Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online
Remembering the past
Historical Perspective
Featured Lake Boat:


Edwin F. Holmes 1904 - 1915
E. C. Collins 1915 - 1959
J. B. Ford 1959 - Present

Help build this pictorial history
See bottom of page for instructions.


Built by American Ship Building Co. as hull #329. Launched on December 12, 1903 as the bulk freight steamer EDWIN F. HOLMES for the Commonwealth Steamship Fleet (one of the Hawgood fleets). Dimensions: 440’ LOA x 50’ beam x 28’ depth; 4,787 GRT 3,517 NRT. Powered by a triple expansion steam engine and two Scotch marine boilers. The HOLMES was built with wooden hatch covers for each of her 12 hatches feeding into 4 cargo compartments. Each hatch contained 10 individual sections were secured with Nacy & Hynd fasteners. She was named in honor of Edwin Francis Holmes who was an investor in the Hawgood & Avery Transit Co. and a director of the Hawgood & Avery Fleet in 1904.

The EDWIN F. HOLMES sailed in the Commonwealth Steamship Fleet until 1911 when she was transferred to the Acme Transit Fleet of Cleveland, OH (another of the Hawgood fleets).

With the demise of the Hawgood fleets in 1915, the HOLMES was sold to the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. of Cleveland, OH in 1916 when she was renamed E. C. COLLINS. The E. C. COLLINS remained with this fleet (subsequently the US Steel fleet) until 1944. Her holds and hatches were rebuilt in the winter of 1916-1917 in Conneaut Ohio, to the arch and hopper side construction. Her original boilers were replaced in 1927 with new Scotch boilers, each of them 13 feet 2 inches diameter by 11 feet 6 inches in length.

The ship again changed ownership to Kinsman Transit Co. of Cleveland, OH until 1956 when she was sold to the Huron Portland Cement Co. of Detroit, MI.

The vessel was converted to a self-unloading cement carrier at the Christy Corp. at Sturgeon Bay, WI over the winter of 1958-59 and renamed J. B. FORD. From 1965 to 1971 the ship was owned by National Gypsum Co. of Detroit, MI. In 1971 the company was renamed the Huron Cement Division National Gypsum Co. Struck on port side between #5 and #6 by ULYSSES REEFER off Cordwood Point Buoy with top part of sheer strake plate bent in during 1971. On July 2, 1972 there was an electrical panel board fire at Carrollton, MI, on the Saginaw River, after repairs, she cleared on July 4. The J. B. FORD last operated Nov. 15, 1985 due to engine problems with her 5-year Coast Guard survey expiring November 1989.

In 1996, the vessel's ownership changed to Lafarge North America Inc. of Southfield, MI. She served as a finished cement stationary storage and transfer vessel in Lake Calumet, South Chicago, IL, until a new cement silo made her capacity excess. In June 2001 the vessel was towed to the Lafarge dock at Superior, WI, for use as a storage vessel. After being replaced in that capacity in 2006 by the larger J.A.W. Iglehart, the J.B. Ford was retired, after which efforts began to preserve the historic vessel as a marine museum. The effort failed due to increasing cost to stabilize and preserve the vessel. J. B. Ford was towed to the Azcon Metals scrapyard at Duluth on Friday, October 9, 2015, where this historic vessel will eventually be cut up. As of February 2017, she remained intact.

 

Edwin F. Holmes 1904 - 1915
(Commonwealth Steamship Fleet and Acme Transit Fleet)

Edwin F. Holmes sailing loaded.
(Photo by Louis Pesha from the William S. Carmen collection courtesy of Paul C. LaMarre III)

Sailing in-ballast.
(Photo by Louis Pesha from the William S. Carmen collection courtesy of Paul C. LaMarre III)

Postcard view at dock at Superior, WI.
(From the Paul LaMarre III collection)

Postcard view at dock at Duluth, MN.
(From the Paul LaMarre III collection)

E. C. Collins 1915 - 1959
(Pittsburgh Steamship Co. and Kinsman Transit Co.)

Sailing in Ballast in USS Steel colors.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

With the George W. Perkins at unknown port - Lorain, OH?.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

Unloading at the Erie dock on the back channel in Cleveland, OH..
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Underway at Milwaukee, WI. Late 1940's.
(From the Rich Weiss collection)

Above the Soo Locks.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

Under tow with tug Rhode Island.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

E. C. Collins downbound Detroit River.
(From the Tom Manse collection and Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

 
J. B. Ford 1959 - 1985
(Huron Cement Division National Gypsum Co)

Deck view looking aft at AmShip in Lorain, OH shortly after conversion to a cement hauling ship was complete.
(Photo by Fred Bultman IV from the Fred Bultman V collection)

On deck of the J. B. Ford on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH Early 1960's.
(From the Fred Bultman V collection Note: The boy is young Fred with his father Fred Bultman IV)

Another view on deck in the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, OH. Early 1960's.
(From the Fred Bultman V collection)

Upbound St. Marys River 1960's.
(Photo by Tom Manse)

Lower Detroit River.
(Photo by Dave Glick from the Rich Weiss collection)

Sailing loaded.
(Photo by Detroit River Traders from the John Belliveau collection)

Downbound St. Marys River.
(Photo by Tom Manse)

Downbound Port Huron, MI.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

J. B. Ford, Lewis G. Harriman and Samuel Mitchell at Sault Ste. Marie, MI. in October 1965.
(Photo by John G. Mackay)

At Buffalo, MY, March 1966.
(Photo by John G. Mackay)

Transiting the Welland Canal.
(Nathan Leindecker collection)

