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Port Reports - September 1
Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
Oswego, N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Lake Michigan ferry fight rages in Washington
9/1 - Washington, D.C. – On one side is the S.S. Badger, the only coal-fired steamship left in North America and a multi-million-dollar linchpin for the economy of the historic lakeshore town of Manitowoc. On the other is the $18 million high-tech, high-speed Lake Express ferry, based in Milwaukee.
Both traverse Lake Michigan daily during the summer sailing season, carrying passengers and cars between Wisconsin and Michigan. Both have spent an inordinate amount of time and money in the nation's capital trying to sink each other.
The battle has involved an alphabet soup of federal agencies from the EPA to the DOT, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle -- and the lake -- and a federal lobbying tab nearing $1 million. So far.
On its face, the struggle is simply good old-fashioned, free-market competition, but it is also a fierce clash between urban and small-town interests and environmental conservation and historic preservation. And it provides a revealing look at how business is done on behalf of competing interests in the nation's capital.
The Badger has been docking in Manitowoc for more than 60 years, and it contributes as much as $14 million annually to the region's economy. Its sentimental value is even greater, some say.
Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels recently hailed it as "a beautiful boat that honors our city every day with her graceful presence and multitude of wonderful visitors." Historians in town recall making the lake crossing as children, and they say a group of local residents still turns out to greet passengers when the Badger chugs into port.
"There's about two or three, four guys that go down there during the summer months and they'll just sit there, wait for the car ferry to come in, and they'll shake hands as the passengers come out," said Phil Groll of the local historical society.
But the ship has been discharging tons of ash into the lake each day -- the remnants of burning coal to power its steam engines -- and the Environmental Protection Agency determined in 2008 that it had to stop. The company that runs the Badger, Lake Michigan Carferry, was given until the end of 2012 to comply. Company officials said at the time that the Badger would be forced out of business if it had to stop dumping ash.
Competing Milwaukee ferry Lake Express then hired a Washington lobbying firm Broydrick & Associates and has so far paid it a half million dollars to lobby against the Badger.
When the steamship applied for a $14 million federal transportation grant to convert its coal-fired engines to diesel fuel in 2010, Lake Express opposed the application, saying the money would provide the Badger with a "huge advantage in a market like this," and would represent "an egregious overreach by the federal government." Broydrick lobbied against the grant, according to disclosure reports, and the Department of Transportation ultimately declined to award the funding.
The next year, the coal-fired ferry was nominated for status as a national landmark and Badger officials appealed to theNational Park Service for the designation saying it would play a "critical role" in its survival as an "invaluable" asset in negotiations with the EPA. Lake Express lobbyist Bill Broydrick opposed that, too, saying it would amount to nothing more than "special treatment for a polluter," according to an Associated Press report. The park service tabled the measure.
Lawmakers supporting the Badger and representing its lakeshore port cities -- including Republican Reps. Tom Petri of Wisconsin and Bill Huizenga of Michigan -- then tried to protect it by sponsoring a legislative amendment that would allow the Badger to continue sailing despite the EPA mandate. Lake Express's Broydrick reported lobbying against the effort, and it also failed.
As the deadline approached in December 2012, the Badger applied for an extension and ultimately reached an agreement with the EPA that allowed it to keep sailing. At least untilthe start of next year's sailing season, when it faces another deadline to stop dumping coal ash.
For their part, the operators of the Lake Express say they just want a level playing field. If the Badger is allowed to run as is, it has lower overhead costs, which means the steamship can charge less for passage than Lake Express.
"Why are we involved in this? Because . . . when these guys avoid a year's worth of compliance, it's worth somewhere between something like $400,000 and several million dollars' worth of costs," Lake Express marketing director Aaron Schultz said. Ferry
The Lake Express charges $163 round-trip per passenger, while the Badger charges $130. The ferries ply parallel routes across the lake, the Badger between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich., and the Express between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Mich. The steamship takes four hours to cover about 60 miles, while the diesel-powered Express makes its 80-mile crossing in 2½ hours.
When it comes to the Express lobbying effort, some could also argue that turnabout is fair play. Both sides have given generously to federal lawmakers who champion their cause. And the Badger vehemently fought the launching of Lake Express a decade ago and paid its own Washington lobbyist $120,000 to try and block federal assistance to build the ferry.
Lubar & Co., the Milwaukee investment group that owns Lake Express, applied to the U.S. Marine Administration for $14 million in loan guarantees to help it build the boat. But Robert Manglitz, the president of Badger operator Lake Michigan Carferry, said there was only room for one ferry on the lake and federal assistance would provide an unfair market advantage to Lake Express. In the end, however, the Badger's lobbying effort failed, and Lake Express secured the guarantees and built its ferry, launching in June 2004.
At the time, Manglitz decried it as a "pork barrel" carve-out. "We got a lesson in politics," he said. "He who has the gold, rules."
Both companies appeared to compete cordially for the next few years. That is, until the Badger cut prices and engaged in what its own officials called a "ferry fare war" in the summer of 2009.
"We take passengers from them and they take passengers from us," Manglitz later told the Ludington Daily News. "There is a finite number of passengers out there."
Shortly after the fare war began, Lake Express hired its lobbyist, Broydrick, and the battle was on.
The latest salvo came last month from U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, a Milwaukee Democrat who fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in July asking him to crack down on the Badger for an alleged violation of its agreement with the EPA. She asserts the ferry didn't reduce the amount of coal it burned in 2013.
Moore's office didn't announce her effort. Rather, the letter was distributed to media by Lake Express lobbyist Broydrick.
The Justice Department has not responded to the letter and did not comment for this report. The EPA declined to weigh in on the potential violation, saying decisions about Lake Michigan Carferry's compliance have yet to be made.
Lawmakers Petri and Huizenga are frustrated by the efforts to push for a crackdown on the Badger.
"It's my understanding that the Badger is already reducing discharge of coal ash and is on track to stop all discharge," Petri said. "It should be allowed to continue operating without political interference."
"I find it stunning that some elected officials are making false claims against the Badger and attempting to use the federal government to eliminate jobs in communities they do not represent," he said.
The Badger's spokeswoman, Terri Brown, maintains that the steamship is on track to stop dumping coal ash into the lake by the deadline. She says the company plans to install a system that will allow the steamship to keep the ash on board and dispose of it in port, rather than in the lake, although she's not sure exactly what that system will look like.
In the meantime, the company has been hoping the Badger would win status as a national landmark. It has been nominated a second time, but it appears that effort has been scuttled, too, for now.
Broydrick said that he recently received word that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell won't grant the designation until the ship stops dumping coal ash.
Schultz, the marketing director for Lake Express, calls the ferry showdown "a spaghetti ball of outside influence," but he says the Badger remains an "anachronism."
"They've had a good run, and I think they've gotten a little spoiled in thinking they should be able to run as is forever," he said. "You find any other business that runs at 1950s standards and gets rewarded for it? I'd be shocked if there's even a one out there."
Gannett Washington Bureau
Lookback #288 – Benmaple sunk in collision with French liner Lafayette on Sept. 1, 1936
The steamer Benmaple combined Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean service. The ship was built at Ecorse, Mich., and completed as International in 1914. It initially served the Atlantic Coast Steamship Co. and often carried pulpwood down the lakes.
It was sold to French interests and went overseas for service as S.N.A. No. 1 for coastal service out of the port of Rouen. In this capacity, coal was believed to be it most popular cargo.
Following the end of hostilities, the ship returned to the Great Lakes after a sale to the Port Colborne and St. Lawrence Navigation Co. It was registered in Toronto as Benmaple on Oct. 6, 1922. Now, the ship was used to carry grain from Port Colborne to storage elevators along the St. Lawrence on behalf of Maple Leaf Mills. It was also a frequent caller to Toronto to load at Toronto Elevators and, when available, the ship returned to the Great Lakes with freight.
On Sept. 1, 1936, 78 years ago today, Benmaple collided in fog on the St. Lawrence with the French ocean liner Lafayette, near Father Point, while on a voyage to Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. On board Benmaple, one sailor was crushed in his bunk and killed while three others were injured. The accident occurred at about 0400 hours and the ship sank in deep water as a total loss.
Lafayette, inbound for Quebec City at the time of the collision, was required to pay 75 percent of the damages. It did not last much longer. Lafayette caught fire while on a dry dock at Le Have, France, on May 4, 1938. This vessel was broken up for scrap at Rotterdam, Holland, shortly afterwards.
Today in Great Lakes History - September 1
September 1, 1880, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, later Lake Carriers’ Association, was created, with Alva Bradley as its first president.
September 1, 1892, the upbound WESTERN RESERVE, flagship of the Kinsman fleet, sank approximately 60 miles above Whitefish Point. There were 31 casualties among the crew and passengers. The lone survivor was Wheelsman Harry W. Stewart.
On 01 September 1891, EDWARD H. JENKS (wooden propeller freighter, 119 foot over all, 180 gross tons, built in 1882, at Port Dover, Ontario as the passenger/package freight steamer E.M. FOSTER) was carrying limestone up the Detroit River during a foggy night when she collided with GEORGE W. MORLEY (wooden propeller freighter, 193 foot, 1,045 gross tons, built in 1888, at W. Bay City, Michigan) in a misunderstanding of passing signals. Three were killed in the collision and the JENKS quickly sank at Ballard's Reef on the Detroit River. Her cargo kept her in place until she was recovered the following month and rebuilt.
Tragedy struck four days after the launch of the AGAWA CANYON, September 1, 1970, when the ship was rocked by an engine room explosion, killing one of the crew and injuring seven more. The AGAWA CANYON entered service in November, 1970, equipped with four 10 cylinder, two stroke cycle, single acting opposed piston diesel engines, built in 1970, by Fairbanks, Morse (Canada), Kingston, Ontario. Total bhp 6,680. Rated service speed: 12 knots (13.8 mph).
The TEMPLE BAR (Hull#101G) was launched September 1, 1970, at Govan, Scotland by the Govan Division of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd. for Lambert Bros. (Shipping) Ltd., London, England. Renamed b.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1977, c.) LAKETON in 1984, d.) LAKE NIPIGON in 1986, and e.) ALGONORTH in 1987.
Upon her arrival at Quebec City on September 1, 1962, the LAKE WINNIPEG was the first vessel of the Nipigon Transport Ltd. (Carryore Ltd., mgr.) fleet.
The self-unloader B.H. TAYLOR (Hull#787) was launched September 1, 1923, at Lorain, Ohio by American Ship Building Co., the third self-unloader built for the Bradley Transportation Co., Rogers City, Michigan. Renamed b.) ROGERS CITY in 1957. Scrapped at Recife, Brazil in 1988.
