Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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* Report News

Port Reports -  June 30

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Friday evening the Hon. James L. Oberstar loaded ore and departed.

Toledo, Ohio -
The Calumet was loading at the Andersons elevator Friday evening.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder were on their way out of Lorain on Friday.


First cruise ship in decades docks in Saugatuck

6/30 - Saugatuck, Mich. - An old tradition is returning the lakeshore. Just weeks after the departure of the S.S. Keewatin, Saugatuck is welcoming the first American cruise line it has seen in more than 80 years.

The Yorktown arrived in the harbor Friday morning, drawing crowds of onlookers. The 138 passenger vessel departed from Detroit last week and sailed through Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The Yorktown will departed Saugatuck about 7 p.m. Friday, headed for Chicago. It will return to Saugatuck on several other scheduled voyages later this summer.



Despite promises, ghost fleet continues to haunt Cheboygan area

6/30 - Cheboygan, Mich. – The new owner of three derelict vessels abandoned in Duncan Bay nearly two years ago said in court during Scotlund Stivers’ March sentencing they would all become seaworthy and sail again. Even the sunken tug Jenny Lynn, said Stephen Ball of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“It looks pretty nasty down there, but I think once it is raised and we get to working on it we’ll be OK,” said Ball after the court proceeding that awarded him the Jenny Lynn, the grounded tug William Hoey and the car ferry Joelle Annmarie in forfeiture from Scotlund Stivers. “I can do it. I can get those tugs out of there and I will do it.”

With the calendar page ready to turn to July, observers of Cheboygan’s ghost fleet are still frustrated at the sight of the Hoey still in the bay and the Jenny Lynn still on the bottom. A Department of Natural Resources official working the case said Thursday he hopes that may soon change.

“I’ve been in contact with the current owner and he’s trying to get a plan together,” said Vincent Woods of the DNR’s Environmental Investigation Section. “We’re keeping on top of it; trying to get those boats taken out.” According to Woods, Ball’s original plans called for removal of the vessels by next week. “He was hoping to have it done by the Fourth of July, but obviously that date is not going to make it,” Woods said. “The old car ferry is up and running again, that was kind of a delay for him.”

The ferry is the Joelle AnnMarie, an unwanted squatter in the bay until it moved to the City Dock in Cheboygan for the early winter, eventually departing for DeTour, Mich., on Jan. 6.

“The years of drama are far from over,” said Tom Snider, owner of the Fogcutter Dock at DeTour. “I am the one who has had the AnnMarie at my dock, in DeTour, for the last six months. Nothing seems to work to get it moved.” Snider said he has tried various police and government agencies to no avail. “The problems are all the same, they just move from place to place and person to person,” Snider said. “I need to get the AnnMarie moved.”

Ball said in March that the ferry would be the key to removing the other two vessels. “I couldn’t do it unless all three vessels were involved,” Ball said following visiting Charlevoix County Judge Richard Pajtas’ decision to uphold the DNR transfer of ownership of the three vessels to Ball. “The ferry is the platform for raising the sunken tug.”

Ball said at the hearing that he was unsure of specific plans for the three ghost ships of Duncan Bay, although he stated they wouldn’t be sold for scrap. “It is my intent that all the vessels would be employed,” Ball said.

For now, none of the derelict ships have departed. “I guess we all share the problems now,” Snider sighed.

Woods indicated that action may be imminent, stating that “we’re staying on it, trying to get them removed.”

Cheboygan Tribune


Notable tanker Sidsel Knutsen renamed

6/30 - The Norwegian-flagged tanker Sidsel Knutsen has been renamed, reflagged and is now known as the Khadija of Liberian registry. The ship is well known for two serious incidents in less than 10 years. The first happened during the 2001 shipping season on October 23 when the Detroit River mailboat J.W. Westcott II capsized in the Detroit River after delivering a pilot to the tanker. Westcott's captain, Catherine Nasiatka, 48, and deckhand David Lewis 50, were killed in the accident. Two Canadian pilots who were aboard the Westcott swam safely in the fast-moving river that separates Detroit from Windsor, Ontario. The Sidsel Knutsen was undamaged.

Another incident also involving the tanker Sidsel Knutsen occurred on August 3, 2010 as the vessel was downbound on the St. Clair River. The ship had just loaded a cargo from the Sun Oil Fuel Dock when an engine fire started near St. Clair, Michigan. The ship dropped her anchors, hit a buoy, swung around, and narrowly missed hitting the seawall before finally coming to a stop near the Voyager Restaurant in St. Clair. No injuries or serious damage occurred to the ship or seawall.

Denny Dushane



Company: "There was no danger" from ship

6/30 - A ship that passed through the American Narrows portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway earlier this week did not have a steering problem, according to the company that owns the vessel. Earlier, Jefferson County officials and environmental advocates said they were concerned by the passage of the Sarah Desgagnes Tuesday night. The ship, a tanker, was carrying a load of gasoline.

Before arriving at the narrows, the ship had been docked because of a steering issue, and passed through the narrows with a tug by its side. Those two facts, taken together, raised doubts along the St. Lawrence.

"Our emergency management director wasn't even called as a courtesy," county legislator Phil Reed told 7 News. "It's a highway," he said. "We should have been notified."

The narrows is a stretch of the Seaway between Alexandria Bay and Fisher's Landing. It's widely regarded as a tricky part of the waterway to navigate. However, according to Mario Rossi, vice-president for operations with Groupe Desgagnes, there never was a steering problem.

The ship is only five years old, and its steering system had just been overhauled, according to Rossi.

Once the vessel entered the Seaway, a small drop in pressure in part of the mechanism that steers the ship was detected. Officials determined a hydraulic seal had blown, but when the steering was tested, the ship's rudder was still able to move in 18 seconds, a substantially shorter time than the 28-second standard used.

Nonetheless, Rossi said, the company purchased the services of the tug - $900 an hour - out of an abundance of caution. The tug was never used to steer the vessel, which operated on its own.

"There was no danger," he said. The ship made its way to its destination in Sarnia, Ontario, for repairs without incident, said Vicki Garcia, spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

WWNY TV 7 News


Fednav adds eight new ships in five months

6/30 - Since January 1, eight newbuidlings have entered service and joined the Fednav owned fleet - seven owned and one long-term charter. These include six 37,200 DWT bulk carriers built at the Ouhua Shipyard in China: Federal Sable, Federal Severn, Federal Skeena, Federal Skye, Federal Sutton and Federal Swift. These six new bulkers however, will not see service in the Great Lakes due to their width, which is beyond 78 feet. Another new build for Fednav has emerged though from Japan at the Oshima Shipyard and will be in service sometime this year. The Federal Satsuki is 199.98 meters in length with a beam of 23.76 meters and is Seaway-suitable at 35,300 DWT. The Federal Satsuki is a sistership to 12 other Oshima class vessels built for Fednav since 1999 with the Federal Oshima being the first of the series. Since 1999, with the building of the Federal Oshima, the Federal Asahi, Federal Hudson, Federal Hunter, Federal Kivalina, Federal Kumano, Federal Nakagawa, Federal Rideau, Federal Seto, Federal Welland and Federal Yukon have all been built at the Oshima Shipyard in Japan, with the Federal Yukina, another new-build Fednav vessel, joining the fleet and making her first appearance in the Great Lakes-Seaway system during 2011. Another new-build for Fednav is the Federal Kibune a chartered vessel built at the Onomichi Dockyard, also in Japan. She will not see service however in the Great Lakes due to her width being beyond 78 feet.

Denny Dushane


Updates -  June 30

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 30

On this day in 1962, the CLIFFS VICTORY passed down through the Welland Canal to become the first boat in the Cleveland Cliffs Fleet to enter Lake Ontario in 20 years.

The CSL ASSINIBOINE was rechristened at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., on June 30, 2005. She was the a.) LOUIS R. DESMARAIS and the fourth CSL vessel to receive a forebody replacement.

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, 1,511 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.

1889 WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, a wooden rail car ferry, sinks in the St. Lawrence off Morristown after being swamped. One life is lost but the ship is refloated and repaired. It was renamed MONS MEG in 1910 and served as a drill barge but was abandoned due to its age and condition in 1938.

1940 The Imperial Oil tanker ACADIALITE cuts too close to shore and strands off Cape Hurd of the Bruce Peninsula. The ship received about $100,000 in damage and is repaired at Collingwood. It later sails as IMPERIAL CORNWALL and GOLDEN SABLE before being scrapped at Louiseville, QC about 1980.

1959 TAXIARHIS, a Lebanese flag visitor to the Great Lakes and the West German freighter CARL JULIUS are in a collision 6 miles west of the Eisenhower Lock. The former is most seriously damaged and goes aground with a V shaped dent in the port bow but both were repaired. The former arrived at Piraeus, Greece, for scrapping as d) TONY C. on March 29, 1972, while CARL JULIUS was scrapped as d) MACHIAVELLI at Savona, Italy in 1982.

1962 The GUIDO DONEGANI gets stuck in the St. Lawrence below the Iroquois Lock due to engine trouble. Part of the cargo of corn is lightered to P.S. BARGE NO. 1 and the Italian freighter is refloated on July 1. It is also a Seaway trader as b) PUNTA MESCA beginning in 1970 and as c) COCLERDUE in 1979. This ship arrived at Savona, Italy, for scrapping on June 1, 1981.

1974 KIMIKAWA MARU began Great Lakes trading in 1962 and the Japanese freighter made a single visit each year through 1965. It went aground as b) WELFARE NO. 2 off Navlakhi, India, on this date. The ship later broke in two and sank in shallow water as a total loss.

1980 VILLE DE MONTREAL was engaged in pre-Seaway service to the Great Lakes. It was sailing as c) CHERRY MAJU, enroute from Bahrain to Colombo, Sri Lanka, when it developed a list and drifted aground off Karwar, India. The ship became partly submerged and was abandoned as a total loss.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 29

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland and Michipicoten arrived at the Upper Harbor Thursday evening to load ore. Boland's visit was her third in nine days.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Vacationers and local residents noted a pair of very familiar freighters moving across Sandusky Bay and in Lake Erie's South Pagssage on Thursday. At Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock, the Herbert C. Jackson began loading for Detroit during the late afternoon. The barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann spent most of the day at the LaFarge dock on the Marblehead Peninsula where her crew, dock workers and visitors sweltered in 100-degree plus temperatures. The Jackson was slated to sail for the Motor City early Friday and return to Sandusky on Saturday.


Port of Duluth is North Dakota’s global gateway for wind energy

6/29 - Duluth, Minn. – This week, 60 wind turbine blades manufactured in North Dakota are being exported to Brazil aboard the Dutch-flagged Alamosborg.

The 37-meter blades, manufactured at LM Wind Powers plant in Grand Forks, began arriving in Duluth on tractor-trailers two weeks ago and have been staged at the ports breakbulk terminal awaiting final delivery to Brazil for IMPSA Winds’ new CEARA II project in Ceara, Brazil. Dozens of blades will be visible on the top deck of the 469-foot Alamosborg as she departs beneath the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge later this week. Current estimated time of departure is set for late Friday, June 29, with arrival in Brazil approximately three weeks from now.

"North Dakota is fortunate to have an international seaport close to our state,” said Andy Peterson, president & CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce. “Nearly 85 percent of North Dakota's goods are exported around the world. In an era when we can help feed a hungry world with our agricultural commodities and fill the demand for manufactured products like turbine blades, we appreciate the access to global markets afforded by the Port of Duluth.”

“This shipment is one of nearly 20 energy-related cargoes on the books for 2012 and our second shipment of blades from North Dakota to Brazil in recent years,” said Jonathan Lamb, vice president and general manager at Lake Superior Warehousing Co. (breakbulk terminal operator for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority). “Duluth has moved well over a million freight tons of wind turbine components from and to Europe and South America since the port first started handling wind turbines in 2005.”

According to Adolph Ojard, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director, “The expertise of Lake Superior Warehousing and our joint commitment to streamlining project cargo handling, makes this terminal very attractive to major manufacturers and logistics experts worldwide who consider the Port of Duluth an ideal gateway in and out of the North American heartland.”

Duluth Seaway Port Authority


Updates -  June 29

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 29

On this day in 1946, the tug DALHOUSIE ROVER, Captain J. R. Mac Lean, capsized in the Welland Canal. There were no survivors among the crew of six.

On 29 June 1910, ALABAMA (steel propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 272 foot, 2,626 gross tons, built in 1909, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) made her first trip in regular service for the Goodrich Line from Chicago to Grand Haven and Muskegon. She ran opposite the VIRGINIA. Cut down to a barge in 1961, she was scrapped in La Salle, Ontario, in 2006.

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 mid-body 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. The hull gradually deteriorated and was dismantled in May 1994.

1934 The retired wooden schooner LYMAN M. DAVIS was torched as a spectacle off the Sunnyside Amusement Park at Toronto and it burned to the waterline.

1962 The Swedish freighter AMACITA was beached in sinking condition after hitting a shoal in the St. Lawrence near Brockville. It was refloated and towed to Kingston for hull and rudder repairs. The 10,137 gross tons vessel also visited the Seaway as b) HERVANG in 1965 and arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan, as f) MALDIVE PIONEER on January 5, 1984, for scrapping.

1966 Two Canada Steamship Lines ships, LEMOYNE and MARTIAN, were in a collision while passing at Welland and the former struck the Main Street Bridge during rush hour. The ships only received minor damage, but land and Welland Canal traffic were held up.

1994 The tug A.F. FIFIELD was built at Port Dalhousie by Port Weller Dry Docks in 1955 and sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as c) J. MANIC while towing a barge from Sept Iles to Port Cartier. All on board were rescued.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 28

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Mississagi was expected at the D & M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon with a load of stone.

Cleveland, Ohio - Phil Leon
The Appledore IV was just outside of the Cleveland harbor Wednesday, possibly coming in for the Cleveland Tall Ships Fest July 7-11.


Captain John’s Restaurant ordered to shut down

6/28 - Toronto, Ont. – Captain John’s floating restaurant — a fixture on Toronto’s waterfront since 1975 — has been shut down by the city.

Waterfront Toronto rescinded its lease for the watery slip at the foot of Yonge Street Tuesday and warned “Captain” John Letnik that he has until July 27 to remove everything, including the ship’s weather-beaten signs.

At the same time, the City of Toronto shut off water to the ship and a health department inspector ordered the restaurant closed because staff would be unable to wash utensils or their hands.

“It’s heartbreaking. They’re going to have to take the boat over and I’ll be walking the streets,” said Letnik, who’s lived on his beloved ship, the Jadran, since 1983.

Letnik owes more than $500,000 in back taxes, rent and insurance on the slip and 300-foot ship. The captain has been trying to find a buyer and, while he claims to have had some interest, no one was willing to sink millions into the decrepit landmark without a long-term lease on the slip.

Waterfront Toronto and civic officials had been quietly hoping the ship would just go away — and had been getting increasingly impatient in their demands for payment — because the rusting hulk sits next to a part of the eastern waterfront undergoing a remarkable renaissance.

Waterfront Toronto officials couldn’t be reached Tuesday to say what’s likely to happen next. The ship will most likely have to be towed away to a scrap yard because it has no engine and is mired deep in the muck of Lake Ontario.

Toronto Star


Diver perishes while exploring Upper Peninsula shipwreck

6/28 - Whitefish Point, Mich. – A Wisconsin man died this week after failing to resurface while diving at a shipwreck site off Whitefish Point.

Michigan State Police reported Derril Yerigan, 52, of New Richmond, Wis., died Monday. The body was recovered from the deck of the shipwreck SS Samuel Mather, which lies approximately 16 miles from the Whitefish Point Harbor in the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve in 174 feet of water. The body has been turned over to the Chippewa County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death.

Terigan was part of a four-man crew of the Blackdog, captained by Brian Anderson of Frost, Minn. Anderson reported Monday afternoon to the U.S. Coast Guard he had deployed four recreational divers but only three returned. A search of the surrounding surface waters did not turn up the body, and the Michigan State Police Underwater Recovery Unit was called in for assistance. Divers discovered the body on Tuesday. Foul play is not suspected.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News


Milwaukee Clipper has temporary exhibit of model ships

6/28 - Muskegon, Mich. – The Milwaukee Clipper has a new exhibit of model ships, loaned to the ferry-turned-museum through Labor Day.

The models were built by Manistee resident Ken Jilbert as exact models of some of the Great Lakes’ more famous ships, Clipper Preservation Vice President Ray Hilt said. Posters also tell a little about the history of the ships.

Though the doomed freighter Edmund Fitzgerald is probably the most famous ship in the room, many people are surprised to learn that another of the models, the Eastland, actually has a more disastrous story, Hilt said.

The Eastland gave cruises from Chicago to South Haven, and a telephone company commissioned it to carry its employees and their families for an outing in 1915, Hilt said. The ship was leaning to one side while passengers were boarding, he said, so the crew took on water on the other side to attempt to balance it. Another ship then passed, and the passengers on board rushed to the side where they had taken on water for a better view, causing the ship to flip over. Many people who were below deck were trapped, and 844 people died, he said.

“The Eastland was the greatest disaster in the Great Lakes,” he said. “It killed hundreds and hundreds of people. Wiped out whole families.”

Closer to home, the Ludington-based S.S. Badger carferry also makes an appearance – complete with tiny life preservers and toy cars parked below deck.

The Clipper first sailed as the Juniata in 1904, but was retired 31 years later because its wooden superstructure raised fear of fire. It was later renovated and carried passengers from Milwaukee to Muskegon from 1941 until 1970.

It then bounced around the Great Lakes, staying in Chicago and Hammond, Ind., before returning to Muskegon in 1997. It’s “temporary” home ever since has been at the Grand Trunk docks, near the corner of Lakeshore and McCracken, though there has been discussion about moving it to Heritage Landing or some other downtown location.

Restoration on the boat is progressing, Hilt said, and an area that used to hold paint cans now has two Muskegon-made recreational boats on display through Labor Day. Both were made by the Jinman Boat Company, which once built fishing boats near the corner of Blodgett and Lakeshore, he said.

One of the boats is a 1930s version of a kayak, called a “duck boat” at the time because most people used it for duck hunting instead of paddling for its own sake, Hilt said. The shape and paddles closely resemble a modern kayak, but the paddler sat in a wicker-style chair that looks like it would be more at home at an old woman’s dining room table than anchored in a watercraft.

“Any place that had any water like Muskegon, they were boat builders,” said Capt. Robert Priefer, who worked on the Clipper during its days as a cross-lake ferry and now is one of the volunteers restoring the ship.

The Clipper is open for tours from 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children.



Engineers Day is Friday at the Soo Locks

6/28 - Friday is the annual Engineers Day open house for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. visitors can enter the lock complex and cross the MacArthur and Poe locks. Displays will be set up on the ground floors of the Administration Building and Davis Building and there should be opportunities for catching some great up-close shots of the boats locking through.

Special guest Dennis Hale, the sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell shipwreck, will be speaking in the Visitor Center during Engineers Day at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 28

On this day in 1955, the 456 foot WYCHEM 105, a.) SAMUEL F. B. MORSE, was loaded with sand at the B&O docks in Lorain and towed to Rocky River, Ohio where she was sunk as a temporary breakwall. She was later raised and taken to Bay Ship Building Co, and became a barge for the Roen Steamship Co. fleet. In the early 1970s, most of the hull was scrapped, except for two sections of the bottom, which were used for scows around Sturgeon Bay until the 1980s.

On this day in 1957, the JOSEPH S. YOUNG departed Manitowoc, Wisconsin on her maiden voyage. She traveled in ballast to Port Inland, Michigan to load a cargo of stone. The YOUNG was the a.) ARCHERS HOPE, A T2-SE-A1 tanker, converted to Great Lakes service at Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock, Baltimore, Maryland. Renamed c.) H. LEE WHITE in 1969, and d.) SHARON in 1974. Scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

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.) WILLIAM 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.

1923 The PHILETUS SAWYER sinks in the Detroit River off Windmill Point after a collision with the HARRY R. JONES.

1960 DIVINA sustained heavy damage to the portside after striking a pier of the Prescott-Ogdensburg Bridge along the St. Lawrence. The Norwegian freighter had been a Great Lakes visitor since 1952 and was scrapped as d) PETROL 20 at Eleusis, Greece, in July 1984.

1970 CASTOR, enroute from Japan to Chicago with automobiles and steel products, sinks in the Pacific after a collision with the ORIENTAL HERO two days out of Yokohama. All 38 on board are saved. The ship dated from 1960 and first came through the Seaway in 1966.

1979 STAR GERANTA, a Seaway visitor in 1966 and a return caller as d) REGAL SWORD in 1977, sinks in the Atlantic off Cape Cod, MA after a collision in fog with the EXXON CHESTER.

1987 The small tanker NADY was built at Rochester, NY as the army tanker Y-86 in 1944 and returned to the Great Lakes as b) NADY in 1953 and again in 1955. It was abandoned, in leaking condition as d) ELENI S. while inbound 12 miles off the Lagos, Nigeria, breakwall. Water is entering the engineroom and the ship settles in shallow water. (One source suggest this may have occurred 2 days earlier) 2005 CSL NIAGARA loses power and goes aground in the American Narrows of the St. Lawrence while upbound with a cargo of coke. The ship is holed in the forepeak but soon released and repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 27

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Tuesday morning at the harbors in Marquette, Great Lakes Trader unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor and Michipicoten arrived at the Upper Harbor for ore.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann loaded late Tuesday afternoon and into the evening at the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula.


Updates -  June 27

The Saltie Gallery is up and running for this season’s salties.


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 27

On 27 June 1892, in rain and fog, the FRED A. MORSE (wooden schooner, 182 foot, 592 gross tons, built in 1871, at Vermilion, Ohio) was being towed downbound by the HORACE A. TUTTLE (wooden propeller freighter, 250 foot, 1,585 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about 12 miles southeast of Thunder Bay on Lake Huron, both carrying loads of iron ore. At the same time, JOHN C. PRINGLE (wooden propeller freighter, 173 foot, 474 gross tons, built in 1880, at Detroit, Michigan) was sailing upbound in that vicinity with a load of coal and Italian marble with the schooners HARRISON, SWEETHEART and SUNSHINE in tow. At 1:30 a.m., the PRINGLE collided with the schooner MORSE, which sank in less than 15 minutes. The crew made it to the TUTTLE in the lifeboat, although one woman was badly injured. The PRINGLE's bow was stove in, her deck planks forward were split and spread, her bulwarks torn away, and her anchors and foremast were lost. She cast off her tow and made for Alpena, Michigan, where she arrived later in the day.

At 4:04 p.m. on 27 June 1890, the Beatty Line's MONARCH (wooden propeller passenger-package freight steamer, 240 foot, 2,017 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, 5,085 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, 2,790 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 vessels ever built and lasted until September 1905, when she sank in Lake Superior.

1916 JAMES J. HILL collided with the wooden steamer PANTHER in fog off Parisienne Island, Lake Superior and held its position so all of the crew could come safely aboard before their ship sank.

1952 WOODFORD, enroute from Quebec City to Europe, received major damage in a collision off Ile Verte, near the mouth of the Saguenay River, with the pulpwood laden canaller JOHN A. FRANCE. The former, a British freighter, was holed and leaking and the crew was taken off to the BIRCHTON. The damaged WOODFORD was towed back to Quebec City and almost sand at the dock but was kept afloat and repaired. It was a Seaway visitor in 1960 and was scrapped at Shanghai, China, in 1978 as d) WOOSUNG.

1954 WILCOX, a former minesweeper that was rebuilt for passenger and freight service down the St. Lawrence from Montreal, was blown ashore at Potato Bay, Anticosti Island, and was a total loss. The remains of the hull are still there.

1982 CLIO, a West German freighter, made 12 trips to the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1965. It arrived at Callao, Colombia, with engine damage as e) SUNLIGHT on this date in 1982 and was abandoned as a total loss. An apparent effort to repair the engine was not completed and the ship was eventually scrapped.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 26

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The Invincible and barge McKee Sons delivered a load of coal to the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island Monday morning. The USCG tug Mobile Bay with her aids-to-navigation barge CGB12002 were in port over the weekend and open for tours on Saturday.

Huron and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The John G. Munson discharged a cargo of limestone in Huron Monday evening. At Marblehead, the Calumet loaded at the Lafarge dock.

Lorain, Ohio - Phil Leon
Sunday afternoon the Cuyahoga was approaching the Charles Berry Bridge, stern first, on her way back-out into Lake Erie. She has unloaded part of her cargo wit the rest destined for Cleveland.


Updates -  June 26

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Today in Great Lakes History -  June 26

On this day in 1942, the LEON FRASER, Captain Neil Rolfson, completed her maiden voyage and delivered a record cargo of 16,414 tons of ore to Conneaut. The downbound trip only required 67.5 hours and broke the record of 15,218 tons set by the Canadian freighter LEMOYNE 15 days earlier. The FRASER was shortened and converted to a bulk cement carrier in 1991, and sails today as the b.) ALPENA.

