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Historical Perspective
Featured Lake Boat:

George M. Humphrey (1) 1927 - 1945
Captain John Roen 1945 - 1948
Adam E. Cornelius (2) 1948 - 1959
Consumers Power 1959 - 1988

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Built by American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH as hull 796. Launched on December 30, 1926 as GEORGE M. HUMPHREY for Kinsman Transit Co of Cleveland, OH. Dimensions: 605' 00" loa x 60' 00" beam x 32' 00" depth; 8,004 GRT, 6,311 NRT. Powered by a 2,200 ihp triple expansion steam engine.

Collided with the steamer D. M. CLEMSON and sank in 74 feet of water while downbound for South Chicago with 13,992 tones of iron ore. The collision happened 1 7/8 miles, 79 degrees off Old Point Mackinac Light in dense fog at 2:50 a.m., June 15, 1943. Thirty-one of crew rescued by steamer LAGONDA and eight others by the CLEMSON. Kinsman abandoned the HUMPHREY to the the underwriters as a total loss of $860,000. Contract for salvaging vessel awarded to Captain John Roen, of Sturgeon Bay, WI to remove the wreck or demolish it to maintain a clearance of 35 feet. About 8,000 tons of ore was recovered by clamshell and sold to Algoma Steel in Soo, ON before the ice set in. On May 6, 1944, the barges MAITLAND and HILDA were brought in as pontoons over the hull. The ballast tanks were filled with air and cables were attached to the HUMPHREY's hull and to the barges and through a series of lifts the hull was brought to the surface on September 10, 1944. The hull was taken to shallow water to be patched and completely refloated. She was taken to Manitowoc Ship Building Co. for estimates on repair and then was towed to Sturgeon Bay for repairs by the John Roen III. Complete repairs cost $437,000 and ownership was turned over to Roen Transportation on September 18, 1944.

On May 1, 1945, the refurbished ship entered service as the CAPTAIN JOHN ROEN chartered to Pioneer Steamship Co. and managed by Hutchinson & Co. on a commision basis. The next year her charter was transferred to the Interstate Steamship Co., a subsidiary of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. Realizing the bulk trades were too competitive, Roen sold the vessel to American Steamship Co. on April 1, 1947 for $915,000.

Converted to self-unloader by Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. in 1948 changing her tonnage to 8,211 GRT, 6,471 NRT. Renamed ADAM E. CORNELIUS [2] on November 25, 1948. Repowered with a 5,500 shp double reduction cross compound steam turbine and two Foster-Wheeler boilers.

Renamed CONSUMERS POWER [3] in 1958. Received new cargo hold and tunnel at Nicholson Shipyard, River Rouge, winter, 1974-75. Converted from coal-firing to oil-firing with automated boilers at Nicholson Terminal and Dock Co., Ecorse, Winter 1975-76. Received extensive repairs and refitting work at Buffalo by Nicholson & Hall Corp., winter 1976-77. New bulkheads, plates and gates in 134 hoppers, were installed and underwent extensive boiler repairs. Overhauling of machinery, piping, and electrical systems were performed, and complete incinerator system installed. Went aground in Lake St. Clair on October 29, 1977. Freed following day without serious damage. In 1980 she was chartered to Erie Sand & Gravel. Recieved her final 5 year inspection at Port Weller Drydocks on July 5, 1985. Laid up for the last time in Erie, PA on December 6, 1985.

The CONSUMERS POWER was sold for scrap in March 1988 and was towed from Erie on May 2, 1988 by the tug W. N. TWOLAN. Arrived in Lauzon, Quebec on May 9 for the overseas tow. The Panamanian tug OMEGA 809 departed Lauzon with the CONSUMERS POWER and JOHN T. HUTCHINSON in tandom on June 14th. Cleared the Panama Canal as a single tow on July 12 followed by the HUTCHINSON two days later. The tandom tow arrived Kaoshiug, Tiawan on October 2, 1988 and dismantling began on the 14th by Li Chong Steel & Iron Works Co.


George M. Humphrey (1) 1927 - 1945
(Kinsman Transit Co.)

Unloading under the Huletts in Conneaut.
(Paul LaMarre III collection)

Upbound light above Detroit.
(Paul LaMarre Jr. collection)

Refloated and being towed to Manitowoc, September 1944.
(Thomas Manse collection)

Captain John Roen 1945 - 1947
(Roen Transportation)

Unloading at an unknown dock, early 1940's.
(Thomas Manse collection)

A postcard view of the Roen on the lake.
(Don Geske collection)

Captain John Roen 1947 - 1948
(American Steamship Co.)

Getting ready to depart the MacArthur Lock upbound, 1947.
(Thomas Manse collection)

Adam E. Cornelius (2) 1948 - 1959
(American Steamship Co.)

Unloading in Buffalo.
(Lake Carriers' Bulletin, September 1953)

Consumers Power 1959 - 1980
(American Steamship Co.)

