Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News


Special Report: Soo Locks Boatnerd Gathering 2004

06/30

Boatnerds enjoyed mostly sunny skies but cool temperatures and windy conditions a the Fifth Annual Boatnerd Gathering at Sault Ste. Marie last weekend. The event was timed to coincide with the annual Engineers Day during which visitors are allowed access into normally restricted areas at the Soo Locks.

Fog earlier in the morning meant a flurry of vessels perfectly timed for the Open House at the locks. Algowood, Joseph H. Frantz and Columbia Star were downbound early in the morning, while the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Algoisle, Atlantic Erie and Federal Rhine were upbound. Between boats, visitors were allowed on board to inspect the Corps of Engineers’ gatelifter Paul Bunyan, the survey vessel B.W. Bufe and the crane vessel H.G. Schwartz.

The U.S. Coast Guard Base (including Soo Traffic) as well as the Edison Hydro Electric Plant were open for public tours. In a change from previous years, photos were not allowed inside Soo Traffic.

A “work slowdown” by Canadian Customs caused delays of as much as two hours on the International Bridge Friday night, which deterred many from crossing over to Sault, Ont., to catch the M/V Chief Shingwauk for the annual Boatnerd freighter chasing cruise. Those who did make it enjoyed plenty of KFC chicken, and of course the Boatnerd Cruise cake. The cruise headed up through the Canadian Lock for a look at the saltie Federal Rhine docking at Algoma Steel, then over to the BBC Spain docked at the Algoma Export Dock. Next was a visit to the Purvis scrapyard where the Lewis G. Harriman awaits the torch as soon as the Quedoc is gone. Heading down the river, the sun came out as we met the Joseph H. Thompson. As Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock sang and accompanied himself on the guitar, a double rainbow stretched itself from one side of the St. Marys River to the other, followed by a spectacular sunset. Our thanks to Capt. John Chomniak and his crew for their hospitality.

Other vessel traffic over the weekend included the Armco, Roger Blough, Stewart J. Cort, the saltie Menominee, tug Donald C. Hannah with her barge Robert F. Deegan (bound for Duluth with calcium chloride), Oglebay Norton, Cedarglen, John J. Boland, Cason J. Callaway and many others.

Mission Point was a popular gathering place, with many salutes blown to the Boatnerds by passing vessels. Particular thanks to Capt. Briggs on the Mesabi Miner for the impressive sounding of the bow and stern horns blown in tandem.

By noon Sunday, most Boatnerds were on their way home. They left at the right time: only two vessels – Inviken and David Z. Norton – passed by the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Reported by: Roger LeLievre, Dave Wobser

Photos by Roger LeLievre
Friday

Joseph H. Frantz at the Rock Cut Friday morning
Algowood at the Rock Cut
Visitors keep a watchful eye on the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. as she enters the Poe Lock.
The McCarthy towers above the crowd
McCarthy kicks into gear to leave the lock
Algoisle enters the Mac Lock
Algoisle stern. Notice the handsome Paul R. Tregurtha jacket in the crowd
Atlantic Erie enters the Poe Lock
Corps tug Owen M. Frederick
Frederick leaves the lock at speed
Tug Billmaier with H.G. Schwartz astern
Touring the Corps' survey vessel B.W. Bufe
Federal Rhine being secured by tugs at Algoma Steel
Tug Scott Purvis and Federal Rhine
BBC Spain at the Export Dock
Lewis G. Harriman has an important date with the scrappers
Quedoc is more than half gone
Lee Murdock sings “Keweenaw Light” on the Chief Shingwauk
Derek from Calumet flanked by Lee and Joann Murdock
Pauline Chomniak displays the Boatnerd cake
Barge in the MCM Marine drydock
Joseph H. Thompson reflects the evening sun
Stern view of Thompson
Rainbow across the St. Marys
Another view of the rainbow
A spectacular sunset on the St. Marys River as the Shingwauk prepares to turn up river at Frechette Point
Sault, Ont. Harbor fountain as Shingwauk approaches her dock
Chief Shingwauk passes Mission Point the night after the cruise
Shingwauk’s stern

Saturday

Shooting the Roger Blough on Saturday morning
Armco
Donald C. Hannah crewmen coil tow rope during a layover at the Carbide Dock
Robert F. Deegan and Donald C. Hannah enter the Mac Lock
Hannah pushes the Deegan into the Mac Lock
Cason J. Callaway heads into the Poe Lock Saturday night
View of Callaway in the Poe, as seen from the tour boat Le Voyageur (Thank you Capt. Jack Cork)
International Bridge from Le Voyageur

Sunday
Edgar B. Speer at Mission Point.
Saltie Menominee downbound after paying a visit to Marathon, Ont.
Algoville Sunday morning at Mission Point
Boatwatchers greet the Stewart J. Cort
Rich Jenkins brought his model of the tug Forney along to run in the pond

Photos by Michael Freeman
Edison Sault Electric Hydro Plant exterior
Row of turbines inside the Edison Plant
Walter J. McCarthy Jr., seen from atop the Paul Bunyan
Controls for lock operation
Bad place for a gull to roost

Photos by Andy LaBorde

Atlantic Huron
Arthur K. Atkinson at DeTour Coal Dock
Menominee in Soo Harbor
Ojibway supplies the Edgar B. Speer
Quedoc scrapping, starboard quarter
Long-idle L.E. Block at Escanaba. Reports indicate she may be scrapped soon.

Photos by Lee Rowe
Tug Salvage Monarch, downbound after drydocking at MCM Marine in the Soo
Tug Scott Purvis
Boatnerds on Shingwauk's bow
Nerds on the stern
Passing the rainbow
H. Lee White at the Rock Cut
Joseph H. Frantz at Mission Point as the fog lifts
Presque Isle upbound at Mission Point passing by the Boatnerds
Algoisle
Armco
Cedarglen

Photos by Dave Wobser
Gathering group shot
Boatnerds checking out Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.
Cruising Boatnerds
Lee Murdock entertains on the Shingwauk
Taking a break at Mission Point

Photos by Cathy Kohring
Mission Hill Cemetery in Brimley, west of the Soo, contains graves and a marker memorializing sailors lost on the lumber steamer Myron in 1919
Plaque explains Myron's fate.
Point Iroquois Lighthouse
Columbia Star up close in the Poe Lock
Columbia Star and McCarthy pass as tour boats dot Soo Harbor
McCarthy entering the Poe

Photos by Herm Klein
Joseph H. Frantz from Sugar Island side of the river
Corps tug Hammond Bay
Corps tug Billmaier upbound at Mission Point

Engineers Day 2005 is scheduled for June 24. The celebration is expected to be extra festive as 2005 marks the 150th anniversary of the Soo Locks.

 

 


Visitors Tour Herbert C. Jackson as Era Ends

06/30

A large number of visitors took advantage of the unusual opportunity to tour a laker Sunday when Interlake Steamship Co.’s Herbert C. Jackson, the last ever coal boat to unload in Port Washington, Wis., opened for public visitation.

The Jackson arrived Saturday afternoon and was open from 11-3 on Sunday. Everyone aboard ship was very friendly and had obviously been preparing for this day for quite some time. Everything was spotless and fresh paint was everywhere.

The power plant is converting from coal to natural gas and no longer requires periodic deliveries of coal.

Reported by: Peter Swanson

Herbert C. Jackson Saturday evening with flags in foreground
Jackson bow view
Looking aft from pilothouse with visitors on deck
Nameboard close-up

 

 


Spirit of Ontario Engine Fixed, Round Trips Reduced

06/30

The Lake Ontario fast ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 was back cruising between Rochester and Toronto on Sunday, a day after engine problems sidelined the high-speed ferry.

Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private company operating the new service, also announced it is adjusting its schedule. The company wanted to begin making three daily trips last weekend but will now offer only two until further notice.

A big reason is that few people were interested in a late evening voyage, and the company is conforming to passenger demand, Cornel Martin, CATS chief administrative officer, told the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle. The good news, he added, is that ticket sales for the morning and afternoon trips are brisk.

The engine problem involved a blown gasket in one of the ship’s four diesel engines. CATS had to cancel one of its trips on Saturday, and hundreds of passengers had to ride buses provided by the company because of the engine problem and the change in schedule.

Reported by: Jason Leslie, Rochester Democrat-Chronicle

 

 


Port Report

06/30

Toronto

As expected the salty Makeeva departed early last Saturday for the canal. The dock at Redpath Sugar was taken up later in the day when Ziemia Gnieznienska arrived (after unloading part of her cargo at Trois Rivieres) with sugar from Sao Paulo. Once unloaded she will head for the lakehead to reload. McKeil harbor tugs assisted Ziemia into the slip.

Also in on Saturday were the two local cement ships. English River came in around 9 a.m. and it departed just after midnight. The Stephen B. Roman came in at 12:30 p.m.

Canadian Mariner served as a fireworks platform in Humber Bay Saturday night. She will do the same on Canada Day on Saturday, July 3rd for the Festival of Fire off Ontario Place.

The Toronto Brigantines Pathfinder and Playfair returned to port Saturday night after participating in Hamilton's waterfront festival. Empire Sandy returned to port at 03:30 Sunday after participating in Oakville's waterfront festival.

The French passenger vessel Le Levant arrived in port around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and berthed at the International Ferry Terminal. Around 2 a.m. Sunday the small freighter Lisa Ann arrived and berthed at Section 51-2. This is the second salty of the season in port without sugar.

Sunday saw the departure of the Irish fisheries patrol vessel L. E. Naimh before noon and Stephen B. Roman in mid-afternoon.

McKeil's tugs were busy last Friday shifting Canadian Ranger into Pier 35 south so that Canadian Mariner could be towed out the East Gap and anchored in Humber Bay as a fireworks platform for Saturday night's Festival of Fire off Ontario Place. Canadian Mariner will be towed back to Pie 35 west on Sunday and reloaded for another fireworks display on Canada Day. Rumor has it that after the firework festivities are done, the Mariner will be towed to Montreal for an eventual scrap tow overseas.

James Norris was in at the Clarkson cement plant last Friday afternoon. Algosoo was inbound for Hamilton from the canal. She will unload and then shift to another pier for repairs before getting underway again.

C. & C. Marine is supplying the support marine equipment needed to clean up the mess after the I.Y.C. fire on Mugg's Island last week. Priestly Demolition has been contracted to clear up the debris. A teenager turned himself in to the police last Wednesday, and he has been charged with arson, among other charges.

Dean Construction Co. is dredging just to the west of Oakville at the Bronte oil refinery pier. The dredge is tended by Dean's tug Americo Dean.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

South Chicago

Richard Reiss at the KCBX coal dock in South Chicago June 25 waiting to load. She was waiting on the Herbert C. Jackson to finish.

Photo by Gary Clark

Saginaw River

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons called on the Saginaw River Wednesday with a split cargo.  The pair lightered at the Sargent Dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Rock dock.  They were outbound late Wednesday night.
 
The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound on Thursday heading to the upper river to unload limestone at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee.  The pair is expected to be outbound Friday morning.
 
On Monday, the American Republic was inbound during the morning headed for the Bay Aggregates dock.  She unloaded there and was outbound for the lake later in the afternoon.
 
The tug Barbara Andrie was inbound behind the Republic and tied up at the Consumers Energy dock to await the Bit-Mat dock to be clear.  The Bay Aggregate dock and Bit-Mat dock share the same slip and with the American Republic already there the Andrie had to wait for her to depart.
 
Tuesday saw visits to the Saginaw River by a number of vessels.  The tug Invincible & barge McKee Sons was inbound early in the morning stopping at the Sargent dock in Essexville to lighter before continuing upriver to the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw to finish.  The pair was outbound at the I-75 bridge around 10pm.  This is the second trip in a week by the McKee Sons to these docks.
 
The Alpena was inbound a few hours later headed upriver for the LaFarge Dock in Carrollton.  She stated she would be at the dock for a 15 hour unload, putting her outbound early Wednesday morning.
 
The tug Mark Hannah and her tank barge were outbound on Tuesday after delivering a cargo to the Dow Chemical dock in Bangor Township.
 
Next inbound was the Navy Sea Cadet traning vessel Grey Fox.  She will be in port through the weekend helping for raise funds to bring the navy museum destroyer USS Edson to Bay City.  There will be tours of the vessel given daily.
 
Finally, the Sam Laud was inbound late Tuesday night.  The Laud called on the Bay Aggregates dock to unload.  She is expected to depart early Wednesday morning.
 
Reported by: Todd Shorkey
 

Sarnia

Atlantic Superior arrived with possible engine trouble at the North Slip in Point Edward from Imperial Oil at 18:00 Tuesday with assists from tugs Evans McKeil, Scott Purvis and Menasha. After repairs, she left for Superior to load at 22:50 Tuesday.

Reported by Barry Hiscocks
 

Port Huron

The new passenger liner Orion called at Port Huron’s Seaway Terminal on Tuesday afternoon, bound for the upper lakes. She reportedly looks very similar to LeLevant.

Reported by: Capt. Wade P. Streeter

Orion (Photo by Frank Frisk)
 

 


Diamond Belle Will Visit Sans Souci July 4

06/30

Diamond Jack's River Tours has announced that the Diamond Belle will make a special trip to Sans Souci on Harsens Island July 4.  Space on the 400-passenger vessel is limited to the first 150 requests for tickets.
 
The Diamond Belle will depart Stroh's River Place dock at 0800 and follow the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair and up the Cut Off canal up to Sans Souci on Harsens Island, arriving about 1100.  A continental breakfast will be served on board the vessel while crossing the lake, and a picnic barbecue luncheon in a tent in Sans Souci on the edge of the St. Clair River is included.
 
Departing Sans Souci at 1330 (1:30 p.m.) the mini ship will follow the Venice of America route down the old South Channel following the route of the old steamer Tashmoo, past the sites of many old hotels including the Idle Hour and the Old Club. Then back to Detoit following the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair.
 
Tickets are $60 per person by reservation only.  Call 313-843-9376 for more information.

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 25

On 25 June 1892, the PILLSBURY (steel propeller whaleback bulk freighter, 320 foot, 2234 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. at West Superior, Wisconsin.  She was rebuilt at Conneaut, Ohio in the winter of 1918-1919 (315.75 x 42.25 x 24.16; 2394 gross tons- 1465 net tons) when she received straight sides and a flattened deck. In 1927, she was converted to crane vessel, with two cranes on deck.  In November 1934, she stranded on the north pier at Muskegon, Michigan in a storm and then broke in half.  She was scrapped the following year.

In 1927 the B F AFFLECK (Hull#178) was launched at Toledo, Ohio by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On June 25, 1938, the WILLIMA A IRVIN began her maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., leaving Lorain, Ohio for Duluth to load iron ore.

INDIANA HARBOR set a then record cargo on June 25, 1993 loading 71,369 tons of western low sulfur coal at Superior’s Midwest Energy Terminal and transporting it 50 miles to Silver Bay, Minnesota.

The ALGOBAY collided head-on with the steamer MONTREALAIS in foggy conditions on the St. Clair River June 25, 1980 causing extensive bow damage to both vessels. Repairs to the ALGOBAY were made by Herb Fraser & Associates, Port Colborne, Ont. at an estimated cost of $500,000. She returned to service by mid August, 1980.

At 1:00 AM on 25 June 1878, the 161', 3-mast wooden schooner PESHTIGO and the 143 foot, 3-mast wooden schooner ST ANDREW collided and sank near Cheboygan, Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac. Newspapers of the time claimed that forest fire smoke hampered visibility. Both vessels sank quickly. Two of the crew of PESHTIGO were lost, but the rest were rescued by the schooner S V R WATSON. The entire crew of ST ANDREW was rescued by the Canadian propeller OCEAN.

On the afternoon of 25 June 1885, the tug NIAGARA had the schooner MOUNT BLANC in tow while coming rounding to pick up the schooner REINDEER near Stag Island on the St. Clair River. The MOUNT BLANC struck the wreck of the tug B B JONES. The JONES had exploded in Port Huron on 25 May 1871 and the wreck was towed to the head of Stag Island where it was abandoned. After striking the wreck of the JONES, the ore laden MOUNT BLANC sank. She was later recovered and repaired and lasted until 1901.

On this day in June 25,1892 the American Steel Barge Company, West Superior Wisconsin, Captain Alexander McDougall manager, held the first triple launching on the Great Lakes which included the whalebacks PILLSBURY, WASHBURN and the small tug ISLAY. A crowd in excess of 10,000 people witnessed the event. Only the tug ISLAY remains afloat on the North Menominee Canal at the Port of Milwaukee.  
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 26

On 26 June 1895, the GEORGE FARWELL (wooden propeller steam barge, 182 foot, 977 gross tons) was launched by Alexander Anderson at Marine City, Michigan.  After leaving the ways, she looked like she would capsize, but she righted herself.  About 500 people watched the launch.  She was taken to the Atlantic Coast in 1900.  She only lasted until 1906 when she stranded on Cape Henry, Virginia and was a total loss.

On 26 June 1867, WATERS W BRAMAN (wooden propeller tug, 89 tons, built in 1858 at Boston, Massachusetts for the U.S.Q.M.C. and named RESCUE) was near Pelee Island in Lake Erie when fire started in her coal bunker and quickly spread. Her crew abandoned her in the yawl and were later picked up by the propeller TRADER. She had been sold by the Quartermaster Corps just the previous year and she had come to the Lakes from the East Coast just five weeks before this accident.

On 26 June 1900, Boynton & Thompson purchased the wreck of the NELLIE TORRENT (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 141 foot, 303 gross tons, built in 1881 at Wyandotte, Michigan) to raised her. She had been destroyed by fire at Lime Island near Detour, Michigan on 22 June 1899.

On 26 June 1882, the Port Huron Times reported that the ARAXES (wooden propeller, 182 foot, 569 gross tons, built in 1856 at Buffalo, New York) sank in the Straits of Mackinac. She was raised on 6 July 1882 and repaired. She was built in 1856 and lasted until the summer of 1894 when she sank 4 miles off Bay City in Saginaw.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 27

At 4:04 p.m. on 27 June 1890, the Beatty Line’s MONARCH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2017 tons) was launched at Sarnia, Ontario.  The launching was watched by numerous people on the decks of various steamers and on both sides of the St. Clair River.  The MONARCH was built of white oak and braced with iron.  She had 62 staterooms

Package freighter CHIMO (Hull#662) was launched in 1967 at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.  In 1983, CHIMO’s stern was attached to the bow and cargo section of the HILDA MARJANNE to create the CANADIAN RANGER.

WILLIAM EDENBORN (Hull#40) (steel propeller freighter, 478 foot, 5085 gross tons) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by West Bay City Ship Building Co. for the American Steamship Co., Duluth (A.B. Wolvin, mgr.) on 27 June 1900.

PRETORIA (3-mast schooner-barge, 338 foot, 2790 gross tons) was launched at J. Davidson's yard (Hull #94) in West Bay City, Michigan on 27 June 1900. Mr. Davidson built her for his own fleet. She was one of the largest wooden vessel ever built and lasted until September 1905 when she sank in Lake Superior.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 28

On June 28, 1938, at 8:50 a.m., the WILLIAM A IRVIN departed Duluth with her first cargo of iron ore for Lorain, Ohio. 48 years later, in 1986, almost to the minute, the WILLIAM A IRVIN opened as a museum to the public.

The ATLANTIC SUPERIOR arrived at the Algoma Steel Plant, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on her maiden voyage in 1982 with a load of taconite but before she was unloaded christening ceremonies were conducted there.

The SAM LAUD ran aground June 28, 1975 on a shoal south of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, with a cargo of coal from Chicago, Illinois for Green Bay, Wisconsin. Six-thousand tons of coal were off-loaded the next day into the NICOLET, a.) WILIAM G MATHER, before she could proceed to Green Bay along with the NICOLET to discharge cargoes. SAM LAUD entered the dry dock at Sturgeon Bay on July 3rd for repairs. She had suffered extensive bottom damage with leakage into seven double bottom tanks and the forepeak. She returned to service on August 21, 1975.

On 28 June 1893, JAMES AMADEUS (wooden propeller tug, 65 foot, 44 gross tons, built in 1872 at Cleveland, Ohio) sprang a leak and foundered near Cleveland, Ohio. Her crew abandoned her just before she went down.

On 28 June 1909, TEMPEST (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 138 foot, 370 gross tons, built in 1876 at Grand Haven, Michigan) burned to a total loss while unloading coal at the Galnais Dock at Perry Sound, Ontario. She was consumed very quickly and six of her crew were killed.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 29

On 29 June 1902, GEORGE DUNBAR (wooden propeller freighter, 134 foot, 238 gross tons, built in 1867 at Allegan, Michigan) was loaded with coal when she was damaged by a sudden squall on Lake Erie near Kelley’s Island and sank.  Seven of the crew elected to stay aboard while the skipper, his wife and daughter made for shore in the lifeboat.  Those three were saved but the seven perished on a makeshift raft.

The CHARLES M SCHWAB (Hull#496) was launched in 1923 at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Co., for the Interlake Steamship Co.  Lengthened with a new midbody and repowered with the stern section of the tanker GULFPORT in 1961.  Sold Canadian in 1975, renamed b.) PIERSON DAUGHTERS and c.) BEECHGLEN in 1982.  Scrapped at Port Maitland, Ontario in 1995.

