23 October 1883, JULIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 89 foot, 115 gross tons, built in 1875 at Smith's Falls, Ontario) was coming into Oswego harbor with a load of barley when she struck a pier in the dark and sank. No lives were lost.

Today in Great Lakes History - October 24

On 24 October 1886, the wooden steam barge RUDOLPH burned on Lake St. Clair and was beached.  She was loaded with lumber from East Saginaw, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio.

On 24 October 1902, W T CHAPPELL (2-mast wooden schooner, 72 foot, 39 gross tons, built in 1877 at Sebewaing, Michigan) was carrying stove wood from Grand Marais, Michigan to the Soo in a severe storm on Lake Superior when she sprang a leak.  She was blown over and sank 4 miles from the Vermillion Life Saving Station.  The Life Saving crew rescued the 2-man crew in the surf boat and took them to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse for the night since the storm was so severe.

TEXACO WARRIOR (2) was launched October 24, 1969, as a.) THUNTANK 6.

The PHILIP D BLOCK along with the W W HOLLOWAY scrap tow arrived Recife, Brazil. October 24, 1986.

THOMAS W LAMONT and her former fleet mate, ENDERS M VOORHEES arrived at Alegeciras, Spain on October 24, 1987, on the way to the cutters torch. The LAMONT was one of the last bulkers that retained her telescoping hatch covers to the very end.

NIPIGON BAY arrived Thunder Bay, Ontario on October 24, 1980 where repairs were made from damage caused by her grounding earlier in the month.

On 24 October 1855, ALLEGHENY (wooden propeller, 178 foot, 468 tons, built in 1849 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise and passengers in a storm, when she anchored near the Milwaukee harbor entrance for shelter. She lost her stack and then was unable to get up steam and was helpless. She dragged her anchor and came in close to the beach where she was pounded to pieces. There was no loss of life. Her engine and most of her cargo were removed by the end of the month. Her engine was installed in a new vessel of the same name built to replace her.

On 24 October 1873, just a month after being launched, the scow WAUBONSIE capsized at St. Clair, Michigan and lost her cargo of bricks. She was righted and towed to Port Huron, minus masts, rigging and bowsprit, for repairs.

On 24 October 1886, LADY DUFFERIN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 135 foot, 356 gross tons, built at Port Burwell, Ontario) was lost from the tow of the propeller W B HALL and went ashore near Cabot Head on Georgian Bay. No lives were lost, but the vessel was a total loss.

On 24 October 1953, the Yankcanuck Steamship Lines' MANZZUTTI (steel crane ship, 246 foot, 1558 gross tons, built in 1903 at Buffalo, New York as J S KEEFE) ran aground south of the channel into the Saugeen River. The tug RUTH HINDMAN from Killarney pulled her free. No damage was reported.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series,

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Galleries


Cargo Jet May Have Dropped Engine Into Lake Michigan


A cargo jet departing Chicago's O'Hare International Airport experienced engine trouble late Wednesday and may have dropped one of its engines into Lake Michigan, authorities said.

The Boeing 741-R owned by Kalitta Air bound for New York landed safely in Detroit. Its crew reported engine problems with one of its engines over Michigan. When the aircraft landed, the crew discovered the had fallen off.

Michigan authorities searched for the engine Thursday, but the Federal Aviation Administration said it might have fallen into Lake Michigan.

Reported by Al Miller


Port Huron Marine Mart Saturday


The Lake Huron Lore Marine Society, The Port Huron Museum and Acheson Ventures will be hosting a Marine Flea Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2336 Military Street in Port Huron. Vendors will be on hand to sell items that include photos, books and artifacts, all with a Great Lakes theme. Look for us at the Know Your Ships table.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Port Report



Reported by G. Garris
There were four vessels along the banks of the Saginaw River Thursday.

The J.A.W. Iglehart was out bound Thursday afternoon after discharging a cargo of cement at the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton overnight.

The Joseph H. Thompson/JR were out bound Early thursday morning after doing a split load at Sargent Essexville and the Burroughs Dock in Saginaw on Wednesday evening.

The Mississagi was in bound late Thursday morning with a load for the Saginaw Rock Products Dock. The Mississagi was out bound in the late afternoon.

The Joyce L. Vanenkevort/Great Lakes Trader were inbound the Saginaw River late Thursday afternoon. The pair unloaded at the Bay Wirt Stone Dock and waited until the downbound Mississagi passed then proceeded up river to complete unloading at the Saginaw Wirt Stone Dock. The pair were out bound passing through the Bay City bridges shortly after 8 p.m.


Another drab day Thursday. Water level +27. Frontenac is gone. Federal Hunter, a Fednav ship is ready to sail from ADM Elevators. Canadian Prospector is loading at The Andersons Kuhlman Facility. Little push boat OH7956DS ran a dock down the river. Sandpiper lies at her moorings at Jefferson Dock. Detroit Princess is now in drydock at Toledo Ship & Repair. Onega Traveller remains idle at the head of the CSX RR Dock coal slip. John J. Boland left TORCO Dock after unloading at about 1600 hrs. Michigan and Great Lakes came into BP Riverfront Terminal right before her departure. They will load petroleum.


Today in Great Lakes History

October 22

On 22 October 1903, while being towed by the GETTYSBURG in the harbor at Grand Marais, Michigan in a severe storm, the SAVELAND (wooden schooner, 194 foot, 689 gross tons, built in 1873 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was torn away and thrown against some pilings which punctured her hull.  She sank to her main deck and was pounded to pieces by the storm waves.  No lives were lost.

The tug PRESQUE ISLE (2) completed her sea trials on October 22, 1973, in New Orleans.

On October 22, 1986, the ALGOCEN spilled about four barrels of diesel fuel while refueling at the Esso Dock at Sarnia.

The TOM M GIRDLER departed South Chicago light on her maiden voyage, October 22, 1951, bound for Escanaba, Michigan where she loaded 13,900 tons of ore for delivery to Cleveland, Ohio.

The THORNHILL (1) grounded on October 22, 1973 just above the Sugar Island ferry crossing in the St. Marys River.

On 22 October 1887, C.O.D. (wooden schooner-barge, 140 foot, 289 gross tons, built in 1873 at Grand Haven, Michigan) was carrying wheat in Lake Erie in a northwest gale. She was beached three miles east of Port Burwell, Ontario and soon broke up. Most of the crew swam to shore, but the woman who was the cook was lashed to the rigging and she perished.

October 22, 1929 - The S.S. MILWAUKEE (formerly MANISTIQUE MARQUETTE AND NORTHERN 1) sank in a gale with a loss of all 52 hands. 21 bodies were recovered. Captain Robert Mc Kay was in command.

On October 27, 1929, a Coast Guard patrolman near South Haven, Michigan, picked up the ship's message case, containing the following handwritten note:

"S.S. MILWAUKEE, OCTOBER 22/29 8:30 p.m.

The ship is taking water fast. We have turned around and headed for Milwaukee. Pumps are working but sea gate is bent in and can't keep the water out. Flicker is flooded. Seas are tremendous. Things look bad.

Crew roll is about the same as on last payday. (signed) A.R. Sadon, Purser."

On 22 October 1870, JENNIE BRISCOE (wooden schooner, 85 foot, 82 tons, built in 1870 at Detroit, Michian) was raised from where she sank off Grosse Ile, Michigan a couple of months earlier. She was in her first season of service when she collided with the propeller FREE STATE and sank there. Her raised wreck was sold Canadian in 1871 and she was rebuilt as the propeller scow HERALD.

In a severe gale on 22 October 1873, the three barges DAVID MORRIS, GLOBE, and SAGINAW from Bay City grounded and sank off Point Pelee on Lake Erie.

On 22 October 1887, DOLPHIN (wooden schooner-barge, 107 foot, 147 tons, built in 1855 at Milan, Ohio) and G D NORRIS (2-mast wooden schooner, 128 foot, 262 gross tons, built in 1856 at Cleveland, Ohio) were both carrying lumber and were in tow of the steamer OSWEGATCHIE in a storm on Lake Huron. The tow line broke when the vessels were off Harbor Beach, Michigan. The DOLPHIN capsized and foundered. All 6 or 7 onboard perished. The NORRIS sank to her decks and her crew was rescued by the passing steamer BRECK. The NORRIS drifted ashore near Goderich, Ontario.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Port Report



Reported by Jim Hoffman
The Federal Hunter was loading grain at the ADM/Countrymark Elevator. The Frontenac was loading grain at the Andersons "E" Elevator. Her estimated time of departure is around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. The Algonorth finished loading grain at Andersons "K" Elevator and departed Wednesday afternoon, meanwhile the Canadian Prospector was inbound Toledo and was headed for Andersons "K" Elevator to load grain. The grain season at Toledo will be quite busy during the next few weeks due to the corn and soybean crops being harvested now. This will mean quite a few boats will be arriving to load grain during the weeks ahead.

The ex Players Riverboat Casino 2 the future Detroit Princess remains tied up at the old Interlake Iron Dock just north of the Shipyard. She has not been placed in drydock yet. The new oil barge under construction in the main drydock at the shipyard is really starting to take shape and is now visible in the drydock.

The salt water vessel Onego Traveller is tied up at the old ore dock area at the CSX Coal Docks waiting for coal to arrive. She is expected to load coal in the next several days. CSX Docks has loaded coal into salt water vessels in previous years.

The Lee A Tregurtha and Philip R. Clarke are due into the CSX Coal Docks on Wednesday evening. The next scheduled boats due into the CSX Docks will be the H. Lee White on Saturday after she finishes unloading ore at the Torco Docks. The John G. Munson on Monday, followed by the CSL Laurentien on Tuesday. The next scheduled ore boats due into the Torco Ore Docks will be the John J. Boland on Thursday (21st). The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin and H. Lee White on Saturday, followed by the Canadian Navigator on Sunday.

The Algomarine is due in at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock (CSX Docks) to unload stone on Friday.


Today in Great Lakes History

October 21

The Anchor Line’s CONEMAUGH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 251’ foot, 1609 gross tons, built in 1880 at W. Bay City, Michigan) and the Union Line’s NEW YORK (wooden propeller package freighter, 269 foot, 1922 gross tons, built in 1879 at Buffalo, New York) collided on the Detroit River at 7:30 p.m., 21 October 1891.  The CONEMAUGH sank close to the Canadian shore.  She was carrying flour and other package freight from Chicago to Buffalo.  She was later raised and repaired, and lasted until 1906 when she was lost in a storm on Lake Erie.

The JOHN B AIRD arrived at Sarnia, Ont. October 21, 1990 for repairs after suffering a conveyor belt fire a week earlier.

The JAMES A. FARRELL and fleet mate RICHARD TRIMBLE were the first vessels to lock downbound in the newly opened Davis Lock at the Soo on October 21, 1914.

On October 21, 1954 the GEORGE M. HUMPHREY (2) set a record when she took aboard 22,605 gross tons of iron ore at Superior, Wisconsin. The record stood until 1960.

The crew on the SAMUEL MATHER (3) was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21, 1923 by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew. She had run aground on the 19th.

It was announced on October 21, 1986 that Canada Steamship Lines and Upper Lakes Group would merge CSL's Collingwood shipyard and ULS' Port Weller shipyard and create Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering (1986) Ltd.

On 21 October 1941, AMERICA (steel tug, 80 foot, 123 gross tons, built in 1897 at Buffalo, New York) was on a cable along with the big tug OREGON off Belle Isle in the Detroit River trying to pull the steel bulk freighter B F JONES off a bar. The cable tightened, pulling AMERICA out of the water and spinning her upside down. Six of the crew of 13 lost their lives. AMERICA was later recovered.  Still owned by Great Lakes Towing Co., AMERICA was renamed b.) MIDWAY in 1982 and c.) WISCONSIN in 1983. 

On 21 October 1916, JAMES B. COLGATE (whaleback bulk freighter, 308 foot, 1713 gross tons, built in 1892 at W. Superior, Wisconsin) was carrying coal off Long Point on Lake Erie in a storm. She struck bottom in a plunge off a huge wave in one of the worst storms ever recorded on Lake Erie -- it's called the "Black Friday Storm". Of the 26 on board, only her skipper survived. The 360 foot steel freighter MERIDA also perished in this same storm.

October 21, 1954 - Capt. Allen K. Hoxie, skipper of the MILWAUKEE CLIPPER, retired.

On 21 October 1886, W. L. BROWN (wooden propeller freighter, 140 foot, 336 gross tons, built in 1872 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin as NEPTUNE) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba for DePere, Wisconsin. A storm struck while she was on Green Bay. She sprang a leak one mile from Peshtigo Reef and went down in 76 feet of water. No lives were lost. All of her outfit and machinery were removed the following summer. This vessel's first enrollment was issued at Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 22 April 1873 as NEPTUNE, but this enrollment was surrendered at Milwaukee on 30 September 1880, endorsed "broken up." However she was re-enrolled as a new vessel at Milwaukee on 15 June 1880, having been rebuilt by A. L. Johnson at Green Bay, Wisconsin as the W L BROWN.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Mark Hannah, Barge Reported Aground at Mackinaw City


UPDATE: 2 p.m. The Mark Hannah and barge were freed with the help of the Mary E. Hannah at around 1 p.m. today. The tow headed east through the Straits with the Mary E. pulling and the Mark pushing.

ORIGINAL REPORT: As of noon Tuesday, the tug Mark Hannah with barge Hannah 6301 (containing calcium chloride) remained aground close to the entrance to the Mackinaw City marina.  The vessels ran aground Monday about 10 p.m. while trying to maneuver to a dock to wait out stormy weather.

Reported by Fred Stone, Brent Michaels  (Pictures in the Photo Gallery)


Port Report



Reported by Don Nelson (Picture in the Photo Gallery)
On Wednesday, October 13th, history was made when the new U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder, Number 216, passed through the Keweenaw Waterway on her maiden voyage to Duluth, Minnesota, her new port. She replaces the USCGC Sundew, which was retired after 60 years of service. The 225-foot Alder will be visiting the Keweenaw a minimum of twice a year, spring and fall, when setting and removing buoys. It is the newest and biggest buoy tender, ice breaker, SAR, lighthouse tender, all-purpose ship on Lake Superior.


There was some vessel movement last night. Charles M. Beeghly began on-loading coal at CSX RR Docks at 2215 hrs. David Z. Norton of Oglebay Norton Marine Services off-loaded at Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International at 2300 hrs. The J.A.W.Iglehart headed outbound after off-loading cement at Lafarge on Water St. around midnight. The Iglehart when coming into Toledo turns at the turning basin by Toledo Shipyard from bow upstream to bow downstream. She then heads upriver from the basin there, through the I-280, and onward to Lafarge stern-first.