On this day in 1969, the new Poe Lock was dedicated and opened to traffic. The first boat to transit the new lock was the PHILIP R. CLARKE. Captain Thomas Small, a 95-year old retired Pittsburgh captain, was at the wheel of the CLARKE. Thomas Small was also at the wheel of the COLGATE HOYT the first boat to transit the original Poe Lock on August 4, 1896.

On 26 June 1890, the SKATER (wooden propeller excursion steamer, 85 foot, 65 gross tons, built in 1890, at Detroit, Michigan) burned to the water’s edge about 20 miles north of Manistee, Michigan. The crew did not even have time to save their clothes, but they all escaped unharmed. The SKATER had just been fitted out for the season and had started her summer route on Traverse Bay. She was rebuilt in Cleveland and lasted until 1942, when she was abandoned at Michigan City, Indiana.

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.

1916 The first STORMOUNT, a steel canaller, was wrecked on Gull Ledge, near Marie Joseph, N.S.

1937 Passengers from the SOUTH AMERICAN, stranded on a shoal, were removed with the aid of ALGOMAH II.

1993 The Norwegian tanker BOW ROGN first came through the Seaway in 1970. It was back as b) JO ROGN in 1981 and was leaking sulphuric acid into the pumproom on this date as c) BETULA after discharging at Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico. The vessel was towed offshore but later driven aground on a sandy beach north of the port on June 28-29, and then blown over on its side during the passing of Hurricane Calvin on July 7, 1993.

2000 EMIL REITH first came through the Seaway in 1970. It was attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels as h) MERCS UHANA off northern Sri Lanka while carrying foodstuffs from Colombo to Tricomalee. The ship caught fire and five lives were lost. The ship sank the next day about 48 miles off Point Pedro.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series – Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports -  June 25

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
John J. Boland loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Sunday for the second time in a week.

Green Bay, Wis. - Wendell Wilke
Sunday the tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes were loading at V.T. Venture, while the ocean-going tanker Sichem Hong Kong was tied in the slip at Fox River Dock awaiting the V.T. Venture dock to load. At 1 p.m., the tug Victory and barge James L. Kuber were inbound with stone for Western Lime, arriving there at 1:30 p.m.

South Chicago, Ill. - Brian Z.
American Steamship's American Mariner loaded western coal for B.C. Cobb plant in Muskegon on Saturday at Chicago Fuels Terminal. The Mariner arrived mid-morning and was outbound by 9:30 p.m. She is due to return for another load on Monday at KCBX.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Sunday the tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity were at Lafarge loading cement. The Andrie tug Rebecca Lynn and tanker barge were anchored out in the bay, likely due to winds. Later in the evening the tug Erich R. Luedtke and barge tied up in the river due to wind and planned to stay in the area for a few days. The Alpena is expected in port on Monday.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded Sunday at the LaFarge Dock at Marblehead.

Erie, Pa. - Jeffrey Benson
Saturday saw the U.S. brig Niagara out on a sail in Lake Erie just prior to the Crosby, Sills & Nash Concert on Presque Isle State Park. Ken Boothe Sr. and Lakes Contender made their entrance into the channel, preceded by the sand dredge J.S. St. John with a load of sand for Mountfort Terminal.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
The historic ship reproductions the Nina and Pinta, out of Wilmington, Del., tied up Sunday at the H. Lee White Marine Museum Dock for a visit.


Tugboats roar wildly down Detroit River

6/25 - Windsor, Ont. – It was unusually rough waters on the Detroit River Saturday as a dozen tugboats revved their engines and tumbled and tossed through crashing waves and wakes during the 36th annual International Tug Boat Race.

The unique display of speed and control had tugs roaring past each other in a wild race that started beneath the Ambassador Bridge and finished at Dieppe Gardens. Bustling ahead of the rest of the pack of tugs was the Manitou, from Port Huron, Mich., which came in first overall.

Roger Malcolm, assistant engineer on the Manitou, said when you’re in front it’s smoother sailing, because you don’t catch any waves from competing boats.

Joining together to wave at each vessel’s crew as they passed by, Sheila Davis and her four-year-old grandson, Dylan Grisch, were having a blast on the shore. “That’s a funny noise,” repeated a giggling Dylan every time one of the tugs blared their horn.

On-board the Phoebe, a Queen Elizabeth II impersonator was standing eloquently and giving the infamous prim and proper royal wave back to the thousands gathered on shore. British flags and red, white and blue decorations earned the Canadian tug the best-dressed award.

Captain and owner Terry Scott said he went with the British theme for two reasons: celebrating the Queen’s diamond jubilee and a commemorating the 200-year anniversary of the War of 1812.

“We’re trying to keep it alive and trying to get other people to up their decorations on their boats so we can outdo them,” said Scott.

Peter and Annette Simone have been watching the annual tug race each year for 25 years.

“We just like the noise and the way they decorate them and the speed and how rough the water gets when they go by. It’s all part of it,” said Peter.

Annette said she’s glad they live in a condo on Riverside Drive because when the smell of diesel gets to be too much, they can just go home and continue to watch the race from their living room window.

“We just came down to people watch for a while,” said Annette. “And it’s good to be where the excitement is,” added Peter.

Before the race began, Janet Casey said she was hoping her kids, Jocelyn, 2, and James, 4, wouldn’t fall asleep waiting for the action to start. This was the first time she and her kids attended. She was also hoping one of the boats was decorated in pink because her two-year-old had already declared she was, “going for the pink one.”

Casey attended with her mother, Jill Baglole, and brother, Matt.

“It’s a lot of fun. How often do you get to see tugboats race? That’s the whole attraction,” said Matt. “It’s the unique situation of it. It’s not so much about the race, but the fact that you’re watching tugboats. That’s what makes it fun.”

Matt said his favorite part of the race “is the kids going crazy for it.

“They get so excited and go bonkers about it,” he said. “Having them here makes it extra special.”

The race was separated into categories based on horsepower. First overall was Manitou, which also won the 901 h.p. and over category. Also coming first were: Jessie T in 676-900 h.p.; Josephine in 376-675 h.p.; Sinbad in 201-375 h.p.; and Joseph Hogan in 0-200 h.p. The judge’s pick award went to Dyker Lass, the best dressed award went to Phoebe, and the Windsor Port Authority award went to Joan V.

The Windsor Star


Help Wanted – Second Engineer – Tanker Vessel

6/25 - Job Summary: The Second Engineer is directly responsible to the Chief Engineer for the safe and proper management of the Engine Room Department. The Second Engineer must also ensure that Algoma’s Policies and Procedures are understood and followed.  Click here for more details


Updates -  June 25

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Detroit Free Press ran an article on Boat watching Sunday, click here to view


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 25

The whaleback steamer WASHBURN (steel propeller freighter, 320 foot, 2,234 gross tons) was launched by the American Steel Barge Co. (Hull #124) at W. Superior, Wisconsin on 25 June 1892. She lasted until 1936, when she was scrapped at Cleveland, Ohio.

On this day in June 25, 1892, the American Steel Barge Company, West Superior Wisconsin, Captain Alexander Mc Dougall 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 25 June 1892, the PILLSBURY (steel propeller whaleback bulk freighter, 320 foot, 2,234 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 feet x 42.25 feet x 24.16 feet; 2,394 gross tons- 1,465 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 WILLIAM A. IRVIN began her maiden voyage for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., leaving Lorain, Ohio for Duluth to load iron ore.

INDIANA HARBOR set a 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.

At 1:00 a.m. on 25 June 1878, the 161 foot, 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.

1903 – JOHN CRAIG was seriously damaged in a grounding on Simmons Rock in the Straits of Mackinac. Once refloated, the wooden steamer was taken to St. Ignace and declared a total loss. It was subsequently rebuilt as PANAMA only to be lost in a storm on November 1, 1906.

1950 – Five lives were lost and another 12 passengers injured aboard the passenger ship CITY OF CLEVELAND III when it was in a collision with the Norwegian freighter RAVNEFJELL in fog on Lake Huron. The former was a total loss while the latter was repaired and returned to service. It became b) RINGSTEIN in 1955 and visited the Great Lakes through 1958. It was wrecked near Achona Point, Ghana, on September 11, 1966.

1959 – The Liberian registered MONROVIA became the first saltwater vessel of the Seaway era to sink on the Great Lakes. It went down in heavy fog on Lake Huron after going off course and colliding with the downbound ROYALTON off Thunder Bay Island. The vessel landed upright on the bottom and some of the cargo of steel was salvaged in the 1970s.

1980 – MONTREALAIS of Upper Lakes Shipping and ALGOBAY of Algoma Central collided head-on in heavy fog on the St. Clair River and both suffered massive bow damage. These vessels were repaired and today both sail in the Algoma fleet with the former as ALGOMA MONTREALAIS and the latter, later rebuilt with a new forebody in China, still as ALGOBAY.

1980 – JEAN LYKES collided with and sank an 18-foot fishing boat in the St. Clair River, 2 miles north of St. Clair, MI. The American flag saltwater vessel was later beached at Alang, India, for scrapping as b) VELMA LYKES on July 9, 1994

1994 – While departing Bay City, McKEE SONS was swept crossways in the Saginaw River and went aground. Four tugs pulled the ship free without damage save for some shoreline erosion.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Keewatin returns home to Port McNicoll

6/24 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – An Edwardian-era passenger steamship launched before the Titanic has finally come home, and Gary Valcheff couldn’t be happier.

Valcheff worked aboard the Keewatin as a busboy in the 1960s when the luxury vessel plied the Great Lakes, ferrying well-to-do passengers between Port McNicoll near Midland and Port Arthur (now part of Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior.

“I just feel chills when I see it,” said Valcheff, who was aboard a boat that accompanied the 106-metre, 3,800-tonne vessel on its final journey home. “It’s so imposing.”

The ship, which had been docked for decades in Michigan, arrived back in its home port with the aid of tugboats under sunny skies Saturday afternoon to much fanfare and the cheers of close to a thousand area residents.

Brothers Karl and Bruce Wright also worked on the ship, an experience they continue to treasure.

“I had the ship’s flags at home for 45 years after it was decommissioned,” said Karl Wright, referring to the Red Ensign and Union Jack that again adorn the ship’s stern and bow. “I had been waiting for this moment to donate them back.”

“The Kee,” as many around the region affectionately know her, was once the crown jewel in the Canadian Pacific Railway’s mighty Great Lakes steamship fleet, a rail-to-water, deluxe travel system the corporation operated during the first half of the 20th century that saw guests and freight arrive by train from Toronto.

Built in Scotland, the vessel was launched on July 6, 1907, five years before the Titanic. It was retired in 1966 after spending almost 60 seasons transporting passengers.

The ship’s repatriation came about after Skyline International Development Inc. announced a purchase agreement with Michigan entrepreneur R.J. Peterson, who actually saved the Keewatin from the scrap heap when he bought it in 1967 for $37,000, $2,000 more than it would have sold for scrap.

“We’ve always believed in celebrating history,” Skyline CEO Michael Sneyd said while aboard a boat that was one of close to 300 other pleasure craft surrounding the majestic ship on its final voyage through the clear Georgian Bay waters.

“When we found out the Keewatin was available we knew we had to find a way to make it the heart of the project.”

The project in question consists of a major shoreline development to complement Skyline’s holdings that also include Horseshoe and Deerhurst resorts as well as Toronto’s King Edward Hotel. The company plans to use part of the ship to stage events like weddings and special corporate meetings with another portion serving as a maritime museum.

“Port McNicoll, in our view, is really the gateway to the 30,000 Islands and Georgian Bay, which I think is home to the best boating in Ontario,” Sneyd said, adding the company hopes the development will revitalize Port McNicoll and restore it to its former glory.

That’s something Tay Township Mayor Scott Warnock hopes the Keewatin’s return creates.

“It’s the one major link between the glory days of Port McNicoll,” said Warnock, pointing out many doubted the ship would actually come back. “We hope this creates a vibrancy here again.”

The Keewatin’s sister ship, the Assiniboia, was also set to be preserved as an attraction, but burned in 1971 and was scrapped.

For its part, Skyline also plans to add antique rail cars and a rebuilt train station near the Keewatin while also creating extensive gardens to reflect the way the area looked in its glory days.

Added former Keewatin crew member Jim Lewis: “I never thought I’d see the Keewatin back where it belongs again. It’s just wonderful.”

Toronto Star


Port Reports -  June 24

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Mississagi loaded Saturday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock for Kingsville, Ont. At the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder spent most of Saturday loading. The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks were at anchor in the South Passage awaiting the departure of the Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder.


Updates -  June 24

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Today in Great Lakes History -  June 24

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

The WILLIAM E. COREY (Hull#67), was launched at Chicago, Illinois by Chicago Ship Building Co., the first flagship for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Sold to Canadian registry and renamed b.) RIDGETOWN in1963. Sold for use as a breakwall at Nanticoke in 1970, and since 1974, she has been used as a breakwater in Port Credit, Ontario.

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, Ohio, was lost in a terrible squall on Lake Erie off Elk Creek on 24 June 1875. Three lives were lost.

1938 – REDFERN received minor hull damage when the steering cable broke near Dain City, on the Welland Canal and the vessel hit the west bank. It was taken to Port Colborne for repairs.

1955 – MANZZUTTI was taking water after the cargo of pulpwood shifted in heavy seas near the Straits of Mackinac. The vessel was initially in danger of sinking but reached safety.

1962 – JOHN A. FRANCE (ii) was aground in the upper St. Marys River and some of the cargo of grain was lightered before the ship could be refloated.

June 24 – The recently repaired PARKER EVANS and the ANNA KATRIN FRITZEN collided in heavy fog in Lake Huron with minor damage. The latter, a West German freighter and Seaway trader since 1961, and a return visitor as b) KATRIN in 1974, was scrapped at Bilbao, Spain, due to engine problems, in 1977.

1980 – CARTIERCLIFFE HALL, upbound with a cargo of iron ore, went aground in the Seaway near Cornwall, Ont. due to a steering problem and was released the next day with the aid of three tugs.

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


Port Reports -  June 23

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
American Courage arrived Friday afternoon at the Upper Harbor to load ore. The visit was her first of the season. She appeared to have a change of orders mid-Lake Superior, as her arrival was from a route toward the Keweenaw. Just before sunset, Saginaw arrived from Essar Algoma to load ore.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Thursday morning the tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons arrived at Lafarge to unload coal. The Alpena came into port later and tied up at the coal dock after the McKee Sons departed. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation loaded cement under the silos during the afternoon. The Alpena was expected to shift over to load once the Innovation left.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The ferry Pelee Islander arrived at the Jackson Street pier on Friday, returning to regular service between Sandusky and Leamington, Ont., with a stop each way at Pelee Island. Her season was interrupted in April when the required five-year survey discovered structural deficiencies, service will continue through Sept. 3.


Grain shipping in upper US Midwest returning to normal

6/23 - Chicago, Ill. – Port and rail operations for grain shipping were beginning to return to normal in the upper U.S. Midwest on Thursday after heavy rains drenched the region this week, shippers said. Major exporter CHS Inc said on Thursday it resumed grain loading operations at its Superior, Wis., terminal, a day after it halted loadings.

"Our Superior export terminal is back up and operating normally," CHS spokeswoman Lani Jordan said.

The CHS facility is the largest grain terminal at the port with a storage capacity of 18 million bushels, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. The port, an export gateway on the western shore of Lake Superior that feeds into the St. Lawrence Seaway, spans the cities of Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota.

Canadian National Railway planned to reopen some of its freight lines across Minnesota and northern Wisconsin Thursday afternoon, said CN spokesman Patrick Waldron. The railway runs about 25 trains a day across those lines, carrying bulk commodities including grains. They were shut on Wednesday after track washouts.

"Affected areas along the Iron Range, Rainy, and Superior and Two Harbors subdivisions will return to service between 1500 hours and 1800 hours CDT on Thursday," CN posted on its web site. "The southern portion of the Missabe subdivision is due to resume operations as of approximately 1800 hours CDT on Friday."

Waldron said those were targeted times. Heavy rains of 5 to 9 inches fell late Tuesday into Wednesday in the Duluth area, causing the worst flooding the city had seen in four decades, officials said on Wednesday.



Ferry services OK'd for Mackinac Island

6/23 - Mackinac Island, Mich. – The nearly two-year battle over the future of ferry service to Mackinac Island is over.

Two companies, Northern Ferry Co. LLC — owner of Star Line and Arnold Transit Co. — and Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry, will continue to offer service to the island, under a 20-year franchise agreement approved by the Mackinac Island City Council this week. The firms will set their own rates and schedules, matters previously determined by the island government.

The agreement ends a long fight that began in October 2010.

The City Council, responding to a proposal from Arnold Transit Co., considered consolidating the number of ferry companies serving the island from St. Ignace and Mackinaw City to two from three. Arnold proposed that it and Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry have an exclusive agreement to transport residents and tourists.

Shepler's feared the move would put the company out of business after 65 years of service and filed a lawsuit.

The council eventually decided to reject Arnold's proposal and extended franchise agreements while it worked toward a long-term resolution. If an agreement hadn't been reached, some state lawmakers indicated they were ready to step in to oversee island ferry service.

"It's certainly the relief of the century," Karen Lennard, city council clerk, said Thursday. "We're all very pleased and happy to put it behind us." Chris Shepler, vice president of Shepler's, called the deal a win-win for the ferry operators and the island.

"Shepler said customers won't notice any changes and ferry rates will remain at $24, the same as last year. "What does change is the infrastructure and inner workings of the companies," he said.

As part of the agreement, each ferry service will pay a $200,000 annual franchise fee (they paid a combined $900,000 in fees last year). Arnold will operate the sole ferry service during the winter and will receive $100,000 from the city to do so. Detroit News


World War II-era PT boat on East Coast tour before heading to Port Clinton

6/23 - PT 728, a World War II-era PT (patrol torpedo) boat formerly based on the Hudson River is making its way westward along the Erie Canal, headed to its new home on the Great Lakes.

The boat was purchased this spring by the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio. The museum located on the Lake Erie shore midway between Cleveland and Toledo is holding its grand opening in July.

A five-man crew from the museum is taking the boat to Ohio, where it is expected to arrive next week. PT 728 is one of just four wartime PT boats that are still seaworthy. It was owned in recent years by Kingston-based Fleet Obsolete, which used the boat for river tours.

The plywood PT boats, used for raids and behind the scene commando work, were designed to be maneuverable and light. On open water, the PT-728 can reach speeds of 35-38 knots. There is a maximum speed of about 5 mph, or roughly 6-8 nautical knots, on the canal.

During WWII, the boats were outfitted with three 12-cylinder airplane engines. On PT-728, they’ve been replaced with one diesel engine.

The Post-Standard


Updates -  June 23

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Today in Great Lakes History -  June 23

Thirty one years ago this morning, the NEPCO 140, carrying six million gallons of No. 6 bunker oil and being pushed toward Oswego by the tug EILEEN C., grounded on the shore of Wellesley Island in the American Narrows section of the St. Lawrence River, just upstream from Alexandria Bay, N.Y. The grounding occurred about 1:35 a.m. in heavy fog and was followed by a second apparent grounding further up river, just before the barge reached the Seaway anchorage site off Mason's Point, some four miles above the initial grounding site. In all, over 300,000 of the thick crude was spilled into the River, creating the largest slick ever to pollute an inland U.S. waterway to that day.

Seaway traffic was halted immediately, sending at least 20 ships to anchor. Within hours, over 20,000 feet of boom were deployed, but the spill moved steadily down river, coating granite shoreline, trapping waterfowl, forcing boat owners to pull their boats, and oozing into sensitive marshland, particularly Chippewa Bay in New York waters. Some oil eventually reached as far down the river as Lake St. Lawrence and coated shoreline along the Long Sault Parkway on the Canadian side of the lake. Clean-up lasted into the fall and cost in excess U.S. $8 million.

On 23 June 1903, the tug O.W. CHENEY steamed out of Buffalo harbor in heavy fog to tow the steamer CHEMUNG into the harbor. The tug ran too close to the oncoming steamer, was struck by the bow, and the CHENEY overturned and sank. Three crewmen were killed; two survivors were picked up by the tug FRANK S. BUTLER.

On 23 June 1969, RALPH MISENER (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 19,160 gross tons, built in 1968, at Montreal, Quebec) transited 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. She was renamed b.) GORDON C. LEITCH in 1994.

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.

In 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 (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 Mc Dougall, 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. Mc Dougall 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.

1942 – EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON struck Boulder Reef, Lake Michigan and the hull cracked in two places. The vessel as on the rocks for 25 days until it coould be strapped together and refloated. The ship was towed to Chicago for one of the largest repair jobs in Great Lakes history.

1948 – CRETE and J.P. MORGAN JR. were in a head-on collision, in fog, off the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. Both ships suffered extensive damage. Two were killed, 3 more injured, aboard the latter steamer. ALTADOC and E.A.S. CLARKE also collided in fog near the Apostle Islands but the damage, while requiring repairs, was less serious.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Matthew Daley, Dave Swayze, Fritz Hager, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports – June 22

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived and loaded ore Thursday morning at the Upper Harbor.

Calcite, Cedarville and Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
A very busy Friday is on tap for Calcite with three vessels all due to load at the South Dock. Due first is the Saginaw, arriving in the late morning, American Courage at lunch hour followed by the McKee Sons for a late afternoon arrival.
At Cedarville, the Wilfred Sykes was due to arrive on Thursday during the evening. The barge Lakes Contender, making her first visit to Cedarville, was due to arrive during the early morning on Thursday to load. Arthur M. Anderson was also due to arrive at Cedarville early on Thursday, however they were expected to go to anchor and load following the barge Lakes Contender at Cedarville. Vessels due to load at Port Inland will be the Michipicoten, due for a morning arrival on Thursday, followed by the Sam Laud arriving early in the morning on Friday. The barge James L. Kuber rounds out the lineup at Port Inland, arriving on Friday during the late afternoon.

Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Vessels due into Toledo in the next few days are as follows. At the CSX Coal Dock, the Lewis J. Kuber is due on Friday for a very early morning arrival. Saginaw is due to load on Monday, June 25, followed by the Algoma Progress on Tuesday, June 26, with Cuyahoga rounding out the coal dock lineup for Canada Day on Sunday, July 1. No vessels are due for the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. At the Torco Dock, three vessels are due for arrival on Thursday. The CSL Assiniboine was due first to unload, along with the John J. Boland and the Great Republic, all due for early to mid-afternoon arrivals. American Mariner is due to arrive at the Torco Dock on Saturday, June 23 in the late evening, followed by the Algowood on Monday, June 25 for an afternoon arrival, The John J. Boland also returns to the Torco Dock on June 25 for an evening arrival. Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude and American Valor remain in layup in Toledo.

Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
For Thursday, three vessels were due to load at Stoneport. American Mariner was expected to depart from Stoneport in the morning and the barge Pathfinder was expected to immediately take the dock following the American Mariner's departure. Also making a rare appearance at Stoneport was the St. Clair, due for a lunchtime arrival, however she will probably anchor and be delayed due to the Pathfinder loading ahead of the St. Clair. For Friday, two vessels are due to load at Stoneport, with the Joseph H. Thompson and the John G. Munson both due early in the morning. The Munson returns to Stoneport to load again on Saturday, and on Sunday the Lewis J. Kuber is due to load.

Sandusky, Ohio – Jim Spencer
CSL Laurentien completed loading at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock and sailed Thursday afternoon for Nanticoke, Ont.


S.S. Keewatin Homecoming planned in Port McNicoll

6/22 - The Keewatin is scheduled to arrive about 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 23, at Talbot St. near the waterfront in Port McNicoll. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

The Welcome ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. with a 21-gun salute by the HMS Badger. Bryan Baeumler will be the master of ceremonies, welcoming Gil Blutrich of Skyline Developments; Bruce Stanton, MP for Simcoe North; Garfield Dunlop, Simcoe North MPP, and the mayor of Tay Township, Scott Warnock and the Keewatin’s project manager Eric Conway.

Entertainment will feature the Georgian Bay Brass Band, Beausoleil First Nations Drum Group and Dancers, students from the studio of Connie Taws, Sunny Side Up Swing Band, Port McNicoll Village Choir, Midland Legion Pipes and Drums, Georgian Bay Saxophone Ensemble, Silvio Camilleri, Penetanguishene Golden Tones, Keewatin Kids Klub.

There will also be stalls with souvenirs, food and collectibles, as well as exhibits from the Huronia Museum and a display of local artwork.

Parking may be the biggest problem. Early arrival is recommended. There is no onsite parking. Park at the Doral plant in Midland and when the lot is at capacity, parking will then begin at the Franke Kindred plant across the highway from Doral. Shuttle buses will bring people to the site. The first shuttle bus is at 10:30 a.m. and the last shuttle bus to leave the site is 6 p.m.

Eric Conroy


International Tugboat Race this weekend on the Detroit River

6/22 – Detroit, Mich. – The annual International Tugboat Race will take place this Saturday on the Detroit River at 1 p.m. The race can be viewed from Windsor or from the river aboard the tour boat Friendship. Click here for race details Click here for cruise details.