From September 1, 1947, to September 15, 1959, the U.S.C.G.C. MESQUITE was stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
On 1 September 1854, ABIAH (2-mast wooden schooner or brig, 134 foot, 353 tons, built in 1848, at Irving, New York) was sailing light from Chicago, Illinois, to Oconto, Wisconsin, when she capsized and sank in a squall about 10 miles off Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The schooner L. LUDDINGTON rescued her crew and 2 passengers.
The 135-foot wooden schooner JOSEPH E. SPARROW was launched at Bangor, Michigan, on 1 September 1873.
On 1 September 1900, the Canadian steamer ADVANCE (wooden propeller package freighter, 168 foot, 1,178 gross tons, built in 1884, at St. Catharines, Ontario) was placed in service. In August 1899, when she was named SIR S. L. TILLEY, she had caught fire off shore, about 7 miles from Fairport, Ohio, and was destroyed. However, the hull was later recovered and used as the basis of the steamer ADVANCE. She lasted in this role until 1903, when she burned again.
September 1, 1919 - A switchman was killed in the yard at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, while the ANN ARBOR No. 6 was being loaded. This caused a delay of four hours in her sailing time.
September 1, 1931 - W. L. Mercereau retired as superintendent of steamships, a position he had held since 1899.
1916 DRONNING MAUD, a Norwegian freighter visited the Great Lakes on charter to Keystone Transports beginning in 1909. It hit a mine in the North Sea on this date and sank off the east coast of England, between Southwall and Lowestoft.
1929 EDWARD BUCKLEY caught fire and was destroyed in the North Channel of Georgian Bay. The blaze broke out aft while enroute to Little Current to load pulpwood. The hull burned to the waterline and sank near Narrow Island Lighthouse. Local fishermen rescued the crew.
1936 The Canadian canaller BENMAPLE of the Port Colborne & St. Lawrence Navigation Company, sank in the St. Lawrence at about 0400 hours, near Father Point, after being hit in fog by the inbound liner LAFAYETTE. A wheelsman was killed but all others on board were rescued.
1983 INDIANA HARBOR sets a record loading 67,896 tons of iron ore at Escanaba.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Max Hanley, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - August 31
St. Marys River
Oshawa, Ont. – Andre Blanchard
Lookback #287 – Algocen aground in St. Lawrence on August 31, 1975
The second Algocen went aground on South McNair Shoal in the St. Lawrence off Ogdensburg, NY, 39 years ago today. The accident resulted in significant damage to the hull of the ship. Both the bottom and side tanks were flooded.
Algocen was pumped out and received temporary repairs at Prescott before being cleared to sail to Port Cartier, Que., to unload its cargo of grain. The vessel then returned to Port Weller Dry Docks for full repairs. The ship was on the shelf from Sept. 14 to Oct. 10, and 750 tons of steel were required to repair the damaged 600-foot-long section of the hull.
This 730-foot-long bulk carrier was launched at Collingwood on June 18, 1968, and joined the Algoma Central fleet in September. It set an early cargo record for barley loading 1,061,300 bushels at Superior, Wis., on May 6, 1970, and then established a corn record for loading at Milwaukee in 1971.
The ship also had its difficulties during its career. These included hitting a bridge abutment in the Welland Canal on Nov. 27, 1970, and a collision with the tug Tusker at Port Colborne in September 1981.
Algocen tied up at Montreal on Jan. 1, 2005. It left as Valgocen on July 25, 2005, for a new career storing dredged materials in the New York City area. It was back on the lakes as J.W. Shelley in 2008 for Vanguard Shipping and spent 2012, its last active season, as Phoenix Star.
The ship was broken up for scrap at Toledo, Ohio, in the summer of 2013.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 31
August 31, 1852 - The U. S. Congress passed an act requiring the president to appoint three officers from the Navy, three engineers from the Army and two civilian scientists to constitute the new Lighthouse Board. The Bureau of Lighthouses succeeded the Lighthouse Board in 1910.
On August 31, 1977, the BELLE RIVER entered service, departing Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed b.) WALTER J. McCARTHY, JR in 1990.
In mid-August 1987, a peregrine falcon that had disappeared from Regina, Saskatchewan, two weeks earlier landed on the deck of a lake freighter on Lake Huron. The bird was captured and taken to a bird sanctuary in Vineland, Ontario. The vessel name is unknown.
In mid-August 1985, the Belgium salty FEDERAL THAMES loaded 25,400 tons of low-concentrate chrome ore at Duluth's Hallett Dock and was bound for Sweden. This ore dates back to World War II when it was mined in Montana. Other shipments were to have been made later as well.
On 31 August 1906, CAVALIER (3-mast wooden schooner, 134 foot 268 gross tons, built in 1867, at Quebec City as a bark) was carrying cedar lumber when she struck a reef off Chantry Island in Lake Huron and sank. Her crew was rescued by the Chantry Island lightkeeper. She was bound from Tobermory for Sarnia, Ontario.
On 31 August 1869, the schooner W. G. KEITH was launched at the Muir & Stewart yard in Port Huron, Michigan. She was named after her skipper/owner. Her dimensions were 126 foot X 26 foot X 8 foot 6 inches. She was built for the Lake Michigan lumber trade.
On 31 August 1900, efforts to free the newly-launched steel steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON from the mud in the Black River at Port Huron, Michigan continued throughout the day. The launch had been watched by thousands the previous day and the vessel's stern stuck in the mud. On this date, the tugs BOYNTON and HAYNES tried to pull her free but were unable to do so. Finally 14 hydraulic jacks were used to lift the vessel and at 6 p.m. she was ready to be pulled by tugs. After a 15-inch hawser was broken in the first attempt, the tug PROTECTOR finally pulled the vessel free.
In 1982, the sandsucker NIAGARA made its last trip through the I-75 Bridge with a cargo of sand for the Chevrolet Saginaw Metal Castings plant.
In 1975, ALGOCEN stranded on South McNair Shoal in the St. Lawrence off Ogdensburg, N.Y. The ship was released and, after unloading at Port Cartier, sailed to Port Weller Dry Dock to spend from September 14 to October 10 on the shelf while a 600-foot section of the bottom of the hull was repaired.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - August 30
Grand Haven, Mich. – Dick Fox
Port Inland, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Cedarville, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Calcite, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Toledo, Ohio – Denny Dushane
Tall ship Peacemaker sails into Erie
8/30 - Erie, Pa. – Larry Clinton, captain of the tall ship Peacemaker, remembers the long lines of people who waited to board his vessel at the 2013 Tall Ships Erie festival. It was part of the first Great Lakes tour for Clinton and his crew aboard their three-masted, 150-foot-long, barquentine vessel.
"Our experience in Erie was great,'' Clinton said. "We've never been treated better in any port we've ever been in. The folks at (the U.S. Brig) Niagara rolled out the red carpet and we really enjoyed sailing with them last year.''
When Clinton scheduled the Peacemaker's summer sailing season, he wanted to make a return trip to Erie a priority. Clinton guided the Peacemaker into Presque Isle Bay on Thursday morning and docked at Dobbins Landing, where it will offer public tours today through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
"When our schedule allowed, I got in touch with the Dobbins Landing folks and the (Erie-Western Pennsylvania) Port Authority, and they were just tickled to have us come in and open up,'' Clinton said.
Tour prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 7 to 12.
"We really wanted to stop in Erie,'' Clinton said. "Last year, Tall Ships Erie was a fantastic event. It was so well-attended that people had to stand in line for two and a half to three hours to get on our ship. I know that kept a lot of people from being able to come on and enjoy it. There's not going to be thousands of people here this weekend, so folks can really take their time and look inside and outside the ship.''
Clinton has a crew of 15, but expects an additional 10 crew members to bolster ship staff this weekend. He said his crew will play music on the deck each day during the ship's Erie stay.
The Peacemaker was built with tropical hardwoods in 1989 in South America and purchased in 2000 by the Twelve Tribes, a religious group that has about 50 communities in North America and South America.
It was originally christened the Avany, but began sailing as the Peacemaker in 2007 after crews spent several years replacing all of the ship's mechanical and electrical systems, and rigging it as a barquentine. The ship's home port is Savannah, Ga.
Peacemaker began its summer sailing season in June. The vessel has sailed more than 3,000 miles this summer and has visited ports in Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario, Clinton said.
The ship has appeared in tall ships festivals this summer at Alpena, Mich.; Chicago; and Windsor, Ontario. The ship has also visited Midland, Ontario; Ludington, Mich.; St. Ignace, Mich.; Mackinac Island, Mich.; Green Bay, Wis.; Port Washington, Wis.; and Goderich, Ontario
Clinton said the Peacemaker plans to depart Erie either Monday night or Tuesday morning for a trip to Brockville, Ontario.
Looking from the ship's pilothouse at Dobbins Landing, the U.S. Brig Niagara could be seen docked nearby in its berth behind the Erie Maritime Museum. The Niagara arrived in Erie on Tuesday after spending the past month sailing the Great Lakes.
The ship made stops at Mackinac Island, Mich.; Algonac, Mich; Collingwood, Ontario; and Toledo, Ohio.
"The season was challenging but rewarding,'' Niagara Capt. Billy Sabatini said. "We dealt with thick fog, big seas and heavy winds. The crew did incredibly well. I'm happy with the way the summer season went.''
Sabatini and Niagara's crew will remain busy for the next six weeks offering two or three school sails weekly and public days sails nearly every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 18.
For information on school or day sails, call Joe Lengieza, the Flagship Niagara League's director of marine operations, day sails and trainee information at 452-2744, Ext. 214.
Tim S. Dool named chair of St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation board
8/30 - Cornwall, Ont. – The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has announced that Tim S. Dool has been named as Chair of the Board of Directors, effective September 1.
Dool was appointed to the board in November of 2012, and represents domestic carriers. As the former president and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation, he brings an extensive range of marine industry experience to the boardroom table.
He succeeds Jonathan Bamberger, who has completed a two-year term. Bamberger, president of Redpath Sugar, will continue to serve as a member of the board.
New names listed for saltwater vessels
8/30 - The following saltwater vessels have been renamed, with each having made at least one visit to the Great Lakes/Seaway system.
• BBC Arizona, which made its first and only visit in 2011, is now the Industrial Sailor of Antigua/Barbuda registry.
• The tanker Clipper Aki, which visited for the first and only time in 2012, is now the Nordic Aki of Bahamas registry.
• Eships Nahyan, a tanker that made its first and only appearance in 2011, has been renamed and is now the Doola Star of South Korean registry.
• Flinterrebecca, which made her first and only visit during the 2010 navigation season, is now the Crs Rebecca of the Netherlands.