Photo Gallery Updated (2 Today)


Photo Galleries


Today in Great Lakes History

October 20

On 20 October 1875, the wooden schooner F. C. LEIGHTON was loaded with ore when she struck a rock in the St. Marys River and sank a few miles from Detour, Michigan.  A tug was sent right away to raise her.

On 20 October 1916, MERIDA (steel propeller bulk freighter, 360 foot, 3261 gross tons, built in 1893 at W. Bay City, Michigan) was heavily loaded with iron ore when she encountered the "Black Friday" Storm on Lake Erie.  She sank about 24 miles east of Erieau, Ontario.  All 24 onboard were lost.  A few days later the wheelhouse was found floating 15 miles south of Port Stanley.  21 bodies were eventually found, but not the bodies of Capt. Harry L. Jones nor crewman Wilfred Austin.  The wreck was found in 1975 by Larry Jackson, a commercial fisherman.

The SCOTT MISENER (3) proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs on October 20th, After striking bottom October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River.

OTTO M. REISS (2) was launched October 20, 1906 as a.) JAMES S. DUNHAM for the Chicago Navigation Co. (D. Sullivan & Co., mgr.) Duluth, Minnesota.

PETER A. B. WIDENER was launched October 20, 1906, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. (later the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1952), Cleveland, Ohio.

The tug RESCUE was sent from Port Huron to Tawas, Michigan to release the 246 foot barge OCEAN that was grounded. After pulling the barge free, Capt. Fitch of RESCUE began towing her down Lake Huron, but the storm got so bad that he was about to turn back and run for Tawas. However, the captain of OCEAN yelled that they were all right and to go ahead down the lake. Soon the seas got the better of the barge. The tug kept with her until she was about to sink. Then the line was cut, the tug turned about, ran under her lee, and rescued her crew of 9 from the lifeboat. The barge then sank. On the way down Lake Huron, opposite Port Sanilac, the RESCUE picked up 6 men and 1 woman from the wrecked barge JOHN F RUST. In this one trip, the RESCUE earned her name by rescuing 16 persons!

October 20, 1898 - The SHENANGO NO 2 (later PERE MARQUETTE 16) was arriving Milwaukee when her steering gear failed, causing her to crash into a grain elevator which was under construction.

October 20, 1926 - The keel was laid for the WABASH.

On 20 October 1863, E S ADAMS (3 mast wooden bark, 135 foot, 341 gross tons, built in 1857 at Port Robinson, Ontario) was carrying 18,500 bushels of wheat on a clear night when she collided with the American bark CONSTITUTION resulting in the loss of the ADAMS. One life was lost. Neither vessel was blamed for the accident.

On 20 October 1854, JOHN J AUDUBON (wooden brig, 370 tons, built in 1854 at Black River, Ohio) was carrying railroad iron from Buffalo to Chicago when she was struck amidships by the schooner DEFIANCE on a dark night, halfway between Thunder Bay and Presque Isle, Michigan. AUDUBON was cut almost in half. Both vessels sank quickly. No lives were lost.

On 20 October 1844, DAYTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 69 foot, 85 tons, built in 1835 at Grand Island, New York) capsized and sank in Lake Erie off Dunkirk, New York in a terrific gale. All onboard were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



New Backers Found for Spirit of Ontario


Canadian American Transportation Systems has found new investors for its idle high-speed ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 and will make a proposal this week to its lenders to re-launch the service, according to a story in the Rochester Democrat Chronicle. The proposal is expected to include a new ownership and management structure, a new board of directors and creation of an advisory board of government officials.

"Now we start hammering out the details," CATS President Cornel Martin said Sunday night.

The company expects to negotiate the deal over the next two weeks and declined to identify the new investors or offer other details — such as the amount of new money involved — until the process is over. Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. has said the company needed between $2 million and $10 million.

It is unclear when the ferry service would restart if the proposal is accepted. Martin said the ferry company would let its lenders make that determination, whether it's this year or next spring. While company officials wouldn't identify the investors, they said they included both Rochester and out-of-town individuals.

CATS suspended the ferry last month after only 80 days in operation, blaming money problems, bad luck and government bureaucracy for the shutdown. The ship, which traveled between Rochester and Toronto, now sits docked in the Genesee River next to a new $16 million ferry terminal. The company had shuttled about 140,000 passengers across Lake Ontario in the short time it operated, proving in the eyes of CATS and many government officials who backed the project that the ferry could succeed.

However, the company had amassed $1.7 million in debt partly related to the service starting seven weeks late.

Reported by Rochester Democrat-Chronicle, Bob VandeVusse


City of Milwaukee Ferry to Serve As Ghost Ship


The National Historic Landmark S.S. City of Milwaukee, moored in Manistee, Mich.,will again thrill visitors as one of the region’s most unique haunted houses this Halloween season. The cavernous 350-foot steamship will drop the gangway for those who dare to come aboard every Friday and Saturday beginning October 15 and Wednesday through Saturday nights just prior to Halloween for a total of eight chilling evenings.  Boarding times are between 7 and 10 p.m.

In past seasons, thousands have annually attended the event. Jed Jaworski, the event coordinator, stated "The ship is a natural for an event like this; it's no house of mirrors. The maze of catwalks, giant pipes and machines in the engine room, long dark passageways and antiquated cabins create an ideal setting. With a crew of nearly 30 people, props, seven audio systems, lighting and special effects, this will be the haunted house you will remember." Jaworski and other area volunteers have been working and constructing the Ghost Ship as part of "Make a Difference Day," a national event that celebrates volunteerism across America. "A fun event like this brings kids, parents, business and neighborhoods together. The kids learn a great deal while working in teams and connecting with community,” said Jaworski. 

The ghost ship avoids graphic violence and gore, relying instead on intense realism and effects. New features this year include a 3D effects maze and powerful new audio effects. There are still opportunities for youth and adults wanting to join the "scream team." Proceeds will support preservation efforts aboard the ship. To volunteer or request information, you may phone: 231-723-0328 or visit

The ship lurks at its new Manistee Lake dock, right on U.S. 31 just a mile north of downtown Manistee. Tour admission is $6 for adults, $4 for youth (17 and under). A free supervised fun & games area is provided in boxcars on the train deck for younger children and the faint of heart. Snacks and beverages are available.

Reported by Jed Jaworski, S.S. City of Milwaukee


Port Report


Reported by Al Miller, Eric Holst

Middletown came out of drydock at Fraser Shipyards on Monday and was expected to depart overnight or today. The vessel reportedly damaged about 400 feet of its bottom after rubbing the bottom or a boulder in the St. Marys River.

Weather delays made for a very slow weekend at Duluth-Superior, but late Monday traffic more than made up for it.  The Ziemia Lodzka departed mid-afternoon with grain from CHS #2 despite stiff northeasterly winds and growing seas.  About two hours later, the Paul R. Tregurtha surfed into port on six-foot waves, the first of a convoy of storm weary ships to reach the western end of Lake Superior. 

As the Tregurtha began her load at Midwest Energy the Middletown, fresh out of Fraser Shipyard's drydock, backed out of Howard's Pocket with help from the tugs North Dakota and Minnesota.  The Middletown then proceeded to Murphy Fuel which meant the inbound Edgar B. Speer, headed for the same dock, had nowhere in particular to be for the next hour.  The Speer slowed to a walking pace as she entered the Duluth ship canal, bow and pilothouse spotlights illuminating the pierheads and the waves crashing around them.  She then came to a complete stop just 300 feet inside the Aerial Bridge and used her engines to hold herself in place as she waited for her berth to open. 

The Speer had been followed closely to the end of the lake by the American Spirit, which joined the Dutch-registered Marion Green at anchor outside the harbor.  The Green had been waiting all weekend for her load at CHS #1 to be prepared, and the Spirit presumably chose to wait for wind and waves to subside before attempting to enter her scheduled loading dock at Two Harbors. 

Once the Middletown cleared Murphy Fuel, she headed outbound for the Duluth entry and the Speer slid past her further into the harbor.  By then, the Armco was inbound less than a mile from the ship canal.  Despite eight-foot waves, strong winds, and a full load of limestone she slowed to wait for her fleetmate to depart, pointing her bow toward the beach at Park Point and drifting toward the canal.  The Middletown swiftly cleared the piers, swung north and exchanged a passing salute with the Armco, and headed for Silver Bay, her old oceangoing bow slicing easily through the stormy lake.  The Armco then put her bow back on the ship canal and eased under the bridge headed for Northland Constructors.  Not to be outdone by the Speer, she used three pilothouse spotlights in the process.

The American Mariner, an hour behind the Armco and loaded with limestone for Cutler-Magner, seemed to be in line for an approach to the ship canal when about a mile and a half out she quickly turned 180 degrees, sailed back toward the open lake, and became the third ship to drop anchor off the harbor.  By then the lights of the CSL Tadoussac, headed for Missabe #6, and the Columbia Star, headed for Midwest Energy, appeared on the horizon.

Within a few more hours all of Oglebay Norton's active steamers were scheduled to be on the western lake, with the Reserve arriving for Cutler-Magner in Superior with limestone, and the Buckeye bringing the same cargo to Missabe #6 in Duluth.  A very rare if not unprecedented occurrence was on the books for Tuesday afternoon, as the Cyprus-registered Birchglen was scheduled to arrive Duluth for a load of taconite pellets at Missabe #6.



Port Huron Marine Mart This Weekend


The Lake Huron Lore Marine Society, The Port Huron Museum and Acheson Ventures will be hosting a Marine Flea Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, 2336 Military Street in Port Huron. Vendors will be on hand to sell items that include photos, books and artifacts, all with a Great Lakes theme. Look for us at the Know Your Ships table.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

October 19

At 2:00 a.m., 19 October 1901, the Barry line steamer STATE OF MICHIGAN (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 165 foot, 736 gross tons, built in 1875 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) sank in sixty feet of water about four miles northwest of White Lake harbor on Lake Michigan. The crew and captain reached shore in boats with the assistance of the White Lake Life Saving crew and the tug MC GRAFF.  The vessel was sailing in good weather when a piston rod broke and stove a hole through the bottom of the boat. The water came gushing in.  By the time the tug MC GRAFF came and took on the crew, the STATE OF MICHIGAN was in serious trouble.  She went down shortly after the tug began towing her toward shore.

On 19 October 1871, ELIZA LOGAN (2-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 369 gross tons, built in 1855 at Buffalo, New York) foundered in rough weather about 12 miles off Erie, Pennsylvania on Lake Erie.  She was sailing from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, New York with a load of wheat when she sank.  Captain Lawson and one sailor were lost, but the six others scrambled up the rigging and held on to the crosstrees for 42 hours until they were rescued by the schooner EMU at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of 21 October.

GEORGE A SLOAN ran aground off Bob-Lo Island in the Amherstburg Channel on October 19, 1987. She was released when she unloaded part of her cargo to the CALCITE II. SLOAN was repaired in Toledo.

ALGOSEA was christened on October 19, 1976 at Port Colborne, Ontario. She was renamed c.) SAUNIERE in 1982.

The BUFFALO was able to leave the Saginaw River once it opened on October 19, 1990. The river was closed after the tanker JUPITER exploded as the Buffalo passed.

The KINSMAN VOYAGER was launched October 19, 1907 as a.) H P BOPE for the Standard Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

The WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE c.) CRISPIN OGLEBAY (1) had the honor on October 19, 1912, of being the first vessel to navigate the opening of the Livingstone Channel named after the man who helped conceive the idea of a separate down bound channel on the east side of Bob-Lo Island in the lower Detroit River. Mr. Livingstone, President of the Lake Carriers Association at the time, piloted his namesake vessel in the channel on that historic trip.

The crew on the stranded WILLIAM C MORELAND was removed in gale force winds on October 19, 1910, by the Portage life saving crew.

On October 19, 1923, the SAMUEL MATHER (3) was driven onto Gull Rock on Lake Superior near Keweenaw Point during a snowstorm and gale winds. The crew was safely removed from the badly exposed steamer on October 21st by the Eagle Harbor life saving crew.  Renamed b.) PATHFINDER in 1925, sold Canadian in 1964, renamed c.) GODERICH, d.) SOO RIVER TRADER and e.) PINEGLEN in 1982.  Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1984.

The B H TAYLOR b.) ROGERS CITY (2) sailed from Lorain on her maiden voyage on October 19, 1923.

On 19 October 1868, PARAGON (wooden schooner, 212 tons, built in 1852 at Oshawa, Ontario as a brig) was being towed up the St. Clair River by the tug WILLIAM A MOORE with a load of lumber in the company of four other barges. During a gale, the tow was broken up. While the tug MOORE was trying to regain the tows, she collided with PARAGON causing severe damage. 4 were drowned, but two were rescued by the Canadian gunboat/tug PRINCE ALFRED. PARAGON was then towed into Sarnia, but she sank there and was abandoned in place.

October 19, 1919 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4, while on the Grand Haven to Milwaukee run, got caught in a gale stretching the normal 6-hour crossing to 27 hours.

On 19 October 1876, MASSILON (3-mast wooden schooner with foretop and topgallant sails, 130 foot, 298 gross tons, built in 1857 at Cleveland, Ohio as a bark) was sailing from Kelley's Island for Chicago with limestone when she sprang a leak 20 miles above Pointe aux Barques at the mouth of Saginaw Bay. She was abandoned at about 2:00 a.m. and then sank. The crew was in an open boat until 7:00 a.m. when they were rescued by the tug VULCAN.

On 19 October 1873, JOHN F RUST (wooden schooner-barge, 161 foot, 347 gros tons, built in 1869 at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer BAY CITY in a storm when she broke her tow line and went ashore a few miles north of Lakeport, Michigan.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Boatnerds Survive Chilly Gathering at Welland Canal


Nearly 50 devotees of Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping gathered Friday evening at the Canadian Corps hall, in Thorold, Ontario for the Annual Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering. The assembled viewed the wares of four vendors, bought raffle tickets, and shared slides. Presenters were Ron Walsh (electronic gadgets and historical artifacts) and slides by Donna Hamlin, Buck Longhurst, Roger LeLievre and Jimmy Sprunt. Raffle prizes were donated by Force-5 Trading (official Boatnerd clothing vendor), Marine Publishing Co. (Know Your Ships), Freshwater Press (Greenwood & Dills), Harbor House Publishing (Great Laker), Rex Cassidy (hand-crafted picture frame), Inn at Lock 7 and Ron Walsh. Raffle proceeds were used to pay for the use of the hall for the weekend.
Saturday morning, the braver Boatnerds visited the International Marine Salvage Inc., scrap yard to shop for artifacts. As we have come to expect, the traditional rain and gale force winds were there to greet us, but everyone survived. No vessels are presently being scrapped, but the old forebody off Jean Parisien is expected to be towed in from the Port Weller Dry Dock on October 30. A replacement forebody is scheduled to be built at PWDD, but rumor has it that there is a shortage of steel to construct the modules.
Saturday evening, was a combined meeting with Welland Canal Ship Society back at the Canadian Corps hall, attended by more than 50 persons. Gerry Ouderkirk showed a slide presentation that tracked the history of vessels built by the Russel Brothers in Owen Sound. An Algoma Central house flag that had flown on the Algorail, was raffled off with the proceeds going to support the Welland Canal Ship Society. Buck Longhurst donated the flag. Other slides were presented by David Bull, Barry Anderson and Jimmy Sprunt.
High winds all weekend slowed vessel traffic in the canal. The French passenger vessel LeLevant passed down bound on Friday and several salties were upbound as the fall grain rush continues.

