Today in Great Lakes History
On 05 April 1890, INDIANA (wooden
propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 220 foot, 1178 gross tons) was
launched by Burger and Burger at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the Goodrich
Transportation Company. The total cost of the vessel was $135,000.
On April 5, 1984, the joined
sections of the HILDA MARJANNE and CHIMO's emerged from the Port Weller Dry
Dock Ltd., as the b.) CANADIAN RANGER.
Sea trials for Canada Steamship
Lines new bulk freighter PRAIRIE HARVEST, (Hull#227) of Collingwood Shipyards
Ltd., were complete on April 5, 1984. She operates in the Lakes today as the
self-unloader d.) ALTANTIC HURON.
The a.) LUZON (Hull#54) of the
Chicago Ship Building Co. was launched for the Erie Steamship Co., E.D.
Carter, mgr., on April 5, 1902. Renamed b.) JOHN ANDERSON in 1924 and c.) G G
POST in 1933. She was scrapped at Izmir, Turkey in 1972.
April 5, 1977 - Chessie System
announced that the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 would be withdrawn from service and only
the SPARTAN and BADGER would run for the season.
On 5 April 1854, AMERICA (wooden
side-wheeler, 240 foot, 1083 tons, built in 1847 at
Port Huron, Michigan) was
bound for Cleveland from Detroit. After the captain had set her course and
gone to bed, the 2nd mate changed the course to the north. The 1st and 2nd
mates disagreed about the course and as they awoke the captain, the ship ran
aground near Point Pelee,
Wave action reduced the vessel to rubble but no lives were lost.
On 5 April 1879, the 3-mast wooden
schooner RESUMPTION was launched at the Wolf & Davidson yard in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. Her dimensions were 143 foot x 29 foot x 10 feet, 294 gross tons,
279 net tons.
April 5, 1962, the tanker ROBERT W
STEWART was renamed b.) AMOCO
MICHIGAN, The WILLIAM P COWAN was renamed b.) AMOCO
ILLINOIS, the EDWARD G SEUBERT was
renamed b.) AMOCO WISCONSIN and the RED CROWN was renamed b.) AMOCO INDIANA,
after being transferred from Standard Oil Company in a sale to the American
Oil Company for $10 for each ship. Each ship traded in their names and their
well known red superstructure for a typical white paint job instead which
stuck with them until their end. The only change came to the AMOCO INDIANA
when she traded in her black hull for the blue paint of c.) MEDUSA CONQUEST,
d.) SOUTHDOWN CONQUEST and currently CEMEX CONQUEST. She operates today as
self – unloading cement barge.
On 04 April 1908, ALEXIS W THOMPSON
(steel propeller bulk freighter, 504 foot, 6437 gross tons) was launched by
West Bay City Shipbuilding Co. (Hull #625) at W. Bay City, Michigan for Valley
Steamship Co. (W.H. Becker, Mgr.). She lasted until 1962, when she was towed
to Hamilton, Ontario for scrapping by Steel
Co. of Canada, Ltd
The keel was laid at Bay
Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on April
4, 1978, for the Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co.’s, FRED R
WHITE JR (Hull#722).
Sea trials of the tanker ROBERT W
STEWART were run on April 4, 1928.
CEDARGLEN was launched on April 4,
1925, as a.) WILLIAM C. ATWATER (Hull#249) by the Great Lakes Engineering
Works, for the Wilson Transit Co.
HARRY W CROFT was launched April
4, 1908, as a.) FRED G HARTWELL (Hull#112) by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the
Mutual Steamship Co., G.A. Tomlinson, mgr.
Interlake Steamship’s E
G GRACE became the first Maritimer to be sold for scrap when she was acquired
by Marine Salvage on April 4, 1984.
JEAN-TALON was launched
April 4, 1936, as a.) FRANQUELIN (Hull#1517)
by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. for the
and Ontario Transportation Co. Ltd.
The harbor tug and fire boat EDNA
G was launched April 4, 1896, by the Cleveland Ship Building Co., as
(Hull#25), for the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad Co.
On April 4, 1983, and on April 4,
1984, the WILLIAM CLAY FORD, opened the inter-lake shipping season at Duluth,
Minnesota. While the WILLIAM CLAY FORD was traditionally among the first
vessels to visit Duluth-Superior, it was coincidence that she opened the port
on the same day during her last two seasons in service.
On 4 April 1872, the schooner JOHN
WESLEY was launched from Bailey's yard at Toledo, Ohio. She was built for
Skidmore & Abairs. She was classed as a full sized canaller and cost $22,000.
On 4 April 1881, the last two
vessels of the Northern Transit Company, CHAMPLAIN and LAWRENCE, were sold to
D. H. Day & Company of Grand Haven, Michigan.
On 03 April 1969, RALPH MISENER
(steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1967,
at Montreal, Quebec) suffered serious fire damage to her engine room during
fit-out at Port Colborne, Ontario.