On June 29, 1962, the HAMILTONIAN began her maiden voyage for Eastern Lake Carriers (Papachristidis Co. Ltd.).  Renamed b.) PETITE HERMINE in 1967.  Purchased by Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972, renamed c.) CANADIAN HUNTER.  Scrapped at Alang, India in 1996.

The JOSEPH L BLOCK was christened on June 29, 1976 for Inland Steel Co..

The Canadian schooner DUNSTOWN arrived at Malden, Ontario on 29 June 1875 to be put in place as a lightship. Her sides were painted in large white letters: BAR POINT LIGHTSHIP.

On 29 June 1864, ALVIN CLARK (2-mast wooden schooner, 113 foot, 220 tons, built in 1846 at Truago (Trenton), Michigan) foundered in a terrific squall off Chambers Island on Green Bay. Two of the crew were rescued by the brig DEWITT, but three lost their lives. In 1969, a schooner identified as the CLARK was raised at great expense and put on display for some time at Marinette, Wisconsin, then at Menominee, Michigan, but it only lasted until 1995 when it was destroyed.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 30

On 30 June 1917, while being towed out of the Milwaukee River by the tugs WELCOME and KNIGHT TEMPLAR, the Goodrich Lines’ CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (steel propeller whaleback passenger steamer, 362 foot, 1511 gross tons, built in 1893 at West Superior, Wisconsin), with 413 passengers onboard, was caught by the current and swung close to shore.  The overhang of her snout-bow sheered off two legs of the water tower of the Yahr-Lang Drug Company and the tower fell onto the vessel, destroying the pilothouse and forward decks.  The water from the tower rushed down the length of the upper decks.  16 were killed and over 20 were seriously injured.  The surviving passengers were taken to Chicago by train.  The vessel was repaired and put back into service the following year.

On 30 June 1900, MARIAN TELLER (wooden propeller tug, 52 foot, 33 gross tons, built in 1879 at West Bay City, Michigan) was towing the barge CANTON on Lake St. Clair. The TELLER sprang a leak about one mile from the Lake St. Clair Lightship. The rising water put out her fires. In the scramble to escape, the yawl was swamped and three lives were lost. Only Captain Cornwall and his son were saved when the passing steamer NORWALK picked them up.

Data from: Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, David Swayze, 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.

 

 


Soo Locks Engineer's Day Activities

06/24

The Detroit District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced some special activities in additional to the open house at the Soo Locks on Friday. Water displays will include the Gatelifter Crane Paul Bunyan, the Survey Vessel Bufe, and the derrick barge Nicolet.

Visitors to the Soo Locks Visitors Center will be entertained by Tom Maleport and Pat O'Connor, two Corps employees, who will sing locks-specific songs and a variety of mariner-related songs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Bill Jamerson, a Michigan story-teller will entertain with a guitar as he performs songs about lumberjacks, the Civil Conservation Corps, iron miners, ski jumpers, saunas, pasties and more.

The Michigan Army National Guard's 1437th Combat Engineer Company, headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, will be displaying a bridge truck, a boat truck and a humvee.

Lt. Col. Thomas H. Magness, commander of the Detroit District will also be on hand. Col. Magness, who is due to be rotated out of the Detroit District, was a major factor in the establishment of the Soo Lock Visitors Association last year. He is completing a two-year assignment to the Detroit District.

Reported by: Dave Wobser

 

 


Diamond Belle Will Visit Sans Souci July 4

06/30

Diamond Jack's River Tours has announced that the Diamond Belle will make a special trip to Sans Souci on Harsens Island July 4.  Space on the 400-passenger vessel is limited to the first 150 requests for tickets.
 
The Diamond Belle will depart Stroh's River Place dock at 0800 and follow the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair and up the Cut Off canal up to Sans Souci on Harsens Island, arriving about 1100.  A continental breakfast will be served on board the vessel while crossing the lake, and a picnic barbecue luncheon in a tent in Sans Souci on the edge of the St. Clair River is included.
 
Departing Sans Souci at 1330 (1:30 p.m.) the mini ship will follow the Venice of America route down the old South Channel following the route of the old steamer Tashmoo, past the sites of many old hotels including the Idle Hour and the Old Club. Then back to Detoit following the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair.
 
Tickets are $60 per person by reservation only.  Call 313-843-9376 for more information.

 


 


Detroit River Tugboat Race

06/24

Click here to view race results and pictures from the 2004 Detroit River Tugboat Race. If you have pictures of the event please e-mail news@boatnerd.net

 

 


Today In Great Lakes History

06/24

Today in Great Lakes History - June 24

On June 24, 1971, a fire broke out in the engine room of the ROGER BLOUGH killing four yard workers and extensively damaging her Pielstick diesel engines. Extensive repairs, which included replacement of both engines, delayed the launch for nearly a year.

The RIDGETOWN was launched June 24, 1905 as a) WILLIAM E COREY (Hull#67), at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co., the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

CANOPUS (2-mast wooden brig, 386 tons, built in 1855 at Huron, Ohio) was carrying 16,500 bushels of wheat when she collided with the bark REPUBLIC between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on 24 June 1865. The CANOPUS sank in about 20 minutes off Clay banks on Lake Erie. No lives were lost.

The wooden scow MYRA of Ashtabula was lost in a terrible squall on Lake Erie off Elk Creek on 24 June 1875. Three lives were lost.

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

 


Canadian Trader to Join Canadian Venture on Scrap Tow

06/23

The Commodore Straits, towing the scrapyard-bound Canadian Venture and with the tug Vigilant 1 on the stern and the tug Seahound assisting, continues her passage to Montreal.

In Montreal, the tug Haedong Star is being prepared to tow the Canadian Venture to Quebec City where she will hook up with the retired Canadian Trader after the latter's arrival from Trois Rivieres. The Haedong Star will also receive a new name, "Strong Deliverer," and will be flagged Panamanian according to the Port of Montreal website. The Trader and Venture are bound for Bangladesh for scrapping.

In the interim, more parts will be removed from the Canadian Venture's engine room. The pilot house has been cannibalized to such a large extent it looks bare.

Commodore Straits will return to Toronto after Canada Day celebrations, reportedly to pick up the Canadian Mariner and tow her to Montreal for an eventual overseas scrap tow as well.


Reported by: Kent Malo, Ron Walsh
 

 


Buffalo Calls on Namesake River, City

06/23

History was repeated Monday night when the M/V Buffalo headed up the Buffalo River in her namesake city for the first time since Republic Steel shut down in 1984. The ship was expected to unload a stone cargo at the new BIDCO Marine Services dock at the old Buffalo Dry Dock Yard. She unloaded and departed with one tug early on the morning of the 22nd.

BIDCO recently bought and demolished the burned out remains of the old Erie RR Freight house along the river between their property and the Burnette Trucking Terminal below the Ohio Street Bridge. A BIDCO diver was sent along the bottom of the river to check for obstructions and a landing was created to receive bulk cargo directly from self unloaders.

The Fred R White is due soon with sand for the same facility. The Joseph H. Frantz should be in port with grain some time on Saturday.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski
 

 


Detroit to Build New Dock For Cruise Ships

06/23

Detroit officials will break ground Monday on a new, $11.25 million passenger dock and terminal on the Detroit River downtown that they hope will allow the Motor City to cash in on a revived Great Lakes cruise ship.

“When a city like Detroit announces we are open for business, we have a terminal, you open yourself to revenue streams from tourism as well as the blunt edge of marine handling. People who sell vegetables and fuel oil and handle the garbage, all will benefit economically from ships visiting Detroit,” Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruise Coalition in Toronto, said in a story printed in Tuesday’s Detroit News.

 “We should think of this as a freeway, but we don’t yet have an exit or an on-ramp,” said Curtis Hertel, executive director of the port authority and a former state legislator.

Funding for the project comes from a $6 million federal transportation grant, $1.5 million from the Michigan Department of Transportation, $3 million in state waterfront redevelopment money and $750,000 in federal funding through the city.

 Land for the terminal was purchased for $3 million from General Motors, which also has plans for residential and open space development of other riverfront property near its Renaissance Center headquarters.

 “This is some of the best real estate in the state of Michigan, and most of what we have along the river is parking lots,” Matt Cullen, GM’s general manager of economic development and enterprise services, told the News.. “Not that I have anything against cars, but they don’t need a view of the river.”

Reported by: The Detroit News, Jason Leslie
 

 


Marine Mart Scheduled at Vermilion This Saturday

06/23

The Great Lakes Historical Society will host its 2nd Annual Nautical Mart Saturday on the grounds of the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio.  The Mart will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature six select dealers selling Great Lakes artifacts, china, photos, postcards, artwork, steamship schedules and other memorabilia.  A special feature of the Mart this year will be a Book Sale with hundreds of duplicate books from the Society’s library.  Many of these books are rare Great Lakes titles, and are priced to sell. Other activities at and near the museum that day are a wooden boat show, chicken barbeque, and antique automobiles on display. All are invited to come and make a day of it.

Reported by: Al Hart

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 23

On 23 June 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1967 at Montreal, Quebec) transitted the Soo Locks upbound for the first time.  She had an innovative self-unloading system with twin booms.  The movable crane was equipped with a chain of buckets so it could discharge cargo from either side.  This unloading system only lasted until 1976 when it was severely damaged in a squall on Lake Michigan.  The vessel was then converted from a combination self-unloader/bulk carrier to a bulk carrier.

In 1926 the GLENMHOR (Hull#16), the name was soon corrected to  GLENMOHR, was launched at Midland Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co., for Great Lakes Transportation Co., (James Playfair).  She was 6 feet wider and 4 feet shallower than the largest ship at that time.  Purchased by Canada Steamship Lines in 1926, renamed b.) LEMOYNE.  Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

1929 the  WILLIAM G CLYDE (Hull#804) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.  Converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) CALCITE II in 1961.  Renamed c.) MAUMEE in 2001.

Launched in 1972 was the ALGOWAY (2) (Hull#200) at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Algoma Central Railway.

The first whaleback, BARGE 101, was launched along the shore of St. Louis Bay near Duluth, Minnesota on 23 June 1888. Captain Alexander McDougall, the inventor and designer, was there along with his wife, her sister-in-law and several hundred spectators. As the vessel splashed in to the bay, Mrs. McDougall is supposed to have muttered, "There goes our last dollar!"

On 23 June 1900 the 450 foot steel steamer SIMON J MURPHY (Hull#135) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan by the Detroit Ship Building Co., for the Eddy - Shaw Transportation Co. of Bay City, Michigan.

On 23 June 1873, B F BRUCE was launched at Crosthwaite's yard in East Saginaw, Michigan. She is not properly a schooner, but what is known as a "three-and-after" in nautical terms. Her capacity was 50,000 bushels of grain (800 tons) and the building cost was $50,000.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Matthew Daley, 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

 

 


Superior Gets Grant to Study Whaleback Meteor Restoration

06/22 

Superior officials announced June 21 that the city and its public museum board will receive a $38,000 grant to study how to restore the Meteor, the last of Alexander McDougall's whalebacks.

The 366-foot Meteor was recently designated one of Wisconsin's 10 most endangered historic structures. The ship was launched in 1896 in Superior, a mile from where it is now located. It was permanently berthed in 1972 at Superior's Barkers Island and has operated since then as a museum.

Superior Mayor Dave Ross said the city is aggressively seeking money to save the Meteor before it deteriorates to the point it can't be restored. "Once we have a plan, I think we'll see some significant interest. Not just local, but national," he told the Duluth News Tribune.

The study will document the ship's history and significance and provide a blueprint for restoration. The bulk of the grant money will come from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, a federally funded state administration responsible for the preservation of historic sites and natural resources along Wisconsin's Great Lakes shores. Of the approximately $38,000 available in the grant, $5,000 will come from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The main concern is the condition of the ship's hull. The Meteor has been buried in sand since it returned to Superior, and a cement floor was poured across the bottom of the cargo hold, making it difficult to assess the hull's condition. Ross speculated the ship might have to be removed from its bed.

Launched in 1896 by Capt. Alexander McDougall's American Steel Barge Co., the Meteor hauled iron ore, sand, automobiles and oil over the course of its active life. The vessel was retired after it ran aground in November 1969 near Marquette, Mich. It was docked in Manitowoc, Wis., before being towed to Superior in 1972.

Reported by: Al Miller

Meteor as a tanker sometime in the 1940s leaving the Soo Locks (Tom Manse Collection)

 

 


Canadian Venture Tow Departs Toronto As Planned

06/22 

Canadian Venture left Monday morning from Toronto for Bangaladesh scrappers under tow of the Commodore Straits. Plans call for them to meet the tug Vigilant 1 at the Cape for the tow down the Seaway. Departure from Toronto was at 0835. At present, the ETA for Iroquois Lock is 100 Tuesday.  

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt, Ron Walsh, Kent Malo
 

 


Suspicious Fire Destroys Toronto’s Island Yacht Club

06/22

Sunday afternoon the firetug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie responded to a six-alarm blaze which destroyed Toronto’s Island Yacht Club. Firefighters could not get their trucks to the the club, which is located on Mugg's Island, and not connected by roads to the mainland. No one was reported injured in the blaze, which has been called suspicious in origin.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

 


Photo Gallery and Port Report

06/22

Detroit River photos By Mike Nicholls
6/18

Tug Muskegon and Dredge Buxton II downbound at Grassy Island.
Stern view
Tug Muskegon
Muskegon, stern view
Ira (Liberia) in Ojibway Anchorage.
Ira, stern view
Algofax upbound at Grassy Island, bound for Sarnia. This is a rare trip for the Algofax and may be one of her last. Reports indicate she will be retired at the end of the summer.
Algofax, stern view

6/15
Pineglen upbound at Grassy Island bound for Indiana Harbor.
Pineglen, stern view
Saginaw upbound at Grassy Island.
Stern shot of the Saginaw
John B. Aird, loading at Ojibway Salt.
Lake Michigan (Marshall Islands) at Ojibway Anchorage.
Lake Michigan, stern view
Federal Kivalina (Hong Kong) unloading at Morterm in Windsor.
Southdown Challenger, downbound off the Rouge Short Cut Canal.
Challenger, from the stern.
Philip R. Clarke, unloading at Zug Island.
Clarke, stern angle
Middletown
Middletown, stern view
Cason J. Callaway, downbound off Zug Island.
Callaway, stern view
Cement barge Integrity
G.L. Ostrander (ex-Jacklyn M) ready for re-christening at the LaFarge Dock in Detroit.
Ostrander, stern view
Barge Ocean Hauler with tug Evans McKeil
 

Alpena

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ tugs Billmaier and Hammond Bay along with the crane ship H.J Schwartz were in port last Wednesday thru Friday. The Schwartz was dredging the shipping channel that goes into the Thunder Bay River. Local media said a depth survey last December reported only16ft of water in some areas which prompted Algoma Central Marine vessels not to come back to the area.  
 
The Paul H. Townsend was in port last Wednesday evening taking on another cargo of cement for Green Bay, and is expected to return on Sunday. Last Friday morning the J.A.W Iglehart was at Lafarge loading cargo bound for South Chicago. The Earl W. Olgebay also visited Lafarge on Friday, unloading at the coal dock. The steamer Alpena will be back in port on Saturday after delivering on Lake Superior.

The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity was on Lake Michigan, stopping at Milwaukee and Waukegan.   
 
At Stoneport last, Friday the Cason J. Callaway took on cargo, and was followed by the Pathfinder. The McKee Sons, John G. Munson, & Philip R. Clarke were on schedule for Saturday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain

Billmaier
Billmaier and Hammond Bay, stern view
 

Recent aerial photos from the St. Clair River and southern Lake Huron by Don Coles
Arthur M. Anderson
Armco
Armco, another view
Canadian Transfer
Coast Guard Station Port Huron
Adam E. Cornelius
Cornelius, another view
Diamond Star at dock
Edwin H. Gott in the St. Clair River
Gott, another view
Gott, stern shot
Flintermaas in Lake Huron
Maumee at her lay-up dock in Sarnia.
Reserve
Reserve, another view
Sam Laud
St. Clair in the St. Clair River
St. Clair, another view
Wolverine in Lake Huron
Wolverine, another view
Ziema Lodzka
Ziema Lodzka, stern shot

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 22

On 22 June 1909, W P THEW (wooden propeller freighter, 133 foot, 207 gross tons, built in 1884 at Lorain, Ohio) was in ballast, creeping through the fog off Alpena, Michigan on Lake Huron when she was rammed by the WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (steel propeller freighter, 532 foot, 6634 gross tons, built in 1908 at Ecorse, Michigan).  After the collision, the LIVINGSTONE drifted away and lost track of the THEW.  The THEW sank in 80 feet of water.  Fortunately the steamer MARY C ELPHICKE answered the distress whistle and picked up the THEW’s crew from the lifeboat.  No lives were lost.

The  WILLIAM R ROESCH (Hull#901) was launched and christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., on June 22, 1973 for the Union Commerce Bank, Ohio (Trustee) and managed by the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio.  Renamed b.) DAVID Z NORTON (2) in 1995.

June 22, 1957 - W.L. Mercereau, known as the "Father of the Fleet", died. Mercereau developed the Pere Marquette fleet of car ferries into the "largest in the world".

On 22 June 1853, CHALLENGE (wooden propeller freighter, 198 foot, 665 tons, built in 1853 at Newport, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Buffalo with barreled pork and oats on one of her first trips. However, her boiler exploded off Cheboygan, Michigan. She burned and sank. Five died. The schooner NORTH STAR heard the blast ten miles away and came to the rescue of the rest of the passengers and crew.

On 22 June 1875, the Port Huron Times reported that "the Northern Transportation Company's fleet of 20 propellers, which have been idle all the season owing to difficulties between the Central Vermont and the Ogdensburg & Champlain Railroad Companies, have passed from the control of the Central Vermont Railroad Company and will commence regular trips as soon as they can be fitted out."

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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

 


Soo Locks Engineer's Day Activities

06/24

The Detroit District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced some special activities in additional to the open house at the Soo Locks on Friday. Water displays will include the Gatelifter Crane Paul Bunyan, the Survey Vessel Bufe, and the derrick barge Nicolet.

Visitors to the Soo Locks Visitors Center will be entertained by Tom Maleport and Pat O'Connor, two Corps employees, who will sing locks-specific songs and a variety of mariner-related songs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Bill Jamerson, a Michigan story-teller will entertain with a guitar as he performs songs about lumberjacks, the Civil Conservation Corps, iron miners, ski jumpers, saunas, pasties and more.

The Michigan Army National Guard's 1437th Combat Engineer Company, headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, will be displaying a bridge truck, a boat truck and a humvee.

Lt. Col. Thomas H. Magness, commander of the Detroit District will also be on hand. Col. Magness, who is due to be rotated out of the Detroit District, was a major factor in the establishment of the Soo Lock Visitors Association last year. He is completing a two-year assignment to the Detroit District.

Reported by: Dave Wobser

 

 


Diamond Belle Will Visit Sans Souci July 4

06/24

Diamond Jack's River Tours has announced that the Diamond Belle will make a special trip to Sans Souci on Harsens Island July 4.  Space on the 400-passenger vessel is limited to the first 150 requests for tickets.
 
The Diamond Belle will depart Stroh's River Place dock at 0800 and follow the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair and up the Cut Off canal up to Sans Souci on Harsens Island, arriving about 1100.  A continental breakfast will be served on board the vessel while crossing the lake, and a picnic barbecue luncheon in a tent in Sans Souci on the edge of the St. Clair River is included.
 
Departing Sans Souci at 1330 (1:30 p.m.) the mini ship will follow the Venice of America route down the old South Channel following the route of the old steamer Tashmoo, past the sites of many old hotels including the Idle Hour and the Old Club. Then back to Detoit following the shipping channel across Lake St. Clair.
 
Tickets are $60 per person by reservation only.  Call 313-843-9376 for more information.

 


 


Detroit River Tugboat Race

06/24

Click here to view race results and pictures from the 2004 Detroit River Tugboat Race. If you have pictures of the event please e-mail news@boatnerd.net

 

 


Today In Great Lakes History

06/24

Today in Great Lakes History - June 24

On June 24, 1971, a fire broke out in the engine room of the ROGER BLOUGH killing four yard workers and extensively damaging her Pielstick diesel engines. Extensive repairs, which included replacement of both engines, delayed the launch for nearly a year.

The RIDGETOWN was launched June 24, 1905 as a) WILLIAM E COREY (Hull#67), at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co., the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

CANOPUS (2-mast wooden brig, 386 tons, built in 1855 at Huron, Ohio) was carrying 16,500 bushels of wheat when she collided with the bark REPUBLIC between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on 24 June 1865. The CANOPUS sank in about 20 minutes off Clay banks on Lake Erie. No lives were lost.

The wooden scow MYRA of Ashtabula was lost in a terrible squall on Lake Erie off Elk Creek on 24 June 1875. Three lives were lost.

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

 


Canadian Trader to Join Canadian Venture on Scrap Tow

06/23

The Commodore Straits, towing the scrapyard-bound Canadian Venture and with the tug Vigilant 1 on the stern and the tug Seahound assisting, continues her passage to Montreal.