• Marida Mimosa, another tanker that made her first and only appearance in 2011, is now the Desert Oak of the Marshall Islands flag.
• Sakarya, a tanker which first came inland in 2008 for the first and only time, is now the Ternvind of Denmark.
• Xenia, which first came inland in 2005 and last visited in 2008, is now the Thorco Cassiopeia of Antigua/Barbuda registry.
• Asian Grace, which may be more familiar to many as the Kent Timber, which first visited with that name during the 2006 season, is now the London Spirit of Hong Kong. This vessel also held the name Antoine Oldendorff from 1999-05 but never came inland with that name.
• Finex, which first visited in 2006 and last visited during the 2007 season, is now the Fitburg of St. Kitts & Nevis registry. This vessel also visited in 2002 under the name of Volmeborg, in which it held from 2001-06.
• Pochard which first visited during 2003 and a regular visitor since then having last visited in 2013, is now the Pochard S of the Cook Islands.
• Rosario, which may be familiar to many as the BBC Rosario, has taken back her original name.
• The tanker MCT Altair, which first visited in 2009 and last visited in 2013, is now the Success Altair XLII of Liberia. The vessel also visited as Altair in 2001, a name she carried from 1999-03.
• Rickmers Chittagong, which visited as Beluga Energy in 2007, is now the Nordana Emma of Antigua/Barbuda. This vessel also carried the name of Linde from 2011-13, however it never came inland with this name nor did it ever visit as the Rickmers Chittagong.
Lookback #286 – Hamiltonian burned at Hamilton on Aug. 30, 1952
8/30 - Eighty-five members of a building trades union chartered the passenger steamer Hamiltonian for a late summer cruise 62 years ago today. They enjoyed the leisurely outing on Hamilton Bay and traveling into Lake Ontario before returning to the dock.
Everyone was off safely before a fire broke out and spread throughout the ship. The vessel, which normally operated as a harbor ferry around Hamilton, was a total loss. The tug Judge McCombs made a valiant attempt to save the ship and eventually succeeded in putting out the flames.
The loss was set at $300,000 and the reported cause was a cigarette left burning in a woman’s washroom. The only alternative was to scrap the 55-year old vessel.
Hamiltonian was built at Quebec City as Champion and originally served as a ferry across the St. Lawrence. It later moved from Quebec City to the St. Lawrence and operated between Clayton, NY and Gananoque, Ont. It was retired on this run in 1939, but following a sale to the Hamilton Harbour Commission in 1944, came west for local service on their behalf. It resumed operation on their account as Hamiltonian in 1945 but became a total loss in the August 30, 1952, fire.
Updates - August 30
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Austria, HR Maria and Pacific Dawn.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 30
On this day in 1964, the retired Bradley Transportation steamer CALCITE was awarded the National Safety Council Award of Merit. The CALCITE accumulated a total of 1,394,613 man-hours of continuous operation over 17 years without a disabling, lost-time injury. The CALCITE was the first Great Lakes vessel to ever receive this honor.
On 30 August 1893, CENTURION (steel propeller freighter, 350 foot, 3,401 gross tons) was launched by F. W. Wheeler (Hull#100) at W. Bay City, Michigan. The name was a pun to celebrate the ship as Frank Wheeler's 100th hull.
The CHARLES E. WILSON was christened August 30, 1973, at Bay Shipbuilding Co., for the American Steamship Co., and completed her sea trials on September 6th. She was renamed b.) JOHN J. BOLAND in 2000.
On August 30, 1942, the A. H. FERBERT ran aground in the St. Marys River, just a day old. The vessel returned to the builder's yard in River Rouge, Michigan for repairs.
On August 30, 1988, the WILLOWGLEN, a.) MESABI, made its first visit to Duluth-Superior under that name. She loaded grain at Harvest States in Superior, Wisconsin, arriving early in the morning and departing in the early evening the same day. Her last visit to Duluth before this was in 1981 under the name c.) JOSEPH X. ROBERT.
The H G DALTON entered service on August 30, 1903, for Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co. Later b.) COURSEULLES in 1916, c.) GLENDOCHART in 1922, d.) CHATSWORTH in 1927, e.) BAYLEAF in 1942 and f.) MANCOX in 1951.
On August 30, 1985, the tug CAPTAIN IOANNIS S departed Quebec City with MENIHEK LAKE and LEON FALK, JR. in tow, bound for Spain to be scrapped.
On 30 August 1873, CAMBRIDGE (3-mast, wooden schooner, 162 foot, 445 tons, built in 1868, at Detroit, Michigan) was bound from Marquette, Michigan for Cleveland, Ohio with a load of iron ore. In rough seas, she was thrown onto the rocky shore near Marquette where she broke up. No lives were lost.
On 30 August 1900, thousands of people gathered at the Jenks Shipbuilding Company near the Grand Trunk Bridge on the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan to watch the launching of the large steel steamer CAPTAIN THOMAS WILSON. Superintendent Andrews gave the word and the blows were struck simultaneously at the bow and stern. Slowly the vessel started quivering slightly from deck to keel and then with a mighty rush, slid sideways into the river. Her stern stuck in the mud. Mrs. Thomas Wilson christened the ship.
1892: The two-year-old steel bulk carrier WESTERN RESERVE foundered about 60 miles above Whitefish Point with the loss of 26 lives. There was only one survivor.
1903: PITTSBURGH burned at the dock in Sandwich, Ontario. The oak-hulled passenger and freight paddle-wheeler had been built in 1871 as MANITOBA. The hull was towed to Port Dalhousie for scrapping later in 1904.
1942: NEEBING (i), a former bulk canaller that dated from 1903, left the lakes for war service about 1915. It survived the initial conflict and continued in saltwater service into the Second World War. The ship was torpedoed and sunk as c) JAN TOMP in the eastern Black Sea enroute from Poti, Georgia, to Novorossiysk, Russia.
1952: The iron-hulled paddle-wheeler HAMILTONIAN burned at Hamilton. The cause was believed to have been a carelessly discarded cigarette butt in the women’s washroom. The remains were scrapped at Hamilton in 1953.
1975: B.A. CANADA came to the Great Lakes beginning in 1966 after early work for British-American tankers between Venezuela and North America. The ship was sold and returned inland under Liberian registry as b) DIMITRIOS D.M. in 1969 and ran aground in the Panama Canal on this date in 1975. The damaged hull was laid up at Jacksonville, FL and arrived at Panama City, FL. for scrapping on March 10, 1976.
2001: MARLY, a Seaway caller in 1981, began flooding in #2 hold as d) BISMIHITA'LA and developed a severe list. The crew abandoned ship and 25 sailors were picked up by the MURIEL YORK. Three were lost when their lifeboat drifted into the propeller. The ship was 500 miles off Capetown, South Africa. It was taken in tow by the tug SUHAILI but the 25-year old freighter had to be scuttled at sea on September 17, 2001.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, James Neumiller, Jody L. Aho, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers reach North Pole
8/29 - Twenty years after Canadian icebreakers first reached the North Pole, two Canadian Coast Guard ships have recreated the feat.
The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and the CCGS Terry Fox arrived at the North Pole at 7:26 p.m. Wednesday night.
When a fog lifted, the ships were surrounded by blue sky and second year ice, a senior officer on board the St-Laurent said in an email to the CBC.
"A visit from Santa preceded a hockey game and an ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ in support of ALS."
The ships will spend another nine days in the work area, then head back to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, for a crew change September 18.
The coast guard vessels left earlier this month to gather scientific data in support of Canada's territorial claim on the Arctic sea floor, including the area under and beyond the North Pole.
The six-week journey will take them to the eastern side of the Lomonosov Ridge, a long undersea feature that runs from near Ellesmere Island in Nunavut northward over the pole.
The move comes seven years after a Russian submarine planted a Russian flag on the seabed beneath the pole.
During his annual northern tour earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada cannot be complacent in the face of growing Russian aggression.
Port Reports - August 29
Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
Lookback #285 – Charles A. Eddy caught fire in Lake Huron on Aug. 29, 1906
8/29 - The Detroit Drydock Co. built the Charles A. Eddy at Wyandotte, MI and this wooden bulk freighter was completed in 1889. The 295 foot, 10 inch long steamer was too large for the Welland Canal of that era and spent its entire career operating on the upper four Great Lakes.
Charles A. Eddy was part of the Eddy-Shaw fleet until it caught fire 108 years ago today. The ship was down bound on Lake Huron with a cargo of iron ore consigned to Cleveland when the blaze broke out. The crew took to the life boats and were picked up by the steamer City of Mackinac.
Their departure might have been a bit premature as a salvage crew boarded the ship and took it to Port Huron arriving there under the ship's own power.
The Charles A. Eddy was cut down about 1918 for service as a drydock at Sturgeon Bay but, being constructed of wood, it did not have a long life in this capacity and was eventually scrapped.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 29
August 29, 1996 - The NICOLET, which had been sold for scrap, left Toledo under tow of the McKeil tug OTIS WACK, arriving in Port Maitland, Ontario during the early hours of the 30th. Last operated in 1990, the NICOLET was built in 1905 by Great Lakes Engineering Work at Ecorse, Michigan as the a.) WILLIAM G. MATHER (25), b) J. H. SHEADLE (55), c) H. L. GOBEILLE. The vessel spent the first 60 years of her life in service for the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company. After 1965, her ownership was transferred to the Gartland Steamship Company and eventually American Steamship Company.
On this day in 1974, unsuccessful negotiations on a major shipbuilding contract resulting in Litton Industries terminating operations at its Erie yard. The Litton yard had built the first 1,000-foot boat on the lakes, the STEWART J. CORT, and the 1,000-foot tug-barge PRESQUE ISLE.
It is not often that a schooner tows a tug, but on 29 August 1882, the tug J. A. CRAWFORD was towing the big schooner JAMES COUCH to Chicago when the wind picked up and the schooner passed the tug. Captain Gorman of the CRAWFORD cut the engine and allowed the COUCH to tow him until they got close to the harbor. Then the schooner shortened sail and the tug finished the job of towing her into port.
On August 29, 1942, the A. H. FERBERT entered service for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co.
On her maiden voyage August 29, 1979, the INDIANA HARBOR sailed for Two Harbors, Minnesota to load iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor, Indiana. In August 1982, INDIANA HARBOR became the first U.S. flag laker to receive satellite communication.
On August 29, 1972 the lightship HURON was placed in an earth embankment at Port Huron's Pine Grove Park along the St. Clair River and was opened to visitors on July 13, 1974.
Canada Steamship Lines' ATLANTIC SUPERIOR returned from Europe on August 29, 1985, with a cargo of gypsum for Picton, Ontario.
On 29 August 1871, GEORGE M. ABEL (2-mast wooden schooner) broke up on a reef near Port Burwell, Ontario.