Coast Guard to take part in Detroit River Days Festival

6/22 – Detroit, Mich. – Detroit-area Coast Guard units are scheduled to take part in this weekend’s Detroit River Days Celebration along the international waterfront, Friday through Sunday. More information on the weekend’s events can be found at

During the weekend, Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay will be moored at the GM Plaza and available for tours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a search and rescue demonstration by a Coast Guard helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and a small boat from Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, in Detroit, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay will host the judging platform and act as the finish line for the International Tug Boat Races.

USCG News Release


Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay to offer free public tours in Grand Haven, Mich.

6/22 – Grand Haven, Mich. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay is scheduled to provide free public tours during a visit to Grand Haven, Mich., Saturday. The cutter will be moored near Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven, and open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 3 p.m. Cutter Mobile Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug combined with a 120-foot aids-to-navigation barge, home ported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is one of only two 140-foot tug-and-barge combinations in the Coast Guard. The crew of the Mobile Bay maintains more than 110 aids-to-navigation during the spring and fall, and supports the Coast Guard’s domestic ice breaking mission during the winter months.

“The crew of the Mobile Bay is grateful for constant and overwhelming support from the public in the Great Lakes region,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Stone, commanding officer of Cutter Mobile Bay. “Everyone aboard is looking forward to opening Mobile Bay’s doors to the public and visiting with the people of Grand Haven.”

USCG News Release


Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum expansion plan passes legislative hurdle

6/22 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – A plan to allow the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point to expand is headed for President Obama’s desk after the House unanimously approved a bill correcting an error in federal rules regarding expansion and preservation efforts at the museum.

The original document was issued in 1998 and referenced the obsolete 1992 plan for the property. The bill passed through Congress updates to the current plan, issued in 2002. “It’s finally done and we’re happy about that,” said Sean Ley, development officer and former president of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Society.

The society wants to move an existing building, a motor lifeboat house, which currently sits on private land, 1/2 mile south to the current museum grounds, and construct a replica of the assistant keeper’s quarters. “The house was sold to a local fisherman in the 1950s and moved off the site,” Ley said. “Right now we’re raising funds as best we can to move it back to the site. It’s in really good condition considering the years.”

The original assistant keeper’s quarters was believed to be torn down in the 1950s. The society hopes to use the building as a reception area for itself, the Michigan Audubon Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which each own the property. Ley says they were awarded a grant from the federal Scenic Byways Program that is paying for the design and construction documents for the 2002 plan.

“This is an important step in realizing the plan,” Ley said. “It should help us get more grants from the federal government when the money is there.”

The House passed the Senate’s bill, introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) on a voice vote. A similar bill authored by Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls) had made its way through committee in the House. “I want to thank Senator Levin for his efforts and leadership on this issue,” Benishek said in a statement.

“Preserving Michigan’s maritime history is a resource that both Sen. Levin and I agree warrants enthusiastic bipartisan support for the benefit of future generation of visitors.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News


Updates -  June 22

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - June 22


On 22 June 1959, BAYPORT (steel propeller tug, 72 foot, 65 gross tons, built in 1914, at Cleveland, Ohio, formerly named a.) FAIRPORT) had the steamer MOHAWK DEER in tow when she was hooked by her own tow cable, capsized and sank at Collingwood, Ontario. Three lives were lost. The tug was later raised and converted from steam to diesel. Later renamed c.) TWIN PORT, and d.) ROD MC LEAN in 1974. She was scrapped in 2008 at the Purvis west yard at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.


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, 6,634 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 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: Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Mike Nicholls, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit.


Port Reports – June 21

Fairport Harbor, Ohio – John Unterwagner
The tug Joseph H. Thompson and barge Joseph H. Thompson, Jr.  arrived late Wednesday morning was unloading stone at the Osborne dock.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio – Jim Spencer
The CSL Laurentien began loading at Sandusky's Norfolk-Southern coal dock Wednesday evening.
At Marblehead, the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland departed from the Lafarge stone dock for Cleveland Wednesday afternoon.

Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
With temperatures Wednesday near 90 on the first day of summer, Herbert C. Jackson unloaded stone into the Upper Harbor hopper.

Perry Sound, Ont. - Greg Munger
Mississagi delivered a load of salt on Wednesday.

Duluth, Minn. -
The Roger Blough was seen being assisted by a tug around the Murphy Oil fueling facility due to the strong current cased by record breaking flooding on the St. Louis River. The H. Lee White anchored off the ship canal waiting for the current to subside enough to safely enter the harbor, which she did around 8 p.m., Wednesday and slowly made her way though the harbor. The color of the harbor is also very muddy due the heavy runoff.
It is also reported that many of the docks are experiencing electrical problems and flooding in the aftermath of the major rain storm that hit the Twin Ports over the 19th and 20th

Ashtabula, Ohio - L Duffield Rawlings II
The Calumet arrived from the west and backed into coal dock to load coal.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Stephen B. Roman was inbound on the Saginaw River on Tuesday, calling on the Essroc Cement dock in Essexville to unload. She spent the day at the dock on Wednesday and was still there into the evening hours.


Grand River seeking Marine Engineering Superintendent

 6/21 – Avon Lake, Ohio - Grand River Navigation has an immediate opening for a Marine Engineering Superintendent.
This position will be part of a team responsible for the marine engineering aspects of ensuring the fleet is properly maintained and operated in the most efficient means possible. Included in this role are preventative maintenance system overview, annual and long term budget preparation and control, coordination of all shipboard repairs, project management and planning. In addition to these engineering responsibilities, the Superintendent will be responsible for communicating with the classification societies and regulatories to ensure that reporting responsibilities are fulfilled.

The ideal candidate will bring 3 to 5 years of experience to this position, with post-secondary education in Marine Engineering, naval architecture or equivalent experience. The candidate must also possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and good analytical skills, and be proficient in using computerized applications (Autocad, Microsoft Office, and Preventative Maintenance System). Additionally, the candidate must also be able to work under pressure, meet deadlines, be detail oriented and be able to work within a team environment.

To be eligible the candidate must be willing to relocate.

If you have any questions regarding this job posting, please direct them to the email address noted below. If you are interested in this career opportunity and meet the profile described above, please submit your resume in confidence by July 15 to:

Rick Turman, Manager of Personnel
Grand River Navigation Company
32861 Pin Oak Parkway Suite B
Avon Lake, OH 44012
Fax: 440-930-2099

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.


Plenty of jobs for maritime academy grads

6/21 – Washington, D.C. – With more than 1,500 young men and women graduating from the seven U.S. maritime academies this year, employment opportunities for the class of 2012 remain plentiful, according to the American Maritime Partnership.

“We congratulate the maritime academy graduates for passing the extensive U.S. Coast Guard exam and pursuing a career that will help grow the U.S. economy and keep our country strong and safe,” said James Henry, President of the Transportation Institute, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Maritime Partnership. “Although economic growth may be slowing, the demand for officers and other mariners remains strong. We look forward to working with our new shipmates in 2012.”

There are seven maritime academies in the United States, one each in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Texas, and two in New York. SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx is the nation’s oldest and largest, established in 1874; while the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) in Traverse City, Mich., is the newest, founded in 1969.

GLMA’s Superintendent said their graduates are immediately prepared to enter the work force.

“Graduates from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, a division of Northwestern Michigan College, are experiencing an almost unprecedented demand for their services,” said RDML Jerry Achenbach, Superintendent of the school. “Employers know of, and highly value the discipline required to complete a U.S. Coast Guard license exam. In addition to their license exam, our deck graduates sit for their Great Lakes pilotage. This combination ensures that every GLMA graduate is ready to stand watch on the bridge, or in the engine room, of a U.S.-flag merchant vessel sailing on either the Great Lakes or the oceans immediately upon graduation.”

The majority of graduates from the seven maritime academies enter the workforce as licensed officers and many will sail on vessels in the domestic fleet, which includes more than 40,000 self-propelled ships and tug-barge combinations. In a strong economy, these vessels will move more than 1 billion tons of cargo between U.S. ports, or roughly a quarter of the nation’s freight. A cadre of skilled U.S. citizen merchant mariners also boosts national security by providing skilled mariners essential to supporting the U.S. military during times of war and national crisis.

While salaries vary from one segment of the industry to another, it is not unusual for newly licensed officers to start at $60,000 or more per year.

Not all graduates will enter the commercial maritime industry. A number will choose to protect our nation as members of all branches of the military, including the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. Even those who pursue a career on commercial vessels will in times of crisis often serve on government-controlled vessels engaged in ferrying supplies to U.S. troops overseas.

Officers are termed “licensed” personnel, but “unlicensed” personnel are also held to very high standards. The starting point for non-academy mariners is as an Ordinary Seaman in the Deck Department and Wiper in the Engine Department. These sailors advance to Able-Bodied Seaman (AB) and Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED) after completing a specified period of time aboard ship and then passing demanding Coast Guard exams. After acquiring more “sea time,” ABs and QMEDs can write for their licenses.


Updates -  June 21

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - June 21

On 21 June 1868, the D&C Line's MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 243 foot, 1,075 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. Twenty feet of the steamer's bow had been torn off while the bark was swept into one of the paddle wheels and destroyed. The side-wheel steamer R N RICE arrived on the scene at 3:00 a.m. and picked up the survivors - only 44 of them. In September, MORNING STAR was raised, towed to Lorain and re-sunk 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 foot 6 inches long, retained at least a tie for that honor until the WILFRED SYKES entered service in 1949. She was 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 in 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.

1910 – The tug C.W. ELPHICKE sank at Michigan City, IN after a bizarre accident.  The steamer UNITED STATES had struck the Franklin Street Bridge which then collapsed on the tug. The tug was salvaged on July 12.

1941 – BOMMESTAD, a small Norwegian freighter, came to the Great Lakes in the 1920s and 1930s.  It was sold and renamed HILDA in 1934 and registered in Finland when it was torpedoed and sunk by U-52 in the Bay of Biscay while enroute from Dunkirk, France, to the U.K. with a cargo of wheat.

1964 – The Norwegian freighter STELLA NOVA ran aground off Alexandria Bay, N.Y., while enroute from Duluth to Bombay, India.  It was refloated June 24 with major bottom damage but was repaired.  It had been a Seaway trader as a) VITO in 1959 and was scrapped as f) CORALBA after arriving at Split, Yugoslavia, on September 19, 1978.

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, Skip Gillham, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


CSL orders two more bulkers as part of fleet expansion

6/20 - Montreal, Que. – Canada Steamship Lines, a division of the CSL Group, has announced a firm order for two new gearless bulk vessels, bringing to six the number of “Trillium Class” ships to be built as part of its major fleet expansion program for the Great Lakes market.

The two new vessels will be built at the Yangfan Shipyard in Zhejiang Province, China, and will enter service in the spring of 2014. CSL also has options for the construction of two additional gearless bulk vessels for delivery during the 2014 shipping season.

“These new gearless bulkers continue the momentum created by the construction of the Trillium Class self-unloading vessels and further position CSL among the most efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable fleets in marine transportation,” said Dan McCarthy, CSL Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Service.

“Investing in sustainable technologies makes good business sense. It creates a competitive edge with state of the art operational and energy efficiencies. This investment in our fleet will help meet the growing needs of our customers and will ensure superior service for years to come.”

For more information about the Trillium Class vessels, visit


Port Reports – June 20

Muskegon, Mich. - Mark Taylor
The tug Ken Boothe Sr. and barge Lakes Contender made their first visit to the B.C. Cobb power plant to deliver coal on Tuesday.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Former fleet mates John J. Boland and Great Republic loaded ore Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Harbor.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
American Mariner loaded overnight Monday and sailed early Tuesday from the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky. At the Lafarge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula,  the Manistee was loading Tuesday for Cleveland.


Police agencies conduct medevac on Lake Erie

6/20 - Cleveland, Ohio – Boat crews from the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and Pennsylvania State Police medically evacuated a passenger from aboard a fishing vessel in Lake Erie, north of Presque Isle Light, Tuesday afternoon. The passenger’s name and hometown are not being released.

At about noon, a radio watchstander at Coast Guard Station Erie, Pa., received notification of a passenger reportedly fainting repeatedly on the motor vessel Edward John.

A Coast Guard Station Erie rescue boat crew responded, launching aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, along with boat crews from the state police and CBP. The state police and Coast Guard crews were accompanied by members of local EMS.

The CBP boat crew arrived at the Edward John first and transferred two officers aboard to motor vessel evaluate the passenger. The Coast Guard and state police rescue boat crews arrived shortly afterward and both transferred crew and EMS aboard the motor vessel.

Responders were able to safely transfer the passenger onto the state police rescue boat. The passenger was then transported to shore and taken by ambulance to St. Vincent Hospital. The passenger was last listed in stable condition.

U. S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo


USS Edson's trip from Philadelphia to Saginaw River has $750,000 price tag

6/20 – Bangor Township, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum is wrapping up the fine print on a tow plan to bring the 418-foot USS Edson naval destroyer to Bay County.

Mike Kegley, president of the museum, said that details including the "who" and "how much" have been determined. "We are working on getting the tow plan done, which needs to be accepted by the navy," Kegley said. "It's coming close, but we still don’t have the gold ring."

Dann Ocean Towing of Tampa, Fla. placed the winning bid on the tow trip out of three bidders. The winning bid was $750,000. The "gold ring" refers to a date of departure, which Kegley said is still being negotiated. Two tug boats are needed to tow the destroyer from Philadelphia to Bay County – the trip can take up to six weeks and require 93,000 gallons of diesel fuel. "We're shooting to get underway by June 30," Kegley said. "But, if it doesn't happen by then we are still going to get there.

The museum has a deadline of July 17 for the USS Edson to leave the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Today marks 60 days since museum officials and the Navy signed a transfer of ownership at a ceremony held near the Independence Bridge Boat Launch, where the ship will be moored.

Kegley said that work is currently being done on the ship to prepare her for the voyage. Flood lines still need to be hooked up, and a generator needs to be rigged to operate the lights. "There is a 19-page checklist document that we have to fill out to make sure the doggone thing is seaworthy," Kegley said. "We don't need it sinking." The entire cost of the project is estimated at $1.4 million.


Seaway draft notice published

6/20 - The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway System has issued Seaway Notice No. 10-2012, concerning maximum draft permitted in the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the system. Click here to view.


Deadline approaching to sign up for Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise June 29

6/20 - This year's St. Marys River cruise will again be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 29. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m. The cruise will be three hours and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, and will do our best to find photo opportunities for any traffic in the river.

A buffet dinner is included in the $35 per person cost. Dinner will consist of pasta with meatballs, baked chicken, cheesy potatoes, mixed veggies, tossed salad and dessert. There will be a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Friday, June 22. Get yours in the mail today. Click here for reservation form.


Updates -  June 20

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 20

On this day in 1943, the IRVING S. OLDS departed Two Harbors with 20,543 tons of ore and the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS departed Two Harbors with 20,386 tons of ore. It was the first time that two lakers departed the same harbor on the same day with cargos in excess of 20,000 tons.

The SENATOR (steel propeller freighter, 410 foot, 4,048 gross tons) was launched by the Detroit Dry Dock Company (Hull #122) at Wyandotte, Michigan, on 20 June 1896, for the Wolverine Steamship Company. She lasted until 31 October 1929, when she collided with the steamer MARQUETTE in fog off Port Washington, Wisconsin, and sank with her cargo of 241 automobiles.

On 20 June 1893, GEORGE STONE (wooden propeller freighter, 270 foot, 1,841 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 (Hull#724) 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.

1953 – The Paterson steamer SCOTIADOC sank in Lake Superior near Trowbridge Island after a collision in wind and fog with the BURLINGTON of Canada Steamship Lines.  One man was lost when the starboard lifeboat was swamped after being launched

1954 – The bulk carrier PATRIA, built in Canada during World War Two as the tanker MOOSE MOUNTAIN PARK, was declared a total loss after coming ashore 1 mile northwest of East Point, Santa Rosa Island, California.  The ship was salvaged, repaired and made one trip through the Seaway in 1961 as PATAPSCO RIVER before being scrapped at Hirao, Japan, in 1963.

1973 – The bulk carrier ATLANTIC TRADER first traded through the Seaway in 1961 and returned on a regular basis as INVEREWE beginning in 1962.  It was back again as d) THEOKEETOR in 1972 but sank June 20, 1973, after a collision with MARINA L. in dense fog off the Baja Peninsula of Mexico.  All on board were saved.

1978 – A fire broke out in the cargo of coal aboard WILLIS B. BOYER and the ship docked at River Rouge where part of the cargo was unloaded to get at the fire.  The vessel was enroute from Toledo to Silver Bay.

1995 – SAULT AU COCHON, built by Port Weller Dry Docks as a pulpwood barge in 1969, buckled and sank at Forestville, QC.  The hull was refloated and taken to Hamilton for repairs later in the year.

2007 – KAPITAN RADIONOV first came to the Great Lakes in May 1992 with coal tar for Cleveland.  It sank in severe weather on this date in 2007 as i) ALEXANDRA C. after flooding began in the engine room the previous day.  The vessel went down 95 miles off Socotra Island, Yemen, while enroute to Australia with ammonium nitrate.  All 19 crew on board were rescued.

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 - 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 - BADGER struck the Ludington breakwall while arriving Ludington. She was sent to Sturgeon Bay for repairs. Ten operating days and 21 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 foot 6 inches x 10 foot 6 inches. 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.

Data from: Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Skip Gillham, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 19

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
The McKee Sons and Invincible brought a load of coal for the Board of Light and Power Plant on Harbor Island early Monday morning. It delivered a load for the D&M dock on Harbor Island late Saturday afternoon, went to Chicago to load and return.

Sturgeon Bay, Wis. - Jeff Birch
Kaye E. Barker is out of the drydock with fresh paint. The barge Mary Turner is in the graving dock. Her unloading tower has been disassembled and is reportedly being rebuilt. The unloading boom from the Joseph H. Frantz is freshly painted white and waiting nearby. Workers were welding letters to the Turner's bow – her new name will be Ashtabula. Her tug Beverly Anderson is getting her stack painted in Grand River colors. St. Marys Conquest is moored and her tug Prentiss Brown is out of the notch and tied-up nearby. No report on what work if any is being done. A newly-completed section of floating drydock is also moored at the yard, reportedly to replace the old floating drydock.

Mackinaw City, Mich. 
The final leg of the Keewatin tow is expected to begin Tuesday as tugs pull the vessel from Mackinaw City and head for Port McNicholl, where it will arrive on Saturday.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
The Alpena was tied up in port for a few days last week and departed on Saturday. On Sunday the tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation came into port to load cement. The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity was at Lafarge Monday morning as well as the Calumet. The Calumet unloaded a cargo of coal.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber was back on the Saginaw River again on Monday, delivering a split load at the Bay City and Saginaw Wirt Stone docks. The pair were outbound for the lake Monday evening.

Sandusky-Marblehead - Jim Spencer
The popular Canadian ferry Pelee Islander is slated to begin its delayed Sandusky-Leamington, Ont., service on Friday, June 22. Originally scheduled to begin the run on April 27, the vessel underwent a five- year U.S. Coast Guard survey at the Great Lakes yard in Cleveland, where structural hull problems were discovered. The Pelee Islander’s sister ship Jiimaan was also surveyed, but her return to the Leamington-Pelee Island run was delayed, causing island growers serious planting delays. The Pelee Islander arrives at and sails from the Jackson Street Pier in downtown Sandusky.
Cuyahoga loaded overnight and early Monday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock on Sandusky Bay. She departed upbound. Two tug-barge combinations loaded Monday at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead. The Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded ahead of the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder. Both have been making runs between the stone dock and Cleveland on a regular basis.


New NOAA vessel Reuben Lasker launched

6/19 - Marinette, Wis. – Saturday the newest research vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Reuben Lasker (R228), was launched at Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wis., at 10:45 a.m. She is 208-feet long, 200 tons, and the newest constructed to date for final delivery in February 2013. She will be stationed along the West Coast.

Wendell Wilke


Great Lakes Towing continues major overhaul program

6/19 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Great Lakes Towing Company continues its major overhaul program for its fleet of 37 tugboats. The tugboat Iowa is the second of the company’s tugs to undergo repair at the company’s new Cleveland shipyard; the Illinois, the first in the series of tugs to be serviced, was completed in early April.

The Great Lakes Towing Company operates the largest fleet of tugs on the Great Lakes serving 40 ports and has been in continuous business for 113 years.

For more information, visit their website at


Maritime academy students have courses plotted for great careers

6/19 - Duluth, Minn. – When the State of Michigan, a 224-foot Great Lakes training ship, arrived in Duluth last week, two Duluth East High School graduates were among the 52 cadets on board.

As students at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Ellora Hammerberg, Duluth East class of 2009, and Henry Roningen, class of 2011, are headed for careers at sea.

Both are in four-year programs at the academy in Traverse City, Mich. — the only Great Lakes training academy in the country — which guarantees them good-paying officer positions on commercial ships when they graduate.

“They can advance quicker with academy training,” said Jerry Achenbach, the academy’s superintendent. “It’s much faster to go to the academy than to try to do it on their own.”

Hammerberg, 21, is in the deck officer program, which includes piloting the ship; Roningen, 19, is in the engineering program. Both will graduate in 2015, when the demand for trained officers will be even greater than it is today as more of the industry’s aging work force retires.

Achenbach said the academy’s graduates make at least $60,000 during the shipping season, while Capt. Bill Peterson, fleet administrator for Key Lakes/Great Lakes Fleet, said they can earn $75,000 to $95,000 a year.

“When I get out of school, I can work anywhere in the world,” Hammerberg said during the State of Michigan’s one-day stop in Duluth during its six-week Great Lakes training cruise. “Not many can say their office is in the middle of Lake Superior. You can see water as far as the eyes can see. There’s a world of opportunities when I get out.”

Indeed, with 100 percent placement of its graduates, they are in demand.

The academy, located at Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Campus, is one of seven maritime academies in the United States that produces officers for commercial shipping. But it’s the only one that prepares them for both oceanic and Great Lakes work.

Through a partnership with Ferris State University, cadets earn their maritime credentials and licenses along with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. There also is a three-year program for students who already have bachelor degrees.

About 200 cadets are in the program, with an average age of 26. Ten percent are women.

The cost for the four-year program is $60,000, not including optional housing. The program requires cadets to do three sea projects — two stints on U.S.-flagged commercial vessels and the Great Lakes training cruise on the State of Michigan, which set out from Traverse City on May 16 and will return June 28.

“We try to get them in all aspects of operations for U.S. Merchant Marine vessels,” Achenbach said. “They’re doing crew work, learning from the ground up. And all of them spend two days in the galley.”

As one of six girls in her class of about 50, Hammerberg said she hasn’t encountered any problems with her male counterparts. “Even if they did show some problem with it, we’re all pretty tough girls,” she said. “They know they can’t mess with us too much.”

On board, three girls bunk together in small quarters, sharing a bathroom. Hammerberg works six hours on and 12 hours off during the 24-hour deck watches. Engineering cadets work four hours on, eight off.

Peterson said the academy’s training of new deck and engineering officers is vital to the industry. There’s a shortage of qualified, licensed people with backgrounds to handle ships on the Great Lakes. And that shortage is only going to get worse, he said.

“They’re needed more now than in the last few years,” he said. “The demographics of people working up here is older. The average age is around 59 for engine and deck officers. In the near future, there will be a huge turnover in personnel, and we have a hard time filling those jobs now.”

Both of Hammerberg’s grandfathers worked on the ships, but it was her working for the Vista Fleet cruises for six summers and seeing the big freighters coming and going, loading and unloading taconite, that convinced her that it was the career for her.

“One day I went home and said, ‘Dad, this is what I want to do,’ ” she said.

Both Hammerberg and Roningen had been around water quite a bit growing up. Roningen’s family has a large recreational boat they have used to sail the Apostle Islands.

But coming from a military family, Roningen planned to attend a military academy such as West Point, until he realized the regimentation really wasn’t for him.

“I really liked the idea of the Merchant Marine and the shipping industry, always moving and adventurous,” he said. “I like to keep moving, I don’t like to stay in one place too long.” When he graduates, he’ll be a third assistant engineer.

“I would hope to come back to Duluth and get a job with a shipping company out of Duluth,” he said. “I want to be an engineer on one of the boats and sail across the Great Lakes. When I’m ready to settle down, I’ll transfer to port engineer and stay on land and do engineering to boats that come into port.”

Hammerberg will graduate as a licensed third mate and wants to work on Great Lakes freighters.

Without the training, it would take them nearly eight years to reach those officer levels, starting out in entry-level positions, Peterson said.

“There are people start as a deck hand and work their way up through the whole system,” Hammerberg said. “We spend four years getting a degree and license. It costs money, but we get out a jump ahead, starting out as officers.”

For more information about Great Lakes Maritime Academy, visit or call (231) 995-1200.

Duluth News Tribune


Updates -  June 19

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery
Contributor Ron Beaupre has posted a collection of of photographs illustrating the old St. Lawrence canals and ships, click here to view


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 19

On 19 June 1889, NORTH STAR (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with CHARLES J. SHEFFIELD (steel propeller freighter, 260 foot, 1,699 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about sixty miles west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in heavy fog. The NORTH STAR kept her bow in the SHEFFIELD's side after the impact, giving the crew time to board. The SHEFFIELD then sank in 8 minutes. Her loss was valued at $160,000. The courts found both vessels to be equally at fault after years of litigation.

