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Alabama 1910 - 2006

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Built by Manitowoc Dry Dock Co. of Manitowoc, WI as hull # 36. Christened by Elizabeth Goodrich, daughter of Albert W. Goodrich, and launched as ALABAMA on December 18, 1909 for the Goodrich Transit Co. of Chicago, IL. Entered service on June 29, 1910 on the Chicago, Grand Haven and Muskegon route. Dimensions: 272' 00" loa x 44' 06" beam x 17' 01" depth; 2,626 GRT, 1,684 NRT. Licensed to carry 2,000 passengers with overnight accommodations for 300 persons and she was rated to carry 2,500 tons of cargo. Powered by a 2,500 ihp triple expansion steam engine and 3 coal-fired scotch boilers giving her a service speed of 15 mph. The ALABAMA ran year round and was built with ice breaking capability and often helped break out icebound vessels.

There does not appear to be any documented incidents or mishaps this vessel was involved in but this vessel does have quite a history of ownership and stack marking changes that she sailed under starting when Goodrich Transit Co. sold her to William F. Price of Chicago, IL in 1932. When the Goodrich Transit Co. dissolved in 1933 the ALABAMA was then sold to Chriscarala Corp. of Chicago, IL. In 1937 the ship was purchased by the Kirby Line of Detroit, MI and was chartered by the Chicago, Duluth and Georgian Bay Line for the Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Isle Royale, and Duluth route. Sold to the Paxton Mendelssohn Corp. of Detroit, MI in 1940 and transferred to the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Co., of Detroit, MI in 1944 who then resold the ALABAMA to the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co. of Cleveland, OH in 1945. The ALABAMA operated the Cleveland to Cedar Point and Canada under the Blue Water Steamship colors for the 1946 season. In 1946 she was sold back to the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Co. and was retired from service and used as a warehouse at Holland, MI.

In 1960 she was sold to Ted Brink of Saugatuck, MI for scrap. The cabins were burned off in 1961 and she was reclassified as a non-powered barge and sold to John W. Magill of Chicago, IL in 1962. In 1964 she was sold to William W. Stender of Stender Construction Co. of Bay City, MI and a deck crane was installed for use in marine construction. In 1988 she was stationed in the Rouge River, Detroit, MI and occasionally used for ferrying scrap steel to Ford Motor Co.

On November 29, 2005 the barge was towed to the Dean Construction yard in LaSalle, Ont. and was scrapped in the summer of 2006.

 

Alabama 1910 - 1946
In service

Alabama docked on the south bank of the Chicago River just east of the Michigan Boulevard bridge in 1925.
(Photo by Father Edward J. Dowling from the William Lafferty collection)

Cropped view of the Alabama from previous photo.
(Photo by Father Edward J. Dowling from the William Lafferty collection)

Rare image of the Alabama at Municipal Pier at Chicago in July 1926.
(From the William Lafferty collection)

Sailing for Kirby Line.
(From the Tom Manse Collection courtesy of Roger LeLievre)

In Kirby Line colors with old stack markings backing from dock in Midland, Ontario somewhere between 1939-1942.
(Photo by J.W. Bald - Image shared by Vern Sweeting and the Huronia Museum Collection and from the Ron Beaupre collection)

Sailing for the Kirby Line.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

Stern View.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

Sailing for the Kirby Line.
(Photo by William Taylor courtesy of MHSD)

This image appeared in the 1966 publication, "Great Lakes Ships" published by the Great Lakes Maritime Institute.
(From the Russ Plumb collection)

Postcard view sailing for the Georgian Bay Line.
(From the John Belliveau collection)

At Cleveland, OH while she ran between Cleveland and Put-in-Bay, OH, for the Blue Water S.S. Co. during the 1946 season.
(From the William Laffery collection)

Making smoke but not speed.
(From the Ron Beaupre collection)

Color view in Georgian bay Line stack colors.
(From the Tom Manse Collection courtesy of Roger LeLievre)

Crew members painting the name on the Alabama for the last time circa 1946.
(Photo by Harry Wolf from the Bill Hoey collection)

   
Alabama 1946 - 1960
Laid up in Holland, MI

Postcard view of North and South American and Alabama in winter lay-up in Holland MI.
(From the Rich Weiss collection courtesy of John Belliveau)

Laid up in Holland, MI in 1959.
(Photo by William Hoey Sr.)

South American and Alabama in winter storage in Holland, MI.
(Photo William Hoey Sr.)

Laid up in Holland, MI alongside the North and South American in 1960.
(Photo by Edward J. Morris courtesy of MHSD)

Alabama 1960 - 2006
Non-powered barge

The scrapping begins after the cabins were burned out with the stack laying on the ground, 1961. New
(Don Geske collection)

Stern view with the crane boom waiting for the next piece, 1961. New
(Don Geske collection)

The remaining hull anchored in Lake Macatawa, 1961. New
(Don Geske collection)

Alabama as a barge in River Rouge, Detroit, MI late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

View as a barge.
(Photo by Mike Nicholls)

Deck view forward end. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Deck View looking forward. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Looking forward from stern. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

In river Rouge, MI. July 22, 2000.
(Photo by Matt Miner)

Stern view in river Rouge, MI. July 22, 2000.
(Photo by Matt Miner)

Steam winches still on deck. July 23, 2003.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Looking into the barge's scrap metal hold; former engine room space.July 23, 2003.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Looking into the barge's scrap metal hold; former engine room space. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Former crew accommodations still existed in the bow below deck. July 23, 2003.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Former crew accommodations still existed in the bow below deck. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Heading below deck in the stern area. July 23, 2003.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Passageway in the former crew accommodations in the stern area below deck. July 23, 2003.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Former crew accommodations below deck in the stern area. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Passageway in the stern section. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Passageway in the stern section. Late 1990's.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

The name remains. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Looking aft. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Another view aft. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Cargo hold. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Looking forward. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

It can be seen were the bulkhead was removed. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Wear from her time as a barge. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Ad hoc notch welded to the stern. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Another view of the stern notch. She won't sink because she is aground. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

Alabama rusting away at Dean Construction, LaSalle, Ont. Spring 2006.
(Photo by Paul Beesley)

   

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the Alabama
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Edward E. Taylor 1910 - 13
W. E. Franklin 1914 - 16
D. J. McGarity 1916
G. E. Stufflebeam 1917 - 28
J. M. Crawford 1929 - 31
W. E. Franklin 1932
G. E. Stufflebeam 1933
John Hope Clark 1934 - 35
Unknown 1936
John Hope Clark 1937 - 38
Morgan Edgecomb 1939 - 43
Unknown 1944
Allan P. Strachan 1945
John McLeod 1946
Dolph Zietsch 1910 - 12
Edward Peroutka 1913 - 15
Unknown 1916
Edward Peroutka 1917 - 20
Thomas C. green 1921 - 32
Unknown 1933
George E. Suckow 1934 - 35
Unknown 1936
George E. Suckow 1937 - 41
Thomas F. Fitzpatrick 1942 - 43
Unknown 1944
Thomas F. Fitzpatrick 1945
Donald Lewis 1946

 


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Last updated: January 4, 2012.

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