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Historical Perspective
Featured Lake Boat:

William P. Cowan 1918 - 1961
Amoco Illinois 1962 - 1981

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Built by American Ship Building Co. of Lorain, OH as hull 724. Launched on March 9, 1918 as WILLIAM P. COWAN for Standard Oil Co. Dimensions: 437' 7" loa x 55' 00" beam x 28' 00" depth; 5,429 GRT, 3,962 NRT. Powered by a 2,400 ihp triple expansion steam engine and three oil-fired Scotch marine boilers. Departed Lorain, entering service in June 20, 1918.

Renamed AMOCO ILLINOIS 1962 when Standard Oil Co. changed its name to American Oil Co (Amoco). During the 1970-71 winter lay-up in Sturgeon Bay, a 600 hp Bird-Johnson bow thruster was installed. Collided with bridge at Manitowoc, WI, about April 30, 1973. Went to Bay Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI, for shell repairs on May 9, 1973. Laid up for the last time in Essexville, MI on December 21, 1980. On June 3, 1982, the AMOCO WISCONSIN join her in lay-up.

Late in 1985, the pair were sold to M&M Steel Co. in Windsor for scrapping. On October 16, 1985, the AMOCO WISCONSIN was towed away by the tugs GLENADA and MOUNT McKAY. The tugs returned for the AMOCO ILLINOIS and arrived in Windsor on November 1, 1982. Scrapping was completed by early 1987.


William P. Cowan 1918 - 1961
(Standard Oil Co.)

Waiting for a lock down at the Soo Locks
(Tom Manse collection)

West bound, passing Poe Reef light.
(Dick Lund collection)

Upbound clear of the Soo Locks at the railroad bridge.
(Adam Dyndul collection)

A night time postcard view departing the Poe Lock. New
(Matt Miner collection)

Newspaper article from the Bay City Times dated April 1954 about the Cowans first visit to Bay City since 1926.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Changing out the nameboards, 1962
(Steve Haverty collection)

Page 1 of the Bill of Sale. Not the sale price of $10.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Page 2 of the Bill of Sale.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Page 3 of the Bill of Sale.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Page 4 of the Bill of Sale.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Consolidated Certificate of Enrollment and License.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Endorsements of Change of Master.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Application for Change of Name of Vessel from William P. Cowan to Amoco Illinois.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Back side of application.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Certification of passing of Title for William P. Cowan from Standard Oil company to American Oil Company.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Transfer order for the Red Crown, William P. Cowan, Robert W. Stewart, Edward G. Seubert to the American Oil Company.
(Steve Haverty collection)

1941 trip summary. New
(Compiled by Skip Gillham)

1961 trip summary. New
(Compiled by Skip Gillham)

Amoco Illinois 1962 - 1981
(American Oil Co.)

Certificate of Publication for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, stating the name change order has been signed and issued.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Radio Station Certificate for the Amoco Illinois' Radio Communication sets.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Radar operation certificate from the FCC for the Amoco Illinois Radar unit.
(Steve Haverty collection)

Docked in River Rouge, 1967
(Photo by Dave Glick, Rich Weiss Collection)

Fully loaded and underway, June 1970
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Downbound the St. Marys River, 1971
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Turning in the Rouge R. with the help of the tug Maine,
June 1971
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Stern view heading into the lake.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Passing 6 Mile Pt. downbound at bouy 87, October 1971
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Unloading in Soo, Michigan on a frigid day, December 18, 1971
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

A color version.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Afternoon downbound passage in the St. Marys River,
August 1974
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

At E. Chicago after a winter trip, December 1974
(Photo by Lou Gerard Sr.)

Tied up in Whiting, IN, 1979
(Photo by Rudi Rabe)

Close up of the stack, July 23, 1980
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

At the American Ship Building Co., Toledo yard undergoing repairs in 1980. The Elton Hoyt 2nd is in the background being converted to a self unloader.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Tied up in Milwaukee outer harbor, August 1980
(Photo by William Lafferty)

Upbound at Mission Pt.
(Photo by Russ Plumb)

Making the turn below the Blue Water Bridge, August 1982
(Photo by Russ Plumb)

Followed close behind by the Adam E. Cornelius, August 1982
(Photo by Russ Plumb)

1978 summary of the Amoco Illinois' last trips. New
(Compiled by Skip Gillham)

Amoco Wisconsin in Windsor awaiting the torch in late October 1985
(Photo by John van der Doe)

Cutting has begun on the Amoco Wisconsin with the Illinois next, November 1985
(Photo by John van der Doe)



Masters and Chief Engineers of the William P. Cowan
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
C. D. Brown 1918 - 22
Charles E. Ellis 1923
C. D. Brown 1924
Julius Lang 1925 - 27
Lenard Johnsen 1928 - 38
J. Talyor 1939 - 53
B. W. Nordrum 1954
G. W. Irving 1955 - 61
unknown 1918
Theodore "Ted" Laing 1919 - 27
David M. Wellman 1928 - 36
M. D. Swanson 1937
Arthur L. Lippie 1938 - 39
J. R. Henry 1940 - 48
Wayne W. Boynton 1949 - 59
A. C. Rasmusson 1960 - 61
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Amoco Illinois
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
H. T. Lund 1966 - 69
B. D. Haukom 1970
M. Donaldson 1971 - 73
K. Grady 1974 - 80
E. Anderson 1981
A. C. Rasmusson 1962-1965
G. Pare 1966 - 67
E. Norton 1968 - 71
P. Dacey 1972 - 81


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Last updated: January 17, 2013.

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