On 29 August 1858, CANADA (3-mast wooden bark, 199 foot, 758 tons) was carrying a half-million board feet of lumber to Chicago in bad weather when she settled just north of downtown Chicago. The next day during a salvage attempt, she blew southward, struck a bar off the old waterworks, broke her back, then broke up. She had been built in Canada in 1846, as a sidewheeler and was seized by the U.S. in 1849, and rebuilt as a bark in 1852.
August 29, 1998 - The BADGER was designated a spur route on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.
1906: The wooden bulk carrier CHARLES A. EDDY caught fire in Lake Huron enroute to Cleveland with iron ore. The ship later arrived at Port Huron, under her own power, with a salvage crew.
1967: LINDE, a Norwegian flag freighter, first entered the Seaway in 1965. Two years later, on this date, it sank the ARISTOS in dense fog in the English Channel 17 miles off Beachy Head. All on board were rescued. LINDE later stranded as d) ZEPHYR outside of Dunkirk, France, on January 13, 1981, after anchoring due to bad weather. The hull was broken up for scrap where she lay.
1984: A fire in the cargo hold of NANTICOKE broke out while the ship was unloading in Quebec City and damaged the self-unloading belts and electronic components.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Lake Huron Lore Society, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Tug Bonnie G. Selvick capsizes on Calumet River
8/28 - Chicago - The Coast Guard is responding to the capsizing of a tug on the Calumet River near the 106th St. Bridge in Chicago in which two crew members were able to escape and swim to shore.
Shortly after 7 p.m., two crew members on board the 57-foot tug, Bonnie G. Selvick, attempted to turn the vessel around while transiting south on the Calumet River. During the process, the vessel rolled over, began taking on water and sank within minutes. The two crew members escaped and swam to shore.
One of the crew member contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan with a marine band radio on channel 16. Watchstanders directed the launch of a crew on board 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor.
Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago are determining if there is any pollution in the water from the vessel, and beginning an investigation into the cause of the incident.
Initial reports indicate that the vessel is not blocking other vessel traffic on the river. The Coast Guard will determine if a safety zone is needed around the vessel until a salvage crew arrives Thursday.
Port Reports - August 28
Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
Lookback #284 – Richelieu arrived at Aliaga, Turkey, on Aug. 28, 2013
It was a year ago today that the Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier Richelieu arrived off Aliaga, Turkey, and went to anchor. The ship had sailed from Canada under her own power for the 18-day journey to the scrapyard. The vessel was beached on Sept. 1, 2013, and scrapping was soon underway.
For most of its life, Richelieu had been a deep-sea bulk carrier. It was launched at Hoboken, Belgium, on Oct. 20, 1980, and joined Belcan N.V., part of Federal Commerce & Navigation of Montreal as Federal Ottawa in December.
Beginning in 1981, the 730 foot long by 76 foot, 3 inch wide Federal Ottawa was a regular caller through the Seaway and around the Great Lakes. Steel and grain were the main cargoes but it also took the first tunnel cars for the English Channel tunnel, in December 1990.
In 1995, this ship was sold to Lake Erie Inc. and registered in the Marshall Islands at Lake Erie. It was chartered back to Fednav and made a total of 40 trips into the Great Lakes on their account despite missing inland trading in 2006 and 2007.
It was sold to Canada Steamship Lines late in 2008 but remained on Fednav charter to the end of the year. CSL renamed it Richelieu in 2009 and the ship was painted in company colors in 2010. It operated on their account to the end of the 2012 season before tying up at Montreal. The ship remained there until departing for the scrapyard on Aug. 10, 2013.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 28
On this day in 1939, the RICHARD J. REISS collided with the YOSEMITE on the St. Clair River. There were no casualties but damage to the Reiss amounted to $26,593.80 and damage to the YOSEMITE amounted to $23,443.09. The REISS was built in 1901, as the a.) GEORGE W. PEAVEY. Renamed b.) RICHARD J. REISS in 1917, c.) SUPERIOR in 1943. She was scrapped at Hamilton, Ontario, in 1947. The YOSEMITE carried her name throughout her career, built in 1901, and scrapped at Buffalo, New York, in 1954.
Capt. Frank R. West took his 8-year-old son Robert and the boy's friend, 8-year-old Edward Erickson aboard the new schooner LOUIS MEEKER as guests on a trip carrying 27,000 bushels of oats from Chicago to Buffalo. There was hardly any wind and it took them four days to creep north as far as Pentwater, Michigan. On August 28, 1872, Captain West saw a storm coming and he had the sails taken in as a precaution. The winds came so suddenly and they hit the vessel so hard that the schooner was knocked over on her beam ends. Little Robert West, his dad and three sailors were lost when the vessel sank 15 minutes later near Big Sable Point. Peter Danielson dove and tried to cut away the lifeboat as the schooner was sinking and he almost drowned in that unsuccessful attempt. The mizzen gaff broke free and seven sailors plus little Edward Erickson clung to it until they were picked up by the schooner WILLIAM O. BROWN six hours later.
Mr. Edwin H. Gott, 78, of Pittsburgh, died on August 28, 1986. The namesake of the 1,000 footer, he retired as Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Steel in 1973.
On August 28, 1962, the EDWARD L. RYERSON set a Great Lakes cargo record for iron ore. The RYERSON loaded 25,018 gross tons of iron ore in Superior, Wisconsin, breaking by 14 tons the record held by the Canadian bulk freighter RED WING that was set in the 1961 season. The RYERSON held this record well into 1965.
The PERE MARQUETTE 22 was repowered with two 2,850 ihp four cylinder Skinner Uniflow steeple compound steam engines, 19 1/2", 43" dia. X 26" stroke, built in 1953, by the Skinner Engine Co., Erie, Pennsylvania, and four coal-fired Foster-Wheeler water tube boilers with a total heating surface of 25,032 sq. ft. built in 1953. The repowering work was completed on August 28, 1954. Her 1954, tonnage was 3551 gross tons, 1925 net tons, 2450 deadweight tons. A new starboard tail shaft was installed at this time. Her service speed increased to 18 knots (20.7 mph).
The JOHN ANDERSON, a.) LUZON of 1902, was outbound through the Duluth Ship Canal on August 28, 1928, when the vessel struck the north pier suffering $18,000 in damage. Renamed c.) G. G. POST in 1935. The POST was scrapped at Istanbul, Turkey, in 1972.
Gulf Oil Corp., tanker REGENT entered service on August 28, 1934. She was built for low clearances on the New York State Barge Canal and was equipped with five cargo tanks and one dry cargo hold.
The WILLIAM A. REISS, a.) JOHN A. TOPPING, was laid up for the last time on August 28, 1981, at Toledo, Ohio, and remained idle there until July 15, 1994, when she was towed to be scrapped.
On August 28, 1870, CHASKA (wooden scow-schooner, 72 foot, 50 tons, built in 1869, at Duluth, Minnesota originally as a scow-brig) was wrecked in a northwesterly storm near Duluth. Reportedly she's the first vessel built at Duluth.
On August 28, 1763, BEAVER, an armed wooden British sloop built the previous year, was carrying provisions to Detroit to relieve the fort there which was under siege by the Indians led by Pontiac, however the vessel foundered in a storm at Cat Fish Creek, 14 miles from the site of Buffalo. 185 barrels of her cargo were salvaged and went on to Detroit on the schooner GLADWIN.
2002: FRASER, the former SELKIRK SETTLER, went aground in fog at Duluth-Superior and was released without damage with the aid of four tugs. The ship now sails as SPRUCEGLEN of Canada Steamship Lines.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, James Neumiller, Jody Aho, Russ Plumb, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Port Reports - August 27
Toledo, Ohio – Jim Hoffman
Boat show attracts 2,000 plus to Toledo
8/27 - Toledo, Ohio – The National Museum of the Great Lakes grounds buzzed last weekend as more than 2,000 visitors attended the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show there Saturday and Sunday.
This was the first time the museum, which opened in late April, has been the venue for the show, now in its eighth year.
Anna Kolin, the museum’s development director, said the Great Lakes Historical Society, which owns the museum, has been involved in past shows, and she had high hopes the museum would become its permanent home.
“People I’ve talked to said this is as good as the East Coast shows. It’s the perfect location,” she said of the East Toledo Marina District site.
The museum was open along with the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, the 103-year-old ore carrier on permanent display, and the U.S. Brig Niagara, the reconstructed relief flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, which was visiting from its Erie, Pa., home port.
The museum held the show with Ramsey Brothers Restorations, a Toledo firm that restores classic and antique boats.
Chris Ramsey, who is involved with the company along with his two brothers and father, said 105 boat owners brought vessels in, by land or water, for display.
National Museum of the Great Lakes
Lookback #283 – A fire in cargo of sugar occurred aboard City of Kingston on Aug. 27, 1952
8/27 - For parts of four decades, the City of Kingston sailed as one of the five “City Class” package freight carriers in the Canada Steamship Lines fleet. The vessel had been built at the Davie shipyard, Lauzon, Quebec, and it entered service in April 1926.
The ship was 250 feet long and operated through the Third Welland and old Pre-Seaway canals connecting the Great Lakes to Montreal and other St. Lawrence destinations. It was the first caller at the new freight dock at Homer along the Fourth Welland Canal when it arrived to load Niagara grown fruit on Oct. 25, 1932.
It was 62-years ago today that a fire broke out in the cargo hold of City of Kingston while moored at Montreal. An estimated ten tons of sugar was consumed in a blaze that lasted about an hour. The ship was not seriously damaged and was soon back to work.
City of Kingston had a pair of groundings in the St. Lawrence with one off Gooseneck Shoal in Nov. 1952 and the other near Iroquois on June 17, 1953.
The ship was laid up at its namesake port of Kingston in 1958, moved to the area west of the Kingston grain elevator in November 1959, and returned to Lauzon, where it was built in 1961. The final trip was under tow and the vessel was broken up for scrap not far from where it had been built 35-years earlier.
Updates - August 27
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the Charlotte C, Finnborg and Selandia Swan
Today in Great Lakes History - August 27
The new Poe Lock at the Soo was first flooded on 27 August 1968.
On August 27, 1886, The Detroit Evening News reported that a fireman on the tug J. H. HACKLEY of 1874, was sent to watch for a leak in the boiler, which was being filled with cold water at a dock in Chicago. He fell asleep and the boiler overflowed, very nearly sinking the vessel before another tug could pump her dry.
AGAWA CANYON (Hull#195) was launched in 1971, at Collingwood, Ontario, by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. for Algoma Central Railway Ltd.