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

In 1978, ALGOBAY (Hull#215) was launched by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway. Renamed b.) ATLANTIC TRADER in 1994, and renamed c.) ALGOBAY in 1996.

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 p.m., on 19 June 1872, the wooden package freight/passenger propeller MONTANA (236 foot, 1,535 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.

1905 – The wooden passenger and freight steamer CITY OF COLLINGWOOD of 1893 vintage was destroyed by a fire at Collingwood and four lives were lost.

1917 – The Canadian bulk carrier NATIRONCO was beached in the Detroit River after a collision with the ASTERN STATES and was deemed a total loss. It was raised and repaired at Toledo and survived until scrapping at Civitavecchia, Italy, as d) SAN CARLO in 1929.

1925 – The wooden freighter MAPLEGLEN (i), is scuttled in Lake Ontario, west of Kingston, near Amherst Island. It had been idle since 1921 and was originally the WYOMING of 1881.

1929 – The JOHN HANLAN was torched as a spectacle off the Sunnyside area of Toronto after having failed an inspection to continue service as a Toronto Island ferry.

1933 – MEADCLIFFE HALL sustained rudder damage after being struck by the CALGADOC (i) at Thorold. The grain-laden canaller was towed back to Port Colborne, unloaded, and repaired at Port Dalhousie.

1962 – Hatch cover planks give way at Cleveland aboard FLOWERGATE and a forklift and two men fell into the cargo hold, striking a third man. All were badly injured. The British freighter later returned through the Seaway under Panamanian registry as b) AMENITY and was scrapped at Troon, Scotland, in 1977.

Data from: Jody Aho, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Skip Gillham, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


May Great Lakes coal trade mirrors a year ago

6/18 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.9 million tons in May, an increase of 32 percent over April and a virtual repeat performance of a year ago. However, when compared to its 5-year average for the month of May, the trade was down 20 percent.

Loadings at Lake Superior ports increased slightly, and included 210,000 tons trans-shipped to Quebec for delivery overseas. Shipments from Chicago dipped slightly, but loadings at Lake Erie ports were unchanged from a year ago.

Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 6.2 million tons, a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to a year ago. Loadings are nearly 26 percent behind the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  June 18

Muskegon, Mich. - MD McGuire
Innovation docked at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Lafarge. The tug in the notch looked like the G.L. Ostrander rather than the Samuel de Champlain. AIS showed the Samuel de Champlain in Chicago.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound on Friday, calling on the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw to unload. The pair were outbound Saturday afternoon. The Moore-Kuber were also on the Saginaw River on Wedensday, unloading at both the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and Buena Vista dock in Saginaw. American Century called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville Saturday afternoon to unload coal. She backed from the dock Sunday morning and turned at Light 12 in the Saginaw Bay before heading for the lake.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead was a flurry of activity over the weekend. Frontanac departed upbound late Saturday night, having loaded most of Saturday. She was followed at the dock by the tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland, which sailed Sunday morning for Cleveland. Loading at the Lafarge dock the balance of Fathers Day was the Interlake tug Dorothy Ann and barge Invincible. The pair was also slated to deliver a cargo in Cleveland.

Toronto, Ont. – Charlie Gibbons
The venerable side-paddlewheel ferry Trillium turns 102 on Monday. No special celebrations are planned. The Toronto Island Ferry Terminal will be renamed later this summer to honor the lately deceased politician Jack Layton.


Shipyard expansion increases capacity

6/18 - Marinette, Wis. - The massive unpainted hull of the artic research vessel Sikuliaq fills a large portion of one of the construction bays in Building 10 at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette. In other parts of the building, workers move over and weld modular sections of future littoral combat ships being built for the U.S. Navy.

Expansion of Building 10 was the first major step in a $73.5 million project at the shipyard to update facilities and processes.

In recent years, the yard has seen the construction of four major projects that have added or expanded buildings on the site in preparation for the anticipated LCS series production for the Navy.

About 44 percent of the yard has changed since owner Fincantieri opted to invest in the upgrades.

"The expansion more than doubled our capacity, and in the short term, allowed us to take on commercial projects," said Scott Wellens, director of facility and process improvement at Marinette Marine. "We're going to be building two littoral combat ships a year for the Navy and … we built in efficiencies that will allow us some additional capacity to take on additional work."

On Wednesday, Lockheed Martin delivered the future USS Fort Worth to the Navy. The Fort Worth is the latest LCS finished by Marinette Marine. The first one was the USS Freedom.

Two other ships in the class are under construction, and the yard also has a number of other ongoing projects like the artic research vessel and a fisheries survey ship for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Wellens has been with Marinette Marine for 19 years and has seen it transformed over the course of the past four years with an infusion of capital by its owner, Fincantieri.

"It's dramatically different," he said about the yard. "The average age of the shipyard's building has probably decreased by 20 or 30 years."

Some of the buildings that were razed for new construction date back seven decades.

The yard has a new panel fabrication building and expanded erection building (Building 10), while work is ongoing on a new paint building expected to be finished by August and another production building slated to be finished in November.

The littoral combat ship is comprised of 49 modules pulled together to form the vessel.

Lockheed Martin officials have said part of the success of the LCS program will be based on its ability to deliver ships on time and on budget. Fort Worth was delivered two months ahead of the contract stipulation, the company said Wednesday.

With new buildings and yard layout, production is expected to be streamlined. For example, the yard will cut out more than eight miles of travel of the ships as they are built.

Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin, said the two the new buildings will allow the yard to fully implement new production processes aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

The average cost of the Marinette-built ship is $360 million per vessel. The Navy has proposed buying 55 of the littoral combat ships in the coming decades and is fielding two variants of the ship.

The prime contractor on the Marinette-built ship is Lockheed Martin, while Austal USA is building a different version of the ship in Mobile, Ala. Each company was awarded a contract to build as many as 10 of the ships ­ worth about $3.6 billion to Lockheed Martin and $3.5 billion to Austal through fiscal year 2015.

Marinette Marine has about 1,350 employees, up from about 800 at this time last year. It expects to add additional workers in the coming months and years to an anticipated work force of more than 2,000.

Fincantieri also owns Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay where it is investing about $25 million in facilities upgrades. The Italy-based shipbuilder purchased both facilities in late 2008.

Upgrades at Marinette are expected be completed in 2013 ­ and there's still room to expand or increase capacity if needed.

"Improvement is a continuous process," Wellens said. "You have to … consistently refine what you do, and we intend to do that."

Green Bay Press Gazette


Agencies prep for Lake Ontario training exercise

6/18 - Oswego, N.Y. - Several branches of the military are coming together this week for a first of its kind training exercise in Lake Ontario.

“We’re excited to be here, to kick off what next week will be a short, kind of a small-scale joint training exercise,” said Lt. Col. Scott Brenton, operations group commander, 174th Fighter Wing. “We want to focus on collaboration between different partners that all share some requirements in local areas.”

The program was the brainchild of Major Patrick Cox, joint terminal attack controller, the commander of the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron at Hancock Field (174th Fighter Wing), Brenton said.

The New York Air National Guard, the US Coast Guard Station Oswego, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the New York Naval Militia will work together in the exercise testing the ability of small boat crews to work with Air Force ground controllers and MQ-9 (Reaper drone) remotely piloted aircraft, he continued.

The skills exercised can be used to find missing boaters or in maritime security missions. Boaters on the lake may see some of this activity. It is unlikely the aircraft will be noticed by people on the ground.

The three-day drill (Monday to Wednesday) will test the ability of Air National Guard JTAC Airmen on board United States Coast Guard and New York Naval Militia vessels to work with the pilot and sensor operator controlling the MQ-9 Reaper drone.

The aircraft will fly from Fort Drum’s Wheeler Sack Army Airfield and Hancock Field Air National Guard Base and locate a target in Lake Ontario. The exercise will develop the skills the Air Force teams need to operate in a maritime environment.

The exercise will give Coast Guard Station Oswego, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Naval Militia crews experience in working with Air Guard JTAC and air assets to accomplish a search and rescue mission or a security interdiction mission.

“One of the benefits of training in this environment is, down the road, we will all be able to fully understand how we can communicate, maybe on a moment’s notice if it’s required, that there is a vessel in distress out here on Lake Ontario,” Brenton said. “If we don’t capitalize on that, I think it’s an opportunity lost. The opportunity to save a life is something we want to participate in.”

The exercise is meant to increase communications between the partners to better integrate both air power and surface forces, so in the event of an emergency on the water, “we aren’t scrambling to establish communication; we’ve already established the networks,” he said.

Commander Don McKnight of the NYS Naval Militia said the exercise is interesting in that it brings together three types of militaryrs get used to each others methods and capabilities, it could be expanded to a night exercise, Brenton said. Oswego County Today


Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise planned for June 29

This year's St. Marys River cruise will again be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 29. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m. The cruise will be three hours and we will travel through both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, and will do our best to find photo opportunities fo a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Friday, June 22. If any space is available, reservations will be taken by Dave Wobser Wednesday evening in the Soo, or at the Soo Boatnerd Picnic before noon on Thursday, June 28. Call 419-722-5507 to locate. Click here for reservation form.


Updates -  June 18

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 18

The steamer ILLINOIS was the first vessel to pass through the newly opened Soo locks in 1855. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of this event, an open house was held aboard the J. L. MAUTHE. While tied up at the Cleveland Lakefront dock, an estimated 1,700 persons toured the MAUTHE.

During a moonlight charter on 18 June 1936, the TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) struck a boulder in the Sugar Island channel in the Detroit River. The vessel docked at Amherstburg, Ontario, where her passengers disembarked as the vessel settled to the bottom in 14 feet of water. Although the damage was not fatal, the salvage crew botched the job. The TASHMOO had one end raised too quickly and her keel broke. This ended this well-loved vessel’s too-short career.

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. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1975.

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

In 1968, the ALGOCEN (Hull#191) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd, for Algoma Central Railway. Renamed b.) VALGOCEN in 2005, she was used as a spoils barge in Keasby, New Jersey, until her return to the lakes last year. She now sails as J.W. SHELLEY.

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.

1905 – The ETRURIA sank after a collision with the AMASA STONE off Passage Island Light, Lake Superior.

1942 – The steamer THOMAS MAYTHAM of 1892 vintage was rebuilt as the New York State Barge Canal tanker DOLOMITE 2 in 1938 and renamed MOTOREX in 1942. It was sunk by gunfire from U-172 near the Colon entrance to the Panama Canal and all on board were rescued.

1944 – ALBERT C. FIELD, a former Great Lakes bulk canaller, was hit by an aerial torpedo from German aircraft and broke in two and sank in minutes. There were 4 lives lost when the ship was hit in the English Channel while carrying munitions and 130 bags of mail in support of the Normandy invasion.

1959 – SPRINGDALE, a Great Lakes trader in the early 1950s and later operated on charter to Reoch Transports, capsized and sank in the Gulf of Bothnia after the cargo of timber shifted in heavy weather.

1960 – GEERTJE BUISMAN came to the Great Lakes in 1960 and ran aground on Vienne Shoal in northern Lake Michigan while outbound from Chicago with a cargo that included new Nash Rambler automobiles for Europe. The Dutch vessel was stuck for 4 days and had to be lightered. It returned to the Seaway again in later years and was finally scrapped as f) MOUNT at Varna, Bulgaria, in 2003-2004.

1991 – The saltwater trader AKTI was driven aground 14 miles north of Necochea, Argentina, in a storm and sold “as lies” before being refloated as d) AKTO on July 27. Examination determined that the ship was a total loss but it was rebuilt by Chilean interests as e) RIO CIERVOS. The vessel had been through the Seaway as a) ASIA PROSPERITY beginning in 1974, as b) HAN PACIFIC in 1983, and c) AKTI in 1988. It was scrapped at g) AL GIORGIS after arriving at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on November 17, 2005.

1997 – CANADIAN MARINER ran aground in the St. Lawrence near Crossover Shoal after losing power. The vessel had to be lightered to be released and was repaired by Port Weller Dry Docks. The ship was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2007.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Gerry O., Joe Barr, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 17

On June 17, 1895, the J. W. Westcott Co., inaugurated its unique mail delivery service. On 17 June 1878, the Canadian schooner JAMES SCOTT of Port Burwell capsized and sank in Lake Erie. The captain's wife, their child and two seamen were drowned.

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 (Hull#11) 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. She was scrapped at Cartagena, Columbia, in 1986.

The PATERSON of 1954, 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 to the Duluth Convention Center 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 barge PERE MARQUETTE 41 and tug 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.

1909 – The iron hulled passenger and freight steamer CAMPANA had been cut in two to leave the Great Lakes in 1895 but the hull broke in 1909 where the sections had been rejoined and sank in the St. Lawrence at Point St. Michael a few miles below Quebec City.

1918 – JAY GOULD was loaded with coal and towing the barge COMMODORE when it began leaking and then sank 8 miles southeast of Southeast Shoal, Lake Erie. The hull was later dynamited as a hazard to navigation. The barge was overwhelmed by the seas and rolled in the trough for about two hours before it also sank. All on board both ships were saved.

1941 – The Lake Ontario passenger steamer KINGSTON ran aground on a shoal in the St. Lawrence 15 miles SW of Ogdensburg, NY after losing her way in thick fog. The passengers were transferred to RAPIDS PRINCE and the ship was released with the aid of pontoons and repaired at Kingston.

1998 – MOUNTAIN BLOSSOM was downbound in the Seaway when it struck the approach wall at the Eisenhower Lock opening a crack in the hull that allowed about 50 gallons of xylene to escape. The immediate area was evacuated but the problem was quickly cleaned up. The ship was a regular Great Lakes trader from 1986 to 2007 and was scrapped at Xinhui, China, after arriving on January 10, 2010.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Detroit Marine Historian, Marine Historical Society's Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 16

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Saginaw loaded ore Friday morning at the Upper Harbor on her first visit of the season.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The barge Lakes Contender loaded at Calcite and was expected to depart Friday morning. Cason J. Callaway was due to load following the departure of the Lakes Contender. Due on Saturday is American Courage, arriving in the morning for the South Dock. There are no vessel arrivals for Sunday.

Port Inland and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
John J. Boland loaded stone at Port Inland on Thursday, followed by the McKee Sons on Friday. Joseph L. Block was to load on Saturday. Wilfred Sykes rounds out the Port Inland lineup, arriving on Sunday to load stone. At Cedarville, the James L. Kuber was due Saturday, followed by Joseph H. Thompson on Monday.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Lewis J. Kuber loaded at Stoneport on Friday, followed by the Joseph H. Thompson. Due to load on Sunday is the Manistee for an early morning arrival. No vessels are due to load at Stoneport on Monday. For Tuesday, there are three vessels due – Herbert C. Jackson in the early morning followed by Philip R. Clarke and the John G. Munson for evening arrivals.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
Lee A. Tregurtha was due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock on Friday. Manistee is due next at the CSX Coal Dock to load on Saturday, June 23, followed by Algoma Progress on Monday, June 25. Algomarine was due at the Midwest Terminal stone dock very late in the evening on Friday to unload stone. Vessels scheduled to unload ore at the Torco Dock are the CSL Laurentien Tuesday, June 19, followed by John J. Boland and Great Republic on Thursday, June 21, with the Algowood and the barge Lakes Contender rounding out the lineup on Friday, June 22. There are still three vessels, all from American Steamship Co., in layup: Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude and American Valor.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland were headed to Cleveland Friday night after loading at the LaFarge stone dock at Marblehead.

Fairport, Ohio - John Unterwagner
The barge Great Lakes Trader and tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort were entering the Grand River at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. She appeared to be headed to the lime plant with limestone.

Ashtabula, Ohio - L Duffield Rawlings II
Federal Rhine arrived in Ashtabula on Wednesday to unload at the Pinney Dock. They departed Friday about 7:30 a.m. heading east.

Eisenhower Lock - Ron Beaupre
Friday morning shipping was stopped at Eisenhower Lock. Virginiaborg was being held in the lock with BBC Hawaii above Eisenhower and H. Lee White below. Algowood was anchored at Wilson Hill and Marietje Deborah at Grassy Island. Birchglen was waiting in the Snell lock with Nordisle on the wall below Snell. Virginiaborg was allowed to depart the Eisenhower lock and proceed to the Wilson Hill anchorage. The ships waiting to use the lock are now moving again.


New cruise sets sail for shores of Lake Superior

6/16 - Marquette, Mich. – After a two-decade absence, the public can once again set sail along the shores of Marquette with Marquette Harbor Cruises. With its port and ticket office located in the lower harbor, residents and tourists of Marquette alike can take the narrated cruise on Lake Superior that offers views of the city.

On May 18, the Isle Royale Queen III set on its maiden voyage for Marquette Harbor Cruises. According to owner Molly Carmody, the cruise runs seven days a week and will continue to operate daily until Oct. 14.

“Two years ago, after the boat was found sitting in a marina in Menominee, a couple of the owners came up with the idea of launching a boat cruise business in Marquette, and we started it along with the owners of the ship,” Carmody said. “[Marquette] had one over 20 years ago but it didn’t keep going as an on-going business.”

The cruise heads north, going in and out of both harbors, along Presque Isle, Middle Bay and goes around Partridge Island before turning around, taking the same route back.

The ride lasts for two hours and some of the topics of the narrated cruise include early Marquette history, the iron ore mines and the interaction between the first missionaries with Native Americans.

“It was really the most logical route to show people the city that they’ve been living in,” Carmody said. “A lot have lived there (in Marquette) all their lives and others their adult life. They go to features on the land and they all know those places but everything takes on a little different perspective when seen a quarter to a half mile out from water.”

Carmody said she considered it a shame that Marquette has gone so long without a cruise, stating the fact that the city and businesses have been working on developing the harbor.

“It was becoming quite a little gem and a shame not to see it from the water,” Carmody said. “The Superior Dome looks bigger out on the water than in the parking lot and when right up next to it on a deck of a boat, you notice how large the ore docks are.

The daily cruises are open to the public but Marquette Harbor Cruises also offers private and charter events, as well as group rates. Some events are catered.

“The boat is appropriate for birthdays, family and class reunions, providing the perfect setting for a group of people,” Carmody said. “Special events [include] live music and a group going out for fireworks on the evening of Fourth of July.”

Reservations are recommended but not required. The boat requires a minimum amount of people to depart so it is recommended to contact them if it is early or late in the season, or if there is inclement weather.

Regardless of rain, the ship will sail, lake conditions permitting. The standard fare for an adult is $25 and the youth fare, for ages 14 and younger, is $10.

For information such as schedules, events and a map of the route visit

The North Wind


Webcast offers a tour of Lake Huron shipwreck

6/16 - Alpena, Mich. – Calling all shipwreck enthusiasts! Always wanted to explore an underwater shipwreck but not a fan of getting wet? This Saturday is your lucky day. Anyone with an Internet connection will have access to an underwater shipwreck tour at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Mich. Saturday.

Located in Lake Huron, Thunder Bay is the only federally-protected underwater sanctuary in the Great Lakes.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration will host two “Live Dive” webcasts from the Grecian, a steel freighter that sank in Thunder Bay in 1906. The Grecian is one of more than 200 historic shipwrecks in “Shipwreck Alley,” an area known for extreme weather, according to the sanctuary’s website.

During the 20-minute webcasts, viewers can see underwater archaeologists document shipwrecks and learn what they are doing to protect them. The webcasts will broadcast at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

You can watch the webcasts online at the Thunder Bay website.

They will also be broadcast at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center at Thunder Bay. Both online viewers and those at the heritage center will have equal chance to interact with the sanctuary’s dive team during the webcast. Anyone can send questions through email to and receive answers from the divers in real-time.

This is the second “Live Dive” hosted at Thunder Bay. “Last time we did this in 2010 the whole theater was full,” said Stephanie Gandulla, media and outreach coordinator at Thunder Bay. “It’s a lot of preparation.”

The program is a partnership between the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute and the University of Michigan, and is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Great Lakes Echo


Updates -  June 16

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Wyandotte 1 and Valley Camp galleries updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 16

On 16 June 1891, Alexander McDougall himself took his brand-new whaleback steamer JOSEPH L. COLBY (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1,245 gross tons, built in 1890 at West Superior, Wisconsin) down the St. Lawrence River to the sea. The double-hulled COLBY left Prescott, Ontario at 3 p.m., drawing six feet nine inches aft and five feet six inches forward and started on her wild ride through the rapids. The whaleback freighter plowed through the Galops, Iroquois, Long Sault, Coteau, Cedar, Split Rock and Cascade Rapids. She grated the bottom a number of times and had a number of close calls. Captain McDougall stood immobile throughout the trip but great beads of perspiration broke out on his forehead. When the vessel finally made it through the Cascades and was safe on Lake St. Louis, the French Canadian pilot left and the crew let out shouts of joy with the whistle blowing. The COLBY was the first screw steamer to attempt running the rapids.

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.

The steamer UNIQUE (wooden propeller passenger/package freight steamer, 163 foot, 381 gross tons) was built by Alexander Anderson at Marine City, Michigan. She was launched stern first at 3:00 p.m. on 16 June 1894. There was quite a crowd assembled to watch the launch. While waiting for the launch, Engineer Merrill of the steamer MARY composed the following verse:

"The new steamer Unique
Made a beautiful suique
On a direction oblique
Into a big crique,
So to spique."

The vessel was painted a bright yellow up to the promenade deck with white cabins and upper works. In 1901, she left the upper lakes and was chartered for the Thousand Islands cruise trade. Later that year, she was sold to Philadelphia buyers for Delaware River service. Her upper cabins were removed in 1904, when she was rebuilt as a yacht. She lasted until 20 November 1915, when she burned to a total loss in New York harbor.

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, 1,387 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 as b.) CANADIAN LEADER

Upbound in the Welland Canal on June 16, 1963, loaded with iron ore for Chicago, U.S. Steel's BENJAMIN F. 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, the Fr. Dowling Collection and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 15

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
The Manistee arrived in Holland early Thursday morning and delivered a cargo of stone at the Verplank dock. It departed about 11 a.m.

Also, as of Thursday afternoon, the Holland Sentinel and the Saugatuck Commercial Record are reporting that the Yorktown's June 17 stop at Saugatuck has been cancelled. They report that there are problems with the air conditioning and refrigeration systems on the vessel. Required repairs necessitate the cancellation.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Manitowoc loaded Thursday for Cleveland at the LaFarge stone dock at Marblehead. She was followed to the dock by the tug Bradsshaw McKee and barge Cleveland.

Brockville Narrows - Stephen Trenton
At 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening the tug Everlast and barge Norman McLeod struck channel marker 147 at the western end of the Brockville Narrows in the St. Lawrence River. The Captain reported to Seaway Iroquois that the tug suffered a blackout caused by a generator failure resulting in loss of control of the pair. A second generator was started and the tug and barge moved to an anchorage area at channel marker 152 dropping the hook at 8:55 p.m. They reported to Seaway Iroquois that they would remain anchored until the engineer diagnosed the problem and the required reports were filed.


Carferry CEO stays optimistic about Lake Michigan Carferry

6/15 - Ludington, Mich. – Bob Manglitz entered the SS Badger’s 2012 sailing season optimistic an improving state economy will translate into more passengers on the historic carferry.

He’s a bit worried, too, over Lake Michigan Carferry’s application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning a permit to continue discharging coal ash from the last-coal-fired, steam-powered passenger ship in the country.

He feels certain the states of Michigan and Wisconsin will support the application in a timely manner, but is less certain the EPA will act as quickly as needed so the Badger crew can prepare for 2013 and beyond sailing seasons.

When push comes to shove within him, optimism wins out. “I’m always optimistic. My father-in-law taught me the glass is always half-full, not half-empty.”

His father-in-law, Charles Conrad, bought the Ludington-based carferries in 1991 when they were in bankruptcy court after Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation docked the Badger in 1990.

Not only did Conrad succeed in purchasing the Badger, the City of Midland and the Spartan, he led the effort to change the operation from one of mostly transporting rail cars to the passenger-based LMC SS Badger Great Lakes mini-cruise experience that has proven successful since.

Ludington Daily News


Wrecked weekend: Program to focus on shipwrecks

6/15 - Sheboygan, Wis. – "Ice, Wind and Fire, Shipwrecks off Sheboygan County Shores" is the focus of the June 16 "Third Saturday" program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheboygan County Historical Museum, at 3110 Erie Ave., in Sheboygan.

Resource people for this "Third Saturday" will include Steve Radovan, Brendon Baillod, Tamara Thomsen, Gary Daehn and Bill Wangemann.

Radovan of Sheboygan, a diver and shipwreck historian, will have a display and host some of the shipwreck video he has taken over the years. Gary Daehn of Manitowoc, also a diver and shipwreck historian, will host a display about the shipwrecks in the Sheboygan and Manitowoc areas and have some dive equipment available.

Brendon Baillod, past president of the Wisconsin Underwater Archeology Association, a historian, antiquarian, author and guest lecturer, will have Sheboygan-related items on display from his private collection as well as hosting a PowerPoint presentation.

