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Historical Perspective
Featured Lake Boat:


Notre Dame Victory 1945 - 1951
Cliffs Victory 1951 - 1985
Savic 1985 - 1987

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Built in 1945 by Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, OR as hull # 1229. Keel laid Jan. 26, 1945 and launched March. 9, 1945 as the "Victory" ship NOTRE DAME VICTORY for the U.S. Maritime Commission. Dimensions: 455' loa x 62' beam x 38' depth, 10,750 DWT. Powered by a 9,350 s.h.p. double reduction geared, cross compound steam turbine engine with 2 oil-fired water tube boilers.

Purchased by Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co. in Dec. of 1950. The hull was lengthened to 619' loa, capacity increased to 14,500 DWT at Baltimore, MD. Renamed CLIFFS VICTORY on Mar. 21, 1951. Towed up the Mississippi River to S. Chicago, arriving there May 9, 1951 to complete the lake boat conversion at American Ship Building's yard. Entered service on June 4, 1951. She was known for her distinctive profile and high speed runs, given informal title "Speed Queen of the Lakes". Lengthened in 1957 to 716' 03" loa at S. Chicago with a new capacity of 17,600 DWT. Bow thruster added in early 1964. Laid up at end of the 1981 season at S.

Chicago. Sold Oct. 12, 1985 for scrap for $235,000. Reflagged Panamanian and renamed SAVIC by painting out the letters CLIFF and ORY and adding an A in the middle. Left S. Chicago Dec. 17, 1985 under own power and, after many delays, arrived at Masan, S. Korea on Dec. 22, 1986. Dismantled 1987.

 

(Gerry Victory collection)
Notre Dame Victory 1945 - 1951
(U.S. Maritime Commission)

In an unknown floating drydock for repairs.
(Courtesy of Roger LeLievre)

Underway in Newport News for Moore McCormack, 1947.
(Provided by E. Manthos)

Article in the Great Lakes Review about Cleveland-Cliffs acquiring the Notre Dame Victory.
(Roger LeLievre collection)

 
Cliffs Victory 1951 - 1985
(Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co.)

Sequence of photos May 8, 1951 at Chicago, IL on the final leg of her journey up the Mississippi River system.
(Charles W. Cushman Collection, Indiana University Archives courtesy of John Belliveau)

(Charles W. Cushman Collection, Indiana University Archives courtesy of John Belliveau)

(Charles W. Cushman Collection, Indiana University Archives courtesy of John Belliveau)

(Charles W. Cushman Collection, Indiana University Archives courtesy of John Belliveau)

Circa 1951.

Open house, 9th St. Pier, Cleveland, OH 1951.
(William G. Mather Collection, Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Cover of The Bulletin, November 1952.
(Courtesy of Roger LeLievre)

Under way before lengthening.
(William G. Mather Museum Collection courtesy of Rickard Anderson)

On the Detroit River from the Ambassador Bridge, July 25, 1954.
(Photo by Elmer Treloar, Jim Hoffman collection)

Postcard loading iron ore at Great Northern Railway ore dock, Superior (Allouez), WI.
(Jim Hoffman collection)

In lay-up at Lorain, OH along side the Frank E. Taplin, Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV, Fred Bultman V collection)

In route to the P&O Dock at Whiskey Island, Cleveland, OH Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV, Fred Bultman V collection)

Another view in route to the P&O Dock at Whiskey Island, Cleveland, OH, Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV, Fred Bultman V collection)

Arriving at the P&O Dock at Whiskey Island, Cleveland, OH, Mid 1950's.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV, Fred Bultman V collection)

Underway; photo taken in 1957 from Algorail (1) location unknown.
(Photo by S.N. White, R.W. White collection)

Underway; photo taken in 1957 from Algorail (1) location unknown.
(Photo by S.N. White, R.W. White collection)

At Marquette, MI, August, 1957.
(Photo by Wayne Garrett)

Postcard at the Soo Locks.
(John Belliveau collection)

June 1960.
(Photo by Dave Glick, Rich Weiss collection)

Capt. John Albert Mitchell with his daughter, 1940's.
Became captain of the Victory in 1961.
(Photo from Julie A. LePierre, granddaughter of Capt. Mitchell, woman in photo is Julie's mother)

On a rare trip down the Welland Canal, June 30, 1962.
(Photo by Doug Mackie, Skip Gillham collection)

Arriving at Huron, OH on September 12, 1962.
(Photo by Matts from the Rich Weiss Collection courtesy of John Belliveau)

Huron, OH, Sept. 1962.
(Photo by Matts, Rich Weiss collection)

Leaving the Soo locks on July 10, 1963.
(Photo by Herb Koepka, John Belliveau Collection)

October 1964 at the Soo Locks.
(Photo by Dale Wheeler)

In lay-up Toledo, OH with the Ben E. Tate.
(From the Steve Haverty collection)

On the Detroit River, 1966.
(Photo by Edward J. Morris)

August, 1967.
(Mark Vander Meulen collection)

Upbound underway just above Sarnia / Port Huron buoys from deck of Howard L. Shaw. Summer 1967.
(Photo by Don Boone)

Stern view upbound underway just above Sarnia / Port Huron buoys from deck of Howard L. Shaw. Summer 1967.
(Photo by Don Boone)

St. Marys River at the Soo, 1969.
(Photo by Hal Jackson)

Cold day at the Soo, 1973.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Exiting Soo locks.
(Postcard photo view by Lucy Gridley, Rich Weiss collection)

In the late 1970's.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Sequence from the deck of the Cadillac at White Shoal, MI.
(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Downbound Lake Huron, 1977.
(Photo by Ken Osborne)

(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Capt. Harry "Heavy Weather Harry" Anderson.
(Click on photo for story & photos.)