On April 3, 1991, the pilothouse
of the WILLIAM CLAY FORD of 1953, was moved by a barge towed by Gaelic tug's
CAROLYN HOEY and placed on a specially built foundation at the Dossin Museum
for display facing the Detroit River as a fully equipped pilot house.
The tanker a.) TEMBLADOR (Hull#15) of the Barnes – Duluth Shipbuilding Co., was launched
April 3, 1943, for the Creole
Petroleum Corp, for off lakes use. She later sailed on the lakes as b.)
On 3 April 1872, the
passenger/package freight steam barge ROBERT HOLLAND was launched at Marine
City, Michigan. She was towed to Detroit by the propeller TRADER to have her
On 3 April 1876, the Port Huron
Times reported "The wreck of the schooner HARMONICA, which has been
missing for a month or more, has been discovered on the beach near Whitehall,
Michigan completely buried in the ice. Four are supposed to have perished."
On 3 April 1894, WILLIAM H BARNUM
(wooden propeller freighter, 219 foot, 937 gross tons, built in 1873, at
Detroit, Michigan) was
carrying corn on her first trip of the season. She was reportedly in poor
condition and was insured only for this voyage. Her hull was cut by floating
ice and she sank in the Straits of Mackinac about two miles east of present
Mackinac Bridge. The tug CRUSADER got her crew off before she sank.
On 02 April 1900, the JOHN MINER
(wooden 3-mast schooner, 134 foot, 273 gross tons, built in 1866, at Detroit, Michigan as a bark) was
purchased by S. R. Chamberlain from Frank Higgie for $800. She only lasted
until 19 October 1902, when she was
lost in a storm on Lake Huron.
On April 2, 1951, the CLIFFS
VICTORY was towed, bound for New Orleans, Louisiana, with her deck houses,
stack, propeller, rudder and above deck fittings stored on or below her spar
deck for bridge clearance. She was outfitted with two 120 foot pontoons, which
were built at the Baltimore yard, that were attached to her hull at the stern
to reduce her draft to eight feet for passage in the shallow sections of the
LEON FALK JR was launched
April 2, 1945, as a.) WINTER HILL, a T2-SE-Al, World War II, single screw
fuel tanker for U.S. Maritime Commission.
The CLIFFORD F HOOD was launched
April 2, 1902, as the straight deck bulk freighter a.) BRANSFORD for the
Bransford Transit Co., (W.A. Hawgood, mgr.).
The SENATOR OF CANADA sailed under
her own power on April 2, 1985, to Toronto, Ontario where she was put into
ordinary next to her fleet mate the QUEDOC. She was scrapped in Venezuela in
The WHEAT KING was lengthened by
an addition of a 172 foot 6 inch mid-section (Hull #61) and received a 1000
h.p. bow thruster. This work reportedly cost $3.8 million Canadian and was
completed on April 2, 1976.
On April 2, 1953, the J L MAUTHE
(Hull#298) of Great Lakes Engineering Works entered service for Interlake
Steamship Co. She operates currently for Interlake as the self-unloading barge
April 2, 1975 - The State of
Michigan filed a Federal Court suit to stop the Grand Trunk Railway from
selling GRAND RAPIDS. It was felt that selling the ferry would build a
stronger case for abandonment of the entire ferry service.
On 2 April 1874, A H HUNTER
(wooden propeller tug, 58 foot, 28 gross tons) was launched at Saginaw,
Michigan. She was built for Donnelly & Clark of Saginaw by Wheeler. The engine
was built by Bartlett & Co. of Saginaw. Her boiler and some other equipment
were from the almost new tug KATY REID that burned at Salzburg, Michigan in
On 01 April 1887, W. T. Botsford &
Company of Port Huron, Michigan bought the COLORADO
(wooden propeller package freighter, 254 foot, 1470 gross tons, built in 1867
at Buffalo, New York). She was added to
their two other vessels: DEAN RICHMOND and ROANOKE.
The STEWART J CORT was
commissioned on April 1,1972.
In April 1965, Interlake’s steamer
J A CAMPBELL was renamed c.) BUCKEYE MONITOR after being purchased by the
Buckeye Steamship Co.
Realizing that the bulk trades
were too competitive, Captain John Roen's Roen Transportation Co. sold the
CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN to the American Steamship Co. (Boland & Cornelius, mgr.) on
April 1, 1947, for $915,000.
The ROY A JODREY started her first
full season opening navigation at the Soo Locks April 1, 1966, with a load of
stone for Algoma Steel.
Dismantling of the G A.TOMLINSON,
a.) D O MILLS, began in Ashtabula, Ohio, on April 1, 1980, and was completed
eight months later in December.
