Menominee (3)
IMO 5336351

Olive L. Moore pushing the Menominee upbound at Mission Pt., July 2, 2017.
(Matt Miner)


In the early 1950s and due to the Korean War, extra carrying capacity was needed for the movement of iron ore from the upper Great Lakes to the steel mills of the lower lakes. With Great Lakes shipyards booked to capacity, ship owners had to look elsewhere to build new vessels. Bethlehem Steel Co. of Cleveland, OH, chose to build two new ships for their Great Lakes fleet at their Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard at Sparrows Point, MD. The second of the pair was launched on April 18, 1952 as the Sparrows Point, entering service for the Bethlehem Steel fleet in November of that year. The new vessel was named in honor of the shipyard that built her. The Point's cargoes were focused in the iron ore trades supplying Bethlehem Steel's lower Lake Michigan and Lake Erie mills with ore from ports in upper Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, with the occasion trip through the St. Lawrence Seaway after it opened in 1959 to Gulf of St. Lawrence ports for cargoes of Labrador ore.

In fact, the Sparrows Point was the third of three sister ships built at the Sparrows Point shipyard at that time. The first was the Johnstown (3) launched January 24, 1952 for the Bethlehem Steel fleet (scrapped in 1985). The second was the Elton Hoyt II launched March 7, 1952 for the Interlake Steamship Co. of Cleveland, OH, (now sailing for Lower Lakes Towing as the Michipicoten (2)). The dimensions of these bulk carriers were: 626' 00" (190.80m) loa x 70' 00" (21.34m) beam x 37' 00" (11.28m) depth with a carrying capacity of 19,595 tons (19,910 mt). Following six years of relatively uneventful sailing, the Sparrows Point was lengthened 72' (21.95m) in 1958 by American Ship Building Co. of South Chicago, IL. At her new overall length of 698' 00" (212.75m), her capacity increased to 23,350 tons (23,724 mt) at a mid-summer draft of 26' 11" (8.20m) or 22,250 tons (22,607 mt) at a Seaway draft of 26' (7.92m) contained in five holds serviced by 20 hatches. Her power plant consisted of a Bethlehem Steel-built 7,700 s.h.p. cross-compound steam turbine engine with two Foster-Wheeler heavy fuel oil fired water tube boilers, the power being fed to a single fixed pitch propeller.

On September 1, 1976, the Sparrows Point received rudder damage while backing away from the Mesabi No. 5 dock at Duluth, MN. She had to be unloaded and towed to Fraser Shipyards at Superior, WI, for repairs. Then, in December 1977, she grounded while upbound in the Beauharnois Canal of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The bulker had to be unloaded and laid up at Lorain, OH, for winter lay-up and repair. She had received over $1 million in bottom damage.

During her 1979/80 winter lay-up at the Fraser Shipyards of Superior, WI, Sparrows Point was converted to a self-unloader, and a bow thruster was added. Her capacity dropped slightly to 22,300 tons (22,658 mt) at a mid-summer draft of 26' 11". She could carry approximately 21,974 tons (22,327 mt) at the new Seaway draft of 26' 06" (8.08m) implemented in 2004 or 21.756 tons (22,125 mt) at the previous Seaway draft of 26' 03" (8.00m). The new self-unloader's cubic capacity for coal was 12,975 net tons (11,586 tons / 11,771 mt). The self-unloading system could discharge at a rate of up to 5,327 tons (5,443 mt) per hour via a 250' (76.20m) stern mounted discharge boom. The bulker also had a capacity for 554.16 tons (563.06 mt) of fuel oil.

On October 18, 1983, Sparrows Point went aground at Drummond Island, receiving damage to 32 plates along a 100' (30.48m) section of bottom. Repairs were completed at Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay, WI. Major damage was received when she ran aground again off the Door Peninsula on November 30th, 1989 while in transit from Escanaba, MI to Chicago.

