July 28-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: July: July 28-08
Going under the Bridge    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Bill Fink
Heading to the Isle Royale    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by E. Neil Harri
Arriving Mott Island    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Mary Drew

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 07:14 am:

The Ranger III first arrived at its Houghton home port in September 1958 with local folks coming out to welcome her both on the water and the shore. The passenger and freight vessel then made it's maiden voyage to Isle Royale on October 10, 1958. Since that day, she has made over 4,400 trips to and from the Island carrying hikers, campers, workers, supplies and small boats over for an experience you won't find at any other National Park. Bill Fink spotted the Ranger on one of those trips, as she was gliding under the Lift Bridge on a somewhat foggy day. Good thing she has radar to help navigate the waters in the fog.

Then E. Neil Harri flew over her as she was heading out of the breakwall near McLain Park, most likely on her way to Isle Royale.

The last photo was taken as the Ranger was getting ready to make the U-turn in the channel that brings it to the Mott Island dock, her second stop before heading back across Lake Superior to Houghton on her way back home. That's a big boat to maneuver a U-turn in narrow channels, but the Captain manages to do so with ease.

The Park Service is commemorating the 50th year of Ranger III's service, this coming Thursday, July 31st. There's a variety of events being held, including tours of the boat and a presentation about the Ranger by Captain Bill Hanrahan at 11:00 a.m. A free cruise will depart at 1:00 p.m., from the Park Headquarters in Houghton, heading out to Jacobsville and back. Advance sign-up to sail on this cruise was held last week, so I'm not certain if there are tickets still available or not. For more information, you can contact the National Park Service at 906-482-0984 or stop in at their headquarters, located at 800 E. Lakeshore Drive in Houghton.

By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 07:41 am:

I gotta mark this on my to do list.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 07:46 am:

Lots of memories in these pictures. I've a picture of the engine room of the Ranger III from the 1970's when I worked there before heading south for other jobs with my wife Maggie. It shows the side of one of the Kahlenberg(sp) engines before she was re-powered with Cats and our catch from the previous evening after work.
(In the photo)Hank was the assistant engineer and I an oiler and the crew was great to be around. The limit on trout at the time was 5 per fisherman.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 07:47 am:

Very cool pictures. I wish I had the guts to go out on Lake Superior that far. I just don't.

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 08:21 am:

Jacobsville native Russell Berg delivered her to the Park Service in Houghton from Sturgeon Bay when she was brand new.

By DEBBIE KINCZKOWSKI (Debk) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 08:55 am:


By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 08:59 am:

I think the best part of pastycam posting ship and laker pictures is the personal comments/experiences that pastycamers post about while working or other personal experiences they had aboard! Gives a bigger perspective of the picture(s). Thankyou!

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 09:27 am:

My husband & I launched our 17 foot Grumman canoe from the then "Houghton sands" to join with yachts and sailboats in escorting the Ranger down to the bridge. Are there any others around who joined in that regatta? And Neil, thank you for the view of the ship heading through the Breakers.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 09:28 am:

Janie, I also like that. So many people on this site have worked or been a part of some fascinating parts of our history.

By Gordon Jelsma (Gjelsma) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 09:32 am:

Does anyone have pictures of Rangers I and II?

I think it would be fun to compare.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 09:35 am:

I looks like the ship and the bridge were painted with the same color blue.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 09:35 am:

Grew up near Quincy Hill, lived downstate, returned to the U.P. to live and until last summer never made a trip to Isle Royale. The lake was smooth as silk going there and returning...so happy we finally made this trip as it was well worth it to be able to marvel at the uniqueness of Isle Royale! We did take bracelets for sea sickness, however, just in case. Beautiful pictures!

By Phyllis Latvala (Cliffdweller) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 10:15 am:

And just think, Capt. Bergh's granddaughter, Amy, is working on the Ranger III.

By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 10:16 am:

Was the Ranger III ever painted a different color?

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 12:39 pm:

Both the Ranger III ivory and blue are Sherwin Williams industrial enamel custom colors from Sherwin Williams paint store in Houghton. I've been a crew member on the Ranger for the past 13 yrs. and I am not sure if it ever was a different color but I don't think so. Original plans when she was built called for a green color but that was changed before launching. If you are attending the tours and free cruise on Thursday, Russell Bergh's granddaughter [my daughter] will be working the snack bar on the RIII; stop by and say hello.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 01:05 pm:

Davefrommohawk, it sure is nice being proud of ones children. If your daughter is like mine she will say "dad". But we both know she will be glad you are proud of her.

By Bertha Kierdorf (Bertie) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 01:39 pm:

HI - my name is Bertha Kierdorf - nee Goson - I graduated from Calumet Hi in 1944 - is there anyone out there that knows me?

