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 Lower Lake Huron, Aug. 13, 2009.

George Wharton  

-- Maumee --
(William G. Clyde 1929 - 1961, Calcite II 1961 - 2001)

by George Wharton

Launched June 22, 1929 as the William G. Clyde for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company (a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Steel Corp.), this Great Lakes bulk carrier was built as hull # 804 by American Ship Building Co., Lorain, OH. The Clyde entered service August 15, 1929 when she departed on her maiden voyage light from Lorain, OH to Duluth, MN to load iron ore. Due to the nation's prosperous economy at the time, the William G. Clyde was one of three vessels built for the Pittsburgh Steamship fleet in 1929. The other two vessels were the Horace Johnson also built by the American Ship Building Co., Lorain as hull # 805, scrapped in 1984; and the Calumet (Myron C. Taylor, 1929 - 2001) built as hull # 269 by Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI, sold for scrap in 2007.  At the end of the 1929 season, the Pittsburgh Steamship fleet consisted of 70 steamers and 14 barges.

The William G. Clyde was initially powered by a shipyard built 2,200 i.h.p. (1,618 KW) triple expansion, 3 cylinder steam engine with 3 coal-fired Scotch marine boilers. This large engine was replaced in 1964 by a Nordberg FS-1312-H5C V-12 cylinder 3,240 b.h.p. (2,383 KW) 4 stroke cycle diesel engine built by the Nordberg Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee, WI.  This engine burns intermediate grade 180 fuel powering the vessel to a service speed of 11.5 m.p.h. Telescoping hatch covers seal the 19 hatches that service 4 holds where she is capable of carrying 12,650 tons (12,853 tonnes) at her mid-summer draft of 22' 03" (6.78m).  As built in 1929, the William G. Clyde's capacity was listed as 12,000 tons (12,193 tonnes).  Three years prior to the installation of her diesel engine; during her 1960/61 winter lay-up, she was converted to a self-unloader by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI. The self-unloading system is gravity-fed through gates to two 4-foot wide belts feeding a forward mounted chain driven bucket elevator leading up to a 250' (76.2m) discharge boom that can be swung 110 degrees to port or starboard. Also in 1961, a bow thruster was installed. She became one of the first vessels to be fitted with the bow thruster.

The William G. Clyde sailed primarily in the iron ore trade from Duluth and Two Harbors, MN to Chicago, IL, Gary, IN, Conneaut, and Lorain, OH under the Pittsburgh Steamship banner through until 1952. Effective January 1, 1953; as a result of restructuring, Pittsburgh Steamship Co. was renamed Pittsburgh Steamship Division, U.S. Steel Corp.  Ownership of the William G. Clyde and her fleet mates were all transferred directly to U.S. Steel Corp., Cleveland, OH.  The vessel's cargoes continued to be focused in the iron ore trade with the occasional spot loads of coal, slag, or stone.

The William G. Clyde was transferred to the U. S. Steel owned Michigan Limestone Division, more commonly known as the Bradley Fleet, in 1960. She was renamed Calcite II (or "C-2" as she was affectionately called) at this time with her hull color being painted Bradley gray from Pittsburgh red. The Calcite II was named in honor of the small self-unloader she was replacing in the Bradley fleet. The original Calcite was the first vessel to sail under the Bradley banner, giving reliable service from 1912 through until her retirement in 1960 and subsequent scrapping in 1961. The 436' (132.89m) Calcite was the first self-unloader built and operated by U.S. Steel Corp. The Calcite II's namesake is the town of Calcite, MI; the location of the world's largest limestone quarry. Under her new banner, the Calcite II's primary cargo became limestone with her loading ports becoming Rogers City and Cedarville, MI.

The Calcite II continued to sail for the Bradley fleet until July 1, 1967; when, for economic reasons, U.S. Steel merged the Bradley fleet into the Pittsburgh Steamship fleet. June 5, 1981 saw U.S. Steel further restructure when it turned its fleet into a wholly owned subsidiary renaming it the USS Great Lakes Fleet with the designation of the fleet being a common carrier. The Calcite II was repainted the new fleet colors of red with the gray and black stripes. Throughout her tenure with the new fleet, her trade routes continued to be focused in the lower Great Lakes limestone, stone and aggregates trades.

