Ships of the St. Clair River

Unique history of the freighters on the St. Clair River

Ships of the St. Clair Book Cover Inland Expressions

What's Inside

Connecting Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River has seen a number of interesting ships make passage. In this volume twenty current Great Lakes vessels are described with detailed histories. This includes prior ownerships, name changes, and incidents in which theses vessels have been involved.

This collection is meant to provide a cross section of ships in operation on the Great Lakes. Vessel types include straight deck bulk carriers, self-unloaders, cement carriers, and tankers. Vessel sizes range from the 324 foot YANKCANUCK to the 1,013 foot PAUL R. TREGURTHA. This volume contains numerous photographs showing these ships in both their previous operations, along with depictions current as of the 2008 shipping season. Over 200 vessel names are indexed within the text. Contains 140 never before published photographs.

Book Details

Author: Raymond A. Bawal, Jr.
Publication Date: September 2008
Binding: Softcover Pages: 106
ISBN: 9780981815718

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Excerpt from Pathfinder (2)

The 647-foot MAUTHE was built for the Interlake Steamship Company, and was constructed for the transportation of raw materials from the loading docks of the upper lakes to the steel mills of the lower lakes. On April 4, 1953 the J. L. MAUTHE loaded her initial cargo of 16,638 gross tons of iron ore at Duluth, Minnesota. At the time of her commissioning the MAUTHE was the second new vessel to be added to Interlake fleet following the Second World War, the first being the >ELTON HOYT 2nd. Propulsion was provided by a steam turbine capable of generating 7,700 shaft horsepower, which was fed by two oil fired water tube boilers.

Excerpt from Lewis J. Kuber

In 1958, Bethlehem decided to have the SPARROWS POINT lengthened from 626 feet to 698 feet at the American Ship Building Company’s Chicago yard. Similar rebuildings were also done to the JOHNSTOWN (2), and the ELTON HOYT 2nd, by the same yard. This ship’s operations while in service with the Bethlehem fleet concentrated on the movement of iron ore from the upper lakes to Bethlehem Steel’s facilities on Lake Erie, and Lake Michigan. Occasional trips up the St. Lawrence Seaway for ore were also undertaken as the conditions warranted them.

Excerpt from Robert S. Pierson

When the steamer RESERVE ran aground in the St. Clair River on April 12, 1992 the WOLVERINE (4) was called in the following day to receive a portion of the stricken vessel’s cargo in an effort to free it. Finally, on April 7, 1999 the WOLVERINE (4) came to the aid of the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON which had grounded while departing Rogers City, Michigan with a stone cargo. Around 6,000 tons of cargo were offloaded into the WOLVERINE (4), permitting the ANDERSON to float free.

About the Author

With a lifelong interest in Great Lakes Shipping and military history, Raymond A. Bawal Jr. has written several books on these two subjects.


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These are stories of the thirteen superships built for the Great Lakes.

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For nearly ninety years, lake freighters belonging to the Inland Steel fleet transported the raw materials required for the manufacture of steel at their owner’s industrial complex at Indiana Harbor, Indiana.

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