C.C.G.S. SAMUEL RISLEY arrived at Toronto, Ontario, on August 27, 1985, on her way to Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she replaced the retired C.C.G.C. ALEXANDER HENRY.
JOHN O. McKELLAR (Hull#12) was launched August 27, 1952, at St. Catharines, Ontario, by Port Weller Drydocks Ltd. for the Colonial Steamship Co. Ltd. (Scott Misener, mgr.), Port Colborne, Ontario. Renamed b.) ELMGLEN in 1984.
The WILLIAM CLAY FORD, then renamed b.) US266029, departed her lay-up berth at the Rouge slip on August 20, 1986, in tow of Gaelic tugs and was taken to Detroit Marine Terminals on the Rouge River, where her pilothouse was removed to be displayed at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Detroit's Belle Isle. The hull was moved to Nicholson's River Rouge dock on August 27.
WILLIAM B. DICKSON (Hull#75) was launched August 27, 1910, at Ecorse, Michigan, by Great Lakes Engineering Works for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Renamed b.) MERLE M. McCURDY in 1969, she was scrapped at Port Colborne, Ontario, in 1989.
The U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender MESQUITE (WAGL-305) was commissioned on August 27, 1943, and served on the Pacific Ocean in the 7th Fleet in 1944 and 1945.
On August 27, 1940, the WILLIAM A. IRVIN set the Great Lakes record for the fastest unloading of an iron ore cargo using shore side equipment. The IRVIN unloaded 13,856 gross tons of iron ore in 2 hours, 55 minutes (including the time to arrive and depart the dock) in Conneaut, Ohio. This record still stands, and consequently the IRVIN is one of the few Great Lakes vessels to be retired while still holding a Great Lakes cargo record.
On August 27, 1929, the MYRON C. TAYLOR entered service.
On August 27, 1924, CITY QUEEN (wooden propeller steam tug, 71 foot, 69 gross tons, built in 1900, at Midland, Ontario) burned to a total loss 14 miles east of the Manitou Dock in Georgian Bay.
The keel for the tug CRUSADER was laid on August 27, 1873, at the Leighton & Dunford yard in Port Huron, Michigan. The tug's dimensions were 100 foot keel, 132 foot overall, and 23 foot beam. She was built for George E. Brockway.
1909: PRESCOTT, a wooden sidewheel passenger ship used on the Toronto to Montreal run, was destroyed by a fire at Montreal. It burned to the waterline and sank at Victoria Pier.
1940: BOLIVAR, built at Wyandotte as LAKE FACKLER, had returned to the Great Lakes in 1933. The ship foundered in the Bay of Bengal again known as d) BOLIVAR.
1952: Ten tons of sugar aboard the CITY OF KINGSTON burned in a one-hour fire at Montreal.
1965: The Swedish freighter EVA JEANETTE ran up over the stern of the tug VEGCO in Lock 4 of the Welland Canal, sinking the latter vessel. There were no injuries and the tug was salvaged. EVA JEANETTE arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping as d) SKOPELOS STAR on January 21, 1984. The tug later sailed as d) NORWICH and became e) SEAGULL in 1998.
2008: GERTJE, a Seaway trader in 1991, sent out a distress call as h) LADY F. with water entering the holds. A tug arrived and removed the six crew members. The vessel was towed into Bougas, Bulgaria, the next day. The ship was repaired and became i) SAMER F. in 2010.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Al Miller, Jody Aho, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Lookback #282 – Avondale set on fire by vandals near Port Colborne on Aug. 26, 1978
8/26 - Vandals climbed aboard the idle freighter Avondale by night as the ship lay berthed along the channel of the old Welland Canal south of Port Colborne 36 years ago today. They set fire to the pilothouse of the old self-unloader and, due to the remote location of the ship, the forward cabins were gutted before help could arrive.
The vessel was towed to Ramey's Bend later in the year and then resold to Spanish shipbreakers. The tugs G.W. Rogers and Cathy McAllister towed Avondale down the Welland Canal on June 22-23, 1979, and the Polish tug Jantar took it across the Atlantic, in tandem with Ferndale, departing Quebec City on July 6. They arrived at Castellon, Spain, on August 3, 1979, for scrapping.
Avondale had previously sailed in the American Steamship Co. fleet. It was built at St. Clair, Mich., and launched as the first Adam E. Cornelius on May 2, 1908. It was rebuilt as a self-unloader in 1942 and became the first Detroit Edison in 1948, the second George F. Rand in 1954 and the second Avondale when sold to Leadale Shipping, one of the Reoch fleets, in 1962.
Avondale had been retired and laid up along the old canal bank since Nov. 30, 1975. It was still there when vandals struck on August 26, 1978.
Updates - August 26
Saltie Gallery updated
with pictures of the HR Maria, Wigeon, and Zhuang Yuan Ao
Today in Great Lakes History - August 26
In 1791, John Fitch was granted a United States patent for the steamboat.
On August 26,1872, wooden propeller steamer LAKE BREEZE of 1868, was steaming from Saginaw to Mackinaw City with freight and about 40 passengers when fire broke out in the kitchen while off Au Sable, Michigan. Captain M. S. Lathrop ordered the engines shut down and the steam pumps activated. The crew battled the blaze with fire hoses and put the flames out. When the LAKE BREEZE pulled into Mackinaw City that night, the partially burned vessel was still smoking.
The EDGAR B. SPEER's sea trials were successfully completed on August 26, 1980.
The BEECHGLEN was towed out of Owen Sound by the McKeil tug KAY COLE on August 26, 1994, in route to Port Maitland, Ontario, for scrapping.
The HENRY C. FRICK (Hull#615) was launched August 26, 1905, at West Bay City, Michigan, by West Bay City Ship Building Co., for the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Renamed b.) MICHIPICOTEN in 1964, she foundered off Anticosti Island on November 17, 1972, while being towed overseas for scrapping.
EMORY L. FORD entered service on August 26, 1916, to load iron ore at Marquette, Michigan. Renamed b.) RAYMOND H. REISS in 1965. She was scrapped at Ramey's Bend in 1980.
The GLENEAGLES (Hull#14) was launched August 26, 1925, at Midland, Ontario, by Midland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd. (James Playfair, mgr.). Converted to a self-unloader in 1963. Renamed b.) SILVERDALE in 1978. She was scrapped at Windsor, Ontario, in 1984.
The CHIEF WAWATAM (Hull#119) was launched on August 26, 1911, at Toledo, Ohio, by Toledo Ship Building Co. for the Mackinaw Transportation Co. She was built with three large propellers, two in the stern for propulsion and one in the bow for icebreaking. She was sold to Purvis Marine Ltd., of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in 1988, and cut down to a barge.
The Port Weller Drydocks Ltd., built, passenger-cargo ship FEDERAL PALM (Hull#29) was christened August 26, 1961, for the West Indies Shipping Corp., Ltd. She was built on the Great Lakes, but never served their ports. Renamed b.) CENPAC ROUNDER in 1975, she was scrapped in 1979.
On August 26, 1934, while on a Sunday sightseeing cruise, MIDLAND CITY of 1871, a.) MAUD 153.2 foot, 521 gross tons, damaged her bottom on a shoal near Present Island in Georgian Bay. She settled with her stern under water and her bow high in the air.
On 26 August 1875, COMET (propeller passenger/package freight, 181 foot, 744 tons, built in 1857, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying ore and pig iron in Lake Superior on a foggy night. While trying to pass the Beatty Line steamer MANITOBA, 7 miles SE of Whitefish Point, signals were misunderstood and COMET veered into the path of MANITOBA. COMET was rammed amidships and sank in ten minutes. 11 of the 21 aboard lost their lives. This wasn't the first such accident for COMET. In October 1869, she suffered a similar mishap with the propeller HUNTER and that time both vessels sank.
The schooner MATTHEW McNAIR was launched at the Lee & Lamoree shipyard in Oswego, New York, on August 26,1857. Her dimensions were 103 foot keel, 24 foot 6 inch beam and 9 foot 6 inch depth.
1911 CITY OF GENOA, downbound in the St. Clair River with 125,000 bushels of corn, collided with the W.H. GILBERT and sank 100 yards offshore. The crew was rescued and the hull salvaged by Reid on September 20, 1911, but was irreparable and a total loss.
1955 JOHANNA, a West German freighter, went aground at Point Iroquois and received damage to bottom plates. The tugs SALVAGE PRINCE, RIVAL, CAPT. M.B. DONNELLY and lighter COBOURG helped release the vessel on September 3 and it went to Kingston for repairs. JOHANNA was later a Seaway trader and made 18 inland voyages from 1959 to 1965.
1978 The second AVONDALE was damaged by an arson fire in the pilothouse while laid up along the Welland Canal below Lock 8.
1979 QUEBECOIS went aground on a mud bank near the entrance to Lake St. Clair after an electronic malfunction but was released in 9 hours.
1988 A challenging fire in the bowthruster tunnel aboard ALGOMARINE at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines sent two firemen to hospital. Some plates were buckled. The ship was being converted to a self-unloader at the time.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Reference.com, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Port Reports - August 25
Alpena, Mich. – Ben & Chanda McClain
Lorain, Ohio – Phil Leon
Oswego N.Y. – Ned Goebricher
Boat’s 90th birthday bash a chance to reunite friends and family on Lime Island
8/25 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – It’s pretty unusual for a boat to have a 90th birthday party, but then the Gerald D. Neville is a pretty unusual boat.
The party – hosted by Dennis Dougherty and his wife Mary Ann of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – was held dockside at Lime Island on August 1, and was attended by around 30 people, including representatives of all three major eras of the boat’s history. There was even a birthday cake.
A homemade banner on the boat displayed the two other names the vessel has had over the years – Tobermory II and Champion.
“As the 90th year of the ship approached, I thought it would be nice to get the people together, especially, the senior generation, who have had a connection with the ship's history, explained Dougherty. “Lime Island seemed like the place where most had a direct or indirect connection.”
Besides Dougherty and his family (the current era), the guest list included Audrey (Chown) LeLievre and her brother John (Jack) Chown, who grew up on Lime Island as the daughter and son of island settlers William and Margaret (McLeod) Chown in the 1920s. Also on board were descendants of 1930s Champion skipper Ed Putzke (his granddaughters Barb Scholz and Doris Keating and her 10-year-old grandson, David) and several members of the Osmar family, who visited the area in summers gone by.
Finally, Fred Miller, great-great grandson of Commodore Frederick William Wakefield, the Ohio industrialist who had the boat built in 1924, was present, completing the link back to the vessel’s original owner.
“I never thought I’d see the boat. I’ve only seen photos,” Miller said, as he stood on the dock with Dougherty and recalled the vessel’s early history.