By the late 1980s, most of Bethlehem Steel's cargoes were being handled by the Sparrows Point's much larger and more efficient fleet mates Stewart J. Cort and Burns Harbor. As a result, on July 16, 1990, the Sparrows Point was sold to Columbia Transportation Div., Oglebay Norton Co. of Cleveland, OH (becoming Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co., LLC in 1994). Columbia Transportation did not take possession of their new addition until December of 1990. Her new owners renamed the self-unloader Buckeye (3), a name selected at a board meeting on February 21, 1991, a name associated with this fleet for over 34 years. The name honored Ohio’s nickname, the "Buckeye State." With her new fleet, her cargoes were much more varied and included stone, aggregates, limestone and coal as well as iron ore.

Buckeye sailed through the 1990s with the usual scrapes, bumps and minor groundings associated with Great Lakes trading. On July 30, 2001, the crew of the Buckeye spotted and rescued two fishermen from a swamped small boat in Lake Erie, giving them dry clothes and hot food.

Time, however, was not on the Buckeye's side. In the new century, with her age well over 50 and her steam power plant not being as efficient as diesels, the Buckeye was often one of the last of the fleet to fit out. In fact, she did not fit out at all in 2003 and did not sail in 2004 until late in September, when there were enough cargoes for an extra vessel. On December 20, 2004, while anchored off Port Inland, MI, she was swung around by strong winds and heavy seas hitting a rock causing serious damage. The vessel was allowed to proceed to Nanticoke, ON, to unload her cargo of coal, arriving at Toledo, OH on December 23 for lay-up and repair.

This load of coal proved to be the last load carried for Oglebay Norton and the last as a powered lake boat. After remaining laid up in Toledo (unrepaired) through 2005, on November 29, 2005 Oglebay Norton Marine Services announced the sale of the Buckeye to Buckeye Holdings LLC (an affiliate of K&K Warehousing, Inc., Menominee, MI) for $4 million for conversion to a notched, articulated barge, a $9 million project. On December 4, 2005, the Buckeye arrived at Erie Shipbuilding, Erie, PA, under tow of tug Olive L. Moore. This tug was to be mated with the Buckeye following her conversion, the pair becoming a new articulated tug/barge unit. Buckeye became the first vessel in nine years to be drydocked at the Erie shipyard when she entered the graving dock in late February 2006.

By August 2006, the new articulated self-unloading barge had emerged from the drydock minus her stern accommodations, engine room, stack, forward accommodations and wheelhouse, displaying her new name Lewis J. Kuber. She was named after the father of the owner of KK Integrated Logistics (formerly K&K Warehousing) and KK Integrated Shipping.

In February 2011, Rand Logisitcs acquired the two self-unloading tug barges Lewis J. Kuber and James L. Kuber (formerly the Reserve) from KK Integrated Shipping for $35.5 million in cash as well as more than 1.3 million shares of its common stock. The vessels were operated by Grand River Navigation.

In May 2017, Lewis J. Kuber was renamed Menominee, in honor of the Michigan town in the western Upper Peninsula. She continued to be paired with the veteran tug Olive L. Moore.


Written by George Wharton.



Ship Particulars
Length 616' 10" (188.01m)
Beam 70' 00" (21.34m)
Depth 37' 00" (11.28m)
Midsummer Draft 26' 11" (8.2m)
Unloading Boom Conveyor Length 260' (79.25m)
Capacity 22,300 tons
Previous Names
Sparrows Point 1952 - 1991
Buckeye (3) 1991 - 2006
Lewis J. Kuber 2006 - 2019
Menominee (3) 2019 - Today
Tugs paired with barge
Olive L. Moore 2006 - Today

 


Previously named ships

The Buckeye (1) coming into a dock.
(Peter Worden collection)

The Buckeye (1) underway.
(Peter Worden collection)

The Buckeye (2) in the St. Clair River as a powered vessel.
(Peter Worden collection)

The Buckeye (2) in the Welland Canal being pushed by the Olive L. Moore, 1984.
(Dick Wicklund)

The Buckeye (2) & Olive L. Moore heading into Lake Huron, 1989.
(Dick Wicklund)

Sparrows Point 1952 - 1991
(Bethlehem Steel Co.)

