Apr 06-15

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2015: April: Apr 06-15
Paul R. Tregurtha    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
St. Mary's Challenger Pilothouse    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 10:51 am:

Today's photos from Rod Burdick were snapped at the CN ore dock in Escanaba. That's the Paul R. Tregurtha tied up there a week ago, waiting to take off on an historic journey to transport the Steamer, St. Mary's Challenger's Pilothouse to the National Museum of the Great Lakes, in Toledo, Ohio.

You can see the pilothouse on the bow of the Interlake Steamship Company's Tregurtha, but what you can't see, is that it's all strapped down there for the journey. To me, it actually looks like it belongs there, as some freighters used to have the pilothouse on the bow of the ship, rather than the stern.

Back in November 2013, the St. Mary's Challenger sailed to the Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay, WI, blowing steam whistle salutes and flying a white flag, signifying her surrender to being retired as a steamer. At that time, she was the last active U.S. Flag freighter that had been built before WW II and was one of the oldest operating ships in the world. Currently, the 1942 steamer Alpena serves as the oldest active freighter working the Great Lakes from either the U.S. or Canada.

Rod mentioned that the St. Mary's was cut down to a barge in 2014 after removing the stern end and the steam propulsion plant, along with other modifications. Sad to see it disassembled like that, but nice that the pilothouse was preserved and will be put on display for future generations of Boat Nerds to visit at the National Museum in Ohio.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 11:01 am:

Really neat photos, Rod!
I agree, Mary, it is sad to see the Challenger ending its long journey. It will always be one of my favorites, having seen it first as the 'Medusa Challenger' in Charlevoix in the 1980s. So glad the pilothouse is being preserved.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 12:46 pm:

Great photos!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 01:18 pm:

Great pictures along with an interesting tidbit with them!

By Duane P. (Islandman43) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 01:56 pm:

Not your average cargo. Kinda neat to see a pilot house both fore and aft of the vessel.

By Sconie (Sconie) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 02:40 pm:

Thanks for the pics and update! Two thumbs up!

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 03:11 pm:

Ahhh, now I get it.

By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 03:21 pm:

I just saw Rodís photos of the Paul R. Tregurtha with the St Maryís Challengerís pilothouse. I was so moved to learn the pilothouse is being preserved. I lived in Harbor Springs in the early 1960ís, and we used to see her in the harbor there when she was the Medusa Challenger.

45 years later, I took the attached photo of the Challenger heading south near Muskegon. I got lucky with the light that day, and this is probably the nicest photo Iíve ever taken of a lake boat. She just looked so strong and confident and serene, even after over 100 years on the lakes. The pilothouse detail was taken from the larger image.

Under sail
Pilothouse closeup

(And a special thanks to Mary for helping me get these images posted!)
Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 06:50 pm:

Dunerat, remember the large green 'head of Medusa' on her stack during her Medusa years? An eerie sight.

By Jose (Jtraveler) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 09:08 pm:

It amazes me how much of the history surrounding these magnificent ships Yoopers know about. It makes me more than a little envious and feeling equally 'handicapped'. Having knowledge like that is, to a large extent, what roots is all about in my opinion.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Monday, April 6, 2015 - 09:34 pm:

A funny yet slightly scary story about the Medusa Challenger. Back in the 80s and early 90s, we used to fish out of Charlevoix and head to near the Medusa plant because of the warm water that was discharged into the lake used to draw in the fish. We were fishing a ways out in a dense fog and catching fish, but we kept hearing a whistle/horn in the distance. Thinking it was the fog horns onshore, we didn't pay a lot of attention. Next thing we know, we see this black shadow in the fog and thought we came upon the oredock. No, it was the Challenger passing about 200 feet from us. I can only imagine he had radar and saw us on that which is why we didn't hit.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 04:25 am:

Thank you 4 sharing.

By Allen W. Philley (Allen) on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 08:26 am:

When I first saw, I was hoping this was saying the pilothouse had been retrofitted and this was a rebirth of the pilothouse at the bow.

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