Wakefield spent his summers in Tobermory, Ontario, said Miller, and lived during the year in a lakefront mansion at Vermilion, Ohio, which until recently was the home of the Great Lakes Historical Society.
Knowing that the two worst enemies of a boat were fire and rot, Miller said his great-great grandfather – an accomplished yachtsman and founder of the Wakefield Electric Company – set out to construct a vessel that would withstand both.
On May 21, 1924, the 50 by 13-foot-long, galvanized steel yacht Tobermory II was launched at Erie, Pennsylvania, by a boatbuilder named Ed Crossley. That summer, the vessel sailed Lake Huron and Georgian Bay with Wakefield at the helm and his family on board.
In September 1924, Wakefield steered his yacht south to Florida, where it was based for the next decade. In June 1935, after Wakefield’s death and as the country was reeling from the effects of the Great Depression, the Tobermory II – with Wakefield’s son George at the helm – returned to the Great Lakes and to its Vermilion, Ohio, home port.
In 1935, the Wakefield’s yacht was sold to the Pittsburgh Coal Co, which operated a vessel refueling dock at Lime Island, Michigan. Renamed Champion, it served as a tug and ferry among the river islands of Lake Huron, including Lime Island, first with Ed Putzke and later with Jerry Neville, a seasoned pilot and survivor of the 1939 Badger State shipwreck, at the helm. It was the island residents’ only link to the mainland.
In 1952 Neville invited his four-year-old grandson Denny Dougherty to ride with him on the three-mile-run from Raber, Michigan, to Lime Island. Dougherty would play an important part in the vessel’s future in the years to come.
In September 1953, the Champion was sold to Soo Locks-area contractor Herb Peterman. In the late 1950s, the vessel was abandoned on Peterman’s property, on the mainland side of the St. Marys River just west of what is now Sault Ste. Marie’s Harvey Marina. Forgotten, she lay on her side, half submerged and rusting away, until 1978.
“Over the years, it sank and slid into the drop off in about six or seven feet of water,” Dougherty said. “I saw it there, and I though it could be saved.”
Dougherty, who had returned to Sault Ste. Marie after a stint in the U.S. Army and was teaching school, bought the Champion on July 24, 1978 from Terry Haviland and Steve Hillman for $800. They bought it from Peterman for $1,500 a few years earlier. He also bought the property and an old shack that was on the site.
“When I inspected the partially submerged hull with my scuba gear inside and out I was amazed – all the ribs and majority of the galvanized lower plated hull were in good shape,” said Dougherty. “Two decades of ice action created pinholes near the water line – those plates were replaced. The iron window frames were rusting and the effect looked worse than it was – it kinda gave it that shipwreck look.”
Dougherty refloated the boat, and spent the next three years hoisting it onto the riverbank, replating the hull with ¼-inch steel and otherwise refurbishing the vessel. The old diesel was removed and the engine from the fish tug W.R. Busch was installed. While he was working on the boat, Dougherty also took and passed the U.S. Coast Guard exam to pilot a vessel of the Champion’s size, married Mary Ann and built a home on the property.
The vessel was rechristened Gerald D. Neville on Aug. 15, 1981, in honor of the grandfather who had given young Dougherty a ride so many years earlier. Sadly, Jerry Neville passed two years before the rechristening. At first, Dougherty recalled, his “Gramps” thought his grandson was crazy for taking on the project, but soon came around to the idea.
“He never did see it go back in the water, but he knew I was saving it,” he said.
Dougherty ran shipwreck diving and island cruise charters for about 12 years with the Neville before he decided to focus on using it as his family camping boat among the islands and bays of the St. Marys River and Whitefish Bay. More sturdy than stylish, painted a workmanlike black and white to define it’s no-nonsense lines, the Neville still holds its own next to the fancy new yachts near which she often moors.
In September 1983, Commodore Wakefield’s son George paid a visit to the vessel his dad had built. “He took the helm and steered her. He’s the one at 18 years old who had to bring it up from Florida when his dad died. He’s the only one who could run the engine,” Dougherty recalled.
In June 2014, the Neville – now boasting a fourth diesel – was hoisted ashore for inspection. Only minor hull work was required, a testament to Dougherty’s work 30 years earlier and the achievements of the original builders nearly a century ago.
And what does Dougherty have planned for his boat’s centennial celebration 10 years hence? He has at least one idea. “Maybe, we can do a ride through the locks to celebrate,” he said.
Soo Evening News
Lookback #281 – Black Bay struck by the ore carrier Epic at Sept-Iles on August 25, 1965
8/25 - The Canada Steamship Lines bulk carrier Black Bay was T-boned by the Liberian freighter Epic soon after loading iron ore at Sept-Iles, Que., for Ashtabula, Ohio, on Aug. 25, 1965. The big saltwater vessel hit the laker on the port side, ripped up the rail, dented the hull and damaged the 4th hatch 49-years ago today.
Black Bay was able to continue its trip and, after unloading, headed to Port Arthur for repairs.
The ship was Hull 172 from the Collingwood shipyard and it entered service in April 1963. Black Bay set early cargo records for carrying iron ore and and for oats.
A later grounding in the Brockville Narrows on April 5, 1988, and another in the St. Mary's River on Aug. 11, 1989, also required repairs. This work took place at Thunder Bay, ON for the former accident and at Superior, WI for the latter.
Following a sale to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1994, the vessel was renamed Canadian Voyager but did not re-enter service as such until Sept. 1995. It continued in ULS service until tying up at Montreal on Dec. 23, 2001.
Following a sale to shipbreakers in Turkey, Canadian Voyager left Montreal under tow on Aug. 15, 2002, and arrived at Aliaga on Sept. 18. It was beached two days later, exactly 40-years to the day the ship had been launched at Collingwood.
Epic was a bulk carrier that was 744 feet long by 100 feet, 11 inches wide. This ship was built at Kobe, Japan, in 1958 and scrapped at Busan, South Korea, beginning on May 2, 1979.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 25
On 25 August 1892, H. D. COFFINBERRY (wooden propeller freighter, 191 foot, 649 gross tons, built in 1874, at East Saginaw, Michigan) was carrying iron ore from Escanaba to Ashtabula in a fierce NW gale when she grounded on the rocks near Port Hope on Lake Huron. The crew was rescued by the San Beach Lifesaving crew and the tug ANAPING. The COFFINBERRY was released five days later and put back in service.
On Aug. 25, 1923, the Duluth, Missabe & Northern Ore Dock in Duluth loaded 208,212 tons of ore into 23 ships.
On August 25, 1984, ROGER M. KYES grounded off Mc Louth Steel and ended crosswise in the Detroit River's Trenton Channel. It required lightering into the RICHARD REISS a.) ADIRONDACK and the assistance of nine tugs to refloat her. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.
GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER, a.) ARTHUR H. HAWGOOD arrived at Port Colborne, Ontario on August 25, 1978, in tow of the tug WILFRED M. COHEN for scrapping.
On 25 August 1919, CABOTIA (formerly HIAWATHA, wooden propeller freighter, 235 foot, 1,299 gross tons, built 1880, at Gibraltar, Michigan) went ashore on Main Duck Island in Lake Ontario and split her hull, becoming a constructive loss.
August 25, 1981 - The first of the famous "Love Boat" cruises was made. The BADGER carried 520 passengers, the largest number of passengers for a carferry up to that time. It was sponsored by the Ludington Area Ambassadors.
On 25 August 1873, JOURNEYMAN (wooden schooner, 129 foot, 235 gross tons, built in 1873, at Wenona, Michigan) was put in service. Her first cargo was 225,770 feet of lumber. She was built for Whitehead & Webster of Bay City and lasted until 1896.
1917: The wooden tow barge MAGNETIC, downbound and under tow of the steamer EDWARD N. BREITUNG, broke loose when the steering failed and eventually foundered in Lake Erie. The captain and crew of 7 were rescued.
1965: BLACK BAY was T-boned on the port side by the Liberian freighter EPIC while leaving Sept Iles with ore for Ashtabula. The hull of the C.S.L. bulk carrier was dented, the rail was ripped and there was damage to the 4th hatch. The ship was repaired at Port Arthur.
1974: STEELTON collideed with Bridge 12 of the Welland Canal at Port Robinson, knocking the structure into the water. The accident tied up all navigation through the Welland Canal and the bridge was never replaced. The ship was repaired at Port Colborne and returned to service.
1977: IRISH ALDER, a Great Lakes caller with 4 trips in 1966, was gutted by a fire as c) ATTICAN UNITY while enroute from Antwerp, Belgium, to Durban, South Africa. The ship was beached at Flushing Roads and taken over by the Dutch government. The hull was later refloated, sold to West German shipbreakers and arrived at Bremen on March 22, 1978, for dismantling.
1984: The French freighter MONT LOUIS first came to the Great Lakes in 1975. It sank on this day in 1984 following a collision with the OLAU BRITTANIA while enroute from Le Havre to Riga, Latvia. The hull broke in two due to bad weather on September 11 and it was finally raised and taken to Zeebrugge in sections in September 1985 and broken up.
1985: MELA ran aground in the St. Lawrence about 40 miles east of Quebec City after losing power. Two tugs refloated the ship and it received temporary repairs at Thunder Bay. The vessel first came inland as a) PAMELA in 1976, returned as b) MELA in 1983, c) LA FRENAIS in 1990, d) PRAXITELIS in 1995 and e) AXION in 1999. The ship was beached for scrapping at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on March 15, 2006.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Port Reports - August 24
St. Marys River
Port Huron, Mich. – Frank Frisk
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
Oshawa, Ont. – Andre Blanchard
Peterborough, Ont. – Andre Blanchard
Lookback #280 – Canadian Leader went aground near Detour on August 24, 1998
8/24 - The 730-foot-long Canadian Leader had been built for the Papachristidis fleet. It was Hull 188 from Collingwood Shipyard and was the last laker ever built to be powered by steam.
Originally the Feux-Follets, the vessel had an early problem, losing power while down bound at Sault Ste. Marie on its maiden voyage and almost entered the new, and still dry, Poe Lock on Oct. 17, 1967.
Renamed Canadian Leader following a sale to Upper Lakes Shipping in 1972, the ship had a fine career in their colors. It was the first ULS ship to use the new Welland By-Pass in March 1973, the first down bound in the Welland Canal for the 1976 season, carried a record one million bushels of grain out of Huron, Ohio, on Nov. 18, 1982, and opened the Welland Canal up bound for the 1998 season on March 24.
After going aground in the St. Marys River near Detour on Aug. 24, 1998, 16 years ago today, Canadian Leader had to be lightered to be refloated. The ship was cleared to go to Montreal to unload and then sailed back to Port Weller Dry Docks arriving for repairs on Aug. 31.
