You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘GLT’ tag.

Let’s start with the grande dame . . . Edna G, on the land side of the loading dock in Two Harbors MN.  Guess her year of build?

Two Harbors is about 30 miles NE of Duluth.

Click here for more info.

Nancy J, at the same ore dock, dates from 1964, but I know little else.

Bayfield, now a gnome in a planter, was built as ST2023 by Roamer, Holland MI in 1953 and was turned over to the USACE in 1962.  I don’t know how long it has adorned the planter.

I wonder who did the fancy weld . . .

Huron–ex-Daniel McAllister–is seven years newer than Ellen McAllister, a sixth boro staple.  Huron‘s been here only since early 2017. 

And I have to end the photos here, with these two unidentified GL-tugs, although I’m guessing might or not not be Arkansas, Kentucky, and/or North Carolina.   I only figured out later how to get closer . . . after I’d left town.  This is what Grouper used to look like.

And if you can spare a half hour, here’s a youtube of another tug, previously of Twin Ports, and older sibling of Urger . . . Sea Bird, which like Urger had at one point been a fish tug, a topic for another day.   Here’s a three-minute youtube which shows GL tugs arriving in port.  If you listen to the intercom in the background, you’ll note that Duluth–like Port Huron–has someone announce each vessel as it traverses the Ship Canal.  I call that valuing the port.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Click here for previous posts in this series.  I add these now in response to a reader who says  . . .”but we have ship assist and harbor tugs in the Great Lakes as well.”  And the most iconic of those are the GL tugs, an old fleet that has been not only maintained but also updated.

Here are ones I’ve photographed this month.  Vermont dates from 1914 and Washington from 1925, and they are still on the duty roster.

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These first two photos were taken in Buffalo, said to once have been the 3rd busiest port in the world.

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In the port of Cleveland, much remediated from when the river burned most conspicuously,

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Iowa, dating from 1915, towed Sea Eagle II up river.

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Nebraska, 1929, was coming through a very busy railroad bridge here on the Maumee in Toledo.

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Mississippi dates from 1916.

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Idaho, 1931 and  the last of this series to be built, was behind this fence in Detroit on the Rouge River.

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In previous years, I’ve posted many times about a GL tug stranded in the Erie Canal.

Not all the GL tugs have this profile.  For example there are some converted YTBs like Erie and Huron.  And recently, tugs that were previously only in saltwater have made their ways to the Inland Seas.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

specifically Wyoming, built in Cleveland.  All these photos come thanks to Isaac Pennock, who writes, “If I’ve got your guidelines for December correct, the tug Wyoming should fit. She was built in Cleveland in 1929 as a steam tug. Converted to diesel in 1953. Repowered with her current engine (EMD 12-645-E6) in 1980. She was chartered to McAllister in Charleston for one year in 1993. [Does anyone have photos of her working in Charleston?]  Now GLT’s lead tug in the port of Detroit. 84 feet long, 2,000 horsepower. She has held the same name & same owner for her entire career.

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Whether you like to be reminded of winter or not, let’s start with some cold water photos.

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Why G-tugs?  Check the stack.  Franz von Riedel devotes a whole chapter to this long run of boats in his heavily illustrated  Tugs of the Great Lakes.

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Great Lakes ports have hot seasons also.

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Click here for a few pages on the G-tugs from TES.   I recall my surprise upon learning that Great Lakes Towing was created at the turn of the 19th/20th century by a group of industrialists including John D. Rockefeller.

Click here,  here, and here for previous tugster posts with G-tugs.   SS Columbia crossed Lake Erie this summer on G-tug wire.   Earlier this fall, Great Lakes Shipyard christened a new tug for the NY Power Authority/Niagara project.

Many thanks to Isaac for sharing these photos.

 

I like collaboration.  Number nine was a week and a half ago, but I do appreciate fotos like the ones here.

Ken of Michigan Exposures took this one up in Bay City, MI, a hundred plus miles northwest of Detroit.  Any guesses on the vintage of this attractive tug . . .55′ loa x 12′ ?  Answer follows.

Staying with vintage Great Lakes tugs, this foto comes from Jason LaDue, who recently sent these fotos from upstate.  The foto below was taken in Oswego, NY, in late 1998.  Three tugs had been sold south by Great Lakes Towing.  The tugs below are from RIGHT to left, Gull (1952 ex-Jennifer George, Galway Bay, Oregon), Sea Tractor (1951 ex-Messenger, Patricia Hoey, New Hampshire) and the one I’ve called Grouper, whose entire saga you can find by using the blog search window to the left.  Gull and Sea Tractor were both built in Louisiana at Alexander Shipyards.

At this point these fotos were taken in December 1998, all three tugs were headed south, but Grouper has never left the Erie Canal yet . . . in the past 13 years.  Did anyone catch Gull and Sea Tractor coming through the sixth boro in early 1999?