In Montreal, the tug Haedong Star is being prepared to tow the Canadian Venture to Quebec City where she will hook up with the retired Canadian Trader after the latter's arrival from Trois Rivieres. The Haedong Star will also receive a new name, "Strong Deliverer," and will be flagged Panamanian according to the Port of Montreal website. The Trader and Venture are bound for Bangladesh for scrapping.

In the interim, more parts will be removed from the Canadian Venture's engine room. The pilot house has been cannibalized to such a large extent it looks bare.

Commodore Straits will return to Toronto after Canada Day celebrations, reportedly to pick up the Canadian Mariner and tow her to Montreal for an eventual overseas scrap tow as well.


Reported by: Kent Malo, Ron Walsh
 

 


Buffalo Calls on Namesake River, City

06/23

History was repeated Monday night when the M/V Buffalo headed up the Buffalo River in her namesake city for the first time since Republic Steel shut down in 1984. The ship was expected to unload a stone cargo at the new BIDCO Marine Services dock at the old Buffalo Dry Dock Yard. She unloaded and departed with one tug early on the morning of the 22nd.

BIDCO recently bought and demolished the burned out remains of the old Erie RR Freight house along the river between their property and the Burnette Trucking Terminal below the Ohio Street Bridge. A BIDCO diver was sent along the bottom of the river to check for obstructions and a landing was created to receive bulk cargo directly from self unloaders.

The Fred R White is due soon with sand for the same facility. The Joseph H. Frantz should be in port with grain some time on Saturday.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski
 

 


Detroit to Build New Dock For Cruise Ships

06/23

Detroit officials will break ground Monday on a new, $11.25 million passenger dock and terminal on the Detroit River downtown that they hope will allow the Motor City to cash in on a revived Great Lakes cruise ship.

“When a city like Detroit announces we are open for business, we have a terminal, you open yourself to revenue streams from tourism as well as the blunt edge of marine handling. People who sell vegetables and fuel oil and handle the garbage, all will benefit economically from ships visiting Detroit,” Stephen Burnett, executive director of the Great Lakes Cruise Coalition in Toronto, said in a story printed in Tuesday’s Detroit News.

 “We should think of this as a freeway, but we don’t yet have an exit or an on-ramp,” said Curtis Hertel, executive director of the port authority and a former state legislator.

Funding for the project comes from a $6 million federal transportation grant, $1.5 million from the Michigan Department of Transportation, $3 million in state waterfront redevelopment money and $750,000 in federal funding through the city.

 Land for the terminal was purchased for $3 million from General Motors, which also has plans for residential and open space development of other riverfront property near its Renaissance Center headquarters.

 “This is some of the best real estate in the state of Michigan, and most of what we have along the river is parking lots,” Matt Cullen, GM’s general manager of economic development and enterprise services, told the News.. “Not that I have anything against cars, but they don’t need a view of the river.”

Reported by: The Detroit News, Jason Leslie
 

 


Marine Mart Scheduled at Vermilion This Saturday

06/23

The Great Lakes Historical Society will host its 2nd Annual Nautical Mart Saturday on the grounds of the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio.  The Mart will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature six select dealers selling Great Lakes artifacts, china, photos, postcards, artwork, steamship schedules and other memorabilia.  A special feature of the Mart this year will be a Book Sale with hundreds of duplicate books from the Society’s library.  Many of these books are rare Great Lakes titles, and are priced to sell. Other activities at and near the museum that day are a wooden boat show, chicken barbeque, and antique automobiles on display. All are invited to come and make a day of it.

Reported by: Al Hart

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 23

On 23 June 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1967 at Montreal, Quebec) transitted the Soo Locks upbound for the first time.  She had an innovative self-unloading system with twin booms.  The movable crane was equipped with a chain of buckets so it could discharge cargo from either side.  This unloading system only lasted until 1976 when it was severely damaged in a squall on Lake Michigan.  The vessel was then converted from a combination self-unloader/bulk carrier to a bulk carrier.

In 1926 the GLENMHOR (Hull#16), the name was soon corrected to  GLENMOHR, was launched at Midland Ontario by Midland Shipbuilding Co., for Great Lakes Transportation Co., (James Playfair).  She was 6 feet wider and 4 feet shallower than the largest ship at that time.  Purchased by Canada Steamship Lines in 1926, renamed b.) LEMOYNE.  Scrapped at Santander, Spain in 1969.

1929 the  WILLIAM G CLYDE (Hull#804) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Shipbuilding Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.  Converted to a self-unloader and renamed b.) CALCITE II in 1961.  Renamed c.) MAUMEE in 2001.

Launched in 1972 was the ALGOWAY (2) (Hull#200) at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Algoma Central Railway.

The first whaleback, BARGE 101, was launched along the shore of St. Louis Bay near Duluth, Minnesota on 23 June 1888. Captain Alexander McDougall, the inventor and designer, was there along with his wife, her sister-in-law and several hundred spectators. As the vessel splashed in to the bay, Mrs. McDougall is supposed to have muttered, "There goes our last dollar!"

On 23 June 1900 the 450 foot steel steamer SIMON J MURPHY (Hull#135) was launched at Wyandotte, Michigan by the Detroit Ship Building Co., for the Eddy - Shaw Transportation Co. of Bay City, Michigan.

On 23 June 1873, B F BRUCE was launched at Crosthwaite's yard in East Saginaw, Michigan. She is not properly a schooner, but what is known as a "three-and-after" in nautical terms. Her capacity was 50,000 bushels of grain (800 tons) and the building cost was $50,000.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Matthew Daley, 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

 

 


Superior Gets Grant to Study Whaleback Meteor Restoration

06/22 

Superior officials announced June 21 that the city and its public museum board will receive a $38,000 grant to study how to restore the Meteor, the last of Alexander McDougall's whalebacks.

The 366-foot Meteor was recently designated one of Wisconsin's 10 most endangered historic structures. The ship was launched in 1896 in Superior, a mile from where it is now located. It was permanently berthed in 1972 at Superior's Barkers Island and has operated since then as a museum.

Superior Mayor Dave Ross said the city is aggressively seeking money to save the Meteor before it deteriorates to the point it can't be restored. "Once we have a plan, I think we'll see some significant interest. Not just local, but national," he told the Duluth News Tribune.

The study will document the ship's history and significance and provide a blueprint for restoration. The bulk of the grant money will come from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, a federally funded state administration responsible for the preservation of historic sites and natural resources along Wisconsin's Great Lakes shores. Of the approximately $38,000 available in the grant, $5,000 will come from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The main concern is the condition of the ship's hull. The Meteor has been buried in sand since it returned to Superior, and a cement floor was poured across the bottom of the cargo hold, making it difficult to assess the hull's condition. Ross speculated the ship might have to be removed from its bed.

Launched in 1896 by Capt. Alexander McDougall's American Steel Barge Co., the Meteor hauled iron ore, sand, automobiles and oil over the course of its active life. The vessel was retired after it ran aground in November 1969 near Marquette, Mich. It was docked in Manitowoc, Wis., before being towed to Superior in 1972.

Reported by: Al Miller

Meteor as a tanker sometime in the 1940s leaving the Soo Locks (Tom Manse Collection)

 

 


Canadian Venture Tow Departs Toronto As Planned

06/22 

Canadian Venture left Monday morning from Toronto for Bangaladesh scrappers under tow of the Commodore Straits. Plans call for them to meet the tug Vigilant 1 at the Cape for the tow down the Seaway. Departure from Toronto was at 0835. At present, the ETA for Iroquois Lock is 100 Tuesday.  

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt, Ron Walsh, Kent Malo
 

 


Suspicious Fire Destroys Toronto’s Island Yacht Club

06/22

Sunday afternoon the firetug Wm. Lyon Mackenzie responded to a six-alarm blaze which destroyed Toronto’s Island Yacht Club. Firefighters could not get their trucks to the the club, which is located on Mugg's Island, and not connected by roads to the mainland. No one was reported injured in the blaze, which has been called suspicious in origin.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

 


Photo Gallery and Port Report

06/22

Detroit River photos By Mike Nicholls
6/18

Tug Muskegon and Dredge Buxton II downbound at Grassy Island.
Stern view
Tug Muskegon
Muskegon, stern view
Ira (Liberia) in Ojibway Anchorage.
Ira, stern view
Algofax upbound at Grassy Island, bound for Sarnia. This is a rare trip for the Algofax and may be one of her last. Reports indicate she will be retired at the end of the summer.
Algofax, stern view

6/15
Pineglen upbound at Grassy Island bound for Indiana Harbor.
Pineglen, stern view
Saginaw upbound at Grassy Island.
Stern shot of the Saginaw
John B. Aird, loading at Ojibway Salt.
Lake Michigan (Marshall Islands) at Ojibway Anchorage.
Lake Michigan, stern view
Federal Kivalina (Hong Kong) unloading at Morterm in Windsor.
Southdown Challenger, downbound off the Rouge Short Cut Canal.
Challenger, from the stern.
Philip R. Clarke, unloading at Zug Island.
Clarke, stern angle
Middletown
Middletown, stern view
Cason J. Callaway, downbound off Zug Island.
Callaway, stern view
Cement barge Integrity
G.L. Ostrander (ex-Jacklyn M) ready for re-christening at the LaFarge Dock in Detroit.
Ostrander, stern view
Barge Ocean Hauler with tug Evans McKeil
 

Alpena

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ tugs Billmaier and Hammond Bay along with the crane ship H.J Schwartz were in port last Wednesday thru Friday. The Schwartz was dredging the shipping channel that goes into the Thunder Bay River. Local media said a depth survey last December reported only16ft of water in some areas which prompted Algoma Central Marine vessels not to come back to the area.  
 
The Paul H. Townsend was in port last Wednesday evening taking on another cargo of cement for Green Bay, and is expected to return on Sunday. Last Friday morning the J.A.W Iglehart was at Lafarge loading cargo bound for South Chicago. The Earl W. Olgebay also visited Lafarge on Friday, unloading at the coal dock. The steamer Alpena will be back in port on Saturday after delivering on Lake Superior.

The G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity was on Lake Michigan, stopping at Milwaukee and Waukegan.   
 
At Stoneport last, Friday the Cason J. Callaway took on cargo, and was followed by the Pathfinder. The McKee Sons, John G. Munson, & Philip R. Clarke were on schedule for Saturday.

Reported by: Ben & Chanda McClain

Billmaier
Billmaier and Hammond Bay, stern view
 

Recent aerial photos from the St. Clair River and southern Lake Huron by Don Coles
Arthur M. Anderson
Armco
Armco, another view
Canadian Transfer
Coast Guard Station Port Huron
Adam E. Cornelius
Cornelius, another view
Diamond Star at dock
Edwin H. Gott in the St. Clair River
Gott, another view
Gott, stern shot
Flintermaas in Lake Huron
Maumee at her lay-up dock in Sarnia.
Reserve
Reserve, another view
Sam Laud
St. Clair in the St. Clair River
St. Clair, another view
Wolverine in Lake Huron
Wolverine, another view
Ziema Lodzka
Ziema Lodzka, stern shot

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 22

On 22 June 1909, W P THEW (wooden propeller freighter, 133 foot, 207 gross tons, built in 1884 at Lorain, Ohio) was in ballast, creeping through the fog off Alpena, Michigan on Lake Huron when she was rammed by the WILLIAM LIVINGSTONE (steel propeller freighter, 532 foot, 6634 gross tons, built in 1908 at Ecorse, Michigan).  After the collision, the LIVINGSTONE drifted away and lost track of the THEW.  The THEW sank in 80 feet of water.  Fortunately the steamer MARY C ELPHICKE answered the distress whistle and picked up the THEW’s crew from the lifeboat.  No lives were lost.

The  WILLIAM R ROESCH (Hull#901) was launched and christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., on June 22, 1973 for the Union Commerce Bank, Ohio (Trustee) and managed by the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, Ohio.  Renamed b.) DAVID Z NORTON (2) in 1995.

June 22, 1957 - W.L. Mercereau, known as the "Father of the Fleet", died. Mercereau developed the Pere Marquette fleet of car ferries into the "largest in the world".

On 22 June 1853, CHALLENGE (wooden propeller freighter, 198 foot, 665 tons, built in 1853 at Newport, Michigan) was bound from Chicago for Buffalo with barreled pork and oats on one of her first trips. However, her boiler exploded off Cheboygan, Michigan. She burned and sank. Five died. The schooner NORTH STAR heard the blast ten miles away and came to the rescue of the rest of the passengers and crew.

On 22 June 1875, the Port Huron Times reported that "the Northern Transportation Company's fleet of 20 propellers, which have been idle all the season owing to difficulties between the Central Vermont and the Ogdensburg & Champlain Railroad Companies, have passed from the control of the Central Vermont Railroad Company and will commence regular trips as soon as they can be fitted out."

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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

 

 


Canadian Venture Scrap Tow Could  Leave Today

06/21

The ULS Group tug Commodore Straits arrived in Toronto around 6 a.m. Saturday and berthed at Pier 35 south. The tug is expected to tow the former ULS bulk carrier Canadian Venture out of the Great Lakes to Bangladesh for scrapping. An exact departure time is unclear, but it could be as early as today.

The vessel, which last operated in fall, 2001, has been laid up at Toronto. She had been sold to International Marine Salvage and was scheduled to be cut up at Port Colborne Ont. However recent developments indicate she may have been resold to overseas scrappers.

Canadian Venture was built by Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon, PQ and commissioned on June 5, 1965 as the Lawrencecliffe for Halco Inc. On Nov.16, 1965, while loaded with ore from Port Cartier bound for Conneaut, the Lawrencecliffe Hall collided with the British general cargo carrier Sunek during a snowstorm on the St. Lawrence River 14 miles east of Quebec City. After failed attempts to beach her, she rolled onto her starboard side and sank in 35 feet of water. All 24 crewmembers were safely removed. She was raised and towed to Lauzon for repairs, returning to service Aug.1,1966.

The Lawrencecliffe Hall was acquired by Misener Shipping Ltd., St. Catharines, ON in 1988 when she was renamed David K. Gardiner. From 1991 through 1994, she sailed under the management of Great Lakes Bulk Carriers. This vessel was the subject of another name change when, in 1994, the David K. Gardiner was bought by the Upper Lakes Group, Inc., Toronto, ON. She was renamed Canadian Venture at that time.

Reported by: Kent Malo, George Wharton, Charlie Gibbons

Clipping from a January 1966 newspaper shows Lawrencecliffe Hall salvage effort

Photos by Roger LeLievre
As Lawrencecliffe Hall, in the MacArthur Lock, 1966
Canadian Venture at the grain elevator in Sarnia on Sept. 29, 2001, during her last season of operation.
Loading, close up. Note the Hall Corp. “wishbone” logo still visible on her stack.

 

 


Last Coal Cargo Delivered to Port Washington

06/21 

A beautiful clear sky, plus an announcement in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, brought out a nice crowd Saturday evening to see and photograph the last coal delivery to Port Washington June 19.

The John J. Boland unloaded 19,000 tons of coal at the WE Energies power plant ending over 70 years of coal delivered by water. This should be enough coal to last the plant through the summer. The plant will be decommissioned this fall. When it comes back on line next year it will be fired by natural gas.

There will be an open house of the Port Washington power plant Sunday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Part of the tour will include a Great Lakes freighter that will stop by empty. (Early reports are that it will be the Middletown.)

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Photos by Andy LaBorde
The restored Smith Bros. net house is the only thing left from Port Washington's fishing industry.
The city put up this monument to honor Port Washington's commercial fishing heritage.
Slip once was the location of a petroleum dock and was a regular stop for the Amoco tankers. Now it is part of Port Washington's extensive marina. 

Photos by: James Bartelt
John J Boland passing the Port Washington lighthouse
John  J Boland close up, approaching the WE-Energy's Port Washington, Wis., coal dock.
John J Boland unloading coal
Bow view of the John J Boland

 

 


Lake Express Trip Sunday a Meeting of Old, New

06/21 

A group of Ohio Model A owners on their way to the National Model A convention in Madison, Wis., took advantage of the Lake Express car ferry Sunday. The thought of driving their Model As through Chicago made the Lake Express a logical choice. The convoy faced a slight delay when one of the seven cars failed to start upon arriving in Milwaukee. The faulty distributor was quickly changed  and the group headed west to join the other 600 Ford Model As expected to attend the convention this week.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

The Lake Express arriving Sunday evening in Milwaukee.
Shifting sideways to line up with the dock.
The Milwaukee terminal opened this weekend.
The ferry seems to be popular with many classic car owners.
Pushing sick car
Working on the car as the Lake Express departs in the background.
A crowd watches the Lake Express dock. Future landscaping can be seen in the foreground.
 

 


Toledo Lighthouse To Appear on Ohio License Plate

06/21

Toledo's 100-year-old lighthouse will grace a new Lake Erie commemorative license plate to help benefit the Lake Erie Protection Fund.

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission, at its regular quarterly meeting last Thursday, approved the proposed license design depicting the historic Toledo Harbor Light, which could be available as early as July.

Located about five miles from Maumee Bay State Park in the shipping channel, the harbor light is a tan, brick, three-story Romanesque structure with a black roof. It guards the Toledo harbor leading to the mouth of the Maumee River.

The Toledo Harbor Lighthouse plate will be offered along with the Marblehead Lighthouse plate, which has been available since 1993 and has generated $7.5 million for the Lake Erie Protection Fund, which relies on license plate revenue. Either commemorative license plate will cost Ohioans $25 more than the standard $57 for a set of regular plates, with $15 from each sale going toward the protection fund.

Reported by: Toledo Blade, Dave Wobser

 

 


All Aboard for Boatnerd Cruise This Friday

06/21

There is still some space available for the Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise on the Chief Shingwauk this Friday, June 25, leaving Soo, Ontario at 6 p.m. for a full four hours on the St. Marys River. This is an additional hour this year for a small increase in cost. Cost, $20 US or $25 Canadian includes onboard dinner of KFC chicken, fires, salad and rolls. Cash bar on the boat.

Special guest Lee Murdock, will be providing musical entertainment between freighters.

Call to make your reservation today - (705)253-9850, or 1-877-226-3665.
 

Fawn Island Gathering Coming Up


Reservations are coming in fast for the July 17th Fawn Island Boatnerd Gathering and St. Clair River cruise aboard the Hammond Bay. Only a few seats left on the boat. For information, click the Annual Boatnerd Gathering icon on the Boatnerd home page.

There is still plenty of room left for non-cruising Boatnerds who want to sit in the shade and watch the river traffic. Capt. Richard Metz, author of "Sea Stories," is the guest speaker.

Reported by: Dave Wobser

 

 


Port Report

06/21

Duluth-Superior

June 20 was a slow day in Duluth-Superior, but it still brought out two interesting vessel calls. In Duluth, the Joseph A. Frantz was unloading salt at the Cutler-Magner dock. This is the second consecutive salt cargo the Frantz has delivered to Cutler-Magner.
 
Across the harbor, American Mariner was unloading stone at the CLM dock. This was a rare call for that vessel; most deliveries to CLM have been made by Interlake boats or Oglebay-Norton boats.

The decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter Sundew was shifted June 18 from the bayside of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to the Lake Avenue Slip across from the museum ship William A. Irvin. Two tugs from Great Lakes Towing handled the chore. The Sundew is tentatively scheduled to be open for tours by July 2.

June 17 was a good day for classic lakers in the Twin Ports. The Alpena arrived at the LaFarge dock in Duluth overnight and was unloading there during the morning. Later in the day the Herbert C. Jackson arrived to load coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Its destination was Marquette.

The ports were busy June 18, with Columbia Star loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Veerseborg loading at General Mills Elevator S in Superior, Federal Hunter loading grain at CHS in Superior, Federal Schelde arriving to unload steel coils at the Duluth port terminal, and Stewart J. Cort loading at BNSF in Superior. Algolake and Paul R. Tregurtha were due later in the day to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.
 

Ohio's North Coast Ports Busy Last Friday

The Algosoo was loading coal in Sandusky, and David Z. Norton was loading stone at Marblehead. As we were shooting pictures of the Norton, through the fence at old Kelley's Island ferry dock and across the back yard of USCG Station Marblehead, an officer came to the fence and asked what we were doing. A quick explanation and the passing of a business card, and we received a "Have a good day, Sir".

Philip R. Clarke arrived at Huron with a load of stone from Stoneport to be delivered to the lime plant at Huron. The Clarke turned out side the harbor and backed in to the lime plant dock which is located near the mouth of the Huron River.

David Z. Norton loading at Marblehead. (Note officer headed toward photographer.)
Clarke backing in past the Huron Breakwater Light.
Clark captain driving in reverse.
Clarke at dock
Clarke unloading.

Reported by Dave Wobser
 

Thunder Bay Greets Unusual Visitor

Oglebay Norton Marine’s Wolverine made a very unusual trip to Thunder Bay last Wednesday. She headed up the Kaministiquia River and through the James Street Swing Bridge on her was to unload limestone at the Bowater Paper Mill, then departed light ship for Silver Bay to load pellets.