Tamara Thomsen, Underwater Archeologist for the Wisconsin Historical Society, will host a display of shipwreck materials recently used at the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum in Madison.

Bill Wangemann, the Sheboygan City historian, will host a PowerPoint on Sheboygan's maritime history of boat building, lifesaving service, lighthouses and piers.

"Third Saturdays" go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are welcome any time throughout the day. Lunch is available. The admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 7 to 12. Children ages 6 and under are free. Members and their guests are free. "Third Saturday" programs extend from January through October.

The museum is open for the season from April 1 through Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tours of the historic buildings are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Sheboygan Press


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 15

On this day in 1967, the new $6 million Allouez taconite pellet handling facility in Superior, Wisconsin, was dedicated. The first cargo of 18,145 tons of pellets was loaded into the holds of the Hanna Mining Company freighter JOSEPH H. THOMPSON.

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 b.) CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN, later converted to a self-unloader, and finished her career as the d.) CONSUMERS POWER at the end of the 1985, season before being scrapped in 1988.

In 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, 2,348 gross tons, built in 1891, at Cleveland, Ohio by Globe Iron Works (Hull#40) 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 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 to keep 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.

1933 – BRENTWOOD ran aground in the St. Marys River and was released on June 19 with about $60,000 in damage. The C.S.L. vessel soon tied up at Midland and was scrapped there in 1937.

1943 – WILLIAM BREWSTER was on her maiden voyage when she collided with the W.D. CALVERLEY JR. and sank on her side in the St. Clair River off Algonac. The ship was not refloated until November and, after repairs, finally left the lakes in June 1944. It operated on saltwater routes until scrapping at Calcutta, India, as e) RAY MAYABUNDAR in 1967.

1962 – NYON, a Seaway visitor in 1961 and 1962, sank in the English Channel, 5 miles south of Beachy Head, after a collision in heavy fog with the Indian freighter JALAZAD. The latter came to the Great Lakes in 1969 and was eventually scuttled off Tema, Ghana, as b) JYOTI VINOD in September 1983.

1965 – BREIM, a Great Lakes visitor from Norway, got stuck in the mud below the Snell Lock at Massena, NY was released the next day after some cargo is lightered. The ship arrived at Visakhapatnam, India, for scrapping as c) CHRISTINA C. on October 24, 1983. 1988 – ALGOWEST and COUDRES D'ILE collided in fog on the St. Lawrence and the small coastal freighter sank with the loss of one life. The former now sails for Algoma as PETER R. CRESSWELL.

2001 – Fire broke out in the engine room of the Cypriot freighter FELIX 60 miles off Las Palmas, Canary Islands and the 21-member crew was removed. The ship first came to the Great Lakes as a) BEGONIA in 1978 and returned as b) TIMUR SWALLOW in 1983 and c) JENNIFER JANE in 1985. The burning vessel was anchored and the fire extinguished June 16. A total loss, the ship arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, under tow as f) ELI on December 1, 2001, and was broken up.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 14

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic Wednesday morning included Algoma Quebecois unloading cement at Holcim, Mariete Marsilla departing the Duluth port terminal with an export cargo of wood pulp, American Spirit departing CN ore dock, Edgar B. Speer loading at BNSF ore dock in Superior, and Edwin H. Gott arriving to load at CN ore dock. Arneborg was scheduled to arrive at the Duluth port terminal with wind turbine parts and Great Republic was due overnight to unload at Hallett Dock 5.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Wednesday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The Interlake barge Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann were loading Wednesday night at the La Farge stone dock on the Marblehead Peninsula. Herbert C. Jackson, which loaded at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky, was enroute to Sault. Ste. Marie.


Coast Guard evacuates crewman off freighter in Lake Michigan

6/14 - Cleveland, Ohio – A rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., medically evacuated a male crewmember from a commercial vessel near Manitou Island, in Lake Michigan, Tuesday evening. The man’s name and age are not being released.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, received notification at about 9 p.m. CDT of a crewmember aboard the Joseph L. Block reportedly complaining of lower abdominal pain. After a conference call between the 9th Coast Guard District, Sector Lake Michigan and Air Station Traverse City’s flight surgeon, it was decided that a medevac was the best course of action.

The rescue aircrew, aboard an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, immediately launched and met the vessel at about 10 p.m. CDT near Manitou Pass. After safely airlifting the man off the vessel, the crew transported him to waiting emergency medical services at Charlevoix Airfield. He was taken to Charlevoix General Hospital.


Jet Express gets fake bomb threat

6/14 - Port Clinton, Ohio – The Terrorist Task Force, the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard were scrambling early Tuesday after a bomb threat was phoned into the Jet Express.

Thousands take it to the Lake Erie Islands daily during the summer but the Jet Express was a target of a terrorist attack … or so Port Clinton authorities thought.

It wasn't just a bomb threat. The caller spoke with a Middle Eastern accent and even claimed an association with the terrorist group al-Quaeda, responsible for 9/11. The threat was to blow up one of the boats. At the time, the company was in the process of closing up the evening.

It wasn't what you might call a sophisticated investigation. Port Clinton Police were able to trace the call through the company's caller identification to a cell phone at a house in Bellevue, Ohio. On the other end was a 13-year-old prankster.

Port Clinton Police and Sandusky County Sheriff's Deputies went to the residence but did not arrest the juvenile. The incident will be reviewed by the Ottawa County prosecutor for possible charges.



Water pumped in from Detroit River pivotal in fighting fire

6/14 - Wyandotte, Mich. – When Wyandotte's water supply started to get low Sunday night, emergency crews didn't have to look far for the assistance needed to help fight the devastating fire at Lions & Tigers & Beers Sports Club. All they had to do was look to the rear of the building at the Detroit River.

"People talk about the water in the Detroit River, but it worked to our advantage this time," Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson said. "It’s going to help save blocks of our city. Having the water was a plus."

Using large 5-inch lines, Brownstown firefighters pumped water in from the Detroit River to battle the blaze from the rear of the building. The Detroit Fire Department also sent in its fireboat to pump water from the river onto the blaze.

Senior Chief Mike Gallo of the Detroit Fire Department said this was the first time in his 40 years on the job that he knew of the fireboat coming to the aid of a Downriver community.

And what timing. The boat was out of service and was just put back in last week, he said. Because it's working off just a single motor, it took about a half-hour for the boat to make its way down the river and into Wyandotte. Once here, though, it proved pivotal by pumping water through 5-inch lines to two platforms, and then to the aerial trucks.

"The problem with the fire is that after all the water was put on it, the roof collapsed, making it even more difficult to fight the fire," Gallo said.



Quebec's Cote-Nord sees economic development from increased iron ore demand

6/14 - The increasing global demand for steel is driving billions of dollars in investment in iron ore mines and port facilities in Canada. In particular, northern Quebec and Labrador are home to a great deal of iron ore mine construction and expansion projects.

The actual extraction of the iron ore is only one part of a larger equation, however -- the other large variable being transportation and shipping of the product. While there are many smaller lakes and rivers in the area of the mines, the nearest port facilities capable of large shipments are on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which provides shipping access to both the Great Lakes area of the U.S. and the Atlantic Ocean for international markets.

The region's largest port is located in the city of Sept-Isles, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sept-Isles (which also happens to be home to North America's largest aluminum smelter) is itself preparing for a great deal of industrial development in relation to the mine expansions. Other rail and transport projects are being planned to move the iron ore pellets and concentrate to port facilities. There are several parcels of land located near the Sept-Isles port that are prime areas for industrial real estate development, including 5,000 acres being offered by Seven Islands Development Corporation.

Industrial Info Resources


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 14

On this day in 1985, Captain Edward Rogowski passed away. Captain Rogowski started sailing as a deckhand on the 514 foot JOHN SHERWIN in 1936. He retired in 1982 as the first Captain of the largest freighter on the Great Lakes, the 1,013 foot PAUL R TREGURTHA.

On this day in 1957, the Interlake Steamship Company freighter HARVEY H. BROWN, Captain Percy E. Mc Ginness, delivered the first cargo of coal to the new taconite loading port of Taconite Harbor, Minnesota.

The ROGER BLOUGH departed the shipyard in ballast 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. She was nearly a year late because of a fire in her engine room.

On June 14, 1988, the CONSUMERS POWER of 1927, 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.

1954 – W.F. WHITE crushed the tug OHIO against a pier in Buffalo and the latter was a total loss. The tug was refloated and scrapped at Cleveland in 1955.

1977 – ALMAR came to the Great Lakes under Greek registry in 1964. It caught fire in the engine room as c) IJESHA LION at Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and sustained major damage. The hull was abandoned by the owners and towed out to sea and scuttled in 1978

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Tonnage numbers at U.S. ports remain strong

6/13 - Washington, D.C. – North American commodities used in the steel and construction industries continued to fuel an uptick in tonnage numbers along the St. Lawrence Seaway System. International demand for shipments of iron ore and coal drove exports during the month of May.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to May 31 were 8.9 million metric tons, up 3.7 percent over the same period in 2011.

Seaway tonnage increases this year continue to nudge upward to 5 percent overall when compared to the same time frame last year. Double-digit figures were noted in coal and iron ore, and general cargo is up almost 7 percent, said Rebecca Spruill, Director of Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

May also saw a rise in international vessels delivering wind turbine components for wind farm projects in the American Midwest and western Canada. The Port of Ogdensburg welcomed three ships carrying wind components and expects four more vessels in June. Shippers are pushing to transport turbines to wind farms before year’s end in order to take advantage of the expiring tax credit deadline, said Spruill.

Iron ore shipments through the Seaway rose 41 percent to 1.3 million metric tons in May. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 24 percent to 2.5 million metric tons. Bulk materials, which include pig iron, stone and cement, realized a year-to-date increase of 8 percent to 2.3 million metric tons.

Coal shipments for power generation and steel production rose to 1.1 million metric tons a 31 percent hike over 2011. Salt tonnage posted a 37 percent rise in May to 295,000 metric tons as North American cities continue to replenish their reserves for road salt.

Grain shipments, however, were down on both sides of the border: May saw a 22 percent downturn for all grain in 2012 versus the same time last year.

U.S. ports along the system remain optimistic about the shipping season.

Last month, the Port of Oswego received it largest single shipment of aluminum. That trend extended into May. Aluminum shipments sustained a record pace, with inbound amounts in excess of 7,000 metric tons per vessel call. “We look forward to this trend continuing through the shipping season. In addition, the Port opened the West Terminal to general cargo shipments for the first time in the port’s history,” said port director Jonathan Daniels.

At the Port of Milwaukee, project cargo took center stage and involved the first American ship to load cargo from that port for an overseas destination in more than 30 years. Two mining shovels built by Milwaukee-based P&H Mining Equipment are part of an ongoing relationship between that company and the Russian Federation’s coal industry. The U.S.-flag vessel carried nearly 8,000 cubic meters of machinery bound for Siberia. A third shovel is scheduled to ship from Milwaukee in September. “We’re seeing a healthy amount of traffic here at the port including this export to Russia. 2012 looks to be another good year,” said Eric Reinelt, port director.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled its first shipment of wind components in May and has seen major increases in several steel products as well as industrial and agricultural cargoes resulting in a 6 percent increase in 2012 shipments through the first five months. There have also been significant increases in early shipments of fertilizer, corn and soybeans, which are 10 times greater than at this point last year.

“We’ve seen a major increase in steel coils and scrap metal shipments this year as well as limestone and magnesite, which is a promising sign of continued recovery in the regions strong manufacturing and industrial base,” said port director Anthony Kuk. “We’re also seeing new outbound shipments of slag material for Phoenix Services, which is one of three companies opening new facilities at the port in 2012.”

Marine Delivers


Port Reports -  June 13

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
James R. Barker unloaded western coal Tuesday evening into the Upper Harbor hopper.

St. Marys River
AIS Tuesday night showed the Wilfred Sykes making a rare trip off Lake Michigan, headed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. She should pass upbound early Wednesday morning.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Wilfred Sykes backed in last Monday evening with a load for Verplank's Dock in Ferrysburg. She had to wait for the Mississagi to clear the D & M dock on Harbor Island before coming on.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson sailed into Sandusky Bay Tuesday morning from Dearborn and proceeded to the NorfolkSouthern dock where she began loading coal. At Marblehead, the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded stone at the Lafarge dock.

Fairport Harbor, Ohio - John Unterwagner
Calumet was unloading stone at Fairport Harbor Tuesday. She was backing out of the river at 11:30 a.m.


History to repeat as Keewatin returns to Port McNicoll

6/13 - Port McNicoll, Ont. – The small town of Port McNicoll in Tay Township is taking a trip back in time.

On Saturday, June 23, residents may well be rubbing their eyes in disbelief when a ghost ship from the past appears on the horizon – a classic passenger steamship that frequented the town dock and Georgian Bay waters throughout the early to mid-1900s until the 1960s and a vessel that one of the town streets was named for.

On that day the re-appearance of the S.S. Keewatin will be witnessed by thousands of visitors who will arrive to join locals in welcoming the grand old lady home after five decades and during which time many thought her long-gone to a scrap yard. The Keewatin will be pulled in to Port McNicoll dock by five tugs and commandeered by a man who discovered her whereabouts several years ago and recently manipulated fate to bring her back here.

Eric Conroy, or Captain Rick, worked on the ship as youth of 17, and says bringing the Keewatin to Port McNicoll and helping to develop a major tourism opportunity surrounding her is like a dream come true.

"That's where I started my life and that's where I will finish my life. It's a great semi-retirement for me and kinda like being in a time machine," he says.

"On June 23rd the ship will appear off to the north of port at 1:30 p.m. and for the welcome it will be docked in the place where it will always be. There will be entertainment at the dock for the whole day with information booths, a Lions Club BBQ, music and festivities. The community is running this family event and we are expecting between 5,000 - 10,000 people so those planning to come should arrive early."

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) officials contracted the construction of the Keewatin along with her sister ship - the Assiniboia, to a Scottish company named Fairfield Shipping and Engineering in 1907 and she arrived in Montreal on September 1907. The 350' x 43' Keewatin and Assiniboia were two of the most beautiful passenger ships on the Great Lakes. Keewatin, later referred to as ``the pride of the CPR`` would serve Canadian Ports in Northern Lake Huron and Lake Superior for 57 years until her retirement. She ran with 86 officers and crewmembers up to 14 knots, carrying 288 passengers in berthed and 108 staterooms.

In 1967 when Diane and J.R. Peterson purchased her to serve as a marine museum in Saugatuck Michigan, they saved Keewatin from the scrap yard. She remained there on show until she sold last year for the purpose of relocation to Port McNicoll as part of a multi-million dollar project now in the development stages. Several years ago a visionary developer named Gil Blutrich became aware of the property and purchased it.

So, Eric Conroy's dream was made possible through Blutrich`s development company. SkyLine Investments is developing Port McNicoll to bring back some of the Georgian Bay port’s former fame. Once known as Chicago of the North, it was a booming railway terminal and ship port of 8000 people but that changed with the closure of the CPR.

"It was a really big bustling town - all railways east and west went there. It was a busy port with three grain/passenger ships and 14 grain ships, but after the CPR closed down a vast majority of the people left," said Conroy.

"This development could be the spark to re-ignite what Port McNicoll used to be. SkyLine is a yacht service that will attract yachts from all over and the tourism this will bring will be very good for the economy."

Since the 2007 and the 100th anniversary of the Keewatin, SkyLine president Blutrich wanted to buy and bring her home to Port McNicoll as a museum and tourist operation that involved the community. The ship was a passion of J.R. Peterson which he was not about to part with. However last year, aged 87, Peterson agreed to the sell the Keewatin and negotiated with Blutrich a deal was signed by the end of August 2011. Conroy, who had been volunteering at the ship museum in Michigan for several years and had recently retired, was hired to bring the boat home. Amply qualified, he was the perfect man for the job.

At 17 Conroy began working on the S.S. Keewatin and her sister ship S.S. Assiniboia as a waiter in 1963 and 1964 and he is currently the youngest surviving crew member. Conroy says his great life experiences during this time became an important part of who he became and what he accomplished in his life. Over the years he has been a high school teacher, a promotions salesman, an advertising executive and a restaurant owner. Conroy founded a chain of automotive stores, has worked as the General Manager for the Canadian National Exhibition and consulted on Public Affairs with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He founded and ran the largest children’s magazine in Canada and spent 29 years as a volunteer Toronto’s famous Santa Claus Parade selling sponsorships. Conroy is a distinguished member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Mess in Ottawa, a Life Honourary member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and holds an Order of Bulgaria.

Conroy has also written two books about Keewatin - one for the Saugatuck museum site and another about his personal tie to the ship beginning with his employment as a waiter. Retired in June of 2011, 'Captain Rick' agreed to take on the challenge of purchasing the 105 year old ship for Skyline Investments and managing the huge job of arranging to bring Keewatin home, as well as establishing her as a profitable 'not for profit charitable foundation' and organizing her volunteer support group, 'Friends of the Keewatin’ - a membership of 250.

Conroy says the community is behind the Keewatin venture 100 percent and proud to be part of it.

"Tay Township has given a three acre park to go with the ship and museum and it will all be run by the not-for-profit committee with a board made up of local people," said Conroy. "The residents are very excited and looking forward to this. It will bring a lot of new interest to the area and put Port McNicoll back on the map."

Conroy says the Keewatin will not be open for public visitation for about one year at which time the ship is up to code with electrical and plumbing, etc. Until then, people can look but they can't go in. Conroy says he hopes to keep the Keewatin a working ship with a working theatre, restaurant, weather station and more to keep people interested in it and coming back. Plans are in the making now to bring the Ossowippi train car restaurant from Orillia to Port McNicoll as part of the development.

"There is a cargo area on the Keewatin that holds 40 cars that will be used as an area for community to operate functions. It's about 10,000 square feet, which is a nice size for shows and events. There will always be something different to go on the ship and bring people. There will also be lots of parking space," said Conroy.

"We have also negotiated with Huronia Museum in Midland to run the museum on board and staff will have an information booth at the welcome on June 23rd."

The ship is impressive inside with original rich woodwork, furnishings and memorabilia right down to the china. The walls are lined with lots of pictures, there’s a fancy ballroom and polished wooden floors, all taking visitors on a trip to the past.

Jamie Hunter, curator of the Huronia Museum in Midland, says the return of the Keewatin to Port McNicoll is a great tourism opportunity for the area.

"There will be a 4000 square foot space for Huronia Musem to create a Marine Museum on Georgian Bay Transportion and History," said Hunter who is preparing a presentation for June 23rd as well that includes posters of the ten captains of the Keewatin.

"Seeing the ship pulled in by five tugboats will be a spectacular sight. They are expecting about 10,000 people to be there watching."

After the June 23rd welcome, Keewatin will be moved temporarily while a new $1 million dollar dock is prepared near the freight docks and grain elevators. You can follow the route of the Keewatin as she leaves Michigan and makes her way to Port McNicoll on Conroy's blog,

Conroy says at over 105 years of age the Keewatin is in remarkable shape and is sound for the journey home.

"Two towing companies were hired, one to get it out of the lake and another - Fogg Towing, was hired to bring the ship all the way across the Great Lakes," said Conroy.

"It was a well-built ship and the engine is workable if you can find a power source. Some guide wires have to be replaced and other things but there have been no changes to the actual structure of the ship itself. She’s an impressive sight and police figure on June 23rd if even 10 percent of the boats from Georgian Bay area come out there will be 4000 in the water to see us bringing back 100 years of history."

For more about S.S. Keewatin visit:

Midland Free Press


Yorktown marks Goderich’s first cruise liner visit in 2012

6/13 - Goderich, Ont. – The first of nine cruise ship visits took place Monday, June 11 at noon. The cruise ship Yorktown made its debut visit to the Port of Goderich, sailing en route from Detroit to Chicago carrying 138 guests plus crew.

During its six-hour stop over, passengers of the Yorktown were treated to a visit to the Stratford Festival, home of world-renowned theatre, before leaving port shortly after 6 p.m. Though the excursion left little time for Yorktown passengers to explore Goderich, Tourism Manager Bob Marshall said the free shuttle service provided by the town was at the ready for passengers and Yorktown crew to transport them to any attractions or amenities while in port.

“The goal is to make the best impression possible, so they want to stay here longer in the future,” Marshall said.

The Yorktown will make seven other visits to Goderich this summer along with one visit from the Grande Mariner, which was in port twice last summer. Marshall reports the Grande Mariner had “great visits last summer and were very pleased with their reception and are happy to return again this year.”

“It is a great opportunity for us and for another segment of the travelling population to come together and enjoy this part of the world,” said Marshall. “This year, more than ever, we welcome travelers to re-discover and visit Goderich.”

For information on The Yorktown visit: For information on The Grande Mariner, visit:

Goderich Signal Star


Updates -  June 13

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Wyandotte 1 gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 13

On 13 June 2003, after completing her conversion from American to Canadian registry, Lower Lakes Towing's newly-acquired MICHIPICOTEN, a.) ELTON HOYT 2ND, departed the Government dock at Sarnia, Ontario. First she went to the Shell Oil dock in Corunna, Ontario to fuel, then she departed for Marquette, Michigan to load ore for Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

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

IRVING S. OLDS carried a 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, Michigan, 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 gallstones.

June 13, 1974 - The CITY OF GREEN BAY, formerly WABASH was sold to Marine Salvage Company to be scrapped. She was scrapped at Castellon, Spain in 1974.

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.

1905 – The wooden steamer YAKIMA had stranded in Lake St. Clair on June 10, 1905, but caught fire and burned on this date while waiting to be salvaged. The remains were later towed into Lake Huron and scuttled.

1906 – The newly-built J. PIERPONT MORGAN carried a record 13, 294 tons of iron ore out of Escanaba for Chicago.

1944 – CANADIAN OTTER was built at Welland in 1920 but, in 1944, was sailing as f) FUKOKU MARU as a Japanese army cargo ship. It was sunk by aircraft from U.S.S. ESSEX while in a convoy from Philippines to Japan in the overnight hours of June 13-14, 1944.

1959 – A fire in the crew quarters of the FEDERAL PIONEER docked at Section 51 in Montreal was quickly controlled with only minor damage and sailing was delayed by 3 hours. The ship was a frequent Seaway trader for Federal Commerce and Navigation, now known as FedNav, and arrived at Hsinkiang, China, for scrapping on January 21, 1971.

1978 – Seven men were lost aboard the ANCO DUKE while cleaning tanks out in the Pacific. They were likely overcome by fumes. The ship later came to the Great Lakes as c) LAKE ANETTE in 1980, as d) SATU MAR in 1984 and as e) TOVE COB in 1987. It was scrapped in Bangladesh in 1993.

1978 – The bulk carrier ARCTIC hit the Cherry St. Bridge at Toledo on its first trip and had to return to Port Weller Dry Docks for repairs.

1980 – TROYAN first came through the Seaway in 1972. The ship began leaking in heavy weather as c) SUNRISE and foundered June 13, 1980, in the outer anchorage at Bombay, India, while enroute from Japan to Damman, Saudi Arabia, with bagged cement.

2004 – The SINGAPORE STAR first came to the Great Lakes in 1982. It caught fire in the accommodation area while on the Black Sea as c) BARBADOS OKTAY on June 13, 2004. The ship was carrying scrap steel from Novorossiysk, Russia, to Eregli, Turkey. The blaze was put out with tug assistance but the ship was sold for scrap and arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, to be broken up on July 19, 2004.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Another good month for lakes limestone; up 16 percent in May

6/12 - Cleveland, Ohio – Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3,355,389 net tons in May, an increase of 30 percent compared to April and 15.6 percent better than a year ago. However, shipments were down 9.3 percent compared to the month’s 5-year average. The strongest gains came at U.S. ports. Loadings rose by 380,000 tons, or 16.2 percent. Shipments from Canadian quarries increased by 73,000 tons, or 13.2 percent.

Year-to-date the lakes limestone trade stands at 6.1 million net tons, an increase of 20.3 percent compared to a year ago, but a few boatloads shy of the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  June 12

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
At 5 p.m. Monday the Mississagi crossed the pier heads heading for Meekhof's D & M dock on Harbor Island in Grand Haven. The boat sounded three salutes much to the delight of the crowd on the pier and boardwalk. This was its second visit this season.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River, Sunday night, carrying a split load. The pair stopped at the Bay City Wirt Stone dock to drop a partial cargo, then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Saginaw Wirt Stone Dock. Once finished, the Moore-Kuber were outbound for the lake on Monday morning.

Toledo, Ohio
Federal Rideau was docked at the Anderson’s grain elevator Monday.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Enterprise sailed Monday for Hamilton, having loaded overnight at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. She was replaced at the coal dock by Cuyahoga. Across Sandusky Bay at Marblehead, the Calumet loaded Monday at the Lafarge stone dock. The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland were waiting. The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons loaded overnight and departed from the stone dock during the day upbound.

Ashtabula, Ohio - L Duffield Rawlings II
The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder arrived at 4:30 p.m. from the west and was at the Penny dock unloading. At 6:40 p.m. Rt. Hon. Paul J Martin backed into the coal dock for loading after Algoma Olympic departed with load of coal at 6 p.m.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
On Monday the English River was unloading cement.


