Sep 02-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: September: Sep 02-06
Edward L. Ryerson    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Shiploader    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Back in service    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:12 am:

Rod Burdick recently added some interesting shots to his Guest Gallery album. What makes them different than the other freighter photos, is that these are of a Classic Laker, the Edward L. Ryerson. This ore carrier has been inactive since the 1998 shipping season and was just recently returned to service. Rod says she is one of the most streamlined and unique vessels sailing the Great Lakes. Today's pictures give us a look-see at the process of loading ore from the shiploader, onto the Ryerson, while at the Escanaba ore dock.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:16 am:

I love these boats. They're so much a history of the great lakes.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:21 am:

I love sitting on the beach and watching the freighters glide by...they're so fascinating. My interest in freighters must be linked to the fact taht my grandfather worked on freighters in the great lakes for years.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:24 am:

You just can't help taking a picture, no matter how many you already have. I seem to never have enough and when I see one on the ride to Copper Harbor, I still get the thrill I did when I was a little girl.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:32 am:

I love going to my sister's cabin...and sitting on the deck at night and watching the freighters with their lights on, glide by. They look like floating cities, all lit up.
There was a poster on here last summer who works on the freighters.... Was trying to figure out if he knew which freighter it was that my grandfather had been on that had caught on fire and (I believe) sank.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:39 am:

It's so sad that so many of these ships are sitting at the bottom of the lakes. All those families who lost their loved ones to storms, fires, whatever. Hopefully your grandpa wasn't on it when it caught fire and sank. As I said earlier, so much history.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 10:53 am:

My grandfather was on the freighter when it caught on fire...and luckily he and the other crewmen survived.
A lot of my family history wasn't preserved...and I just caught bits and peices of it, when it was talked about among the grown-ups at family gatherings.
For instance, I know that my one aunt had painted a picture of one of the frieghters my grandfather had worked on and for years the painting hung above the fireplace mantel. I remember asking about the painting when I was young, and grandmother remarking, "just one of the freighters your grandpa was on," and that was that.
The only time I remember my grandfather talking about the freighter that caught on fire, was when I was really young. He and my dad were in the living room talking and grandpa was talking about how they had to jump ship and how he had never inhaled so much smoke in his entire life.
Would be interesting if there was a way to look over crew lists from years ago and track the freighters he was on and the places he traveled to on the great lakes.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 11:36 am:

Is there anywhere online to check crewman lists for freighters? I know that my grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary in the mid 1970's...and he was working on the freighters when my mom and her siblings were growing up. So that would put my grandparents at being married in the 1920's...and grandpa on the Great Lake Freighters between the 1920's-1950's.
I know that in the 1960's that my grandfather worked at the refinery in Marine City or around Marine City when I was a youngin. Because I remember going with grandma to pick him up from work back then. So his career as a crewman on the freighters would have been through the 1940's or the 1950's.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 11:56 am:

Rod has submitted another group of great pictures. It doesn't seem like the Escanaba dock is used too much this year..Does anyone have and figures on the number of ships so far this year versus what goes into Marquette for loading. Have a good weekend all.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 12:34 pm:

barge; won't explain that one as it is common. My dad punched ore into one of these guys and granddad, after punching ore, was a watchman of the docks. It's really hard to explain punching ore to kids who look at a dock that isn't workable any longer and those kids who haven't a clude what an ore boat is let alone ore. "You mean to tell me steel doesn't just come that way?" HELP!

By Charles in Adrian (Charlesinadrian) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 12:52 pm:

As a person soon to move back to Esky, those pics of the
Ryerson are great! Thanks! I have a qs tho. How did Mr.
Burdick get onto that dock to take those pics? That dock
certainly does not look like it is a public dock. That whole area
on the north shore of Esky looks pretty much like private
property with no place close to the docks (other than the water
-- and Burdick's pics clearly are not taken from the water) to see
much of anything. Is Mr. Burdick maybe an employee of
whoever runs the docks?

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 01:00 pm:

Here are some more pictures of the Ryerson's fist voyage in 8 years at Escanaba. These pictures are by Dick Lund.

By jim lu maye (Jimlu) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 01:10 pm:

Any body thatloves those boats and anything about them and any ? you have about someone that was on a boat you should find at It is the best site out there I have been following those boats for yrs and this website has it all.


By Rod Burdick (Rburdick27) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 01:55 pm:

Thank you for featuring my Edward L. Ryerson photos which were taken on July 27, 2006. I was fortunate enough to receive permission from C.N. Railroad, the ore dock owner, to take photos from the dock. In recent years, Escanaba's conveyor type dock has shipped significantly less taconite than Marquette's pocket type ore dock. Visit my pasty cam albums to see each dock.

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 05:48 pm:

The RYERSON was my home for a while back in '63. I think she is one of the prettiest of the lakers. The newer ones are just great big cold boxes. But they do carry LOTS of cargo. The first ore carrier I was on carried 13,000 tons. The RYERSON carried 26,000 tons. And now the new ones take 60,000 tons. Thanks, Rod, for all the memories. Wow!

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 06:00 pm:

I worked on the freighters for some time. Although I never worked for Inland Steel [the Ryerson's fleet] I did work for Bethlehem Steel, Interlake Steamship Co. and Oglebay. Served for 3 yrs on the Stewart J. Cort; known as the mighty No. 1 on the lakes. No. 1 because she was the first thousand footer on the Great Lakes [built in 1972] Believe me it's a lot nicer to be on shore looking out at the freighters than it is to be working on a freighter and looking at the shore.

By allen philley (Allen) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 06:26 pm:

Fascinating to hear from you that have worked on the freighters/lakers. It can not be denied the 1000 footers get the job done, but I prefer the older ones for their style.It is interesting that the Ryerson has been put to use again, a cureosity.

By Therese (Therese) on Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 07:51 pm:

Thanks for the photos, Rod. I would love to take a trip on one of the freighters, but due to severe sea sickness must admire them from the shore. Back when I lived in Wyandotte I used to watch the boats go up and down the shipping channels in the Detroit River, stopping to unload coal at the electric plant or ore at the steel plants, and wished I could hitch a ride up north on one. Now I live up north (well, just below the bridge anyway) and I miss seeing them up close every day. The boats mostly keep far off shore except in November gales, when they ride out the storms in Little Traverse Bay.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Sunday, September 3, 2006 - 04:43 pm:

There are some pics of the Ryerson on:

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - 09:22 am:

Fantastic to see her back in service!

The captain for years was a friend of my wife's parents and would always blow a salute when
passing their home on gafney point in DeTour.

Most beautiful boat on the lakes.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - 05:42 pm:


I would love to see her. Maybe next year when I tour Les Cheneux.

By Camilla (Camilla) on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 01:49 am:

I would love to see her back in service!
app 2018

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