Wolverine squeezes through the James St swing bridge on the Kaministiquia River
Clear of bridge and heading up the river
Passing by Mount McKay

Reported by Rob Farrow

 

Marquette

Marquette has seen the H. Lee White (stone and ore), the Herbert C. Jackson (coal and ore), the Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort, and Michipicoten in recent days.  The White and Jackson on Friday, the Trader and Michipicoten on Saturday. The Charles M. Beeghly, Kaye E. Barker, and Michipicoten will also be making calls to Marquette.

Reported by: Lee Rowe

Herbert C. Jackson delivering coal to the Shiras Steam Plant dock June 18.
Bow view
Wide view from across the harbor.
Great Lakes Trader/Joyce VanEnkevort at the ore dock June 19.
Beeghly
Unusual small craft at Marquette. No one was reported hurt in the this attempt to turn an SUV in to a watercraft
 


Toronto

Photo by Paulette McCarron
Mega-yacht Barbara Jean tied up on the Toronto waterfront, as seen recently from the tour boat Ste. Marie I.

Photos by Jim Gallacher
Iryda, docked at the Redpath unloading raw sugar on June 14.
Iryda Superstructure
 

Detroit

Photos by George Mock
Nanticoke passing Detroit, as seen from Windsor, with bow of  LeLevant in the foreground
Canadian Miner
Canadian Miner bow, close up

 

St. Marys River

Rod Burdick’s recent photos from the Soo area in early Junr
Richard Reiss arrives off Drummond Island's stone dock
Algoville heads upbound into the St. Mary's River at Detour
Roger Blough and tug/barge Gregory J. Busch load stone at Cedarville
Barge Sarah Spencer lowers in the Mac Arthur Lock
Quebecois departs the Mac Arthur Lock
Algolake departs the Mac Arthur Lock while American Spirit moves into the Poe Lock
Canadian Transfer enters the Mac Arthur Lock upbound

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 17

The wooden schooner MONTEREY which stranded on Sleeping Bear Point on Lake Michigan in early December 1890 was released on 17 June 1891.

The SCOTT MISENER (2) was christened on June 17, 1951 for Colonial Steamships Ltd. She was the first vessel built at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd..  Renamed b.) JOHN E F MISENER in 1954.

The PATERSON (1) collided with the steamer EDMUND W MUDGE in 1957 in fog on the St. Clair River opposite Marine City, Michigan.

The WILLIAM A IRVIN was towed back to Duluth on June 17, 1986, by the tugs SIOUX and DAKOTA to be on station as a museum ship at the new $3 million convention facility.

June 17, 1998 - The tug/barge PERE MARQUETTE 41/UNDAUNTED arrived Ludington, Michigan from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin after the remainder of the conversion there.

The propeller OWEN SOUND was launched at Collingwood, Ontario on 17 June 1875. She measured 900 tons and could carry 30,000 bushels of grain.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 18

The Soo Locks opened for their first season on 18 June 1855.  The first vessel through the locks was the steamer ILLINOIS of 1853.

In 1949 the WILFRED SYKES (Hull#866) was launched at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio, for Inland Steel Co. At the time she was the largest and most powerful vessel on the lakes. The SYKES was also the first boat to have a poop deck.

1964 The SAGUENAY (Hull#647) was launched at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Ship Building Ltd, for Canada Steamship Lines.

1968 the ALGOCEN (Hull#191) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd, for Algoma Central Railway.

On 18 June 1869, a little less than a week after being launched, Capt. Luce sailed the schooner DAVID A WELLS on her maiden voyage from Port Huron for Menominee, Michigan.

On 18 June 1858, the steamship CANADA left the Lakes via the St. Lawrence rapids since she was too large for the existing locks. She had been built by Louis Shickluna at the Niagara Drydock Company in 1853 at a cost of $63,000. She was sold for ocean service after the Depression of 1857. Her hull was rebuilt and she was renamed MISSISSIPPI. She foundered in a gale in the South Atlantic on 12 August 1862.

The venerable side-wheel passenger ferry TRILLIUM (Hull#94) was launched June 18, 1910 at Toronto, Ontario by Polson Iron Works., for the Toronto Ferry Co.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 19

On 19 June 1889, CHARLES J SHEFFIELD (steel propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 259 foot, 1700 gross tons, built in 1886 at Cleveland, Ohio) was rammed broadside in heavy fog by the NORTH STAR (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2476 gross tons, built in 1889 at Cleveland, Ohio) in Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior.  The NORTH STAR kept her bow in the hole until the SHEFFIELD’s crew clambered aboard.  When she backed away, the SHEFFIELD sank in 8 minutes.  Her loss was valued at $160,000.

1954 the GEORGE M HUMPHREY (Hull#871) (named for President Eisenhower's Secretary of Treasury) launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Shipbuilding Co, for National Steel Co., M.A. Hanna, mgr.

In 1978, the ALGOBAY (Hull#215) was launched at Collingwood by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway.

On 19 June 1836, DELAWARE (wooden passenger/package freight side wheeler, 105 foot, 178 tons, built in 1833 at Huron, Ohio) was carrying general merchandise and passengers in a storm on Lake Michigan when she was thrown ashore off Niles, Illinois. She broke in two and was wrecked. No lives were lost.

On 19 June 1900 the wooden schooner THOMAS L HOWLAND was raised and towed to Buffalo, New York for repairs. She had been sunk by the ice off Windmill Point in the Detroit River early in the season.

At 5:30 PM, on 19 June 1872, the wooden package freight/passenger propeller MONTANA (236 foot, 1535 gross tons) was finally afloat at Port Huron, Michigan. She was successfully launched at the Port Huron Dry Dock Company on Saturday, 15 June, but she got stuck in the mud. The tugs VULCAN, PRINDEVILLE, BROCKWAY and BURNSIDE were all employed to free her and the MONTANA's engines were also going. It took four days of pulling, hoisting and dredging to free her. The effort to get her free and afloat cost Alexander Muir, her builder, over $3,000 (in 1872 dollars). She lasted until 1914, when she burned near Alpena, Michigan.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 20

On 20 June 1893, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1841 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #98) at West Bay CIty, Michigan.  She lasted until 1909 when she stranded and burned on Lake Erie.

The WILLIAM P COWAN cleared Lorain, Ohio on her maiden voyage in 1918.  Renamed b.) AMOCO ILLINOIS in 1962.  Scrapped at Windsor, Ontario by M & M Steel Co. in 1987.

In 1903 the twin screw rail car ferry GRAND HAVEN (Hull#92) was launched at Toledo, Ohio by the Craig Ship Building Co., for the Grand Trunk Carferry Line, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On June 20, 1953, the Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter BURLINGTON collided with and sank the Paterson steamer SCOTIADOC in Lake Superior.

On June 20, 1959, the SEAWAY QUEEN began her maiden voyage. The vessel was appropriately named, as at the time she was the largest Canadian vessel on the Great Lakes, the 2nd largest on the Great Lakes overall (behind the EDMUND FITZGERALD), and she entered service the same week that Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicated the St. Lawrence Seaway. She was one of the more popular and classic looking vessels on the Great Lakes.

June 20, 1936 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was blocked in Manitowoc following an accident which disabled the Manitowoc Tenth Street Bridge, making it impossible to raise the structure.

June 20, 1993 - The BADGER struck the Ludington breakwall while arriving Ludington. She was sent to Sturgeon Bay for repairs. Ten operatating days and twenty-one sailings were lost.

The 230 foot wooden freighter JAMES DAVIDSON (Hull#4) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan for James Davidson at his shipyard on 20 June 1874.  JAMES DAVIDSON was wrecked in Lake Huron in 1883.

The MINNEHAHA, a wooden "clipper" schooner, was launched at James A. Baker's shipyard in Oswego, New York on 20 June 1857. Her dimensions were 110 foot keel, 125 foot overall, x 25'6" x 10'6". She could carry 13,000 bushels of grain. Mr. James Navagh, her master builder, received a gold watch and chain worth $200 in appreciation of his fine work on this vessel.

On Wednesday night, 20 June 1877, the schooner EVELINE (wooden schooner, 118 foot, 236 gross tons, built in 1861 at Litchfield, Michigan) was struck by lightning about sixty miles out from Alpena, Michigan. The bolt shattered the mainmast, throwing three large pieces over the vessel's sides. The large spar was split perpendicularly in two and the lightning bolt followed the grain of the wood in a circular manner until it reached the main boom jaw, which is enclosed in a band of iron fastened by a large bolt. This bolt was literally cut in two. The mate, George Mayom, had the left side of his body blistered and the skin burned off from the shoulder to the foot. His right leg, hands and arm were also severely burned, and he suffered internal injuries and bled freely. The vessel made it to port and she was repaired. She lasted until September 1895 when she sank off Kewaunee, Wisconsin.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 21

On 21 June 1868, the D&C Lines’ MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 243 foot, 1075 tons, built in 1862 at Trenton, Michigan) was late in leaving her dock in Cleveland, Ohio because she was loading some last-minute freight (iron bars and glass).  As she sailed on Lake Erie to Detroit during the dark and rainy night, she collided with the heavy-laden bark COURTLAND and sank quickly, 10 miles off Lorain, Ohio. Reports of the loss of life range from 32 to 45.  Most of the survivors were picked up by the passing steamer R N RICE. In September, MORNING STAR was raised, towed to Lorain and resunk in 55 feet of water, for possible future rebuilding. Attempts were made to raise her again several times, but in the summer of 1872 she was abandoned because it was determined that the previous attempts had reduced her to rubble.

On 21 June 1878, the small passenger steamer J HOLT which ran between Chatham and Wallaceburg, Ontario, burned on Lake St. Clair.  The passengers and crew escaped in the lifeboats.

On June 21, 1942, the LEON FRASER entered service as the largest vessel on the Great Lakes. The Pittsburgh Steamship Co. bulk freighter, originally 639'6" long, retained at least a tie for that honor until the WILFRED SYKES entered service in 1949.  Shortened, converted to a self-unloading cement carrier and renamed b.) ALPENA in 1991.

June 21, 1942, the U.S. Steel bulk freighter EUGENE J BUFFINGTON ran hard aground on Boulder Reef in Lake Michigan and broke in two. The vessel was subsequently recovered and, after a long career with U.S. Steel, was finally sold for scrap in 1980.

The M/V RANGER III (Hull#385) was side launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Christy Corporation, on Saturday, June 21, 1958. The vessel was custom designed by R.A. Stearns (Bay Engineering) also of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for the National Park Service, Isle Royale National Park.

On June 21, 1986, during a severe thunderstorm (and unofficial observations of a funnel cloud) in the Duluth area, the JOSHUA A HATFIELD broke loose from Azcon Scrap Dock in Duluth and was blown across the harbor and ended up hard aground on Park Point (Minnesota Point). She remained stuck for nearly 3 weeks when a storm with east winds pushed the HATFIELD free and she blew most of the way back across the harbor back to the scrap dock. Tugs were dispatched in time to safely guide the HATFIELD back to the scrap dock. (June seems to be a bad month for U.S. Steel in accidents, with the June 7, 1977 accident involving the WILLIAM A IRVIN, the June 15, 1943 collision between the D M CLEMSON and the GEORGE M HUMPHREY, and the June 21, 1942 grounding of the EUGENE J BUFFINGTON on Boulder Reef.)

June 21, 1916 - The ANN ARBOR NO 5, after departing the shipyards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 21, 1916 where 3 buckets (blades) were replaced on her starboard propeller, arrived Manistique, Michigan. While maneuvering around in the harbor she struck the rocky bottom and broke off the same three blades off her starboard propeller.

June 21, 1994 - The Ludington Daily News reported a planned sale of the CITY OF MIDLAND 41 to Contessa Cruise Lines of Minnesota. The deal included an option to sell the SPARTAN and Contessa was prohibited from competing against Lake Michigan Carferry Co., but it fell through.

The 3-mast wooden schooner GEORGE MURRAY was launched in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on 21 June 1873. At the time, she was billed as the largest vessel ever built on Lake Michigan. Her dimensions were 299 foot long x 34 foot beam x 14 foot depth, with the capacity to carry 50,000 bushels of grain. She was built by G. S. Rand for J. R. Slauson of Racine, Wisconsin.

On 21 June 1900 the wooden bulk freighter R C BRITTAIN was raised at Toledo, Ohio. She was then brought to Sarnia where repairs were made and the engine of the tug F A FOLGER was installed in her. She had previously sunk at Toledo and remained there for several years before being raised. She lasted until 1912 when she burned at Sarnia.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, 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

 

 


Maumee River Reopened

06/16 9:40 p.m. Update

According to reports from WTOL News in Toledo, several tugs were able to free the barge just after 12:00 noon. No one was hurt in the incident and no gasoline was spilled.

The Coast Guard was concerned with the risk of  gasoline leaking into the river and an explosion.  Electricity was cut to the bridge and the immediate area was evacuated.  "It was a double hull barge.  The probability, even if the extrication of the tug and barge hadn't gone smoothly, there was still a low probability the inner hull would have been breached," Coast Guard Commander Chris Roberge told WTOL.

Neither the bridge nor the barge were damaged.  The Coast Guard did not speculate about the cause, but admits strong river currents may have played a role in the accident  The investigation into the exact cause will take several months.

The Maumee River is running at or near flood stage.  Heavy rains in the past couple of weeks has the water level up, and the amount of debris up.

CSX reported there were about 13 trains being held up since the bridge was stuck in the open position.  CSX crews had already started to inspect the bridge Thursday afternoon to see what damage had been done. The company says safety is its primary concern.

Original Report
The Maumee River was closed Thursday morning as the inbound tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes, carrying 40,000 barrels of gasoline, hit the CSX Rail bridge just north and east of downtown Toledo.

It happened just after 9:00 Thursday morning as the barge was fighting the currents in the Maumee River. No one was hurt. No gasoline spilled.

The barge and tug is wedged into the bridge. Just before 11:00, another tug was brought in to free the barge. It was not successful. Train traffic is also blocked.

The Coast Guard is standing by, along with the Toledo Fire Department's fire boat.

The Maumee River is running at or near flood stage.  Heavy rains in the past couple of weeks has the water level up, and the amount of debris up.

A similar incident happened on the river  in October of 2001 when a swift, rain driven current, caught the Nanticoke against the Norfolk-Southern South Railroad Bridge, holding her there for several days. At that time only the upper river was closed.
Check back for updates.

Click here to view a video clip from WTOL
 
Reported by: WTOL and Alan Baker

 




Port Report

06/16

Montreal

Photos of the recent Algosound and M.A.C. Gagne scrap tows by Marc Piché
Akhtiar and Algosound pierside at Montreal berth 98 on June 3, the day after an aborted attempt to depart Montreal because of towline problems.
Algosound at pier 98 on June 3.  Her name and company markings have been painted over.
Akhtiar and Lac Vancouver downbound off Contrecoeur on June 5 at about 8:30 a.m., 3 1/2 hours after sailing from Montreal.
Algosound downbound off l'Île Ste-Ours on June 5 with the plucky little Lac Vancouver on her stern.
Tug Ollie J off Verchères on June 5.  Some may remember her as Florence McKeil.
Deep-sea tug Simoon with M.A.C. Gagne in tow off Verchères on June 7.
Stern view of M.A.C. Gagne tow with Groupe Océan's tug Andre H on the stern.  Photo taken off Verchères on June 7.
The brand new tanker Tuchkov Bridge upbound off Varennes for Montreal berth 106 on June 10.   This Russian-built and owned products tanker was delivered to  Sovcomflot on April 28 of this year.

Photos taken from the sailing vessel Empire Sandy June 14 by Kent Malo
Anna Desgagnes
Atlantic Patroller
Empire Sandy leaving section 22 Montreal harbor, bound for Toronto
Sailors’ war memorial and clock tower visible as the Empire Sandy backs away from the wharf
Empire Sandy approaching St. Lambert lock.
 
6/15
Yankcanuck on a rare visit to the St. Lawrence Seaway, making her way to Lock 3 Beauharnois on her way east to Becancour, Q.C., across from Trois Rivieres.

 

Green Bay

6/13 Photos by Lee Rowe
David Z. Norton coming through a railroad bridge
Norton coming through the Mason Street Bridge
Tug Indiana, which gave assistance to the Norton
Veerseborg unloading lumber.

 

Escanaba

Fleetmates Charles M. Beeghly and Herbert C. Jackson arrived at the ore dock in Marquette on Wednesday.  It was a warm and hazy day.

Charles M. Beeghly docked, with Jakson arriving
Close up
Beeghly, another view
Herbert C. Jackson approaching dock
Third man over
Wide view

Reported by: Lee Rowe

 

Toronto

The ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 returned to Toronto late Wednesday afternoon on a crew training trip. The schooner Empire Sandy is expected to return to port around 11 p.m. Wednesday after being away for two weeks on a charter in Montreal. The Sandy will be chartering out of Port Weller on Saturday for a Niagara River cruise.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

Detroit

6/16, Photos by Wade P. Streeter
Lake Michigan was in the anchorage, with Algolake upbound
Algolake and Mesabi Miner
Mesabi Miner
Miner, Algolake stern view
Miner from dead astern
Lee A. Tregurtha, outbound, Rouge River
Lee A., stern view

 

Saginaw River

On Tuesday, the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader called on the Saginaw River, stopping at the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City to lighter. She then continued upriver to the Wirt Stone Dock in Saginaw to finish unloading. The pair was outbound early Tuesday evening.
 
On Wednesday, the tug Joesph H. Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson were inbound with a split load. The duo lightered at the Wirt dock in Bay City before departing for the GM dock in Saginaw to finish unloading. It is expected that they will be outbound early Thursday morning.
 
Reported by: Todd Shorkey

 

 


Sea Castle Being Scrapped at Muskegon

06/16

The long inactive cement barge Sea Castle was spotted being scrapped recently in Muskegon,Mich. On June 14, a hydraulic shear, attached to an excavator, was seen picking apart the stern of the barge.  The location of the barge, along with adjacent storage piles and barges, prevented any photos being taken from land.

The Sea Castle was built in England in 1909 as the canal size tanker Kaministiquia (2) and also carried the names Westoil, J.B. John (1), and John L.A. Galster.  She was converted into a bulk cement carrier in 1929 and reduced to a barge in 1968. She has been laid up for many years.

Reported by: Tom Hynes

Sea Castle at Muskegon in 2001 (Dave Swain photo)
As John L.A. Galster, date unknown. The port could be Milwaukee. (Tom Manse Collection)
 

 


Detroit-Windsor Tugboat Race Saturday

06/16 

The roar of diesel engines, clouds of smoke and big waves… the 28th Annual Detroit-Windsor Tugboat race will be where the action is this Saturday, June 19th.  At 1 p.m. after the countdown, approximately 25 tugs will race from just below the Premier Concrete Dock in Windsor to the finish line at Dieppe Park in Windsor (across from Hart Plaza). After the race the tugs will circle past the judges and tie up at the park for the awards ceremony and for the passing spectators to view the tugs.  

For those interested in watching the race, the best spots to view will be anywhere in the parks along the Canadian side of the river between the Ambassador Bridge and Dieppe Park and from Riverside Park at the foot of W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.

Reported by: Jason Leslie
 

 


Former Highway 16 Carferry Gets Coat of Navy Gray

06/16

On June 1, the last remaining evidence of the Lake Michigan carferry Highway 16, now part of a marine museum at Muskegon, Mich., disappeared under a coat of Navy gray paint. While the balance of the boat had previously been returned to its original LST-393 markings, the stern and a small portion of the port rear quarter had remained black. The gray LST will soon be showing its original World War II camoflauge paint scheme. The Navy gray will be the base coat for the various shades of green, olive drab and black.

The former Highway 16 carried new automobiles between Muskegon, Mich., and Milwaukee, Wis., from 1946 until 1970.  The boat has slowly been returned to its original condition by volunteers over the past five years.

For additional information on LST-393 go to: http://www.lst393.org/

LST-393 tied up at the Mart Dock in Muskegon. Her bow doors can easily be seen.
The pilot house
The main deck looking aft.
The recently restored port side hallway. The bunks were used by the crews of the tanks and military vehicles carried on the LST.
The galley underwent restoration in 2001.
 Looking towards the pilot house from the chart room.
The ships wheel.
Builders plate in the engine room.
One of the 2 EMD diesel engines. They are reported to still be in excellent condition.
Engine gauge board.
The last remains of the Highway 16.
LST-393 director Pat Harker wirebrushes off loose rust before painting.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

 

 

 

Former City of Midland Pilothouse Spotted

06/16

Part of the old C&O carferry 41 City of Midland lives on in Muskegon, Mich. It was spotted June 1 on a fireworks barge tied up just aft of LST-393 at the Mart dock. The pilot house serves as a sort of "Mission Control" center for the workers firing off the fireworks. The City of Midland was reduced to a self -unloading barge in Muskegon in 1997. It was renamed Pere Marquette 41 and now serves with the tug Undaunted for Pere Marquette Shipping.

Reported by: Andy LaBorde

Pilot house
Inside
 

 


Governors Urged to Build Another Asian Carp Barrier

06/16

The co-chairman of a U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission wants Great Lakes governors to help fund a second electric barrier to keep huge and hungry Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.

However Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, incoming chairman of the Great Lakes Council of Governors, says the funding is clearly a federal responsibility. He comments were reported in Monday’s The Capital Times, published in Madison, Wis. He has reportedly turned down a request for the state to chip in toward the construction of an electric barrier designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Asian carp, which include the silver, black and bighead varieties, can weigh more than 100 pounds. With a huge appetite and a big mouth, the carp swallows much of the food needed by other, more desirable species of fish.

Commercial and recreational fishing industries could be hurt if Asian carp get through the existing experimental barrier, which is wearing out.

Dennis Schornack, chairman of the U.S. section of the joint commission, said Army Corps of Engineers funding for a new and improved electrical barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, to augment an experimental barrier built in 2001, is about $1.8 million short. The Corps is investing $5 million and Illinois has contributed $1.7 million.

Schornack said he is surprised that the leaders of the eight Great Lakes states aren't swinging into action, despite budget troubles. "Lake Michigan could become a carp canal," he warned.

He said he has written to the governors and the leader of the Canadian province of Ontario asking for funds.

Two of 13 cables in the existing barrier have already dissolved, according to Schornack. Another barrier is needed because electrodes in the existing barrier will eventually wear out and it must be shut down for maintenance. Improvements also are needed to strengthen the barrier, he said.

The huge carp are getting closer, terrifying boaters as they approach with high jumps that sometime land them in a vessel. They were originally imported by catfish farmers in the South, but they escaped or were released and have spread up the Mississippi and Missouri River systems.

Reported by: The Capital Times, Jason Leslie
 

 


Spirit of Ontario 1 Christened, But Customs, Pilotage Disputes May Stall Service

06/16

The fast ferry Spirit of Ontario 1 was officially christened Sunday at the Port of Rochester. The ceremony was followed by a 30-minute cruise in Lake Ontario for a few hundred politicians, dignitaries and community leaders showing off the vessel’s capabilities.

It was the first time the ferry, which is scheduled to begin regular service between Rochester and Toronto on Friday, carried passengers. CATS received its final certification Saturday from the Coast Guard to begin operating, according to a Monday story in the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle.

Still unresolved are negotiations with the Canada Border Services Agency over customs issues in Toronto – a problem that has the potential to derail the project. Negotiations with the Canada Border Services Agency are ongoing. (The U.S. government pays for customs service through user fees.)

Other potential problems are pilotage and docking fees.

CATS doesn’t want to pay the fees, saying the charges are unjust and could jeopardize the service.

Each time the Spirit of Ontario sails, it must have a U.S. or Canadian registered pilot on duty – a legal requirement because the ferry wasn’t built in the United States and will be a foreign-registered vessel.

CATS says it has no problem paying for pilots, but it is appealing a decision by the U.S. Office of Great Lakes Pilotage to charge the company for overseeing the docking and undocking of the ship. The docking fees would amount to about $1 million a year.

”Our captains are going to be doing these dockings and undockings and will be well-versed” and don’t need the advice of the pilots, CATS Chief Administrative Officer Cornel Martin told the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle Tuesday.

The Great Lakes Pilotage Act of 1960 requires a U.S. or Canadian registered pilot to be on every foreign-flagged vessel in the St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Martin said that the Coast Guard advised CATS in August 2003 that it wouldn’t have to pay the docking fees and then reversed that decision in March.

CATS will be charged $2,853 a day during its peak season, and that’s just the U.S. fee, said Paul Eulitt, acting deputy director of the Office of Great Lakes Pilotage in Washington, D.C. The company will face similar fees from Canada.

The pilot group says the cost should come as no surprise to CATS.

”The ferry people can complain, but if they had built that ferry in the United States … it wouldn’t have required a registered pilot on board,” said Capt. Roger Paulus, president of the association.

Reported by: Rochester Democrat-Chronicle

 

 


Cleveland’s Mather, Cod Offer Deals for Dads

06/16

Both the USS Cod Submarine Memorial and S.S. William G. Mather Museum in Cleveland are offering dads free admission on Fathers Day this Sunday, when dads come onboard with their families (no other discounts or coupons apply).

The Cod is open from 10 a.m. - 5 pm and the Mather from Noon - 5:30 p.m.  Both are  located within short walking distance of each other right by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Information: www.usscod.org and www.wgmather.org

Reported by: William G. Mather Museum

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

Today in Great Lakes History - June 14

ROGER BLOUGH departed the shipyard light on her maiden voyage for U.S. Steel Corp. the night of June 14, 1972 for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load 41,608 gross tons of taconite ore pellets.

On June 14, 1988, CONSUMERS POWER, with her former fleet mate JOHN T HUTCHINSON, departed Lauzon, Quebec in tow of the Panamanian tug/supply ship OMEGA 809, bound for a scrap yard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The steamer PRINCESS was sold to Little and Fitzgerald on 14 June 1873. She was built in 1858 at Algonac, Michigan by Z. Pangborn.

The wooden scow TINKER was launched at Leighton & Dunford's yard in Port Huron, Michigan on 14 June 1876.

Today in Great Lakes History - June 15

At midnight, on Saturday, 15 June 1901, OMAR D CONGER (wooden propeller ferry, 92 foot, 199 gross tons, built in 1882 at Port Huron, Michigan) burned at her dock on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan.  Her upper works were destroyed, but she was repaired and put back in service.  She lasted until 1922 when her boiler exploded, killing four people and destroying the vessel.

On June 15, 1943, the D M CLEMSON collided with and sank the GEORGE M HUMPHREY in the Straits of Mackinac. Both of these 600-footers recovered for long careers. The D M CLEMSON was sold for scrap in 1980. The GEORGE M HUMPHREY was recovered over a year later, renamed the CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN, later converted to a self-unloader, and finished her career as the CONSUMERS POWER at the end of the 1985 season before being scrapped in 1988.

1989 the ROGER M KYES was rechristened b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS by American Steamship Co..

The wooden 180 foot schooner JOHN A FRANCOMB was launched at West Bay City, Michigan on 15 June 1889. She was built by F. W. Wheeler & Co. (Hull #61). She lasted until she was abandoned at Bay City in 1934.

GRECIAN (steel propeller freighter, 296 foot, 2348 gross tons, built 1891 at Cleveland, Ohio by Globe Iron Works (Hull#40) had struck a rock near Detour, Michigan on 7 June 1906, but made dock at Detour before settling on bottom.. After her cargo was removed, she was raised, and while in towed by her fleet mate SIR HENRY BESSEMER, bound for Detroit Shipbuilding Co. in Wyandotte, Michigan for repairs, relying on air pressure in her sealed holds kept her afloat. However, on 15 June 1906, her holds began to fill with water and she sank in Lake Huron off Thunder Bay. Her crew was rescued by SIR HENRY BESSEMER.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 16

On 16 June 1892, GENERAL BURNSIDE (3-mast wooden schooner, 138 foot, 308 gross tons, built in 1862 at Wolfe Island, Ontario) foundered in a powerful northwest gale on Lake Erie near Southeast Shoal Light.  Her crew was rescued by the tug GREGORY.


On 16 June 1905, at 2:00 a.m., a fire was discovered around the smoke stack of the North Shore Navigation Company’s CITY OF COLLINGWOOD (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 213 foot, 1387 gross tons, built in 1893 at Owen Sound, Ontario) burned at the Grand Trunk Railway docks at Collingwood, Ontario and was destroyed along with the dock and nearby sheds.  Four died, but most of crew jumped overboard.  Captain Wright had gone to his home on Pine St. about an hour before and was preparing for bed when he heard four whistles sounded by the steamer BRITTANIC which was laying alongside. He ran to the dock, went aboard and woke the 1st mate J. D. Montgomery and a wheelsman. They had to jump to the dock to escape the flames. James Meade, Lyman Finch, A. McClellan, and another unidentified crewmember who had just joined the vessel at the Soo were all sleeping in the forecastle and lost their lives.


In 1967 the FEUX FOLLETS (Hull#188) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Papachristidis Co. Ltd. She was the last steam powered lake ship. Renamed in 1972, she sails today as the b.) CANADIAN LEADER


Upbound in the Welland Canal June 16, 1963 loaded with iron ore for Chicago, U.S. Steel's BENJAMIN FAIRLESS suffered bow damage in collision with Canadian steamer RALPH S MISENER.
 

In 1918 the WILLIAM P SNYDER JR. was in collision with the steamer GEORGE W PERKINS in Duluth Harbor resulting in damage of $5,000 to both vessels.


On 16 June 1861, ANDOVER (2-mast wooden schooner, 98 foot, 190 tons, built in 1844 at Black River, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm and ground on Pointe aux Barques reef on Lake Huron. Though not thought to be seriously damaged, she resisted all efforts by the tug ZOUAVE to release her. She was finally stripped and abandoned.

On 16 June 1887, CHAMPLAIN (wooden propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 135 foot, 438 gross tons, built in 1870 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying passengers, merchandise and horses on Lake Michigan when an engine room lamp exploded. The fire spread so quickly that the pumps could not be started. She headed for Fisherman's Island, Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan, but struck a bar and sank a mile short of the beach. 22 of the 57 persons aboard died, most from drowning. Although initially declared a total loss, the hull was towed into Harbor Springs, Michigan, then taken to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and rebuilt as CITY OF CHARLEVOIX. She was also lengthened to 165 foot. She lasted until 1924 when she burned at her lay-up dock in Manistee, Michigan. At that time, she was named KANSAS.

Data from: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, 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

 

 


M A C Gagné, Algosound Leave Montreal on Scrap Tows

06/14

M A C Gagne (former CSL vessel Saguenay), which was towed from her long-time Thunder Bay lay-up berth late in May bound eventually for scraping overseas, left Montreal last week behind the tug Simoon. The tug has enough fuel for 40 days and food for 60, so a fuel stop is scheduled in Saudi Arabia. The tow to Bangladesh will take an estimated 65 days.

Algosound also departed Montréal early last Saturday morning with towing tug Akhtiar on the lead assisted by Lac Vancouver on her stern. Akhtiar will take the tow to the Suez Canal where it will be relieved by another tug.

Reported by: Marc Piche
 

 


Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock's Repairs Underway

06/14
                                                
The finishing touches are being applied to the damaged bow of the USCG cutter Hollyhock at Coast Guard Station Detroit. The damage was incurred during ice breaking duties this past winter when Hollyhock got too close to Stewart J.  Cort. Final welding repairs are being done, followed by grinding and filling any pockets (holes) in the welds. Sources say that as soon as the paint is dried, the vessel will return to regular duties.

Hollyhock’s nose gets fixed

Reported By: Michael J. Alpers  
 

 


More Troubles for Spirit of Ontario

06/14

The fast ferry Spirit of Ontario is expected to start service this week between Rochester, NY and Toronto, Ont., although some questions about who will pay customs fees are still being ironed out.

Canadian American Transportation Systems, the private company launching the ferry, hasn’t struck a deal yet with the Canada Border Services Agency on who will pay for annual customs services, according to an article in Friday’s Rochester Democrat-Chronicle.

The customs issue might jeopardize the company’s private financing from bankers, CATS President Howard Thomas said in last Thursday’s Toronto Star. The newspaper also quoted two federal officials saying the ferry service could collapse.

CATS wants the Canadian government to pay for the costs - estimated at between $1.5 million and $2million (Canadian) - but the government wants the company to pick up the tab.

Meanwhile, a report in the Rochester newspaper last week indicated that CATS wants to have gambling on board the vessel and also is seeking to install video gaming machines inside the city’s new $16 million ferry terminal.

Reported by: Jason Leslie
 

 


Marine Mart Scheduled at Vermilion June 26

06/14 

The Great Lakes Historical Society will host its 2nd Annual Nautical Mart on Saturday, June 26, on the grounds of the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, OH.  The Mart will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature six select dealers selling Great Lakes artifacts, china, photos, postcards, artwork, steamship schedules and other memorabilia.  A special feature of the Mart this year will be an amazing Book Sale with hundreds of duplicate books from the Society’s library.  Many of these books are rare Great Lakes titles, and are priced to sell. Other activities at and near the museum that day are a wooden boat show, chicken barbeque, and antique automobiles on display. All are invited to come and make a day of it.

Reported by: Al Hart

 


Bramble Volunteers Sought

06/14

The Port Huron Museum is soliciting volunteers to assist with giving tours and/or maintenance on the former Coast Guard buoy tender Bramble. Volunteers are also being sought with a Chief Engineer license with at least 1600 horsepower endorsement.  Anyone interested should contact the Site Director Mike Popelka at (810) 841-3623.

Reported by: Port Huron Museum
 

 


Port Report

06/14

Buffalo

The cement carrier English River arrived at the LaFarge dock with the tugs New Jersey and Washington at 11 a.m. Sunday morning. She was expected to depart later in the day.

English River and two tugs tow arriving off the dock face.
Men going over the side to handle the lines.
Stern tug breaking off the tow to allow the ship’s winches to pull her in.

Reported by: Brian Wroblewski
 

Saginaw River

Shipping on the Saginaw River came back to life as the tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort & barge Great Lakes Trader were inbound last Thursday morning calling on the Wirt dock in Bay City where the Great Lakes Trader lightered before continuing her trip upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  The pair completed the unload overnight, turned at Sixth Street and were outbound for the lake early Friday morning.

Following closely behind the Joyce L. and her barge after they departed Bay City was the tug Gregory J. Busch and barge STC 2004 loaded with rock.  The pair continued upriver to Saginaw.

The CSL Tadoussac was inbound last Thursday evening with a load of clinker for the Essroc Terminal in Essexville.  She departed Essroc early Friday morning backing stern first out to Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay to turn and head for the lake.

Tha Algoway also called on the Saginaw River Thursday evening, heading upriver to the Buena Vista Dock to unload.  She made her turn at Sixth Street and was outbound during the afternoon Friday on her way to the lake.

The tug Barbara Andrie and her tank barge arrived last Friday morning calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were inbound Friday morning.  The pair stopped at the Bay City Wirt dock to lighter and then waited for the downbound Algoway to pass before continuing upriver to the Saginaw Wirt Dock to finish.  She is expected to be outbound late Friday night.

The Sam Laud also arrived Friday with a split load.  First the Laud lightered at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and once the Algoway had cleared downbound, departed for the GM dock in Saginaw to finish unloading.  She was outbound passing the I-75 bridge late Friday night.

The Paul H. Townsend was inbound Friday evening headed upriver to unload at the LaFarge terminal in Carrollton. 

Reported by:Todd Shorkey

Joyce L. VanEnkevort - Great Lakes Trader unloading at Bay City Wirt
Upbound at Wheeler's Landing
Stern view passing through Liberty Bridge
Gregory J. Busch - STC 2004 upbound at Wheeler's Landing
Busch close up
Algoway outbound at Smith Park in Essexville
Sam Laud upbound at Veteran's Park in Bay City
Paul H. Townsend upbound at Wheeler's Landing
Stern view at Liberty Bridge
 

Toronto

The saltie Iryda arrived at Redpath on Wednesday and was turned Saturday afternoon the 12th by McKeil's tugs. Le Levant has been in port since Thursday at the new International Ferry Terminal (a.k.a Pier 52 south). Normally Le Levant is in town only one day at a time. Spirit of Ontario 1 returned to port on Friday and did some practice dockings before returning to Rochester. The megayacht Barbara Jean is in port at Pier 4. Fire tug William Mackenzie was out to Hanlan's Point for the oficial Ned Hanlan statue and memorial bench ceremony. The Mackenzie fired all of her water cannons for the occasion.

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

Thunder Bay

Algontario is back on the drydock, fueling speculation she will be repaired in time for the fall grain rush. The vessel was damaged in a grounding in April, 1999 in the. St. Marys River and has been laid up at the Canadian lakehead ever since. She was in the drydock earlier this year, but removed so necessary repairs could be carried out on a saltwater vessel.

Reported by: Rob Farrow
 

Detroit

Recent traffic; photos by Mike Nicholls
6/12

Algonorth downbound off Belanger Park, River Rouge
Algonorth, stern view
Huntington in the Rouge River just above the Fort Street Bridge. Built in 1951, the former New York harbor tug was recently purchased by interests near Holland, Mich., after several years of layup.
Huntington, stern view
Diamond Star upbound at Grassy Island, followed four minutes later by the Jade Star
Diamond Star
Jade Star
Jade Star, stern, with Diamond Star in the distance

6/7
Arthur M. Anderson upbound at Grassy Island
Barge Allied Chemical 12 on the Nicholson Drydock
Tanker Chem Oceana (Bahamas) loading at the Michigan Marine Terminal Dock in River Rouge, Mich
Stern view
Earl W. Oglebay upbound at Grassy Island.
Birchglen (Barbados) upbound turning into Nicholson's with the assistance of the tugs Wyoming and Maine. Upon departure she will proceed upbound
Stern view

6/6
Peter R. Cresswell upbound at Grassy Island bound for the Blue Circle Cement Dock in the Rouge River
Maria Desgagnes downbound at Grassy Island
H. Lee White upbound at Grassy Island with a load of coal for Zug Island

 

Welland Canal photos by Bill Bird
Canadian Progress upbound leaving Lock 6
Algoeast passing through Glendale  Avenue Bridge
John D. Leitch upbound clear of Lock 3
Quebecois departing Port Weller on her way to the St. Lawrence

 

Twin Ports

Twin Ports docks were busy with classic lakers on the morning of June 8. Herbert C. Jackson was preparing to load at CHS in Superior while Joseph H. Frantz was tied up at the layby berth by the General Mills elevator in Duluth. Meanwhile, a stone-laden Philip R. Clarke was crossing the harbor bound for the DMIR dock. It was expected to unload and then proceed to Two Harbors to load taconite pellets.

Reported by: Al Miller
 

Escanaba/Menominee/Marquette

Recent photos by Lee Rowe
Prinsenborg in Menominee
Joseph L. Block loading in Escanaba. She is making regular runs there
Lee A. Tregurtha turning to leave Marquette
Lee A. passing light
Tug BeeJay at Marquette

Photo, report by Dick Lund
The Diezeborg arrived in Menominee on Sunday June 6 to unload pulp at a local warehouse. After discharging her pulp load on Monday, she shifted up-river to Marinette Marine Corp. with the aid of the Basic Towing, Inc. tugs Erika Kobasic and Krystal. Her cargo for Marinette Marine was two new Azipod propulsion units for the new icebreaker Mackinaw. With the USCG Aspen and Staten Island Ferry Sen. John J. Marchi already at the dock, it was tight quarters to slide the Diezeborg up to the dock between them. Early Tuesday morning the Diezeborg was turned around in the turning basin and taken back to Marinette Marine in a strong wind. After she was safely back at her dock, the Prinsenborg arrived to load pulp at a local warehouse. The Diezeborg passed her fleetmate on her way out of the river late Tuesday afternoon.

Diezeborg arrives late Sunday morning. Prinsenborg is at right.

 

 


Today in Great Lakes History

06/14

Today in Great Lakes History - June 01

On 01 June 1914, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company bought the EASTLAND (steel propeller passenger steamer, 265 foot, 1961 gross tons, built in 1903 at Port Huron, Michigan) from the Eastland Navigation Company for $150,000.

In 1943 the IRVING S OLDS collided with the 524 foot steamer CHARLES O JENKINS in heavy fog 28 miles northeast of Cleveland on Lake Erie and was holed eight feet above the water line. The OLDS was able to help the badly damaged JENKINS back to Cleveland by lashing the two vessels together. After a grueling seven hours the JENKINS was beached in the outer harbor to prevent her from sinking further. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a then-record 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943.

In 1952 the J L MAUTHE (Hull#298) was launched at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan for the Interlake Steamship Co..

The WHITEFISH BAY, loaded with 950,000 bushels of spring wheat, was cited as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the Eisenhower Lock in 1983.

JOSEPH S YOUNG (2) Launched June 1, 1907 as a.) WILPEN (Hull#28) at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Shenango Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, Ohio.

The H LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay light on her maiden voyage June 1, 1974 to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan for Indiana Harbor.

June 1, 1902 - While northbound for Manistque, Michigan, the ANN ARBOR NO 1 went aground in a heavy fog about noon on South Manitou Island, but was able to free herself and to proceed undamaged.

June 1, 1938 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21, under the command of Captain Arthur Altschwager, was released from a sand bar in the outer harbor (Manitowoc) at 1:06 p.m today after being aground for six hours. Her sister ship, the PERE MARQUETTE 22, commanded by J.F. Johnson, freed the ferry after taking a line and pulling the big ship back off the bar.

June, 1958 The ANN ARBOR NO 6 was taken out of service for extensive refitting. she was renamed b.) ARTHUR K ATKINSON.

On 1 June 1887, LUCINDA VAN VALKENBURG (wooden schooner, 129 foot , 302 gross tons, built in 1862 at Tonawanda, New York) collided with the iron steamer LEHIGH in fog and sank near Thunder Bay Island on Lake Huron. The crew was safely taken aboard the LEHIGH and brought to Port Huron.

On 1 June 1892, the steel bulk freighter CHOCTAW was launched at the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company (Hull #17) in Cleveland, Ohio for the Lake Superior Iron Company. Her dimensions were 207' x 38' x 18' and she had a triple expansion steam engine 17', 29", 47" x 36". She was built as "monitor" type vessel based on whaleback design with all her cabins aft. She lasted until sunk in a collision in 1915.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 02

On 02 June 1893, CORSICAN (wooden schooner, 112 foot, 210 gross tons, built in 1862 at Olcott, New York) was carrying coal from Cleveland, Ohio to St. Ignace, Michigan on a foggy night on Lake Huron.  She collided with the iron steamer CORSICA and sank quickly off Thunder Bay Island.  All six onboard went down with her.  The wounded CORSICA was beached near Ossineke, Michigan and was later patched and proceeded to Ashtabula, Ohio.

