Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News Archive

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Willowglen Tow Continues

7/31
The Willowglen tow continued downbound over night reaching Belle Isle in the Detroit River shortly after 9 a.m. The tug Evans McKeil was the lead tug while the tug Stormont took up position on the stern for the tow through the St Clair and Detroit Rivers.

The tow is heading for Hamilton, Ontario. It is unknown what the Willowglen will be used for or how long it will remain in Hamilton. 

In the fall of 2004, both the Teakglen and fleet mate Willowglen were listed as for sale as scrap or barge conversion candidates.

Reported by Kevin Fonda
 

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 31

Sea trials took place for the JAMES R BARKER this day in 1976. She was to become Interlake's first 1000 footer and the flag ship of the fleet for Moore Mc Cormack Leasing, Inc. (Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio, mgr.). She was built at a cost of more than $43 million under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She was the third thousand footer to sail on the Lakes and the first built entirely on the Lakes.

On July 31, 1974, as the Liberian vessel ARTADI approached the dock at Trois Rivières, Que. where she damaged the docked GORDON C LEITCH's stern.

The CEDARBRANCH was damaged and sunk by an explosion on July 31, 1965, several miles below Montreal, Quebec resulting in a loss of one life.

On 31 July 1849, ACORN (wooden schooner, 84 foot, 125 tons, built in 1842, at Black River, Ohio) was struck amidships by the propeller TROY near West Sister Island in Lake Erie. She sank quickly, but no lives were lost since all hands made it to the TROY.

On 31 July 1850, AMERICA (wooden side-wheeler, 240 foot, 1083 tons, built in 1847, at Port Huron, Michigan) suffered a boiler or steam pipe explosion while sailing on Lake Erie. The explosion immediately killed nine persons and scalded others who died later. The vessel was repaired and sailed for three more seasons.

Data from: Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history tailed history

 


Teakglen and Willowglen Towed from Goderich

7/30
5 p.m. Update
The tug Evans McKeil departed Goderich about 4 p.m. Saturday towing the grain storage ship Willowglen. The tow is reported to be heading for Hamilton, Ontario.

The Willow Willowglen laid up for the last time in December 1992 at Owen Sound.  In 1994, she was sold to the Goderich Elevator Company, in Goderich.  Like a number of vessels before her the Willowglen would be employed as a floating storage silo. 

Goderich's other grain storage ship, the Teakglen, was towed out Friday afternoon by the tug Evans McKeil. The tow arrived at the Sarnia Government Dock about 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The Teakglen sailed under power in 2002 to Goderich where it was used to store grain in the harbor.

It is unknown why the vessels were moved or how long they will remain at their new locations, no other details are available at this time.

In the fall of 2004, both the Teakglen and fleet mate Willowglen were listed as for sale as scrap or barge conversion candidates. As of July of 2005, the Teakglen was listed with an asking price of $183 (US) per tonne based on 4,600 light displacement tonnage (LDT) or $841,800 as is, where is, safely afloat.

Pictures in the News Gallery

Reported by Phil Jackson
 

 


Manitowoc Reports Second Quarter Results

7/30
 
The Manitowoc Company reported record net sales and earnings for the second quarter on July 27. Net sales increased 17 percent to $616.8 million, from $526.2 million during the second quarter of 2004. Manitowoc Company operates Toledo Shiprepair and Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Net sales at the Marine segment for the second quarter of 2005 were $63.4 million, essentially unchanged from $63.5 million during the second quarter of 2004. The Marine segment generated an operating loss of $2.7 million during the second quarter of 2005, compared with operating earnings of $2.7 million during the second quarter of 2004.

"The disappointing results from the Marine segment were directly related to three specific projects. Two of these projects have left our shipyards, and the third is scheduled for departure next week.

Although poor results for the quarter were anticipated, the size of the loss was exacerbated by process inefficiencies incurred in order to meet a delivery schedule and by rework required on all three projects. Going forward, the scheduling and composition of the Marine backlog will enable Manitowoc to put the right projects in the right yards," Growcock explained.

"The Marine management team has identified and is correcting the processes that negatively affected profitability during the first half of 2005. Marine's future is considerably brighter with our strong position in the Littoral Combat Ship program for the Navy and the substantial market for new and converted OPA 90-compliant vessels."

Reported by Manitowoc Company
 

 

Port Reports

7/30
Marquette
Reported by Lee Rowe
What should have been a busy time at the Marquette harbor wasn't as ships cancelled scheduled appearances. Traffic should pick up this weekend, though, as ships are expected with stone and coal, as well as picking up ore. The Frontenac made another return trip for ore late Friday, to the delight of the many people in town for the annual "Art on the Rocks" held at Presque Isle.

Saginaw
Reported by Todd Shorkey and Gordy Garris

The barge Joseph H. Thompson and the tug Joseph H. Thompson Jr. were inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning lightering at the Bay City Wirt dock before continuing upriver to complete unloading at the Saginaw Wirt dock.

Once the pair finished unloading she departed the Wirt dock in Saginaw at 2:45 p.m. and continued upriver to turn around in the Sixth Street Basin. The pair had finally cleared the Sixth Street Turning Basin and were outbound the Saginaw River at the I-75 bridge in Zilwaukee around 5 p.m.

The J.A.W. Iglehart was inbound the Saginaw River on Thursday. She called on the LaFarge dock in Carrollton to unload cement. The Iglehart was outbound Friday morning headed for the lake.

Buffalo
Reported by Brian W.
The Courtney Burton arrived in Buffalo late Thursday night and was unloading at General Mills Friday morning.

 


Jerry Lee Woodworth

7/30
Jerry Lee Woodworth passed away at a young age of 46 after battling cancer for over a year. He was a wonderful husband, father and friend. He was the voice (dispatcher) for GLT for 15 years in the late 70's to 80's. And then a Captain on the Pallidino tugs and then sailed for Grand River Navigation.

Beloved husband of Debbie (nee Groff); dearest father of Chelsea and Courtney; dear son of Betty Lloyd and the late Lyle Wood-worth and the late "Chic" Lloyd; dear son-in-law of Bob and Marilyn Groff; brother of Tim Wood-worth, Terry Jones, Joe Christopher, David Christopher, Arlene Ross and Ray Woodworth; dear brother-in-law of Bill, Don, Dave and Sarah Groff; uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Funeral Service Monday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. at Jenkins Funeral Chapel, 2914 Dover Center Rd., West-Lake, where family and friends will gather From 2-4 And 7-9 P.M. On Sunday. Interment Elmhurst Park Cemetery, Avon. Family requests contributions to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 300 E. 185th St., Cleveland, 44119. For information www. jenkinsfuneralchapel.com

Reported by TZ
 

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/30
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping and Regional Albums
The Public Gallery Software was updated Tuesday and now offers much faster viewing.

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 30

July 30, 1996, a portion of a coal cargo aboard the H M GRIFFITH caught fire while the vessel was approaching Whitefish Point. The burning cargo was dumped into Lake Superior after the vessel's unloading boom was swung overboard.

This "News Page" on this site was "launched" in 1996 reporting the coal fire aboard the GRIFFITH.

The GORDON C LEITCH (Hull#36) was launched July 30, 1952, at Midland, Ontario by Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd. for the Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ontario.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker C.C.G.S. ALEXANDER HENRY entered service July 30, 1959.

On 30 July 1871, the 162 foot bark HARVEY BISSELL was carrying lumber from Toledo to Tonawanda, New York. When she was on the Western end of Lake Erie, she sprang a leak. Although the crew worked the hand powered pumps constantly, the water kept gaining at a rate of about a foot an hour. The tug KATE WILLIAMS took her in tow, intending to get her to Detroit to be repaired, but this proved impossible. So the BISSELL was towed close to Point Pelee and allowed to sink in 14 feet of water. The WILLIAMS then left for Detroit to get steam pumps and other salvage equipment. On returning, they pumped out the BISSELL, refloated and repaired her. She lasted until 1905.

On 30 July 1872, the Port Huron Dry Dock launched SANDY, a lighter. Her dimensions were 75 feet x 20 feet x 5 feet.

On 30 July 1873, George Hardison of Detroit announced the beginning of a new shipyard in Port Huron, Michigan. It would be located above the 7th Street Bridge on the Black River on land owned by J. P. Haynes, accessible by River Street. Within 30 days of this announcement, the new yard had orders for two canalers three-and-aft rig for delivery in the Spring of 1874. Their dimensions were to be 146 feet overall, 139 feet keel, 26 foot beam and 11 foot 6 inches depth.

On 30 July 1866, CITY OF BUFFALO (wooden propeller, 340 foot, 2026 tons, built in 1857, at Buffalo, New York as a side-wheeler) was unloading 72,000 bushels of wheat at the Sturgis Elevator at Buffalo, New York when arsonists set fire to the complex. The fire destroyed the wharf, the elevator, several businesses and the ship. The arsonists were caught. Incidentally, the CITY OF BUFFALO was converted from a passenger side-wheeler to a propeller freighter during the winter of 1863-64. After the conversion, she was dubbed "the slowest steam-craft on the Lakes".

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

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 29

The OTTERCLIFFE HALL cleared Lauzon, Quebec July 29, 1969, on her maiden voyage as the last "straight deck" Great Lakes bulk freighter built with a pilot house forward.

While at the Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for general repairs and engine overhaul, the CITY OF SAGINAW 31 caught fire on July 29, 1971, destroying her cabin deck and rendering her useless for further use. The blaze was caused by an acetylene torch, and caused over $1 million in damage.. She was not repaired. The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 was sold to Marine Salvage Ltd., Port Colborne, Ontario for scrapping.

On July 29, 1974, the W W HOLLOWAY grounded in Lake St. Clair off the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club running downbound with stone. Lightering into the J F SCHOELKOPF JR was necessary before she was freed by four tugs on July 31st.

ENDERS M VOORHEES departed Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan on her maiden voyage July 29, 1942, bound for Duluth, Minnesota to load iron ore. She was the second of five "Supers" for the Pittsburgh fleet to enter service.

July 29, 1974 - The PERE MARQUETTE 21 was towed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be reduced to a barge.

The steam barge MARY ROBERTSON burned near Mackinac on 29 July 1872. Her crew escaped to a schooner-barge they were towing.

The MATERIAL SERVICE foundered in a heavy summer gale in 1936, off the South Chicago lighthouse. She was a canal motor barge not designed for open-lake use.

The side-wheel river steamer DOMINION burned to the water's edge at her dock in the Thames River near Chatham, Ontario on 29 July 1875. She was built in 1867, at Wallaceburg, Ontario.

Data from: Jerry Pearson, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history tailed history

 


Willowglen Prepared for Tow

7/28
The grain storage ship Willowglen has been prepared for tow from its long time home port of Goderich. The ship is reported to be heading for scrapping, no other details are available at this time.

History of the Willowglen

Reported by Grant Culbert
 

 


Terrorism concerns may boost News Poe Sized Lock Project

7/28
As the local community celebrates the 150th anniversary of the locks this summer, concerns about terrorism may help secure funding for a $341 million expansion that's been stalled for nearly two decades.

The plan is to build a second lock that could accommodate the biggest freighters on the lakes. Three locks are in service, but just one -- the Poe -- is roomy enough for the lake’s 13 thousand footers. If it were disabled for long, shipments from the nation's only remaining iron mines in Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula to steel mills on the lower lakes would be drastically curtailed. More than three-fourths of the nation's iron ore passes through the locks.

"If you want to take down the steel industry in this country ... that's the way to do it," said U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Menominee Democrat whose district includes the locks. The effect would ripple across the economy, he said, particularly affecting industries such as automobile and building construction.

"We'd lose the most productive vessels in the fleet and the vast majority of our carrying capacity," said Glen Nekvasil, spokesman for the Lake Carriers' Association, which represents most of the U.S.-flagged cargo ships on the Great Lakes.

Midwestern shipments of other bulk commodities such as coal and grain also would plummet, said Ron Johnson, trade development director with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority on Superior's far western end.

No lock has been added to the complex since the Poe opened in 1968. Congress authorized another lock of the same size in 1986 and in recent years has funded preliminary work such as engineering and design. But no construction money has been appropriated.

In a cost-benefit analysis this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district office in Detroit said a new lock wasn't justified on economic grounds alone, but was worth the money when national security was considered.

The report was forwarded to the assistant defense secretary for civil works, whose endorsement is needed for the project to be added to the federal budget.

The eight states adjoining the Great Lakes would be required to kick in about $81 million. Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania have set aside funds and Wisconsin has promised to contribute, said Charles Uhlarik, project manager in the Army Corps' Detroit office.

"We've been very lucky that nothing serious has happened to the Poe Lock," Uhlarik said. "Even if there isn't a terrorist attack, what if a vessel hit a gate accidentally or a hinge broke?"

Studies estimate that if the Poe were knocked out of action for six months, the shipping industry would suffer an $89 million loss, he said. Rerouting cargo aboard trains, trucks or other haulers would exceed $400 million and pose a logistical nightmare.

The Army Corps says it would take six trains, each with 100 cars, or 2,308 large trucks to equal the capacity of a single 1,000-foot lake freighter.

Long delays would be inevitable, Johnson said. "You can't just push a button and say, "There's 10 more 100-car trains,"' he said. "There just isn't enough capacity."

One reason the project has been held up so long is that, when it comes to name recognition, the Soo Locks are no Brooklyn Bridge. Their obscure location means less political support.

They are planted at the northern end of the St. Marys River, a winding, 63-mile-long link between Lakes Superior and Huron. Such connecting channels make the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River a unified commercial waterway extending more than 2,300 miles, from the mouth of the Atlantic to the heartland port of Duluth, Minn.

Centuries ago, the northern end of the St. Marys was impassable because of a 21-foot drop off. Ojibwe Indians and early white settlers portaged canoes around the rapids.

The first permanent lock opened in 1855, after discovery of Upper Peninsula copper and iron deposits spurred demand for more efficient water transportation. Four others were constructed between 1881 and 1919.

The 800-foot-long MacArthur Lock, named for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, opened during World War II to boost the flow of raw materials for tanks, planes and other weaponry.

Today, nearly all ships use the MacArthur and Poe locks. Two others dating from World War I remain, but one is closed and the other seldom used.

Reported by Detroit Free Press
 

 


Possible Future for Erie Shipyard

7/28
The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority is reported to be close to signing a contract with Van Enkevort Tug and Barge Co. of Escanaba, Michigan. Van Enkevort wants to build a 740 foot barge and a 135 foot tug at the 240,000 square-foot Metro Machine building and dry dock.

Reported by Hugh W. Gillett
 

 


No Commercial Dives Allowed on Fitzgerald

7/28
The wreck of the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald lies in the Canadian waters of eastern Lake Superior. Now, the Ontario government is making expeditions to the shipwreck off-limits.

Twenty-nine men were lost in hurricane-force winds November 10th, 1975 in Lake Superior. For years, families of the crew have asked that the ship be left alone. None of the bodies were recovered and are believed to be in or around the ship.

The director of the Great Lakes Shipwrecks Museum on Whitefish Point near the sinking site admitted to an unlicensed dive in 2002. So earlier this year, the Ontario Ministry of Culture warned him and anyone else to stop commercial dives to the Fitzgerald.

Ministry Spokesman Guy LePage doubts they'll grant any more permits for expeditions to anyone.  "Given that the tragedy didn't happen all that long ago and there are living next of kin, we've not supported diving on the wreck."

Even though this is the 30th anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald, LePage says no one has applied for an expedition permit.

Reported by Great Lakes Radio Consortium
 

 

Port Reports

7/28
Marquette
The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in Marquette on Monday and was very "light" when she began to load. The Herbert C. Jackson was expected to follow her fleetmate to the ore dock. The tug BeeJay has been dredging in the harbor.

Reported by Lee Rowe

Alpena
Reported by Ben & Chanda McClain

The G.L Ostrander and barge Integrity arrived at Lafarge Wednesday morning to load cargo for Milwaukee. J.A.W Iglehart made its way into port by 8 p.m. on that evening. The Iglehart was expected to depart by midnight and should be headed for Saginaw.

The Paul H. Townsend loaded at Lafarge early Monday morning and has since made stops in Muskegon and St. Joseph.  Steamer Alpena took on cement Sunday (24th) and delivered it to Superior & Duluth. The Alpena should return to its namesake port sometime on Friday.

 
The Sam Laud loaded at Stoneport on Wednesday, followed by the Calumet later in the day. The Philip R. Clarke was on the schedule for Thursday.

Saginaw
Reported by Todd Shorkey

The Maumee was inbound the Saginaw River early Tuesday morning calling on the Bay City Wirt Dock to unload.  Once finished, she turned off the dock and was outbound for the lake late Tuesday.
 
Inbound Wednesday morning was the tug Joe Thompson, Jr. and barge Joseph H. Thompson. The pair called on the Wirt Stone Dock in Bay City to lighter and then continued upriver to finish unloading at the Wirt dock in Saginaw.  They were finished by the afternoon and headed for the Sixth Street turning basin to turn and head for the lake.  The tug Rebecca Lynn and her barge were also outbound Wednesday after unloading at the Bit-Mat dock.

Brockville
Reported by Keith Giles
On July 21 the training brigantine St. Lawrence II was practicing in the St. Lawrence River before tying up at the harbour wall in Brockville for the night.  The next day it proceeded down river, approximately 10 miles, to Ogdensburg, New York, to participate in the Founder's Day and Pirate Day festivities.
Pictures in News Photo Gallery
 

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/28
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping and Model sections
The Public Gallery Software was updated Tuesday and now offers much faster viewing.

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 28

ALGOWEST passed Detroit downbound on July 28, 1982, she had departed on her maiden voyage July 26 from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Quebec City with a 27,308 ton load of barley.

On July 28, 1973, the ROGER M KYES (Hull#200) was christened at Toledo, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. by Mrs. Roger Kyes for the American Steamship Co. Renamed b.) ADAM E CORNELIUS in 1989.

B A PEERLESS (Hull#148) was launched July 28, 1952, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for British American Transportation Co. Ltd. Renamed b.) GULF CANADA in 1969 and c.) COASTAL CANADA in 1984.