Several vessels remained in the shelter of Long Point in Lake Erie on Sunday. c. Columbus arrived off Port Colborne Sunday morning, but decided not to try a canal passage due to the wind. Instead she was cruising the north shore of Lake Erie. The only Sunday passage was the heavy-lift vessel Socol 6 with parts for Muskegon.

Photos of the weekend.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Algolake Repairs Completed at Port Colborne


The Algoma Central self-unloader Algolake was stopped at Port Colborne Saturday while welders and divers worked to repair two crack that had been discovered above and below the waterline on her Kort (steering) nozzle. The repairs were finished by Sunday morning, but Algolake remained where she was, waiting for better weather.

The John B. Aird was also docked at Port Colborne Saturday due to water in her fuel tanks. The fuel was replaced and she was underway downbound by mid-afternoon.

Reported by Dave Wobser


Lake Express Will End First Season Oct. 31


Milwaukee's high-speed ferry service is shutting down for the year on Oct. 31 - two months early - because of slow bookings for November and December, according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Even after shortening its first season from seven months to five, the Lake Express has still exceeded its 2004 ridership projections, spokesman Jeff Fleming said. He wouldn't release those projections or a precise passenger count but repeated earlier statements that the ferry has carried more than 100,000 passengers between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich.

Several hundred passengers booked passage for November and December, and all of them will get full refunds, Fleming said.

Since service started June 1, the Lake Express has canceled a higher-than-expected number of trips, mostly because of rough water on Lake Michigan. Through Sept. 8, the ferry canceled 11 of 295 round trips, nearly four times the projected 1 percent cancellation rate.

The ferry will resume service April 30. When it does, passengers will see "upgrades in both facilities and on-board amenities," the ferry line said. Fleming said that details would be announced at a later date.

Reported by Bob VandeVusse, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Port Report



Reported by Al Miller
The USCG Cutter Alder arrived in Duluth on Saturday to take up station at its new home port. It tied up at the Duluth Coast Guard station pier, which was recently lengthened to accommodate the new ship. The Alder replaces the Sundew, which is now a museum ship in Duluth.


Reported by Luke Archer, Patrick Retko
Saturday morning had two vessels loading at the grain elevators on a cold, misty, and very windy morning. The Atlantic Huron had just begun to load at Andersons around 11:15. At the elevator along Miami St. the Lady Hamilton of Seven Seas Shipping was loading. There was a line of trucks unloading grain too. 

The Players Riverboat II – soon to be renamed Detroit Princess – arrived in Toledo Thursday. Captain Ken Horner and the crew arrived just after 1300 and are tied up at the face of Toledo Ship Repair. The vessel is scheduled to go up on the dry dock on Tuesday morning where she will undergo a 5 year inspection. The shipyard and several contractors will be working the next 32 days to prepare her for passengers.  Her first cruise is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 20.  The vessel will run until the ice begins to flow then will remain moored at Hart Plaza for the ice season.

As of 1330 hours Sunday Atlantic Huron was at The Andersons Kuhlman Drive Facility loaded, and idle, waiting for weather to improve on Lake Erie. Lady Hamilton remains at ADM Elevators. She came in Saturday. Southdown Challenger off-loaded cement at Cemex just below Toledo Shipyard on Front Street Spruceglen of Canada Steamship lines is at the TOT docks near the USCG Station. Both CSX and TORCO are idle.


Reported by Andy Laborde
Strong west winds over the weekend kept the Lake Express ferry in Milwaukee. On Sunday afternoon the Lake Express entered the inner harbor and tied up at the city Heavy Lift Dock to seek protection from the strong easterly winds expected to arrive by Monday morning.

The Richard Reiss anchored off Milwaukee Saturday. Winds were gusting in  excess of 30 MPH throughout the day.

The Cemex Conquest arrived in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon with a partial load of cement for the Cemex terminal.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

October 16

On 16 October 1855, SENECA (wooden propeller tug, 92 foot, 73 tons, built in 1847 at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig LANSING past the foot of Randolph Street at Chicago, Illinois when her boiler exploded.  Her skipper and engineer were killed instantly and several others were injured.  The vessel was later recovered.

On October 16, 1990 the JOHN B AIRD's loop belt caught fire while loading mill scale at Inland Steel Mill, East Chicago, Illinois Fueled by coal dust left over after unloading coal at the mill, 1,400 feet of the rubber conveyor belt burned causing nearly $500,000 in damages.

The ALGOWEST set a cargo record carrying 27,517 tons of grain down the Seaway October 16, 1982 to Port Cartier, Quebec.  She was renamed b.) PETER R CRESSWELL in 2001.

The RIO ORINOCO grounded off Anticosti Island, Quebec on October 16, 1990, and was abandoned. Later she was salvaged by Le Groupe Desgagnes (1981) Inc., refloated, repaired and renamed d.) THALASSA DESGAGNES.

Sea trials of the MERTON E FARR were successfully completed October 16, 1920.

On October 16, 1954, the SCOTT MISENER (3) became the first laker to load a record 800,000 bushels of grain on the Great Lakes when she was loaded with barley at Fort William, Ontario for delivery to Port Colborne.

The WILLIAM G MATHER (2) was towed from her Cuyahoga River berth on October 16, 1990, by the Great Lakes Towing tugs IDAHO and DELAWARE, she was placed at her permanent station next to the 9th Street Pier of Cleveland's North Coast Harbor.

On 16 October 1912, JAMES BUCKLEY (2 mast wood schooner-barge, 161 foot, 442 gross tons, built in 1884 at Quebec City) was carrying coal and being towed by the tug WILLIAM PROCTOR in consort with the barges H B and MENOMINEE in Lake Ontario. The BUCKLEY separated from this group in a storm and was driven into the shallows off the coast of Jefferson County, New York. The tug PROCTOR delivered MENOMINEE to Cape Vincent, then returned in time to take BUCKLEY’s crew out of the rigging - hand over hand on a heaving line - before BUCKLEY finally sank.

On 16 October 1855, the brig TUSCARORA was carrying coal from Buffalo to Chicago. She anchored off Chicago's Harrison Street, but a storm dragged her in. Volunteers from shore were unable to get to the stricken vessel. A group of 9 ship captains and 4 seamen then organized a rescue party and took two new "Francis" metal lifeboats out and rescued the entire crew of eleven. By 21 October, TUSCARORA was pounded to pieces.

On 16 October 1853, PHILO SCOVILLE (2-mast wooden brig built in 1853 at Sheboygan, Wisconsin) was carrying flour, wheat, pigs and barreled fish when she encountered a gale in the eastern Straits of Mackinac. She was dismasted and drifted ashore where she was pounded to pieces. Her crew was saved by floating ashore while clinging to the floating main mast.

 October 17

On 17 October 1887, Henry Mc Morran and D. N. Runnels bought the engine and boiler of the tug GEORGE HAND at the U.S. Marshall’s sale in Port Huron, Michigan for $500.

The CANADIAN PROSPECTOR was launched October 17, 1963, as a.) CARLTON (2)

The MONTCLIFFE HALL was launched October 17,1959, for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers, Monrovia, Liberia as a.) EMS ORE.

With an inexperienced Taiwanese crew, boiler problems and the collapse of Lock 7's west wall in the Welland Canal on October 17th, SAVIC's (CLIFFS VICTORY) departure was delayed until December 17, 1985 when she departed Chicago under her own power.

The carferry PERE MARQUETTE 19 was launched October 17, 1903.

In 1893, the FLINT & PERE MARQUETTE NO 1 was damaged by fire while in Ludington.

In 1988 the Society for the Preservation of the S.S. City of Milwaukee purchased CITY OF MILWAUKEE from the City of Frankfort for $2.

On 17 October 1871, CASCADEN (2 mast wood schooner, 138 tons, built in 1866 at Saugeen, Ontario) was carrying much needed supplies for the Cove Island Lighthouse keeper and his family who were in desperate straits. But she went ashore 3 miles below Cape Hurd near Tobermory, Ontario in a storm and was wrecked.

On 17 October 1843, the wooden schooner ALABAMA collided with a pier during a storm at the mouth of the Grand River at Fairport, Ohio and was a total loss.

On 17 October 1871, the 42 ton wooden schooner SEA HORSE stranded on Fitzwilliam Island at the mouth of Georgian Bay in a storm. She was a total loss.

October 18

On 18 October 1869, GERALDINE (3-mast wooden schooner, 232 tons, built in 1856 at Wilson, New York as a bark) was carrying coal from Buffalo to Detroit in heavy weather.  During the night, she collided with the schooner E M PORTCH five miles below "The Cut" at Long Point on Lake Erie and sank in 5 minutes.  The PORTCH stood by while the GERALDINE’s crew got off in the yawl.  No lives were lost.

The ALVA C DINKEY departed Quebec City, October 18, 1980, in tandem with her former fleet mate GOVERNOR MILLER towed by the FedNav tug CATHY B.

Tragedy struck on the WILLIAM C MORELAND's fifth trip October 18, 1910, loaded with 10,700 tons of iron ore from Superior for Ashtabula, Ohio when she stranded on Sawtooth Reef off Eagle Harbor, Michigan on Lake Superior. Visibility had been very limited due to forest fires raging on the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Lake was blanketed with smoke as far as one mile off shore. The MORELAND hit so hard and at such speed that she bounced over the first reef and came to rest on a second set of rocks. The stern section was salvaged and combined with a new forward section she became b.) SIR TREVOR DAWSON in 1916.  Renamed c.) CHARLES L HUTCHINSON in 1920, d.) GENE C HUTCHINSON in 1951, sold into Canadian registry in 1963, renamed e.) PARKDALE.  Scrapped at Cartagena, Spain in 1970.

On 18 October 1896, AUSTRALASIA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 282 foot, 1829 gross tons, built in 1884 at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying 2,200 tons of soft coal when she caught fire, burned to the waterline and sank 3 miles east of Cana Island in Lake Michigan. The Bailey's Harbor Lifesavers saved her crew.

At 8:00 PM on 18 October 1844, the steamer ROCHESTER left Rochester, New York for Toronto. She encountered a severe gale about halfway there. Captain H. N. Throop had the vessel put about and return to Rochester. The gale was so severe that all thought they were lost. When they finally arrived in Rochester, the passengers were so grateful that they had survived that they published a note of gratitude to Almighty God and Captain Throop in the Rochester Daily Democrat on 19 October 1844 -- it was signed by all 18 passengers.

On 18 October 1876, the schooner R D CAMPBELL filled with water and capsized on Lake Michigan about 10 miles from Muskegon, Michigan. The crew clung to the vessel's rigging until rescued by the tug JAMES MC GORDAN. The schooner drifted to the beach some hours later.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Boatnerd Site Tops 6 Million Visitors


The counter on the main page topped 6,000,000 visitors earlier this week. This counter was started as the page was launched in 1995 and topped one million visits in October 2000, two million in November 2001, three million in September, 2002, four million in June, 2003 and five million in February, 2004.

Bob Densic, Ohio Bob as he is known on the discussion boards, was the 6 millionth visitor. We would like to thank all the users for their support over the years. We would also like to thank the dedicated contributors and volunteers whose support and hard work keep this hobby site online.


Shipwrecks Spared In Near Crash of Mississagi


Recreational divers are relieved St. Clair River shipwrecks appear to have been spared from damage last week after the laker Mississagi dropped an anchor in a successful effort to stop the vessel after it experienced a power failure and veered toward the seawall on the Port Huron side of the river.

The Mississagi had just left Sarnia on Tuesday morning northbound with no cargo when its diesel engine stalled, according to a story in the Port Huron Times Herald. After dropping its anchor to slow its speed. It came to rest 1 foot from the sea wall.

Divers had feared the anchor that prevented a crash may have damaged historic shipwrecks on the river bottom. A handful of wrecks lie in that general area, including the M.E. Tremble, a 198-foot-long wooden schooner that sank in 1890 killing one crew member.

 Chris Miron of  Port Huron inspected the Tremble on Thursday and said he didn't notice any damage to the ship. "I didn't see anything at all on the Tremble. It looks like it missed it," Miron said. "It would have pretty much leveled it."


Port Report



Atlantic Huron was in to load at the Andersons Kuhlman Facility. W.N. Twolan, a Montreal tug of ABM Marine towed in Detroit Princess, mooring just below Toledo Shipyard. A banner is her only ID ... Algosteel delivered a load of stone at the docks. Catherine Desgagnes was in the slip across from the coal loader.


Reported by Steve Haverty

The Middletown should returned to service next Tuesday, barring any slowdown in repair work to her hull, damaged when she rolled a boulder recently in the St. Marys River. Crew members are expected to begin reporting back this weekend.


Today in Great Lakes History

October 14

On 14 October 1871, the LEVANT (2-mast wooden schooner, 91 foot, 115 tons, built in 1854 at Chicago, Illinois) was loaded with lumber when she was overtaken by a severe gale and went over on her beam ends off Sheboygan, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.  The 6-man crew lashed themselves to the vessel so as not to be washed away by the waves.  Throughout the night the men died one by one.  At daylight, the schooner D P DOBBINS found the wreck with floating bodies tied to it and three still alive (two of them were barely alive).  One died during the rescue attempt and another died within minutes of being rescued.  Only Peter J. Thornum survived.

DEAN RICHMOND (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 238 foot, 1432 gross tons, built in 1864 at Cleveland, Ohio) sailed from Toledo, Ohio on Friday the 13th of October 1893 with a load of bagged meal, flour, zinc and copper ingots.  She encountered hurricane force winds of over 60 mph and battled the storm throughout the night.  She was seen on 14 October 1893 off Erie, Pennsylvania, missing her stacks and battling the wind and waves.  The following day, wreckage and bodies were washing ashore near Dunkirk, New York.  Among the dead was the Captain, his wife and three children.  A few crew members managed to make it to shore however all but one died of exposure.  The only survivor was found on the beach near VanBuren Point two days later.  During the search for bodies, three volunteers lost their lives.  The wreck was found in 1984.

