Tug Photos & Archives

The Great Lakes

We just broke out the Str. ARTHUR M. ANDERSON and her gangway was just lifted off. Soon, she'll let go and start backing, through a small open area to get up speed to chew her way through the thick ice, backing out to the channel. Franz von Riedel Photo.
On the beach at Fraser Shipyards are the tugs MAXINE THOMPSON and WALLY KENDZORA. Also, the former tug (now research vessel) L.L. SMITH JR. These small workboats were built by and for the shipyard. They can often be found loaded up with welding and burning equipment and tucked under the sterns of the large ships, making repairs. Franz VonRiedel Photo.
The W. L. Mercereau is the sister of the North Dakota, built by GLTCo at Cleveland as their hull number 12 (the John M. Truby, today's North Dakota, was hull numbert 11). She was named for the Marine Superintendent of the Pere Marquette Railway at Ludington, and for good reason. Each early winter when the other GLTCo tugs at Chicago would layup, mostly at the old Dunham yard on the Calumet River and 92nd Street, the Mercereau migrated north to Ludington, where she was chartered for many years by the PMRy to help break ice in the channel and Pere Marquette Lake at Ludington so the road's cross-lake carferries, themselves designed for icebreaking, could more easily enter the harbor, which, being on the east shore bore the brunt of wind-driven ice. The PM chartered GLTCo tugs to help out with the winter service of their river ferries at Detroit, too.

This view shows her in, probably, 1928; her power is provided by the one high pressure cylinder in her non-condensing steam engine, built in 1896 by the famous Sutton Brothers at Buffalo for the tug Geo. D. Nau, built that year by Andrew Johnson at Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the Nau Tug Line of that town. GLTCo bought the tug in 1891 and operated her until 1910, when she was dismantled and her engine placed in the new Mercereau. Renamed New Mexico in 1938, GLTCo repowered her twice, in 1957 with a 12-567B and in 1966 with a 12-567C. In 1997 she went to GLTCo's new subsidiary, Puerto Rico Towing & Barge Co. at San Juan, and was renamed Punta Lima.
William Lafferty, PhD
  Above is a view of the former Navy ATR-99 and ATA 172 and, later, Panama Canal Company's Taboga; I originally thought this was Milwaukee, but I think it might be Franz's neck of the woods. Or maybe the Saginaw River. She was built as hull number 226 by Gulfport Boiler & Welding Works in 1943, went to Panama in 1947, and was sold to Keith Malcolm of Marine City, Michigan, in 1971, retaining the name Taboga, and apparently she is shown here under his ownership. In 1975 Malcolm sold her to Hannah Marine Corp., Lemont, Illinois, and she became the first of two tugs to be named after the gorgeous Daryl C. Hannah. Hannah shortened her name (the tug's, not the star's) to Daryl C. in 1984; she moved on to Sturgeon Bay's Selvick Marine Towing Corp. in 1988, renamed Carl William Selvick. In August 1998 Selvick sold her to one Roger Rouzier who renamed her Rosa M, registered out of New Orleans. She found her way to Panamanian registry soon after and is now owned by the Rozier family's Marintec Towing & Salvage Company at Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
You can see how she originally looked at
and her still in Selvick colors heading out of the lakes in 1998 at

William Lafferty
She was built in 1911 at Ferrysburg by the Johnston Bros. as their hull no. 50 for the New Aetna Portland Cement Company at Fenton, Michigan. Along with four fifty-foot steel scows also built by Johnston Bros., the Oscar I plied the gentle waters of Lake Fenton, a small inland lake about ten miles south of Flint. In 1945 New Aetna disbanded its operations at the lake and the Oscar I and one of the barges was trucked north about sixty miles to Bay City when the pair were bought by Harold Phillips there and the Oscar I received her first documentation papers in 1947. The Oscar I, repowered with the Kahlenberg in 1947, remained at Bay City engaging mostly in marine construction and vessel assisting on the Saginaw until 1963 when she came around to the other side and was owned by George Kingshott at Grand Haven, also in marine construction, and in 1966 by Otto Fricke, a Grand Haven fisherman who did little with her it appears. Ron can fill us in after that, I suppose.

Above is a view of the Oscar I laid-up at Bay City about 1962 when owned by Phillips. William Lafferty.
© 2005. Tugboat Enthusiasts Society of the Americas