Here’s Gull working the icy Great Lakes as Gaelic’Galway Bay, and

Sea Tractor in the same green as Patricia Hoey. Note the wheelhouse design of Patricia.

When these tugs had first come to the Great Lakes, via the Mississippi/Chicago River, they looked different.  Tug on the far right is Messenger, before becoming Patricia.

Which brings us to the present.  I’m told that Gull was scrapped last year in Virginia/Philly (?) as American Pride.  Anyone have other fotos?  Here are two by shipjohn.  Thanks, shipjohn.

And Sea Tractor (then called Shark) was reefed a year and a half ago near Miami’s Haulover Artificial Reef site in September 2010.  I’d LOVE to see fotos of her in her last years, maybe even of the scuttling.  Anyone help?    Here’s a poor quality foto of  Shark being hauled out to be reefed in 255′ of water.

No news currently on Grouper in Lyons, NY, but I wish the restoration of the 100-year old tug success.

Thanks much to Jason and Ken for these fotos.

Jill Marie, 121 years old!!  Built 1891.

Thanks to Jason . . . first two fotos by Franz Von Riedel.  During the early 1980s, the North American Towing Company bought the Green Bay, renamed her the Oneida and moved her to Duluth, Minnesota.  This foto comes from her time working the Twin Ports (smoking away) until roughly 1987, when

Wellington Towing purchased her for work around Sault Ste Marie.  Great Lakes Towing bought out Wellington Towing about 1990 with the tug going to Cleveland as the Alaska.  This is a 1998 Alaska foto by Franz.

Here she was in Lyons in 2000, foto by Jason LaRue.

At this moment , November 2011 she awaits her one-century mark in Lyons, NY.   As the crow flies, she’s only a dozen miles from Lake Ontario.

I’m hoping the Kahlenberg fires up soon.  I’m routing for you.

Bottom two fotos taken yesterday, November 28.

More Detroit fotos soon.

Allen Baker  has worked on four of the five Great Lakes in recent weeks and shares the next four fotos.  Massachusetts has that low, upswept “laker look” that reminds me of Grouper, which I’ve not received updates on.  Any guesses on location of the shot and launch date of Massachusetts?

For launch date, you were right if you said . . . 1928!  She’s 79′ x 20′ x 12′ and operates with Great Lakes Towing.  And then there’s Manistee, delivered in May 1943 to Reiss Steamship Company.  Since then, her original triple expansion

steam power plant  was replaced by a slightly-more powerful 2950 hp diesel engine and equipped with a 250′ self-unloader.  By the way, Reiss once owned Grouper, also.

Like most lakers, Manistee is long and narrow (621′ x 60′ x 35′), with a bluff bow, maximizing cargo space, and a wheel house forward with a stern “island” over the power plant.   The oldest laker operating on the “big lakes” is St. Marys Challenger, still hauling bulker cargo since its launch in February 1906!!  It still uses a Skinner Uniflow 3500 hp steam engine.

I took the next two fotos in Muskegon, MI, in June 2008, where Paul H. Townsend has been idled since 2005.  A fascinating detail about Townsend is its conversion:  built in Wilmington, CA in 1945, it was lengthened from 339′ x 50′  to 447′ x 50′ in 1952 . . . in Hoboken, NJ.   The wheelhouse was moved forward in a separate modification in 1958 on Lake Erie.  If you click on the link above, you’ll find before/after fotos.

When last sailing, she hauled gypsum or cement, now more frequently carried on barges pushed by the likes of  Samuel de Champlain.  Notice the same fleet colors.  In this 2008 post, notice the second vessel (in a Lake Ontario port)  down in the same colors as Townsend.

A “laker” moved into the sixth boro in the summer of 2005.  Ocean and Coastal Consultants and Bayshore Recycling use Valgocen (ex-Algocen) in the dredged materials decontamination process (See p. 2 in this newsletter.).  Valgocen currently lives along the Raritan River,

startling me every time I notice it.  A laker . . . in an estuary.  But there it is was, repurposed.  The foto below–as the one above– shows it in the St. Lawrence on its way to the sixth boro towed by tugs from Atlantic Towing Limited.  See important update at the end of this post.

Thanks to Allen Baker for the first four fotos, and to Kent Malo for the last two.

And if you hadn’t felt totally confident, Allen’s fotos were taken in the Calumet River, Chicago, an ocean port.

Unrelated . ..  I’ve been reading DieselDuck’s archives, not homing in on any particular post, just enjoying the sweep of their focus.  Check them out here.

UPDATE:  Jeff’s comment got me looking and –sure enough–Valgocen is no more, having reborn as  J W Shelley, back at work on the Great Lakes, as of this writing between Montreal and Lake Erie. Thanks, Jeff.

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