The keel to the JAMES R BARKER was laid on October 14, 1974. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flagship of the fleet for Moore McCormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.)

On October 14, 1983 the CHI-CHEEMAUN encountered 48-knot winds after departing Tobermory with 113 passengers bound for South Baymouth. Due to high wind and waves the captain decided to find shelter rather than to continue on or return to port. The ferry made her way around the Bruce Peninsula southeast to Dyer Bay where she dropped anchor for the night, however she had no overnight accommodations. Complimentary meals were served and activities were organized by the crew. The anchor was lifted the next morning and the ferry returned to Tobermory.

The GEORGE A STINSON departed Detroit on her maiden voyage October 14, 1978, light for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore pellets for delivery to the Great Lakes Steel Division of the National Steel Corp. at Zug Island in River Rouge, Mchigan.

On October 14, 1966, loaded with potash bound for Oswego, New York, the STONEFAX collided with the Norwegian salty ARTHUR STOVE and sank in the Welland Canal between Locks 7 and 8.

On 14 October 1875, it was discovered that thieves had completely stripped the canvass and rigging from the schooner FORWARDER owned by Little & Brown. The schooner was lying about three miles below Port Huron.

On 14 October 1822, APPELONA (wooden schooner, 45 foot, 37 tons, built in 1814 at Henderson, New York) was bound from Oswego for Genessee, New York when she was struck by lightning in Lake Ontario and sank about 15 minutes. All hands were injured but abandoned her for shore and all survived.

The tug NELSON burned at Chicago on Saturday, 14 October 1876. She was one of the smaller class of tugs and the damage was so great that she was not considered to be worth repairing.

October 14, 1911 - The ANN ARBOR NO 4 ran aground while enroute to Manistique, Michigan at full speed, damaging several plates. The ANN ARBOR NO 3 pulled her off.

On 14 October 1876, NEW YORK (wooden propeller freighter, 183 foot, 704 tons, built in 1856 at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber and towing the schooner BUTCHER BOY and barges NELLIE Mc GILVERAY and A J CORREY from Cove Island in Georgian Bay to Buffalo when they encountered a severe storm near Pointe aux Barques. The tow line parted and the NEW YORK could not regain it in the heavy seas. She then sprang a leak and the water rose rapidly enough to put out her fires. The crew (15 men and one woman) abandoned in the yawl as NEW YORK was overwhelmed and sank. The open boat was adrift for five hours when the 74 foot schooner NEMESIS came upon it. NEMESIS tried twelve times to approach the yawl in the rough seas, losing a portion of her deck load of tanbark each time that she came about, but at last she got alongside the yawl. The NEW YORK's crew managed to get aboard the NEMESIS except for Fireman William Sparks who fell between the yawl and the schooner and was lost. The other vessels in the tow all made it to Port Huron safely.

On 14 October 1883, NELLIE GARDNER (wooden schooner-barge, 178 foot, 567 gross tons, built in 1873 at Marine City, Michigan) was loaded with 39,000 bushels of corn while being towed by the steamer JOHN PRIDGEON JR in a storm on Lake Huron. The GARDNER released herself from the tow in the heavy weather to run for the shelter of Thunder Bay under sail. However, she was unable to make it, and turned back for Tawas, Michigan but struck a reef, broke in two and was wrecked 1 mile SE of Scarecrow Island. Her crew made it to shore in her yawl. 

October 15

On 15 October 1871, LA PETITE (wooden schooner, 94 foot, 122 gross tons, built in 1866 at Huron, Ohio) was carrying lumber from Alpena, Michigan to Huron, Ohio when she was caught in a terrific gale on Lake Huron.  The heavy seas carried away the lumber strapped on deck.  Then the vessel sprang a leak and turned on her beam ends.  Capt. O. B. Smith, his wife and four other sailors rode out the storm on the wreck until found by the tug BROCKWAY.  The schooner was towed to Port Huron and repaired.

On her maiden voyage the LEON SIMARD b.) L'ORME NO 1 was spotted traveling eastward on the St. Lawrence River October 15, 1974.

The WOLVERINE (4) departed the American Ship Building Co., October 15, 1974, on her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio light to load stone at Stoneport, Michigan for delivery to Huron, Ohio.

HERBERT C JACKSON cleared Fraser Shipyard on October 15, 1988, after having the 1000 h.p. bow thruster motor installed from the JOHN SHERWIN. The motor from the JACKSON was later repaired and placed in the SHERWIN's cargo hold for future use.

The PAUL H CARNAHAN came out on her maiden voyage October 15, 1961.

On October 15, 1984, the a.) JOHN O McKELLAR (2) was sold to P.& H. Shipping of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd., Mississauga, Ont. and renamed b.) ELMGLEN (2).

Scrapping began on October 15, 1988 of the JOHN T HUTCHINSON at Kaohsiung, Taiwan by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

The C H MC CULLOUGH JR was laid up on October 15, 1969, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The MELDRUM BAY was launched October 15, 1949, as a.) COVERDALE for Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal, Quebec.

The SCOTT MISENER (3) struck bottom October 15, 1973, near Whaleback Shoal on the St. Lawrence River reportedly damaging sixty of her bottom plates. She proceeded to the Port Arthur shipyard for dry docking and repairs from October 20th through the 28th.

On October 15, 1980, the NIPIGON BAY, loaded with ore for Hamilton, Ontario, grounded at the "crossover" near Brockville, Ontario on the St. Lawrence River and sustained a 100-foot rip in her bottom plates. She proceeded to Thunder Bay arriving there on October 24th where repairs were made at an estimated cost of $500,000.

The R P MASON (3 mast wooden schooner, 115 foot, 155 gross tons, built in 1867 at Grand Haven, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Detroit when she struck a rocky reef near Waugoshance Point in the Straits of Mackinac on 8 October 1871. Water gushed in an 8-foot hole. However, she was temporarily patched and her cargo of grain, flour and meat was taken off over the next few days. The tug LEVIATHAN took her in tow, going to Little Traverse Bay, when, on 15 October, they encountered a gale near Cross Village, Michigan. The MASON broke free and capsized. 5 died and 4 were rescued. The MASON drifted ashore upside down. She was eventually salvaged and sailed for another 46 years. She ended her days when she burned in Lake Michigan in 1917.

The tug DOUGLAS caught fire near Wyandotte while going down the Detroit River and sank. The crew all jumped overboard and were saved by the steam yacht JOSEPHINE, except for John Cassidy, one of the firemen, who drowned. A few days later, plans were made to raise and rebuild the DOUGLAS.

On 15 October 1871, R G COBURN (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 193 foot, 867 tons, built in 1870 at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying 15,000 bushels of wheat, 3,500 barrels of flour and 30 barrels of silver ore from Lake Superior to Detroit. As she came down Lake Huron, she encountered a terrific gale which had driven most vessels to seek shelter. The COBURN fought the wind at Saginaw Bay throughout the night until she lost her rudder and turned broadside to the waves. Her large stack fell and smashed the cabin area and then the cargo came loose and started smashing holes in the bulwarks. About 70 passengers were aboard and almost all were terribly seasick. As the ship began her final plunge beneath the waves, only a few lifeboats were getting ready to be launched and those were floated right from the deck as the ship sank. 32 people perished, including Capt. Gilbert Demont. No women or children were saved.

On 15 October 1900, the wooden 186 foot freighter F E SPINNER was sunk in a collision with the steamer H D COFFINBERRY in the St. Mary’s River. She was raised from 125 feet of water, one of the deepest successful salvage operations to that time. She was later renamed HELEN C and lasted until 1922.

October 15, 1910 - After the sinking of the PERE MARQUETTE 18 the previous September, the PERE MARQUETTE 18 (II) was ordered by the Pere Marquette Railway.

On 15 October 1871, the EXCELSIOR (3-mast wooden schooner, 156 foot, 374 gross tons, built in 1865 at Buffalo, New York) was struck by a gale near Thunder Bay on Lake Huron. She sailed through the early morning hours only to sink about 4:30 a.m. Only Charles Lostrom survived. He was on the cabin roof which blew off when the vessel went down. Mr. Lostrom remained on the floating roof-raft for two days and two nights until he was rescued by fishermen near South Hampton light on the Canadian side of Lake Huron.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Jody L. Aho, James Neumiller, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history



Photo Gallery Updated - 2 Pages Today


Photo Gallery


Final Bells for Long-time Great Lakes Sailor Guy Greene


Guy Herbert Greene Jr, 57, of Merrillville, Ind., died Thursday, Oct. 7, aboard the Great Lakes steamer Wilfred Sykes as the vessel was downbound in Lake Michigan for Indiana Harbor.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Guy Greene worked for Ispat - Inland Steel for 25 years and was a wheelsman on the Sykes at the time of his death. He had recently received his 25-year gold watch.

He is survived by his wife, Nina, two daughters and a son, his parents and three brothers.


Port Report



Reported by Lee Rowe
The Lee A. Tregurtha brought coal to the Presque Isle WE power plant on Tuesday, then took on a load of ore.  The Michipicoten came in for a load of ore.


Reported by Bob Vincent
Toledo had three visitors on Tuesday Oct. 12.  The Canadian Miner was loading grain at the Anderson's grain terminal near the train bridge.  The barge/tug Integrity and G. L. Ostrander were at the Lafarge Toledo Terminal.  Both boats were delayed coming into Toledo because a electrical problem with the CSX railroad swing bridge. According to the U. S. Coast Guard, the bridge was down between Sunday at 8 p.m. to Monday 1 p.m.  The Charles M. Beeghly was loaded with coal at the CSX coal dock.

The Blade reported the Toledo port facility, Toledo World Industries (TWI), has been purchased by Midwest Terminals of Toledo.  Currently Midwest is running a stone dock on leased property from CSX.  Midwest has purchased the lease from Oldcastle Materials Group, a division of the building materials conglomerate based in Ireland. The purchase by Midwest has double the size of their business.  They hope to renegotiate the current lease, which ends in 2013, with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.  Midwest has renamed the facility Midwest Terminals of Toledo, International.

Sault Ste. Marie

Reported by Jerry Masson
The new U.S. Coast Guard Alder locked upbound on Tuesday. The day’s other upbound traffic was Stewart J. Cort, Adler, Edwin H. Gott,  Rega, Fred R. White Jr, Algocen, Cason J Callaway, H. Lee White, Canadian Leader. Downbound traffic was Armco, Edgar B. Speer, Sandviken and Yarmouth. C. Columbus departed Soo Harbor at 7:10 p.m. 


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

October 13

On 13 October 1909, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1841 gross tons, built in 1893 at W. Bay City, Michigan) was sailing from Ashtabula, Ohio for Racine, Wisconsin with cargo of coal when she stranded on Grubb Reef in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie.  She then caught fire and was destroyed. Five of the 18 crewmen were lost.

The SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER made her first trip out of Thunder Bay, Ontario with grain on October 13, 1983.

The tug GLENADA towed the BROOKDALE (2) from Port Colborne to Newman's scrap yard at Port Maitland, Ontario the week of October 13, 1980.

On October 13, 1902, the MAUNALOA collided with her whaleback consort barge 129 on Lake Superior and sank it 30 miles northwest of Vermilion Point, which is between Upper Michigan's Crisp and Whitefish Points. The MAUNALOA had been towing the 129, both vessels loaded with iron ore, when the towline parted in heavy seas. While trying to regain control of the barge, they came together and the steamer's port anchor raked the side of the barge which started taking on water. The crew was taken off the barge before it sank.

On 13 October 1875, off Alpena, Michigan, the tug E. H. MILLER had her boiler explode while racing with the tug CITY OF ALPENA -- both in quest of a tow. The ALPENA, who was ahead of the MILLER when she blew up, immediately turned around to pick up survivors. The ALPENA sunk in minutes. The engineer, fireman and a boy were rescued, but the captain and cook were lost. The fireman was in such poor shape that it was thought that he would not live.

On 13 October 1877, the Port Huron Times reported that the tug PRINDIVILLE and the 2-mast schooner PORTLAND had both gone ashore at the Straits of Mackinac and been pounded to pieces.

On 13 October 1886, SELAH CHAMBERLAIN (wooden propeller steam barge, 212 foot, 1207 gross tons, built in 1873 at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with the 222 foot wooden lumber hooker JOHN PRIDGEON JR in heavy fog off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The CHAMBERLAIN had been towing the schooner FAYETTE BROWN. The CHAMBERLAIN sank quickly. Five of the crew went down with the vessel when the lifeboat davits became fouled and they were unable to launch the lifeboat. The rest of the crew made it to shore in the other lifeboat after a 3-hour pull through the fog.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Soo Locks Security Project Almost Done

Security improvements worth about $4 million are almost finished at the Corps of Engineers' Soo Locks complex, according to an article by Jack Storey in a recent edition of the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News.

Area Engineer Stan Jacek said several of the improvements, like bright new lighting, back-up vehicle restraint barriers and new fencing are visible to the public. Other precautions are not visible and Jacek said he was not authorized to discuss them.

He said the new lighting that covers the locks chambers and sections of approach piers is purposely intense. "We can see an ant moving on the piers if we need to," Jacek boasted of the new lighting. A new of security cameras are now in place to view much of the sprawling locks complex, with electronic sensors supplementing the camera surveillance inside the fences. Better security fencing has also been placed along the locks boundary on West Portage Avenue and a revised fencing arrangement remains to be installed along the MacArthur Lock viewing area inside Locks Park.

Jacek said the several security upgrades at the Soo Locks are typical of such expenditures under way at Corps facilities around the country.

Most of the security measures should be complete by December or early next year. Among the items not yet completed is the new fencing along the MacArthur Lock that drew a critical review by tourist industry representatives this spring. Corps designers returned to the drawing board on that fence section and came up with a layout that will closely resemble the tourist-friendly fences now in place along the MacArthur Lock.

Reported by Jason Leslie, The Evening News


Michigan Mounts Effort to Halt Salvage of Shipwreck


Michigan's Attorney General said a Charlevoix, Mich.,  man may or may not have found a shipwreck of historical significance in Lake Michigan, but they nonetheless want to stop him from salvaging it.

Steven Libert, who lives in Virginia and has a home in Charlevoix, has not identified the shipwreck he believes he found near Poverty Island, but told the Traverse City Record Eagle scientific evidence shows it could be the Griffin, the first European ship to sail the upper Great Lakes.

The Griffin, considered by some to be the Holy Grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks, was built by French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and lost in 1679 during its maiden voyage.

Libert has said it's too early to know for sure what he's found, but he’s sued in federal court in Grand Rapids in an effort to take legal possession of the vessel. The State of Michigan recently filed dozens of pages of motions in an effort to intervene and have the lawsuit dismissed.

