Towed from Duluth

Al Miller 

The steamer Saginaw was towed from Fraser Shipyards in Superior on the afternoon of Oct. 24, 1999 by the Gaelic
tug Roger Stahl with assistance from a the tug Minnesota from Great Lakes Towing Co.

The Saginaw tow left Duluth about 6 p.m. under tow of the Stahl, with the GLT tug handling the stern line until
the tow was well outside the piers of the Duluth ship canal. The Saginaw's former name, John J. Boland, was
painted out on the stern and bow and the nameboards had been removed.

The Stahl had arrived at 1 p.m. under command of Capt. John Wellington. The tug fueled at the Murphy Oil dock,
then proceeded to Fraser Shipyards. A tug from GLT arrived at 4 p.m. to assist in getting the Saginaw out of the
harbor. The GLT tug handled the stern and the Stahl was on the bow.

Apparently some problems arose in removing the Saginaw from the shipyard. After swinging the stern for
about 20 minutes, the vessel came free and the tow proceeded. Because of the wind from the south, it was a
tight squeeze in getting the Saginaw past the abutments of the old Clough Avenue street-car bridge that remain in
the shipyard. Once out of the yard, the tow moved quickly.

Photographs by Al miller

  • Tug Roger Stahl and Minnesota working together towing the Saginaw from Fraser Shipyards
  • Saginaw and tugs leaving Fraser Shipyards
  • Leaving Fraser Shipyards
  • Close shave with the old Lamborn Avenue bridge abutment.
  • GLT tug Minnesota helping Saginaw and Stahl
  • Stahl and GLT tug have emerged from Howard's Bay and are proceeding out of St. Louis Bay.
  • Tow is approaching Blatnik Bridge at mouth of St. Louis Bay
  • Leaving St. Louis Bay and entering Duluth Harbor
  • All leaving St. Louis Bay
  • Approaching Duluth ship canal
  • All are approaching Duluth ship canal to depart
  • Approaching Duluth ship canal
  • Tow under the Aerial Lift Bridge
  • Stern of the Saginaw under the Aerial Lift Bridge and departing Duluth.

    Refit in Sarnia November, 1999
    After arriving in Sarnia crews began refitting the vessel to meet Canadian Coast Guard standards.

    Bow on view of the Saginaw at dock in Sarnia. 11/13/99.
    Stern view 11/13/99.
    Port side from across the slip 11/13/99.
    Bow view 11/6/99.
    New fire-proof wall
    Aft state room gutted.

    With the crack of the traditional bottle of champagne, Lower Lakes Towing christened their new ship the Saginaw on November 20, 1999. Bonnie Bravener and Wendy Siddall successfully broke the bottle on the vessel's hull with one swing.

    The company then opened the vessel for tours to all those in the large crowd that had gathered to witness the event. The Saginaw's fleet mate, the Cuyahoga, later passed the dock and saluted the new addition to the fleet.

    Photographs by Bill Hoey
    Saginaw at the Government dock in Sarnia Saturday morning.
    Bow-on view of the vessel at dock.
    Champagne bottle cracks on the Saginaw's hull.
    President of Lower Lakes Towing Scott Bravener addresses the crowd.

  • Return to the History of the Saginaw.