Loading sand in Manistee, 1971.
(Don Geske Collection)

A view of the stern, 1971.
(Don Geske Collection)

Departing Manistee with the load of sand, 1971.
(Don Geske Collection)

Underway on Lake St. Clair, July 1973.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Sliding down the wall aproaching the MacArthur Lock, 1973.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

(Photo by J. W. Bissell)

Inside the pilothous, 1973.
(Photo by J. W. Bissell)

Loaded on the St. Clair River, 1970's.
(Photo by Bill Hoey)

Consumers Power and tug Reiss on the Fox River in Green Bay, 1960's. New
(Photo by Jeff Rueckert)

Downbound below the Blue Water Bridge, July 1973.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Commemorating the bicentennial in 1976.
(Photo by J. W. Bissell)

Downbound in the Huron Cut above Port Huron, 1978.
(Photo by Ray Hillary)

Upbound at the Cherry Street Bridge with a load of salt bound for the City Docks.
The S. T. Crapo is in the background at the Huron Cement Dock.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Possibly downbound below Mission Pt, July 22, 1979.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Tied up at Nicholsons in Detroit.
(Tom Manse Collection)

Downbound at Mission Pt. near the Soo.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Loaded on the St. Clair River.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Postcard view of her entering the Duluth Entry Piers.
(Don Geske & Skip Gillham Collection)

Downbound Port Huron under the Blue Water Bridge.
(Photo by Robert Walton, Skip Gillham Collection)

Upbound the Welland Canal between Locks 1 & 2.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Tug Iowa leading her up the Buffalo River.
(Nathan Leindecker collection)

Consumers Power 1980 - 1988
(Erie Sand & Gravel)

Loaded and underway, August 1980.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

At the Shell Fuel Dock in Corunna, ON, July 1981.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Waiting below Lock 8, Port Colborne.
(Tom Manse Collection)

Being assited by Gaelic tugs.
(Photo by Bill Hoey)

Ship's wheel, July 1984.
(Photo by Steve Jowett)

Tied up at the Sidney Smith Dock in Sarnia, July 1984.
(Photo by Steve Jowett)

Unloading boom swung out and unloading, July 1984.
(Photo by Steve Jowett)

Unloading at the mouth of the Black River in Port Huron, May 4, 1985.
(Photo by Tom Salvner, Matt Miner collection)

Downbound the Welland Canal above Lock 1, May 7, 1985.
(Photo by Sharik, Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Downbound at Bouys 1 & 2 above Sarnia, May 18, 1985.
(Photo by Brian Bluekamp, Matt Miner collection)

Loaded on the Detroit River, 1985.
(Photo by Violet Bostwick)

Outbound Maumee Bay after loading a coal at the C&O Coal Docks.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Loading coal C&O #2 Dock in Toledo.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman)

Entering Lock 2 on the Wellanc Canal upbound, September 17, 1985.
(Photo by Skip Gillham)

Unloading at an unknown dock.
(Photo by Alfred King, Skip Gillham collection)

Looking down from the Blue Water Bridge while she was upbound, November 23, 1985.
(Photo by Marc Dease)

Another postcard view of her departing Lock 1 in the Welland Canal.
(Don Geske Collection)

Downbound the lower end of the St. Clair River.
(Photo by John G. Mackay)

Stern view.
(Photo by John G. Mackay)

Close up of the unloading rig.
(Photo by Pete Latona, Skip Gillham Collection)

The ship's dinning room.
(Photo by Pete Latona, Skip Gillham Collection)

Another view of the engineroom.
(Photo by Pete Latona, Skip Gillham Collection)

Another view of the engineroom.
(Photo by Pete Latona, Skip Gillham Collection)

Underway on the lake.
(Photo by Russ Plumb)

In the Welland Canal under a evening sky.
(Photo by Jimmy Sprunt, Russ Plumb collection)

Passing under Bridges 20 & 21 downbound in Port Colborne, 1985.
(Photo by Dave Otterman)

Early morning shot laid up at Erie, March 5, 1988.
(Photo by Andrew Kachmarik)



Masters and Chief Engineers of the George M. Humphrey (1)
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Harry W. Stewart 1927
Unknown 1928
Arthur E. Rankin 1929 - 31
Unknown 1932 - 36
William F. Haydet 1937
Unknown 1938
William F. Haydet 1939
Arleigh H. Dennis 1940
Unknown 1941
Arleigh H. Dennis 1942
Unknown 1943 - 44
William H. Miller 1927
Unknown 1928
William H. Miller 1929
Unknown 1930
William H. Miller 1931
Unknown 1932 - 36
William H. Miller 1937
Unknown 1938 - 41
William H. Miller 1942
Unknown 1943 - 44
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Captain John Roen
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
John Johnson 1945 - 46
James Herbert 1947
Unknown 1948
Johnny "Jack" Arbter 1945 - 1947
Daniel J. McCarthy 1947
Unknown 1948
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Adam E. Cornelius (2)
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Evan M. Solberg 1948 - 49
Harold P. Hanson 1950 - 52
O. Arthur Toale 1953 - 55
John J. Ross 1956 - 57
George J. Sweet 1958
Unknown 1959
Tarsted W. "Ted" Cand 1948 - 55
Robert R. Mangles 1956
Lloyd G. Averill 1957 - 58
Henry J. Visser 1959
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Consumers Power
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Harold P. Hanson 1959
August O. Rapp 1960
William J. Hayes 1961
Robert J. Laughlin 1962
Wilbur S. Buswell 1964
Albert S. Wilhelmy 1956 - 1967
William Murray 1968 - 73
Harold Peter Person Jr. 1974 - 75
Arnold M. McMillan 1976
Carroll "Gunnar" Haugen 1977
Alton Haynes 1977 - 78
Unknown 1979
Arn Kristenson 1980 - 85
Lloyd G. Averill 1959
Elmer S. Morrison 1960 - 64
Edward J Mahaney 1965 - 68
John Wiles 1969 - 73
Calvin Blackmore 1974 - 75
Joseph Meegan 1976
George Kerr 1977 - 78
Unknown 1979
J. O'Henley 1980 - 83
Ed Zurowski 1984 - 85


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Last updated: July 10, 2014.

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