The state's motion was filed on behalf of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries and the Department of Environmental Quality, and allege that state law and the Abandoned Shipwreck Act give Michigan ownership of shipwrecks of historical significance on its bottomlands in the Great Lakes.

James R. Piggush, assistant attorney general, said in the filings that Libert's company, Great Lakes Exploration LLC, has not properly identified the shipwreck it seeks. The ship is described in the lawsuit as being located in a 38.5-square-mile area near Poverty Island, off the mouth of Green Bay. Great Lakes Exploration filed photos of the "purported wreck," Piggush wrote, but the photos only reveal something that "appears out of the (Lake Michigan) bottom looking much like a needle." Piggush wrote that if a vessel that matches Libert's description is there, it could be of historical significance.

"A 45-ton, 40- to 60-foot long, wooden, hand-built sailing vessel with a beam of 10 to 22 feet, and a crew of five, lost and abandoned near Poverty Island prior to the 20th century, would be a significant archaeological find," Piggush wrote.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Mather Museum Presents Theater Work “Voices of the Lakes”


What was it really like sailing on a Great Lakes ore boat through calm waters and heavy weather?  At the Steamship William G. Mather Museum’s free October 27 landLubber program, “Voices of the Lakes: Oral Histories of Mather Crew,” visitors will hear the heartwarming, humorous, and harrowing tales of life onboard the Mather in the words of former crewmembers and guests.

At 7 p.m., current Mather Museum crew members will play the roles of sailors and passengers from throughout the vessel’s 55-year career as a Great Lakes ore boat in a readers‚ theater presentation at Cleveland Metroparks‚ Canal Way Center, 4524 E. 49th St. in Cuyahoga Heights.  Admission is free and no reservations are required.

Visit Cleveland Metroparks online at  For information on the Mather, call 216-574-6262 or visit her berth on the internet at

Reported by William G. Mather Musuem


Port Report



Reported by Al Miller

The work week opened Monday with several vessels busy in Duluth and Superior. Adam E. Cornelius was loading under the gravity chutes at the DMIR. The vessel, a rare caller in the Twin Ports, arrived late Sunday afternoon with stone. Also Monday morning, Gordon C. Leitch was ready to load at Cenex Harvest States elevator and Algocape was unloading at St. Lawrence Cement terminal. Kwintebank was ready to load at General Mills in Duluth -- one of the few vessels to call there in recent months. Middletown remained in drydock at Fraser Shipyards undergoing repairs to bottom damage it suffered in the St. Marys River.

The Buckeye was expected to arrive at DMIR Monday with stone. Midwest Energy Terminal was expecting three vessels Monday: Columbia Star, Canadian Enterprise and Paul R. Tregurtha. Columbia Star is expected to return Tuesday after a short trip to Silver Bay.

Both DMIR ore docks are expected to be busy this week. In Duluth, the action centers on the dock's stone hopper. The lineup is Roger Blough and Joe Block, Tuesday with stone; Cason J. Callaway, Wednesday with stone. In Two Harbors, the lineup is Buckeye on Monday; Edwin H. Gott, Joe Block and Roger Blough, all due Wednesday; James R. Barker and Cason J. Callaway, due Friday; and John G. Munson, due Saturday.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
he Saginaw River continued to see a good amount of traffic on Sunday as a number of vessels were moving on the river.  The tug Joe Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson were outbound Sunday morning after unloading overnight at the Saginaw Rock Products dock.
The tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks arrived early Sunday morning and tied up at the Dow Chemical dock waiting a number of hours there for daylight and for the outbound Joe Thompson to pass.  She them went upriver to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.
The Agawa Canyon departed the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee and turned in the Sixth Street basin before heading outbound for the lake.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Wirt Stone dock in Bay City to unload.  Once finished, she turned in the basin at the foot of the Wirt dock and headed outbound for the lake late in the afternoon Sunday.
Once the Invincible/McKee Sons had cleared, the Canadian Transfer headed inbound for an undisclosed dock in Saginaw to unload.

Sault Ste. Marie

Reported by Jerry Masson
The downbound Algontario, fresh from a refit and on her first trip since 1999, cleared the locks at 7 p.m.


Reported by Ron Walsh
Kingston was a hive of activity Monday as the passenger ships make their final trips of the season. The Island Queen, Island belle and Island Star are still running but at reduced schedules. The Island Belle is due for lay up in a week while the Island Queen will follow a week later. She will go into drydock for her five year inspection. The Island Star will stay for a few trips late in October.

Grande Mariner visited Kingston overnight. She departed at 1200 for Oswego. There they will lower masts etc. and head down the Erie barge canal to the Hudson River, New York City and eventually Warren R.I. for winter layup. Her sister ship, the Grande Caribe, was eastbound in the Seaway Monday.

As the Mariner departed, the Kawartha Voyager docked at Crawford Wharf in order to take off some crew. She has one more trip before her season ends. She will depart for Picton and Trenton, before the Canadian Empress arrives at 1400. The Empress will leave at 1900 for one of her final voyages of the year. The car ferry Frontenac continues to service Wolfe Island as the Wolfe Islander III is in drydock in Hamilton. The Quinte Loyalist is on the Amherst Island run during this time.

The CCGS Griffon was also headed for Kingston, eta 1845. The tug Vigilant 1 is also downbound for Kingston, 2145 midlake. The tour boat General Brock left Kingston for Brockville at 2000. She has a last trip for Oct.28


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

October 12

On the night of 12 October 1871, the grain laden schooner PLOVER struck a reef near Whitefish Point on Lake Superior, put a hole in her hull and sank in deep water.  Captain Jones and the crew of 8 escaped in the yawl.  They spent two days making their way to Sault Ste. Marie.

The JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York. She was released October 12, 1981 and returned to service after repairs were completed at the Canadian Vickers Montreal yard.

The CLIFFS VICTORY was sold October 12, 1985, to Hai International Corp. of New York for scrapping in the Orient and transferred to Panamanian registry. Her name was changed to c.) SAVIC, utilizing the "S" from CLIFFS, the "VIC" from VICTORY and inserting an "A". All the other letters were painted out.

The JOHN A. KLING sailed on her maiden voyage for the Rockport Steamship Co. (Reiss Steamship Co., mgr.) on October 12, 1922, light from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to load stone at Rockport, Michigan.  Sold into Canadian registry in 1981, renamed b.) LEADALE.  She was scrapped at Ramey’s Bend in 1983.

The keel was laid October 12, 1925, for the Interlake Steamship Co.’s steamer COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS.

The SYLVANIA returned to service on October 12, 1967. She sank at the Peerless Cement Co. Dock at Port Huron, Michigan in June of that year after being struck by the Canada Steamship Lines package freight steamer RENVOYLE.

The tug EDNA G. remained at Two Harbors, Minnesota until October 12, 1993, when she was towed to the Fraser Shipyard at Superior, Wisconsin by the Great Lakes Towing Co. tug KANSAS. She is now on display as a floating exhibit for the city.

On October 12, 1967, the  Papachristidis Company Limited’s  a.) FEUX FOLLETS entered service with the distinction of being the last steam-powered vessel built on the Great Lakes. The vessel was renamed b.) CANADIAN LEADER when it was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972.

At 3:00 a.m., 12 October 1870, the 76 ton tug ONTARIO caught fire and burned to the waterline while lying at Harrow's dock in Algonac, Michigan.

On 12 October 1901, ALVINA (wooden schooner-rigged scow-barge, 89 foot, 95 gross tons, built in 1871 at Fair Haven, Michigan) was being towed by the steamer WESTON and had a load of 700 barrels of lubricating oil. They were bound from Cleveland for Manistique. The ALVINA was overwhelmed in a storm and sank near Thunder Bay Island in Lake Huron. Her entire crew made it to shore in her yawl. Her cargo was salvaged five days later.

On 12 October 1880, TRADER (wooden propeller, 115 foot, 169 gross tons, built in 1865 at Marine City, Michigan) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was battered severely and became waterlogged. Her crew abandoned her with water up to her decks. They were saved by the schooner GUIDE in a daring rescue. A few days later, in the "Alpena Storm", her wreckage washed ashore near Holland, Michigan and she was erroneously reported as another "all-hands" victim of that storm.

On 12 October 1874, on her maiden voyage, the tug MARY passed Port Huron down bound with the bark FAVORITE in tow. The tug was owned by William Hardison of Port Huron.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Soo’s Marine Library Closes its Doors

The American Merchant Marine Library Association’s Marine Library, which for 69 years provided reading material for free to Great Lakes sailors as their vessels passed through the Soo Locks, has checked out its last book.

AMMLA’s Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., branch – also dubbed the Public Library of the High Seas  – was shut down in April. Lack of funding was blamed by AMMLA’s New York office as the reason for the closure. Modern technology also contributed to the demise of the library. Sailors aboard Great Lakes vessels have access to cellular phones to keep in contact with friends and family, and most of the boats now have satellite television, videos and DVDs readily available on board.

Most of the library’s hardbound volumes were distributed to area libraries, while paperback books were packaged in cartons and offered to passing vessels. Some out of date and badly worn materials were taken to a landfill. The Sault Ste. Marie branch of the AMMLA traced its history to 1935. The service was forced to move in 1943 by the construction of the MacArthur Lock to the former Weather Service building, a two-story brick structure built in 1899 on the grounds of the Soo Locks.

The primary mission of the AMMLA was to distribute educational and recreational reading material to ships passing through the locks. However, other services were provided, including lodging and travel arrangements, communications assistance, transportation to airports, hospitals and other Sault locations, delivering and sending mail, writing letters and assisting the spouses of seamen. The library staff was also called upon to arrange medical and dental treatments, cash checks, and in one case, handle funeral arrangements. The library building also provided a lounge area for sailors waiting to catch a passing vessel or waiting for transportation after leaving a ship in the locks.

The building that formerly housed the AMMLA is now being used as a temporary office for the new Soo Locks Visitors Center Association.

Reported by Dave Wobser, Noel Weaver


Welland Boatnerd Gathering Oct. 15-17


Plan now to attend the Annual Welland Canal Boatnerd Gathering this coming Friday-Sunday.
Friday evening we will be holding a mini-Marine Mart with a select number of vendors offering their wares at the Canadian Corps #44 (up stairs), 7 Clairmont St., in Thorold, beginning at 6 p.m. This will be followed by a slide show at 7:30. Bring a tray of your best slides to show to the group. Raffle tickets will be sold and a number of prizes will be given away during the evening. Cash bar downstairs.

We are still trying to schedule a tour of the Port Weller Drydock for Friday morning, but have been unsuccessful so far. Watch this page for changes.
Saturday morning begins with a self-guided walking tour of the International Marine Salvage scrapyard located at the south end of Welland Street in Port Colborne. There are not ships presently being scrapped, but a number of parts are still on the ground. We will be free to walk the grounds from 10 a.m. until Noon.
Saturday evening will be a repeat of the Friday mini-mart beginning at 6 p.m. This evening will be a joint meeting with the Welland Canal Ship Society At 7:30 there will be a slide presentation by Gerry O. titled “Russel Brothers Steelcraft.” This will be followed by slides from anyone who brings a tray to share.

Admission is free to all Boatnerd events, paid in part by your purchase of Boatnerd logo stickers, which will be for sale all weekend (see Dave Wobser for details).
Saturday and Sunday the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Visitors Centre at Lock 3 will be offering FREE admission and a 10 percent discount on selected items in the gift shop. Identify yourself as a Boatnerd.
Reported by Dave Wobser

David Stockman was a big winner during last year’s Welland Gathering. This could be you!


Library Awarded for Archival Work with Lake Superior Maritime Collections


The University of Wisconsin-Superior's Jim Dan Hill Library has received the Governor's Award for Archival Achievement for its work in preserving and organizing thousands of documents, photographs and books chronicling the maritime history of Lake Superior.

Dr. Peter Gottlieb, representing the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Historical Society, presented the Governor’s Award for Archival Achievement to Laura Jacobs, archivist for the Lake Superior Maritime Collections Archives. The award is given each year to a historical records repository that has made an outstanding contribution to the archival profession, or a notable achievement of value to the archives community, its patrons or constituents.

The Lake Superior Marine Museum Association began the collection in 1973. Association board members transferred the collection to Jim Dan Hill Library in 2000 after concluding the more than 30,000 items could no longer be housed at the Canal Park Visitors Center in Duluth.

The Lake Superior Maritime Collections Archives are available to the public at Jim Dan Hill Library on the UW-Superior campus. For more information, visit the library's website at or call 715-394-8343.

Reported by Al Miller


Port Report



Reported by Bob Vincent
The Atlantic Huron was expected to unload ore from Port Cartier at Torco Sunday at 3 a.m. After unloading, it will be loaded with coal.  Monday the Charles M. Beeghly is due for coal at 10 a.m. Tuesday the Herbert C. Jackson is due for coal at 1 p.m.

The Rt. Hon Paul J. Martin was being load with grain at the Anderson dock Saturday night. The Gemini is in temporary lay-up at LakeFront dock, the same slip as the Courtney Burton.


Reported by Brian Johnson
The carferry Wolfe Islander III departed Kingston on Monday, October 4 for Hamilton. The ferry will undergo a refit at Heddle Marine for her five year inspection as well as to modify her interior and exterior. It is expected the work will take about six or seven weeks. Meantime, the Amherst Island ferry Frontenac II has replaced her on the Kingston to Wolfe Island run. The Quinte Loyalist from Glenora, in turn, has replaced the Frontenac II.


Reported by Lee Rowe
Marquette saw both the American Mariner and Charles M. Beeghly load ore on Friday. The day turned stormy, but brightened later with a rainbow. The Michipicoten was expected late with a load of coke breeze. She will then take on ore.


Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain
The Paul H. Townsend was anchored offshore in Thunder Bay waiting on weather Saturday. It was expected to come into port late that night or by early Sunday morning.

The G.L. Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge Saturday afternoon to take on cement.

The J.A.W. Iglehart delivered cement to Saginaw on Saturday. The Iglehart is expected to return on Sunday morning to load.  The Steamer Alpena is in Superior, WI. The McKee Sons/ tug Invincible was taking on cargo at Stoneport on Saturday. The tug Nancy Anne was tied up in the river over the weekend.

Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain

Thunder Bay

Reported by Rob Farrow
After moving from Cargill to Agricore and finally to Sask Pool 7a, the refurbished Algontario departed Thunder Bay downbound on Sunday. She is bound for Montreal with grain.


Reported by Scott Best
On Tuesday, October 5 the Varnebank made its second ever trip to Menominee with a load of wood pulp. The Varnebank had a quick unload and less than 24 hours after arriving she was on her way to Duluth for her next cargo. Last year the Varnebank visited Menominee in November.