The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was delivered on July 28th to the Buckeye Steamship Co. (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.), Cleveland. The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was part of a government program designed to upgrade and increase the capacity of the U.S. Great Lakes fleet during World War II. In order to help finance the building of new ships, the U.S.M.C. authorized a program that would allow existing fleets to obtain new boats by trading in their older boats to the Government for credit. The JOHN T HUTCHINSON was the ninth Maritimer and fourth of the six L6-S-Al types delivered. "L6" meant the vessel was built for the Great Lakes and was 600 to 699 feet in length. The "S" stood for steam power and "Al" identified specific design features.

On 28 July 1854, BOSTON (wooden propeller, 134 foot, 259 tons, built in 1847 at Ohio City, Ohio) was bound from Chicago for Ogdensburg, New York with pork, corn, whiskey and produce. On Lake Ontario, about 20 miles off Oak Orchard, New York, she collided with the bark PLYMOUTH and sank in about 20 minutes. No lives were lost. The crew and passengers made it to shore in three lifeboats. The boat that the captain was in sailed 50 miles to Charlotte, New York.

In 1900, the freighter PRINCETON (Hull#302) was launched at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

On 28 July 1862, CONVOY (2-mast wooden schooner, 130 foot, 367 tons, built in 1855 at Buffalo, New York) was sailing down bound on a dark night on Lake Erie with 18,000 bushels of wheat when she collided with the empty bark SAM WARD and sank quickly in 12 fathoms of water. Her wreck drifted along the bottom and during the shipping season several vessels collided with her.

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

 


Jo Spirit Repairs

7/27
The Chemical and food tanker Jo Spirit was moored at Cote Ste Catherine wharf having repairs done to her bow. The Norweigian registered tanker owned by Jo Tankers BV, Spijkenisse Netherlands was in contact with the downbound Polsteam vessel Orla.

The Orla allegedly went aground in the St. Lawrence Seaway Tuesday evening at approximately 10:30 pm at Kahnawake. The up bound Jo Spirit loaded with rum for Hamilton came into contact with the downbound Orla, the Orla then proceeded to the Port of Montreal sec. 44 for assessment and subsequent repairs. The Jo Spirit went to the wall at Beauharnois then continued on to Hamilton to unload.

The extent of damage, repairs and length of time for both vessels is unknown at this time. Work on both vessels is being done by, Mount Royal Walsh Marine of Montreal, Quebec.

Pictures in News Photo Gallery

Reported by Kent Malo
 

 


County, city agree on future of Whiskey Island

7/27
After a bitter fight between Cleveland and Cuyahoga County over one of the city's last undeveloped lakefront parcels, the two are now united over the future of Whiskey Island.

Both sides want the Cleveland Metroparks to take over 62 acres of the property, which is actually a peninsula between the Cuyahoga River and Edgewater Park.

Ultimately, the city is getting what it wanted: a lakefront park on Whiskey Island.

For more than a dozen years, plans for Whiskey Island have been a source of controversy among developers, environmentalists and government officials.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority tried unsuccessfully for years to buy the land from a private owner, Whiskey Island Partners.

Three years ago, Cleveland and the port worked out a deal: The port would buy the property as part of a complex land swap to play out over the next several decades. The port planned to fill in the marina to store bulk materials, such as limestone and gravel, and transfer the eastern half of the property to the city for a park.

In February 2004, after failing to strike a deal with Whiskey Island Partners, the port filed for eminent domain, a legal action that forces an owner to sell property to a public body. Ten months later, the county commissioners intervened and bought the land from the partnership, making the county the defendant in the case.

The county argued that it, too, wanted a park on the property and that it decided to act because of the city and port's inability to close a deal. Since then, the county has transformed the property into a public lakeside park, called Wendy Park.

Last month, the port authority offered the county $6.4 million for the land -- the same amount the county paid, plus closing costs. But the deal broke down.

The protracted controversy seemingly ended last Friday, when the port authority withdrew its offer to buy the land and dismissed its eminent-domain case.

"It's not that we don't need the property," port authority President Gary Failor said. "But having the city and county arguing about it, the port board just said Not now.' "

Reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer
 

 


Wreck Located

7/27
For more than 90 years it was a secret Lake Superior wouldn't tell: the deep, dark place where it had entombed the 239-foot Great Lakes freighter Benjamin Noble and its crew of 20 men.

The Noble sank during the predawn darkness of April 28, 1914, during a vicious storm. The most anyone could surmise was that it went down somewhere between Two Harbors and Duluth, off the North Shore.

Duluth maritime publisher James Marshall was so intrigued by the mystery that in 1987 he offered a $1,000 reward for the discovery of the wreck.

And he smiled broadly last week as he paid the reward to a team of amateur but experienced wreck hunters who stumbled upon the Noble last fall.

"I've been waiting a lot of years to give this check out," Marshall, chairman of Lake Superior Magazine, said during the ceremony in Duluth's Canal Park, with the world's biggest lake for a backdrop.

The water was a gentle blue, appearing hardly the killer it was on the day it swallowed the Noble and its entire crew.

The Noble, a steamer built in 1909, had left Conneaut, Ohio, on Lake Erie with 2,900 tons of steel rails bound for the Great Northern Railway's Superior, Wis., terminal. Its captain, 31-year-old John Eisenhardt of Milwaukee, worried in a letter to his sister that the vessel was overloaded, making it unstable, according to "Lake Superior Shipwrecks" by Julius F. Wolff. The trip was Eisenhardt's first as captain. It became his last.

As the vessel crossed Lake Superior, one of the worst spring storms ever to strike the big lake was gathering -- with winds of at least 64 miles per hour. From a distance, the captain of another vessel saw a smaller ship's lights disappear at about 3 a.m. By that afternoon, hatch covers, oars and other flotsam from the Noble were washing up on Minnesota Point in Duluth.

But the location of the Noble and its crew became "western Lake Superior's best-held secret," Wolff wrote.

Last Halloween, wreck hunters Jerry Eliason and Randy Beebe of Duluth, Ken Merryman of Fridley and Kraig Smith of Rice Lake, Wis., were scanning the bottom about 10 miles off the shore near Two Harbors.

They were looking for the Robert Wallace, a wooden steamer that went down in 1902. They thought the structure their side-scan sonar detected half-buried in the muddy bottom more than 300 feet down was the Wallace.

But when they lowered an underwater camera, they discovered a hull made of steel, not wood. Then they caught glimpses of the cargo: steel rails.

In western Lake Superior, only one missing steel vessel was loaded with rails when it went down: the Benjamin Noble. Eliason considered the Noble the Holy Grail or Loch Ness monster of wrecks, half history, half legend, a hidden crypt for 20 men.

Of the 350 vessels known to have sunk in Lake Superior, fewer than 50 remained unaccounted for, and because the Noble had no survivors, its fate was considered one of the most mysterious.

The data on how and where it went down were so vague, so conflicting that no wreck hunter had ever known just where to start. Now, huddled around a video screen in a lonely boat, the four hunters suddenly knew they were staring at something akin to a ghost.

Eliason said it sits in a deep furrow plowed by its own hull, evidence that it dove to the bottom rather than breaking up on the surface.

He said he thinks killer waves may have broadsided the vessel and driven it under when the captain was trying to turn around, to avoid a following sea. The witness who saw lights disappear said the vessel appeared to turn first, Eliason said.

On Tuesday, Marshall said he couldn't be more thrilled, both to see the mystery of the Noble's location solved in his lifetime and by the wreck hunters' announcement that they would put the money toward an application to have the wreck declared a historic site, off-limits to private relic scavengers. Preservation sought Until then, they said, the wreck's exact location and depth won't be widely disclosed. If any relics are taken off the wreck, they will be only for public display in the Canal Park Marine Museum, the discoverers said. They added that dives -- the first of which may occur this summer -- should be limited because the site is the grave of the Noble's crew.

Reported by Duluth Star Tribune
 

 


History Channel to Film in Western Michigan

7/27
Filmmakers from the History Channel's "Deep Sea Detectives" show are coming to Muskegon and Grand Haven Thursday to shoot footage on the loss of two Coast Guard cutters in 1944 and the sinking of the car ferry S.S. Milwaukee and its 52 sailors 76 years ago.

The History Channel crew -- including executive production Kirk Wolfinger, and hosts Richie Kohler and John Chatterton of the "Deep Sea Detectives" show -- will be aboard the retired Coast Guard Cutter McLane Thursday as it is being towed from Muskegon to Grand Haven for the upcoming Coast Guard Festival.

Later, crews will be at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum to take advantage of the museum's extensive collection of photographs and artifacts related to the S.S. Milwaukee.

The footage will be used next year for two separate shows of Deep Sea Detectives, a popular History Channel program that explores shipwrecks and the stories behind the sinking.

Dave Warfield, a writer and producer with the Lone Wolf documentary group, said the McLane will be used as a backdrop while two survivors of the sinking of the Coast Guard Cutter Jackson are interviewed on board.

The Jackson, along with the Cutter Bedloe, sank Sept. 14, 1944, off the North Carolina coast when they were hit by a huge storm dubbed "The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944." Like the McLane, both cutters were known as "buck and a quarters" because they were 125 feet in length.

Warfield said the two cutters, along with two tow vessels, were dispatched to assist the liberty ship freighter George Ade, which was disabled after its rudder was torpedoed by a German submarine. The vessels intercepted the liberty ship and were towing it to Norfolk, Va., when the storm struck.

The tow lines broke and all five ships were separated. The Jackson, with a crew of 41, sank at 10:30 a.m.; the Bedloe, with a crew of 38 sank at 1:30 p.m.

Most of the crew made it to life rafts but had to endure two days on the ocean under hurricane conditions. In all, 26 of the Bedloe's crew and 22 of the Jackson's crew died before being rescued Sept. 16.

Ironically, the disabled liberty ship and the two tow vessels, all larger than the two cutters, survived the storm.

The video crew also will visit both sites of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum to record images of the S.S. Milwaukee, a Grand Trunk Railroad car ferry that operated out of Grand Haven.

The car ferry sank Oct. 22, 1929, about 3 miles northeast of Milwaukee in a raging Lake Michigan storm. The entire crew of 52 aboard, more than half residents Grand Haven, died.

"Bodies from 'Milwaukee' are picked off Racine," Chronicle headlines bannered two days later as the magnitude of the sinking unfolded.

The exact location of the sinking was not known until 1972 when the wreck was discovered. The ship lies upright in about 122 feet of water and its bow is pointed toward Milwaukee, a sign that its captain had decided to turn back because of the storm.

Although the location of the ship was a mystery for 43 years, the cause of sinking was known because of a hastily written note discovered in an empty lifeboat near Grand Haven five days after the sinking.

Purser A.R. Sadon wrote, "Pumps working but sea gate is bent and can't keep water out. Thing look bad."

The Milwaukee originally was built in Cleveland in 1903 and measured 338 feet in length and 56 feet in width. The ship was sold five years later to the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Co. and renamed the Milwaukee.

The ship had an uneventful 23-year career and in its final years was piloted by Capt. Robert McKay, whose nickname was "Heavy Weather Bob" and had a reputation of being a skilled navigator in storms. On the morning of Oct. 22, 1929, McKay sailed the Milwaukee through a raging storm from Grand Haven to Milwaukee.

Despite the storm, the ship arrived without incident and was loaded with 25 railroad cars. Although several crew members were so convinced the day's return trip to Grand Haven would be canceled that they went to a movie, McKay steamed out of Milwaukee at 2:30 p.m. that day.

When the ferry failed to arrive in Grand Haven, it was believed that McKay simply had taken refuge from the storm. Concern mounted when the weather cleared Oct. 24 and the Milwaukee remained missing.

Worst fears were confirmed the next day when the wreckage and two bodies clad in "S.S. Milwaukee" lift preservers were picked up off Kenosha.

The sinking of the Milwaukee spawned several safety moves. Sea gate heights on ferries were increased and wireless radios installed.

The History Channel crew also will travel to Lake Huron for another program being taped on the 1875 sinking of the Cornelia B. Windiat.

Reported by Muskegon Chronicle
 

 


Offshore tower to measure Lake Erie wind power

7/27
Wind power on Lake Erie started to take shape Monday just offshore of downtown Cleveland.  Technicians and volunteers began building the tallest wind-monitoring tower on the Great Lakes atop the Cleveland Water Department intake crib, the bright orange-and-white structure 3.5 miles north of Edgewater Park and the major collection point for Greater Cleveland's drinking water.

When it is completed in several weeks, the galvanized steel tower will rise 165 feet above the lake's surface like a silver needle. Its six arms will hold a variety of small, lightweight instruments at three heights to record weather conditions and the wind's speed, frequency and direction.

Data will be collected for two years and reviewed to see if building large electricity-generating wind turbines is feasible several miles offshore in Lake Erie.

"This is not a mandate for wind power, but to put data in the hands of the public," said AAron Godwin, the project manager for Green Energy Ohio, a nonprofit clean-energy advocacy group that is spearheading the work.

Up to now, Lake Erie wind data have been theoretical, not factual, because they are based on math models and buoys at lake level that collected information while in the water during the spring, summer and fall. No information is known about wind strength or speed at 100 feet, 130 feet and 165 feet - the heights at which the tower's instruments will sit.

The monitoring tower will provide data every 10 seconds. That information will be sent to shore and then be posted on the Internet.

Building the 3-ton tower is an engineering feat. It was designed to withstand Lake Erie's storms and pounding.  Green Energy hired a heavy-lift helicopter crane to fly the tower to the crib in two sections from a spot at the east end of Burke Lakefront Airport.

The helicopter carried the first section Monday morning, and crews on the crib tethered it in place. Plans were to finish the tower later that morning. However, the helicopter pilot canceled the second flight because he could not see the crib from the shoreline because of the foglike haze from Monday's heat. The second piece of the tower is loaded with all the instruments, so no data can be collected for now.

Godwin said it now may be several weeks before the tower can be completed because additional money may be needed. The project, set to cost about $80,000, is paid for by the Cleveland, George Gund and Steffee foundations and the city of Cleveland.

Collecting accurate data is important because a fraction of a mile per hour of wind can make the difference between whether or not a project is economically feasible. Once Green Energy has two years of data, the group will hold public meetings to discuss the economic, social and environmental issues associated with building wind turbines on Lake Erie.

Reported by Cleveland Plain Dealer
 

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 27

On 27 July 1884, ALBERTA (steel propeller passenger/package freight vessel, 264 foot, 2282 gross tons, built in 1883, at Whiteinch, Scotland by C. Connell & Co.) collided in fog 6 miles North North West of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior with the JOHN M OSBORNE (wooden propeller "steam barge", 178 foot, 891tons , built in 1882, at Marine City, Michigan. The OSBORNE had two barges in tow at the time. ALBERTA stayed in the gash until most of OSBORNE's crew scrambled aboard, then pulled out and the OSBORNE sank. ALBERTA sank in shallow water, 3 1/2 miles from shore. 3 or 4 lives were lost from the OSBORNE, one from ALBERTA in brave rescue attempt while trying to get the crewmen off the OSBORNE.

This was ALBERTA's first year of service. She was recovered and repaired soon afterward. She was the sister of the ill fated ALGOMA which was lost in her first year of service. The wreck of the OSBORNE was located in 1984, 100 years after this incident.

On 27 July 1900, the steel freighter RENSSELAER (Hull#402) was launched in Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company.

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

 

Former Algocen leaves the Seaway

7/26
The former Great lakes bulker Algocen left Montreal July 25 at 8:40 a.m. with the aid of Atlantic Towing Lines tug Atlantic Oak and the Group Ocean tug Andre H. The former Algoma Central freighter headed down the St Lawrence bound for New Jersey under a new name and port of registry.

Valgocen as she is now known is registered in Panama. The vessel's will be used as a storage barge. Valgocen is due to arrive in New Jersey on July 29 according to shipping sources.

Algocen built at Collingwood in 1968 as hull 191, was powered by four Fairbanks Morse diesels 38D 8 1/8, 8,000 total HP. Algocen was capable of carrying 28,400 tons of iron ore. 
Pictures in News Photo Gallery

Reported by Kent Malo
 

 

Kayaker Continues Progress across Lake Superior

7/26
Kayaker Ian Harvey reached Munising Monday night and is right on schedule, even after having lost a day and a half due to weather. The dedicated rower went at it all night with the guiding spotlight of the tug.

Departing Duluth at 10:00 Saturday morning, 58-year old Ian Harvey set course for Sault Ste. Marie, in his specially made Pienert Zephyr Kayak. Hoping to row more than 400 miles, the challenge is part of a fund raiser for children of Northern Ireland and Unganda through British Broadcasting Corp.'s Children in Need Charity.

He is in good spirits and health and is positive about completing the 400-mile journey. His support team and the tug crew have made an excellent team, guiding Harvey across Lake Superior. He is making 30 to 40 miles per day.

 

 

Port Reports

7/26
Marquette
The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in Marquette on Monday and was very "light" when she began to load. The Herbert C. Jackson was expected to follow her fleetmate to the ore dock. The tug BeeJay has been dredging in the harbor. Pictures in News Photo Gallery

Reported by Lee Rowe

Kingston
Kingston Harbour has been busy of late. The Canadian Empress and Kawartha Voyager have been making regular visits to the Crawford Wharf.
The local tour vessels Island Star, Island Belle and Island Queen, have been busy with regular trips and charters. The Nantucket Clipper has also visited Kingston.

On August 2nd and 3rd, HMCS Toronto will visit the harbour. Regular shuttle trips will be made by the Island Belle to the ship. The Georgian Clipper has arrived in Kingston and has tied up a the Holiday Inn dock. She is not supposed to make any runs this year but will go into dry dock in September for a five year inspection.

The new CCGC Cape Hearn has been involved in training work and also responded to her first SAR calls.

Reported by Ron Walsh

Saginaw
Monday was quiet on the Saginaw River with only the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge making an appearance. The pair called on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload liquid asphalt.

Reported by Todd Shorkey
 

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/26
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping section

 

Cruise Ships to be Auctioned

7/25
The former cruise ship Cape May Light and her sister Cape Cod Light will be auctioned off by MARAD (U. S. Maritime Administration) on July 26 at their offices in Washington, DC. The reserve price will be $12 Million each with an assessed value of nearly $20 Million.

The 300 foot ships were built for American Classic Voyages in 2000 with Title XI loan guarantees at a cost of $40 Million and only sailed one season before laying due to Bankruptcy.

