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St. Marys River 2010.

Roger LeLievre

Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature - Calumet

By Laura Price

The Calumet was built in 1973 as the William R. Roesch by the American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH as Hull # 901 at a cost of $12.4 million. She was the first vessel completed under Title XI of the 1970 Merchant Marine Act and is virtually identical to the Paul Thayer (now Earl W. Oglebay) and nearly identical to the Wolverine.

The Roesch was launched and christened on June 22, 1973 for the Union Commerce Bank, Ohio (Trustee) and managed by the Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, OH. She sailed on her maiden voyage on July 7, 1973 from Lorain to Superior, WI where she loaded 18,828 tons of iron ore on July 9th bound for Jones & Laughlin's Cuyahoga River plant at Cleveland. In the spring of 1974 her tonnage was changed to 10,344 GRT, 6,477 NRT, 19,030 dwt.

She is powered by two 2,800 bhp V-16 cylinder two stroke cycle, single acting diesel engines, built in 1973 by Alco Engine Inc., Auburn, NY. Her service speed is 14 knots (16.1 mph) and she is equipped with a 1,000 hp bow thruster. She has a 260' self unloading boom with an unloading rate of 5,000 tons of ore per hour.

The Pringle Transit Co., Cleveland, A subsidiary of Oglebay Norton, became her manager in 1976. Over the winter of 1977-78 the Roesch's holds were given a major modification. Her new tonnage in June 1978 was 9,639 GRT, 5,700 NRT, 19,786 dwt.

She was transferred to Oglebay Norton in 1994 along with her fleet mate Paul Thayer when the Pringle Transit Co. was dissolved. On March 31st, 1995 the Roesch was renamed David Z. Norton (for David Zadock Norton) in christening ceremonies at Cleveland. The Paul Thayer was also renamed during the same ceremonies as the Earl W. Oglebay.

On August 2, 2006, Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co. completed the sale of the David Z. Norton and her 2 "river class" fleet mates Wolverine and Earl W. Oglebay to the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. of Lakewood, OH for $18.7 million.  With this sale, Oglebay Norton Co. phased out its subsidiary Oglebay Norton Marine Services Co. and removed itself from the marine shipping industry thus bringing to a close a long tradition of service on the Great Lakes.  The Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. is a subsidiary of Sand Products Corp. owned by the McKee family.  Renamed David Z. in early 2007, the vessel was commercially operated by Lower Lakes Transportation Co. of Williamsville, NY under a time charter agreement with her new owners with an option to buy the vessel off charter being extended to Grand River Navigation, the U.S. vessel-owning affiliate of Lower Lakes Transportation.  Her trade routes remained essentially the same. 

On February 13, 2008, Rand Logistics of New York, NY, the parent company of Lower Lakes Towing, Lower Lakes Transportation and Grand River Navigation, announced that Grand River Navigation had exercised its option to buy the David Z.  Also purchased were the David Z. fleetmates Earl W. and Wolverine for an "all in" sum of $20 million.  Shortly after, the self-unloader had been registered under the new name Calumet (3) out of the port of Cleveland, OH thus keeping this name active in the Grand River fleet following the sale in late 2007 of the previous veteran laker Calumet (2) for scrapping.


Overall dimensions
Length 630'00"
Beam 68'00"
Depth 36'11"
Capacity (tons) 19,650
Self unloading boom 260'


Saginaw River, Nov. 10, 2001. Todd Shorkey

Stern view. Todd Shorkey

Passing the Cleveland Breakwall Light. TZ

Cleveland, OH Sept. 27, 2000. TZ

Heading up Cuyahoga River. TZ

Stern view, Oct. 1, 2000. TZ

Lorain Pellet Terminal, July 24, 2002. TZ

Livingston Channel Aug. 5, 2000. N. Schultheiss

Stern view. N. Schultheiss

Click here to search our collection for all pictures of the Calumet


As the William R. Roesch. Jim Hoffman

Roesch on Maumee Bay. Jim Hoffman

As the David Z. Norton, Lorain, Oh. TZ

As the David Z. in 2007. Paul Beesley

Calumet on the Saginaw River 2008. Todd Shorkey

Stern view
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Calumet Unloading at Bay City Wirt
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Departing Toledo after loading coal. Bob Vincent
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Calumet leaving the Soo Locks in the ice - Jeff & Greg Barber

Inbound Port Washington. Paul. G. Wiening

Cleveland, OH Sept. 23, 2002. TZ

Aerial view. Don Coles

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