Reported by Todd Shorkey
Last Thursday saw a number of vessels transiting the Saginaw River. Outbound Thursday morning was the tug Cleveland and barge Cleveland Rocks.  The pair had spent the night unloading at the GM dock in Saginaw after arriving early on Wednesday.
Passing the outbound Cleveland was the inbound tug Rebecca Lynn and barge A-410. The pair called on the Triple Clean dock in Essexville to unload.
Also inbound Thursday afternoon was the Adam E. Cornelius.  The Cornelius called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload.

The Tug Invincible and Barge McKee Sons were inbound early Friday morning with a split load.  The pair stopped at the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before continuing upriver to Saginaw to finish her unload.  They were outbound late Friday night.
The tug Rebecca Lynn was outbound Friday morning after unloading at Triple Clean overnight.

The J.A.W. Iglehart was outbound from the LaFarge Terminal in Carrollton Saturday evening after unloading there overnight.
Inbound was the tug Joe Thompson, Jr. & barge Joseph H. Thompson. The pair called on the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter and then once the Iglehart passed downbound, continued upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock Products dock.
The Agawa Canyon was also inbound late Saturday night headed to the Sargent dock in Zilwaukee to unload.



Today in Great Lakes History

October 10

On 10 October 1902, GARDEN CITY (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 133 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873 at Ogdensburg, New York) caught fire on the Saginaw River between Bay City and Saginaw while sailing up the river for winter lay-up.  She sank four miles above Bay City near the old interurban railroad bridge.

While downbound with coal in the St. Lawrence River on October 10,1981, the JEAN PARISIEN suffered considerable bottom damage when she ran aground near Comfort Island about a mile west of Alexandria Bay, New York.

The BROOKDALE (2) was towed out of Toronto on October 10, 1980, by the tug GLENADA, assisted by the tug TERRY S. She was one her way to the cutters torch at Port Maitland, Ontario.

The CHAMPLAIN (3), with her former fleet mate CADILLAC (4) was towed past Gibraltar October 10, 1987, heading for Aliaga, Turkey for dismantling by Cukurova Celik Endustrisi A.S.

The SAVIC b.) CLIFFS VICTORY cleared New York on October 10, 1986.

The HULL NO 1, ex KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (1), being towed by the Polish tug JANTAR arrived in Aliaga, Turkey on October 10, 1989 to be scrapped there.

October 10, 1906 - The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was sold to The Barry Transportation Co. for $75,000. The PERE MARQUETTE 5 was the last of the "break-bulk" boats operated by the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

On 10 October 1905, CHARLES H. BURTON (3 mast wooden schooner, 158 foot, 514 gross tons, built in 1873 at Bangor, Michigan) was carrying coal in a storm in Lake Erie when she was driven ashore 4 1/2 miles east of Barcelona, New York and broke up. No lives were lost. She had been built on the hull of the bark GLENBULAH that had burned in the Chicago fire of 1871.

On 10 October 1877, ELIZA R. TURNER (wooden schooner, 156 foot, 409 gross tons, built in 1867 at Trenton, Michigan) was carrying wheat from Detroit to Buffalo when a storm drove her aground nine miles west of Long Point on Lake Erie where she was wrecked. The skipper and cook drowned, but the remaining 8 were saved.

The tug CRUSADER of Oswego burned and sank in the middle of the Straits of Mackinac about 9:00 p.m. on 10 October 1878.

On 10 October 1877, ABEONA (wooden scow-schooner, 100 tons, built in 1863 at Lambert, Ontario) was carrying lumber and shingles down bound on Lake Huron when she stranded during a storm one mile west of Port Austin where she reportedly later broke up.

In 1877, PORTLAND (2-mast wooden schooner, 118 foot, 250 tons, built in 1847 at Pillar Point, New York) stranded and went to pieces north of False Presque Isle on Lake Huron. Salvage attempts only retrieved her anchor and chain.

Today in Great Lakes History - October 11

MEDINA (wooden propeller tug, 66 foot, 57 gross tons) was launched by O’Grady & Maher at Buffalo, New York on 11 October 1890.  She cost $12,000.

The BAIE COMEAU II cleared Sorel October 11, 1983, as c.) AGIA TRIAS, Panamanian registry #1355. Her Canadian registry was closed on October 12, 1983. Her mission was to carry grain from New Orleans, Louisiana. to Mexican and Caribbean Island ports. Subsequently she was renamed d.) OCEANVIEW  in 1988, e.) SEA DIAMOND in 1989, f.) GOLDEN CREST in 1990, g.) ATLANTIC WOOD in 1991, h.) LONDON FURY in 1994 and i.) DONG SHENG in 1995.

The MERCURY (2) scraped the South Grand Island Bridge in the Niagara River in heavy fog on October 11, 1974. Her forward mast snapped off, the midship mast was tilted and her smoke stack was toppled. She proceeded after the mishap to G&W Welding at Cleveland, Ohio under her own power for repairs.

WHEAT KING, under tow arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh on October 11, 1989, to be broken up.

In 1911 the rail ferry CHIEF WAWATAM arrived at St. Ignace, Michigan and began service shortly thereafter.

On 11 October 1913, THOMAS H CAHOON (3 mast wooden schooner-barge, 166 foot, 431 gross tons, built in 1881 at E. Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying lumber in tow of the steamer C W CHAMBERLAIN. They were bound from Sault Ste. Marie to Byng Inlet. However during a storm, the CAHOON stranded and went to pieces on “Kenny Shoal” by the southwest corner of Innes Island in Georgian Bay. No lives were lost.

On 11 October 1839, DEWITT CLINTON (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 147 foot, 413 tons, built in 1836 at Huron, Ohio) foundered off Milwaukee with the loss of 5 lives. She was recovered the following year and lasted until 1851. She and her near-twin ROBERT FULTON were reportedly the first Lake steamers built primarily as freighters with relatively few passenger accommodations.

On 11 October 1866, GREAT WEST (wooden 3-mast bark, 175 foot, 765 tons, built in 1854 at Buffalo, New York) was carrying wheat in a storm on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef. She was reported to be a total loss but she may have been recovered and then lost near Chicago in 1876. When launched, she was the largest sailing vessel on the Lakes and much was made of her beautiful lines. She was diagonally braced with iron. She stood 174 feet tall from her deck to her masthead. So if she were sailing today, although she'd be able to sail under the Mackinac Bridge, she'd be stopped at the Blue Water Bridge whose roadway is only 152 feet above the water.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Green Bay Traffic Up Significantly This Year


The port of Green Bay has been bustling during the last year, according to a story in a recent edition of the Green Bay News-Chronicle. Thursday U.S. Deputy Maritime Administrator John Jamian came to town to see for himself.

Green Bay has experienced a 36 percent increase in supplies coming in on U.S. flag ships as compared to last year.

There has been a 17 percent increase in cement and 56 percent increase in coal brought into Green Bay on U.S. flagships over the last year.

Jamian said the increase in supplies shipped to the port are indicators of a strengthening economy and should mean more jobs for the area.

Meanwhile, Dean Haen, Brown County port manager, told the newspaper there are also some objectives he would like to accomplish.

If the channel were deepened from 24 feet to 26 feet, ships carrying steel, fertilizer and other construction-related materials could enter Green Bay.

While the port of Green Bay is growing as a commercial destination, making Green Bay into a cruise ship destination would be challenging. Haen said the biggest barrier is Green Bay's location. It is not on the way to other destinations, he said.

Reported by the Green Bay News Chronicle


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History


On 08-09 October 1871, NAVARINO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 184 foot, 761 tons, built in 1870 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was lying at a dock when the Chicago fire swept through the city.  The vessel tried to pull away from the dock and get to the safety of Lake Michigan, but the wind which was being drawn into the fire held her against the dock.  She burned to a total loss; no lives were lost.  Her machinery was later salvaged and used in the new propeller MENOMINEE.

The CHIMO b.) CANADIAN RANGER was moved onto the Port Weller Dry Dock on October 9, 1983 where work began to cut her apart forward of her aft located pilot house and engine room

The GULF MACKENZIE b.) L ROCHETTE - 1985) was launched at Sorel, Quebec by Marine Indusrties, Ltd.on October 9, 1976

The Pioneer Shipping, Ltd. SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER arrived in the Welland Canal on her delivery trip October 9, 1983, en route for her formal christening at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull# 288) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan by Detroit Ship Building Co. on October 9, 1920, for the Globe Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio (G.A. Tomlinson, mgr.)

On October 9, 1984 the PATERSON (1) was sold to Shearmet Recycling, a Thunder Bay, Ontario ship breaker, and was broken up at their Mission River dock.

The a.) COL JAMES M. SCHOONMAKER b.) WILLIS B. BOYER) sailed from the Great Lakes Engineering Works on her maiden voyage on October 9, 1911, to Toledo, Ohio where she loaded coal bound for Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The SCHOONMAKER was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when she came out. For much of the decade this vessel either broke or held many bulk cargo records.

On 9 October 1820, ASP (wooden schooner, 57 tons, built in 1808 at Mississauga, Ontario) was carrying lumber and staves when she sprang a leak near Long Point in Lake Ontario. She waterlogged, then capsized. The upturned vessel was driven across the lake and finally went ashore off the Salmon River at Mexico Bay, New York and broke up quickly. 9 of the 11 onboard lost their lives. She was originally built as the British armed schooner ELIZABETH.

On 9 October 1931, CHARLES H. BRADLEY (wooden propeller, 201 foot, 804 gross tons, built in 1890 at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying pulpwood and towing the barge GRAMPIAN. She was traversing the Portage Canal in the Keweenaw Peninsula when she ran onto a bar and stranded. The barge kept coming and ploughed into her stern. The Bradley caught fire and burned to the waterline. The wreck still lies in 6' - 17' of water just off the mouth of the Sturgeon River.

On 9 October 1895, AFRICA (wooden propeller steam barge, 135 foot, 352 gross tons, built in 1873 at Kingston, Ontario) was towing the schooner SEVERN in a storm on Lake Huron when she struck a reef, 15 miles south of Cove Island light on Lake Huron. She released SEVERN which rode out the storm. However, AFRICA broke up in that storm. All 13 of her crew were lost.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Algontario, Canadian Ranger Complete Refits


The long-idled Algontario, her repair and refit complete, departed PASCOL Engineering at approximately 1600 hours Thursday to conduct sea trials in Thunder Bay harbor. They finished around 1800 hours and will be berthing at Keefer Terminal for the night.

On April 5, 1999, Algontario grounded in the St. Marys River north of Johnson’s Point while upbound for Duluth with a cargo of cement. The damage incurred sent the vessel immediately into lay-up, where she remained until this season’s improved cargo outlook made repairs practical. Her return to service is good news for boatwatchers, who feared she would never sail again.

The Canadian Ranger is also on the move. She has departed Port Weller Drydocks after an extensive refit and is on her way to Duluth.

(Pictures in the Photo Gallery)

Reported by Tom Stewart, Kent Malo


Maritime Academy Plans Open House Saturday


The Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Mich., will host an open house Saturday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Attendees will be able to tour the school’s new maritime facility, view the training vessel State of Michigan and explore admissions options. For more information, call (800) 748-0566 ext. 1200.


Port of Indiana Cargos On the Increase for 2004


Deliveries of steel and limestone weighed in at 110,000 tons more than last year at the Port of Indiana, helping to make the shipping season a strong one, officials said.

The Lake Michigan Port reported a total of 1.3 million tons of cargo in the first eight months of 2004, up 8 percent over the same period last year, said Jody Peacock, spokesman for the Ports of Indiana.

The main increases at Burns Harbor were in steel, up 14 percent, and limestone, up 19 percent, Peacock said.

Port officials expect an equally strong September and October. Helping to tip the scales at Burns Harbor was cargo handler Federal Marine Terminals, which unloaded 100,000 tons of rolled steel coils in August alone, up from an average of about 75,000 tons a month, General Manager Ian Hirt said.

The steel cargo was shipped from Russia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other European nations for processing at steelmaking plants in Northwest Indiana, the Chicago metro area and the rest of the Midwest, Hirt said. Driving the heavy traffic is high demand for steel and strong prices.

Reported by Jason Leslie


Manitowoc Marks Shipbuilding Tradition With Reunion


The tradition of shipbuilding in Manitowoc, from schooners to yachts, is being celebrated this week at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Shipbuilding in Manitowoc reached its peak when 28 submarines were built for use by the U.S. Navy during World War II.

This week, the museum, along with local chapters of national submarine veteran organizations, is hosting a reunion to pay tribute to former crewmembers of the submarines built in Manitowoc during World War II, and the shipyard workers who built them.

It marks the first time the two groups have come together for a reunion. A reunion exclusively for those who manned the submarines drew 1,000 sailors in 1988.

“The shipyard builders were extremely important; they kind of worked side-by-side with the sailors,” Wisconsin Maritime Museum Curator Bill Thiesen said. 

The reunion is expected to draw between 150 and 200 people. Theisen expects it will be the final event of its kind, as America’s Greatest Generation is aging and its numbers shrinking. According to state statistics, more than 7,000 Wisconsin WWII veterans, many now in their 80s and 90s, died last year.

Theisen said the event, which runs through Sunday, will feature activities and venues reflective of the 1940s.

Reported by Wisconsin Maritime Museum


Funds Earmarked for Asian Carp Barrier


U.S. Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH), George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and Congressman Dave Hobson (R-IL) announced Thursday that the Great Lakes will now receive new protections against a destructive fish species thanks to $6.825 million in federal funds. The funds will complete a second layer of protection to the electrified barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.  The funds were authorized through the Fiscal Year 2005 District of Columbia Appropriations bill.  The language in the D.C. Appropriations bill allows an additional $1.825 million in federal funds to supplement the previously allocated $5 million in federal funds to be spent, along with state and local contributions, on construction of the barrier.

Senator DeWine, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, worked with Hobson and Voinovich to include an additional $1.825 million in funding in his bill to supplement $5 million in federal funds and contributions from Great Lakes states to complete work on the barrier.

The protective barrier is an Army Corps of Engineers project, which is typically funded through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. However, due to unrelated issues, the energy and water bills in the House and Senate have been stalled. Hobson, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, worked with DeWine, Chairman of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Voinovich to authorize the additional funding for the barrier through the D.C. Appropriations bill because of its readiness to become law.

The barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal was authorized in 1996 under the National Invasive Species Act to prevent non-native species from moving between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.  The original barrier was designed to be temporary, and it is close to the end of its expected service life.  The barrier is the only thing that is preventing Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes system.  Asian carp, which are not native to the region, are traveling up the Mississippi River and threaten to cause ecological damage to the Great Lakes region because of their voracious eating and their tendency to rapidly reproduce.  A second barrier is needed before the first barrier fails to ensure that Asian carp are not able to move freely from the Mississippi River into the Great Lakes.