The Calcite II's long career on the Great Lakes has not been entirely without incident. Some noted early examples follow. On August 28, 1964; she ran aground off Big Point, St. Marys River.  The C-2  grounded again October 26, 1964 in 13' (4.0m) of water on the St. Marys River on Crab Island Shoal off the southwest end of Drummond Island.  Most of her cargo was lightered to fleet mate Irvin L. Clymer with the required repairs completed by the American Ship Building yard totalling $31,777.30.  Then on April 24,1984, she allided with the seawall at Grand Haven, MI after being caught in a swift current causing $46,300.00 damage to the wall though the vessel was undamaged. On October 20, 1987, the C-2 was called upon to take on the coal cargo from her fleet mate George A. Sloan which had grounded in the Detroit River's Amherstburg Channel the previous day.  In December, 1989 the Calcite II struck a projection from the pier at the limestone dock at Huron, OH resulting in a 2" x 6" (5cm x 15cm) hole in her shell plating and # 1 port ballast tank. The C-2 also ran aground on a sand shoal mid-channel while attempting to enter the Fairport, OH harbor traveling at a speed of 3.2 m.p.h. At the time, she was loaded with a split load from Cedarville, MI for Fairport and Cleveland. With the aid of the wind and waves, she was able to free herself and proceeded to Cleveland to unload, then return to Fairport to finish unloading.  The Calcite II was not damaged. 

Caught in the strong currents of the Saginaw River, the Calcite II grounded near Cheboyganing Creek.  With the assistance of attending tugs Gregory J. Bush and Frederick T. Kellers, the vessel was refloated with no damage a few hours later.  While anchored off of Stoneport, MI, the Calcite II was in receipt of a distress call from the burning vintage pleasure boat Malabar VI on July 17, 1991 in Lake Huron.  Arriving on the scene shortly after receiving the call, the C-2's crew tried to extinguish the fire with their on-board equipment but were unable to stop the sail boat from sinking.  The owner of the boat was saved by the crew on board the Calcite II while others from the pleasure boat were rescued by the responding fish tug Moms Money.  On July 14, 1993; the Calcite II grounded in the Detroit River off Amherstburg, ON due to a steering system failure.  Two days later, she was refloated with the assistance of tugs Stormont, Oregon and Patricia Hoey only after the lightering of a portion of her cargo.  The remaining cargo was unloaded at the Nicholson Terminal, Ecorse, MI before proceeding to Toledo, OH for repairs.  Resulting damage included both port and starboard bow damage, keel plates, and the portside anchor; all of which were repaired by September 13, 1993. On December 12, 1997; the self unloader was blown aground by the bow in mud in the Saginaw River due to strong currents and high winds.  The vessel was freed with no apparent damage the next day with the aid of tug John Purvis.  The C-2 grounded again on a sand shoal on April 19, 2000 while leaving Port Inland, MI loaded with limestone for Cleveland. After being refloated on April 20, the Calcite II proceeded to Cleveland for unloading and internal examination.  She then sailed for Bay Shipbuilding arriving at Sturgeon Bay, WI on May 18, 2000 for repairs.

After 71 years of dedicated service to the various U.S. Steel fleets, the Calcite II and her fleet mates George A. Sloan and Myron C. Taylor laid up in Sarnia, ON for a final time under the fleet's flag in December, 2000. A deal was consummated whereby the ownership of the Calcite II passed in March of 2001 to the Grand River Navigation Co. of Cleveland, OH (and now also of Rogers City, MI); the U.S. affiliate of Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. of Port Dover, ON. The vessel was christened Maumee, an Indian name in keeping with the Company's naming policy (thus the Company's stack insignia) and in honor of Ohio's Maumee River; a river often visited by the fleet. The ceremony took place in Sarnia on April 21, 2001. After a refit and having her hull painted Lower Lakes gray, the Maumee departed Sarnia on her maiden voyage April 28, 2001 under the new management of Lower Lakes Transportation Co., Cleveland, OH bound for Stoneport, MI where she loaded stone for Saginaw, MI. The Maumee continued to be engaged in the stone, aggregates, limestone, and coal trades quite likely for some of same customers as she served prior to her sale. She and her long-time fleet mate Calumet, the former  Myron C. Taylor remained sailing under the American flag whereas her other fleet mate Mississagi, the former  George A. Sloan was reflagged Canadian as a fleet mate to the Cuyahoga and Saginaw under the Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. banner.

Shortly after entering service under her new colors; on May 4, 2001, the Maumee allided with a concrete abutment of the Columbus St. bridge over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH on May 21, 2001 damaging an 8' x 10' (2.44m x 3.05m) section of shell plating on the starboard side about 10' (3.05m) above the waterline.  Repairs were made at Toledo, OH.  Then on July 1, 2001 back on the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland, the self-unloader's stern swung into several pleasure boats docked at the Shooters Restaurant.  The Maumee received no damage and there were no injuries but a couple of the smaller boats were heavily damaged.  On September 24, 2003, the Maumee grounded in Lake Erie near Dunkirk (Buffalo), NY with an inbound load of coal.  The vessel was freed the same day and continued on to Dunkirk. 