In ballast and heading for another load.
(Peter Worden collection)

Fully loaded with a bone in her teeth.
(Peter Worden collection)

Colorized postcard view entering the MacArthur Lock.
(Matt Miner collection)

Colorized postcard view clearing the MacArthur Lock.
(Matt Miner collection)

Entering the MacArthur Lock downbound.
(Tom Manse)

Plowing through the water with a full load.
(Peter Worden collection)

Downbound at Mission Pt. with the christening flag up.
(Tom Manse)

Passing by Mission Pt. upbound.
(Tom Manse)

Loading stone in Stoneport, Sept. 1, 1977.
(Skip Meier collection)

Outbound the Maumee River with the tug Tennessee from Cherry Street Bridge.
(Jim Hoffman)

Sparrows Point going up the Maumee River.
(Jim Hoffman)

Unloading stone at Marquette, 1987.
(Rod Burdick)

Upbound at Port Huron, 1988.
(Rod Burdick)

Unloading stone at Marquette, 1988.
(Rod Burdick)

Departing the MacArthur Lock at the Soo, 1990.
(Rod Burdick)

Upbound in the lower St. Marys River.
(Roger LeLievre)

Upbound under the Blue Water Bridge, July 26, 1990.
(Marc Dease)

Wave breaks over the deck of the Sparrows Point in heavy weather on Lake Michigan, November 1990.
(Dave Cook)

   
Buckeye (3) 1991 - 1994
(Columbia Transportation Division)

Newly renamed Buckeye upbound under the Blue Water Bridge, May 20, 1990.
(Marc Dease)

Lake St. Clair, July 2, 1991.
(Skip Meier)

     
Buckeye (3) 1994 - 2006
(Oglebay Norton Marine)

Aerial view, 1994.
(Don Coles)

Entering the Rock Cut, June 30, 1996.
(Jon)

Looking down the deck while in Lorain, Sept. 1998.
(Sharon Bouchonville)

Underway.
(Sharon Bouchonville)

View from the Boom.
(Sharon Bouchonville)

Pilot house.
(Sharon Bouchonville)

Toledo Shiprepair Dry Dock.
(Roger LeLievre)

St. Clair River.
(John Meyland)

Unloading in Lorain, Dec. 28, 2000.
(TZ)

Toledo lay-up next to the Courtney Burton, 2001.
(Roger LeLievre)

Another view.
(Roger LeLievre)

Fleet Mates.
(Roger LeLievre)

Unloading in Lorain, July 14, 2001.
(TZ)

Crew rescues a sinking fishing boat July 28, 2001.
(unkown)

Good timing.
(unkown)

Upbound in the Detroit River, Aug. 28, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Loaded on the Detroit River, Oct. 20, 2001.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Laid up in Toledo for the winter, Feb. 2, 2002.
(Mike Nicholls)

Detroit River, June 8, 2002.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Close up.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Stern view.
(Neil Schultheiss)

Loading in Duluth, 2002.
(Glenn Blaszkiewicz)

St. Marys River, Nov. 12, 2002.
(Scott Best)

>Upbound Detroit River, Sept. 30, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

Downbound in the Detroit River, Oct. 6, 2004.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view.
(Mike Nicholls)

In Duluth Harbor, Oct. 2004.
(Ed Labernik)

Lewis J. Kuber 2006 - 2011
(KK Integrated Shipping)

Awaiting to fit out for the new season, April 10, 2005.
(Roger LeLievre)

Bow view with the Atlantic Superior in the next slip over.
(Roger LeLievre)

At Erie with conversion just begining, Jan. 20, 2006.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Classic bow, Erie.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Stern with stack removed, Erie.
(Brian Wroblewski)

Scenes from the Erie Ship Building yard, July 30, 2006.
(Dave Wobser)

