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All these photos come from Christine Douglas, who frequents areas along the Calumet River.

Pere Marquette 41 and Undaunted . . . I’ve seen in the distance several times each of the past two years.  This is why I was excited when I saw Christine’s photos of the unit close up in the Calumet river.


Remember the Joseph H Thompson and Joseph H Thompson Jr. story here (scroll)? What makes Pere Marquette 41 so interesting is that it too was once a Manitowoc 1943-built self-propelled ship.  She looked a lot like Badger.

And Undaunted, started her life in 1943 as an ATR Navy tug, worked the Pacific, and has had many lives since then.

Many thanks to Christine for use of this photo.  I’m eager to see them close up and Undaunted out of the notch soon.


Again, many thanks to Christine Douglas, let’s explore the Calumet River a bit more.  Actually, a lot more.  Let’s go back and see more of the GL yard.  From l to r here, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana.

Closest up is the oldest . . . Virginia, launched 1914, just two years younger than Grouper aka Alaska and Green Bay. Virginia was re-powered in 1921 and again in 1951.

Massachusetts dates from 1928.

After a few hours, she headed up the Calumet for a tow.

For a ninety-year-old machine making a profit, she was just beautiful.


Next under the 96th Street Bridge was Florida, 1926.

Note the orientation and shape of the aft bitt.

The bridge . . . Calumet River Norfolk Southern RR Bridges . . . dates from 1912.


All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Christine for the tour.


The Calumet River exits from southeastern Chicago.  For Mississippi-bound watercraft, it also leads into the continent.  I was thrilled to follow it a bit thanks to Christine Douglas.  

Koolcat was the first tug we saw.  She was shuffling barges, as Amtrak passed above.

Among those barges was strong evidence that we were no longer in the east, in a whole new watershed.

The Calumet flows under the former-Calumet Skyway.  More info on her history to the present can be found here . . .   believe it or not she’s currently owned by a consortium of Canadian pension funds . . . yup.  But I digress.

Here was an interesting sight . . . a Hannah boat, and one that’s from the same WW2 yard as Bloxom.

Mary E. Hannah was hull #537;  Bloxom was #519, launched just over a year before Mary E. Hannah.   Interestingly, hull #538 was alive and well on the Columbia a few years ago here (scroll).

Going downstream from here, it’s a Great Lakes yard, which will be the focus in tomorrow’s post.

Louisiana is 101 years old and still ready to work.  I’m curious about the tug in front of Louisiana, but have nothing to report.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Again many thanks to Christine Douglas, more of whose work can be found here.

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