On January 10, 2004; the Maumee arrived at Sarnia, ON for what was supposed to have been just a winter lay up.  After preparing to fit out in the spring, the Maumee failed an annual inspection and was not cleared to sail for the new season.  The Maumee remained berthed at Sarnia's North Slip for the 2004 season.  With much work being done on the veteran during the winter of 2004/2005 including tons of new sheet metal, the Maumee departed Sarnia under her own power arriving at Bay Ship Building, Sturgeon Bay, WI on April 15, 2005 for more work, new paint, and the all important 5-year survey.  With little fanfare, the Maumee departed Sturgeon Bay on May 16, 2005 returning to active service.  Now considered one of the smaller members of the U.S. flagged Great Lakes fleet, the Maumee remains second only to the 1906 built St. Marys Challenger as the oldest operating lake boat on the Great Lakes.

After 5 years of dependable service since her last survey, the Maumee laid up at Cleveland, OH in late 2010 with an uncertain future.  The venerable lake boat's owners retired the Maumee after having acquired and placed into service much newer, more modern vessels.  After gradually stripping the old self-unloader of parts needed for their other vessels, the Maumee's scrap tow departed Cleveland late on December 1, 2011 with 'G' tugs Illinois on her bow and Iowa controlling her stern.  The tow crossed Lake Erie arriving at International Marine Salvage, Inc., Port Colborne, ON in the morning of December 3, 2011.


Overall Dimensions (metric)
 Length  604' 09" (184.33m)
 Beam  60' 00" (18.29m)
 Depth  32' 00" (9.75m)
 Capacity (mid summer)  12,650 tons (12,853 tonnes)
at a draft of 22' 03" (6.78m)
 Power (diesel)  3,240 b.h.p. (2,383 KW)


Lower Lake Huron approaching the cut buoys ! & 2,
Aug. 13, 2009. George Wharton

Into the turn. George Wharton

... and approaching the St. Clair River.
George Wharton
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At Green Bay, WI, June 27, 2009.
Scott Best
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Loading salt, Fairport, OH, June 29, 2009.
Martin McGuan
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Downbound lower Lake Huron making the turn at the Huron Cut buoys 1 & 2, July 27, 2009. Marc Dease
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Racing Canada Geese at St. Clair, MI,
June 5, 2009. Jeff Mast

Upbound the St. Clair River at Port Huron, MI,
June 6, 2009. BoatNerd Staff

Entering the St. Clair River at Point Edward, ON,
May 2, 2009. Wayne Brown
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Upbound the St. Clair River at Port Huron, MI,
Apr. 25, 2009. Nathan Leindecker
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Meeting fleetmate Mississagi on the St. Clair River.
Nathan Leindecker
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Another view, May 2, 2009. Marc Dease
Onboard from Cleveland to Toledo, OH
Apr. 1 - 2, 2009 - Roger LeLievre

At Cleveland


Wing telegraph

Telescopic hatch covers

Lake Erie sunrise


Arriving at Toledo

Capt. Dave Laban

Nordberg diesel main engine


Engine control room

Chain locker

Looking aft

Self unloader

Winter lay-up at Cleveland, OH,
Dec. 21, 2008. Dave Scali
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Preparing to load salt at Fairport, OH,
Apr. 18, 2009. Bob Hunter
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Close up. Bob Hunter
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Inbound Grand Haven, MI, Aug. 3, 2008.
Greg Barber
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Backing out of St. Joe, MI, Sept. 27, 2008.
Greg Barber
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Another view. Greg Barber

Arriving at Buffalo to unload sand,
July 5, 2008. Bob Wolcott

Passing Buffalo's General Mills facility.
Bob Wolcott

Preparing to unload more sand.
Bob Wolcott

Making the turn at Lake Huron cut buoys ! & 2,
Sept. 9, 2007. John McCreery

Completing the turn into the St. Clair River.
John McCreery

Bow profile. John McCreery

Winter lay-up Sarnia, ON, Feb. 19, 2007.
John McCreery

Entering the St. Clair River at Point Edward, ON,
May 5, 2007. Marc Dease
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Bound for St. Joe, MI, July 24, 2007.
Greg Barber

Downbound the St. Clair River, Sept. 9, 2006.
George Wharton

St. Clair River at Marysville, MI.
George Wharton

Bow profile. George Wharton

Stern view, Sept. 9, 2006. George Wharton

St. Clair River nearing the Shell fuel dock at Corunna, ON, Sept. 5, 2006. John McCreery

Upbound the St. Clair River in early June, 2005. (Taken from the downbound Calumet). Mark Veum

Upbound Lake Huron, mid Apr., 2005, on her way to Sturgeon Bay for completion of re-fit. Mark Veum