The company claimed that the public's fear of travel after the September 11th terrorist attack wiped out their business and both ships have been laid up in Jacksonville Florida since 2001. Cape May Light made several trips into the Great Lakes.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
 

 

USACE looking at privatization

7/25
The Army Corps of Engineers has been looking into privatizing their lock operations on US waterways. The Government wants the Corps to look into the possibility of substantial money savings in bidding the work out to the private sector with Corps oversight. The plan would use the savings to help off set the cost of a growing list of backlogged improvement projects. Shipping officials worry that service could be degraded and they want more input on the final decision. The proposal will involve up to 7,500 current jobs nationwide involving the civil works, military, and information technology support areas.

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
 

 


Marinette Marine receives new Navy contract

7/25
Marinette Marine in Wisconsin has begun contraction of the first Littoral Combat Ship For the US Navy. The USS Freedom's keel laying ceremony was held on June 2. The ship was designed by Lockheed Martin and will compete for the Navy's contract with another design being built by General Dynamics in Alabama. Ed Lundquist, spokesman for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington states that the first of the LSC 1 class ships being built in Wisconsin is supposed to be delivered in December of 2006. He also stated that the development of the two designs is on the fast track with initial funding coming only two and half years before the start of construction.

The LSC ship is a new idea formed around a frigate size hull with a "Mission Module" concept that has never been used by the US Navy. The basic premise is that these smaller ships could be fit with weapons, computers, and equipment for rapidly changing battle situations by swapping out module packages. These packages would change with each different mission that the ship may be required to perform. She will be designed around shallow draft operations in close to enemy shore positions or what is known as "The Littorals".

Reported by Brian Wroblewski
 

 

Port Report

7/25
Marquette

The Frontenac loaded ore at Marquette on Sunday but experienced a delay because of a sticky chute. The Lee A Tregurtha and Herbert C. Jackson are expected Monday, with the Michipicoten, Joyce VanEnkevort/ Great Lakes Trader, Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder and Saginaw expected during the week.
Pictures in News Photo Gallery

Reported by Lee Rowe

Saginaw
It was a rough day on the Saginaw River Sunday as severe storms ripped through the area. Outbound, during the height of the storm, were the Agawa Canyon and the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort with the barge Great Lakes Trader. Outbound from the Buena Vista dock, the Agawa Canyon was called by the Liberty Bridge in Bay City stating they had a power failure and would not be able to open right away. The Capt. on the Canyon had concerns about being able to stop due to her speed and the strong winds, but she dropped her hooks, stopped, and after a wait was able to continue outbound when the draw finally was opened.

Following behind was the Joyce L. outbound from Saginaw Rock Products. She reported to the Agawa Canyon that the wind speeds registering on her wind gauge were 85 miles per hour. The Joyce L. & Trader had bridge problems of their own as the final drawbridge out of the Saginaw River, the Independence Bridge, also had electrical problems and could not open. After a short delay, the pair were on their way to the lake.

Reported by Todd Shorkey

Cleveland
John B. Aird on what could be a first time visit to Cleveland, unloaded at Cleveland Bulk Terminal Monday morning. The American Republic was working the shuttle from CBT to ISG (Mittal) up the Cuyahoga Monday night.

Reported by Bill Kloss
 

 


Trip Auctions

7/25
On our trips page, two Trip Auctions for a cruise on an Oglebay Norton vessel or the Saginaw.

Boat trips are rare, auctions are even rarer. Most trips are made available to the public only through raffles. This is a rare chance to book a cruise on a working freighter. Click here for more information

 

Shipping Company Flags Wanted

7/25
We are requesting 4' x 7' shipping company flags to display from a series of flag poles similar to the Soo Locks at the Boatnerd World Headquarters in Port Huron.
Please send to:
Boatnerd World Headquarters
104 First Street
Port Huron, Michigan 48060-5445
or drop off in person.

 

 

New Links Page, Volunteers Needed

7/25
We are adding a new searchable Links page and are looking for volunteers to help move the links from the old links page to the new one. If you would like to help proof and add links please use the "Suggest a Link" on the New Links Page. The old links page can be found here. We would also like any new links suggested over the past few months to be submitted to the new site.
 

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/25
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping section

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 25

The bow section of the ROGER BLOUGH (Hull#900) was floated into the new American Ship Building Co. Lorain dry dock on July 25, 1970, and was joined with the 421 foot stern section. The launch of the completed hull was scheduled for July, 1971, but a fire broke out in the engine room on June 24, 1971, killing four yard workers and extensively damaging her Pielstick diesel engines. Extensive repairs, which included replacement of both engines, delayed the launch for nearly a year.

The CANADA MARQUIS was upbound at Detroit, Michigan on July 25, 1983, on her maiden voyage for Misener Holdings Ltd. She sails today as CSL's e.) BIRCHGLEN.

July 25, 1983 - A wedding was held aboard the BADGER during the sailing of "Love Boat II". Chris Gebhart and Pat Sroka of Ludington were married by Rev. John Christensen.

The wooden lumber tug CYGNET, which worked on the Shiawassee and Bad Rivers and Lake Huron, was destroyed when her boiler exploded in "Blow-up Bayou" on the Shiawassee River.

The wooden bulk freighter D C WHITNEY was launched at Langell's shipyard in St. Clair, Michigan on 25 July 1882. Her dimensions were 229 feet x 40 feet x15 feet, 1090 gross tons.

Data from: 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history tailed history

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 24

On July 24, 1980, 34 ships were delayed when the BALTIC SKOU, a 595 foot Danish-flag freighter, ran aground after losing power three miles east of the Snell Lock, near Massena, New York. The ship, loaded with sunflower seeds, was headed for Montreal and the Atlantic Ocean when the grounding occurred. No injuries or pollution resulted from the accident and the vessel did not take on any water.

The ALGOSOO (Hull#206) was launched July 24, 1974, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The BURNS HARBOR sea trials were conducted on July 24, 1980, during which she performed an emergency stop in 3,160 feet loaded to a depth of 25/26 feet. She was the third thousand footer built for Bethlehem and the tenth on the Great Lakes.

ST CLAIR (Hull#714) was launched July 24, 1975, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Corp. for the American Steamship Co.

The WILLIAM G MATHER, left River Rouge, Michigan on her maiden voyage July 24, 1925, for Ashtabula, Ohio to load coal for the Canadian Lakehead at Port Arthur/Fort William, Ontario.

The wooden steamer OSCAR TOWNSEND was launched at 2:20 p.m. at E. Fitzgerald's yard in Port Huron on 24 July 1873. The launch went well with a few hundred spectators. She was built for use in the iron ore trade by the Lake Superior Transportation Co. Her dimensions were 210 feet overall, 200 foot keel, 33 foot 10 inches beam and 15 foot depth. She had three masts and was painted deep green.

On 24 July 1847, CONSTITUTION (wooden passenger/package freight side-wheeler, 141 foot, 444 tons, built in 1837, at Charleston, Ohio) struck a pier in Sandusky harbor, stove a large hole in her bow and sank. Her machinery was later recovered and installed in J D MORTON.

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

 

Space Still Available on GLLKA Upper St. Mary's River Lighthouse Cruise

7/23
A limited number of spaces are still available on the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association Upper St. Marys River lighthouse Cruise and Lake Superior Conference on Saturday, July 30. Transportation will be provided by the Soo Locks Boat Tour Company, departing at 7:00am, for an eight hour cruise. After passing up bound through the American locks, we will hug the beautiful Canadian shoreline of eastern Whitefish Bay to view Gros Cap Reef Light and head all the way out to Ile Parisienne Light. From there we will circle back to see Point Iroquois Light from just off-shore.

On the way back to the Soo, we will view the ruins of Round Island Light, taking note of the old keeper's house from the Cedar Point Range on the mainland behind the island. We will also see the Birch Point Range and Brush Point Range Lights, Pte. Aux Pins Main Light, the Pte. Aux Pins Range Lights and pass down bound through the Canadian lock before returning to our dock. The trip is limited to 125 people. A U.P.-style continental breakfast (more than a doughnut and coffee) and a box lunch on the boat will be provided. Our host hotel for this event will be the Ramada Plaza/Ojibway Hotel located less than a block from the Soo Locks Visitor's Center. Dinner will be provided at the hotel.

Member cost for this conference will be $160 (non-members will be charged an additional $35 for a one year individual membership). A block of rooms is being held at the Ojibway Hotel for GLLKA at the group rate of $99. Call the hotel at 1-800 654-2929 or 1-906 632-4100 to reserve your room. Register by calling the GLLKA office at 231-436-5580, no later than Wednesday, July 27.
 

 

Port Reports

7/23
Saginaw River

Paul H. Townsend was out bound the Saginaw River around 2:00 pm Thursday afternoon departing the Carrollton LaFarge Terminal after unloading overnight. The tug/barge combination Joyce L. VanEnkevort/Great Lakes Trader passed the Townsend before the Townsend continued up steam to the Sixth Street turning basin to head out bound to the lake.

Saturday saw four vessel passages on the Saginaw River. First in was the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. who called on the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville early Saturday morning. She finished her unload and backed out to Light 12 to turn around and head for the lake by the late morning. The CSL Tadoussac was next in, unloading a load of cement clinker at the Essroc Terminal in Essexville. She was outbound Saturday evening, also backing out to Light 12 to turn and head for the lake.

The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader returned Saturday with a split load, lightering at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to finish at the Saginaw Rock Products dock in Saginaw. They were expected to be outbound Sunday morning. The Agawa Canyon was also up bound for the Saginaw area calling on the Buena Vista dock to unload. The Canyon slowed, to let the tug/barge pair dock in front of the Tadoussac, before the Canyon would try to pass the two to head upriver to unload at the Buena Vista Stone dock in Saginaw. She was expected to be outbound the Saginaw River Sunday morning. She was also expected to be outbound Sunday morning.

Pictures in the News Photo Gallery

Reported by Susan Garlick &Todd Shorkey
 

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 23

The keel for the TEXACO CHIEF (Hull#193) was laid July 23, 1968, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., for Texaco Canada Ltd. Renamed b.) A G FARQUHARSON in 1986 and c.) ALGONOVA In 1998.

CANADOC sailed on her maiden voyage July 23, 1961.

Upper Lakes Shipping Co. Ltd.'s, RED WING was christened on July 23, 1960, as the first all-welded vessel to emerge from Port Weller Dry Docks.

On 23 July 1878, H R PRESTON (wooden quarter-deck canal boat built in 1877, at Oneida Lake, New York) was carrying 250 tons of ashes from Picton, Ontario to Oswego, New York in tow of the tug ALANSON SUMNER along with three other canal boats when they encountered a storm on Lake Ontario. About 15 miles from Oswego, the PRESTON broke her towline and was taken alongside the SUMNER with some difficulty. About a mile out of port she lost her hold tarps and began to sink quickly. She was cut loose from the tug and her two crewmen were saved by the Oswego tug WM AVERY. Though she was lying heavily on the bottom in 50 feet of water, her wreckage came ashore near 4 Mile Point in early September.

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

 

Saltie Orla Update

7/22
The Polsteam freighter Orla arrived at Sec. 44 Port of Montreal for an inspection after her mishap Wednesday morning in the South Shore canal. It was alleged that she went aground and came in contact with the tanker Jo Spirit.

Reports from Hamilton say the Jo Spirit needs repairs before she can sail again. It is reported shipping officials will not issue a sailing ticket until repairs are done. The Jo Spirit has a load of rum, part of which is unloaded in Hamilton and the rest for an overseas port. Inspectors from the ships owners and seaway officials will arrive this weekend to survey the damage and decide on a repair location and plan. The Jo Spirit is currently tied up at pier 26 along the QEW highway and is accessible for photos.

Pictures in the News Photo Gallery.

 Reported by Kent Malo & Wally Wallace

 

Kingston Coast Guard Base Receives New Vessel

7/22
Canadian Coast Guard base Kingston now has its new Search and Rescue Vessel. The CCGC Cape Hearne is a Phase II series, 47' motor lifeboat with modifications made by the Canadian Coast Guard. She started her active service Friday morning at 9 a.m.

 The 41 cutter CCGC Bittern left Kingston harbour for the last time Friday morning. The vessel was built in Kingston and has been serving the area since 1982. She responded to over 2000 SAR taskings in her 23 years at base Kingston.

She may not be gone for long. The Bittern went to Prescott where she will be decommissioned but there are several municipal governments looking to obtain her for local service. It is hoped that the local fire department will obtain her and return her to her home port of Kingston.

 Reported by Ron Walsh

 

Port Reports

7/22
Saginaw River
The tug Mary E. Hannah was outbound the Saginaw River on Tuesday after unloading at the Dow Chemical dock in Bay City.  The tug Rebecca Lynn was inbound on Tuesday calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City to unload.  The pair were outbound Wednesday morning. 

Wednesday was a busy day with three inbound vessels.  The Buffalo was in first with a split load, lightering at the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City before finishing at the GM dock in Saginaw.  She was outbound Wednesday evening passing the inbound tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons at the old Bay Aggregates dock in downtown Bay City.  Once clear, the Invincible-McKee Sons traveled upriver to unload at the Buena Vista dock in Saginaw.  She was outbound Thursday morning.  Finally, the Paul H. Townsend was inbound during the late afternoon calling on the Lafarge dock in Carrollton to unload cement.  She was outbound for the lake late Thursday afternoon.

 Inbound early Thursday morning was the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader carrying a split load.  The pair lightered at Bay City Wirt then continued upriver to finish at Saginaw Wirt.  They were outbound from the Sixth Street turning basin Thursday afternoon.  Also inbound Thursday was the tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder.  The pair called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City and after unloading were outbound late Thursday afternoon.

 Reported by Todd Shorkey

Alpena
Wednesday saw three vessels loading cement at Lafarge. The Paul H. Townsend arrived after midnight to take on cargo for Saginaw. The Townsend was expected to return to port on Friday. The G.L  Ostrander/ barge Integrity was next under the silos after the Townsend departed early Wednesday morning. The Integrity will be delivering to Milwaukee and Waukegan. 

The Steamer Alpena returned from its Lake Superior trip and was the third vessel to load during the day. The Alpena was outbound in the lake by 7 p.m., heading for Green Bay. The J.A.W Iglehart has been on the lower lakes, making stops in Bath, ON , Cleveland, and Detroit. 

The Cason J. Calloway was loading at Stoneport on Thursday, with the McKee Sons and Great Lakes Trader expected for Friday.

Reported by Ben & Chandra  McClain

 

Kayaker Continues Voyage Across Lake Superior

7/22
Kayaker Ian Harvey arrived at Ontonagon at 7:00 pm Wednesday evening after rowing 38 miles. The kayak and supporting cast arrived at the Keweenaw Upper Entry Friday morning after Harvey rowed all night to make up for time lost in Ontonagon waiting out a northeast blow. A moonlight night and calm seas made for a smooth ride. After a rest while tied up in the Lily Pond, the team will continue on their way, expecting to arrive in Houghton mid-afternoon.
See original story from July 16

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/22
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping section

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 22

PERE MARQUETTE 22 (Hull#210) was launched on July 22, 1924, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. for the Pere Marquette Railway Co.

One hundred years ago on 22 July 1900, the tug MATT H ESSER was launched at Lorain, Ohio by H. D. Root for Captain Burke of Erie.

The M I MILLS (wooden propeller tug, 122 foot, 152 tons, built in 1867, at Marine City, Michigan), which sank in a collision with the bark UNADILLA on 9 May 1873, was found on 22 July 1873, in 90 feet of water in Lake Huron off Sand Beach, Michigan. Plans were made to raise her at the cost of $5,000. This effort was unsuccessful as was another abortive attempt in 1895.

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

 

Second Soo Locks Open House
and Freighter Chasing Cruise Announced

7/21
September 2-3, 2005 - Soo Gathering 2005-Part 2 - Soo Locks 150th Anniversary Closing Ceremonies

Here we go again. An encore visit to the Soo Locks for the Closing Ceremonies and open house. It may be another 50 years before we see two Open Houses in the same year. Don't miss this one. Additional Soo Locks 150th Celebration details are available.

Friday, Sept. 2 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..- The Corps of Engineers will open the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, the Administration Building and the Davis Building to visitors. This is a once-a-year (twice in 2005) chance to see inside the Corps operation, and see the passing freighters from a different angle.

Saturday - Sept. 3 - 6:00 p.m. - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise. This is a repeat of our annual trip aboard the Chief Shingwauk leaving from Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Soo, Ontario. Cruise will return at 9:00 p.m. Cost is C$30.00 Canadian or $25.00 US per person. Price includes dinner with a menu to be determined. Cash bar on board.

We must have a minimum of fifty (50) paid reservations by August 15 in order to have this cruise. Make reservations by calling (705) 253-9850, or 1-877-226-3665 with your credit card, or send your check to Locks Tours Canada Boat Cruises, P.O. Box 23002, Station Mall, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 6W6. If we fail to get 50 reservations, your check will be returned and no credit cards will be charged.

Details on other Boatnerd Gatherings are available at the Gathering page.

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 21

The JAMES DAVIDSON and KINSMAN INDEPENDENT arrived under tow at Santander, Spain on July 21, 1974, for scrapping.

On July 21, 1975, the GEORGE D GOBLE arrived at Lorain, Ohio with an unusual deck cargo loaded at American Ship Building Company's yard at South Chicago, Illinois. She was carrying the deckhouses for two Interlake Steamship Company thousand-foot self-unloaders being built at AmShip's Lorain yard. These vessels were completed as the JAMES R BARKER and MESABI MINER.

On 21 July 1875, the schooner ELVA, which was built in Port Huron, Michigan in 1861, for Capt. Sinclair, was sailing from Holland, Michigan for Milwaukee, Wisconsin loaded with stove bolts. She capsized 12 miles from Milwaukee. Her crew took to the boats and made a landing in Kenosha and then rowed to Milwaukee. A tug was sent for the schooner and she was recovered.

In 1900, R J GORDON (wooden propeller passenger-package freighter, 104 foot, 187 gross tons, built in 1881 at Marine City, Michigan) was placed back in service carrying freight and passengers between Chicago and Grand Haven. She had burned in September 1899 at Chicago but was rebuilt during the winter.