April 1, 1903 - Gus Kitzinger of
the Pere Marquette Line Steamers, acquired the PERE MARQUETTE 3 & 4 from the
Pere Marquette Railway Co.
Sailors at Chicago went on strike
on 1 April 1871, for an increase in pay. They were getting $1.50 a day. Some
ship owners offered $1.75 but when word came that the Straits of Mackinac were
clear of ice, the sailors demanded the unheard of daily wage of $3.25.
Although some ships stayed in port, the $1.75 wage was accepted and the barks
MARY PEREW, J G MASTEN and C J WELLS, along with the schooners DONALDSON,
PATHFINDER and CHAMPION set sail on
1 April 1871.
On 1 April 1904, CONDOR (2-mast
wooden schooner, 58 foot, 22 gross tons, built in 1871, at Sheboygan,
Wisconsin), while lying at anchor in the Kalamazoo River at Singapore,
Michigan, was crushed by ice moving out in the Spring breakup.
On 31 March 1971,
the American Steamship Company’s RICHARD J REISS grounded at Stoneport,
Michigan while moving away from her dock. She damaged her number 9 tank.
Christening ceremonies took place
at St. Catharines,
Ontario.on March 31, 1979, for the d.) CANADIAN PROSPECTOR, lengthened by Port
Weller Drydocks Ltd.
ROGER M KYES (Hull#200) was
launched March 31, 1973, at Toledo, Ohio, by American Ship Building Co.
Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989
WILLIAM R ROESCH was renamed b)
DAVID Z NORTON in christening ceremonies at Cleveland, Ohio on March 31, 1995.
The PAUL THAYER was also renamed, EARL W OGLEBAY, during the same ceremonies.
JOSEPH S WOOD was sold to the Ford
Motor Co. and towed from her winter lay-up berth at Ashtabula, Ohio on March
31, 1966, to the American Ship Building's Toledo, Ohio yard for her five-year
inspection. A 900 h.p. bow thruster was installed at this time. She would be
rechristened as the c.) JOHN DYKSTRA two months later.
J CLARE MILLER was launched March
31, 1906, as a.) HARVEY D GOULDER (Hull#342) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship
Building Co., for W.A. & A.H. Hawgood of Cleveland, Ohio.
On March 31, 1927, the WILLIAM MC
LAUGHLAN entered service for the Interlake Steamship Co. when she departed
Sandusky, Ohio for Superior, Wisconsin on her maiden trip. Later renamed b.)
SAMUEL MATHER in 1966, sold Canadian in 1975, renamed c.) JOAN M MC CULLOUGH,
and finally d.) BIRCHGLEN in 1982. Scrapped at Point Edward, Nova Scotia by
Universal Metal Co. Ltd.
On 31 March 1874, E H MILLER
(wooden propeller tug, 62 foot, 30 gross tons) was launched at Chesley A.
Wheeler's yard in E. Saginaw, Michigan. The
power plant from the 1865 tug JENNIE BELL was installed in her. She was
renamed RALPH in 1883 and spent most of her career as a harbor tug in the
Alpena area. She was abandoned in 1920.
On 31 March 1890, EDWARD SMITH
(wooden propeller, 201 foot, 748 gross tons) was launched at W. Bay City,
Michigan by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #67). In 1900, her name was changed to b.)
ZILLAH. She lasted until she foundered four miles off Whitefish Point on 29
The CHEMICAL MAR
arrived at Brownsville, Texas on
March 30, 1983, in tow of the tug FORT LIBERTE to be scrapped there.
The ERINDALE was pressed into
service after the LEADALE sank in the Welland Canal. She was towed out of
Toronto on March 30, 1983, by the tugs G W ROGERS and BAGOTVILLE for repairs
at Port Weller Dry Docks. The ERINDALE re-entered service two months later.
March 30, 1985 - The CITY OF
MIDLAND's departure was delayed when her anchor snagged one which she had lost
in Pere Marquette Lake the previous summer.
On 29 March 1888, D D JOHNSON
(wooden propeller tug, 45 foot, 17 gross tons) was launched at E. Saginaw,
Michigan. She was built for Carkin, Stickney & Cram and lasted until 1909.
100 years ago today, on March 30,
1900, the carferry ANN ARBOR NO 2 grounded on the rocks east of the approach
to the channel at Manistique, Michigan. She was pulled off quickly by the ANN
ARBOR NO 3 and the tug GIFFORD. She was found to have bent a propeller shaft
and broken her rudder, resulting in a trip to the drydock at Milwaukee,
On 30 March 1917, GERMANIC (wooden
propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 184 foot, 1014 gross tons, built
in 1899 at Collingwood, Ontario) was destroyed by fire at her winter berth at
Collingwood, Ontario while she was being prepared for the upcoming season. She
was the last wooden ship built at Collingwood.
Data from: Joe
Barr, Dave Swayze, Steve Haverty, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell
II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample,
the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history.