In 1973 the SYLVANIA, downbound light in fog, collided with the FRANK PURNELL just north of the Detroit River Light at 0523 hours. The SYLVANIA suffered minor bow damage and went to Toledo for repairs.

On 2 June 1855, J W BLAKE (wooden scow-schooner, 68 foot, 33 tons, built in 1853 at Dover, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm four miles off Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin when she capsized. Her crew escaped in her yawl, but it was a very close call for one who was asleep below decks when she capsized. The vessel was later recovered and put back in service.

June 2, 1988 - The CITY OF MIDLAND 41 took on 17 truck loads of lake trout, which were planted off Beaver Island.

On 2 June 1882, INDUSTRY (wooden schooner, 63 foot, 30 tons, built in 1847 at Michigan City, Indiana) capsized and sank just a half mile from South Haven, Michigan. The three crewmen clung to the wreck for a while as rescue attempts were made from shore, but they all perished. The wreck later drifted to the beach about five miles south of town and went to pieces.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 03

On 03 June 1882, the schooner C BELL was launched at the yard of Mason, Corning & Company in East Saginaw, Michigan.  Her dimensions were 185’ x 30’ x 11’ and she cost $20,000.

The JOHN B AIRD was christened in 1983 at Thunder Bay for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

After successfully completing her sea trials on June 3, 1951, the CLIFFS VICTORY entered service a little under six months from the time she was purchased from the U.S.M.C.

The PATERSON (1) entered service for N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. on June 3, 1954 with 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur, Ontario.

On 3 June 1870, T F PARK (wooden side-wheeler, 170 foot, 450 tons, built in 1851 at Chatham, Ontario) caught fire and burned to the waterline at the dock near the Detroit & Milwaukee Grain Elevator at Detroit, Michigan. The hull was later removed after being struck by several vessels.

On 3 June 1875, the iron carferry HURON (238 foot, 1052 gross tons) was launched at Point Edward, Ontario for the Grand Trunk Railway. Miss Jessie S. Hughes of Toronto christened the vessel with a bottle of wine. The hull's iron plates were manufactured in Scotland and shipped to Point Edward where they were assembled. Work began on 12 August 1874. Her engine and boiler were built by Mr. Wilson at Dundas, Ontario. This vessel ran between Windsor and Detroit for over a century.

  

Today in Great Lakes History - June 04

On 04 June 1881, the OGEMAW (wooden propeller freighter, 167 foot, 624 gross tons) was launched at Simon Langell’s yard in St. Clair, Michigan for Mr. Wood & Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1947 the 525-foot Canada Steamship Lines bulk freighter EMPEROR stranded on Canoe Rocks on Lake Superior and sank with a loss of 12 lives.

CLIFFS VICTORY sailed on her maiden voyage light from South Chicago, Illinois in 1951

OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#667) at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. had her keel laid 1968 for the Hall Corporation of Canada. Renamed b.) ROYALTON in 1983, c.) OTTERCLIFFE HALL in 1985, d.) PETER MISENER in 1988 and e.) CANADIAN TRADER in 1994.

The EDGAR B SPEER was christened June 4th 1980 at Lorain, Ohio for the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., Hartford, Connecticut, managed by the Great Lakes Fleet of the United States Steel Corp., Duluth, Minnesota.

In 1988, the IRVING S OLDS departed Duluth under tow, headed for scrapping.

June 4, 1940 - Oiler George Riemersma (age 50) died of a heart attack while at work on the PERE MARQUETTE 21.

June 4, 1942 - John A. Clancey, 58, general manager of the Grand Trunk Western Railway and president of the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Carferry Co. died suddenly of a heart attack while at his desk in Detroit.

The Port Huron Times reported that "The new trim and tidy tug, the P L JOHNSON, built for Capt. Sol Rummage, passed up last night with her first tow. She is of medium size and wears the national colors on her smokestack for which some of the boys call her a floating barber shop."

On 4 June 1859, GENERAL HOUSTON (2-mast wooden schooner, 83 foot, 123 tons, built in 1844 at French Creek, New York) was bound from Port Huron for Buffalo with a load of lumber. During a terrific gale, she missed the mouth of the Grand River near Fairport, Ohio and went on the pier where she broke up. Fortunately no lives were lost. The lighthouse keeper on the pier where she broke up later refused to light the lantern while the wreck was in place for fear of drawing other vessels into it. The U. S. Government quickly contracted to remove the hulk from the channel, but a month later, a storm did the job for free, obliterating the wreck so completely that it was reported to have just "disappeared."

June 4th, 2001 marked the 100th anniversary of the famous race between the TASHMOO and the CITY OF ERIE, an exciting race that included many thousands of dollars in wagers, great advance publicity, and the use of many other boats to watch the action along the way. The drama was such that carrier pigeons were released at various times to take the latest updates to waiting newspaper reporters. The CITY OF ERIE won the race in a very close match, and the story has been retold in several books about the Great Lakes.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 05

On 05 June 1888, the wreck of the tug FRANK MOFFAT was removed from the St. Clair River at Sombra, Ontario  by the Canadian Government.  The tug was wrecked when her boiler exploded in November 1885.

1972 the ROGER BLOUGH was christened at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for U.S. Steel Corp.

Also in 1972 the PARKER EVANS was in collision with the upbound Erie Sand steamer SIDNEY E SMITH JR. just below the Blue Water Bridge, at Port Huron, Michigan. The SMITH sank in twenty minutes with no loss of life. The EVANS, with bow damage, proceeded to Port Weller Dry Docks for extensive repairs. As a result of this accident, on October 4, 1972 alternate one-way traffic between the Black River Buoy and Buoys One and Two in Lake Huron was agreed upon by the shipping companies. Also a call-in system was initiated to monitor traffic between the Detroit River Light and Buoys Seven and Eight in Lake Huron by the newly established Sarnia Traffic.

On June 5, 1979, the CARTIERCLIFFE HALL (later WINNIPEG and now ALGONTARIO) caught fire on Lake Superior off the Keweenaw Peninsula just before 4:00 a.m. Six crewmembers died in the fire, and the U.S. Steel bulk freighter THOMAS W LAMONT was able to rescue the others from the CARTIERCLIFFE HALL. The THOMAS W LAMONT was cited for “exemplary service” by the U.S. Coast Guard for her role in the rescue of seventeen crew members from the burning CARTIERCLIFFE HALL on Lake Superior.

June 5, 1947 The Pere Marquette Railway was acquired by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

LIGHTSHIP 103 (HURON) had her keel laid June 5, 1918 at Morris Heights, New York by Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. In 1971 the lightship was acquired by the City of Port Huron for use as a museum.

On 5 June 1864, COL A B WILLIAMS (2 mast wooden schooner, 110 foot, 150 tons, built in 1856 at Big Sodus, New York) was carrying coal on Lake Huron when she collided with the big ore-laden bark TWILIGHT. The WILLIAMS sank in 85 feet of water, 3 miles below Port Sanilac. Her crew was rescued by the TWILIGHT.

Shortly before midnight, Sunday, 5 June 1870, the WABASH and EMPIRE STATE collided in Lake Huron about 10 miles above Fort Gratiot Light. The WABASH sank and the EMPIRE STATE was damaged. The steamer JAY GOULD took the passengers off both vessels.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 06

On 06 June 1917, ISABELLA J BOYCE (wooden propeller sandsucker, 138 foot, 368 gross tons, built in 1889 at Manitowoc, Wisconsin as a freighter) grounded on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie and then was destroyed by fire.  No lives were lost.

1944 JOSEPH H THOMPSON participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy

The E B BARBER entered service on June 6, 1953 for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

In 1953, the ARMCO began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio for Columbia Transportation Div., bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

On June 6, 1959, the ADAM E CORNELIUS (3) began her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This was the last Great Lakes vessel constructed with telescoping hatch covers.   Converted to a barge, renamed b.) CAPT EDMUND V SMITH in 1988, and c.) SEA BARGE ONE in 1991 and d.) SARAH SPENCER in 1996.

POINTE NOIRE was in collision with Cleveland Tanker's SATURN on June 6, 1977 near Fighting Island in the Detroit River.

On 6 June 1869, ASA COVELL (wooden propeller tug, 20 gross tons, built in 1852 at Buffalo, New York) was towing the brig IROQUOIS up the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland when her boiler exploded and she sank. Her captain was killed when the pilothouse was blown into the river.

On 6 June 1883, HERCULES (wooden schooner-barge, 139 foot, 195 tons, built in 1867 at Algonac, Michigan) was upbound in the south bend of the St. Clair River near Algonac, Michigan when the CLARION (iron propeller package freighter, 240 foot, 1711 gross tons, built in 1881 at Wyandotte, Michigan) overtook her and collided with her in broad daylight. HERCULES drifted to the bank, capsized and sank. No lives were lost.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 07

On 07 June 1862, MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 248 foot, 1265 gross tons) was launched by A. A. Turner at Trenton, Michigan.  She only lasted until 1868 when she sank in Lake Erie in a collision with the bark COURTLAND.

1958 the EDMUND FITZGERALD (Hull#301) was launched at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Columbia Transportation Div., mgr.

In 1977, the WILLIAM A IRVIN ran into the side of the Rock Cut after a power failure on board. The vessel received only slight damage. (For a more detailed account, read Jody Aho's book "The Steamer William A. Irvin: Queen of the Silver Stackers").

Also on June 7, 1977 the MESABI MINER departed the shipyard on her maiden voyage to load ore at Duluth, Minnesota.

On June 7, 1991, the ALPENA (former LEON FRASER) began her maiden voyage as a cement carrier, departing Superior, Wisconsin, for her namesake port. Fraser Shipyards, who performed the conversion, took out a full-page ad in the Superior Evening Telegram proclaiming "INLAND LAKES MANAGEMENT, YOUR SHIP IS READY" and a picture of the vessel.

On 7 June 1859, COLUMBIA (2-mast wooden brig, 92 foot, 177 gross tons, built in 1842 at Sandusky, Ohio) broke up in a storm near Sherwood Point, Green Bay (Death's Door). She was famous for bringing the first load of copper ore from the Keweenaw Peninsula to through the Soo. She also brought the first locomotive to Marquette.

The METEOR (wooden steam barge, 201 foot, 729 gross tons, built in 1863 at Cleveland, Ohio) burned at Buckley's dock at the foot of 2nd Street in Detroit, Michigan on 7 June 1873. The fire supposedly started in her hold at 1:30 AM and was not discovered until it was too late. The ship burned to the waterline and sank. Some docks and warehouses also burned in this catastrophe. The wreck was raised in early September 1875 and towed to the foot of Belle Isle where the machinery and hull were sold at the U.S. Marshall's sale on 24 April 1876. Although originally thought to be the end of this vessel, the hull was purchased by Stephen B. Grummond of Detroit for $480. It was rebuilt as the schooner-barge NELSON BLOOM in 1882 and lasted until abandoned in 1925.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 08

On 08 June 1897, RITA McDONALD (wooden propeller tug, 72 foot, 69 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #84) at West Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until 1920 when she was abandoned in Chicago, Illinois.

1978 the LEWIS WILSON FOY was christened for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

In 1938, the GOVERNOR MILLER, sister ship to the WILLIAM A IRVIN, began her maiden voyage, leaving Lorain, Ohio. The GOVERNOR MILLER was only the 2nd Great Lakes vessel to be powered by a steam turbine with a direct drive to the propeller shaft via reduction gear.

1976 - The Superior Midwest Energy Terminal loaded its first cargo of low-sulfur coal. The JOHN J BOLAND (3) took the honors as the first vessel to load at this dock.  Sold Canadian and renamed b.) SAGINAW in 1999.

1977 the HARRY L ALLEN was the first freighter to load at Burlington Northern's Dock #5 in Superior, Wisconsin.

On 8 June 1847, CHESAPEAKE (wooden side-wheeler, 172 foot, 412 tons, built in 1838 at Maumee, Ohio) was fully laden and had 97 aboard when she rammed the schooner JOHN F PORTER on a dark night off Conneaut, Ohio. As she started to sink, she was run to shore in an effort to save her, but she sank a mile short of the beach. Lake Erie was fairly calm and the crew and passengers tried to get to shore in boats and makeshift rafts. Most made it and many were also picked up by the steamer HARRISON. Estimates of the number of dead vary from 7 to 13.

The wooden side-wheel tug and upriver packet TRAFFIC (75 foot, 50 tons, built in 1853 at St. Clair, Michigan) sank near Sebewaing, Michigan on 8 June 1868. She was recovered and repaired, but only lasted a little longer than a year since she burned in Saginaw in October 1869.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 09

The Lubeck, Germany built, 305 foot Greek freighter CASTALIA of 1953, struck the north tower pier of the Mackinac Bridge at 7:00 PM on 09 June 1968 in dense fog.  The bridge was not damaged and the ship took on water, but was able to proceed to Chicago without assistance.

LIGHTSHIP 103 was delivered to the 12th District Headquarters at Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 9, 1921 to begin her Great Lakes career.

June 9, 1983 ALGOWEST loaded a then-record 1,047,758 bushels of wheat at Thunder Bay.

ROGER BLOUGH began sea trials in 1972.

June 9, 1911 The ANN ARBOR NO 1 was raised by Smith Wrecking Company of Muskegon after being considered a menace to navigation by the Coast Guard (she had been sunk by the south breakwater at Frankfort, Michigan after burning on March 8th). She was taken to Muskegon, and repaired sufficiently to become a sand scow for the Love Construction Company. The cost of raising her was $8,000.

On 9 June 1884, ANNAPEE (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 71 foot, 118 gross tons, built in 1867 at Ahnapee (Wolf River), Wisconsin) was bound from Torch Lake, Michigan for Milwaukee with a load of railroad ties and cordwood when she stranded in fog on North Point in Lake Michigan, 2 1/2 miles from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Later a strong wind blew her into the rocks and she broke up. No lives were lost and part of her cargo was saved.

On 9 June 1882, the LIZZIE A LAW (wooden schooner, 196 foot, 747 gross tons, built in 1875 at Port Huron, Michigan) collided with the R B HAYES (wooden schooner, 147 foot, 668 gross tons, built in 1877 at Gibraltar, Michigan) near the foot of Lake Huron. Although the LAW suffered severe damage, she completed her trip to Buffalo and was repaired there. The LAW lasted until 1908 when she was lost in a storm.

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

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 10

On 10 June 1891, the CHARLES W WETMORE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1399 gross tons) left the shipyard at West Superior, Wisconsin on her maiden voyage, bound for Liverpool, England with a cargo of grain. During her trip to the Atlantic Ocean, she shot the St. Lawrence River rapids. In Liverpool, she loaded machinery for Puget Sound.  She only lasted until September 1892, when she stranded one mile north of Coos Bay, Oregon in fog.  Bad weather stopped salvage attempts and the vessel was abandoned.

The LEWIS WILSON FOY, loaded her first cargo June 10, 1978 at Burlington Northern #5, Superior, Wisconsin with 57,952 tons of Hibbing taconite pellets for Burns Harbor, Indiana. In 1991.  Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991.

In 1892 the keel for the ANN ARBOR NO 1 (Hull#55) was laid at Toledo, Ohio by Craig Shipbuilding Co..

The ANN ARBOR NO 4 was sold to the Michigan State Ferries in 1937 and renamed CITY OF CHEBOYGAN.

On 10 June 1877, while lying at her dock at Detroit, the wooden side-wheeler R N RICE burned. The damage was estimated at $30,000. After this fire, she was rebuilt as a barge.

The propeller MONTGOMERY burned in the early morning hours of 10 June 1878. The fire started while she was laying at the dock in Point Edward, Ontario. The carferry INTERNATIONAL towed her out into the St. Clair River and cast her off to drift. Fortunately there were no injuries. She finally was beached opposite Batchelor's Mill on the Canadian side by the tugs CRUSADER and J H MARTIN. At 10:00 AM, she was still burning. The MONTGOMERY was a steam barge of 1,104 tons, built in 1856 and owned by Capt. John Pridgeon. She was fully loaded with 29,000 bushels of corn, 320 barrels of flour, 540 barrels of corn meal, 200 bags of timothy seed and 111 bales of broom corn, besides other freight. The local papers claimed that the spectacle presented by the burning vessel as she drifted down the river was "grand and beautiful". The light was so brilliant that the entire city of Port Huron was illuminated and many people came out to watch. The following day, the wreck was towed to the American side of the river just below Avery's Mill. Whatever was left of her cargo was taken off and sold. Her engines and boiler were so badly warped and twisted from the intense heat that they were worthless except as scrap.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineer dredge MARKHAM (Hull#904) was launched in 1959 at Avondale, Louisiana by Avondale Marine Ways Inc.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 11

On 11 June 1903, HORACE H BADGER (wooden 3-mast schooner, 129 foot, 263 gross tons, built in 1867 at Conneaut, Ohio as a 2-mast schooner, formerly KATE GILLETT) was carrying coal in a storm on Lake Erie.  She was driven onto the breakwater at Cleveland, Ohio and broke up in the storm waves.  The crew of seven was rescued by the Life Saving Service.  This vessel had been wrecked twice before; once at Cross Village, Michigan in 1895 and again near Alpena, Michigan in 1896. 

ATLANTIC SUPERIOR (Hull#222) was float launched at Thunder Bay, Ontario by Port Arthur Ship Building Co. Ltd.. in 1982 for Federal Commerce & Navigation Ltd., Montreal, Quebec (Canada Steamship Lines Ltd., mgr.), built for the Caribbean trade.

MESABI MINER was christened at Duluth, Minnesota in 1977, the MESABI MINER became the fourth thousand-foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake Steamship Co.’s second.

CARL D BRADLEY (1) cleared Lorain in her gray and white livery in 1917, on her maiden voyage light bound for Calcite, Michigan to load limestone. She was the first Great Lakes commercial ship equipped with both Morse code telegraphy as well as ship-to--shore radio in 1922, which was standard on only 20 vessels by 1924.   Renamed b.) JOHN G MUNSON -1927, c.) IRVIN L CLYMER - 1951.

On June 11, 1936 the EDWARD J BERWIND collided with the AYCLIFFE HALL 16 miles West of Long Point on Lake Erie. The Hall Corp. steamer went to the bottom and was not salvaged.

June 11, 1981 - The BADGER steamed out of Ludington en route to Milwaukee under an MDOT subsidy that was approved earlier in March.

The propeller E B HALE was launched at Cleveland at the yard of Quayle & Sons on 11 June 1874. Her length was 217 foot keel, 227 foot overall. She was owned by Capt. Bradley, Mr. Thomas Quayle and Mr. Loomis and she cost $100,000.

The wooden rabbit J S RUBY was launched at Fair Haven, Michigan on 11 June 1881. Her dimensions were 106'6" x 21' x 7'. She was towed to Port Huron for the installation of her boiler and engine that were built by the Phoenix Iron Works. She lasted until burned to a total loss off Stag Island in the St. Clair River on November 9, 1891.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 12

On 12 June 1900, the UNIQUE (wooden propeller, 163 foot, 381 gross tons, built in 1894 at Marine City, Michigan) was sold at public auction at St. Clair, Michigan to satisfy a mortgage.  W. J. Laidlaw of Ogdensburg, New York purchased her for $20,000 for the Rapid Transit Co. to run between Ogdensburg and Kingston, Ontario.  In 1904, her upper cabins were removed and she was rebuilt as a yacht.  She lasted until 1915 when she burned in New York City harbor.

"STUBBY", The bow and stern sections of the STEWART J CORT welded together, passed Port Colborne, Ontario on June 12, 1970 bound for Erie, Pennsylvania under her own power. STUBBY's bow and stern sections were later separated at Erie Marine, Inc., a Div. of Litton, and joined to the 816 foot hull mid-body.

The NANTICOKE departed Collingwood in 1980 beginning her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd..

In 1959 the BENSON FORD (1) ran aground in the Amherstburg Channel on her upbound trip with coal for the Rouge Plant. After five days of lightering and with tug assistance, she was freed. Damage amounted to 41 bottom plates which took 30 days to repair.

On 12 June 1832, the wooden schooner GUERRIER was sailing from Oswego, New York for Detroit when she capsized in a squall off Bar Point on Lake Erie. Captain Pember and the crew and most of the passengers made it to the Canadian shore, but one family was trapped in the cabin. The husband was able to keep his head above water in the upside down cabin, but through the night, one by one, his four children and then his wife slipped from his grasp and perished. The following day, Capt. Stanard took his steamer NIAGARA to the wreck and rescued the man.

On 12 June 1900, the steel tow barge BRYN MAWR (Hull#41) was launched at South Chicago, Illinois by the Chicago Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company.

The wooden propeller freighter MILWAUKEE (264 foot, 1770 gross tons) was launched at Quayle & Sons yard in Cleveland, Ohio on 12 June 1879 for the Western Transportation Company of Buffalo, New York. She had supporting arches above decks. In 1902, she was renamed YONKERS and rebuilt as a barge in 1911. She lasted until 1917-1918 when she stranded, then burned.