Conversion nearly complete, Aug. 17, 2006.
(Roman Kloecker)

At Erie, Aug. 21, 2006.
(Mike Nicholls)

Stern view from the Olive L. Moore.
(Mike Nicholls)

Downbound the Saginaw River Sept. 18, 2006.
(Todd Shorkey)

Tug Olive L. Moore in the notch.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Loading at Stoneport, Sept. 19, 2006.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Another view.
(Ben & Chanda McClain)

Saginaw River, Sept. 21, 2006.
(Todd Shorkey

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view at Menominee, Mar. 31, 2007.
(Dick Lund)

With tug Olive L. Moore, downbound the Menominee River, Apr. 2, 2007.
(Dick Lund)

Stern view clearing Menominee North Pier Lighthouse.
(Dick Lund)

Unloading in Saginaw, April 15, 2007.
(Gordy Garris)

Close up of the Olive L. Moore.
(Gordy Garris)

Loading ore in Marquette, Dec. 27, 2007.
(Rod Burdick)

The tug bringing the Lewis J. Kuber into Menominee stern first, Jan. 5, 2008.
(Scott Best)

Close up of the pair backing through Ogden St Bridge.
(Scott Best)

Clear of the bridge.
(Scott Best)

Backing past the Viking and Reserve.
(Scott Best)

Coming around the Reserve to dock, Jan. 5, 2008.
(Dick Lund)

Stern view with the Victory out of the notch.
(Dick Lund)

Bow view.
(Dick Lund)

Upbound in the Saginaw River at Smith Park, Essexville. Aug. 14, 2008.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

Loading stone in Cedarville, Aug. 16, 2008.
(Chuck Wagner)

Stern view.
(Chuck Wagner)

Another view.
(Chuck Wagner)

Outbound to Saginaw Bay below the Zilwaukee Bridge, Sept. 1, 2009.
(Galen Witham)

Heading towards the bend at Cheyboyganing Creek.
(Galen Witham)

Making the turn.
(Galen Witham)

Passing through Vetrans Memeorial Bridge.
(Galen Witham)

Clearing the Liberty St. Bridge.
(Galen Witham)

 
Lewis J. Kuber 2011 - 2019
(Grand River Navigation)

Stern view in the graving dock, Dec. 28, 2011.
(Scott Best)

Bow view of the freshly painted Kuber from across the ship canal just before being towed out.
(Scott Best)

Tugs have pulled her out, and head for Berth 3.
(Scott Best)

Work finished in Sturgeon Bay, Jan. 4, 2012.
(Peter Groh)

Starboard side.
(Peter Groh)

Stern view.
(Peter Groh)

Waiting to load ore in Marquette, Jan. 9, 2012.
(Rod Burdick)

Winter lay up dock at the old hullet dock on the Presque Isle side of Toledo Docks, Jan. 20, 2012.
(Bob Vincent)

Olive L. Moore out of the notch.
(Bob Vincent)

Bow view.
(Bob Vincent)

View from the other side.
(Bob Vincent)

Close up of the bow.
(Bob Vincent)

View of the unloading boom.
(Bob Vincent)

Tug Olive L. Moore and barge Lewis J. Kuber in Lower Lake Huron, May 7, 2013.
(Mark Dease)

Inbound the Saginaw River from the bay, July 25, 2013.
(Todd Shorkey)

Stern view.
(Todd Shorkey)

       
Menominee (3) 2019 - Today
(Grand River Navigation)

Olive L. Moore pushing the Menominee upbound at Mission Pt., July 2, 2017.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the bow.
(Matt Miner)

Another view.
(Matt Miner)

Unloading tower and tug.
(Matt Miner)

Close up of the Moore.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view of the Moore.
(Matt Miner)

Stern view of the combo.
(Matt Miner)

     

 


More pictures from our archives

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Sparrows Point
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Buckeye
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Lewis J. Kuber
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Menominee

 


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