July 15-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: July: July 15-07
Dollar Bay 1985    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from R.C.Wetton
RCW, Man of Steel    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from R.C.Wetton
Ready to roll    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from R.C.Wetton

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 06:58 am:

Robert C. Wetton has an amazing Shoebox of Memories. Over the years he has shared some mighty interesting shots from around the Keweenaw... like the giant chair on Bumbletown Hill - Republic Airlines (The Blue Goose) - and early Copper Country scenes:
Last week when the daily Pasty Cam visited Ontonagon Marina, RCW dug through his shoebox again to take us back 20+ years to A & L Fabricating in Dollar Bay. That was the site of a boat-building project which to this day has not been completed.

The vessel was apparently based on blueprints of the Jones Brothers 52 ft. Burger Fish Tug, with a slight modification: the bottom was flat, to sit upright if it was stranded at low tide. The man who funded it reportedly intended to take the tug to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. But it only made it into the next county - not in the water, but rather pulled by a semi, acting as its own trailer.

I'm afraid I have more questions than answers about the project. The owner's name, for starters (Fred ?). Did he donate the boat to Ontonagon Marina? Will it ever be completed/restored? Maybe some of the other welders on the project can fill in the blanks.

Our thanks to RCW for another out-of-the-ordinary Shoebox Memory. And also thanks to Harvey Hadland of Ashland Wisconsin for the notes about the boat's design. Harvey has an excellent website dedicated to Fish Tugs of the Great Lakes.

Have a good week :o)

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 07:46 am:

Is A & L Fabricating still in business in Dollar Bay?

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 09:18 am:

What is the significance of the 2 wheeled corn planter in the first picture?

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 11:32 am:

To answer a few questions. I guess that planter was there for some welding repair work. Also,Yes A & L Fab is still in business. Not building any boats anymore just fabricating the Famous Ilo Sauna Heaters. I m not sure if my former co workers Dan & Walt could add any more info Charlie . All I ve heard is Fred is into restoring old farm tractors and autos now. I would think some day he will launch it. There were a total of 4 custom boats built at A & L. Certainly was a fun job . RCW

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 11:37 am:

Kiitos, RCW.

By Cheryl Rozman (Cotton) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 01:27 pm:

Didn't that boat sit on some property owned by one of the Pini's outside of Dollar Bay? I think it was by Woodside Location off of M26. I remember seeing it there for years. I wondered what happened to it.

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 02:53 pm:

Cotton. No that isn't what you recall. The boat you are refering to was a 42 foot sail boat . It did sit there for several years, it now in ownershsip in Canada. Pini was renting an ajacent trailer next to the shop.And the shop is located at Woodside Location. Freds boat took us about 15 months to complete.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 05:22 pm:

Hmmmm- Gee I was in Dollar Bay & Woodside in 1985 and don't remember seeing any of this!

PS: Dave Hiltunen! I think you're homesick1 I'd like to go too like all these others are! 1985 was the last time we were there! I know you've been several times since!

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 05:41 pm:

Russ, we started inside building the frame's etc in Sept 85 and finished I believe early fall 86.

By David Hiltunen (Davidcorrytontn) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 10:02 pm:

R.C.W. Man of steel.You are a very interesting, cousin.

I would love to go to the U.P. again soon.I think the last time was 2000.Campped for 2weeks Baraga St.Park.I have never gone this long 7 yrs. i reckon without being to $Bay.Just got to make up mind what season to go in.

I guess I was in Plymouth,MN.at the time this boat was in Woodside.1985 But soon was in Casco Tsp.in the Fall.That was my last streech of 5 yrs.of not U.P.1990's we were up often.

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 10:22 pm:

Interesting pictures RCW! Hi to you, Russ, Dave and Cheryl Fran

By Vicki W (Superiorgirl) on Monday, July 16, 2007 - 03:21 pm:

The boat is owned by Fred Chamberlain. For years it was in his back yard on River Road, which runs along the edge of the marina. The route for the new Ontonagon River Bridge passes above River Road. It became apparent during the planning stages that if Fred did not move the boat from his yard before the bridge project was underway, it would become land locked due to insufficient overhead clearance. Hence, the boat was hauled to the beginning of River Road, across from the marina where it remains today.

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