On 21 July 1875, the old barge HURON, which had been in use for a number of years as a car ferry for the Grand Trunk Railroad at Port Huron/Sarnia, was sold to Sandie and Archie Stewart. They planned to convert her to a dry-dock by adding three feet to her sides and removing her arches. The sale price was $1,500 in gold.

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

 

Saltie Orla hits the rocks

7/20
The downbound saltie Orla ran aground in the Seaway channel at Kahnawake, Quebec at approximately 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. She freed herself and continued her journey.
She was reported to have made contact with the upbound Jo Spirit.

Orla was underway within an hour but proceed to proceed to Cote Ste Catherine Warf for immediate inspection. The Jo Spirit went above Lock 4 for same purpose.

The Orla suffered a damage on her Port side above water line and was proceeding to Montreal Harbor, Section 44 for repairs.

Editors note: Orla is the same vessel that went aground in the St. Clair River, near Marysville, on July 8.

Reported by Joe Delaronde

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 20

CANADOC (2) suffered severe bow damage on July 20, 1963, in a collision with the Swiss-flagged freighter BARILOCHE in dense fog off Ile de Orleans, near Quebec City.

The LEON FALK JR was christened at Cleveland, July 20, 1961, after one trip to Duluth, Minnesota for ore.

HORACE JOHNSON (Hull#805) was launched July 20, 1929, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.

SHELTER BAY was launched July 20, 1907, as a.) JAY C MORSE (Hull#438) at Cleveland, Ohio by American Ship building Co. for the Mesaba Steamship Co. (Pickands & Mather & Co., mgr.)

At the end of June, 1877, the ferry MYRTLE began running between Port Huron and Sarnia. However, on 20 July 1877, the Port Huron Times reported that "The ferry MYRTLE has been taken off the route on account of the extreme dullness of the times."

The scow DIXIE burned during the night of 20 July 1875, while lying at Kenyon's dock in East China Township on the St. Clair River.

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

 

Port Reports

7/19
Saginaw River
The barge McKee Sons and the tug Invincible were outbound the Saginaw River around 1am early Tuesday morning passing through the Bay City bridges after unloading overnight at the Burroughs and Buena Vista Stone docks in Saginaw. The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge were outbound the Saginaw River Tuesday morning after unloading overnight at the Dow Chemical dock in Essexville. Passing the outbound Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge calling on the Bit-Mat Dock in Essexville. The Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were expected to be outbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning.

Reported by Gordy Garris

Owen Sound
The BBC Japan arrived in Owen Sound late Tuesday afternoon and is currently unloading wind mill components.

Reported by Ed. Saliwonchyk

 

 

Michigan History magazine celebrates Soo Locks at 150

7/19
Some said it couldn't be built. Others said it shouldn't be built. They were wrong. On June 18, 1855, after two years of backbreaking effort, a canal and locks were completed around the rapids of the St. Mary's River at Sault Ste. Marie.

The July/August 2005 issue of Michigan History pays tribute to the Soo Locks, an engineering marvel that celebrates 150 years of service to America and the world.  "In 1855, the first year the canal-lock system was in operation, over 106,000 tons of freight was transported between Lakes Superior and Huron," says author and Soo-area resident Dr. Richard Shaul. "In 2004, nearly 82 million tons of cargo went through the locks on 6,500 freighters. The canal-lock system has been of great importance not only to the economy of the United States, but to the rest of the world as well. For 150 years the locks have continued to meet the challenge of transportation on the Great Lakes, much to the credit of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District."

For more information or to order a subscription to Michigan History call (800) 366-3703 or visit www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

Reported by Kristin M. Phillips

 

Toledo's S. S. Boyer to Appear in Movie

7/19
A waft of silver screen glamour blew into Toledo yesterday courtesy of an independent action film that is using the venerable S.S. Willis B. Boyer as a backdrop. The film, called Richard Heat, is a familiar concoction of guns, drugs, and hit men, and was written, produced, and directed by Richard Manigault, who also stars as the eponymous hero

The film had been shot in and around Detroit. "In a lot of Hollywood films, you see the same backgrounds in [Los Angeles] time after time, so it's nice to use somewhere different like Detroit," said Jeffry Stetson, a co-star who's from East Lansing. Belle Isle and other Detroit landmarks are featured in the film.

Toledo's own S.S. Boyer - the 617 foot retired lake freighter that lies alongside international park, open to the public as a museum. The Boyer's part is a small but crucial one. It makes its debut at the start of the movie when gangsters use the ship to smuggle drugs into the city. The Boyer resurfaces as the location of the final showdown when Heat confronts the none-too-bright villains who try to use the ship to move their stash again.

If the plot holds few surprises, there were plenty in store for Kim Danes, the Boyer executive director who was on board during the four hours of filming yesterday. Mrs. Danes was halfway through a telephone conversation when Mr. Manigault as Heat "swung a gun into my office and scared the living daylights out of me," she said. Mrs. Danes said she had offered the ship to Mr. Manigault for free, but for her troubles the museum received a donation and will get a credit in the movie.

Reported by Jeremy Lemer, Toledo Blade

 

 

Today in Great Lakes History - July 19

EDWIN H GOTT (Hull#718) was float launched July 19, 1978, at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Bay Shipbuilding Co. for U.S Steel Corp.

CLARENCE B RANDALL sailed on her maiden voyage July 19, 1943, from Ashtabula, Ohio, light bound for Two Harbors, Minnesota.  She was renamed b.) ASHLAND in 1962.  

N. M. Paterson & Sons, CANADOC (Hull#627) was christened on July 19, 1961.  

The registry of the GORDON C LEITCH of 1954, was closed on July 19, 1985, as “sold foreign.”

JOHN P REISS in tandem tow with the carferry CITY OF SAGINAW 31 arrived at Castellon, Spain prior to July 19, 1973, for scrapping.  

JOSEPH S YOUNG, a.) ARCHERS HOPE, was christened at Buffalo, New York on July 19, 1957. The JOSEPH S YOUNG was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service.  

On 19 July 1831, the wooden schooner HENRY CLAY was carrying 800 barrels of salt and passengers from Oswego, New York to the Welland Canal on her maiden voyage when she capsized in a squall and sank about 10 miles off Port Dalhousie, Ontario on Lake Ontario. About 11 persons were aboard and at least 6 of them lost their lives. Three were saved by the steamer CANADA.  

On 19 July 1900, the name of the Toledo tug A ANDREWS JR was changed to PALLISTER.  

On 19 July 1871, J BARBER (wooden propeller steamer, 125 foot, 306 tons, built in 1856 at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying fruit from St. Joseph, Michigan to Chicago when she caught fire and sank 14 miles off Michigan City, Indiana. Five lives were lost.

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

 

 

Port Reports

7/18 - Saginaw
After a four day lull, commercial traffic resumed on the Saginaw River Monday with two cargoes dropped at the Burroughs dock in Zilwaukee. First the Manistee arrived early Monday morning to unload. She was out bound Monday afternoon passing her in bound fleet mate, Invincible/McKee Sons at the old Bay Aggregates dock in downtown Bay City. The pair continued up bound to lighter at the dock just vacated by the Manistee, before making the short trip to the Buena Vista dock to finish unloading. The pair were expected to be out bound early Tuesday morning.

The tug Mary E. Hannah and her tank barge were also in bound Monday afternoon. It was unclear if they were going to the Dow or Triple Clean dock.

Reported by Todd Shorkey

 


Photo Gallery Updates

7/18
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping section

 


Today in Great Lakes History - July 18

The AGAWA CANYON struck an abutment at Welland Canal's Bridge 11 at Allanburg, Ontario on July 18, 1977, while downbound with salt for Kingston, Ontario and sustained a thirty-foot gash just above the waterline at the port bow.

The canal tanker COMET (Hull#705) of the American Ship Building Co., at Lorain, Ohio, entered service on July 18, 1913, for ocean service. Sold Mexican and renamed b.) COMETA in 1928. She returned to the lakes in 1936, renamed c.) COMET for Cleveland Tankers. She was lengthened in 1940. She was scrapped at Ashtabula, Ohio in 1973.

The WILLIAM J. FILBERT was in collision with the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT of 1907, at the Burlington Northern Dock on July 18, 1970, when the Steel Trust steamer lost control in the current entering the slip.

The entire forward superstructure of the b.) JOHN DYKSTRA, a.) BENSON FORD of 1924, including the forecastle deck, was delivered to South Bass Island in Lake Erie on July 18, 1986, on the barge THOR 101 towed by the tug GREGORY J BUSCH. The superstructure was moved for use as a summer home where it remains. The hull of the DYKSTRA was sold to Marine Salvage, Port Colborne, Ontario and was towed from Cleveland, Ohio July 10th by the tugs ARGUE MARTIN and GLENBROOK to Ramey's Bend arriving there on July 12, 1986, where she was scrapped.

WILLIAM A REISS was launched July 18, 1925, as a.) JOHN A TOPPING (Hull#251) at River Rouge, Michigan by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Columbia Steamship Co..

WILLIAM G MATHER completed her sea trials on July 18, 1925.

On 18 July 1858, ANDROMEDA (2-mast wooden schooner, 112 foot, 568 tons, built in 1848, at Madison Dock, Ohio) was carrying 800 barrels of salt from Oswego to Chicago. She sprang a leak suddenly and foundered 20 miles from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The crew escaped in her boat, many just in their underwear. They arrived at Manitowoc the next day.

On 18 July 1872, the schooner D L COUCH of Detroit (formerly AVCORN) sank about 10 miles from Long Point on Lake Erie. Two lives were lost.

The wooden propeller freigjhter N K FAIRBANK (205 foot, 980 gross tons) was launched in Marine City, Michigan by W. B. Morley on 18 July 1874. She was then towed to Detroit where her engines were in stalled by William Cowie. She had two direct acting condensing engines 34 foot x 32 inches on one shaft and her boiler was installed on her main deck. She only lasted until 1895, when she stranded and burned near Port Colborne, Ontario. The remains of the hull were sold to Carter Brothers of Port Colborne and it was rebuilt and enrolled as a new vessel with the name ELIZA H STRONG. The STRONG lasted until she burned in 1904.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history tailed history

 


Today in Great Lakes History - July 17

The ASHCROFT was towed out of Quebec City on July 17, 1969, in tandem with the steamer SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY by the Polish tug JANTAR for scrapping at Castellon, Spain.

The BROOKDALE of 1909, lost her self-unloading boom overboard in the Detroit River during a wind and rain storm on July 17, 1980, while loading salt at the Canadian Rock Salt Dock at Ojibway, Ontario.

The Cleveland Tanker's COMET was towed from Toledo to Ashtabula, Ohio on July 17, 1973, where she was broken up during the summer and fall of 1973.

WILLIAM J FILBERT was launched in 1907, as a.) WILLIAM M MILLS (Hull#348) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. for the Weston Transit Co. (William M. Mills, mgr.) .

On her last trip the COLONEL JAMES PICKANDS arrived at Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 1974, with a load of iron ore.

Mohawk Navigation's GOLDEN HIND loaded her first dry bulk cargo on July 17, 1954. She had been rebuilt from the Imperial Oil Ltd.'s tanker a.) IMPERIAL WOODBEND.

On 17 July 1856, TINTO (wooden propeller, 135 foot, built in 1855-56 at Sorel, Quebec) caught fire and burned to a total loss only 2 miles from shore. She was between Snake Island and Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario. 18 lives were lost. The survivors jumped into the water and were picked up by a boat from shore. A newspaper article stated that she had no lifeboat aboard. Her machinery was later recovered and installed in the AVON.

On 17 July 1883, B PARSONS (2-mast wooden schooner, 218 tons, built in 1856 at Vermilion, Ohio) struck the north pier while entering the harbor at Charlevoix, Michigan during a gale. She sank crosswise in the channel and blocked passage into the harbor for two weeks until she broke up enough to allow vessels to pass. In December, the steam tug S S COE towed the hulk a half mile down the beach and abandoned it.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

 


Rower to Make 400-mile Journey Across Lake Superior

7/16
Departing Duluth at 10:00 Saturday morning, 58-year old Ian Harvey set course for Sault Ste. Marie, in his specially made Pienert Zephyr Kayak. Hoping to row more than 400 miles, the challenge is part of a fund raiser for children of Northern Ireland and Unganda through British Broadcasting Corp.'s Children in Need Charity.

Harvey, a retired BBC senior producer and veteran rower, has taken on similar charitable rowing challenges, such as a 212-mile river and canal row in Ireland and a 200-mile row across Lake Victoria in Unganda.

Harvey and his support crew should arrive in Whitefish Bay in 12 days, weather permitting. Duluth's Zenith Tugboat Company provided their 94-foot tug Seneca as a support vessel. The team expects to pull in at night, covering approximately 40 miles per day, rowing at a speed of about 5 knots.

The stops are scheduled as follows: Day 1-Duluth to Port Wing; Day 2-Port Wing to Stockton Island; Day 3-Stockland Island to Black River Harbor; Day 4-Black River to Ontonagon; Day 5-Ontonagon to Houghton; Day 6-Houghton to Huron Bay; Day 7-Huron Bay to Big Bay; Day 8-Big Bay to Marquette; Bay 9-Marquette to Munising; Day 10-Munising to Grand Marais; Day 11-Grand Marais to Little Lake Harbor and Day 12-Little Lake to Whitefish Point Harbor. Pictures of the start from Duluth in the News Photo Gallery.

 

 


Fry trailer sells 150 pounds of spuds in 2 hours

7/16
At the eastern end of Water Street in downtown Port Huron, a shady tent and a breeze from the river awaited visitors at lunchtime Friday. But the atmosphere didn't draw them there. Instead, steaming hot dogs and fresh-cut french fries served at Acheson Ventures' new Anchor Fries trailer were the big attraction. The trailer opened at 11 a.m. Friday.

Mike and Sarah Orlando of Cadillac used to live in Port Huron and came back to visit friends, who told them about the trailer. "This morning in the hotel room, we read it in the paper, so we thought we'd go down and check it out," Sarah said.  The couple ordered hot dogs and fries and pumped condiments onto them at the canisters under the tent, then strolled out to sit at a picnic table in the sun.

Trailer operator Kathy Syzak, who co-owns Port Huron's Powers Diner with her husband, Phill, said the first customer came at 11:02 a.m. She said business was steady, with the staff of four using 150 pounds of potatoes by 1 p.m. Friday. While white vinegar is offered, Syzak said a change is on the way. "Everybody wants malt vinegar on their fries, not the regular (white), and I didn't know that," she said.

Acheson Ventures spokesman Paul Maxwell said ice cream is due to be added to the menu Tuesday, he said. "They (the Syzaks) established what I think are generous hours. I think the public is going to demand it," Maxwell said. Pictures in the News Photo Gallery.

Reported by: Port Huron Times Herald

 


Today in Great Lakes History - July 16

DETROIT EDISON of 1955, departed Quebec City July 16th 1986, along with former fleet mate SHARON, in tow of the U.S. tug PRUDENT to Brownsville, Texas for scrapping.

The SAGINAW BAY departed Quebec City on July 16, 1985, in tandem with the E B BARBER, towed by the Polish tug KORAL for scrapping at Vigo, Spain.

The NORTHERN VENTURE, a.) VERENDRYE of 1944, entered Great Lakes service July 16, 1961, upbound light for the Canadian lake head to load grain.

On July 16, 1935, the BRUCE HUDSON capsized on Lake Ontario off Cobourg, Ontario, while in tow of the wooden-hulled tug MUSCALLONGE.

Keel laying of the CHI-CHEEMAUN (Hull#205) was on July 16, 1973, at Collingwood, Ontario by Colingwood Shipyards Ltd for Ontario Northland Transport Commission.

CATARACT (wooden propeller, 15 foot', 352 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo) caught fire on 16 July 1861, 5 miles off Erie, Pennsylvania. She became an inferno astern in just a few minutes and this prevented her boats from being launched. Four died. Some were saved by clinging to floating wreckage and some others were rescued by a small fishing boat. The schooner ST PAUL picked up some survivors, Among those picked up by Captain Mosher of the ST PAUL, were Captain McNally and the CATARACT's carpenter. Capt. Mosher had rescued these same two men in 1858, when the propeller INDIANA was lost in Lake Superior.

On 16 July 1873, the new barge MINNEAPOLIS was towed to Detroit for outfitting. She had just been launched four days earlier at Marine City, Michigan. While on the way to Detroit, a Canadian man named Sinclair fell overboard and drowned.

On 16 July 1874, the Port Huron Times reported that "the old steamer REINDEER has been rebuilt to a barge by L. C. Rogers at H. C. Schnoor's shipyard at Fair Haven, [Michigan]. Her beautiful horns have been taken down, [she carried a set of large antlers], her machinery and cumbersome side-wheels removed, and she has been fully refitted with center arch and deck frame complex."

July 16, 1961, the PIONEER CHALLENGER (now MIDDLETOWN) entered service.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

 


Algocen Renamed; May Sail Under Power to New Jersey

7/15
The former Algoma straight bulker Algocen was sold earlier this year to a New Jersey recycling firm. The vessel has taken on a new name and port of registry, Valgocen is the new name and Panama is the new port of registry. Valerie Montecalvo, one of the principals of Bayshore Recycling is the namesake applied to the vessel. The owners have intentions of sailing the Valgocen to New Jersey subject to Canadian Coast Guard approval. If sailing under her own power is not approved, she will be towed to her new home in New Jersey.

Reported by: Kent Malo


G Tug Office to Move

7/15
The Great Lakes Towing Company plans to move from Cleveland’s Terminal Tower to a consolidated shipyard and office complex in the Flats, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, by Sarah Hollander, on Thursday. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for July 20 for the $3.5 million project located on a six-acre parcel where the company operates a shipyard docks their Cleveland tug fleet.

 The new complex is due to be finished in spring, 2006, and will featured new offices and replacement of the aging shipyard buildings. 25 new jobs will be created by the expanded facility. The company owns and operates 50 tugboats and is the primary provider of commercial tug services in more than 40 ports in all eight Great Lakes states. In addition to the tug service, the company repairs boats and ships and builds barges, areas in which the company sees the most potential for growth. Incorporated in 1899, GLT has always had their offices in Cleveland.