After the District of Columbia Appropriations bill Conference Report passes Congress, it will be sent to the President for his signature.

Reported by Al Hart


Port Report


Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader were back for the second time in three days with another split load arriving early Tuesday morning.  This time, the pair lightered at the Wirt dock in Bay City before proceeding upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  They were outbound passing through Bay City late Tuesday night.
The Algoway was also inbound Tuesday, calling on the North Star dock in Essexville to unload.  She was expected to be outbound early Wednesday morning. 


Photo Gallery Updated
(2 pages!!)


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History

On 08 October 1871, PHILO PARSONS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 221 tons, built in 1861 at Algonac, MI\ichigan) burned to a total loss in the great Chicago fire.  She burned so completely that her remains were not located in the Chicago River until 1877.  She was the vessel commandeered by Confederate raiders in a plot to capture the iron gunboat U.S.S. MICHIGAN on Lake Erie during the American Civil War.

The keel was laid October 8, 1976, for the 660 foot forward section of the a.) BURNS HARBOR, but was completed as b.) LEWIS WILSON FOY for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Purchased by Oglebay Norton in 1991, renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON.

The MATHEWSTON b.) RALPH S MISENER (2) entered service on October 8, 1922. On her maiden voyage she sailed from Port Arthur, Ontario with 11,634 tons of barley and wheat.

The Canadian registry for MENIHEK LAKE was officially closed on October 8, 1985, with the notation "sold Spain."

The WILLIAM G MATHER arrived on October 8, 1988, in tow of the Great Lakes Towing Co. tugs WYOMING and ALABAMA at the G&W Shipyard at Collision Bend in the Cuyahoga River to be refurbished.

On 8 October 1906, PASADENA (wooden barge, 250 foot, 1761 gross tons, built in 1889 at Cleveland, Ohio as a propeller bulk freighter) was carrying coal, in tow of the steamer GLADSTONE, bound for Superior, Wisconsin. The PASADENA went out of control in a gale and her skipper had the tow line cut. She was thrown against a pier near the upper entry to the Keweenaw Waterway and pounded to pieces in a few hours. Two lives were lost, but 8 made it to shore on the floating wreckage.

On 8 October 1854, E K COLLINS (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 256 foot, 1095 gross tons, built in 1853 at Newport, Michigan) caught fire and beached near the mouth of the Detroit River where she burned to the waterline. About 23 lives were lost. About 43 persons were rescued in small boats and by the steamers FINTRY and GLOBE. There was some speculation that arson was the cause. The hull was recovered in 1857 and rebuilt as the barge ARK.

On 8 October 1871, the Chicago fire destroyed many fine vessels while they were docked in the harbor. These included the new propeller NAVARINO, the steamer PHILO PARSONS, the schooner GLENBULA, the schooner ECLIPSE, the schooner BUTCHER BOY, the bark VALETTA, the schooner ALNWICK, the bark A P NICHOLS, the bark FONTANELLA, the fore-and-aft schooner STAMPEDE, the schooner N C FORD, and the schooner CHRISTINA NEILSON. The only recorded casualties among the sailors were on the ALNWICK; her mate died and the captain burned his hands severely.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history.


Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Judge Declines Oglebay Norton Reorganization Plan


United States Bankruptcy Judge Joel B. Rosenthal of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware Tuesday declined to confirm the Oglebay Norton Co.’s joint amended plan of reorganization. While he agreed that the plan was feasible in every other regard, he said he had not heard evidence to address his concerns related to insurance for tort liability claims. The company said it would file a motion with the court to put on more evidence on this matter. The next regularly scheduled hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Delaware.

 "We obviously are disappointed with the ruling today, but we are gratified that the judge overruled all other objections related to the plan," said Michael D. Lundin, president and chief executive officer of the company. "Management continues to believe that our proposed plan of reorganization provides the best outcome for all stakeholders and would enable Oglebay Norton to emerge as a strong company with a new capital structure."

Reported by Jason Leslie


Mather Museum to Mark Edmund Fitzgerald Loss


For the third year in a row, the Steamship William G. Mather Museum at Cleveland‚s North Coast Harbor is remembering the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald with special guided tours comparing and contrasting the similar Great Lakes freighters.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, 90-minute “Remembering the Fitz” tours will leave every half hour between 1 and 3 p.m. Admission is free but reservations are required because space is limited. Recommended for those high school age and older, reservations can be made at 216-574-9053.

Reported by Rob Catalano


Port Report



Reported by Andy Laborde
Milwaukee based Midwest Maritime Corp. took over the WE Energies coal shuttle  Monday, Oct. 4. with their tug the Leona B and Capt. Thomas V. Balistreri  doing the honors.

Prior to 1990, ASC's MV Nicolet supplied the power plant in Milwaukee's Menomonee River Valley. The coal was delivered to the Reiss coal dock in Sheboygan  by O/N vessels and then reloaded on the Nicolet. The Nicolet was one of the last self unloaders small enough to make its way up to the power plant. A round trip took approximately 24 hours. When the Nicolet laid up in Toledo for the last time in 1990 the coal was delivered to the Milwaukee Bulk Terminal at the foot of Greenfield Ave., first by O/N and now by Interlake vessels. Kadinger  Marine Services tugs were used to shift the barges to the power plant until  Monday when Midwest Maritime took over the run.


Reported by Al Miller
Middletown remained in drydock Tuesday at Fraser Shipyards undergoing bottom repairs. The vessel rubbed bottom in the St. Marys River while upbound. It came into the yard Monday morning.


Reported by Lee Rowe
The Kaye E. Barker loaded ore in Marquette on Monday.  The Reserve and  David Z. Norton were expected Tuesday morning.


Reported by Frederick Frechette
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 docked Mondayevening in Quebec City with 10,000 on-lookers. At the very same time, with less prestige but good seamanship, the Halifax entered St. Charles River estuary, swung around 180 degrees, then slowly docked between two ships. The Halifax was arriving in ballast from Pictou, N.S. loading millscale for Indiana Harbor.



Photo Gallery Updated


Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History, Oct. 1-6

Today in Great Lakes History - October 01

On 01 October 1888, the ST. CLAIR (3-masted wooden schooner, 156 foot, 296 gross tons, built in 1859 at Montreal as a bark) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Huron as part of a 5-barge tow of the tug CHAMPION.  She broke loose and came to anchor off Harbor Beach, Michigan.  The anchor dragged and she sank near the mouth of the harbor.  The crew was rescued by the U.S. Life Saving Service.  However, this rescue was ill fated since all were taken in the Lifesavers surfboat and the boat was rowed 23 miles to Port Sanilac.  100 yards from shore, just a half mile from Port Sanilac, the surfboat capsized and five lives were lost.  The wreck of the St. Clair was later lightered, raised and towed out into the lake and re-sunk.

The CHICAGO TRADER was laid up on October 1, 1976, at the Frog Pond in Toledo.

Dismantling commenced October 1, 1974, on the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT (1) at Santander, Spain.

October 1, 1997 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 was towed out of Ludington to be converted to a barge.

On 1 October 1843, ALBANY (wooden brig, 110 tons, built in 1835 at Oswego, New York) was carrying merchandise and passengers when she went aground in a storm and was wrecked just a few miles from Mackinaw City, Michigan.

The steam barge C H GREEN was launched at E. Saginaw, Michigan for Mason, Green & Corning of Saginaw on 1 October 1881. She was schooner rigged and spent her first year as a tow barge. The following winter her engine and boiler were installed. Her dimensions were 197 x 33 x 13 feet, 920 tons. She cost $70,000.

On 1 October 1869, SEA GULL (wooden schooner, 83 tons, built in 1845 at Milan, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was driven ashore and wrecked south of Grand Haven, Michigan. The wreck was pulled off the beach a few days later, but was declared a constructive loss, stripped and abandoned. She was owned by Capt. Henry Smith of Grand Haven.


Today in Great Lakes History - October 02

On 02 October 1901, M M DRAKE (wooden propeller freighter, 201 foot, 1102 gross tons, built in 1882 at Buffalo, New York) and her consort MICHIGAN (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 213 foot, 1057 gross tons, built in 1874 at Detroit, Michigan) were loaded with iron ore while sailing in a strong gale on Lake Superior.  The MICHIGAN began to leak and the DRAKE came around to take off her crew, but the two vessels collided.  Both sank off Vermilion Point, Michigan.  One life was lost.  As the vessels sank, the passing steamers NORTHERN WAVE and CRESCENT CITY stood by and rescued the crews.

CANADIAN OLYMPIC was christened on October 2, 1976, at St. Catharines, Ontario.  Her name honors the Olympic Games that were held at Montreal that year.

The TADOUSSAC (2) departed Collingwood on her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.on October 2, 1969, to load iron ore at Fort William, Ontario.

The AMERICAN last operated in 1956 and then was laid up at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. On October 2, 1972.

The JOHN T. HUTCHINSON and CONSUMERS POWER (3) arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan October 2, 1988, where dismantling began on October 14th by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd.

On her maiden voyage October 2, 1943, the E G GRACE cleared Lorain, Ohio bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

The HOCHELAGA (2) departed Toronto October 2, 1993, in tow of the Mc Keil tugs GLENBROOK and KAY COLE for Montreal, Quebec and then to the cutters torch. 

October 2, 1954 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 sailed into Ludington, Michigan on her second maiden voyage of her career.

On 2 October 1888, OLIVER CROMWELL (wooden schooner-barge, 138 foot, 291 tons, built in 1853 at Buffalo, New York) was being towed by the steamer LOWELL in a storm in Lake Huron when she broke her towline. She rode out most of the storm at anchor, but then she snapped her anchor chains and she was driven ashore at Harbor Beach, Michigan where she broke up.

The 183 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner QUEEN CITY was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan on 2 October 1873.

The Port Huron Times reported the following shipwrecks from a severe storm that swept the Lakes over 2-3 October 1887: Schooner CITY OF GREEN BAY lost near South Haven, Michigan; the schooner-barge CHARLES L HUTCHINSON, lost near Buffalo, New York; the steam barge ALBION and her consort the schooner-barge ARK ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan; the 3-mast schooner EBENEZER ashore near Holland, Michigan; the wooden package freighter CALIFORNIA sunk in the Straits of Mackinac; the schooner HOLMES ashore at Middle Island on Lake Huron; the schooner GARIBALDI ashore near Port Elgin on Lake Huron; the barge MAYFLOWER disabled near Grand Haven, Michigan; the schooner D S AUSTIN ashore at Point Clark; and the schooner HENRY W HOAG ashore at Erie, Pennsylvania.

Today in Great Lakes History - October 03

On 03 October 1887, EBENEZER (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 103 foot, 158 gross tons, built in 1847 at Buffalo, New York) was driven ashore off the breakwater at Holland, Michigan during a storm.  She had sprung a leak in the terrific storm, lost her deck load of shingles and struck the pier trying to get into the harbor.  She broke in two but was later raised  and rebuilt.  She lasted until 1903.

On 03 October 1887, CITY OF GREEN BAY (3-mast wooden schooner, 145 foot, 346 gross tons, built in 1872 at Green Bay, Wisconsin) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to St. Joseph, Michigan on Lake Michigan and having difficulty in a strong westerly gale.  She sprang a leak and anchored four miles from South Haven and put up distress signals.  The wind and waves were so bad that the crew could not safely abandon the vessel.  She slipped her anchor and was driven on to a bar at Evergreen Point, just 500 feet from shore.  The crew scrambled up the rigging as the vessel sank.  The South Haven Life Saving crew tried to get a breeches buoy out to the wreck, but their line broke repeatedly.  So much wreckage was in the surf that it fouled their surf boat.  Soon the masts went by the board and the crew members were in the churning seas.  Six died.  Only Seaman A. T. Slater made it to shore.  The ineffective attempts of the Life Saving crew resulted in Keeper Barney Alonzo Cross being relieved of his command of the station.

The E G GRACE was delivered to the Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland on October 3, 1943. The E G GRACE was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the Government for credit. As partial payment for each new vessel, a fleet owner surrendered the equivalent tonnage of their existing and/or obsolete vessels, along with some cash, to the Maritime Commission.

October 3, 1941 - The CITY OF FLINT 32, eastbound from Milwaukee collided with the PERE MARQUETTE 22 westbound. The PERE MARQUETTE 22 headed directly for Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 continued to Ludington where she discharged her cargo, then headed for the shipyard in Manitowoc.

On 3 October 1887, ALBION (wooden propeller steam barge, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862 at Brockville, Ontario) was carrying lumber and towing the schooner ARK in a foggy night during a gale. She stranded on the rocks near Grindstone City, Michigan in Lake Huron. The U. S. Lifesaving Service rescued her crew and some of her gear and cargo, but she was totally wrecked the next day. The schooner ARK survived.

The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W HANNAFORD, owned by Capt. Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.

On 3 October 1900, the steel freighter CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON left Port Huron on her maiden voyage for Marquette, Michigan where she loaded 6,200 tons of iron ore for Cleveland, Ohio.

ARK (3-mast iron-strapped wooden scow-schooner-barge, 177 foot, 512 tons, built in 1875 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario) was in tow of the steam barge ALBION (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 297 gross tons, built in 1862 at Brockville, Ontario) on Lake Huron when a terrific storm struck on 3 October 1887. Both were loaded with lumber. Both vessels were driven ashore near Grindstone City, Michigan. The U.S. Lifesaving Service rescued the crews. The ALBION was pounded to pieces the next day and the ARK was declared a total loss, but was recovered and was sailing again within the month.


Today in Great Lakes History - October 04

On 04 October 1887, ORIENT (wooden propeller tug, 60 foot, 37 gross tons, built in 1874 at Buffalo, New York) foundered three miles west of Point Pelee on Lake Erie in a storm.  She was seen going down by the schooners LISGAR and GLENFORD but neither was able to help.  All six on the ORIENT were lost.  She was out of Marine City, Michigan.

On October 4, 1979 the ST LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR arrived at the Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, Ontario where she was lengthened to the Seaway maximum length of 730 foot overall. A new bow and cargo section was installed including a bow thruster and was assigned Hull #66. New tonnage; 18,788 GRT, 12,830 NRT, 32,279 DWT. The ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR was renamed c) CANADIAN NAVIGATOR in 1980 and now sails for ULS Corp. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1997.

The TEXACO BRAVE (2) was launched October 4, 1976, by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shimonoseki, Japan for Texaco Canada Ltd., Don Mills, Ontario.

On October 4, 1980, the ARTHUR B HOMER was laid up for the last time at Erie, Pennsylvania.

As a result of the collision between the PARKER EVANS and the SIDNEY E SMITH JR, 4 months earlier alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys 1 and 2 in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies. This happened on October 4, 1972

The JAMES E FERRIS' last trip before scrapping was from Duluth, Minnesota with a split load of 261,000 bushels of wheat for Buffalo, New York arriving there October 4, 1974.