Canadian Leader last sailed in 2009. It was towed to Port Colborne, arriving at International Marine Salvage, in the outer harbor, on Nov. 7, 2010, and was dismantled in 2011.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 24
At 2:00 a.m. on 24 August 1892, the GEORGE N. BRADY (wooden propeller tug, 102 foot, 165 gross tons, built in 1865, at Detroit or Marine City, Michigan) was engaged in pulling a raft of logs across Lake St. Clair along with the tug SUMNER. Fire was discovered around the BRADY's smokestack and the flames quickly spread. The crew was taken off of the stricken vessel by the SUMNER, and the BRADY was cut free of the raft. The blazing vessel drifted to the American shore where she sank about three miles north of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. No lives were lost.
LEON SIMARD (Hull#413) was launched August 24, 1974, at Sorel, Quebec by Marine Industries Ltd. for Branch Lines Ltd. Renamed b.) L'ORME NO 1 in 1982. Sold off the lakes in 1997, renamed c.) TRADEWIND OCEAN d.) AMARA in 2001 and MENNA in 2008.
On August 24, 1910, the THOMAS F. COLE ran aground on a shoal in the St. Marys River, severely damaging her hull plates.
The WARD AMES (Hull #518) was launched on August 24, 1907, at West Superior, Wisconsin by Superior Ship Building Co. for the Acme Steamship Co. (Augustus B. Wolvin, mgr.). Renamed b.) C.H. McCULLOUGH JR. in 1916. She was scrapped at Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1980.
On August 24, 1985, PAUL H. CARNAHAN arrived for her final lay up at Nicholson's in Ecorse, Michigan. Ironically, only a few hours later, her near sister LEON FALK JR departed the same slip on her final trip bound for Quebec City and overseas scrapping.
The steam barge BURLINGTON of 1857, 137 foot, 276 gross tons ex-package freighter, burned to the water's edge in the Straits of Mackinac on August 24, 1895.
On 24 August 1885, IOSCO (wooden schooner-barge, 124 foot, 230 gross tons, built at Alabaster, Michigan in 1873) was heavily damaged by fire. She was rebuilt as an unrigged barge and lasted until 1912.
On 24 August 1882, The Port Huron Times reported that "the long looked for launch of the Stave Company's new river steamer MARY took place this afternoon between 4 and 5 o'clock and was witnessed by hundreds of spectators. The last support being knocked away, she slid very gracefully as far as the ways reached and then landed anything but gracefully in the mud where she now lies." She remained stuck in the mud until she was pulled free five days later.
1901: The wooden barge H.A. BARR of the Algoma Central Railway was lost in Lake Erie 30 miles from Port Stanley after breaking the towline in a storm. The vessel was enroute from Michipicoten to Buffalo with a cargo of iron ore. All on board were rescued by the towing steamer THEANO.
1979: The retired steamer KINSMAN ENTERPRISE (i), sold for $145,000, arrived at Port Huron from Toledo, under tow of the tug MALCOLM, for use as the storage barge HULL NO. 1.
1998: CANADIAN LEADER went aground near DeTour, Mich., and had to be lightered. The ship was able to proceed to Montreal for unloading her cargo of grain and then arrived at Port Weller Dry Docks August 31 for repairs.
2005: The Dutch salty VLIEBORG lost power and failed to complete a turn departing Duluth, striking the north pier, toppling a light standard and damaging the steel piling. The vessel had begun Seaway service in 2001. In 2012, it was renamed c) ANTARCTIC SEA and placed under Norwegian registry.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Father Dowling Collection, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series.
Menpas Shipping says Phoenix Sun sailors' allegations false
8/23 - Sorey-Tracy, Que. – Allegations that 12 Turkish sailors stranded in Sorel-Tracy, Que., haven't been paid in two months and are starving are false, a shipping company representative says.
The Turkish sailors say they haven't been paid for two months and are now out of food, a situation called "barbaric and beyond comprehension" by a union representing seafarers.
Menpas Shipping and Trading's logo, as seen on director Mengu Pasinli's business card, is also on the ship's smokestack. Even so, Pasinli said he does not own the ship and that the logo itself is very common.
The crew arrived in Sorel-Tracy in April to help ready the Panamanian-flagged Phoenix Sun to be moved for dismantling overseas.
The sailors showed CBC News signed contracts with a company called Menpas Shipping and Trading in Burlington, Ont. The company's logo also appears on the ship's smokestack.
CBC News spoke with a representative of the company, Mengu Pasinli, whose name appears on business cards attached to the contracts.
Pasinli said his logo is a very common one, and that there is no connection between Menpas and the owners of the ship.
Late on Friday afternoon, Transport Canada issued a statement saying one its inspectors had boarded the Pheonix Sun based on a complaint from one of the crew members and decided to detain the ship.
Transport Canada said the detention order compels the owner to act quickly to clean up the situation by paying and repatriating the crew members aboard the Phoenix Sun.
Earlier Friday, Pasinli told CBC that he had nothing to do with the ship. When CBC contacted him again later in the day, he said he did not own the ship but did have a contract to manage the ship's crew.
Pasinli said he hadn't paid the 12 sailors for two months because he was waiting for their repatriation. He told CBC News his plan was to pay them after they were repatriated to Turkey.
The contracts he signed with the sailors stipulates that he pay them once a month between the first and the fifth of the month.
Pasinli called the sailors' allegations of not being sent food false.
"There is no such suffering," he said, adding food shipments he has sent to the crew were being intercepted and cancelled by the union.
Pasinli said he believed such allegations were being made by competitors looking to "spoil" his business.
Semih Ozkan, the ship's captain, told CBC News that being stuck on the ship feels like "prison," and not being paid is affecting the crew's families as well.
The sailors about the Phoenix Sun have been passing the time by playing cards and ping-pong, but told CBC News they'd rather be on a plane heading home to Turkey.
"It's very stressful," he said. "Our families also depend on our wages. We're broke."
The rusted 186-metre freighter has been docked at Sorel-Tracy since Nov. 2012, and residents had recently initiated a petition to have it removed.
Radio-Canada reports that Sorel-Tracy officials aren't sure who owns it because of the number of times it has been sold and resold by numbered companies. Whoever owns the ship owes the city $60,000 in docking fees.
The men are being assisted by the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU), which donated funds and is now supplying the sailors with food.
"Our brother sailors from Turkey came on board this Flag of Convenience vessel to work and earn a living. To be left without food is barbaric and beyond comprehension," James Given, president, SIU of Canada, said in a news release.
Vince Giannopoulos, an inspector with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), told Radio-Canada the men were glad to receive the food.
“They were very hungry,” he said.
The ITF is working with Transport Canada to ensure the sailors get their monthly wages, estimated at between $500 and $800, and flights home as soon as possible.
“Imagine, you’re stuck in a foreign country without a salary, without money for buying a plane ticket to return to your country, and your food is running out,” Giannopoulos said.
He said sailors are often reluctant to lodge complaints against shipowners, and the fact they did is proof of their desperation.
“I admire their perseverance in a very trying situation,” he said.
On Friday, Sorel-Tracy Mayor Serge Péloquin pledged the city's help for the stranded sailors, and community organizations offered to provide the men with meals and showers.
Port Reports - August 23
Marquette, Mich. – Rod Burdick
St. Marys River
Muskegon, Mich. – Tyler Fairfield
Grand Haven, Mich. – Sam Hankinson & Dick Fox
St. Clair, Mich. – Bob Markus
Toronto, Ont. – Jens Juhl
Lookback #279 – Canadian Progress sets out for maiden voyage on August 23, 1968
8/23 - The self-unloader Canadian Progress was built by Port Weller Dry Docks of St. Catharines, Ont. The ship had several new features including aluminum hatch covers to reduce weight and a single cargo hold for easier cleaning. These modifications made it the largest deadweight self-unloader on the Great Lakes when it was launched.
The 730-foot-long vessel departed the shipyard and headed up the Welland Canal 46 years ago today. The destination was Conneaut, Ohio, and the first of millions of tons of coal to come aboard over the years.
Canadian Progress served Upper Lakes Shipping until they sold their vessels to the Algoma Central Corp. in 2011. The ship set cargo records for coal, iron ore and barley in the early years.
It also suffered groundings in the St. Lawrence east of Ogdensburg, N.Y. on April 23, 1985, and on Ballard's Reef, after dodging a tug/barge combination, on Dec. 11, 1988.
The ship has been upgraded over the years and remains an active member of the Algoma Central fleet as Algoma Progress.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 23
On this day in 1818, the first steamer above Niagara Falls, the WALK-IN-THE-WATER, Captain Job Fish, departed Buffalo on her maiden voyage. The 29 passengers paid a fare of $24 and arrived at Detroit in 44 hours and 10 minutes.
On August 23, 1955, as part of the year-long centennial celebration of the opening of the Soo Locks in 1855, an open house was held aboard the Pittsburgh steamer JOHN G. MUNSON. A total of 10,563 individuals toured the MUNSON while she was tied up at Detroit.
On 23 August 1887, GESINE (wooden schooner, 99 gross tons, built in 1853, at Manitowoc, Wisconsin) was carrying lumber in a storm on Lake Michigan. She was shoved up against the breakwater at Michigan City, Indiana, and pounded to pieces. The crew and Capt. C. Anderson jumped overboard and clung to the breakwater pilings until rescued.
GEMINI sailed on her maiden voyage August 23, 1978, from the shipyard to load fuel oil at Baytown, Texas, for delivery at Detroit, Michigan. Sold Canadian and renamed b.) ALGOSAR in 2005.
The wooden-hulled steamer AURORA was launched on August 23, 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio, by Murphy & Miller Shipyard for J. J. Corrigan of Cleveland, Ohio.
On August 23, 1979, KINSMAN ENTERPRISE, a.) NORMAN B. REAM was towed out of the Frog Pond in Toledo, Ohio, having escaped the scrapper's torch, and sold to the Port Huron Seaway Terminal to be used as a storage barge.
On 23 August 1887, CLARA (2-mast, wooden scow-schooner) was carrying a load of hardwood lumber bound from Manistee, Michigan for Chicago, Illinois, when she was caught in a storm and capsized. Her hull later washed ashore upside-down near Miller's Station, Indiana.
August 23, 1901 - PERE MARQUETTE 17 arrived Ludington, Michigan, on her maiden voyage with Captain Peter Kilty in command.
On 23 August 1875, PERSIAN (wooden propeller freighter, 1,630 tons, built in 1874, at Cleveland, Ohio) caught fire off Long Point on Lake Erie. The propeller EMPIRE STATE came alongside and tried to put out the fire with streams of water from her hose, but when this failed, she took PERSIAN in tow in an attempt to get her to shore. This too failed when the tow line burned through. PERSIAN burned to the waterline and sank 10 miles from land in about 30 fathoms of water. No lives were lost.