Last year, GLT bought Buffalo-based Dock Master Marine Inc. which specializes in building portable barges. The barge sections can be shipped across land by truck and assembled like Legos at the purchaser’s location. The new facility will include a fabrication building with a huge crane, welding and diesel shops, and a new bulkhead along the Old River Channel.

The new facilities will be located on a 15-acres site owned by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, which includes GLT present facilities. An agreement between the port and the city shows nine acres designated as an eventual riverfront park, although the land would have to be cleaned up.

Reported by: Bill Kloss


HMCS Toronto in Welland Canal

7/15
The Canadian Navy vessel HMCS Toronto was up bound in the Welland Canal on Thursday. The ship is making a goodwill visit to the Great Lakes.

Reported by: Ian Baker


Port Reports

7/15
Marquette
Reported By: Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
CSL's Frontenac made one of her infrequent visits to Marquette on July 13 loading taconite for Nanticoke. Also on July 13, Herbert C. Jackson loaded and departed early in the morning.

Algocape arrived in Marquette around midnight to load ore at the LS&I Dock. She was preceded by James R. Barker with a load of coal for the Upper Harbor. The Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann are expected on Saturday and Michipicoten has resumed her regular trips to Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Lee A. Tregurtha may arrive on the 17.

Sunrise on July 8 found the Michipicoten departing the Upper Harbor while the Algocape was arriving. The two vessels exchanged a salute outside the breakwall. Algocape last visited Marquette as the Richelieu in the 1980's, and she became the fifth Canadian bulker to load ore in Marquette this season.

Herbert C. Jackson arrived early in the afternoon with coal and will load ore after unloading. Marquette pictures.

Oshawa
Reported By:
CCGS Samuel Risley arrived in Oshawa on July 12. It is thought that Oshawa may now be included as part of the Risley's regular patrol.

Wagonborg Shipping's Westerborg was in Oshawa and left on July 12, bound for Rotterdam. Westerborg Pictures.

Alpena
Reported By: Ben & Chanda McClain
On Saturday afternoon the G.L Ostrander/barge Integrity came into port to load cement at Lafarge. Sunday morning had the J.A.W Iglehart under the silos taking on cargo. It was outbound before noon and passed its fleetmate Alpena out in the bay. The Alpena arrived at Lafarge within an hour to load for Milwaukee.

The Paul H. Townsend delivered product to Muskegon over the weekend and is expected to return to port on Tuesday morning.

Three consecutive late night loads of salt were brought to the Alpena Oil Dock Saturday thru Monday. Algoma Central Marine vessels delivered the salt, one being the Agawa Canyon. Monday also had the Sam Laud make its way to Lafarge around 5:30 p.m. to unload coal. The research vessel Sturgeon came in on Monday afternoon and tied up in the Thunder Bay River.

The Pathfinder was loading at Stoneport on Monday night.

Saginaw River
Reported By: Todd Shorkey
The tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge were inbound the Saginaw River early Wednesday morning calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City. The pair were outbound late Wednesday evening. Also outbound was the Paul H. Townsend who had unloaded at Lafarge overnight.

The Saginaw River saw two passages on Tuesday. First, the CSL Tadoussac was inbound during the afternoon for the Essroc dock in Essexville. Next in was the Paul H. Townsend Tuesday evening, headed for the Lafarge dock in Carrollton. Both were expected to be outbound on Wednesday.

The Fred R. White, Jr. was inbound the Saginaw River Sunday night bound for the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City. She finished her unload and was outbound early Monday morning.

Inbound Monday morning was the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. bound for the Consumers Energy dock in Essexville. After unloading coal, she backed stern first out into the Saginaw Bay before turning and heading outbound for the lake.

Saturday saw the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader inbound the Saginaw River during the morning. She lightered at the Sargent dock in Essexville before continuing upriver to complete her unload at the Saginaw Rock Products dock. The pair were expected to be outbound early Sunday morning.

The Wilfred Sykes was back again early Thursday morning with another load for the Bay City Wirt Dock. She finished her unload by the afternoon and turned off the dock heading out to the lake.

Also inbound Thursday was the tug Rebecca Lynn and her tank barge calling on the Bit-Mat dock in Bay City.

Owen Sound
Reported By: Ed. Saliwonchyk and Brad Hillyer
About 3 p.m. July 11 the BBC Northsea arrived in Owen Sound with wind turbines to be unloaded. Shortly after the Northsea was secured on the east wall, the Saginaw arrived to unload at the Great Lakes Grain Elevators. The Scan Oceanic visited the Lake Huron Port with a load of wind turbines several years ago.

Buffalo
Reported By: Brian W.
The Day Peckinpaugh tow ran into trouble in Tonawanda on Tuesday morning. The ship struck a navigation light on the Webster St. bridge which caused some slight damage. Her pilothouse cleared the bottom of the bridge by about two feet and she was eventually taken all the way to Lockport that afternoon.

The Marine Safety Office at the Buffalo Coast Guard Base underwent a change of command on the 8th. Capt. Scott J Ferguson replaced Capt. Paul M Grugg at a ceremony last Friday. Capt. Grugg is moving on to Chief of Marine Safety for the Coast Guard's Pacific Area in Alameda, CA after three years here in Buffalo.


French-fry truck's opening

7/15
Visitors to Port Huron's premier Boatwatch Spot, Vantage Point, can now enjoy french fries along the St. Clair River.

Vantage Point is an area at the north end of Desmond Landing where the St. Clair and Black rivers meet in Port Huron. It is also home to the Boatnerd World Headquarters.

Acheson Ventures anticipated opening a french-fry truck Monday but permits delayed the open until today. The truck will be open today at 11 a.m., it is operated by Phill and Kathy Syzak, owners of Powers Diner in Port Huron.

The french fry truck is a concept suggested by viewers of this site in a survey taken last year. This is just one of then many new and exciting changes taking place in Port Huron.


Photo Gallery Updates

7/15
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping and Lighthouse


Today in Great Lakes History - July 15

On July 15, 1961, the WALTER A STERLING (now LEE A TREGURTHA) entered service on the Great Lakes for Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co., after conversion from a tanker. The next day, on July 16, 1961, the PIONEER CHALLENGER (now MIDDLETOWN) entered service for the Pioneer Steamship Co (Hutchinson & Co., mgr.).

The CHICAGO TRADER was launched as a.) THE HARVESTER (Hull#391) at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co. in 1911, for the Wisconsin Steel Co.

In 1946, the NORISLE (Hull#136) was launched at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for the Dominion & Owen Sound Transportation Co. Ltd.

In 1934, the ANN ARBOR #4 collided with the steamer N F LEOPOLD in a heavy fog.

On Saturday, 15 July 1871, an argument between Captain James Bradley and Mate John Reed started while the schooner ROBERT EMMETT was docked at Erie, Pennsylvania unloading iron ore. They were still shouting at each other as the ship sailed out of the harbor. In short order, the ship turned around and anchored in the harbor. At 3:00 a.m. the following morning, Reed rowed ashore, went directly to the police station and charged that Capt. Bradley had assaulted him with a knife. At dawn, as the police were on their way to question Capt. Bradley, they found him stepping ashore from the deck of a tug, fuming that Reed had stolen the ship's only small boat. Bradley and Reed were at each other again and the police arrested both men. Bradley then filed charges against Reed for mutiny, assault and theft of the ship's boat. The case went to court the very next day. Justice of the Peace Foster saw his courtroom packed with curious sailors and skippers. Reed and Bradley were both still fuming and after listening to just a little testimony, Foster found both men guilty, fined them both and ordered both to pay court costs. The matter didn't end there since Reed later had to get a court order to get his personal belongings off the EMMETT. There is no record of what the disagreement was that started this whole mess.

The iron side-wheel steamer DARIUS COLE (201 foot, 538 gross tons) was launched at the Globe Iron Works (Hull #10) in Cleveland, Ohio on 15 July 1885. During her career, she had two other names b.) HURON 1906 - 1921, and c.) COLONIAL 1921 - 1925. She burned off Barcelona, New York on Lake Erie on 1 September 1925, while on an excursion. The hull was beached and later towed to Dunkirk, New York for scrapping.

Data from: Max Hanley, Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Stewart J. Cort under New Colors

7/14
The Stewart J. Cort was upbound on the St. Marys river July 11 showing the colors of Interlake Shipping on her stack. The completed stacks are a recent change, on her last trip she was still under the old colors.

See the Public Gallery for pictures of the Cort with the new stack markings.

Reported by: Richard Craftchick


Soo Locks Area Engineer Stan Jacek Retires

7/14
After 40 years with the Corps of Engineers, Stan Jacek's next projects will be a driveway and a seawall out in the Clay Banks.

Recently honored by the Corps with surprise award of the bronze de Fleury Medal, Jacek retires July 22.

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Jacek graduated from Sault High, Soo Tech and Michigan Technological University before joining the Corps as a civilian engineer in 1965. His entire career in the Corps was spent in the Detroit District.

He is also among the unusual individuals who was working for the U.S. Army when he was drafted into it in 1966 shortly after signing on with the Corps. Jacek remembers his two years as an enlisted man with some irony. "I was in the finance office. I could type ... even though I was a graduate engineer," he said.

"Some guys got deferrals. I chose not to," he said of his Vietnam-era service.

Assigned first to a missile supply warehouse job at Selfridge Air National Guard Airbase with the Corps, he moved onto duties at Grand Haven before being named project engineer over three field offices scattered from the St. Clair River to Toledo from 1973 to '75.

During those high water years on the Great Lakes, Jacek oversaw major dike construction projects as flood control measures.

Later, he joined the Detroit District office for a long hitch as chief of operations for 12 years to 1987. With talk of a new Soo Lock in the air, he took over as assistant area engineer at the Locks and was named area engineer upon the retirement of Harold Lawson in 1992.

Reported by: Dave Wobser, Jack Storey


Today in Great Lakes History - July 14

The AMERICAN REPUBLIC (Hull#724) was launched July 14, 1980, by the Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for the American Steamship Co.

While upbound in the St. Lawrence River on July 14, 1970, for Saginaw, Michigan with a load of pig iron from Sorel, Quebec, the EASTCLIFFE HALL grounded in mud near Chrysler Shoal six miles above Massena, New York at 03:00 hours but was able to free herself. A few hours later, approaching Cornwall, Ontario she struck a submerged object and sank within a few minutes in 70 feet of water only 650 feet from the point of impact. The submerged object was believed to be an old aid to navigation light stand. Nine lives were lost. Divers determined that her back was broken in two places. After salvaging part of the cargo, her cabins were leveled and her hull was filled.

In 1988, the JOHN T HUTCHINSON and "tow mate" CONSUMERS POWER passed through the Panama Canal heading for the cutters torch in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

On 14 July 1908, MENTOR (wooden propeller tug, 53 foot, 23 gross tons, built in 1882, at Saugatuck, Michigan) burned south of Chicago, Illinois. No lives lost. Her original name was HATTIE A FOX.

On 14 July 1891, T H ORTON (wooden barge, 262 gross tons, built in 1873 at Buffalo, New York) anchored off Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie to ride out a storm. She dragged her anchors and was driven ashore where she was declared a total wreck. She may have been recovered though. Just two years earlier, this vessel went through a similar incident at the same spot!

Data from: Dave Wobser, Mike Nicholls, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. Marine Historical Society of Detroit. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

 

CSL Assiniboine Loads Record Cargo

7/13
On July 9 the new CSL Assiniboine was in Superior, WI for a load of taconite pellets bound for Hamilton, Ont. The ships maiden voyage is believed by the crew to have taken a record cargo for the Canadian Fleets from Burlington Northern at 30,192 metric tons.

Reported by: Sam Lapinski


Today in Great Lakes History - July 13

The ALGOWEST was christened at Collingwood on July 13, 1982.

SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER (Hull#258) was launched July 13, 1983, at Govan, Scotland by Govan Shipbuilders Ltd. for Pioneer Shipping Ltd. (Misener Transportation Ltd., mgr.). Renamed b.) LADY HAMILTON in 1995.

The LIGHTSHIP 103 was opened to visitors on July 13, 1974, at the city's Pine Grove Park along the St. Clair River.

The rebuilt BOSCOBEL was launched at the Peshtigo Company yard at Algonac, Michigan on 13 July 1876. Originally built in 1867 as a passenger/package freight propeller vessel, she burned and sank near Ft. Gratiot in 1869. The wreck was raised, but no work was done until January 1876, when she was completely rebuilt as a schooner-barge at Algonac. She sank again in the ice on Lake Erie in 1895, and was again raised and rebuilt. She lasted until 1909, when she sank in the middle of Lake Huron during a storm.

On 13 July 1876, the Port Huron Weekly Times listed the following vessels as being idle at Marine City, Michigan: Steam Barges BAY CITY, D W POWERS and GERMANIA; steamer GLADYS; schooners TAILOR and C SPADEMAN; and barges MARINE CITY and ST JOSEPH.

On 13 July 1876, the Detroit Tribune reported that "the captain of a well-known Oswego vessel, on his last trip to Oswego, found that the receipts of the trip exceeded the expenses in the neighborhood of $250, and stowed $210 of the amount away in a drawer of his desk on the schooner. The money remained there some days before the captain felt the necessity of using a portion of it, and when he opened the drawer to take out the required amount he found that a family of mice had file a pre-emption claim and domiciled themselves within the recess, using the greenbacks with the utmost freedom to render their newly chosen quarters absolutely comfortable. A package containing $60 was gnawed into scraps the size of the tip of the little finger, while only enough of the larger package containing $150 remained to enable the astonished seaman to determine the numbers of the bills, so that the money can be refunded to him by the United States Treasury Department. The captain made an affidavit of the facts, and forwarded it and the remnants of the greenbacks to Washington, with the view of recovering the full value of the money destroyed. He is now on the way to Oswego with his vessel, and no doubt frequently ruminates over the adage, "The best laid schemes of mice and men, . . ."

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


Day Peckinpaugh Tow

7/12
The former Erie Canal motorship Day Peckinpaugh arrived in Buffalo at 7 p.m. July 11 from Erie. The tug Benjamin Elliot was rigged to her stern in a push configuration for the trip across the lake to Buffalo due to calm seas and perfect weather. She was docked at the old Naval Park berth on the Buffalo River for the night.

She will transit the Black Rock Canal and head for Tonawanda at first light on the morning of the 12th. The ship is heading down the Erie Canal to Lockport for conversion into a traveling history museum.

Day Peckinpaugh is the former RICHARD J BARNES, built in the 1920's as a maximum size bulk carrier for the Erie Canal. The ship is load line certified for ocean service and has ventured as far away as Cuba over her long career. She was converted to a self unloading cement carrier in 1961 and remained in that trade until laying up at Erie, PA in 1994. The Peckinpaugh was the last operational self propelled commercial vessel on the Erie Canal.

Reported by: Brian W.


Today in Great Lakes History - July 12

The BELLE RIVER, renamed b.) WALTER J McCARTHY JR in 1990 was christened on July 12, 1977, as American Steamship's first thousand-footer and the first thousand-footer built at Bay Shipbuilding.

The H M GRIFFITH (Hull#203) was launched July 12, 1973, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards for Canada Steamship Lines. Rebuilt with a new cargo section in 2000, renamed b.) RT HON PAUL J MARTIN.

In 1986 The ENDERS M VOORHEES was chained together with her sisters, A H FERBERT and IRVING S OLDS, a severe thunderstorm struck Duluth, Minnesota pushing the trio across St. Louis Bay eventually grounding them near Superior, Wisconsin. It was discovered that the force of the storm had pulled the bollards out of the Hallett Dock No. 5 thus releasing the ships.

On July 12, 1958, Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd.'s, FRANK A SHERMAN entered service, departing Port Weller Dry Docks, for Duluth and a load of iron ore on its maiden voyage.

On 12 July 1871, ADVANCE (wooden scow-schooner, 49 tons, built in 1847 at Fairport, Ohio), was bound for Detroit from Cleveland with a load of coal. She and the steamer U S GRANT collided near South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay) in Lake Erie and ADVANCE sank. Her crew escaped in the yawl.

On 12 July 1852, CITY OF OSWEGO (wooden propeller passenger-package freight vessel, 138 foot, 357 tons, built in 1852, at Buffalo, New York) collided with the steamer AMERICA and sank off Willoughby, Ohio, a few miles east of Cleveland. 15 lives were lost. This was CITY OF OSWEGO's first season of operation.

On 12 July 1889, T H ORTON (wooden barge, 262 gross tons, built in 1873, at Buffalo, New York) anchored off Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie to ride out a storm. She dragged her anchors and was driven ashore where she was declared a total wreck. She was recovered and just two years later, at the same place, this incident was repeated.

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


Paul Wiening

7/11
Mr. Paul Wiening, of Michigan St. in Port Washington, passed away at his residence early Sunday morning, July 10, 2005. He was 60 years old. Paul was born in Port Washington on December 31, 1944, son of Paul G. and Dorothy John Wiening. After graduating from Port Washington High School, Mr. Wiening went to school for radio broadcasting.

He was a DJ and sports broadcaster for WGLB for over 30 years. Paul had worked for EST Co. in Grafton as a buyer in the purchasing department until 2002. Most recently Mr. Wiening had worked at Wal-Mart in Saukville, first in the Electronics and the Photography departments and lately as a greeter.

Paul had many interests and hobbies. His passion was Great Lakes freighters and maritime history. He enjoyed model building, car restoration, and being a local historian. He wrote and recorded a record for the Maritime Museum and was a photographer and author, with one book to his credit and another that was in the works. He had owned and operated Model A’s & Things Model A restoration, Wiening Marine maritime sales.

Paul had sat on the Harbor Commission and on the Common Council for the City of Port Washington. He was also a pianist and enjoyed spending a lot of time with his two children. Mr. Wiening was a past member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, First Congregational Church and Ozaukee Lodge #17 F&AM.

He is survived by his children, Toni Wiening of Milwaukee and Paul “Gus” Wiening of Port Washington, 1 cousin , Eric Wiening of Pennsylvania, his former wife, Michele Weiland, the extended Weiland family, nieces, nephews other relatives and many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral Services will be Thursday, July 14, 7 p.m. at the Eernisse Funeral Home, 1600 W. Grand Ave., in Port Washington. Ozaukee Lodge #17 F&AM will officiate the service. Paul will be laid to rest next to his parents in Union Cemetery. The family will receive visitors at the Funeral Home Thursday from 4-7 p.m. Memorials to the Food Panty or to the Great Lakes Historical Society are suggested.