Historic lighthouse will be lit this summer on Lake St. Clair

6/12 - New Baltimore, Mich. – They started guiding vessels through their voyage into St. Clair River before Abraham Lincoln became president. And, this summer, one of those two historic lighthouses at the southeastern tip of Harsens Island will once again light up the nighttime sky for boaters.

"These lights have been dark for over 100 years," said Save Our South Channel Lights director and New Baltimore restaurant owner Mark Miller of the rear range light. "So, we are going to re-light that light that night."

The non-profit group Save Our South Channel Lights is raising money to complete restoration of the front range light created in the 1850s to guide fur traders and other sailors on wooden ships through the delta once known as the "Venice of America." It currently has a U.S. Coast Guard beacon light, according to the group.

The volunteer organization, founded by president Chuck Brockman, is holding a fund-raiser called "Light the Night" Aug. 7 at the MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township that will lead a dinner cruise and another ship to the rear lighthouse island, where Brockman, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Congresswoman Candice Miller are scheduled to light the historic structure that night. A parade of boats will also circle the lighthouse.

Another fundraiser for the lighthouse project is also scheduled from 1-4 p.m. July 22 at Stahl's Auto Museum in Chesterfield Township. The event is free and open to the public. SOSCL will be on hand to collect donations and sign up new members.

All proceeds from the events will be used to restore the front light, which is leaning and in jeopardy of crumbling into the lake. The group aims to raise about $30,000 that will be combined with existing funds and grant money.

Tickets for the "Light the Night" event the evening of Aug. 7 are $50 and $75. Boats begin loading at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit

In addition, "Metro Beach Discovery Cruises" that focus on the lighthouses' history are offered throughout the summer, beginning at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township. The cruise dates are: 6 p.m. June 20, 10 a.m. June 24, 6 p.m. June 28, 10 a.m. July 1 and 10 a.m. July 6. Click here to register.

New Baltimore Patch


“Roaring Dan Seavey, Great Lakes Pirate” exhibit opens in Gills Rock

6/12 - A new exhibit chronicling the life and times of Great Lakes pirate “Roaring” Dan Seavey is now open at the Door County Maritime Museum’s northern facility in Gills Rock, Wis.

There are countless privateers, lumber thieves, and rum-runners of who might fit the definition of “pirate,” but Captain Dan Seavey holds the distinction of being the only man known to have been formerly charged with piracy on the Great Lakes. Guilty of everything from poaching to operating a floating brothel, Dan Seavey was a scallywag’s scallywag.

This new small exhibit explores the many misadventures of “Roaring Dan” including the hijacking of the schooner Nellie Johnson in June of 1908 leading to his pursuit and capture by the United States Revenue Cutter Tuscarora.

The Gills Rock museum is located at 12724 W. Wisconsin Bay Road in the historic fishing village of Gills Rock. The museum is open from 10-5 daily now through October 21.


Updates -  June 12

Weekly Website Updates
News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 12

On 12 June 1898, SAKIE SHEPHERD (wooden propeller freighter, 100 foot, 189 gross tons, built in 1883, at Huron, Ohio) burned while at the dock in Courtright, Ontario. The fire was discovered at 1:00 a.m. and the crew just had time to escape. The schooner YOUNG AMERICA also caught fire and had damage done to her stern. The SHEPHERD was towed to Detroit where she was rebuilt and lasted until 1903, when she sank in Lake Huron.

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 (Hull#218) departed Collingwood, Ontario in 1980, beginning her maiden voyage for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd.

In 1959, the BENSON FORD of 1924 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, 1,770 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.

1897 – I.W. NICHOLAS (ii) stranded at Point Aux Pins in fog and was released two days later. The ship needed drydocking for repairs.

1904 – The sidewheel passenger ship CANADA sank on her side off Sorel after a collision with the CAPE BRETON. Five of the 110 on board perished. The ship was refloated and rebuilt at Sorel in 1905 as ST. IRENEE which later became part of the C.S.L. Fleet.

1919 – GERMAN was cut in two to leave the Great Lakes in 1918 and renamed b) YANKEE. It sank after a collision with the Italian steamer ARGENTIA off Fire Island, NY, while enroute from Norfolk, VA to Boston MA with coal. The hull has been found and is in two pieces on the ocean floor.

1977 – The VERA CRUZ first came to the Great Lakes in 1964 as a 10-year old Liberian flag freighter. It foundered in the Arabian Sea as c) BUKOM ISLAND on June 12, 1974, during a cyclone. The ship was enroute from Umm Said, Qatar, to Singapore with a cargo of bagged fertilizer and seven lives were lost.

1978 – YELLOWSTONE had been built as the C-4 troop carrier MARINE PERCH in 1944. After being laid up in the Reserve Fleet, it was rebuilt as a bulk carrier and renamed at Tampa in 1965. The ship was downbound in the Seaway with grain from Duluth to North Africa in May 1978 and sank after a collision in fog with the IBN BATOUTA on June 12, 1978. YELLOWSTONE was taken in tow but went down June 13 about 14 miles south of Gibraltar. Five lives were lost.

1993 – The deep-sea tug VORTICE was abandoned after fire broke out near the Canary Islands, while on a voyage from Bari, Italy, to Veracruz, Mexico. The vessel was laid up, unrepaired, and then towed to Canada for McKeil Marine. It received partial repairs but was sold and left the lakes for additional work. It returned inland as e) NORFOLK in 2005 and now serves Lafarge North America Inc. as f) SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Wisconsin allocates $4.7 million for General Mills dock repair

6/11 - Superior, Wis. – A $4.7 million grant has been awarded to the city of Superior, Wisconsin, for stabilization of the General Mills Elevator S dock, the Wisconsin Harbor Assistance Program has announced.

The 80-year-old timber dock wall has deteriorated to the extent that the dock surface is moving into the slip, the state said in a news release. To prevent soil movement and significant risk to building foundations, steel sheet piling and tiebacks will be used to replace the base of the wall.

The project will allow General Mills to continue shipping wheat by water. Without the facility, eight million bushels of grain would likely bypass the port of Superior and the state of Wisconsin each year. The elevator primarily ships wheat aboard U.S.-flagged lakers to flour mills at Buffalo, New York. General Mills employs 31 at the facility.


Port Reports -  June 11

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic late on a sweltering Sunday afternoon included American Integrity loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal and Philip R. Clarke approaching port bound to Hallett Dock 5 with a load of stone. Saltie Marietje Marsilla was at the Duluth port terminal to load wood pulp. Indiana Harbor was expected to arrive late at night to load at CN ore dock and Paul R. Tregurtha was expected late to load at Midwest Energy Terminal.

Wyandotte, Mich. - Sam Buchanan
The Detroit Fireboat Curtis Randolph was assisting in fighting a fire in downtown Wyandotte Sunday night. They departed their Detroit dock about 9:30 p.m. with a crew from Engine 27 in Detroit. The fireboat was on scene pumping water from the Detroit River for local fire departments fighting the blaze.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Sunday night the Algoma Enterprise was loading at Sandusky's NorfolkSouthern coal dock. The tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder were loading at the LaFarge stone dock at Marblehead.


Cruise ships scheduled for Lake Michigan port visits for first time in 83 years

6/11 - Saugatuck, Mich. - The first U.S. passenger cruise ship in 83 years -- the Yorktown -- will make its inaugural visit to Saugatuck on Father’s Day, June 17.

"This visit is significant because it will be the first U.S.-flag ship in our harbor since Goodrich Steamship lines (discontinued service) here on Labor Day in 1929," said Felicia Fairchild, executive director of the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau, announcing the port visit.

A big welcome for the cruise ship is planned for its arrival with the Saugatuck Fire Boat and local boaters giving the ship an escort into the harbor for its daylong visit.

The Yorktown is scheduled to stop in Saugatuck seven times this summer with other visits set for June 29, July 1, 13, 15, August 17 and 19. Saugatuck is one of seven ports being visited by the boat on trips between Chicago and Detroit.

Holland also is schedule for four cruise ship visits this summer by the Grande Mariner, operated by the Ann Arbor-based Great Lakes Cruise Co. The ship is scheduled to dock in Holland on June 8, 16, 25 and Aug. 26 as part of a seven-day cruise of the Great Lakes.

The Yorktown is owned by Travel Dynamics of New York and is scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m. and will dock at Wicks Park on Water Street in downtown Saugatuck.

Great Lakes cruise ships were a regular sight at area ports during the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the Great Depression forced most of them out of business.

The last of the Great Lakes luxury steamships -- the 105-year-old S.S. Keewatin -- was towed from port in Saugatuck after serving the area for 50 years as a local tourist destination. The ship is on its way to Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay in Ontario to become a maritime museum.

Cruises to Saugatuck and other Great Lakes ports started up again in the mid-1990s when foreign-owned cruise liners started visiting ports. The fledgling industry was practically shut down after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, when more stringent Homeland Security regulations made it too difficult and costly for foreign cruise liner companies.

Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier said the city will disconnect the chain for its hand-cranked chain ferry across the channel -- a major tourist draw -- so the Yorktown can get to dock for the day. The visitors bureau is setting up a live streaming pod cast of the ship’s arrival and departure at its website.

Grand Rapids Press


Lake Express lowers fare

6/11 - Muskegon, Mich. – Taking the Lake Express ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee is suddenly cheaper. One-way adult fare is $90 now, $21 cheaper than last year. Round-trip fare is $150. Children's fares were cut 24%, to $55 round-trip. Fares for vehicles were cut, too.

Prices were adjusted to ensure full ferries and to simplify the fare structure, said Jill Emery, Michigan manager of sales and marketing. Lake Express is in its ninth season of service. Details at

Detroit Free Press


GLMI hosts War of 1812 Bicentennial cruises on the Detroit River

6/11 - Detroit, Mich. – Two bicentennial cruises are projects of the Great Lakes Maritime Institute to remember the maritime heritage of the vessels, sailors and passengers who traveled the Great Lakes during turbulent times. Come and cruise the historical locations where the War of 1812 began on the western frontier with reenactors from the Michigan Militia. Step back in time as you board the Friendship at the Portofino Restaurant dock in Wyandotte for a narrated cruise on the lower Detroit or Rouge River.

On July 8, a four-hour narrated cruise will trace the route of a British gunboat that entered the Rouge River to check on the activities of the Schooner Adams in the American shipyard. Spies reported the British gunboat and Captain Dequindre rushed to the bank of the Rouge River with troops and artillery. A few well-placed shots sent the British gunboat to the bottom of the river. The cruise leaves the dock at 12:00 noon ‐ seating is limited, and includes lunch, beverages, and a cash bar for $80.

On August 5, 2012, a three-hour narrated cruise on the lower Detroit River will observe the British Provincial Marine capture the Schooner Cuyahoga as depicted by the marine artist Peter Rindlisbacher. At least three of the vessel’s passengers left vivid accounts, among them Mrs. Lydia Bacon, whose diary detailed her ordeal. The cruise leaves the dock at 12:00 noon ‐ seating is limited, and includes lunch, beverages, and a cash bar for $60.

Visit for more information


New "Nicholson Fleets and Their Captains" book now available to public

6/11 - Sale of the new book "The Nicholson Fleets and Their Captains," by Emory A. Massman Jr., has been opened up to the general public by the book's publisher, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit.

The book chronicles the history of the Detroit-area based Nicholson Transit Company and its subsequent company, Nicholson Universal Steamship, which operated in Great Lakes automobile and grain trades from the 1920s-1960s, interlaced with interesting stories of the captains and crews that manned them.

This is the story of men who really were transportation pioneers on the Great Lakes at a time when computers, reliable weather forecasts, GPS navigation and autopilots did not exist, Massman said. The men and ships of the day faced challenges that would seem harsh and brutal by today's standards. Yet they persevered, and with cunning and nerve, were usually successful.

Author Massman, whose father was a captain for the Nicholson fleets, was recently named Historian of the Year by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit. To order:


Updates -  June 11

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp and Amoco Illinois galleries updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 11

TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) entered regular service for the White Star Line at Detroit, Michigan, on 11 June 1900.

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; she became the fourth thousand-foot bulk carrier on the Great Lakes and Interlake Steamship Co.'s second.

CARL D. BRADLEY (Hull#718) cleared Lorain, Ohio, 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 in 1927, c.) IRVIN L. CLYMER in 1951, she was scrapped at Duluth, Minnesota, in 1994-5.

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, Ohio, 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 feet 6 inches x 21 feet x 7 feet. 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.

1872 – Fire broke out aboard the passenger steamer KINGSTON about 18 miles upstream after the ship had left Brockville for Toronto. The ship was beached and the superstructure was destroyed but there were only two casualties. The hull was rebuilt at Montreal and later sailed as BAVARIAN, ALGERIAN and CORNWALL before being scuttled in Lake Ontario about 1929.

1936 – AYCLIFFE HALL sank in fog shrouded off Long Point, Lake Erie after a collision with the EDWARD J. BERWIND. All 19 on board were rescued. After salvage efforts failed, the rigging was blown clear by explosives. The EDWARD J. BERWIND was repaired and last sailed as LAC STE. ANNE in 1982.

1942 – HAVTOR, a Norwegian freighter, first came to the Great Lakes in 1932 and returned as late as 1939. It was sunk by a German submarine enroute from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Pictou, Nova Scotia, and 6 of the crew were lost.

1950 – The Italian freighter MARIA PAOLINA G. had been built in Canada as FORT ISLAND in 1944. It was downbound from the Saguenay River when it struck the Canada Steamship Lines passenger steamer ST. LAWRENCE which had turned to dock at Tadoussac. Injuries were reported by 25 people and 30 cabins were damaged aboard the CSL ship.

1978 – The hull of the former passenger steamer RAPIDS QUEEN arrived at Toronto under tow from Kingston to be sunk as a breakwall off for the Queen City Yacht Club. It is still there.

1993 – PITRIA SKY first visited the Great Lakes in 1978. It departed Singapore for Shantou in southeast China, as h) HAI HONG 3 on June 11, 1993, but went back out to sea on arrival to ride out a pending typhoon. The ship was never seen again and it disappeared with all hands.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 10

Marblehead and Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Invincible and McKee Sons loaded Saturday at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead for Detroit. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin loaded overnight Friday and sailed early Saturday for Nanticoke.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn and the barge A-397 arrived Saturday afternoon. English River departed around 8 a.m. Saturday. She was already at the Port Colborne entrance to the Welland Canal by 9:15 a.m.


Sailing Seaway Clayton festival includes tall ship visit, booksigning

6/10 - Clayton, N.Y. - The annual Sailing Seaway Clayton festival will kick off Thursday, June 14 at 6 p.m. with the grand arrival of tall ship Fair Jeanne. The ship is expected to be escorted into Clayton by a parade of boats from the Antique Boat Museum, Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises and the Clayton Fire Department fireboat, Last Chance.

The festival weekend officially kicks-off on Friday, June 15 at 9 a.m. when Seaway Splash takes flight at Frink Park. Dogs from across the Northeast, including Quebec, Ontario and Vermont, will compete in a DockDogs competition, one of several canine events scheduled The Fair Jeanne will open to the public from noon -5 p.m. Other activities throughout the day Friday include a display by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Farmers Market vendors and live music.

Saturday, June 16, “Seaway Day,” will be presented by Freighters of Clayton. The Fair Jeanne will be open and vendors will be on hand. Author Silvana Gargione (“St. Lawrence ABCs”) will be on hand to sign copies of her book Expect live music in the evening from the band Bad Husbands Club and additional vessels on display.

The event will wrap up on Sunday, June 17 with Father’s Day at Frink Park. Fair Jeanne will be open for tours. The festival will conclude with the Grand Departure of Fair Jeanne in the early evening. For more information click here


Authors highlight Marine City in new book

6/10 - Marine City, Mich. – New to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series is “Marine City,” by local authors Gene Buel and Scott Buel. This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with an opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community. Marine City is locate on the banks of the St. Clair River, and has a long history of shipbuilders, sailors, farmers, factory workers and enterprising businesspeople. Their stories are shared throughout this book in seldom-seen photographs from the 1870s through the 1930s. There will be a book signing Saturday, June 30 from 1-4 p.m. at the Pride and Heritage Museum in Marine City. Click here for more information.


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 10

On 10 June 1891, the tug AMERICAN EAGLE (wooden propeller tug, 46 gross tons, built in 1865, at Buffalo, New York) collided with the tug ALVA B (wooden propeller tug, 73 foot, 83 gross tons, built in 1890, at Buffalo, New York) which was not in motion, about 2.5 miles west of the Cleveland breakwater. The ALVA B hooked up a line and started towing the AMERICAN EAGLE in, but she sank a half-mile from the harbor entrance.

On 10 June 1891, the CHARLES W. WETMORE (steel propeller whaleback freighter, 265 foot, 1,399 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.

Bethlehem's 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. 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 b.) 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 a.m., 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.

1940 – PAIPOONGE was cut in two and left the Great Lakes for saltwater service in 1919. It was registered in Latvia as d) KAUPO when it was sunk as a blockship at Dieppe, France, on this date in 1940. The hull was reported as refloated and scrapped in 1946-1947.

1942 – CONTINENT came to the Great Lakes in 1939-1940. The Newfoundland owned freighter was on a bareboat charter to the U.S. Army when it sank, following a collision with the American tanker BYRON D. BENSON, while enroute from New York to Bermuda.

1967 – The former Norwegian Seaway salty FRO was abandoned in sinking condition as c) WINSOME after a fire broke out in the cargo holds and spread throughout the ship on June 10, 1967. The vessel was enroute to Bangkok, Thailand, when it sank in the South China Sea.

1968 – JOHN T. HUTCHINSON suffered damage above the waterline when it was in a collision with the SUSANNE REITH at the head of Lake St. Clair. The latter, a West German salty, was on her first trip to the Great Lakes. This ship was eventually scrapped after arriving at Alang, India, as m) ALFA I on October 18, 2000.

1977 – RUTHIE MICHAELS came inland in 1970 and last reported in as d) EUROBULKER on June 10, 1977. The ship was enroute from Djibouti, to Bandar Shahpoir, Iran when it disappeared with the entire crew of 29. The ship is believed to have sunk off the coast of Oman perhaps as late as June 12.

1998 – The Greek flag bulk carrier OLYNTHIA first traveled the Seaway in 1978. It ran aground off Veraval, India, as d) OCEAN CRUISER in a tropical cyclone while bound for the United Arab Emirates. While released, it appears that the 26-year old ship never sailed again and was broken up at Bharnvar, India, due to the damage.

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


U.S.-flag Lakes float up 3.1 percent in May

6/9 - U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 9.8 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in May, an increase of 19 percent over April, and 3.1 percent better than a year ago. The May float was, however, slightly below the month’s 5-year average.

Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 5.2 percent compared to a year ago. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking rose 12.4 percent. Coal for power generation and steel production dipped 8.7 percent.

Through May U.S.-flag cargos stand at 24.4 million tons, an increase of 3.4 percent compared to the same point in 2011, and 5.7 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the first five months of the year. Iron ore and limestone have registered noticeable increases over a year ago, but coal has decreased by 825,000 tons.

Lake Carriers' Association


Port Reports -  June 9

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Former fleet mates Great Republic and American Mariner loaded ore at the Upper Harbor on Friday. Mariner's visit was her first of the season.

Grand Haven, Mich. - Dick Fox
Manitowoc delivered a cargo of stone to Meekhof's D & M Dock on Harbor Island next to the Board of Light and Power Plant overnight. It is due to return late Saturday with a load of coal for the power plant. The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 delivered a load to Verplank’s Dock in Ferrysburg, arriving very early Friday morning. It was still unloading at noon.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Algoma Enterprise sailed for Hamilton after loading Thursday night at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. McKee Sons and the tug Invincible loaded Friday at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead. Friday evening, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin moved into Sandusky Bay and began loading for Nanticoke at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.


Great Lakes Maritime Market in St. Clair today

6/9 - St. Clair, Mich. - The Lake Huron Lore Marine Historical Society is sponsoring its 31st annual Great Lakes Maritime Market at Riverview Plaza Mall in St. Clair today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The mall is just across the street from the boardwalk in downtown St. Clair. There will be more than 30 vendors offering various items relating specifically to the ships and shipping industry of the region. Among the items that will be for sale are historical artifacts, books, photographs, artwork, shipwreck items, memorabilia, advertising and more. For more information click here


Updates -  June 9

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 9

TASHMOO (steel side-wheel excursion steamer, 308 foot, 1,344 gross tons, built in 1900, at Wyandotte, Michigan) hosted Admiral George Dewey on her inaugural trip from Cleveland, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, on 09 June 1900. Admiral Dewey had just returned from his conquest of the Philippines during the Spanish American War and was a national hero. TASHMOO entered regular service for the White Star Line two days later.

The Lubeck, Germany-built, 305-foot Greek freighter CASTALIA of 1953 struck the north tower pier of the Mackinac Bridge at 7 p.m. 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 record 1,047,758 bushels of wheat at Thunder Bay, Ontario.

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.

1909 ASSINIBOIA and CRESCENT CITY were washed through the Canadian Lock at Sault Ste. Marie when the upbound PERRY WALKER struck the lower gate. All three ships were damaged but were repaired and returned to service.

1963 The newly built SILVER ISLE of Mohawk Navigation and the PRINS ALEXANDER of the Oranje Line, collided in fog and rain on the St. Lawrence near Kingston. Both ships required repairs. The former was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2010 as ALGOISLE while the latter struck a reef and sank in the Red Sea as f) POLIAIGOS on December 28, 1980.

1979 The French freighter MELUSINE first came to the Great Lakes in 1962 and returned as b) LENA in 1978. It sank the French fishing vessel ANTIOCHE III in the English Channel with the loss of 4 lives on this day in 1979. LENA was scrapped at Ferrol, Spain, in 1982, after suffering engine damage on a voyage from Bilbao, Spain, to Detroit.

1998 COMMON VENTURE began Great Lakes trading in 1980. It broke loose of its moorings in a cyclone as f) PEARL OF DAMMAN and grounded at Kandla, India, on this date in 1998. The ship was loaded with sulphur and sustained considerable damage. Following a sale for scrap, the 27 year old carrier arrived at Alang, India, September 12, 1998, for dismantling.

1998 TOKAI MARU was a first time Seaway caller in 1977 and a return visitor as b) EASTERN HERO in 1993. This ship was also blown aground off Kandla, India, by the same cyclone. It was now d) SURPRISE and became a total loss. This ship arrived at Alang October 8, 1998, and was broken up

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody L. Aho, 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


Port Reports -  June 8

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Hon. James L. Oberstar and Buffalo departed the Upper Harbor Thursday morning after loading ore during the night.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Algorail was outbound from the Saginaw River, Thursday afternoon, after unloading overnight at the Lafarge Stone Dock in Saginaw.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The deck crew of the Algoma Enterprise put the ship’s lines on the bollards at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock in Sandusky Thursday and began loading. The vessel had departed Cote Ste. Catherine, Que. on the St. Lawrence Seaway Monday, having completed delivery of a cargo of petroleum coke. She loaded May 30 at South Chicago to begin her sojourn that involved traveling the entire length of four of the five Great Lakes. At the Lafarge stone dock on Marblehead Peninsula, the Bradshaw McKee spent most of Thursday loading, presumably for Cleveland.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The Invincible and McKee Sons departed around 11:30 a.m.


Updates -  June 8

News Photo Gallery
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 8

June 8 1951, CLIFFS VICTORY entered Cleveland with a load of iron ore from Marquette. The VICTORY completed the one-way trip in 37 hours - 20 hours faster than the best previous time.

On 08 June 1854, J. YOUNG SCAMMON (2-mast wooden brig, built in 1845, at Chicago, Illinois) was sheltering from a storm at S. Manitou Island on Lake Michigan when she dragged her anchors, stranded and broke in three pieces. She was driven in so close to the shore that the crew was able to use a broken spar to climb to the beach. No lives lost.

On 08 June 1897, RITA MC DONALD (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.

In 1978, the LEWIS WILSON FOY was christened for the Bethlehem Steel Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) OGLEBAY NORTON in 1991. She now sails as AMERICAN INTEGRITY.

In 1938, the GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull#810) a 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.

In 1976 - the Midwest Energy Terminal at Superior, Wisconsin, loaded its first cargo of low-sulfur coal. The steamer JOHN J. BOLAND of 1953, took the honors as the first vessel to load at this dock. She was sold Canadian and renamed b.) SAGINAW in 1999.

On this date in 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.

1933 WILHELMINE, dated from 1888 and was one of the world's earliest tankers, ran aground off Morgan Point, west of Port Colborne, while enroute from Chicago to Liverpool with 2,700,000 lbs of lard. The crew were removed and the ship abandoned. The hull was refloated June 3 but was not repaired and may have been dismantled at Ashtabula.

1954 The tug EDWARD C. WHALEN sank in Lake Superior near Corbeil Point. It was salvaged in 1955 and rebuilt a decade later as b) JOHN McLEAN. It survives in the Purvis Marine fleet as c) ADANAC.