Sailing in autumn seas in the Manitou Passage of Lake Michigan. Sept., 2005. Mark Veum

Looking down onto the spar deck while tied up in Saginaw, MI for repairs on Oct. 15, 2005. Mark Veum

Leaving Sturgeon Bay after refit was completed
mid May, 2005.  Mark Veum

 Loading first cargo of the 2005 sailing season at Drummond Island in mid-May for Detroit. Mark Veum

Onboard at Sarnia during the first week of April, 2005 as repairs were being made. Mark Veum

Lay-up with the Calumet at Sarnia's North Slip,
Feb. 22, 2004. John McCreery

Sarnia lay-up 2004. R. LeLievre

Stern view Sarnia lay-up 2004. R. LeLievre

Bow view with the Calumet at Sarnia, ON
Mar. 16, 2003. N. Schultheiss

Looking across the harbor.

Arriving Erie, PA, Oct. 25, 2001.
Jeff Thoreson

Saginaw River, Dec. 1, 2001.
Todd Shorkey

Stern view. Todd Shorkey

Detroit River, Aug 31, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Unloading. Scott Best

Detroit River, June 19, 2001.
Mike Nicholls

Stern view. Mike Nicholls

Upbound the Welland Canal at Port Colborne, ON,
July 21, 2001. George Wharton

Sarnia, Apr. 24, 2001. Roger LeLievre

Departing its name sake river, May 2001.
Jim Hoffman

Loading on the Maumee River, June 2001.
Jim Hoffman
More Onboard Views
(2001 & 2003, N. Schultheiss)

Maumee (foreground) and Calumet's stack.

View on deck.

180-degree view in hold.


Chart room.

Captain's office.

Captain's cabin

Crew room.

Dining room


Engine control room.

Steering engine.

As the William G. Clyde in 1941, at the Soo.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection

At the Soo, 1940's.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection

St. Marys River, 1950's.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection

Upbound at the Soo>
Great Lakes Lore Museum, Rogers City, MI
courtesy of Steve Haverty

The first Calcite underway.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection

Another view of the first Calcite.
Jon Paul & Brenton Michael

Calcite II just after being converted to a
self-unloader, 1961.
Great Lakes Lore Museum, Rogers City, MI
courtesy of Steve Haverty

Calcite II under way.
Jon Paul & Brenton Michaels

In the early 1960's prior to diesel conversion.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection
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Welland Canal, 1960's. Gary Pollock
Storm on Lake Michigan in December 1962, bound for Buffington, IN (loaded in Calcite, MI).
Gary Pollock.
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After the diesel conversion, 1964.
Tom Manse photo, Roger LeLievre Collection

Another view, 1964.
Great Lakes Lore Museum, Rogers City, MI
courtesy of Steve Haverty

Stern view, 1964.
Great Lakes Lore Museum, Rogers City, MI
courtesy of Steve Haverty

Calcite II downbound the Livingston Channel, early 1980's.  Rudi Rabe

Approaching Welland Cana's Lock 1, downbound for Oshawa with salt cargo, Sept. 4, 1983.
John McCreery

Upbound in ballast at Sarnia, July 27, 1985.
John McCreery

Close up. John McCreery

Aerial view old colors. Don Coles

Calcite II passing Detroit, 1988. 
Paul C. LaMarre Jr.

Lower Lake Huron at buoys 7 & 8,
Sept. 30, 1989. Skip Meier

Welland Canal at the Glendale Bridge,
Oct. 16, 1989. Jeff Cameron

Aerial view. Don Coles

Under way, 1994. Roger LeLievre

Upbound the St. Clair River passing under the Bluewater Bridge, 1995. Roger LeLievre

Into Lake Huron passing the Fort Gratiot light house, 1995. Roger LeLievre

Unloading in the Rouge River, 1996.
Robert Cioletti

Entering the harbor at Port Colborne, ON,
 July 11, 1998. John McCreery

Underway, Mark Shumaker

Under way. Rod Burdick

Unloading at Menominee, MI,
July 21, 2000. Dick Lund

Arriving Cleveland, Aug. 30, 2000. TZ

Tug Washington towing the Calcite II up the Cuyahoga River. TZ

Close up of stern. TZ

Arriving Cleveland, Sept. 18, 2000. TZ

Cleveland, another view.  TZ

Laid up at Sarnia, ON, Nov. 5, 2000.
Dave Wobser

Stern view. Dave Wobser


"Maumee" painted on stern, 4/14/2001.

On bow.

Sarnia, Apr. 21, 2001. NS

Martha Pierson christening the Maumee,
Apr. 21, 2001. NS
Video of the Christening

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