Reported by: Tom Geiger


Today in Great Lakes History - July 11

The INDIANA HARBOR was christened July 11, 1979.

On July 11, 1943, the ENDERS M VOORHEES became the first downbound vessel to transit the newly built MacArthur Lock at the Soo.

On 11 July 1888, the 2-mast wooden schooner JOHN TIBBETS was carrying coal on Lake Erie when she foundered in the shallows near Clear Creek, 7 miles west of Port Rowan, Ontario and then broke up in the storm waves. Her crew made it to shore in the yawl. She was built in 1863, at Clayton, New York on the hull of the Canadian schooner PERSEVERANCE which was originally built in 1855.

The PERSIA, a 150 foot passenger/package freight vessel, was launched at Melancthon Simpson's shipyard at St. Catharines, Ontario on 11 July 1873. She was built at a cost of $37,000. She lasted until the 1920s when she was converted to a barge and then abandoned.

MONTEZUMA (3-mast wooden schooner-barge, 341 feet, 2722 gross tons) was launched at the John Davidson shipyard (Hull #102) in West Bay City, Michigan on 11 July 1903. She was one of the largest wooden vessels ever built. It was later stated in the press that the reason Davidson's last large vessels took so long to build was the difficulty in obtaining the required large oak timbers and their expense. As steel went down in price, wood went up, and Davidson's last hulls cost as much as comparably-sized steel ones. At the time of launching this vessel the Davidson shipyard announced that it would not build any more wooden freight vessels.

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


Seeking Plane Wreckage, Group Finds Ships Instead

7/10
A group looking for the wreckage of a passenger airplane that disappeared over Lake Michigan 55 years ago with 58 people aboard says it has come across shipwrecks instead during its search.

Holland, Mich.-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates announced last Friday that its search didn't turn up the plane. But instead it came across shipwrecks, including the passenger steamship Michigan.

"It can be incredibly frustrating," team member Jack van Heest told the Associated Press. "You spend thousands of hours of effort, on the water and doing research. Then you find something and you think, 'What is that?'"

The group has scanned more than 200 square miles of lake bottom. On June 12 it came across the Michigan. The 204-foot-long, iron-hulled ship, which sank in 1885, was in 270 feet of water west of Holland.

In May, the team came across a chunk of the Ann Arbor No. 5 about 10 miles off the South Haven shore. For about 60 years, the ferry was used to transport railroad cars and other vehicles around the Great Lakes. As it aged, it was turned into a barge and was thought to have been damaged by ice and scrapped.

The group also said it found an unnamed barge about 10 miles from the Holland harbor that the group thinks may have been intentionally sunk about 30 years ago. But a goal remains to find wreckage of the plane.

For two weeks after the June 23, 1950, disappearance of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, human remains, clothing, personal effects and debris washed ashore all along Allegan County's coastline.

Wreckage of the DC-4 wasn't found, and the cause of the crash remains a mystery.

Reported by: The Associated Press


Today in Great Lakes History - July 10

G A TOMLINSON (Hull#370) was launched at the American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio on July 10, 1909, for the Douglas Steamship Co (J.J.H. Brown, mgr.). Renamed b.) HENRY R PLATT JR in 1959. The hull was used as a breakwater in Burlington Bay, Ontario in 1971.

In 1998, the ALGOWEST was re-dedicated at Port Weller Dry Docks. The $20 million conversion of the ship to a self-unloader from a bulk-carrier was completed by 400 shipbuilders at Port Weller Dry Docks during the previous eight months. Renamed in 2001, he sails for Algoma today as b.) PETER R CRESSWELL.

On 10 July 1866, COQUETTE (1-mast wooden scow-sloop, 90 foot, 140 tons, built in 1858 at Perry, Ohio as a schooner) capsized in a storm on Lake Michigan and was lost with her crew of four. She had originally been built for the U.S. Government.

On 10 July 1911, JOHN MITCHELL (wooden propeller bulk freighter, 420 foot, 4468 gross tons, built in 1907, at St. Clair, Michigan) was carrying wheat off Whitefish Point on Lake Superior when she was rammed broadside by the coal-laden steel steamer WILLIAM HENRY MACK (steel propeller bulk freighter, 354 foot, 3781 gross tons, built in 1903, at Cleveland, Ohio). The MACK tried to keep her bow in the hole, but the MITCHELL still sank in 7 minutes. Quick work saved most of her crew and all 7 passengers. Three of the 34 onboard were lost. The MACK got most of the blame for the accident. The MITCHELL's wreck was discovered upside-down on the bottom in 1972. (Note: Bowling Green's database gives the date of this accident as 19 July 1911 and Dave Swayze's Shipwreck database gives the date as 10 July 1911.)

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


Orla Grounds

7/09
The saltie Orla ran aground in the St. Clair River Friday morning about 100 feet from the shore in Marysville, just south of the Marysville City Park. It was stuck almost directly sideways in the river.

No injuries were reported from the accident, which happened about 8:15 a.m. There was no report of pollution from the ship.

“It appeared to be a steering gear or engine failure,” said Theresa Nichols, spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Coast Guard will conduct any further investigations, she said.

The freighter plowed up the river’s bottom, leaving a pile of mud, seaweed and silt stacked around its bow. A crowd quickly gathered after the incident. Local residents rushed to the shore with cameras.

As a U.S. Coast Guard boat circled, crew members aboard the Orla walked around the deck, dropping a rope to check the depth of the river.

After about 40 minutes, the board dumped ballast water from its bow and slowly backed out under its own power. After sounding its horn several times, it headed back up the St. Clair River toward Lake Huron, trailed by the Coast Guard.

The Orla, built in 1999, is owned by the Polish Steamship Co. in Poland. Orla was en route from Toronto to Duluth, Minn., and had no cargo on board.

Orla aground by Charlie Glaze
Close up of bow
Please send pictures to news@boatnerd.net

Reported by: Port Huron Times-Herald and Frank Frisk


Today in Great Lakes History - July 9

WILLIAM R ROESCH (b.) DAVID Z NORTON in 1995) loaded her first cargo in 1973, at Superior, Wisconsin where she took on 18,828 tons of iron ore bound for Jones & Laughlin's Cuyahoga River plant at Cleveland.

The BENJAMIN F FAIRLESS and her fleet mate IRVING S OLDS passed through the Panama Canal on July 9, 1988, under tow by the German tug OSA RAVENSTURM. The pair was on a 14,000 mile journey to Kaohsiung, Taiwan arriving there on November 8, 1988, for scrapping by Sing Cheng Yung Iron & Steel Co. Ltd.

On 9 July 1876, ST CLAIR (wooden propeller freighter with some passenger accommodations, 127 foot, 326 gross tons, built in 1867, at Algonac, Michigan) had 14 crew and 18 passengers aboard along with cargo of flour, feed and deck loads of cattle as she sailed on Lake Superior. At 2:00 a.m., she caught fire about five miles off shore from 14 Mile Point. She was a wood burner and had a history of shipboard fires. The fire spread so quickly that only one boat could be launched and being overloaded, it capsized. The cries of those left on the vessel, along with the bellowing of the cattle, were heart rending. Only six survived in the one lifeboat since the cold water took its toll on those who clung to it. Eventually they righted the boat and paddled to shore, leaving the ST CLAIR burned to the waterline.

On 9 July 1891, W A MOORE (wood propeller tug, 119 foot, 212 gross tonst, built in 1865, at Detroit, Michigan) burned to a total loss at Cleveland, Ohio.

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


New Commanding Officer Takes Charge of Hollyhock

7/08
The Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock, based in Port Huron, Mich., received a new commanding officer at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Lt. Cdr. Michael Davanzo took charge of the Hollyhock during a change of command ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio. Davanzo previously commanded the Coast Guard Cutter Rambler, based in Charleston, S.C., and the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin in Baltimore, Md.


Today in Great Lakes History - July 8

LOUIS R DESMARAIS (Hull#212) was launched July 8,1977, at Collingwood, Ontario by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. Cargo hold replaced at Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., and renamed b.) CSL LAURENTIEN in 2001.

In 1918, a slip joint on the main steam line of the ANN ARBOR #5 let go, killing four men and badly scalding one other. The dead were: Lon Boyd, W.T. Archie Gailbraith, 1st assistant engineer Arthur R. Gilbert, coal passer William Herbert Freeman, 2nd engineer.

In 1984, the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company (MWT) resumed service to Milwaukee with disappointing results.

On 8 July 1908, JAMES G BLAINE (formerly PENSAUKEE, wooden schooner-barge, 177 foot 555 gross tons, built in 1867, at Little Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin) was being towed in Lake Ontario by the tug WILLIAM G PROCTOR. Her towline broke in a storm and she was driven ashore near Oswego, New York where the waves broke her up. No lives were lost. At the time of her loss, even though she was over 40 years old, she was still fully rigged as a 3-mast schooner.

On 8 July 1863, ALMIRA (2-mast wooden scow-schooner, 85 foot, 80 tons, built in 1849, at Black River, Ohio) was dismasted and capsized in a violent squall on Lake Ontario. All hands were lost. On 27 July, the cargo of barreled fish was found by the schooner M L COLLINS. The ALMIRA was found still afloat by the schooner PETREL on 30 July. She was rebuilt and sailed until December 1871, when she foundered in the ice.

On 8 July 1920, MARY WOOLSON (3-mast wooden schooner, 179 foot, 709 gross tons, built in 1888, at Bay City, Michigan) was being towed by the wooden steamer CHARLES D BRADLEY along with the schooner-barge MIZTEC, when the BRADLEY slowed in mid-lake, causing both tows to ram her. The WOOLSON's bow was heavily damaged and she quickly sank 8 miles northeast of Sturgeon Point on Lake Huron. No lives were lost.

Data from: 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


HMCS Toronto Visit

7/07
The Canadian Navy Frigate, HMCS Toronto, will stop at Windsor for public tours during its Great Lakes summer tour.

The frigate will be docked at Dieppe Gardens July 17 and open to the public July 18 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Photo ID is required for the tour.

The frigate will also visit Cleveland and Chicago and conduct training exercises.

Reported by: Joseph Woytta


New Vessel for CCG Base Kingston

7/07
The Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Base in Kingston, Ontario will receive their new vessel on July 13. The vessel will be a new 47 foot motor lifeboat and will be named the Cape Hearn. The vessel was built in British Columbia and sent by freighter to Port Alfred Quebec about a month ago. Along with two sister ships, she went to Hamilton to be fitted out.

The disposition of the base's current vessel, CCGC Bittern, has not been established. The possibility of her becoming a fireboat in Kingston or in Toronto has been discussed.

Reported by: Ron Walsh


Highlander Sea Restoration Reaches a Turning Point

7/07
Seven months after she was raised onto the drydock in a snow storm, major restoration of the schooner Highlander Sea reached a turning point recently with the hanging of her first few new planks along her port side.

The schooner has undergone intensive restoration with removal of old planking and underwater timber frame ends literally from stem to stern since the 81-year-old schooner was drydocked at MCM Marine Inc. New frame sections sawn from Michigan white oak were earlier cut, installed and faired along both sides of the Port Huron-based former pilot schooner.

The extensive project also includes removal of much of the wooden ship's interior ceiling, her foremast and foremast step and the "gripe" area beneath the huge spar in the schooner's structure.

Workers are still completing re-framing on the starboard side, where work began in the long-ago winter days of January with laborious plank removal beneath the big schooner's waterline.

At three inches thick and 10-12 inches wide, each of the new planks must be "cooked" in a steam box set-up for three hours before the stiff oak planks are supple enough to bend to the gentle curve of the schooner's newly framed hull. While still hot, the thick planks are clamped into place on each frame using oversized clamps home built of heavy screw iron before the oak cools and stiffens again.

MCM President Joe McCoy earlier said the general plan is to refloat the schooner by winter and finish off extensive interior work at pierside over the winter. The general target is to deliver the old schooner to her home in Port Huron by spring of '06.

Reported by: Jack Storey The Soo Evening News


Lighthouse may play starring tourism role

7/07
The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse already adorns official Port Huron logos, but the city has greater plans for the 86-foot historic landmark. Officials see the lighthouse, which is Michigan's oldest, as the cornerstone to attracting tourism and funding the cultural growth of Port Huron.

"I'm convinced the lighthouse will be the new revenue-generating engine for the entire system," said Stephen R. Williams, Port Huron Museum director. Port Huron is nearing the end of an involved process to obtain ownership of the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard. The federal agency is in the midst of getting rid of many of Michigan's 120 historic lighthouses.

If the city eventually owns the tower and five support buildings, work will begin on a restoration process that easily could top $1 million.

Maintaining a lighthouse is more complicated than other buildings, said groups who manage lighthouses across the state. The city's key to success, they said, is proper care and nonstop marketing of their plans.

Improved technology has made lighthouses obsolete, and the Coast Guard is transferring ownership of Great Lakes lighthouses so it doesn't have to spend the money to maintain them.

The federal government in 2000 passed a law that allows municipalities and other nonprofit groups the chance to own a lighthouse if the group can prove it will restore and preserve the structures.

Port Huron was the only serious applicant for the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and is nearing the end of the transfer process. The Port Huron Museum would oversee ownership.

The city has verbal approval to own the lighthouse but is working with the National Parks Commission before the transfer is complete to resolve issues such as handicapped access. City officials hope to have full approval within six months.

The city has a 4-inch-thick binder that serves as the official application. Inside are details as to what the city plans to do with the lighthouse in the next five years. Williams said the process is necessary to prove to the government the lighthouse won't fall into disrepair.

The process so far hasn't been cheap. The museum has spent $20,000 on a preliminary study to determine the lighthouse's physical condition. If the city is awarded ownership, a more thorough study will happen at about double that cost.

Martha MacFarlane-Faes works for the state Historic Preservation Office and represents the Michigan Lighthouse Project, a nonprofit effort to encourage interest in taking over state lighthouses.

Port Huron is embarking on an effort many groups can't handle because of what is involved.

"Lighthouses are not for sale as some people are thinking. They very rarely go to private individuals," MacFarlane-Faes said. "You have to be prepared to invest a substantial amount of money and upkeep."

The city's five-year, million-dollar plan will come from state and federal grants and intense fund-raising efforts, Williams said.

Scott Pickelhaupt, assistant to City Manager Tom Hutka, helped prepare the city's application. He said the money spent on the structure won't just benefit the lighthouse but the city overall.

Lighthouses have an intense following, and he said people will travel and pay to see the Fort Gratiot light. "We want to tap into that aura that lighthouses have and use that has a way to attract more and more people into the community," he said. What residents and tourists will get from $1 million in renovations is more access to a historic landmark.

New paint and a video-camera system for those who can't walk the stairs to the observation tower are just some of the plans.

The city intends to keep at least some of the buildings open year-round, with many open seven days a week in the summer. Today, groups must schedule tours of the lighthouse as no regular hours are kept.

While city leaders have called the application work exhausting, they know actual renovation work to the buildings will be even tougher.

Dick Moehl is president of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in Mackinaw City. His group operates the St. Helena Island Lighthouse in the Straits of Mackinac.

He said maintenance on the picturesque buildings often has surprises. Port Huron needs to be prepared to take care of a building that might need more work than it will immediately reveal, Moehl said.

"All of a sudden you find something in the closet that wasn't expected, and how do you deal with that?"

Jeri Baron Feltner established the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society in 1998. Since then the group has channeled about $1.2 million into the northern Lake Huron lighthouse.

For Port Huron to keep up its renovations, lighthouse managers must trumpet their intentions, she said.

"We have been fierce about our public relations from day one. It's very important for lighthouse organizations to spread the word about anything they are doing."

Reported by: Chris Sebastian, Port Huron Times Herald


Amateur historian wants to raise ships

7/07
An amateur military historian wants to “bring home” two ships sunk in Lake Ontario during the War of 1812, but U.S. and Canadian officials say retrieving the ships may not be feasible – or necessary.

The Hamilton and Scourge were civilian ships pressed into military service during the war. Both sank Aug. 7, 1813 in a fierce squall. Fifty-three men died in the wrecks, the largest single loss of life on the lake in the war. There were 19 survivors.

The ships lay about a quarter-mile apart in 100-metre-deep water off the city of Hamilton. In the late 1970s, the U.S. Navy turned ownership of the ships, except for the human remains, over to the city of Hamilton through the Royal Ontario Museum.

The ships, dubbed the “Ghost Ships of the War of 1812” in a 1983 National Geographic article, are well preserved owing to their location in deep, cold fresh water.

The ships' resting place had remained unseen until September, 1980, when French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau filmed them from a miniature submarine. In 1990, Robert Ballard, the man who in 1985 discovered the wreck of the Titanic, also filmed the site.

Gary O'Dell of Sackets Harbor said the ships are an important part of the United States' War of 1812 history and merit a proper memorial in the United States. Mr. O'Dell has been on a quest for about 25 years to bring the ships back to Sackets Harbor. He contends Hamilton has made no progress in attempts to either raise the ships or create a suitable memorial to them.

Ian Kerr-Wilson, coordinator of Hamilton's Hamilton and Scourge Project and curator of the Dundurn National Historic Site in Ontario, said the city has been working for years trying to decide the ships' fate.

But, he said, officials are sharply divided over whether the ships should be raised or left intact as an underwater archeological site.

“There is a real sense that it is a watery grave and disturbing it is something one does only with a lot of thought,” Mr. Kerr-Wilson said.

He said the city has discussed ideas such as creating replicas of the ships on land, with videos of the actual ship available for viewing. While raising the ships remains an option, it also the most expensive one and one the city will undertake only if the condition of the ships begins to deteriorate, he said.

The U.S. Department of Navy's Naval Historical Center has no official position on what should be done with the ships. However, Robert Neyland, head of the navy's underwater archeology branch, said the ships are probably better off where they are.

“Jumping in there and removing the wreck is probably imprudent and rash,” he said. “They've been preserved for 200 years and bringing them up may do more damage than good.”

Mr. Neyland also said raising the ships would be costly.

Mr. Neyland oversaw the raising in 2000 of the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate vessel which was among the country's first submarines and the first to engage and sink a war ship. The vessel, sunk in 1864, was found in the Charleston Harbor off the coast of South Carolina by best-selling author Clive Cussler.