By John Belliveau (Johnnybe) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 02:09 pm:

A few years ago, with the wonderful help of Captain Bill Hanrahan, I created some detailed profile renderings of the Ranger III. For a Full Hull version look here:


and a Waterline Version look here:


Youn can see all my Great Lakes Ships drawings in the "Gallery" at:



By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 03:16 pm:

John Belliveau, thank you for sharing your renderings with us. Your work is marvelous. I hope everyone has a chance to go to the links you provided. They'll surely find a 'boat' that means something to them. For me it is the S.S. Badger, Ranger III and the relatively new State of Michigan.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 03:48 pm:

John Belliveau, thanks for the full hull drawing, looks like they added a bow thruster since I worked there, too. Now I'll have to visit her Thursday and see where it's power plant is located.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 07:33 pm:

I have been to Isle Royale via seaplane, the Queen and the Ranger. They are all great ways to get to the least traveled national park. My last time on the Ranger, they even served hot pasties. There were 6-8 foot waves and I saw this guy eat two right at the start of the trip. Even on the Ranger, two pasties and 6-8 foot waves for over five hours (!) may cause you to take an abrupt brisk walk to the stern.

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 10:18 pm:

Tim: They still serve pasties and the "world famous" Ranger III "chili".

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 11:35 pm:

John Belliveau ... great work..awesome gallery.
I get to see the SS Badger steaming in and out of Manitowoc quite often. Its quite a sight, even after seeing her couple times a week.

Hey Deb..I've never been on the Ranger either. Always have wanted to head over to Isle Royale ..hopefully soon.

As far as sea sick..I made a trip on a small 300 passenger ferry from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas with swells that totally blocked the sky..and I was on the upper deck..they were high ... out of about 300 people, 250 were sick :)
Same on the Pacific on small fishing charters. I never got sick though, until fishing on Lake Michigan on some super choppy stuff...its a really terrible feeling. I think the Ranger is big enough to give a pretty comfortable ride.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Monday, July 28, 2008 - 11:44 pm:

forgot to say,I really like that third picture of the Ranger. Its has a very good camera angle

By John Belliveau (Johnnybe) on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 08:48 am:

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the fine compliments on my boat drawings, they really are a lot of fun for me to create. Richard Barclay mentioned the bow thruster; I am not sure when the bow thruster was added but I do know that is a 250HP/Hydraulic 36" fixed pitch. Here is a link with all the stats of the Ranger III;


and here is the main NPS link with all the general info on Ranger III:


Someone above (Gordon Jelsma) mentioned Rangers I & II. I do have picture of Ranger II, may have found it on this site someplace, shoebox memories perhaps. Not sure if I can post it here or not, does this message board allow posting of pictures?. Here is a sublink for the link I just gave with the History of the Rangers:


If anyone should unearth any other photos of Rangers I & II I would love to see them....


By Danbury (Danbury) on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 02:08 am:

Sturdy looking boat. I like boats, or ships, just so. CAn appreciate the sight of a 12-ft dinghy as well as that of a big working ship (no cruise ships, please), though if I get to it, I ride a 17-ft foldable kajak.

For a glimpse of some nasty looking weather, look for "ship departing Wellington into big swell" on that well known video site that gets red-dotted if I try to mention it (no complaints, just didn't know how else to put it).
Wouldn't want to ride that.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 11:46 am:

Danbury (Danbury):
"… on that well known video site that gets red-dotted if I try to mention it …"

Or, if you don't know what site that is, just do a Google™ search on the whole phrase "ship departing Wellington into big swell" (quotation marks included) and you'll find it.

That sure did look like a "lash yourself down and hang on" E-ticket ride! Yee-haw!

By John Belliveau (Johnnybe) on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 01:19 pm:

I know which site is being mentioned, but what does "Red Dotted" mean and why can there be no metion of the site?

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 06:15 pm:

The bow-thruster was added to the Ranger III during the 1998-99 dry-docking at Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay WI.

By Danbury (Danbury) on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 01:58 am:

Because when I added the link, all I got was what you see: •••••••••••

By Danbury (Danbury) on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 02:08 am:

Oops, sorry - wrong button. My assumption would be that there had been too many questionable links posted, or something to that extent. Though I evidently was wrong about mentioning youtube as such.

By Nancy E. Nelson (Dingodawg) on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 05:18 pm:

to Gjelsma:

Google rangerII nancy nelson's picture, and you will hopefully get the picture I sent to the pasty cam on March 10, 2002 of the Ranger II. (see below) It was a small boat, but I spent a few trips out to the island on it to visit my parents' friends the Markhams, and my friend Patty Gibbs,and even in rough waters felt very save. I believe she was a converted mine sweeper from WWII--if anyone knows that this is not accurate, I would like to know. I do remember crossing in one storm during which the water was shooting up through the anchor holes in the forward deck and washing down the outside passageways. A bit scary, but I also remember spending the time inside the cabin petting the "descented" pet skunk that one of the other passengers had with her. When one is 10-12 years old, things like that stick in memory.

Ranger II

David Soumis (Davesou) on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 05:23 pm:

here is the history of the 3 "Ranger" ships

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 06:42 pm:

David Soumis (Davesou):
"here is the history of the 3 "Ranger" ships "

Hmm, that's the same link as ws posted by
John Belliveau (Johnnybe) on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 08:48 am:

Evidently not everyone here clicked on that link the first time!

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