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Yesterday’s post left you in the air–quite literally–circling above Duluth with Beaver Air Tours, the busiest port on the Great Lakes, and passing over a set of Heritage Marine tugs.  Thanks to Lee Rust’s comment on yesterday’s post, I learned a fascinating story about one of the tugs, the 1908 Mount McKay.  Check it out here.   Here we’re flying west looking out toward the St. Louis River.

The pilot pointed out the Edward L. Ryerson, below on extended layup.  Click here for many more photos of this beauty, which began service in Manitowoc in the summer of 1960.  for many more photos and more history of “fast Eddie–capable of 19 kts!!–click here.  This blog has had a previous photo of Ryerson–assisted by Grouper– here.

 

Note the unusual mast-stack combo and the absence of self-unloading gear.

J. B. Ford–launched 1904–is now ending her days after serving them out here as a stationary storage facility.

As this link tells, she survived many storms, outlived all her fleet mates.  The stories of the generations of her crew . . . . I hope they’re not entirely lost.

That’s the Duluth Ship Canal, which I’ll talk about in a future post, and the Aerial Lift Bridge;  J. B. Ford’s scrapping is happening on the land upper right in this photo.

Circling over the Ship Canal, we look down at museum bulker William A. Irvin, named for a former president of US Steel.

Who can tally how many tons of ore she carried in her lifetime from 1938 until 1978 . . . .

 

Let’s head toward the St. Louis River from a different angle and get a closer look at the Arthur M. Anderson.  Click on this link for photos and info of the ordeal she and other lakers face in the December waning weeks of the navigation season.

Anderson has plied the lakes since 1952, and is often associated with the Edmund Fitzgerald, as the last to have contact with the Fitzgerald in the fateful storm of November 1975.

 

Can anyone identify this tugboat?

At the coal pile, it’s  American Integrity . . . I’ll add some closeups of her in tomorrow’s post.

American Integrity is exactly 1000′ x 105′ and with a 78,850 ton capacity,  a “super carrier” built in Sturgeon Bay WI and moving steel ingredients since 1978.

Closing out today’s post . . . we pass part of the Fraser Shipyard, founded by Alexander McDougall, father of “whalebacks” and much more, two of which are currently in very different states of repair in New York waters, the Interwaterways 101 aka Day Peckinpaugh–AND Interwaterways 105, whose current disposition can be seen at the same link as for the 101 . . . the Michigan in the graveyard on the Arthur Kill.

One of the tugs below is FSY  III . . . I suppose the other two are I and II?

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes to return here near the end of the season.

Here’s more on the port and the lake aka  gichigami in Ojibwa.

 

 

I’ve done so many Grouper posts over the years that I should  recap.  The photos you see below show a tugboat called Green Bay, which was built in Cleveland OH in 1912 as Gary.    Here are the subsequent renamings of Gary:  Green Bay 1934, Oneida 1981, Iroquois 1987, Alaska 1990, and finally Grouper 1998.  Today, Grouper languishes in the Erie Canal near Lock E-28A, a good 325 miles from the sixth boro.   Many folks would love to see it resurrect with the name Grouper or some other one.

I’ve gotten lots of email about Grouper, but I really like messages like this one I got last weekend from Jeff Gylland:

“I rode Grouper as a kid all the time.  My Grandfather, Lester Gamble,  was the captain of then tug Green Bay out of Manitowoc, WI.  Have many memories of strong coffee and even stronger language.  The boat was converted from coal to diesel in the 1950s.  I have many pictures if you are interested.  Would love to come to Lyons with 50 gallons of paint and put the old Green, White and Red in the correct places.”

So I wrote Jeff, told him what I knew, and a bit later got another email, this one from Jeff’s aunt, Deborah Wiegand:

“I see my nephew Jeff contacted you and already sent some of our photos.  I have a collection ( maybe 20+) of professionally taken photos of the Green Bay taken during the years 1953-69 when my dad Lester R. Gamble was her captain.

The family had thought the tug had been scrapped until a historical blog based in Manitowoc came up with the information on her decline and current situation and brought it to my attention. It is heart-breaking to us.  Both Jeff and I regularly rode along with Dad on tows and have many stories & good memories to share of her.  Please let us know how we can help. Don’t hesitate to call me is you want to chat.”
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I believe City of Midland 41, below, was converted into a barge which began operating as Pere Marquette 41 in 1998.  Ah, the circle of life.
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Here Green Bay moves the Great Lakes steamer SS South American, built 1913, which some readers may recall seeing in the Delaware River as late as 1992.

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Edward L. Ryerson is a beautiful bulk carrier, launched in 1960,  still operating on the Great Lakes.

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Note the ice on the harbor here.

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Here Green Bay fights a fire in 1952.

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Many thanks to Deborah and Jeff for these fabulous photos.  It is my hope that Green Bay, Grouper, et al  .  . is brought out of its stupor in Lyons and finds yet another life.

 

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