He said that vessel – which is significantly smaller than either the Hamilton or Scourge and was only in about 10 meters of water — cost $2.5-million to recover and “another couple million” to construct a chilled fresh water laboratory for the vessel to be placed. He said it costs about $1-million annually to maintain the site.

“The raising is the easy part. The long-term maintenance is the difficult part,” he said.

Reported by: The Globe and Mail


Port Reports

7/07
Alpena
Reported By: Ben & Chanda McClain
The David Z. Norton brought a load of coal to Lafarge around 10:30 p.m. on the June 29. On Saturday the Steamer Alpena took on cement for Superior, WI. The Alpena was expected to return to port on Thursday morning.

On Sunday many vessels were docked in the Thunder Bay River for the Maritime Festival. The schooners Appledore V, Madeline and the sloop Friends Good Will were all tied up for tours. Also present was the training vessel Pride of Michigan and the research vessel Laurentian. The Manistee arrived in the river among strong east winds around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday with a load of stone taken on at Stoneport. The Manistee unloaded its cargo and departed by dusk. While it backed out of the river, the American Republic was waiting for it to clear the channel so it could back into Lafarge and deliver coal. Both vessels saluted each other as they passed.

The 4th of July brought clouds and rain with the Manistee returning to Stoneport to load in the early morning hours. The classic Wilfred Sykes was next in line to load at the dock on Monday. The Sykes took on cargo for Bay City and departed around 6pm.

The J.A.W Iglehart arrived at Lafarge on Wednesday morning to take on cement and was outbound in the bay before 10 a.m. The Iglehart saluted its fleetmate the Paul H. Townsend as they passed each other. The Townsend was inbound and made port by 10:30 a.m. Both vessels were headed to Milwaukee. The Fred R. White Jr. was expected late Wednesday night with a load of coal for Lafarge.

At Stoneport the Wilfred Sykes made a return trip to load at the dock on a beautiful Wednesday morning. The Sykes left by noon with the McKee Sons waiting nearby. Both vessels also saluted each other.

Saginaw River
Reported By: Todd Shorkey
The Wirt Docks saw a lot of action on Tuesday with vessels unloading at all three of their docks along the Saginaw River. The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons were inbound early Tuesday morning with a split load, lightering at the Bay City Wirt dock and finishing at Saginaw Wirt. The pair were outbound Tuesday afternoon.

Pulling in behind the McKee Sons during the morning at Bay City Wirt was the Wilfred Sykes. The Sykes unloaded through the afternoon before turning off the dock in the Wirt turning basin and departing for the lake. For the second time on Tuesday two vessels shared the Bay City Wirt dock unloading together, as the Mississagi made the dock behind the Sykes to unload one hold before continuing upriver. She stopped briefly at the old Bay Aggregates dock in Downtown Bay City to wait for the outbound McKee Sons to clear before continuing upriver to Saginaw to finish unloading.

The tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41 unloaded Tuesday afternoon at Wirt's Essexville Sand and Stone dock in Essexville. They were outbound for the lake late in the afternoon.

The Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning with a split load. She stopped first at the GM Dock in Saginaw to lighter and then finished her unload at the Valley Asphalt dock. Algoway was outbound for the lake late Monday afternoon.

The tug Invincible & Barge McKee Sons was inbound the Saginaw River Entrance Channel at Light 1 at 10:30 p.m. Monday night headed for the Bay City Wirt dock

Milwaukee
Reported By: Paul Erspamer
The port was busy Wednesday, with ocean vessel BBC France loading mining equipment from Harnischfeger Corp. at the Heavy Lift Dock for shipment to Russia. Cruise ship Grande Caribe docked nearby, pausing for the day between stops in Green Bay and Chicago's Navy Pier.

Wednesday afternoon the tug Sea Eagle II and barge St. Mary's Cement II arrived, backing into its berth in the inner harbor to offload cement clinkers.


S.S. Keewatin Hosts Former Crewmember/Family Reunion Tour

7/07
A busload of 55 adults from the Port McNicoll, Ont., area (the former homeport of the retired passenger liner S.S. Keewatin) will be arriving to spend a few hours touring the Keewatin Maritime Museum at Douglas, Mich., on Sunday.

Many of the people either personally worked aboard, during the vessel's years of service for the Canadian Pacific Railway, or family members did so. Many also attended the Kee's 90th birthday party/crew reunion in 1997. They will take the Grand Tour, relive their experiences aboard, and share stories with our tour guides.

The 350-foot S.S. Keewatin is a former passenger and freight steamship of the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was built near Glasgow, Scotland and launched in 1907 and serviced the Canadian waters from Port McNicoll, on the Georgian Bay, to Fort William/Port Arthur, on Lake Superior, for 57 years until her retirement in 1965. She was then purchased and brought to the Douglas/Saugatuck area in 1967 and opened as a maritime museum the following year.

The newest tour is the Grand Tour which includes the Upper Deck Tour, the Engine/Boiler Room Tour, the museum display area on the Cargo Deck, and the newly-renovated Lower Fantail area. Here one can see the Chief Engineer's Suite, the Bridal Suite, the Musicians’ Room, the pantry, the refrigeration room, and the Steering Gear Engine.

The Keewatin is open seven days a week between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

Reported by: Bob and Cindy Zimmerman


Fried, sweet treats coming to Vantage Point

7/07
French fries soon will be served up along the St. Clair River in Port Huron.

The french-fry wagon that will be part of Acheson Ventures' Desmond Landing redevelopment project is expected to arrive today and open for business Monday, said Kathy Syzak, co-owner of Powers Diner, which will operate the stand.

"We knew that people had been asking for a french-fry truck and thought this was a great opportunity," Syzak said. "People love the ones in Sarnia, and we think this is going to be pretty popular, too. Who doesn't want to eat french fries with vinegar by the river?"

The stand, which will serve homemade french fries, hot dogs, soft drinks and coffee, will be set up at Vantage Point, an area at the north end of Desmond Landing where the St. Clair and Black rivers meet.

The french-fry stand also will have a sweet neighbor: London's Ice Cream Truck.

Acheson Ventures and owner Sue Wismer-Hill have worked together to bring the truck to Vantage Point daily.

Wismer-Hill said she'll serve all the goodies - from cones to sundaes to banana splits - she served at her Port Huron ice-cream parlor, which closed in March. "It's just a beautiful place down there," Wismer-Hill said. "And this is definitely an exciting and unique opportunity for us."

Tony Catanzaro plans to visit both stands at Vantage Point. The 23-year-old Port Huron resident said bringing the stands near the river is a great idea because it will be a nice place for people to stop and enjoy the view, along with some ice cream and french fries.

"I'll stop there," Catanzaro said. "French fries and ice cream, a lot of people like that stuff, and they'll stop, too. It'll be a nice thing."

Acheson Ventures decided to bring a french-fry truck to Port Huron based on the results of an online survey. Acheson Ventures spokesman Paul Maxwell said the stands would be open for as long as the weather permitted.

"The people wanted french fries, and we're going to give them french fries and ice cream," Maxwell said. "This entire project has been about what the public wants, and it's nice that we're able to partner with local businesses to do this."

Reported by: Port Huron Times Herald


Diver sucked into pipe survives

7/07
Forty feet below the Lake Michigan surface and a third of a mile off shore, one moment diver Joan Eddy was there. And then she wasn't.

As her three frantic companions feared the worst, Eddy on Saturday was sucked through an 8-foot water intake pipe for the Consumers Energy J.H. Campbell power plant near Pigeon Lake in Ottawa County.

Eddy, 40, of Grayling, tumbled in total darkness through the pipe nearly a half-mile before she emerged seven minutes later in an open-air canal inside plant property. Her only injury: a bloody nose.

"She was very lucky," said Dennis McKee, Consumers Energy's director of public affairs for power plants. McKee confirmed that the pipe located 1,700 feet off shore has no grate on it nor warning signs nearby. He said a diver should avoid danger by staying clear of the pipe.

"It is a diver's responsibility to use all due caution whenever they dive, whether it be in a shipwreck or in caves or near an intake for an industrial facility," McKee said. McKee said it is the only incident of its type in 25 years.

Diving with her husband and two others, Eddy disappeared shortly after 11 a.m. They surfaced and called 911. Search and rescue divers were called and an extensive air and water search began.

Consumers also was notified. An employee spotted her climbing up the banks of the plant's intake canal, a body of water about a quarter-mile long in a fenced-in area. She was assisted with removing her diving equipment and given medical attention at the site, McKee said. Rescuers said her only injury was a bloody nose.

An hour later she was reunited with her husband at the Pigeon Lake boat ramp, where he arrived with the 38-foot Chris-Craft boat from which they had been diving. Even before he stepped out of the boat, the two embraced tightly.

Consumers brings in water from Lake Michigan to cool turbines and generators that produce electricity. Water flows in the pipe at six feet per second, McKee said. Consumers is one of many companies that have intake pipes in Lake Michigan.

Holland has bars across its intake pipe for the Board of Public Works treatment plant near Tunnel Park. The bars are about a foot apart on the 42-inch-wide pipe, which is 45 feet below the surface and 4,500 feet from shore.

Reported by: Grand Rapids Press


GLLKA Lake Superior Cruise July 30

7/07
There is still time to sign up for the Lake Superior Lighthouse Cruise starting from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on July 30 sponsored by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA). Starting promptly at 7 a.m. this eight hour cruise will take in all of the lights of the Upper St. Marys River and go north as far as Ile Parisienne Light.

Transportation will be provided by the Soo Locks Boat Tour Company. This cruise will be an expanded version of their regular lighthouse cruise, both in distance and content. A UP-style continental breakfast and box lunch will be included on the boat. Dinner and evening program will be provided at the Ramada Plaza/Ojibway Hotel located less than a block from the Soo Locks.

Registration for this conference is $160 for members. Non-members will be charged $35 extra and receive a one year GLLKA membership. Call the GLLKA office at 231-436-5580 for additional details and to register.

Reported by: Wayne Sapulski


Photo Gallery Updates

7/07
News Photo Gallery updated
Note: Please be advised that due to the large volume of photos being submitted for inclusion in this gallery and the time constraints involved in handling each submission, only selected photos relating to news stories will be used. Please visit the Public Gallery to upload and share you own trip photos (link below).

Public Photo Gallery
New albums in the Shipping and Transportation/Trains
Public Photo Gallery


Today in Great Lakes History - July 7

The BURNS HARBOR's sea trials were conducted on July 7, 1980.

JEAN PARISIEN (Hull#684) was launched July 7, 1977, at Lauzon, Quebec by Davie Shipbuilding Company Ltd. for Canada Steamship Lines.

The b.) DAVID Z NORTON sailed on her maiden voyage July 7, 1973, as the a.) WILLIAM R ROESCH. She sailed light from Lorain to Superior, Wisconsin where she loaded 18,828 tons of iron ore on July 9th bound for Jones & Laughlin's Cuyahoga River plant at Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1971, the CITY OF SAGINAW 31, went to Manitowoc for a thorough overhaul. While there, a fire broke out July 29, destroying her cabin deck and rendering her useless for further use. The blaze was caused by an acetylene torch, and caused over $1 million in damage.

On 7 July 1895, IDA MAY BROWN (wooden schooner, 53 foot, 20 gross tons, built 1884, at Charlevoix, Michigan) was carrying gravel when her cargo shifted in heavy weather. She capsized and later drifted to the beach near Michigan City, Indiana. Her crew was rescued by the U.S. Lifesavers.

On 7 July 1851, GALLINIPPER (wooden schooner, 95 foot, 145 tons, built in 1846, at Milwaukee on the hull of NANCY DOUSMAN) capsized and foundered in a white squall in Lake Michigan. The wreck drifted to a point about 10 miles South South East of Manitowoc where it sank.

On 7 July 1895, I MAY BROWN (wooden schooner, 53 foot, 20 gross tons, built in 1884 at Charlevoix, Michigan) was near Michigan City, Indiana with a load of gravel when her cargo shifted in heavy seas and she capsized, later drifting to the beach. Her crew was rescued by the U. S. Lifesavers.

Data from: 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

 


CSL Assiniboine Departs

7/06
Tuesday the CSL Assiniboine made her maiden voyage through the Welland Canal. She was expected to clear Port Colborne about 12:30 a.m. The Assiniboine is heading to Superior, Wisconsin where she will load her first cargo taking on taconite at Burlington Northern.

Upbound going through Homer Bridge.
Sliding along the tie-up wall into Lock 3.

Reported by: Bill Bird


Grain Elevator Fire Still Burning, Three Days Later

7/06
Firefighters are still actively fighting the fire in a south Toledo grain elevator, more than three days after it exploded. Two explosions rocked the facility on Friday, less than an hour after employees went home for the Independence Day holiday weekend. Firefighters have been on the scene ever since, methodically uncovering pockets of fire in the silos, and putting the out.

Toledo Fire Chief Mike Bell spoke live with News 11's Jerry Anderson on "Your Morning" on Tuesday. He said the fire was more extensive than firefighters thought. They have now found flames in the grain in 5 of the silos in the elevator. Right now, they're pouring water on the outside of the silos to cool them down. Bell says crews will need to pull some of the burning grain out of the silos, and completely extinguish the flames.

Reported by: Alan Baker of wtol.com


Rochester Fast Ferry has Better Chance of Success

7/06
The second season of high-speed ferry service connecting Rochester to Toronto is only four days old, but Rochester officials feel that the chances for success are much better this time around.

That's because there's recognition in the budgeting that the ferry won't make money right away ­ and $5.3 million is available to cover cash shortages that might develop.

"Our aim was to give ourselves the maximum ability to make this work," said Benjamin Douglas, a member of Rochester City Council and president of the Rochester Ferry Co., which was created by the city to oversee the ferry. His comments appeared in a recent story in the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle.

The previous owner of the ferry, Canadian American Transportation Systems, failed to provide that cushion. Last year, ferry service started in mid-June and closed less than three months later, with the private company citing a $1.7 million debt since the service began.

This time around, after buying the ferry, officials hired a private firm, Bay Ferries Great Lakes, to run the day-to-day operations.

The first trip this year attracted 312 paid passengers, more than four times the number on the equivalent voyage last year. Friday morning's trip to Toronto dipped to about 200 people but doubled to about 400 passengers on the return trip. During the first five weeks of service last year, ridership was only 33 percent capacity on a ship that can hold 774 passengers.

The ferry, which was given the nickname The Cat, was bought at a federal foreclosure auction in February for $32 million.

The upgrades needed for the engine and other start-up expenses have brought the amount borrowed up to $34.7 million, so that leaves Rochester Ferry with the ability to borrow as much as $5.3 million to offset any cash shortages in the future.

Reported by: Rochester Democrat-Chronicle


Fund-raiser Takes Helm at Toledo's Boyer Museum

7/06
Kim Danes has never worked on a ship. She has never even sailed on one. But this May she took command of the S.S. Willis B. Boyer museum ship, moored alongside International Park, as its executive director.

"I'm not a maritime expert, I was never in the Navy, and I wasn't in the Coast Guard. I'm here to fund-raise," she says simply.

The 49-year-old mother of two and former executive director of the Toledo Area International Trade Association faces some difficult challenges. Since February, when the former director, Edward Goyette, passed away, the ship has been open mostly on a restricted schedule. As a result, volunteer numbers and public awareness of the museum ship have been waning.

"When I came here, we had only one committed volunteer. Now we have nine or so, but I'd like that to be around 100," Mrs. Danes said in a story that appeared recently in the Toledo Blade.

Keeping the Boyer afloat is another serious concern. During the last five years, Toledo's Parks, Recreations, and Forestry Department has spent more than $150,000 on capital improvements, according to director Kattie Bond. And there is still much work to be done. The plumbing needs to be fixed, the galley ceiling has to be repaired, the upper decks have to be sanded and resealed - the list goes on and on.

At the same time, the city hopes to reduce its commitment to the ship by encouraging it to be more self-sufficient - raising funds through corporate sponsorships and by playing host to special events.

So far, progress has been steady. Mrs. Danes has roped in community groups and even her own children to clean and repair the ship. She has secured a number of events bookings, and she is scouring Toledo for volunteers with electrical and plumbing experience.

Reported by: Toledo Blade


Port Reports

7/06
Marquette
Reported By: Rod Burdick and Lee Rowe
Sunday was Tug/Barge day in Marquette. The tug Joyce L. VanEnkevort and tug Great Lakes Trader unloaded stone at the Lower Harbor Shiras Dock while tug Dorothy Ann and barge Pathfinder loaded ore at the Upper Harbor.

The Kaye E. Barker loaded ore at Marquette on Friday. Saturday saw the American Mariner in for a load. The Armco loaded ore at Marquette on Thursday. She dropped her stern anchor as she was tying up, then quickly pulled it back up.

Saginaw
Reported By: Todd Shorkey
The Algoway was inbound the Saginaw River early Monday morning with a split load. She stopped first at the GM Dock in Saginaw to lighter and then finished her unload at the Valley Asphalt dock. Algoway was outbound for the lake late Monday afternoon.

The tug Invincible and barge McKee Sons was inbound the Saginaw River Entrance Channel at Light 1 at 10:30 p.m. Monday night headed for the Bay City Wirt dock.

Overnight on the Saginaw River Saturday saw the Wilfred Sykes call on the Essexville Sand & Stone dock to unload. Once finished, she went upriver to the turning basin off the Wirt Bay City dock, turned and was outbound for the lake Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday on the Saginaw river saw the tug Donald C. Hannah and her barge outbound from Dow Chemical as well as the Paul H. Townsend outbound from the Lafarge Terminal in Carrollton.

Inbound late Wednesday night was the tug Undaunted and barge Pere Marquette 41. The pair called on the Bay Aggregates dock in Bay City to unload. They were outbound Thursday morning, stopping briefly at the Consumers Energy dock to allow the inbound Joyce L. Van Enkevort and barge Great Lakes Trader to pass. The big tug and barge stopped at the Essexville Sand & Stone dock to lighter before going upriver to finish at the Wirt Stone dock in Saginaw.