Cliffs Victory at Soo Locks April 1978.
(Photo by Bob Campbell courtesy of Lake Huron Lore)

Inbound Toledo with iron ore, 1978.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

With the International and Cadillac at Escanaba, MI.
(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Another view.
(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

At Hocking Valley Dock, Toledo awaiting orders, late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

The Soo in the late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

At the Soo, late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Inbound Toledo. late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Final approach to the C&O Ore Dock, Toledo, late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Downbound at Port Huron, MI. late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Wnter lay up at City Docks, Toledo, late 1970's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

June 13, 1979.
(Mark Vander Meulen collection)

Downbound in the Soo Locks, pilot house and nameboard. July 1980.
(Photo by Chuck Newman)

Forward decks. July 1980.
(Photo by Chuck Newman)

Stack and aft crew quarters. July 1980.
(Photo by Chuck Newman)

Stern view departing the Soo Locks. July 1980.
(Photo by Chuck Newman)

On the St. Marys River at Lime Island on July 30, 1981.
(Photo by Tom Salvner, courtesy of John Belliveau)

Stern view on the St. Marys River at Lime Island on July 30, 1981.
(Photo by Tom Salvner, courtesy of John Belliveau)

In the MacArthur Lock ready to be lowered, 1981. New
(Photo by Jim Johnson)

Departing the lock, 1981. New
(Photo by Jim Johnson)

All clear, 1981. New
(Photo by Jim Johnson)

At Sarnia, ON.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Downbound at Sarnia, ON.
(Photo by Terry McCullough collection)

Off 6 Mile Pt. on the St. Marys River.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Docked at Toledo, OH.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

From the deck of the Middletown.
(Photo by Donald Dube, Jan van der Doe collection)

Cliffs Victory in layup at the Hocking Valley South Dock, Toledo.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Off Cleveland, OH. Date unknown.
(Galen R. Witham Collection)

Calumet River in South Chicago November 7, 1984.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Calumet River in South Chicago November 7, 1984.
(Photo by John McCreery)



Scale depiction 1957 - 1985.
(Drawings by John Belliveau)

Hand colored.
(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

Drawing.
(William G. Mather Collection at Cleveland State University courtesy of Les Weston)

   
Series of onboard photos
By David McColloch while working on the Cliffs Victory as Second Cook in 1969

Cleveland lakefront, Aug. 1969.

The galley with G.J. Arko, Steward, Aug. 1969.

Guest lounge, Aug. 1969.

Guest dining room, Aug. 1969.

Guest stateroom, Aug. 1969.

Unloading at Huron, OH, July. 1969.

In Lock 8 of the Welland Canal, last trip of the season, December 1969.

Weather tunnel, Aug. 1969.

1967 trip summaries.
(Compiled by Skip Gillham)

     
Savic 1985 - 1987
(Hai International Corp.)

In the Welland Canal.
(Terry McCullough collection)

Downbound the Welland Canal, Dec. 25, 1985.
(Photo by Jim Sprunt, Jim Hoffman collection)

Welland Canal from the Homer St. bridge, December 25, 1985.
(Photo by Alfred F. Saigon-King, Jim Hoffman collection)

Approaching the Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Approaching the Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Approaching the Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

Departing the Iroquois Lock December 26, 1985.
(Photo by John McCreery)

St. Lawrence Seaway, Dec. 27, 1985.
(Photo by Michel Richard, Jim Hoffman collection)

   
Series of onboard views of the in Montreal, QC on Mar. 21, 1986
By Captain Alain Gindroz.
 

 

Audio of the ship
Click on the tape to listen.

Cliffs Victory calling VBB Sarnia Radio. July 21, 1972
(Provided by Roger LeLievre)

Soo Control requesting the Victory to check down in the West Neebish Channel so the ice does not tear away private docks, Spring 1973
(Provided by Roger LeLievre)

Calling in down at Lookout 4, St Marys River, 1973
(Provided by Roger LeLievre)

 

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the Notre Dame Victory
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
unknown 1945 - 50 unknown 1945 - 50
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Cliffs Victory
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Con R. Gallagher 1951 - 56 *
Fred E. Newton 1956 - 60
Selas C. "Si" Koontz 1960
John Albert Mitchell 1961
Eilif C. Knudsen 1962 - 63
Clarence J. Hauck 1963 - 66
Harvey C. Almstedt 1967
Harry Axel Anderson 1968-1972
John T. Packer 1972
Raymond W. Long 1973
John T. Packer 1973 - 75
Henry W. "Bud" Zeber 1975 - 76
Kenneth W. Lowrie 1976
Henry W. "Bud" Zeber 1977
Kenneth W. Lowrie 1978 *
Henry W. "Bud" Zeber 1978
J. N. "Jack" Stephens 1979
Walter J. "Jerry" Dunlap 1980
Earl C. McArthur 1980
Henry W. "Bud" Zeber 1980
Raymond W. Long 1981
William H. "Bill" Pollard 1982

* 2 died on board:
Con. R. Gallagher on July 9, 1956
Kenneth W. Lowrie on June 9, 1978
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Savic
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
unknown 1985 unknown 1985

 


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Last updated: July 10, 2014.

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