At Green Bay, WI 1971.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

In the St. Marys River 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Bow detail 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Stern detail 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Stern view in the St. Marys River 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Downbound in the St. Marys River June 26, 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Upbound St. Marys River.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

At layup in Green Bay, WI 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Downbound in the St Clair River. October 1973.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

Postcard view in the Welland Canal.
(From the Tom Manse collection)

In the St. Marys River May 1978.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Downbound on Lake Huron. June 1978.
(Photo by Terry McCullough)

In the Welland Canal.
(Photo by Al Sykes from the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

In the Detroit River, late 1970's. New
(Photo by Don Dube)

In the St. Marys River June 1979.
(From the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

In the St. Marys River.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

In the Soo Locks.
(From the Paul C. LaMarre Jr. collection)

Downbound Saint Mary's river in May 1979.
(Photo by Bob Campbell)

Upbound Detroit River, July 1979.
(From the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Sailing loaded July, 24, 1979.
(From the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Sailing in-ballast.
(Photo by Al Sykes from the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Downbound at Port Huron, MI September 22, 1979.
(Photo by Brian Bluekamp from the John Belliveau collection)

In the Detroit River.
(Photo by Paul C. LaMarre Jr. from the John Belliveau collection)

At Mission Point downbound in September 1982.
(Photo by Lou Gerard Sr.)

Inbound Maumee River, Toledo, OH, early 1980's.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman from the John Belliveau collection)

Inbound Maumee River, Toledo, OH.
(Photo by Jim Hoffman from the John Belliveau collection)

In the St. Clair River September 15, 1984.
(photo by Skip Meier from the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Stern view in the St. Clair River September 15, 1984.
(Photo by Skip Meier from the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

At Cleveland, OH, September 27, 1984.
(From the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Date and location unknown.
(From the Russ Plumb collection)

1971 trip summaries0
(Compiled by Steve Elve & Skip Gillham)

1980 trip summaries.
(Compiled by Steve Elve & Skip Gillham)

 
J. B. Ford (as cement storage vessel) 1985 - Present
(Inland Lakes Transit and Lafarge North America)

At South Chicago with the S. T. Crapo November 27, 1992.
(Photo by Greg Sieren from the Marc Vander Meulen collection)

At South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

At South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Bow detail at South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Another bow detail at South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Stern detail at South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

Photo collection of 60 onboard photos of the
J. B. Ford in South Chicago, 1994 by John Belliveau

Stern view at South Chicago, October 2, 1994.
(Photo by John Belliveau)

At South Chicago.
(Photo by Todd Davidson)

At South Chicago with the J. A. W. Iglehart 1999.
(Photo by John Mackay)

With Tug Seneca at Superior, WI November 28, 2001.
(Photo by Franz VonRiedel from Boatnerd Archives)

At Superior WI July 4, 2003.
(Photo by Russ Plumb)

View of pilot house.
(Photo by John Mackay)

At Superior, Wisconsin, July 2010.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

At Superior, Wisconsin, July 2010.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

At Superior, Wisconsin with USACE tug Lake Superior, July 2010.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the Edwin F. Holmes
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
James “Jimmy” Owen 1904
Joseph E. Hahon 1907 - 08
Unknown 1909
F. S. Sillis 1910
Unknown 1911
C. D. Brown 1912 - 14
John W. Chapman 1904 - 06
Charles E. Timleck 1907 - 08
Unknown 1909
Charles E. Timleck 1910
Unknown 1911
Charles E. Timleck 1912
Emil Johns 1913 - 14

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the E. C. Collins
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
C. D. Brown 1916 - 18
Henry T. Kelley 1919 - 20
William H. Lohr 1921
Henry T. Kelley 1921 - 23
Andrew Grant 1924 - 29
R. J. Nims 1930
Unknown 1931 - 35
Leo J. Brissette 1936
R. C. Hoglund 1937
Unknown 1938 - 39
James E. Tomlin 1940
Frank W. Quinn 1941
Reed F. Radike 1942
Don C. Lawless 1942 - 43
A. E. Strickland 1946
Unknown 1947 - 58
Unknown 1915 - 16
A. P. Truelson 1917 - 29
Kirby B. Brake 1930
Unknown 1931 - 35
Ben H. Hesler 1936
Earl W. Lockhart 1937
Unknown 1938 - 39
Sherman T. Kemmerly 1940 - 41
Arthur E. McGuire 1942 - 43
Unknown 1944 - 58

 

Masters and Chief Engineers of the J. B. Ford
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
James M. Burke 1959 - 60
James R. Stafford 1961 - 64
Robert Stone 1965 - 69
Unknown 1970
Robert Stone 1971
E. P. Stafford 1972 - 73
Ralph Knechtel 1974 - 75
Arthur C. Burg 1975 - 76
H. Fisher 1977 - 85
Thomas Madden 1959 - 60
Edward W. Pugh 1961 - 62
Arthur “Art” Johnson 1963 - 64
Thomas Madden 1965 - 69
Unknown 1970
J. Sinnett 1971
N. Huskins 1972
J. Sinnett 1973 - 74
N. Huskins 1975
V. McKiddle 1976
R. Dell 1977 - 80
K. Slack 1981 - 85

 


Return to Historical Perspectives Home

Help build this pictorial history page.
If you have images to contribute, please e-mail them to historic@boatnerd.net, subject: "Historical Perspectives". If possible, please include a date (approximate is acceptable) and location.
Original scans only please. Copyrighted images from other websites or sources not accepted.
Please note: Contributions to previously featured lake boats are always welcome.

For guide lines on submitting images click here.
Last updated: May 13, 2013.

Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping

Copyright Boatnerd.com 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.