Owen Sound
Reported By: Ed Saliwonchyk
Cuyahoga arrived in Owen Sound at 5 a.m. Sunday morning and was unloading salt by 6 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay
Reported By: Wendell Wilke
The tug Gulf Service (Hornbeck Offshore Transportation) arrived at Bay Shipbuilding with the tug Norfolk in tow at 10 a.m. Saturday. The tug Norfolk will remain until Spring of 2006 during which time she will be reworked to mate-up with the new Lafarge cement barge under construction.

The tug Gulf Service is scheduled to depart this week with the new build barge Energy 11103. Another new build barge, Georgia (Moran) has been signed over to the owners and also at the fit out wall awaiting a tug to deliver her.

Erie, PA
Reported By: Rob Bennett
On June 27 the Presque Isle stopped in Erie to drop the barge. The tug then departed for Port Weller Dry Docks and 5-Year survey.

Halifax
Reported By: Mac Mackay
Algoma's latest acquisition arrived in Halifax June 13 and tied up at pier 9B, for an in water refit. Aggersborg will be repainted and modified for Canadian service. She is receiving Port Colborne fairleads and her bring wings will be trimmed to allow for Seaway passage. Her old name has been ground off and repainting has started The new name, Algosea, has not appeared yet.


Today in Great Lakes History - July 6

The CACOUNA's bow was damaged in a collision with the Greek tanker CAPTAIN JOHN on the fog-shrouded St. Lawrence River July 6, 1971. The CACOUNA of 1964, was repaired by replacing her bow with that of her near sistership the SILLERY which was being scrapped. Later renamed b.) LORNA P and c.) JENNIFER, she foundered 20 miles Northeast of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 1, 1974.

Canada Steamship Lines, ASHCROFT was used to haul ore, grain and coal only on the upper Great Lakes until July 6, 1932, when she was able to enter Lake Ontario through the newly expanded Welland Canal. On that trip ASHCROFT, loaded with grain from Fort William for Kingston, Ontario, was the largest vessel to traverse the canal to date.

The keel was laid for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.'s, GOVERNOR MILLER (Hull#810) in 1937, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Company.

The COLUMBIA STAR set a record for the Head-Of-The-Lakes coal trade. The vessel loaded 70,903 net tons of low-sulfur coal at Superior Midwest Energy Terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, on July 6, 1997.

On 6 July 1836, YOUNG LION (2-mast, wooden schooner, 73 foot, 83 tons, built in 1830, at Buffalo, New York) was carrying railroad iron and lumber. About 12 miles from Erie, Pennsylvania, in rough weather, her seams opened and she quickly sank with just her topmasts left above the water. 3 died, but 5 managed to clamber up the masts and hold on until the schooner NEW YORK rescued them.

On 6 July 1871, CASTALIA (2-mast wooden schooner, 119 foot, 242 gross tons, built in 1847, as a brig at Sandusky, Ohio) was on her way to pick up lumber at the camp at Bying Inlet, Georgian Bay, when she came too close to Cove Island Reef and stranded in 3 feet of water. Although not badly damaged, she was about a mile from deep water. Tugs could not get to her and she was sailing light, so there was no cargo to lighten. She was stripped and abandoned. She finally broke up in a storm on 12 July 1871.

On 6 July 1871, the Detroit newspapers (Detroit Free Press and Detroit Daily Post) both published articles stating that there were rumors on the docks regarding the tug TAWAS having her boiler explode on Saginaw Bay. The rumors originated with sailors from Port Huron and proved to be unfounded. However, in a sense this rumor turned into a prediction since TAWAS did blow her boiler about three years later (14 May 1874) on Lake Huron off Rock Falls, Michigan. At that time 6 crew members perished.

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


CSL Assiniboine on Sea Trials

7/05
The CSL Assiniboine departed Port Weller Dry Docks Monday morning to under Sea Trials on Lake Ontario.

Once complete the Assiniboine will head upbound in the Welland Canal to load her first cargo at Superior, Wisconsin.

The vessel was christened in a private ceremony last week. The Assiniboine is the former Jean Parisien, the vessel entered Port Weller Dry Docks last fall to begin conversion to a SeawayMax type vessel.

This conversion involved a $30 million forebody replacement and steel renewal work that increased her length to 740-feet, she is the fourth vessel in the CSL fleet to receive a completely new Canadian built hull, extending the life of the vessel by 25 years. The other three self-unloaders of the Canada Steamship Lines fleet having already received the life extending new forebody include the CSL Niagara, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, and the CSL Laurentien.

Welland Canal Wharf 02

Pictures of the CSL Assiniboine by Paul Beesley from the Public Photo Gallery

Reported by: Jimmy Sprunt


Today in Great Lakes History - July 5

The b.) PAUL H CARNAHAN was launched in 1945, as a.) HONEY HILL, a T2-SE-Al World War II Fuel Tanker, for U.S. Maritime Commission.

July 5, 1991 - Charles Conrad announced he had formed a corporation to purchase the Ludington carferry operation from Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company.

JUSTIN R WHITING was launched on 5 July 1874, at Langell's yard at the mouth of the Pine River in St. Clair, Michigan. Her dimensions were 144 feet x 26 feet 2 inches x 11 feet 6 inches. Although built to be a self-powered steam barge, she was towed as a regular barge during her first season of operation.

IDA CORNING (2-mast wooden barge, 168 foot, 444 gross tons) was launched in East Saginaw, Michigan on 5 July 1881. She was built for L. P. Mason & Company of E. Saginaw. In 1858, her rig was changed to that of a 2-mast schooner. She lasted until abandoned at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1928.

Data from: 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


Cedarglen in rare Marinette visit

7/04
The Cedarglen made a rare trip to Marinette Fuel & Dock Sunday with a load of pig iron. This was believed to be the first-ever visit to Marinette/Menominee by a Canada Steamship Lines ship, but not the first visit here for this ship. In the mid 1990's, when the ship was named Cartierdoc and was owned by N.M. Paterson & Sons, both she and her then sister-ship, Windoc, unloaded pig iron cargoes in Marinette. The Cedarglen should be in port for three to four days unloading.

Reported by: Dick Lund


Today in Great Lakes History - July 4

The WILLIS B BOYER museum ship was opened to the public at Toledo, Ohio in 1987.

In 1976, the SAM LAUD grounded entering Buffalo, New York. She was dry docked at Lorain, Ohio for repairs to bottom plates of No. 1, 2 and 3 port and starboard tanks.

Also on this day in 1976, the H LEE WHITE struck the Algoma Steel plant dock at the Canadian Soo resulting in damage to her stern amounting to $108,000 at the repair yard of Sturgeon Bay.

The b.) JOSEPH S YOUNG a,) ARCHERS HOPE of 1945, was commissioned July 4, 1957. She was the first of seven T2 tanker conversions for Great Lakes service. The YOUNG was renamed c.) H LEE WHITE in 1969 and d.) SHARON in 1974. Scrapped at Brownsville, Texas in 1986.

On July 4, 1953, the JOHN G MUNSON set a Great Lakes record for limestone by loading 21,011 tons of limestone at Calcite, Michigan. This record for limestone stood until being broken by the Canada Steamship Lines self-unloader MANITOULIN late in the 1966 season. July 4, 1952 - The Pere Marquette 18 of 1911, was laid up due to railroad strike. She was never to operate again and was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario in 1957.

The wooden propeller freighter MAINE, owned by Northern Transportation Co., had sailed from Chicago and was on Lake Ontario on 4 July 1871, when Fireman Orsebius Kelley stoked the fire at 8:00 p.m. and went to the porter's room to get a lamp. When he returned, the boiler exploded with such force that Kelley was mortally wounded and died later. The blast also killed Engineer M. H. Downer, deckhand Joshua Kelley (the fireman's brother), Halbert Butterfield (a 13 year old passenger) and his mother. The MAINE still floated after the blast. She was repaired and put back in service. Including this boiler explosion, she had four major mishaps in her career. She sank in 1872, burned in 1898, and finally burned again in 1911.

On 4 July 1900, during her maiden voyage from St. Clair, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio, the wooden steam barge ALFRED MITCHELL ran aground at Bar Point Light. It was claimed that the steering gear broke which rendered the boat unmanageable. Later that same day the MITCHELL was released by the wrecker SAGINAW.

About 9:00 p.m. on 4 July 1874, the steam barge W H BARNUM, with the schooner THOMAS W FERRY in tow, collided with the bark S V R WATSON near Point Pelee on Lake Erie. The WATSON sank in 28 feet of water. She was raised about two weeks later by the Coast Wrecking Company.

July 4, 1958 - The keel for the second of two new bulk freighters for Interlake Steamship Co. was laid at Great Lakes Engineering Works shipyard at River Rouge, Michigan on Wednesday morning June 25. Assigned Hull 302, the ship will be 689 feet long, 75 feet beam and 37-1/2 feet molded depth with a designed maximum cargo capacity of about 24,000 tons. H. C. Downer & Associates of Cleveland did the design work. The ship will be powered by a 6,000 shp steam turbine main engine with coal-fired boilers. Hull 302 was eventually named HERBERT C JACKSON. Interlake's other new ship, the 710-ft. flagship JOHN SHERWIN (Hull#192) at Toledo, Ohio, joined the Great Lakes bulk cargo fleet in May of this year

Data from: 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


 


Explosion/Fire Hits Grain Elevator in Toledo

7/03
Saturday morning thick black smoke filled the sky again above the Cargill/Anderson's grain facility in South Toledo. The smoldering 600-foot long heavy rubber conveyor belt flared up again Saturday night. Firefighters on the scene called in extra help, and doused the flames in short order.

Fire crews will continue to tread lightly, picking away gently at areas where the fire hides and keeps burning. Investigators don't want to disturb any of that highly explosive grain dust while trying to expose and douse the hot spots. "There is always a danger of collapse because there is a lot of loose walk platforms and things that broke free. There is always a danger of explosions because it still has dust in it," said Battalion Chief Eric Renzhofer.

It was grain dust that led to a pair of explosions Friday, sending debris crashing to the ground. Smoke from the grain elevator fire could be seen for miles. It was mostly from petroleum based rubber conveyor belts and lubricants that help the machinery work. "Most of it is the rubber based stuff. There is a little bit of wood up there from a building ... There is some corn in one of the bins," said Renzhofer.

The Ohio Fire Marshal and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had investigators on the scene on Saturday. An ATF spokesman told News 11 there did not appear to be any foul play in Friday's explosion and fire.

Friday 9 p.m. Update
Crews have now knocked down the flames from a massive fire in one of the grain elevators along the Maumee River in south Toledo. An explosion hit the Cargill grain elevator on Edwin Drive near Kuhlman just before 4:00 which lit a fire in conveyor belt that could be seen for miles. After deciding their strategy, firefighters started putting foam on the fire just before 6:00pm.

No injuries were reported to workers at the elevator, said Fire Battalion Chief Gregory Locher. Toledo firefighters were called to the scene, and had a Life Flight helicopter on standby, and called in foam units from the 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo Express Airport and the BP Refinery in east Toledo. The Coast Guard also sent personnel to watch the river by the fire scene.

The elevator is on the Maumee River near Interstate 75, a heavily-traveled route through the city. It is surrounded by fields and abandoned warehouses. It's owned by Cargill, but operated by The Andersons through a lease agreement.

No one knows what caused the explosion, which collapsed one of the grain silos. Video from the scene showed obvious damage, twisted metal, and flames deep in the heart of the building. At least two silos had their tops blown off, and a smaller building, part of the Kuhlman complex next to the silo, also caved in.

Reported by: Alan Baker of wtol.com


Today in Great Lakes History - July 3

The JOHN B AIRD was christened June 3, 1983, at Thunder Bay for Algoma Central Marine, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

The U,S, Steel's ROGER BLOUGH was moved out of the dry dock at Lorain, Ohio, on June 3, 1972.

In 1954, the CLIFFS VICTORY successfully completing her sea trials. The FRANK ARMSTRONG departed light from Ashtabula, Ohio on her maiden voyage in command of Captain H. Chesley Inches June 3, 1943, bound for Superior, Wisconsin to load iron ore.

The PATERSON entered service on June 3, 1954, with 440,000 bushels of wheat from Port Arthur, Ontario. On 3 July 1872, the wooden steam barge MARY MILLS was launched at P. Lester's yard at Marysville, Michigan.

On 3 July 1872, GRACE DORMER (wooden propeller passenger & package freight ferry, 71 foot, 66 gross tons, built in 1868 at Buffalo, New York) had just finished loading a cargo of fish at St. James, Beaver Island, when she caught fire and burned. One life was lost. The vessel was rebuilt and lasted until she burned at the bone-yard at Grand Island, New York in 1925.

Data from: Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history


 


Tug Lake Superior Now a Floating Ice Cream Shop

7/02
During its 62-year life, the tugboat Lake Superior has proven itself to be a versatile vessel, shepherding innumerable ships to safety on the Great Lakes, assisting in the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, busting ice and even serving a tour of duty in saltwater during World War II.

But now the boat has embarked on a mission unlike any it has seen It will become a floating ice cream parlor.

The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, which owns the old tug, hopes to sell enough ice cream to pay for its upkeep.

"If we sold $20,000 worth of ice cream this summer, we'd be thrilled," said Dan Russell, executive director of the DECC, in a story in the Duluth News Tribune. Seating for customers will be set up on the tug's deck.

Beginning in 1996, the DECC operated the Lake Superior as a floating museum, offering tours of the boat as part of a package that also included a walk-through of the William A. Irvin, a retired ore carrier.

Last year, when the decommissioned Coast Guard cutter Sundew went on display alongside the Irvin, the DECC decided to stop offering tours of the Lake Superior.

"We found that people simply don't have the time to go through three boats," Russell said.

Last year, about 35,000 people toured the Lake Superior -- fewer than the number of visitors the Irvin drew.

In response to dwindling visitor numbers, the DECC put the Lake Superior up for auction late last year, but no one stepped forward to offer the minimum $130,000 bid it required.

The unwanted tug was towed to a berth in Superior while DECC officials mulled over what to do next.

Donn Larson, a local historian and waterfront buff, said, "Some of us lobbied hard because we saw the tug's value as part of a floating exhibit."

Even though below-deck tours of the tug will no longer be offered, Larson said he's glad to have it back on display at Duluth's Minnesota Slip.

"It's a noble vessel that adds a lot of class to our retired navy out there," Larson said.

Thom Holden, director of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Maritime Visitors Center agreed, saying, "Having the Lake Superior there adds another dimension to the DECC's little fleet. It gives visitors a better sense of scale and perspective, as long as the exterior remains intact."

If turning the tug into a floating ice cream parlor extends its life, Holden said he wholeheartedly supports the move.

Reported by: Duluth News Tribune


Today in Great Lakes History - July 2

On July 2, 1966, the SIMCOE entered service for Canada Steamship Lines. Renamed b.) ALGOSTREAM in 1994.

The railroad carferry TRANSIT was launched at Walkerville, Ontario on 2 July 1872, at the Jenkins Brothers shipyard.

Before noon, Saturday, 2 July 1870, several attempts were made to launch the barge AGNES L POTTER at Simon Langell's yard at St. Clair, Michigan. Nothing happened until 3:00 p.m. when the vessel moved about 100 feet but still was not launched. The tug VULCAN arrived at 8:00 a.m. the following day and broke the line on the first attempt to pull the vessel off the ways. A 10 inch line was obtained in Port Huron and at 2:00 p.m. a second effort only moved the barge about 4 feet. Finally , on the third attempt, the VULCAN pulled her into the water. The POTTER's dimensions were 133 feet x 27 feet x 9 feet, 279 gross tons and she was built for the iron ore trade. She was named for the daughter of the general superintendent of Ward's Iron Works of Chicago. She lasted until 1906.

Data from: Jody Aho, 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. This is a small sample, the books includes many other vessels with a much more detailed history

 

CSL Assiniboine Christening

7/01
The CSL Assiniboine was rechristened Thursday at Port Weller Dry Docks.

The vessel was named as a tribute to the Prairies and most specifically to the grain industry; the Assiniboine being a river that rises in Southeastern Saskatchewan and winds across the fertile, wheat-growing plains of Manitoba and joins the Red River at Winnipeg.

The CSL Assiniboine is the fourth vessel of CSL’s Canadian fleet to have a forebody replacement at Port Weller Dry Docks, as part of a $225 million fleet renewal program. The preceding vessels, christened in 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively, were the CSL Niagara, the Rt. Honourable Paul J. Martin and the CSL Laurentien.

Pictures of the CSL Assiniboine by Paul Beesley from the Public Photo Gallery

Reported by: Paul Beesley


Today in Great Lakes History - July 1

On July 1, 1940, the HARRY COULBY became the first Great Lakes vessel to load in excess of 16,000 tons of iron ore when it loaded 16,067 tons of iron ore in Ashland, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) KINSMAN ENTERPRISE in 1989.

On 1 July 1927, ROBERT C WENTE (wooden, propeller, bulk freighter, 141 foot, 336 gross tons, built in 1888, at Gibraltar, Michigan) burned to a total loss in the St. Clair River. In 1911, she sank in Lake Michigan, but was raised and refurbished.

July, 1983 - The C&O sold its remaining 3 car ferries to Glen Bowden and George Towns. They begin operating cross-lake service between Ludington and Kewaunee under the name Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Co. (MWT)

On 1 July 1852, CASPIAN (wooden side-wheeler, 252 foot, 921 tons, built in 1851, at Newport, Michigan) foundered a short distance off Cleveland's piers. Some of her gear and structural material were salvaged in the Spring of 1853, and the wreck was then flattened with dynamite.

July 1, 1900, the new wooden steam barge ALFRED MITCHELL started her maiden voyage from St. Clair, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio, to load coal. She was owned by Langell & Sons.

On 1 July 1869, the wooden schooner GARROWEN was carrying coal from Cleveland to Toronto when she sprang a leak and sank in 60 feet of water about 10 miles from shore off Geneva, Ohio. The crew escaped in the yawl. She was only 19 years old and some of the crew claimed that she was scuttled as an insurance scam. However, a number of divers visited the wreck on the bottom of the Lake at the time and that claim was refuted.

On 1 July 1875, the iron carferry HURON (238 foot, 1052 gross tons, built at Point Edward, Ontario with iron plates prefabricated in Scotland) made her trial voyage between Fort Gratiot, Michigan and Point Edward, Ontario across the St. Clair River. This vessel served the Grand Trunk Railway and ran between Windsor and Detroit for over a century.

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



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