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On a weekend with the theme of rebirth and such, how can Grouper not come up. She certainly needs someone with a clear vision to hold a steady hand on the tiller…
I took these photos about two months ago, and winter looked like it’d hold everything in place forever then,
Here she was hibernating on the Great Lakes several decades ago …
But go back even farther . . . she had an illustrious past working with classic vessels . . .
that she outlived. Click here for a 9-minute video that starts on SS South American’s last day of service in October 1967.
What a smart boat! Triage catches up with everything eventually, but for for the 1912 boat originally called Gary, it’s not time yet, I hope.
Thanks to Harley R for the vintage photos. There are more to come.
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.
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.
Edward L. Ryerson is a beautiful bulk carrier, launched in 1960, still operating on the Great Lakes.
Note the ice on the harbor here.
Here Green Bay fights a fire in 1952.
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.