1977 CYDONIA first came through the Seaway in 1962 and returned as b) VERMONT I in 1969. It was under tow due to rudder damage as e) JOY when a fire broke out in the engineroom near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The vessel was rocked by three explosions and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

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


Port Reports -  June 7

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic early Wednesday included Kaministiqua loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal while Atlantic Erie sat in the nearby turning basin awaiting its turn at the dock. Edwin H. Gott was tied up at the Duluth port terminal, apparently waiting for the CN ore dock while the Joseph L. Block unloaded stone into the hopper there. American Century, Cason J. Callaway, Birchglen and saltie Marietje Marsilla were all due later in the day.

Holland, Mich. - Bob VandeVusse
Undaunted and Pere Marquette 41 were back at the Verplank dock in Holland Wednesday morning delivering stone. This was the third visit for the pair in the last nine days.

Mackinaw City
The Keewatin tow arrived in Mackinaw City Wednesday morning docking at the old State Ferry Dock. The Keewatin will remain in Mackinaw City, waiting for the final leg of the tow to Port McNicoll, Ontario on June 23.

Stoneport – Dan McNeil
Due to load late Wednesday was Manistee. Algorail was scheduled to load on Thursday, followed by Lewis J. Kuber and also John G. Munson. At this time nothing is due in for Friday. Due to load Saturday are Calumet and Joseph H. Thompson.

Saginaw River – Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were inbound the Saginaw River Wednesday morning, traveling upriver to the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw to unload. The pair finished unloading and were outbound for the lake Wednesday night. Algorail was unloading a partial cargo at the Lafarge Stone dock in Essexville Wednesday night. She was then to go upriver to finish unloading at the Lafarge Stone dock in Saginaw.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Cuyahoga sailed from Sandusky early Wednesday, bound for Alpena. She loaded overnight at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock.

Toronto, Ont. - Charlie Gibbons
Toronto Drydock Company moved its floating dock (ex-Menier Consol) from its dock in the turning basin to a new berth at Pier 35 North on June 4. The move was necessitated by the closing, for extensive repairs, of the Cherry Street bascule bridge. On Thursday morning the company will float the venerable steam tug Ned Hanlan from its long-term inland berth at Stanley Barracks on the Exhibition Grounds - since 1971. The tug will be placed on a flatbed truck and rolled onto the barge, which will transport the truck and tug to its new home at Hanlan's Point on the west end of Toronto Island.


June Marine News lists saltie scrappings

6/7 - Marine News, the monthly journal of the World Ship Society, reported the following Seaway Salties going for scrap in the June 2012 issue.

ALIDA GORTHON first came up the Seaway in 1983 but was a regular trader around Maritime Canada. It was sold for scrap and arrived at Alang, India, on April 12, 2012 and was beached April 20.

FOREST TRADER, came through the Seaway as a) MARGIT GORTHON in 1982. This vessel arrived at Alang, India, on April 8, 2012, and was beached on April 13.

HOANG SUN SKY first visited the Great Lakes trader as a) SILVER LEADER in 1984 and returned as b) ALAM UNITED in 1995, c) UNITED in 1998 and d) MILO in 2001. It arrived at Alang, India, on April 15, 2012, under its fifth name and was beached on April 26.

HUMBOLDT CURRENT was two years old when it came inland for Burns Harbor as a) KONKAR THETIS in October 1983. The vessel arrived at Alang, India, as d) HUMBOLDT CURRENT on April 10, 2012, and was beached April 13 for dismantling.

OCEAN CROWN came through the Seaway beginning in 1983 as b) PROTECTOR and returned as c) LORETTA V. in 1988, e) MINA CEBI in 1996 and f) ARIZONA DREAM in 2001. This vessel reached Alang, India, on April 11, 2012, and was beached on April 19.

TOFTON was new when it first came to the Great Lakes as a) POKKINEN in 1980. It returned as b) TOFTON beginning in 1996 and it arrived at Alang, India, on April 17, 2012, and was beached on April 21.

We acknowledge the annual publication Seaway Salties, compiled by Rene Beauchamp, as an excellent resource and his 50 Years of Seaway Salties has provided us with the years that the above ocean ships first came to the Great Lakes.

Submitted by Barry Andersen, Skip Gillham


Updates -  June 7

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 7

1958, the largest freighter ever built on the Great Lakes slid down the ways at River Rouge, Michigan. The new freighter was christened by Mrs. Edmund Fitzgerald and named EDMUND FITZGERALD. The 729 foot FITZGERALD was owned by Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company and operated by Columbia Transportation under a 25 year bare boat charter.

1977, tugs refused to tow the new MESABI MINER out of the harbor due to high winds. Captain William Mc Sweeney brought the MESABI MINER out under her own power to begin her maiden trip.

On 07 June 1890, EMILY P WEED (steel propeller freighter, 300 foot, 2,362 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull #69) at W. Bay City, Michigan for the Hollister Transportation Co. She lasted until 02 September 1905, when she stranded on Sand Island Reef, Apostle Islands on Lake Superior and broke in two.

On 07 June 1862, MORNING STAR (wooden side-wheel steamer, 248 foot, 1,265 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.

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").

On June 7, 1991, the ALPENA, the former LEON FRASER) began her maiden voyage as a cement carrier, departing Superior, Wisconsin, for her namesake port. Fraser Shipyards, which 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 a.m. 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.

1894 The wooden steamer OCEAN received a massive hole in the bow after a collision with the barge KENT at Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence.

1902 The whaleback steamer THOMAS WILSON sank after a collision with the GEORGE G. HADLEY a mile off the Duluth piers while outbound with iron ore and nine lives were lost.

1915 JAMES B. EADS and the CHICAGO collided in the St. Clair River.

1941 The fish tug FINGLO caught fire and burned at Toronto. It was rebuilt for harbor duty as the steam tug H.J.D. NO. 1. In 1956-1957, the ship was unofficially renamed Salamander to star in the Canadian television series Tugboat Annie.

1971 SILVER CREST visited the Seaway in 1971 after previous calls as a) VIGRID in 1959 and 1963. It also returned as b) ROSTO in 1963 before becoming d) SILVER CREST in 1968. The ship stranded on Sisal Reef, in the Gulf of Mexico while enroute from Veracruz to Progresso, Mexico, but was refloated on June 12. The vessel arrived at Whampoa, China, for scrapping in July 1973.

1991 HERMES SCAN, a first time Seaway trader in 1977, sank in the Bay of Bengal as d) BRAUT TEAM after developing leaks the previous day. The heavy-lift vessel was reportedly carrying a Chinese steam locomotive for delivery to New York for the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. All on board were saved.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Keewatin arrives in Mackinaw City today

6/6 - Lake Michigan – The tug Wendy Anne continued towing the Keewatin up Lake Michigan Wednesday. The tow was expecting to pass under the Mackinac Bridge about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. Keewatin will remain in Mackinaw City waiting for the final leg of the tow to Port McNicoll, Ontario, its new home, on June 23.


Great Lakes iron ore trade up 11-plus percent in May

6/6 - Cleveland, Ohio – Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.8 million tons in May, an increase of 12 percent over April, and 11.5 percent ahead of a year ago and the month’s 5-year average.

Shipments from U.S. ports 6 million tons, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to a year ago. Included in that total were 632,000 tons transshipped to Quebec City for final delivery overseas.

Loadings at Canadian ports rose 26 percent.

Through May the iron ore trade stands at 18,754,424 tons, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to a year ago and 23 percent better than the 5-year average for the January-May timeframe.

Shipments from U.S. ports are up 11.5 percent compared to a year ago and 25.4 percent ahead of their 5-year average. Loadings at Canadian ports are up 11.7 percent compared to a year ago and 5.4 percent ahead of their 5-year average.

Lake Carriers Association


Port Reports -  June 6

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday afternoon the Great Republic arrived at Lafarge and tied up at the dock to unload coal. The tug G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity took on a load of cement at Lafarge on Monday and the Alpena tied up under the silos Tuesday night.

Sandusky, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin remained under the loading chute at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock Tuesday. The Cuyahoga was waiting her turn at the dock.

Buffalo, N.Y. - Brian W.
Tuesday morning the Rebecca Lynn - A-397 was still unloading in Tonawanda. American Mariner was westbound on Lake Erie after departing Buffalo early Tuesday morning.

Oswego, N.Y. - Ned Goebricher
The NYS Marine Highway tug Margo from Troy arrived in Oswego through the NYS Barge Canal with the barge BIG546 for corn Tuesday. It has been a while since the canal has been used for commercial instead of pleasure boats. The Oswego Port Authority has also been busy this year with aluminum bars, cement and soybeans.


Dossin Great Lakes Museum to host special War of 1812 display

6/6 - Detroit, Mich. – The National Museum of the United States Navy is pleased to present its latest travelling mini-exhibit, “War of 1812: A Nation Forged by War.” The display commemorates the 200-year anniversary of the War of 1812, and will be featured at nearly 200 locations across the United States and Canada including the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, where it will open on Saturday, June 16. For visitors with smart phones, additional content is available by scanning the QR code on each panel.

Timed to open with the nationwide bicentennial celebrations, War of 1812: A Nation Forged by War, highlights the prominent role of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service in bringing Great Britain to the negotiating table and forcing European recognition of a truly independent United States. The display tells the stories of heroic U.S. Navy crews in battles on the oceans and Great Lakes, as well as the contributions of sailors in celebrated land battles from Canada to Louisiana.

The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain from June 18, 1812 to February 18, 1815 and was sparked by conflicting maritime policies and competing western expansion along the United States-Canadian frontier. After two and a half years, the young American republic and the worlds leading superpower found themselves in a stalemate and concluded a fair and equitable peace.

For more information visit


Tickets remain for Door County Lighthouse Festival

6/6 - Sturgeon Bay, Wis. – Tickets remain for many of the land-based tours and boat cruises set for the 19th Annual Door County Lighthouse Festival this weekend, June 8-10.

A limited number of late afternoon tickets remain for Friday’s Lighthouse & Shipwreck Tour out of Bailey’s Harbor and the Death’s Door cruise leaving from Gills Rock. The annual Friday evening Keepers Kin cruise leaves from the Harbor Lady dock in front of the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. The dessert buffet cruise leaves at 8 p.m. Relatives of Door County lighthouse keepers will be on board the Harbor Lady to share stories during the cruise to Sherwood Point Lighthouse. A Sunday morning brunch cruise on the Harbor Lady will take passengers past both Sturgeon Bay area lights.

A limited number of tickets remain for the trip to the Chambers Island lighthouse. Three tours leave from Fish Creek Saturday and two more on Sunday. Both the Bailey’s Harbor Lighthouse & Shipwreck and Death’s Door cruises have tours on Saturday and Sunday. The Bailey’s Harbor tour cruises past the harbors lights and then on to Cana Island. The Death’s Door cruise travels past the Plum Island and Pilot Island lights.

In Sturgeon Bay, the former Chicago fireboat Fred A. Busse will be running a pair of 90-minutes tours throughout the weekend to either the Sherwood Point or Canal Station lights.

There are a pair of land-based tours making stops at the five mainland accessible lights. The Door County Trolley tour on Saturday and Sunday leaves from both Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek, and the Naturalist-Led Tour on Saturday from Sturgeon Bay. Most fun of all may be the Friday and Saturday evening trolley mystery tour leaving from the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. It will offer a new opportunity to experience Sherwood Point Lighthouse after dark.

For more information on available tours, visit


Updates -  June 6

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 6

On 06 June 1891, BAY CITY (wooden propeller freighter, 152 foot, 372 gross tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan) burned to a total loss while being repaired at the foot of Rivard Street in Detroit, Michigan. She was loaded with 300,000 feet of white pine lumber at the time. Her watchman reported the fire during the night and firemen thought they had it out, but it re-ignited and the vessel burned to a total loss. This ship had previously burned 20 years before on 10 April 1871, when she was on her first trip of the season after being rebuilt over the winter. Then she caught fire and burned nearly to the waterline but was rebuilt again and lasted until this last fire in 1891.

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.

In 1944, the C-4 bulk carrier MARINE ROBIN participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy. In 1952, after conversion into a bulk freighter she began service in the lakes for M.A. Hanna Co., as b.) JOSEPH H. THOMPSON. She serves today as a tug barge combination created from the sections of the original vessel.

The E.B. BARBER (Hull#111) of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co., entered service on June 6, 1953, for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.

In 1953, the ARMCO (Hull#870) began her maiden voyage from Lorain, Ohio, for the Columbia Transportation Div., bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

On June 6, 1959, the ADAM E. CORNELIUS (Hull#) 424) began her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This was the last Great Lakes vessel constructed with telescoping hatch covers. Sold Canadian and converted to a barge she was renamed b.) CAPT. EDWARD V. SMITH in 1988, and c.) SEA BARGE ONE in 1991 and d.) SARAH SPENCER in 1996.

Upper Lakes Shipping's 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, 1,711 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.

1956 NEWBRUNDOC ran aground at Densmore Bay on the southeast side of Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence after straying out of the channel in fog. The ore-laden vessel, enroute from Contrecoeur to Buffalo, was released the next day.

1964 The Norwegian freighter FRO made 10 trips through the Seaway from 1961 to 1965. It ran aground at Milwaukee after loading 7500 tons of scrap for France on June 6, 1964, and was lightered to the YANKCANUCK before being refloated June 9.

1967 FRANKCLIFFE HALL ran aground off Hare Island, Lake Superior in dense fog and received heavy damage to bottom plates. The ship was lightered and released June 9 and went to the Davie shipyard for repairs. This vessel was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, as HALIFAX in 2011.

1967 AUGUSTUS B. WOLVIN struck the bank of the Welland Canal and grounded. A subsequent survey of the damage at Port Weller Dry Docks revealed it was not worth the cost of repairs and the ship was laid up and sold for scrap.

1982 ALGOSEA (i) rammed the west pier at Port Weller entering the Welland Canal in fog turning the bulbous bow by 90 degrees. The damaged ship was allowed to go to Thunder Bay for repairs. It became c) SAUNIERE later in 1982 and was scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


S.S. Keewatin sails from Saugatuck into a new life

6/5 - Saugatuck Township, Mich. – Update from the tug: Tug Wendy Anne from St. James Marine Co. Beaver Island, MI is underway towing the S. S. Keewatin averaging 5 knots. Tug American Girl also from St. James Marine Co. is following on stand-by. Captain Matthew Fogg commented on how beautiful the ship looked lit up at night, just like the old days when it ran as a luxury liner.

Original Report - Susan McDermott stood on the south pier in Saugatuck on Monday afternoon as the historic steamship Keewatin was eased into Lake Michigan for the first time in more than 40 years.

It was a long week since McDermott first said farewell to the 105-year-old ship, five days after the 350-foot ship got stuck in the mud of Kalamazoo Lake, four days after a rain storm soaked her as tugboats pulled the ship through the shallow Saugatuck harbor and several hours after making a mile-long walk up a Saugatuck beach to see the ship fade on the horizon on its way to Canada.

“It was worth it,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

King Co. of Holland tugs pulled the ship stern-first out of the channel in less than an hour, passing the Saugatuck pierheads at about 12:30 p.m. and floating into Lake Michigan. There, a tugboat from St. James Marine Co. took over to pull the vessel first to Mackinaw City then to Port McNicoll, Ontario, its new home, on June 23.

As the Keewatin began its journey north in the Big Lake, bells and horns from nearby vessels rang out over the clear, still lake.

“It actually did make me cry ... to see it out in the lake, sitting proud,” said Eric Conroy, who represents Gil Blutrich, chairman and president of Skyline International Development Inc. Blutrich bought the Keewatin last year. “I just can’t tell you how fabulous I feel,” Conroy said.

R.J. Peterson, owner of Tower Marina in Douglas who brought the Keewatin to the area in 1967, said the ship was looking good as it headed into Lake Michigan.

To get the ship out of its berth at the end of Union Street in Douglas, crews had to dredge a 50-foot-wide trench around Kalamazoo Lake to the channel. On the first try to move the Keewatin on Wednesday, it got stuck. A larger tug came in Thursday to muscle the almost 4,000 ton ship out of the muck.

It sat off Aubrey McClendon’s property in Saugatuck Township near the channel to Lake Michigan until Monday for a final U.S. Coast Guard inspections and painting.

Scores of spectators made the almost mile walk from Oval Beach to the Saugatuck piers to watch the ship pass. Leanne Giles and her daughter, Ally, walked up the 303 Mount Baldhead steps then through sand dunes to get to the event. “We just wanted to watch it go into the lake the lake is like glass today,” Giles said.

The Keewatin will be the center of a redeveloped waterfront park in Port McNicoll, Ontario. The vessel will be transformed into a social center with a movie theater, 122-seat dining area and museums of Georgian Bay maritime history.

Holland Sentinel


Port Reports -  June 5

Twin Ports – Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic early Monday included Philip R. Clarke completing its load at CN ore dock in Duluth and American Integrity loading coal at Midwest Energy Terminal. Frontenac made an overnight departure after loading at CN ore dock. Arrivals for later in the day included Mesabi Miner due at CN ore dock, James R. Barker due at Midwest Energy Terminal, and Stewart J. Cort due at BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Great Republic and Lee A. Tregurtha arrived early Monday morning at the Upper Harbor to load ore.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Jason Heindel
BBC Chartering's Sjard departed Milwaukee Monday evening.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Karen Andrie and her tank barge Endeavour departed the Bit-Mat dock early Monday morning and were outbound for the lake. They passed the inbound tug Zeus and her tank barge, headed to the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City to unload. Also inbound on Monday was the American Century, which called on the Consumers Energy Dock in Essexville to unload. Both Zeus and American Century were expected to be outbound late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning.

Sandusky and Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Saginaw loaded Monday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock. She departed late afternoon for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Pushing into the bay as afternoon waned was the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. The Martin was preparing for a 12-hour loading cycle when the Saginaw moved away from the dock and was expected to sail Tuesday for Hamilton, Ont. The Mississagi sailed from the LaFarge stone dock at Marblehead early Monday. She was next due in Windsor, Ont.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Rebecca Lynn was holding out on the lake until about 5 a.m. Monday and then came inside the Outer Harbor, switched out of pull gear, went in the notch of her barge, and headed down the Black Rock Canal around 6:30 a.m.


Dredging disposal problem growing one scoop at a time

6/5 - Duluth, Minn. – A recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision not to accept dredged materials from a private project to be dumped at the Erie Pier facility illustrates a looming problem: It’s becoming more difficult to dispose of dredged materials in the Twin Ports.

The Erie Pier Confined Disposal Facility is expected to be filled to capacity within five years, and because of that will no longer accept material from projects other than the dredging of navigation channels and basins, the Corps wrote in a letter responding to a request to dispose of 20,000 cubic yards of material that will be dredged from Hallett Dock 8 in Superior.

“It is critical to handle dredged materials in this harbor,” said Steve Brossart, U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Duluth area engineer. “We dredge about 100,000 cubic yards a year in this harbor to maintain the federal channels. If there isn’t a location to place that material, the dredging is going to be decreased as the harbor slowly fills in.”

Some of the material dredged from the harbor’s 19 miles of shipping channels is used to replace sand washed away from Park Point’s beaches. But the bulk is brought to the 80-acre Erie Pier site, which is owned by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and operated by the Corps. At Erie Pie, the material is separated into sand and “fines,” which contain clay and organic material. The materials are routinely tested to make sure they’re safe.

The Port Authority has little problem finding markets for the 20,000 to 50,000 yards of sand dredged annually. Getting rid of the fines is more difficult. There’s more than 2 million yards of fines at Erie now. Finding uses for the material — both what is stockpiled and what comes in each year — is vital to keeping Erie Pier in operation. The alternatives would be to build a new facility elsewhere or to increase Erie’s capacity by increasing the height of its dikes.

“That is being looked at as one of the possible ways of handling dredged material in the future,” Brossart said. “But there is still testing and coring that needs to be done out there before it be verified that it would work.”

To avoid the costs of expansion, the Port Authority is working to develop markets for fines. “We have had some real interesting demonstration projects” utilizing fines, Duluth Seaway Port Authority facilities manager James Sharrow.

The projects have included mine-land reclamation, creating wetlands in a tailings basin, restoring construction sites, and building storm water ponds to buffer alkaline runoff at the old Atlas Cement site. Mine-land reclamation would be a good way to productively use the material, but transportation costs are prohibitive, Sharrow said.

Closer to Duluth several projects are being considered that could use large amounts of dredged materials, including creating wetlands in the St. Louis River near 21st and 40th Avenues West and filling unused slips.

“There are some nice-sized projects that are close to possibly coming into play here,” Sharrow said. “But in the meantime we are stuck.”

The use of “we” is not accidental. The Port Authority plans a $14 million project to improve Garfield Docks C and D. The project will generate a total of around 100,000 yards of dredged material.

“If we can’t put it into Erie Pier, we have to figure out how to use it,” Sharrow said. “One idea might be to raise the level of the dock. You look at other options you could do without spending a fortune.”

That is what Hallett Dock and its partners had to do after the Corps’ refusal to accept the project’s dredged materials.

“We are working on a couple things,” Superior Port and Planning Director Jason Serck said. “The eventual location will be our landfill for day cover. What we will probably do in the meantime — since we don’t have room at the landfill to store roughly 20,000 cubic yards — is to stage it at our Itasca mud dump.”

Having to handle the material twice will increase the cost of the project by an undetermined amount.

The $2.8 million project will rehabilitate 1,200 feet of Hallett Dock 8 on the Superior waterfront, giving fully loaded ships access to the dock, which handles incoming bulk and liquid commodities. Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program is paying 80 percent of the project’s cost.

“This project is very important to Hallett Dock,” Hallett Dock Co. President Mike McCoshen said. “It would give us full utilization of that slip, we would be able to bring in vessels at full Seaway draft, be able to bring them farther up and better utilize that property.”

Not being able to use Erie Pier complicated the project, he said.

“Somewhere along the line something has to be done,” McCoshen said. “There is a lot of private investment that is going to be happening over the next few years here in the port. If there is nowhere to take the dredge material, then that investment can’t happen.”

Duluth News Tribune


Sail aboard the Great Lakes schooner Denis Sullivan

6/5 - Milwaukee, Wis. – The summer of 2012 will offer both residents and visitors to Door County multiple opportunities to actually sail aboard the tall-ship Denis Sullivan. Cruises will range from a two-day sailing adventure around the Door Peninsula to three-hour trips down the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and into Lake Michigan.

For those with a tall-ship sail on their bucket list, the varied cruise options available this summer will offer something for everybody. In addition to several adult cruises ranging from 3 hours to 3 days, the Sullivan is offering a 3-day youth-focused adventure sail from Sturgeon Bay to Milwaukee. Feature sails include the Fireworks on the Door cruise departing Sturgeon Bay on July 4th, returning on the 5th. This is a chance to help sail Denis Sullivan around the northern coast of Door County while watching fireworks displays along the shore wherever possible. This is a great chance to see the spectacular coastline of the Door Peninsula from the deck of a tall-ship. Other opportunities include a 2-day transit from Manitowoc to Sturgeon Bay on July 2-3 and a family-focused sail from Sturgeon Bay to Manitowoc on July 7-9. The Denis Sullivan will also be a featured attraction at the 22nd Annual Classic and Wooden Boat Festival at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay on August 4-5. In addition to deck tours during the festival, 45 lucky passengers will enjoy a 3-hour cruise aboard Sullivan each afternoon on August 3-5. Prices for the cruise range from $75 to $800 per-person depending on duration. Visit the Events and Activities page on the Maritime Museum’s website at for the full schedule of cruise options or call the museum at (920) 743-5958 for passenger registration forms.


Updates -  June 5

New Video on our YouTube Channel
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp gallery updated


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 5

Over the winter of 1960 - 1961, the CHARLES M. SCHWAB was rebuilt by joining the forward end of the original SCHWAB with the after end of the former oil tanker GULFPORT. On this date in 1961, Captain Raphael "Dewey" Marsden conducted sea trials with the "new vessel" on Lake Erie between Lorain and Cleveland.

On 05 June 1884, the wooden 3-mast 139 foot schooner GUIDING STAR, which went ashore 12 miles north of Milwaukee on 06 November 1883, was finally abandoned when all efforts to release her had failed. About two-thirds of her cargo of coal was salvaged.

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.

In 1972, the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) 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 20 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 7 and 8 in Lake Huron by the newly established Sarnia Traffic.

On 05 June 1979, while carrying corn on Lake Superior, CARTIERCLIFFE HALL (steel propeller bulk freighter, 730 foot, 18,531 gross tons, built in 1960, in Germany as a.) RUHR ORE) caught fire 10 miles north of Copper Harbor, Michigan. Her crew abandoned ship in two life rafts and one lifeboat. Six died in this tragedy while five were injured; four (including Captain Raymond Boudreault) were injured seriously enough to be flown to the University of Michigan Burn Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. U. S. Steel's THOMAS W. LAMONT rescued 17 at 4:52 a.m. while CSL’s LOUIS R. DESMARAIS rescued two more. The CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was towed to Thunder Bay by the tug PENNSYLVANIA the following day.

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. Upon her retirement 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.