 

Today in Great Lakes History - June 13

On 13 June 1902, METROPOLIS (wooden side-wheel steamer, 168 foot, 425 tons, built in 1868 at Detroit, Michigan) caught fire and burned to a total loss at her dock in Toledo, Ohio.  She was only used occasionally for excursions and spent most of her time tied up to the dock.

On June 13, 1983, the JOHN B AIRD began its maiden voyage for Algoma Central Railway, a load of coal from Thunder Bay to Nanticoke, Ontario.

The IRVING S OLDS carried a then-record 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943 from Lake Superior and transported a total of 736,800 short tons of various bulk cargoes the next year.

On the morning of June 13, 1905 running downbound on Lake Superior, the heavily laden SYLVANIA encountered heavy fog as she approached the Soo. Confused whistle signals resulted in the SYLVANIA glancing off the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. steamer SIR HENRY BESSEMER which sustained a 175 foot port side gash from the SYLVANIA's anchor. The BESSEMER required $40,000 in repairs and the SYLVANIA's damage totaled $10,000 which included a new anchor and shell plating which was completed at the Craig Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, Ohio.

June 13, 1930 - Shortly after leaving Menominee, Mchigan, fireman Walter O'Leary of the ANN ARBOR NO 7 became ill. The carferry proceeded at full speed to the nearest doctor at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where surgery was performed to remove gall stones.

June 13, 1974 - The CITY OF GREEN BAY (formerly a.) WABASH) was sold to Marine Salvage Company to be scrapped.

On 13 June 1903, CHARLES H DAVIS (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 145 foot, 391 gross tons, built in 1881 at Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying limestone on Lake Erie off Cleveland when she developed a leak which quickly got worse and admitted water faster than her pumps capacity. She sank near the Cleveland breakwater. She was an unusual vessel, reportedly built of pine and pointed at both ends with her planking set diagonally.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & FarewellII 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
 

 


Special Report - Lake Express Maiden Voyage

06/07

The new high speed ferry, the Lake Express, departed on its maiden voyage from Milwaukee at 7:37 a.m. June 1st bound for Muskegon, Mich. The ferry was filled with dignitaries and media types of all kinds, as well as passengers who won a chance to purchase tickets through a lottery on the Lake Express website.  Until the Milwaukee terminal is finished in the next week to 10 days, passengers will pass through security and pick up their tickets in temporary facilities. The Muskegon ticket office is finished. Thrifty Car Rental is also located at both docks.

Both Milwaukee and Muskegon experienced record, or near record, rainfall during the month of May. The clear sunny skies on Tuesday morning was a great relief for all concerned. It was somewhat fitting that the very first vehicle driven on board at Milwaukee was a Harley Davidson 100th edition Heritage Springer. Live music accompanied the passengers as they boarded and later in the lounge area. Food and beverages, including champagne, were served as well.

Once underway passengers were restricted from the upper deck. Believe me at 40 mph you don't really want to spend time up there. The upper deck is accessible once the Lake Express checks down for either breakwall. During the ride to Muskegon the Lake Express rolled gently in the brisk SW wind and 4-6 foot swells. Once you got your "sea legs" the movement just added to the total experience.

A large crowd lined the entrance to Muskegon Lake to greet the ferry. The museum ship Milwaukee Clipper, in the middle of a fresh, new paint scheme, gave a salute as the Lake Express passed. After docking and unloading the motorcycles and automobiles, the obligatory welcome and speeches were made under a tent. Lake Express President David Lubar and Milwaukee Port Director Ken Szallai thanked all involved for finally making the reestablishment of cross lake ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon a reality. Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington presented Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with the keys to the city and a framed picture of the Lake Express entering the Muskegon harbor just an hour after it was taken. In another example of 21st century technology The Muskegon Chronicle also put out an issue of the paper, complete with a front page color picture of the Lake Express arriving Tuesday, just an hour after the ferry docked. The U.S. Postal Service was selling commemorative envelopes with a special postmark to mark the maiden voyage at both docks.

While the dignitaries and media reboarded for the return trip to Milwaukee, the Milwaukee passengers were given a tour of the area by members of the Muskegon Convention and Visitor Bureau. A trolley bus will take you to a number of Muskegon locations, including the lakefront and the downtown area for only 25 cents. For the time being, passengers in Milwaukee will have to use taxis, rent a car, or take a tour bus operated by Midwest Limo Coaches. They will be running a shuttle to all the major downtown hotels as well as offer a three-hour tour of Milwaukee.

The Lake Express returned to Muskegon in the early evening and departed for Milwaukee at 8:47 p.m. Michigan time. The ferry was tied up back in Milwaukee at  10:40 p.m. CDST. Two trips a day will take place through the first week in June. After that the Lake Express will be making three trips per day.

Reported, photographed by: Andy LaBorde

One of the Harley Davidsons goes aboard. Passengers load their own vehicles.
Passengers were greeted at the gangway with music for the maiden voyage.
Harleys on the car deck.
USCG group Milwaukee is directly in front of the ferry dock.
Departing the Milwaukee dock.
The almost finished Milwaukee ferry building.
 New Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett poses for a picture on the upper deck.
Approaching the Milwaukee south break wall.
Full speed ahead!
Heading east for Muskegon.
Breakfast is served.
Passengers had a choice of OJ or champagne on the maiden trip.
Lake Express President David Lubar addresses the passengers.
Signing a commemorative life ring.
The Muskegon breakwall.
USCG escort.
A friendly welcome from the citizens of Muskegon.
The USS Silversides museum sub.
The former USCG cutter McLane.
The museum ship Milwaukee Clipper gave the Lake Express a salute
The Clipper is getting a new paint scheme this spring.
Approaching the Muskegon ferry dock.
Great Lakes Contracting tugs.
The motorcycles were the first vehicles off.
A USPO truck came over to deliver the commemorative envelopes.
The Muskegon dock
Speeches
The mayor of Muskegon presents the keys to the city to the mayor of Milwaukee.
Port of Milwaukee director Ken Szallai.
Muskegon passengers board for the return to Milwaukee.
Heading for the Muskegon break wall and Milwaukee.
Picking up speed just past the  breakwall.
Lake Express heading up the channel after returning from Milwaukee.
A bow-on shot.
Turning for the dock.
Heading for Milwaukee.
Muskegon break wall
The "hot off the press" issue of the Muskegon Chronicle.
Special maiden voyage tickets.
The USPS special issue postal marks and envelopes.
Not one, but two, ferry signs at the Hoan Bridge off ramp in Milwaukee.

 

 


Port Huron Marine Mart and Boatnerd Cruise a Success

06/07

Great weather and plenty of traffic helped make the Port Huron Marine Mart, held Saturday at the Port Huron Seaway Terminal, a huge success.

More than 30 dealers in nautical photos, books and artifacts gathered from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. to sell their wares to one of the largest crowds ever seen at such an event. During the Mart hours, the former USCG cutter Bramble, the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet training vessel Greyfox and the Acheson Ventures’ tall ship Highlander Sea were also open for tours. A model boat competition also brought many to the event, which was capped by an afternoon trip on the excursion vessel Huron Lady II.

Reported, photographed by: Roger LeLievre

Pictures from Friday evening
Roger Blough upbound
Blough passing Highlander Sea
Blough bow, Maria Desgagnes stern
Cason J. Callaway
Callaway’s bow, Algonova’s stern
Sam Laud, stern view
Philip R. Clarke under the Blue Water bridge at dusk
Clarke, stern view

Pictures from Saturday
Greyfox prepares to moor at the Seaway Terminal
Marine Mart veteran Al Hart mans his table
Former USCG Bramble, open for tours
Tour group on Bramble’s deck
View inside Bramble’s wheelhouse
Algoway passes, just in time for lunch
Herbert C. Jackson passes Highlander Sea
Joe models his Shenango Furnace Co. t-shirt
View from the Terminal parking deck of Bramble and Greyfox (John Meyland photo)
Fred R. White Jr. upbound (Photo by Bill Bird)
Tug William C. Gaynor (Photo by Bill Bird)
Halifax (Photo by Bill Bird)

Model boats operated in a pond outside Seaway Terminal
Wilfred Sykes model passes a tug port to port
Sykes model, another view
Model of the old Great Lakes passenger liner South American
Model tug Algonac has a close encounter with a buoy
You’d swear this model of USCG Tacoma was the real thing
Models inside
Scott Tomlinson with his fleet

From the Huron Lady II
Mesabi Miner passes the Black River entrance
Sam Laud, upbound
Maumee, laid up
Maumee gets her picture taken
Meeting Adam E. Cornelius under Blue Water Bridge
Stern view of the A-Corn
Happy Boatnerds on the bow of Huron Lady II

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was also open for tours on Saturday
(John Meyland photo)
 

 


Great Lakes Pilots Say Pay is Sub-par

06/03

U.S. and Canadian captains for foreign ships on the Great Lakes say low pay is hurting recruiting and could leave them short-staffed. They say fewer people to escort ships and handle environmental monitoring could ultimately undermine security.

Pay rates for captains, who have not had a raise since 2001, are set by the U.S. Coast Guard, which delayed last year's proposed increase of about 26 percent because the shipping industry said it could not afford it.

In the meantime, the Guard in stalled a temporary rate increase of about five percent. But since health care costs and other expenses have risen more than that amount, the take home pay for pilots was actually reduced by about 16 percent.

"We're making deck hand wages for working on Great Lakes ships," said Capt. Phil Knetchel, president of the Lakes Pilots' Association, which serves Lake Erie and the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. "Being a pilot is supposed to be the best job around, but you start making half or less of what you should be making, how long are you going to stick around?"

Rates vary by body of water and size of ship, but generally are about $50 an hour, before expenses, and are calculated in either six-hour segments or as a flat rate. Based on the Guard's last proposed rate increase, the pilots should be making an annual salary of between $122,000 and $173,000, depending on experience. Their current salary is less than half of that.

For foreign shippers, which pay the pilot wages, the rates are already too high. In letters submitted to the Coast Guard, many shipping companies said pilotage fees are the second largest operating expense for ocean-going vessels providing service on the Great Lakes.

Reported by: The Associated Press, Frank Frisk
 

 


Greenstone II Delivered Safely to Houghton

06/07

The newly constructed tank barge Greenstone II has been successfully delivered from Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wis., to her new homeport of Houghton, Mich. The barge was completed by crews at Fraser in less than three months.  

The former DPC tug Miss Laura arrived at the shipyard on Tuesday, May 25th and departed through the Duluth ship canal around 1:30 that afternoon. After a fairly smooth trip across Lake Superior, the tow arrived at the Keewenaw Waterway at 0700 the next morning. The tank barge will be used to service Isle Royal for the National Park Service.  
Reported, photographed by Franz VonRiedel

Tug crews prepare the tow at Fraser.
Departing the shipyard.
Algonorth loads at Harvest 1 in Superior.
Classic G-tug North Carolina, formerly U.S. Steel's Limestone
Remains of the Irvin L. Clymer has a front row to view ships coming and going through the ship canal.
 Tow leaving Duluth.
In the pilothouse, keeping a straight course.
Overcast, staying ahead of the weather.
Paul R Tregurtha left behind us an hour and is catching up.
Earl W. Oglebay passing the Paul R. Tregurtha
A perfect rainbow off the Apostle Islands.
Touching down on Devils Island.
Getting dark.
One more ship passes at 9 p.m. The Sarah Spencer fighting a west wind heading up the lake in darkness.
Sunset behind us.
Nightfall and getting a little rougher. Greenstone II is hanging in there.
Miss Laura, a former WWII DPC tug, puts up very little effort to tow the small tank barge through some mild seas.  
Stern view.
Down below in the engine room, her 1400-HP EMD is pushing us along at 10 knots, even while towing.
Falk gearbox connected to the 645 EMD.  Note the flywheel in motion.
Greenstone II, still back there.
Sun is rising as we near the Keweenaw
The Upper Entry light.
 Its 0600 and the Corps of Engineers tug Hammond Bay is running outside to check the weather.
Too rough to work, the Schwartz and scows are standing by at the Lilly Pond.
Former Army ST tug, the J E Colombe is pictured here near Hancock.  Her Army number is unknown.
Two unknown workboats ashore. The green one is said to have come from Detroit.
"Ghost town" along the Waterway.
The Greenstone II has arrived in downtown Houghton and ready for service.
Stern view.
The tug's crew.

 

 


Port Report

06/07

Sault Ste. Marie

Earl W. Oglebay was at the Carbide dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., last Wednesday unloading gravel.  According to the Sault Evening News, over 20,000 tons was put on the dock. The gravel is being used in a project involving leftover waste from the days when the Union Carbide plant was located in town (the plant closed in the early 1960s). There are huge lime and waste piles a short distance away, the gravel will be used to help seal them to prevent runoff and pollution. Top soil and ground plantings will be added later.

Reported, photographs by: B. Barnes
Earl W. Oglebay unloads
Another view
Another view

 

Detroit images by Mike Nichols
6/5
Barge KTC 115 & tug Tony Mackay downbound at Grassy Island.
Fred R. White Jr. upbound at Grassy Island.

6/4
Joseph H. Frantz outbound the Rouge River between Dix and Fort Street, heading for the Haridon Dock to load salt.

6/3
Atlantic Huron downbound at Grassy Island.
Arthur M. Anderson, downbound off Nicholson's.
Algonova, upbound at Grassy Island.
Capt. Henry Jackman upbound at Grassy Island.
Presque Isle upbound at Grassy Island.
Arthur M. Anderson upbound in ballast from Fairport, Ohio, to Stoneport, Mich., just above the Ambassador Bridge.  (Photo by Nathan Nietering)

 

Toronto

The new fast ferry "The Breeze" was off the wall for engine trials on Lake Ontario Friday morning. The ferry returned to the dock a short time later. The U.S. Coast Guard will begin its final inspection of the ship today and she may receive its official certificate to operate at the end of next week, according to Lt. Commander Kevin Burke of the Buffalo Marine Safety Office. The maiden passenger voyage is set for June 17

Reported by: Charlie Gibbons
 

Twin Ports

Duluth images by Gordon Williams
Oglebay Norton inbound to the ship canal at sunrise
The old USACE tug Lake Superior, now a marine museum docked behind the William A. Irvin
Keizersborg loading beet pellets at General Mills S
Retired tug Edna G, open for tours
James R. Barker arrives Duluth early in the morning to fuel at Murphy

 

Marquette

Marquette's two harbors are busy with boat traffic.  The Kaye E. Barker, John J. Boland, Herbert C. Jackson and Charles M. Beeghly have been in with coal or stone, and took on ore.  The Paul R. Tregurtha is expected on Tuesday, June 8th with a load of coal.

Reported by: Lee Rowe


Menominee/Marinette

After a few weeks of little or no activity in the ports of Menominee and Marinette, traffic has really picked up in the last week. On Saturday May 29, the Algomarine delivered a load of salt to Marinette Fuel & Dock. The Algomarine retured to Marinette with more salt on  Thursday, June 3. Friday June 4 brought the Algosteel to Marinette also with salt. Thursday evening the Staten Island Ferry Guy V Molinari also returned to Marinette after spending some time in the dry dock at Sturgeon Bay. By noon on Sunday the Deizeborg arrived in Menominee on its first ever trip to the Great Lakes with wood pulp for a local warehouse. Also expected on Tuesday is the Prinsenborg in Menominee to load wood-pulp.

Algomarine stern view unloading salt on May 29
Algomarine, dock view 

Reported by: Scott Best
 

 


Upcoming Boatnerd Gatherings

06/07

Soo Details

Details for the annual Soo Locks Boatnerd Gathering have been posted on the on the Gatherings Page. Click the Gathering icon on the main Boatnerd Page. Cruise reservations limited to the first 150 persons. Make your reservation today.

Fawn Island Gathering and Cruise - Saturday, July 17

A day on Fawn Island in the St. Clair River off Sombra, Ontario, hosted by Shari Schwartz and Capt. George Lee. This is a two-option day of boat watching, island lounging, cruising, model boat racing and story swapping. Beginning at 3:00 PM, the two options come together.

Option #1 - Hammond Bay river cruise. Depart the Hammond Bay dock at 11:00 AM dock for a three-hour cruise on the St. Clair River, with lunch on board. A chance to photograph passing river traffic up close and listen the narration of Captain George Lee and crew. The Hammond Bay will arrive at Fawn Island at 2:00 PM. The cruise is limited to the first 40 reservations received.

Option #2 - Skip the river cruise and take the Fawn Island water taxi directly to the island beginning at 1:00 PM. Enjoy the afternoon and company of other Boatnerds in the peaceful surroundings on the island. Water taxi - $5.00 not included in prepaid fee. Both options come together around 3:00 PM.

Island Activities
3:00 PM - Drawings for a shipload of prizes
4:00 PM - Guest speaker Capt. Richard Metz, author of "Sea Stories"
5:30 PM - Dinner. Sure to be a sumptuous feast provided by our hosts.
7:00 PM - Hammond Bay cruisers return to the mainland via the Hammond Bay
                 Non-cruising Boatnerds return to the mainland water taxi.

Throughout the day - Watch for and photograph passing river traffic, ponds and canals for cruising remote-controlled ship models, games of chance (bring your change). All proceeds to benefit the Sombra Museum Marine Room.

Cost  
Option #1 - Cruise on the Hammond Bay including lunch, followed by dinner on Fawn Island - $31.00 US or $43.00 Canadian.
Option #2 - An afternoon on Fawn Island including dinner - $12.00 US or $18.00 Canadian.

Reservations - Make reservation for either option by sending your check, or cheque, to either:
Shari Schwartz, PO Box 178, Marine City, MI 48039 - (519) 892-3221, or:
Hammond Bay River Cruises, RR #1, Port Lambton, Ont. Canada N0P 2B0 – (519)-892-3973.

Reported by: Dave Wobser
 

 


Photo Gallery

06/03

Because of the large volume of pictures received over the Memorial Day holiday, I have condensed many of them into this Photo Gallery. Many thanks to all who sent in pictures; I have used as many as I could.

Recent aerial photos in Lake St. Clair by Don Coles – <http://www.aerialpics.com>
Algosteel
Algosteel, another view
Algocape
Oglebay Norton
 

Detroit River images by Mike Nicholls
6/1
Cedarglen loading at the ADM Dock in Windsor
Cedarglen with fleetmate Spruceglen in the background
Spruceglen anchored in Ojibway waiting for Cedarglen to depart the ADM Dock in Windsor.
Keizerborg (Holland) unloading at Morterm in Windsor
Tug Tony Mackay at Morterm
John J. Boland downbound at Grassy Island
Boland, stern view
Tug Robin Lynn upbound at Grassy Island
Robin Lynn, stern view
Indiana Harbor downbound at Grassy Island
Algonova downbound at Grassy Island
Algonova stern view
Le Levant (France) upbound at Grassy Island

5/31
Herbert C. Jackson appoaching the Severstal Steel Dock in the Rouge River.

5/30
Canadian Prospector loading at Zug Island
Prospector, another view
New cement silo and dock above Zug Island
Sam Laud downbound off Fort Wayne
Laud, stern shot
Algorail crossing from Nicholson's, where she unloaded salt, headed back to Ojibway Salt Dock to reload
Barge Great Lakes and tug Michigan, upbound below Grassy Island
Reserve passing Michigan / Great Lakes

5/ 27
Tugs Kurt R. Luedtke towing Karl E. Luedtke upbound at Grassy Island
Tugs, stern view
Herbert C. Jackson upbound at Grassy Island
Jackson, stern shot
Onego Merchant downbound at Grassy Island
Merchant, stern view
U.S.C.G.C. 49424 downbound at Grassy Island

 

Photos from the Memorial Day cruise aboard the Diamond Jack from Detroit to Port Huron and return, contributed by Paul Hoffmeyer
Barge Lambert's Spirit and Tug Wilf Seymour crossing lake St. Clair
American Republic crossing Lake St. Clair
Algoway downbound near Harsens Island
Algoisle downbound near Marine City
Canadian Miner downbound near Marine City
Algoeast at the fuel dock at Sarnia
Saltie Tuvaq at the Government dock, Sarnia
Diamond Queen upbound near Marysville
McKee Sons unloading sand at Blue Water Aggregates
Sam Laud upbound before the rain
Philip R Clarke upbound behind the Laud
H. Lee White crossing a dark and windy Lake St. Clair on our return

Paul R. Tregurtha (taken May 28 at Port Huron)
 

St. Marys River / St. Ignace photos by Roger LeLievre

Soo 5/28 – 6/1
Algolake takes a wave right on the nose
Steamer Alpena bathed in late evening light
Purvis tug Anglian Lady in the MCM Marine drydock
Anglian Lady, another view
Armco downbound with ore
Tug Beaver State ashore at MCM Marine
Biscayne Bay and Katmai Bay at USCG Group Soo
Canadian Miner
Canadian Provider
Colorfully-painted saltie CEC Crusader unloads at Algoma Export Dock. Hull of ex-USS laker Sewell Avery forms the dock.
CEC Crusader, another view
Former U.S. Coast Guard residence at Mission Point is now being renovated as a private home. This could be a boatwatcher’s dream house.
Chief Shingwauk, the official cruse vessel of discriminating boatnerds everywhere, leaves the Canadian lock upbound
Chief Shingwauk departs the Canadian lock downbound
Stern view of the Stewart J. Cort
Tug Decelles leaves the Canadian lock
Tanker Gemini pays a rare visit to the St. Marys River. She was bound for Thunder Bay.
Great Lakes Trader
Lewis G. Harriman at the Purvis scrap yard in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Closeup of Harriman’s bow
U.S. tour boat Nokomis gives tourists a great view of the Harriman
Indiana Harbor and American Spirit docked at the Carbide Dock in the Soo. Indiana
Harbor had some bad fuel, which it was transferring to the Spirit. There was no word on what the Spirit would do with the bad gas.
Indiana Harbor and American Spirit, bows lining up
Indiana Harbor and American Spirit, stern view, with fleetmate Walter J. McCarthy passing
Barge Chas. W. Johnson at the Purvis yard. She is the former tanker Imperial Kingston.
Abandoned tug Rod McLean at Purvis dock
Mesabi Miner
Middletown bow view
Middletown stern view
Mississagi shows off her classic lines
Former lighter T.F. Newman at Purvis dock. One of the triple expansion steam engines from the ex-Straits trainferry Chief Wawatam is rusting away on her aft deck
Earl W. Oglebay in late evening
What’s left of the doomed Quedoc as scrapping continues at Soo, Ont.
Quedoc’s bow
Tugs Reliance and Avenger IV in Soo Harbor
Private yacht Scottish Thistle leaves Canadian lock.