The JIIMAAN, twin screw roro cargo/passenger ferry built to Ice Class 1D standards had its keel laid October 4, 1991 at Port Weller Drydocks, Ltd. (Hull# 76).

On October 4, 1982, the BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS laid up for the last time in Duluth, Minnesota. She was towed out of Duluth on her way to an overseas scrap yard on June 17, 1988.

October 4, 1940 - The Ludington Daily News reported "The Pere Marquette carferries handled approximately 95,000 freight cars last year." (1939)

On 4 October 1877, BRITISH LION (3 mast wooden bark, 128 foot, 293 tons, built in 1862 at Kingston, Ontario) was carrying coal from Black River, Ohio to Brockville, Ontario. She was driven ashore at Long Point in Lake Erie by a storm and wrecked. She was the first bark on the Lakes to be wire rigged and she was built for the Great Lakes - Liverpool trade.

The barges BELLE CASH and GEO W HANNAFORD, owned by Capt. Cash of East China Township, Michigan, were driven ashore on Long Point in Lake Erie on 3 October 1875.

On 4 October 1883, JAMES DAVIDSON (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 231 foot, 1456 gross tons, built in 1874 at W. Bay City, Michigan) was carrying coal and towing the barge MIDDLESEX in a storm on Lake Huron. She was driven onto a reef near Thunder Bay Island and ripped up her bottom. The barge was rescued by the tug V SWAIN. No lives were lost. Financially, the DAVIDSON was the most extensive loss on the Lakes in the 1883 season. She was valued at $65,000 and insured for $45,000. Her coal cargo was valued at $8,000.

Today in Great Lakes History - October 05

On 05 October 1876, GRACE GREENWOOD (3-mast wooden schooner, 124 foot, 306 tons, built in 1853 at Oswego, New York) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana when she foundered in a storm while coming in to St. Joseph harbor for shelter.  No lives were lost.  She was the first vessel built by George Rogers and her launch was initially sabotaged by someone jamming a file her into the ways.

On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 5 1997, while passing White Shoal Light on their way to Charlevoix, the MEDUSA CHALLENGER was hit by a waterspout. The only damage reported was a spotlight on the pilothouse bridge wing lifted out of its support and crews bikes stored on deck rose vertically. The 1906 built boat was also reported to have been vibrating in an unusual manner. Another boat in the area reported wind gusts of almost 100 mph in the brief storm. That same day the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan was hit with a violent storm that blew down trees a foot in diameter.

The ARTHUR B HOMER, loaded with ore, was in a head-on collision, October 5, 1972, with the unloaded Greek salty NAVISHIPPER at Buoy 83 in the Detroit River's Fighting Island Channel. NAVISHIPPER reportedly had no licensed pilot aboard at the time, a violation of Maritime law. There were no injuries, but the HOMER suffered extensive bow damage up to and including part of her pilothouse.

The GEORGE M HUMPHREY (2) was christened on October 5, 1954, for the National Steel Corp. (M.A. Hanna Co., mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.

HUTCHCLIFFE HALL was in collision with steamer RICHARD V LINDABURY on a foggy October 5, 1962, off Grosse Pointe Farms in Lake St. Clair. The canaller suffered a 12-foot gash on her port side forward of her after cabins and sank. She was raised October 7th and taken to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

On October 5, 1967 while outbound on the Saginaw River after discharging a load of limestone at Saginaw, Michigan, the J F SCHOELLKOPF JR's steering failed which caused her to hit the west side of the I-75 Zilwaukee Bridge. The SCHOELLKOPF JR incurred little damage but the south bound lanes of the bridge were out of service for several days until repairs were completed.

The ARTHUR H HAWGOOD (Hull#76) was launched at W. Bay City, Michigan by W. Bay City Ship Building Co. on October 5, 1907, for the Neptune Steamship Co. (Hawgood, mgr.), Cleveland, Ohio.  Renamed b.) JOSEPH BLOCK in 1911 and c.) GEORGE M STEINBRENNER in 1969.  Scrapped at Ramey’s Bend in 1980.

On 5 October 1889, BESSEMER (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 178 foot, 436 gross tons, built in 1875 at St. Clair, Michigan) was carrying iron ore along with her consort SCHUYLKILL (wooden schooner, 152 foot, 472 gross tons, built in 1873 at Buffalo, New York) in Lake Superior. They were struck by a rapidly rising gale and ran for the Portage Ship Canal. It became obvious that BESSEMER was sinking. The two collided and went onto a reef at the mouth of the canal and they both broke up quickly. The crews were able to jump onto the breakwater. The wrecks partly blocked the canal until they were dynamited the next September.

On 5 October 1877, TIOGA (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 549 tons, built in 1862 at Cleveland) was towing two barges in a storm on Lake Erie when she caught fire. The high winds fanned the flames. Her crew escaped to the barges and were later picked up by the steamer BADGER STATE. The burned out hulk of TIOGA sank the next day in 30 feet of water off Point Pelee. This was her first year of service as a bulk freighter; she had been built as a passenger steamer and was converted in 1877.

On 5 October 1900 the lumber hooker SWALLOW was involved in a collision in the early morning hours and ended up ashore near Cherry Beach. A week later, she was lightered and freed, then taken to Detroit for repairs. She foundered in a storm one year later (18 October 1901).

On 5 October 1904, CONGRESS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 267 foot, 1484 gross tons, built in 1867 at Cleveland as the passenger vessel NEBRASKA) was seeking shelter at South Manitou Island on Lake Michigan when she caught fire. The fire spread quickly. To prevent it from destroying the dock, a courageous tug skipper got a line on the CONGRESS and towed her out on the lake where she burned for 13 hours and then sank in 26 fathoms of water. No lives were lost.

Today in Great Lakes History - October 06

On 06 October 1893, DAVID STEWART (3-mast wooden schooner, 171 foot, 545 gross tons, built in 1867 at Cleveland, Ohio) foundered in a gale off Pigeon Bay, Ontario on Lake Erie.  She crew clung to the frozen rigging for 14 hours until saved by the fish tug LOUISE of Sandusky, Ohio. The STEWART was carrying iron ore at the time of her loss.

Herb Fraser & Associates completed repairs on the ALGOSOO at the Welland Dock on October 6 1986. She had suffered a serious fire at her winter mooring on the west wall above Lock 8 at Port Colborne, Ontario on March 7, 1986.

The bow section of the barge PRESQUE ISLE (2) arrived Erie, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1972. The section was towed from Defoe Shipbuilding at Bay City, Michigan by the tugs MARYLAND and LAURENCE C TURNER. The total cost to construct the tug/barge thousand footer was approximately $35 million.

October 6, 1981, the ERINDALE's bow was damaged when she hit the Allanburg Bridge abutment running downbound in the Welland Canal

In 1980, the LAC DES ILES grounded in the Detroit River just below Grassy Island, the result of a faulty steering mechanism. She freed herself a few hours later. The damage caused by the grounding ended her career.

This day in 1870, the schooner E FITZGERALD was launched at the Fitzgerald & Leighton yard at Port Huron, Michigan. Her dimensions were 135 x 26 x 11 feet.

In 1875, the MERCHANT (iron propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 200 foot, 750 tons, built in 1862 at Buffalo, New York) was carrying lumber on Lake Michigan when she stranded on Racine Reef near Racine, Wisconsin. Then she caught fire and was gutted before she could be refloated. She had stranded on that same reef twice previously. She was the first iron cargo ship built on the Lakes and the first one lost.

On 6 October 1873, JOHN A McDOUGALL (wooden schooner-barge, 151 foot, 415 gross tons) was launched at Wenona, Michigan. She was built at the Ballentine yard in only five weeks.

On 6 October 1889, PHILO SCOVILLE (3-mast wooden schooner, 140 foot, 323 tons, built in 1863 at Cleveland, Ohio) was sailing from Collingwood for Chicago when a storm drove her into the shallows and wrecked her near Tobermory, Ontario. Her captain died while trying to get ashore through the rocks. The Canadian Lifesaving Service saved the rest of the crew. At first the vessel was expected to be recovered, but she broke up by 10 October.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Max Hanley, Jody Aho,Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series

This is a small sample, the books include many other vessels with a much more detailed history  


Mather Hosts “Meet the Maritime Author” Nov. 5


The Great Lakes Historical Society of Vermilion and the Steamship William G. Mather Museum of Cleveland invite Great Lakes enthusiasts to “Meet the Maritime Author” on Friday, Nov. 5, 6-9 p.m., at the Coast Guard Club of  Cleveland.

Authors scheduled to appear and their highlighted work include Thomas O. Murphy of Chagrin Falls, Ohio “Steamer Edmund Fitzgerald: The Mystique and Its Evolution,” Paul Somers of  Champagne, Illinois “Lake Michigan's Aircraft Carriers,”  David G. Brown of  Port Clinton, Ohio “White Hurricane - A Great Lakes November Gale and America’s Deadliest Maritime Disaster,” and Michael J. Bennett of University Heights, Ohio “Union Jacks: Yankee Sailors in the Civil War.”

Reservations are required by Oct. 29.  Call (440) 967-3467 ext. 5 in the Vermilion area or (800) 893-1485 ext. 5.  Payment methods include: Visa, Master Card, Discovery, and American Express.  The cost is $20 for museum members and $25 for general public. A cash bar is available.  Any proceeds benefit The Great Lakes Historical Society in Vermilion ( and the SS William G. Mather Museum in Cleveland (

Reported by William G. Mather Museum


Port Report



Reported by Al Miller

Vessel activity was intense Monday morning in St. Louis Bay between Superior and Duluth. About 7:30 a.m., the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was in the turning basin at the mouth of the bay headed to the Midwest Energy Terminal; Middletown was docking in Fraser Shipyards with assistance from at least one tug from Great Lakes Towing; Canadian Provider was docked at Cenex Harvest States waiting to start loading; Canadian Progress was loading at Midwest Energy Terminal; and Canadian Transport was at the top of St. Louis Bay aided by at least one tug bound for Hallett 7 with salt.

Saginaw River

Reported by Todd Shorkey
The tug James Hannah and her tank barge were unloading at the Triple Clean dock in Essexville during the early morning and through the afternoon on Sunday.
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound early Sunday morning with a split load.  The pair stopped at the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before continuing upriver to finish at Saginaw Rock.  Once secure at Saginaw Rock, the Joyce L. detached from the barge and traveled downstream to the Burroughs dock to take on fuel.  They were outbound through Bay City early Sunday evening.
The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were also inbound with a split load.  The pair arrived Sunday afternoon at the Bay City Wirt dock and lightered there before going up to the Saginaw Wirt dock to finish.  They passed the downbound Great Lakes Trader at the old Bay Aggregates dock in Downtown Bay City during their trip upriver.
Aslo inbound was the American Republic.  She was inbound at the Front Range early Sunday evening where she passed the Joyce L. / Trader who had pulled in to the Consumers Energy dock to let her go by.  The Republic called on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  She was expectedto be outbound early Monday morning.
The CSL Tadoussac was also inbound late Sunday night.  She had remained out in the Saginaw Bay waiting for water levels to come back up as strong winds had lowered water levels 3 or more inches below datum.  By 10pm the lever were back to a plus 2 and she started inbound for the Essroc Terminal in Essexville to unload.  The Tadoussac is expected to be outbound Monday morning.


Reported byWendell Wilke
As of recent Andrie, Inc. has been involved in a dredging project within the Kewaunee, WI harbor. Equipment involved is the dredge's Candice Androe, Meredith Andrie and they are being used in conjunction with the tug Carol Ann. The project is to be completed this week.


Mississagi Has Close Call at Port Huron


On Monday, the upbound Mississagi had a near miss when she nearly collided with a sea wall under Blue Water Bridge at Port Huron.

The vessel dropped anchor in effort to avoid hitting the wall. After the incident, the Mississagi raised anchor and continued out into the lake. There is no word on what caused the close call.

Reported by Jason Leslie


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Buckeye Skips Calcite, Heads Right to Lake Superior


Oglebay Norton’s Buckeye arrived at the Soo Locks at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeye locked upbound through the MacArthur lock in ballast, showing signs of having just left a lengthy lay up. Rust, dirt and a cranky #4 winch being just a few. The Buckeye was to have called at Calcite on the trip up to load stone but was unable to do so due to rough seas preventing the veteran laker from entering port. She proceeded on to the Sault to continue her trip upbound to load taconite pellets. She departed Two Harbors for Lorain Monday morning.

Reported by G. Earl


No Injuries as Lock Tour Boat Grounds at Soo


The Soo Locks tour boat Le Voyageur stranded Friday night on a sand bar during its sunset dinner cruise. There were about 60 people aboard when the boat stranded shortly after 7:30 p.m. There was a distinct grinding sound for about 5-10 seconds, after which the ship ceased all movement, according to a passenger who was aboard

No one was reported injured.

There was a two-hour wait while a tug and a second tour boat, the Nokomis, were sent to the scene. At about 9:30, the tug arrived and pulled the vessel free.

After being released, Le Voyageur returned to Dock No. 2 via the MacArthur lock.

Reported by Jeffrey Stier


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Port Report



Reported by Al Miller

This season's tepid fall grain rush recently has brought ships to Cargill, AGP and Cenex Harvest States elevators. On Friday,  Federal Seto remained at AGP. Cenex Harvest States was hosting the Herbert C. Jackson and the Michiganborg. The Jackson's fleetmate, Charles M. Beeghly, was in town to unload stone at the DMIR ore dock.


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Buckeye Back in Service After Layup


Radio traffic Thursday night indicates that Oglebay Norton’s steamer Buckeye is on the move. She was reported upbound at the Detroit River light in the early evening, bound for Calcite to load stone for Duluth, where she is expected to arrive on Sunday. After unloading, the Duluth Shipping News reports that the Buckeye will move over to Two Harbors to load taconite.

Before heading north, the Buckeye stopped at Sterling Fuel in Winsdor, Ont.

The Buckeye spent all of 2003 and this season up until now in layup. Demand for ore has been cited for the return to service of this veteran laker, which was built in 1952. Her activation leaves the Courtney Burton as the only O-N vessel remaining at the wall.

Reported by Angie Williams

Pictures by Mike Nicholls
Buckeye upbound in the Ballards Reef Channel bound for Sterling Fuel and then to load at Calcite.
Stern View


Middletown Undergoing Repairs at the Soo

Oglebay Norton’s steamer Middletown tied up at the Carbide Dock in the Sault Thursday. Divers are reported working from the MCM Marine tug Kelly Ann. Initial reports indicate she may have sustained some bottom damage in the St. Marys River.

Reported by Jerry Masson


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