On 23 August 1900, ARGONAUT (wooden propeller freighter, 213 foot, 1,119 gross tons, built in 1873, at Detroit, Michigan) was raised by an expensive salvage operation at the Escanaba ore dock where she had previously sunk. She lasted another six years.
1898: The three-year old I. WATSON STEPHENSON, a wooden lumber hooker, went aground in Sturgeon Bay and was hit by her barge and holed. The vessel was repaired and returned to service. It last operated for the Saginaw Lumber Co. perhaps as late as 1933. The hull was sunk as a breakwall for small craft at Cleveland on July 11, 1935, and burned to the waterline in the spring of 1946.
1963: During a tugboat race in Toronto harbor, the TERRY S. sank after being in a collision with the ARGUE MARTIN. The sunken ship belonged to Waterman's Services and had been used as a pilot boat. The hull was salvaged and returned to service. It joined Nadro Marine in 1989 and saw brief work as a pilot boat at Port Weller harbor in 1992 before being sold and going to Bomanville, ON for harbor service in 1993. ARGUE MARTIN, later part of the McKeil fleet, was broken up at Hamilton in 2003.
1984: ROGER M. KYES went aground in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River and had to be lightered to the RICHARD REISS before being released and going to Sturgeon Bay for extensive repairs.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Russ Plumb, Father Dowling Collection, Max Hanley, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series
Union contributes funds to feed hungry Phoenix Sun sailors in Sorel
8/22 - Montreal, Q.C. – Seafarers' International Union of Canada (S.I.U), representing the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels across Canada, has announced that it has donated funds to the crew via the SIU/ITF Inspector to aid the 12 Turkish sailors aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel, the Phoenix Sun.
Phoenix Sun – a saltwater vessel that briefly operated in the Seaway grain trade recently for the T.F. Warren Group – has been docked in Sorel, Que., for the last two years. It has become such an eyesore for residents that they recently signed a petition for its removal.
The Turkish crew was flown in to Sorel to help restore the vessel to sailing condition so that its owners could remove it. Since arriving in Sorel, the sailors have been left without wages. To worsen matters, they are now without food.
ITF Inspector Vince Giannopoulos and Transport Canada are currently working to ensure that these sailors are paid their wages and that they are given flights home as soon as possible.
"I have had the honor to meet these men on a few occasions now, and I commend them for their perseverance during this challenging time," said Vince Giannopoulos, ITF Inspector.
In the meantime, the S.I.U. of Canada has donated money for food via the ITF/SIU Inspector so that these men can eat.
"Our brother sailors from Turkey came onboard this flag-of-convenience vessel to work and earn a living. To be left without food is barbaric and beyond comprehension," said James Given, President, S.I.U. of Canada.
Seafarers' International Union of Canada, Michel St.-Denis
Port Reports - August 22
Stoneport, Mich. – Denny Dushane
Buffalo, N.Y. – Brian W.
World-class wooden boats in Toledo Aug. 23-24
8/22 - Toledo, Ohio – The Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show in Toledo this weekend features not only the USS Niagara, but some of the most significant recreational boats on the Great Lakes.
"Our museum is not big enough to display recreational boats on a permanent basis, so the boat show is our way to teach this history," said Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes where the boat show takes place.
One of the boats, Simba a 43-foot-long 1958 Sparkman & Stephens yawl is owned by Bob and Jane Cairl of Toledo. Simba has raced the Bermuda race six times, raced in the Mediterranean, has sailed in South America. It has won numerous awards including best sailboat at the prestigious Newport Wood Boat Show.
Another boat, Wetpet, a 43-foot long, 1967 Chris-Craft Constellation, is owned by Bob and Ann Guldemond of Algonac Mich. She is docked in Algonac and is regularly used on the Great Lakes including lake St. Clair. Wetpet has won numerous awards and has been a part of the Toledo boat show since its inception.
Lenore, a 26-foot-long 1931 Dart Runabout will also make an appearance at the show. This boat is representative of many Darts that were built in Toledo in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Due to their distinctive styling and high-powered motors, they were a favorite of the pleasure boaters as well as the run runners of the era. This boat has never been fully restored but has been maintained in a functional preserved state. It is powered by its original 779 cubic inch 200 horsepower six-cylinder Sterling Petrel.
The Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show is sponsored by Ramsey Brothers Restoration and the National Museum of the Great Lakes. Admission to the show is $5 per person and $15 per person for admission to the show, the museum, the museum ship and a deck tour of the USS Niagara.
Members of the museum are admitted free of charge.
National Museum of the Great Lakes
BoatNerd Welland Gathering Sept. 12-14
8/22 - The annual Welland Canal BoatNerd Gathering is scheduled for Sept. 12-14. Once again, Boatnerds will gather at the Welland Canal for socializing, sharing pictures, slides and videos, plus watching the passing traffic.
Friday and Saturday evenings the group will gather at the Canadian Corps building in Thorold to share pictures, slides and videos. There is no admission charge. There will also be a few vendor tables available.
Details on the Gatherings page.
Lookback #278 – Norman B. Ream in a collision with Senator on August 22, 1909
8/22 - For many years, the large iron ore carrier Norman B. Ream was an integral part of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. The 601-foot-long vessel was built at Chicago and launched on Aug. 18, 1906. Just over three years later, on Aug. 22, 1909, it collided with the Senator above Pipe Island in the St. Marys River. The latter sank with its masts above water.
Both ships were repaired and the Norman B. Ream worked as a “Tinstacker” until tying up at Duluth on Nov. 9, 1960. When it left there in 1965, it was part of the Kinsman Marine Transit Co. and sailing as Kinsman Enterprise. It served the new owner well and lasted until tying up at Toledo at the end of the 1978 season.
But this was not the end. The ship was sold to the Port Huron Seaway Terminal Co. and arrived at Port Huron, under tow of the tug Malcolm, on Aug. 24, 1979, just past her 70th birthday.
Unofficially known as Hull No. 1, the ship was used to store sugar beet pellets, sunflower seeds and corn gluten. It served there for 10 years before being sold, via Marine Salvage, to shipbreakers in Turkey. The tug Malcolm took the vessel away from Port Huron in August 1989. It headed down the Welland Canal on Aug. 28, 1989, between the tugs Salvage Monarch and Elmore M. Misner and left Sorel Sept. 6, 1989, behind the Polish tug Jantar.
The destination was Aliaga, Turkey, and the old laker arrived safely on Oct. 9, 1989, and was broken up by Ege Celik Endustrisi T.A.S.
Senator, the other combatant of 105 years ago today, was also refloated but had a much shorter life. It sank, via collision with the Marquette, off Port Washington, Wis., on Oct. 31, 1929.
Updates - August 22
Saltie Gallery updated with pictures of the BBC Austria, Charlotte-C, and Federal Leda.
Today in Great Lakes History - August 22
On August 22, 1898, the schooner FANNY CAMPBELL (wooden schooner, 404 tons, built in 1868, at St. Catherines, Ontario) ran ashore near Johnston's Harbor in Georgian Bay. She was sailing light on her way for a load of cordwood.
The ALGOPORT left Collingwood, Ontario, August 22, 1979, on her maiden voyage for Calcite, Michigan, to load limestone bound for Spragge, Ontario.
R. L. IRELAND (Hull #62) was launched August 22, 1903, at Chicago, Illinois, by Chicago Ship Building Co. for the Gilchrist Transportation Co. Renamed b.) SIRIUS in 1913, and c.) ONTADOC in 1926.
The ENDERS M VOORHEES was towed out of Duluth, Minnesota, on August 22, 1987, by the tugs AVENGER IV and CHIPPEWA, and was the first of the 'Supers' towed off the Lakes for scrap.
ROGER M. KYES sailed on her maiden voyage on August 22,1973, from Toledo, Ohio, to load iron ore at Escanaba, Michigan. She was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. This program allowed U.S. shipping companies to construct new vessels or to modernize their existing fleet by government guaranteed financing and tax deferred benefits. The KYES was the second of 10 ships launched for American Steamship but the first to enter service under this arrangement. The total cost of the ten ships was more than $250 million. Renamed b.) ADAM E. CORNELIUS in 1989.
On August 22, 1863, WILLIAM S. BULL (wooden propeller steam tug, 16 tons, built in 1861, at Buffalo, New York) waterlogged and went down in a storm 40 miles east of Erie, Pennsylvania. She was in company of the tug G. W. GARDNER and the canal boat M. E. PAINE, who saved her crew.
On August 22, 1876, the Canadian schooner LAUREL sank off Big Sandy Creek on Lake Ontario. The crew made it to shore in the yawl. The LAUREL was bound from Kingston, Ontario, to Charlotte, New York, with iron ore.
On August 22, 1900, SPECULAR (wooden propeller freighter, 264 foot, 1,742 gross tons, built in 1882, at Cleveland, Ohio) was carrying iron ore when she was a "hit & run" victim by the steamer DENVER at 2 a.m. and sank in six minutes in the Pelee Passage on Lake Erie. Fifteen of her crew abandoned in her yawl and were saved. The remaining five scrambled up into the rigging and clung there until they were rescued four hours later by the steamer MARITANA and brought to Detroit. Salvagers worked on the wreck continuously until they gave up on September 28. Wreck lies 3.16 miles SE from Pelee Passage light. She was owned by Republic Iron Co. of Cleveland.
1890: The wooden barge TASMANIA, upbound with coal under tow of the steamer CALEDONIA, sank in the Lake George Channel of the St. Marys River after a collision with the J.H. WADE. TASMANIA was later refloated and repaired only to be lost in Lake Erie on October 18, 1905.
1909: NORMAN B. REAM and SENATOR collided in the St. Marys River above Pipe Island and the latter sank with her masts above water. She was later salvaged but was lost in Lake Michigan, off Kenosha, after a collision with the MARQUETTE on October 31, 1929.
1917: The wooden steamer JOHN S. THOM, enroute to Erie with coal, went aground on a shoal 22 miles west of Charlotte, NY. The vessel was later refloated and taken to Ogdensburg, NY for repairs.
1940: The second THOROLD, sent overseas to assist in the war effort, was attacked and sunk by three German aircraft as she was carrying coal from Cardiff to London. There were 9 lives lost while another 3 crew members were injured. The vessel was under attack for 3 hours before it went down and became the third Canadian merchant ship lost in this, the early stages, of the war.
Data from: Skip Gillham, Joe Barr, David Swayze, Father Dowling Collection, Ahoy & Farewell II and the Great Lakes Ships We Remember series. This is a small sample.
News Archive - August 1996 to present
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