St. Ignace, 5/27
Former USCG Maple is now a marine museum at St. Ignace, Mich.
Maple, stern view
Star Line Mackinac Island ferries Marquette and Cadillac
Marquette
Arnold Line ferry Chippewa
 

Duluth photos by Gordon Williams
Kayaks frame Paul R. Tregurtha
Columbia Star departing in the evening
Tug Seneca
Burns Harbor inbound
Burns Harbor displays new ISG logo on her stack
Presque Isle under the lift bridge
Algocape at St. Lawrence Cement
Close-up of Algocape unloading
Algocape almost unloaded
USCG patrol vessel 47265
Atlantic Huron inbound
Edwin H. Gott
1,000 feet of Stewart J. Cort left-wheeling around in the harbor
Irma outbound after sundown
Joseph H. Frantz
Joseph L. Block inbound
Block unloading stone at DM&IR
Kapitonis A. Lucka
L.L. Smith Jr., a research vessel operated by the University of Wisconsin
Mesabi Miner
Olympic Melody
Roger Blough in fog
Blough, stern view
Roger Blough loading at DM&IR in the fog
The old tug Essayons. Her original steam engine is on display in the Lake Superior Marine Museum.
Essayons, stern view
David Z. Norton escapes under the lift bridge before the weather turns rainy
James R. Barker heads in off to a stormy lake in the rain as thunder rolls overhead
 

Thunder Bay photos by Gordon Williams
Laid up bulk carrier Wolf River. The 1956-built vessel has been inactive for several years.
Saltie Yucatan loading
Algoisle loading at Richardson's early in the morning
Algoisle, another view
Cedarglen after just tying up at Agricore-United S
Canadian Miner at Cargill
Canadian Provider
Tug Point Valour assisting Canadian Provider out of the Mission Terminal slip
Catherine Desgagnes
Lady Hamilton
Lake Ontario
Bow view of Mississagi at Sask Pool 7A
Veteran excursion vessel Pioneer II. This former Dutch canal boat runs tours of the Thunder Bay waterfront and Kaminstiquia River from mid-May to the end of September
 

Cleveland images by Rex Cassidy
Peter R. Cresswell unloading
Earl W. Oglebay passing Peter R. Cresswell
Bow shot of Oglebay and tug California
Cleveland Rocks (ex Kellstone 1) and tug Cleveland (former James Palladino)
Close up of Cleveland Rocks’ name
 
 
Burns Harbor images by Gregg Goldie
Great Lakes Towing Company tugs Massachusetts and Arizona assisting the salt water vessel Yucatan in departing the West Arm of Burns Harbor.
Another view
Arizona and Massachusetts up close
Massachusetts and Arizona docking the saltwater vessel Vamand Wave into the West Arm of Burns Harbor.
 

Recent photos from Sarnia-Port Huron by Bill Bird
Canadian Provider under Bluewater Bridge headed to Lake Superior.
CSL Tadoussac downbound at Buoys 1 and 2.
John G Munson sitting tall in the saddle.
Laid-up Maumee awaiting her fate in Sarnia. The 75-year old vessel did not fit out this year, and waterfront reports indicate she needs repairs before the Coast Guard will renew her sailing certificate.
 

The Netherlands, photos by Chris Rombouts
On May 28, the frequent Seaway visitor Federal Kushiro arrived back in Europe. The pictures show her on the approach to the locks in Terneuzen. (The Netherlands). Multratug 5 is assisting her. She had to wait for the Kater Wave to come out of the lock. Through this lock, ships can enter the canal to Ghent (Belgium) from the Western Schelde River.
 

 


Port Report

06/03

DeTour, Mich.

Photos of former Lake Michigan ferry Arthur K. Atkinson, at DeTour, Mich., where she was towed late last fall. Rumors continue to circulate about future use, including a floating processing plant for used tires, and a private yacht.
Arthur K. Atkinson
Close-up of her name, and rusty hull
Stack
Stern view
Sea gate, with grass growing where it shouldn't be growing
Pilothouse area

Reported by: Cathy Kohring

 


Overload Blamed for January Pelee Island Plane Crash

06/03
 

The single-engine Cessna that crashed off of ice-covered Lake Erie's Pelee Island Jan. 17 killing all 10 people aboard was carrying too much weight, officials said Tuesday.

 However officials with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada say the investigation is not complete and they do not know when a final report will be issued.  

Eight men from southern Ontario had flown to Pelee Island to hunt and were returning to Windsor when the plane crashed soon after takeoff in freezing rain. The pilot, his friend and two hunting dogs were also aboard. Because of gale force winds and ice conditions, the bodies were not recovered for 13 days.

"There is a lot of unanswered questions," Bill Sadowski, whose brother Walter was killed, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Family members want to know why the airplane and island airport did not have de-icing devices, why the airplane did not have a waterproof beacon so it could have been located quicker in the 27 feet of water and what contributed to the heavy load.

Reported by: Jason Leslie
 

 


Discovery Channel To Air Great Lakes Shipwreck Program

06/03

Saturday at 1 p.m. the Discovery Channel will air “Shipwrecked: Rage of the Great Lakes,” parts of which were filmed aboard Cleveland’s Museum Ship William G. Mather.

One of the shipwrecks featured is that of the Daniel J. Morrell, which sank on Nov. 29, 1966 in Lake Huron. Of her crew of 29, Dennis Hale was the only one to survive. Hale’s story is retold with portions of the documentary filmed onboard the Mather. Local actors, including Mather crew member Matt Grabski, are also featured.

Visit www.discovery.com  for more on the documentary and additional airings.  For Mather information, go to www.wgmather.org.
 

Reported by: William G. Mather Museum Staff

 


Michigan Lighthouses A National Draw?

06/03
 

Michigan's maritime heritage might just be the state's best-kept secret

The state's members of Congress are hoping to change that by directing federal officials to inventory the state's lighthouses and maritime resources from historic ships to marine sanctuaries. Then they want to develop a plan to preserve and promote them.

"Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, and they have been an integral part of our state's history and economic development," said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland. "Without adequate protection, these invaluable resources may be squandered and (our maritime history) lost to future generations."

 Camp and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, have introduced the Michigan Lighthouse and Maritime Heritage Act in their respective chambers, and they both believe the legislation could be the boost needed to draw state and national attention to Great Lakes history.

"This preservation effort would give -- not just Michigan residents but all visitors to Michigan and other Great Lakes states -- a wonderful insight into the importance of the Great Lakes in settling, growth and development of America's heartland," said Stabenow.

With Republicans and Democrats co-sponsoring the legislation, Camp and Stabenow are hoping to improve the bill's chances. It will take some work, though, because the multimillion-dollar price tag benefits just one state, making it harder to win broader support.

The inventory is likely to include everything from the obvious, including lighthouses, harbors and shipwrecks, to the obscure, such as the Manistee General Store, which played an important role in that community's lake trade business.

"We've never taken a comprehensive look at all these resources and figured out how to organize them to attract tourists and to do a better job educating our children," said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing. "One of the problems with this whole area is that it's easy to look at lighthouses and say we need to save them. But after we've said it, what do we do next?"

Reported by: Booth Newspapers
 

 


Obituary – John P. Pal

06/03

John P. Pal, age 83, of East 29th Street, Ashtabula, OH, died May 30 at the Ashtabula County Medical Center. He was employed with the Pennsylvania Ore Docks in Ashtabula, and sailing the Great Lakes until his retirement.

Born Dec. 15, 1920 in Ashtabula, he was a Veteran of World War II serving in the Merchant Marines.

Reported by: M. J. "Pete" Gustafson
 

 


Today in Great Lakes History - May 28

THOMAS W LAMONT departed Toledo on her maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. on May 28, 1930 bound for Duluth, Minnesota where she loaded iron ore.

May 28, 1900 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 15 cut down the scow SILVER LAKE, sinking her with the loss of one life.

On 28 May 1902, WINONA (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 100 foot, 231 gross tons) was launched at Port Stanley, Ontario for the Port Stanley Navigation Company.  She lasted until 1931 when she burned to a total loss.

On 28 May 1860, ARCTIC (wooden side-wheeler, 237 foot, 861 tons, built in 1851 at Marine City, Michigan) drove ashore on the east side of Lighthouse Island in Lake Superior in a dense fog. The passengers and crew were able to make it to shore before a storm arose and pounded the ARCTIC to pieces. The passengers and crew were later picked up by the steamer FOUNTAIN CITY.

The ferry SARNIA made her first trip as a carferry between Port Huron and Sarnia on 27 May 1879. She had burned in January 1879, then was converted to a carferry and served in that capacity during the summer. In September 1879, she was converted to a barge.

Lake Street Bridge seem to be a particular mark for the steamers of the Western Transit Line.  Since the boats began to run about the Chicago river without tugs, collisions with this bridge have been numerous, owing to its location on the bend of the south branch.  To-day the steamer SYRACUSE ran into the west approach, doing $500 damage.  The BOSTON recently struck in the same place.  The steamer NIKO fouled the North Halsted Street Bridge and carried away her pilot house and texas.

Detroit, Mich., May 28. - Fog and smoke in the St. Clair River and the narrow channels of the flats are once more troubling vesselmen and every morning when the atmosphere is clouded the reports come down to Detroit of numerous groundings and mixups and some of them smack of seriousness and narrow escapes from disastrous collisions.  On Thursday morning the rivers were overhung with mist and fully half a dozen craft struck on the mud banks, but only one of them, the CITY OF ROME, ran out any and had to be assisted by a wrecking tug.  Captains are well aware of the tortuous course of the flats channel and take no chances, but slow down on the coming of the fog and crawl along.  If they happen to keep their course so much the better and if the channel bank is run into the engines are reversed and the boat lies to for the blowing away of the curtain.  There is no help for this obstacle, lights, fog whistles and all other signals would serve but to confuse the mariners and so long as the narrow channels remain the lake boats will be in constant danger of hitting the channel sides in a fog.

Good Harbor, Michigan, May 31. - The steamer OWEGO of the Erie Railway line went ashore at the head of North Manitou Island at 8 o’clock yesterday.  Her forward compartment is full of water. The OWEGO left Chicago Tuesday bound for Buffalo.  Her cargo consists of grain and merchandise.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 29

The 71 foot tug and patrol boat CARTER H HARRISON was launched at Chicago, Illinois on 29 May 1901, for the City of Chicago Police Department.

The STADACONA (1) (Hull#66) was launched in 1909 at Ecorse, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Stadacona Steamship Co. (James Playfair, mgr.).  Renamed b.) W H MC GEAN in 1920 and c.) ROBERT S McC NAMARA in 1962.

JAMES R BARKER (Hull#905) was float launched in 1976 at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Interlake Steamship Co.

Canada Steamshi lines Ltd.’s TADOUSSAC (2) (Hull#192) prematurely launched herself on this day in 1969 at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd.

May 29, 1905 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 20, while leaving Milwaukee in a heavy fog struck the scow HIRAM R BOND of the Milwaukee Sand Gravel Company. The scow sank.

In 1909 the ANN ARBOR NO 4 capsized at Manistique, Michigan as a result of an error in loading a heavy load of iron ore.

On 29 May 1889, BAVARIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 145 foot, 376 gross tons, built in 1873 at Garden Island, Ontario) was carrying squared timber when she broke from the tow of the steamer D D CALVIN and began to founder near Long Point in Lake Erie. Her crew abandoned her, but all eight were lost. The abandoned vessel washed ashore with little damage and lasted until 1898 when she was destroyed in a storm.

PLEASURE (wooden passenger ferry, 128 foot, 489 gross tons) (Hull#104) was launched at West Bay City, Michigan by F.W. Wheeler & Co. on 29 May 1894. She was a small but powerful ferry, equipped with a 1600 HP engine. She operated on the Detroit River year round as a ferry and small ice breaker for the Detroit, Belle Isle and Windsor Ferry Company. She was broken up at Detroit in 1940.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 30

On 30 May 1896, ALGERIA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 285 foot, 2038 gross tons) was launched by J. Davidson (Hull #75) at West Bay City, Michigan.  She lasted until 1906 when she foundered near Cleveland, Ohio.

The COLUMBIA STAR began her maiden voyage in 1981 from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay, Minnesota for Lorain, Ohio. She was the last of the 1000 footers to enter service and, excluding tug-barge units or conversions, was the last new Great Lakes vessel on the American side.

During the economic depression known as the "Panic of '73", shipbuilding came to a stand still. Orders for new vessels were cancelled and worked was stopped on hulls that were on the ways. On 30 May 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that a recovery from the "Panic of '73" resulted in a surge of shipyard work at Marine City. "Shipyards are getting ready to start business again with full force. Mr. Fin Kenyon has begun building a steam barge for Kenyon Bros. [the PORTER CHAMBERLAIN]; Mr. George King is going to build a steam barge for Mr. Henry Buttironi [the GERMANIA]; Messrs. Hill and Wescott are going to build a side wheel passenger boat for Mr. Eber Ward [the NORTHERNER]; Mr. David Lester will build another steam barge [the CITY OF DULUTH]. There is one barge on the stocks built by Mr. Hill for Mr. Morley, that will soon be ready to launch [the N K FAIRBANK]."

At about 1:00 AM on 30 May 1882, the lumber hooker ROCKET, carrying shingles from Manistee to Charlevoix, capsized about four miles abreast of Frankfort, Michigan on Lake Michigan. The tug HALL found the vessel and towed her inside the harbor. The crew were saved, but the vessel was split open and was a total wreck.
 

Today in Great Lakes History - May 31

The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 cleared Manitowoc in 1973 in tow of the tug HELEN M McALLISTER, this was the first leg of her tow to the cutters torch which ended at Castellon, Spain.

The wooden barge FANNY NEIL was launched at the Muir, Livingstone & Co. yard in Port Huron, Michigan on 31 May 1870. As was usual in those days, her name was not made public until the streamer bearing her name was unfurled at the launch.

May 31, 1924 -- The PERE MARQUETTE 21 arrived Ludington, Michigan on her maiden voyage. Captain Charles E. Robertson in command.

The wooden tug MOCKING BIRD was launched at 7:00 PM on 31 May 1873 (12 days late) at the Port Huron Dry Dock Company yard. Her master builder was Alex "Sandy" Stewart. Her dimensions were 123' x 23' x 8.4', 142 gt. The engine (26.5" x 30") was at the Cuyahoga Works in Cleveland, Ohio at the time of launch, ready to be installed. Although this launch was twelve days late, it still did not go smoothly since MOCKING BIRD got stuck in the river. However, with some assistance from another tug, she was pulled free and was afloat at the dock by midnight. She lasted until abandoned at Marquette, Michigan in 1918.

Data from: Jody Aho, Max Hanley, 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 includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history
 

 


News Page Updates

06/02

I am back to my high speed connection and sorting through almost 200 photos that have been sent the past several days. I will do my best to get back to normal this week, but realistically, with the amount of time it takes to process and link photos, I will probably not be able to post all of them, especially since new pictures continue to come in. I will post the best as time permits.
 

 


Port Huron Marine Mart & Boatnerd Gathering This Saturday

06/02 

The First Annual Port Huron Marine Mart and Boatnerd Gathering will be held at the Port Huron, Mich., Seaway Terminal (formerly known as the Bean Dock) from 10 a.m. -4p.m. this Saturday, June 5, 2004. The marine mart, sponsored by the Port Huron Museum, will feature a broad spectrum of dealers selling a variety of nautical items, books, photos, slides, artifacts and other collectables. The Seaway Terminal is also a great place to hang out and take photos of the passing traffic.

The First Annual Boatnerd Port Huron Boatnerd Cruise will be aboard the Huron Lady II beginning at 4 p.m. Boarding will begin around 3:30 at the corner of Military Street and the Black River, next to the Standard Federal Bank, in downtown Port Huron. Costs are Adult-$13, Seniors-$12, Child (5-12)-$7. Pay as you board with cash or check, but you must make a reservation by calling 810-984-1500 or 888-873-6726.


Parking is available in the Standard Federal Bank lot east of the bank, or at public lots at Fourth & Pine, and on the north side of the Black River at Quay & Michigan streets, and Quay Street west of the Black River bridge.


Additional information about the Huron Lady II is available at www.huronlady.com <http://www.huronlady.com>

Reported by: Dave Wobser

 


Annual Soo Locks Engineer's Day Boatnerd Gathering June 25-26

06/02

The Annual Soo Locks Boatnerd Gathering will be held Friday and Saturday, June 25 and 26, 2004 in conjunction with the US Army Corps of Engineers Soo Locks Open House.

Friday, June 25

9:30 a.m. - Boatnerds gather on the steps below the MacArthur Lock for a group picture.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Open House at the Locks. Visitors are permitted access to the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, and into the Administration Building and Davis Building. This is a once-a-year chance to see the Corps operation up close and view the passing traffic from a different angle.

6 p.m. - The Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise aboard the Chief Shingwauk (official Boatnerd Boat) leaving from Robert Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario. This year the cruise has been extended to four (4) hours and will return at 10:00 PM. Note: The cruise is on Friday, a change from recent years. Noted Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock is scheduled to provide musical entertainment. Murdock's songs of wooden sailing schooners, sailors, fisherman, lighthouse keepers and shipwrecks have proven to be very popular with fans of Great Lakes maritime transportation

Cost for the cruise is $25 Canadian or $20 US. Price includes KFC Chicken, fries, salad, and rolls. There is a cash bar on board.

Reservations must be made by calling 1-877-226-3665 and ask for the Boatnerd Cruise. Tickets can be picked up the day of the cruise.

Saturday, June 26

All day the Boatnerds will gather informally at Mission Point. Bring your photos to share. Bring your radio-controlled boat for the informal regatta. Bring your folding chairs.

Reported by: Dave Wobser

 


Tug Jacklyn M Renamed

06/02

The tug Jacklyn M was recently renamed G.L. Ostrander in honor of Gary L. Ostrander, an executive of Lafarge Inc, who retired in March.

Jacklyn M, which was built in 1976 and mated to the cement barge Integrity in 1996, is managed by Andrie Inc. for the Lafarge corp.

Jacklyn M in Milwaukee this March

Reported by: Richard Snyder, Barry Hiscocks
 

 


New Southeast Michigan Microbrewery to Brew Freighters Ale

06/02

Good news for Southeast Michigan Boatnerds who love microbrewed beer: a new restaurant and microbewery with a Great Lakes theme will open in Great Lakes Crossing Mall in Auburn Hills, Mich. A recent press release announced the opening of the Thunder Bay Brewing Company June 14, named for the bay near Alpena, Mich.

The new brewery will be in the same space formerly occupied by the now-closed Alcatraz Brewing Company, which had a San Francisco/Alcatraz Prison theme. The Michigan Beer Guide reports the new owners will redecorate the restaurant in a Michigan/Great Lakes theme, transforming a huge, restaurant-length model of what was formerly the Golden Gate Bridge into the Mackinaw Bridge. The new owners will also retain a lighthouse from the Alcatraz days, and hang Michigan paintings and pictures throughout the restaurant. The new brewery’s logo consists of a lighthouse and keeper’s quarters.

Most happily for microbrewed beer lovers, the former Alcatraz brewer, Marty Rapnicki, will be the brewer for the Thunder Bay Brewing Company.  He plans to brew eight different beers paying homage to the heritage of the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes.  They span the beer spectrum and include: Freighters Ale, Big Trout Stout, Great Lakes Lite, Chainsaw Bitters, Motorhead IPA, Petoskey Pilsner, Lansing Lager, and Pewamo Porter.

The restaurant menu will feature produce native to Michigan, as well as popular Michigan dishes including lake fish and pasties.

Reported by: Angie Williams
 





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