1943 FRANK ARMSTRONG, upbound on her maiden voyage, collided with the C.S.L. bulk carrier GODERICH in the St. Mary's River. Both sustained significant damage.

1991 OLYMPIC POWER was a year old when it first came through the Seaway in 1969. The vessel was sailing as c) FREE POWER when a fire broke out in the engine room off Oman on this date in 1991 and the ship had to be abandoned by the crew. One sailor was lost. The hull was a CTL and it reached Alang, India, for scrapping on February 8, 1993.

1998 The small Danish flag freighter, SEA STAR came to the Great Lakes with steel for Cleveland in April 1998. The vessel returned to the sea and sank in the Caribbean two months later on this date after a collision with the tuna boat MASA YOSHI MARU. SEA STAR was traveling from Colombia to Haiti with 2000 tonnes of bagged cement. Two members of the crew were lost.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Keewatin tow reaches Lake Michigan

6/4 - Saugatuck, Mich. - 12:30 update - The tow departed shortly before noon with the tugs Carol Ann and Matt Allen pulling the Keewatin. The tow briefly became stuck just inside the breakwall, the tugs continued to pull clearing the breakwall about 12:20 p.m. The tugs Wendy Anne and American Girl took over the tow once clear of the breakwall. About 100 people were on the breakwall and in small boats to see the Keewatin off.

11 a.m. update - Tugs are connecting to the Keewatin preparing for the tow.

9 a.m. update - According to blog posts Monday morning by an official connected with the tow, departure from the Kalamazoo River for the open lake is now targeted for 10 a.m.

Coast Guard inspections were scheduled for 7 a.m. Monday morning, with the tow to follow. The tugs Wendy Anne and American Girl are moored at the vessel's bow, and tugs from the King Co. are in Saugatuck Harbor.


Port Reports -  June 4

Port Inland and Cedarville, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Joseph L. Block was due to arrive at Port Inland very late on June 3. Also due at Port Inland is the barge Pere Marquette 41 on June 5 for an early morning arrival and the Wilfred Sykes, also on June 5 in the evening. The barge Great Lakes Trader is due to arrive on June 6 in the afternoon at Port Inland. The schedule at Cedarville has the Joseph L. Block arriving on June 4 in the afternoon. Wilfred Sykes is due to arrive on Tuesday, June 5 in the early morning followed later by the Arthur M. Anderson also on Tuesday in the evening. Philip R. Clarke is due to load at Cedarville on Friday, June 8.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Cason J. Callaway is due to load next, arriving June 4 in the morning for the South Dock. On Tuesday three vessels are scheduled to load. The barge Lakes Contender and the John G. Munson are due to arrive in the morning for the North Dock, followed later by the H. Lee White, arriving in the evening to load at the South Dock.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Herbert C. Jackson loaded at Stoneport on Sunday. Due to load next at Stoneport is the John G. Munson and the Pathfinder, both on Monday, with an early morning arrival. Three vessels are scheduled on Tuesday – the Lewis J. Kuber and the Manistee in the morning followed by the Arthur M. Anderson in the evening. The John J. Boland is due to load on Wednesday and on Thursday two vessels, the Lewis J. Kuber along with the John G. Munson, both return to Stoneport to take on limestone cargoes.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
Sunday morning saw the tug Dorothy Ann, and her barge Pathfinder, call on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. Once finished, the pair were outbound for the lake during the afternoon. Sunday evening the tug Karen Andrie and her tank barge called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City. The tug Manitou was also on the Saginaw River on Sunday.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
American Mariner is due to load coal at the CSX on Tuesday. Following the American Mariner will be the Calumet due to load coal on Wednesday, the McKee on Saturday, June 9 and the American Mariner on Sunday, June 10. At the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock, the Capt. Henry Jackman unloaded on Sunday. The John D. Leitch is due to arrive on June 1, making a rare visit to the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. Vessels due to unload at the Torco Dock next is the John J. Boland on Monday, Great Republic on Wednesday, June 6, Algowood on Thursday, June 7, Great Republic returns on Sunday, June 10 along with the American Mariner also arriving on June 10. The Lakes Contender is due to unload at Torco on June 11. Vessels remaining at layup in Toledo are the Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude and American Valor. The tug Victory with the barge James L. Kuber also remain in Toledo undergoing repairs.

Erie, Pa. - Jeffrey Benson
Joe Thompson and Joe Thompson Jr are in the graving dock at Don Jon Marine. The tug and barge have remained connected while on the blocks.

Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
The American Mariner arrived on Sunday and tied up at The General Mills Frontier Elevator.

Iroquois Lock -
Sunday the Florence M locked through towing the barge HM 1 with the submarine Ojibwa on board, the tug Lac Manitoba was on the stern.


Updates -  June 4

News Photo Gallery
New Video on our YouTube Channel
Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - Valley Camp


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 4

1955, the J. L. MAUTHE established a new Great Lakes cargo record for a coal cargo delivered to an upper lakes port. She loaded 18392 tons of coal at the Toledo C&O dock.

1943, the BENJAMIN F. FAIRLESS, Captain Harry Ashby, delivered a record cargo of 19343.5 net tons of iron ore at Cleveland. The ore was loaded at Two Harbors, Minnesota.

In 1947, the Canada Steamship line steamer EMPEROR, loaded with ore and bound for Ashtabula, hit the rocks off Isle Royale at 4:10 a.m. The vessel sank within minutes but the crew was able to launch 2 lifeboats. Captain Eldon Walkinshaw, First Mate D. Moray, and 10 other crew members drowned when one of the lifeboats overturned. Twenty-one other survivors were rescued by the U.S.C.G. cutter KIMBALL.

In 1980, the second 1000- foot boat to join the United States Steel Great Lakes Fleet, the EDGAR B. SPEER, was christened at the Lorain yard of American Shipbuilding Company.

On 04 June 1872, while carrying wooden barrel staves from Bay City, Michigan to Buffalo, New York, the bark AMERICAN GIANT encountered rough weather off Port Stanley, Ontario, on Lake Erie. Heavy seas carried off her deck cargo of 25,000 staves and the vessel became water-logged. As the crew considered abandoning, the steamer MENDOTA saw their plight and took the GIANT in tow for Buffalo where they arrived the following day. For days afterward, other vessels reported the litter of barrel staves floating in the middle of Lake Erie.

At 2:00 a.m., 04 June 1891, in heavy fog, the NORTHERN QUEEN (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) struck the schooner FAYETTE BROWN (wooden schooner, 178 foot, 553 gross tons, built in 1868, at Cleveland, Ohio) about ten miles off Dummy Light on Lake Erie. The BROWN which was loaded with stone blocks quickly sank in over sixty feet of water. One of the schooner's crewmen climbed aboard the QUEEN while the others barely had time to scramble up the schooner's masts. Accounts of the accident differ. The schooner's skipper claimed that the NORTHERN QUEEN continued on her journey while the schooner's crew clung to the masts while the skipper of the NORTHERN QUEEN claimed that he tried to find survivors, but lost the wreck in the fog and reluctantly continued on his journey, figuring that there were no survivors. Nevertheless, about an hour after the disaster, the steamer ROBERT MILLS (wooden propeller freighter, 256 foot, 1,790 gross tons, built in 1888, at Buffalo, New York) came along, heard the cries of the unfortunate seamen clinging to the masts and rescued them. No lives were lost.

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.

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

On June 4, 1968, the keel for the OTTERCLIFFE HALL (Hull#667) was laid at Lauzon, Quebec, by Davie Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., 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. She arrived at Alang, India, for scrapping on January 7, 2005.

The EDGAR B. SPEER (Hull#908) was christened on 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 of tug SALVAGE MONARCH, headed for overseas scrapping. She was scrapped by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co., in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, scrapping began on November 24, 1988.

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 "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 is the 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.

1947 EMPEROR ran aground on Canoe Rocks off Isle Royale, Lake Superior, at 4:10 am. The hull later slid back into deep water and sank. Twelve lives were lost when the ore laden bulk carrier in the C.S.L. fleet went down.

1961 C.A. BENNETT went aground in the Wiley-Dondero Channel of the Seaway while trying to avoid the REDFERN and was released by her own power.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Port Reports -  June 3

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
On a windy, rainy Saturday morning at the Lower Harbor, John J. Boland arrived, turned, and backed in to the Shiras Dock with western coal from Superior.

Milwaukee, Mich. - Jason Heindel
Federal Hudson arrived in Milwaukee Saturday. She is berthed just north of Maersk Illinois and BBC Chartering’s Sjard.

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Olive L. Moore - Lewis J. Kuber were outbound from the Saginaw River on Friday, after the pair unloaded at the Lafarge stone dock in Saginaw. Calumet was inbound late Friday night, traveling upriver to unload at the GM dock in Saginaw. She was outbound on Saturday.

For the month of May, there were 21 commercial vessel passages on the Saginaw River. This is a dramatic increase from the same month last year, when there were only eight passages. The year to date has also seen a big increase over last year. There have been 35 commercial passages in 2012 as compared to only 17 during the same period in 2011.


Great Lakes Maritime Market in St. Clair this Saturday

6/3 - St. Clair, Mich. – The Lake Huron Lore Marine Historical Society is sponsoring its 31st annual Great Lakes Maritime Market at Riverview Plaza Mall in St. Clair on Saturday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The mall is just across the street from the picturesque boardwalk in downtown St. Clair. There will be more than 30 vendors offering various items relating specifically to the ships and shipping industry of the region. Among the items that will be for sale are historical artifacts, books, photographs, artwork, shipwreck items, memorabilia, advertising and more. For more information visit


Updates -  June 3

New Video on our YouTube Channel


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 3

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 feet x 30 feet x 11 feet, and she cost $20,000.

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, CLIFFS VICTORY entered service for Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co., a little under six months from the time she was purchased from the U.S.M.C.

PATERSON (Hull#113) of the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., entered service for N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd., on June 3, 1954, by carrying 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur, Ontario. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1985.

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, 1,052 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 at Dundas, Ont. This vessel ran between Windsor and Detroit for over a century. Her hull is still in existence, submerged in the old Great Lakes Engineering Works slip in River Rouge, Michigan.

1911 The passenger steamer NORTH WEST was gutted by a fire while fitting out at Buffalo. The hull remained idle until it was cut in two in 1918 for a tow to saltwater, but the bow section sank in Lake Ontario. The stern was rebuilt on the St. Lawrence as MAPLECOURT and returned to the lakes, again in two sections, in 1922.

1923 WILLIAM B. SCHILLER and HORACE S. WILKINSON collided in Whitefish Bay. The former was anchored when hit on the port side at #5 hatch. The SCHILLER’s captain pulled up the hook and raced for shore so as to sink in shallow water. It went down in about 40 feet and was salvaged on July 2.

1940 JOHN J. RAMMACHER and WILLIAM A. REISS (ii) collided just after midnight beneath the Blue Water Bridge at Sarnia-Port Huron and both ships were damaged.

1999 HOPE I lost power in the Seaway while downbound with wheat and stranded above Morrisburg. The hull was holed and the ship was released with the aid of tugs on June 5. The ship first came inland as a) NOSIRA MADELEINE in 1983 and returned as c) HOPE I for the first time in 1993. and then as d) HOPE in 2004. It was last reported as f) H. PIONEER in 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Keewatin tow won’t begin until Monday

6/2 - Saugatuck Township, Mich. – The Keewatin will spend one more weekend in Saugatuck. The 105-year-old steamship is moored on the north side of the channel to Lake Michigan after being pulled from its dock in Douglas on Thursday. The ship was going to head into the big lake on Saturday, but now plans are to begin that leg of the journey to Canada on Monday, Eric Conroy said in a phone interview Friday night.

No time has been set for departure, he said.

“Bulkhead doors need welding, anything not tied down must be secured. She will be trimmed and ballasted. All unfinished painting and deck repairs will be done and we have a final US Coast Guard inspection Sunday,” Conroy said in his blog,

Tugs were supposed to pull the vessel out of its dock in Kalamazoo Lake on Wednesday but were delayed. The ship was eased out Thursday at 2:46 p.m. to the cheers of hundreds of spectators who stood on shore in the rain.

The Keewatin hit few snags on the more than three-hour trip from its dock at the end of Union Street to where it is now waiting along the channel to Lake Michigan. The Keewatin’s bow is still facing away from Lake Michigan — it was pulled out stern-first because there wasn’t enough depth in Kalamazoo Lake to turn it around before reaching Lake Michigan.

Conroy blogged about the view of the ship in the channel: “It is a beautiful setting, lots of mature trees and surrounded by wilderness Keewatin almost looks in pictures as she is docked as part of a Great Lakes cruise,” he wrote.

The ship is not visible from Dugout Road due to the trees. It is not accessible to the public and is docked along private property.

The Keewatin will be the center of a redeveloped waterfront park in Port McNicoll, Ontario. The vessel will be transformed into a social center with a movie theater, 122-seat dining area and museums of Georgian Bay maritime history. It will be pulled into the Ontario port on June 23.

R.J. Peterson purchased the Keewatin and had it towed to Douglas in 1967 where it’s been preserved as a museum.

Holland Sentinel


U.S.-flagged freighter loads cranes at Port of Milwaukee

6/2 - Milwaukee, Wis. – Stevedores are loading two massive P&H mining shovels bound for Siberia onto a freighter at the Port of Milwaukee. Port spokesman Jeff Fleming says the ship that will transport the load, the Maersk Illinois, is an out-of-the ordinary visitor to Milwaukee.

"Because the United States Export-Import bank was involved in financing this transaction, it’s required that the shovels be moved on U.S. flagged vessels. While vessels come in and out of the Port of Milwaukee all the time taking cargo overseas, this is unusual in that a U.S.-flagged vessel hasn’t carried cargo out of the Port of Milwaukee for decades," Fleming says.

Fleming says the last U.S.-flagged vessel to leave Milwaukee for an international destination was in 1981. Foreign-flagged vessels usually transport area made manufactured goods, and other commodities, out of Milwaukee to ports worldwide.

The Maersk Illinois is scheduled to leave Tuesday for the two-week trip to Russia. Once there, the cranes will be loaded onto rail cars to finish their journey to coal mines in Siberia.



Port Reports -  June 2

Twin Ports - Al Miller
Twin Ports vessel traffic on Friday morning included American Century motoring under the Blatnik Bridge on its way out of port, Arthur M. Anderson tied up at the port terminal, John J. Boland loading at Midwest Energy Terminal, Spruceglen docked at Cargill C waiting for Midwest Energy Terminal, and Burns Harbor loading at BNSF ore dock in Superior.

Marquette, Mich. - Rod Burdick
Friday morning, Michipicoten loaded ore at the Upper Harbor while Great Lakes Trader unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock.

Milwaukee, Wis. - Jason Heindel
BBC Chartering’s Sjard arrived at the Port of Milwaukee Friday and moored opposite Maersk Illinois.

Calcite, Mich. - Denny Dushane
The new Lakes Contender barge loaded at the South Dock in Calcite on Friday and was due to depart in the evening. Due to load on Saturday is the Pathfinder at the North Dock for a morning arrival, and on Sunday the Calumet also due to load at the North Dock arriving very early in the morning.

Stoneport, Mich. - Denny Dushane
Due in on Friday were two vessels, Cason J. Callaway in the morning followed by the Buffalo for a very late evening arrival. Algorail is due on Saturday. There are no vessels scheduled to load on Sunday. For Monday both John G. Munson and Pathfinder are due to load. On Tuesday four vessels – the Manistee, Lewis J. Kuber, Arthur M. Anderson and John J. Boland – are all due. No vessels are scheduled for Wednesday. Rounding out the Stoneport schedule will be the John G. Munson, due on Thursday to load limestone.

Alpena, Mich. - Ben & Chanda McClain
Manitowoc was at Lafarge on Thursday, likely to unload coal. The tug Samuel de Champlain and barge Innovation were in port Friday morning, taking on cement. The research vessel Lake Guardian tied up in the river Friday morning. The Alpena is expected at Lafarge after midnight on Saturday.

Cedarville and Port Inland, Mich. - Denny Dushane
At Cedarville, the Philip R. Clarke was due to arrive on Friday in the morning along with the Michipicoten on Saturday in the morning. Rounding out the Cedarville schedule is the Joseph L. Block due, on Monday, June 4 in the morning. Due next at Port Inland was the Wilfred Sykes on Friday, June 1 in the afternoon to be followed by the Block on Sunday in the evening. Pere Marquette 41 returns to Port Inland on June 5 in the morning.

Toledo, Ohio - Denny Dushane
The barge McKee Sons loaded coal at the CSX #4 machine on Friday, June 1. Also due to load coal at the CSX Coal Dock is the Hebert C. Jackson, due on Saturday, June 2. American Mariner on Tuesday, June 5 and the Calumet round out the coal dock lineup on Wednesday, June 6. Two vessels are due to arrive at the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock. The Capt. Henry Jackman is due to unload on Sunday, June 3 followed by the John D. Leitch making a rare visit to the Midwest Terminal Stone Dock on Sunday, June 10 to unload a stone cargo. Due to unload ore at the Torco Dock in the next few days will be the John J. Boland Monday, June 4. Great Republic is due on Tuesday, June 5, Algowood on June 6, Great Republic makes a return visit on Sunday, June 10 and the American Mariner is due also on June 10 to unload at the Torco Dock. The Adam E. Cornelius, American Fortitude and the American Valor all remain at their respective layup docks in Toledo. The tug Victory and the barge James L. Kuber are also in Toledo currently undergoing repairs.

Sandusky and Huron, Ohio - Jim Spencer
Herbert C. Jackson loaded Friday at the NorfolkSouthern coal dock for Sault Ste. Marie. The Interlake vessel followed John B. Aird at the dock. The Aird loaded Thursday and departed for Hamilton. Discharging a partial load of limestone from Stoneport at Huron early Thursday morning was the John G. Munson, of the Great Lakes Fleet. She later loaded coal in Ashtabula for Green Bay, sailing early Friday.


Badger’s application for EPA individual permit viewable by public

6/2 - Ludington, Mich. – Owners of the SS Badger have announced that the formal application to the Environmental Protection Agency for a NPDES individual permit is now available online for public viewing.

This 1000-page application is a comprehensive document citing test data demonstrating that the vessel's discharges are well within the allowable limits set by Wisconsin, Michigan and the EPA.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 website states that, "On May 23, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received application forms and supplemental information from the Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc."

To view the NPDES individual permit application visit and also at


Updates -  June 2

Historical Perspectives Gallery updated - New for June: Valley Camp


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 2

On 02 June 1958, the Liberian-flagged freighter MOUNT DELPHI sank enroute to Karachi, Pakistan. She was built by the British American Shipbuilding Company at Welland, Ontario, during the final years of World War I. She had 12 different owners during her career and had been seized by Vichy interests at Casablanca, Morocco, in 1940, and then by the Italian government in 1942.

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, 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 05:23 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 truckloads 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.

1943 The W.W. HOLLOWAY and HARRY WM. HOSFORD collided in foggy lower Whitefish Bay and the latter steamer had to be beached at Point Iroquois to avoid sinking.

1958 WAR RACCOON was built at Welland in 1919. It was sailing under Liberian registry as l) MOUNT DELPHI when it hit a rock and was beached at Grand Island, near Mormugao, India, on a voyage from Mouimein, Burma, to Karachi, Pakistan. The ship is a total loss.

1968 CASTALIA, a Greek flag freighter, struck the north pier of the Mackinac Bridge, in dense fog and made a small gouge in the structure. The ship was holed and leaking but cleared to proceed to Chicago. It was on its first trip through the Seaway and was later scrapped as c) NEW ENGLANDER after arriving at Bilbao, Spain, on July 4, 1973.

1978 The bulk carrier ARCTIC was christened in a ceremony at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines.

1981 The sidewheel Toronto Island ferry TRILLIUM was unable to stop in time at the mainland dock. It struck the restaurant ship NORMAC and the latter sank two weeks later.

2000 ALGOWOOD buckled amidships while loading stone at Bruce Mines. The hull was patched, strengthened, refloated and towed to Port Weller Dry Docks to be lengthened and repaired.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Jody Aho, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II, The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


Keewatin begins first leg of journey

6/1 - Douglas, Mich. – Two tugboats eased the Keewatin out of the muck of Kalamazoo Lake in Douglas Thursday afternoon for its first trip on the open waters in four decades.

“It’s absolutely majestic. I think I’ll have to cry,” Eric Conroy, spokesman for the Canadian owner of the ship, said as the 105-year-old steamship glided through a narrow channel dredged for it in Kalamazoo Lake. “Remarkable, absolutely remarkable.”

The Keewatin was towed to a berth along the channel to Lake Michigan by the tugs Carol Ann and Matt Allen from the King Company of Holland. Two tugs from Beaver Island will take it from there to its intermediate destination of Mackinaw City. The tow is expected to depart Saturday, the tugs for the tow are reported to be the Wendy Anne and either American Girl or the Cisco.  The Keewatin was scheduled to be pulled out of its dock in Kalamazoo Lake on Wednesday, but a clay ridge on the lake floor stopped the operation.

The Keewatin will eventually be the center of a redeveloped waterfront park in Port McNicoll, Ontario. The vessel will be transformed into a social center with a movie theater, 122-seat dining area and museums of Georgian Bay maritime history. It is expected to arrive later this month.

R.J. Peterson purchased the Keewatin and had it towed to Douglas in 1967 where it had been preserved as a museum.

Holland Sentinel


Port Reports -  June 1

Saginaw River - Todd Shorkey
The Stephen B. Roman was inbound on the Saginaw River, traveling to the Essroc Cement Terminal in Essexville on Thursday. She was expected to be outbound Friday morning.

Marblehead, Ohio - Jim Spencer
The tug Bradshaw McKee and barge Cleveland Rocks loaded Thursday at the Lafarge stone dock at Marblehead.


Updates -  June 1

News Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History -  June 1

On 01 June 1903, ISAAC ELLWOOD (steel propeller freighter, 478 foot, 5,085 gross tons, built in 1900, at W. Bay City, Michigan) broke the record for ore when she carried a cargo of 8,579 tons of ore out of Duluth harbor. This broke the record held by JOHN SMEATON (steel barge, 458 foot, 5,049 gross tons, built in 1899, at Superior, Wisconsin), which was 8,571 tons of ore.

The ASA CHILDS (wooden scow schooner, 125 foot, 204 gross tons, built in 1866, at Mentor, Ohio) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan when she was driven ashore at Highland Park just north of Chicago, Illinois on 01 June 1879, and was a total loss. The crew escaped in the lifeboat.

On 01 June 1914, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company bought the EASTLAND (steel propeller passenger steamer, 265 foot, 1,961 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. The OLDS was repaired in time to carry a new record of 17,817 gross tons of iron ore on June 13, 1943.

In 1952, the steamer 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 honored as she carried the billionth metric ton of cargo through the Eisenhower Lock in 1983.

On June 1, 1907, the Great Lakes Engineering Works launched the bulk steamer WILPEN (Hull#28) at Ecorse, Michigan for the Shenango Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Shenango Furnace Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) DAVID P. THOMPSON in 1926, and converted to a self-unloader in 1957, at Superior, Wisconsin. She was renamed c.) JOSEPH S. YOUNG in 1969, and scrapped at La Spezia, Italy in 1979.

The H. LEE WHITE departed Sturgeon Bay in ballast on her maiden voyage for the American Steamship Co., on 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 at 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 feet x 38 feet x 18 feet and she had a triple expansion steam engine 17 feet, 29 inches, 47 inches x 36 inch stroke. 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.

1923 The barge BROOKDALE of Canada Steamship Lines was sunk near Montreal after a collision with MAPLEDAWN. The wooden hulled vessel, originally the schooner MORAVIA, was refloated and scrapped.

1943 A collision on foggy Lake Superior between BATTLEFORD and PRINDOC sank the latter off Passage Island. All on board were saved from the downbound, wheat laden bulk carrier of the Paterson fleet.

1944 The first NEWBRUNDOC had been built at Toronto in 1921 and had previously sailed as CANADIAN ENGINEER and b) DONALD E.McKAY. The ship became f) SAVLATORE in 1934 and, with the outbreak of war, was now the enemy. It was bombed and sunk by British aricraft as part of a German convoy in the Aegean Sea and all hands were lost.

1966 RIO ALTO, a Liberty ship, came to the Great Lakes under Liberian registry in 1963. It developed leaks on the Pacific while enroute from Manati, Puerto Rico, to China as d) AKTOR and sank on this date 860 miles SSW of San Diego, CA in 1966.

1967 RENVOYLE struck the docked SYLVANIA while turning at Port Huron and the latter sank against the dock. The former, a C.S.L. package freighter, received bow damage and was laid up and then sold for scrap. SYLVANIA was refloated, repaired and returned to service.

1979 GEORGES HERBERT, a wooden goelette that occasionally came to the Great Lakes, sank in the Gulf of Mexico while carrying a cargo of corn.

2011 CANADIAN RANGER, under tow on the St. Lawrence, got spun around 180 degrees by a wind gust above the Iroquois Lock and had to be towed through the lock stern first before being realigned below the lock. It reached the scrap yard at Aliaga, Turkey, on July 13, 2011.

Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, Dave Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.


News Archive - August 1996 to present

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