Archives for May 2007

Presque Isle in Twin Ports harbor

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Earlier this week, I mentioned some paper work problems regarding the Ypermachos, the ship that has been at anchor for several days. About the time those problems were resolved, early Wednesday morning, the fog came in strong. As of last evening, the ship was still at anchor. If the fog lifted, it may be at the berth at the CHS dock in Superior ready to load wheat for Algeria. After discharging a cargo of taconite at Gary, the Presque Isle should be arriving in the Twin Ports today to load taconite to take to Nanticoke, Ontario. Above, it is turning into the Duluth harbor in April, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2007

St. Clair aims at the camera

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If all went well, and it didn’t yesterday, the two salt water ships we have had in port and at anchor passed each other last night, the Ypermachos coming in to load wheat for Algeria and the Tatjana departing with spring wheat for Malta. The Ypermachos was delayed by some paper work problems, not uncommon when you consider that the buyers of the grain, the sellers of the grain and the owner of the ship, to name just a few interested parties, are literally spread out throughout the world. Hopefully, that has been cleared up and they are ready to go this morning. The US flagged St. Clair was expected in port around 6 am this morning to load taconite. Above, it is departing the port in May, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2007

Ypermachos is her name

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If the boats operate as expected today, most of the traffic for the day will come in pairs, early in the day. Between midnight and 2 am, the Algowood will be coming in to replace the Paul R. Tregurtha at Midwest Energy. A couple hours later, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. will be coming in as the Frontenac is leaving. A couple hours later, the Ypermachos will come in from the anchorage to load wheat as the Algowood departs with coal. This afternoon, the McCarthy will depart the Midwest Energy coal dock and will be replaced there by the American Integrity. Above, the Ypermachos sat at anchor for most of the weekend. Photo taken on May 27, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-29-2007

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrives Duluth

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Two thousand footers have decided to spend Memorial Day in Duluth, both coming into port this afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Sometime this morning, another thousand footer, the Mesabi Miner, will depart the Twin Ports under the Lift Bridge with coal for Marquette, Michigan. That will open the coal dock for the Paul R. Tregurtha to come in this afternoon. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. will probably follow the Tregurtha at the dock. It may wait at anchor or come into the Port Terminal. The Ypermachos is still at the outside anchorage waiting for the holiday to pass. It will come in around 6 am on Tuesday morning. This ship is better known to Duluthians as the Socrates, the ship that went aground off Park Point in 1985 and stayed there for a week. Above, the McCarthy comes into port last October.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-28-2007

Joseph H. Thompson has long history

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The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson is due today with a load of limestone. After discharging that cargo, it will load taconite at the Burlington Northern before departing the Superior entry. The barge part is still most of the hull of a boat built in 1944 as the Marine Robin. It crossed the Atlantic several times during the war and was one of the many boats used in the Normandy invasion. In 1990, the vessel was turned into a barge when the stern and part of the hull were removed. A tug was built from the steel that was removed and was then inserted into a notch built into the back of the barge. It was here 14 times in 2003, and has been making fewer trips since then, coming only 5 times last year. This is the second trip this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-27-2007

What’s your name?

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The Ypermachos should be arriving off the Duluth piers late this afternoon. It will likely come in on Tuesday morning to load grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. This ship has visited here under four other names, one of them quite memorable. It was the Mecta Sea from 1997 until two years ago. Between 1992 and 1997, it was the Union. The name that is very important to Duluthians was the name between its launch in 1984 and 1992, the Socrates. In early November of 1985, this ship, as the Socrates, also dropped anchor off the Duluth piers to wait for a berth. Several days later, high winds, not untypical on Lake Superior in November, blew it off the anchorage, pulling ship and anchor towards the shore. Before getting there, the ship went aground and was stuck there for a week before tugs were able to pull the boat to deeper water. It eventually came into port, loaded grain and finally departed the Twin Ports. Above, the Ypermachos comes into port last November.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-26-2007

Mesabi Miner in dense fog

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Today is another big day for coal. The Canadian flagged John B. Aird should have arrived last night and may have already departed by the time the sun is up. About that time, the Indiana Harbor is due to arrive to take its place at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The Mesabi Miner is expected soon after the Indiana Harbor gets in but 2nd place means about a 10-12 hour wait to get to the dock. We may wake up to see it at anchor off the Duluth piers, coming in later in the day when the Indiana Harbor completes. The Mesabi Miner spent the winter at Midwest Energy and was the first boat to depart the port for the season, leaving on March 16th to take coal to Marquette. Above, it is returning from that trip in order to load more coal, this time for Taconite Harbor. Photo taken on March 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-25-2007

American Integrity from high above

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The American Integrity should be here for its 11th trip of the season. As today, it has loaded coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior on each trip, taking it most of the time to Detroit Edison, as it will do again today. The round trip to Detroit usually takes about a week. Above, it is departing under the Lift Bridge last Thursday for Detroit so today, a week later, marks a usual turn around for the boat. It will again load coal today for Detroit Edison. The boat has also made a couple trips to Silver Bay with coal. Photo taken on May 17, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-24-2007

James R. Barker departs harbor ice

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Two thousand footers should be here this morning. The Paul R. Tregurtha will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The James R. Barker will be loading taconite at the CN dock just across the St. Louis River from Midwest. The Tregurtha probably arrived shortly after midnight and waited for the Canadian Enterprise to complete loading coal for Thunder Bay. The Tregurtha may have dropped anchor off the Duluth piers or come in to take on fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal. Either way, an hour or so before the Enterprise was set to depart, the Tregurtha probably moved up the river and stationed itself just behind the Canadian Enterprise so it could move in just as the Enterprise was departing. There is no rest for the people at Midwest Energy. Minutes after the Enterprise departed the dock, the Tregurtha was tied up. And not many minutes later, the coal was going into its cargo holds. At least if everything works today like it usually does. Above, the Barker slowly moves through the ice in March of last year as it departed Duluth.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-23-2007

Halifax arriving Duluth

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The salt water ship Federal Pioneer should have departed Duluth by now after loading bentonite at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. The Canadian flagged Halifax was set to follow it at Hallett, also loading bentonite, a clay that is used as an adhesive in making ceramic items and an additive mixed with cement. The Halifax was built as the Frankcliffe Hall in 1963 in Quebec. It’s length, 730 feet and two inches, made it the longest boat on the Great Lakes for two years. That distinction gave it the title of Queen of the Lakes. A self unloader was added to the deck in 1980. A sister ship, the Baie St. Paul, without that addition, was scrapped in India in 1996. [Halifax was scrapped in 2011].
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-22-2007

Edwin H. Gott entering Duluth ship canal

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The Edwin H. Gott is expected here this afternoon to load taconite at the CN dock in West Duluth. This is only the 2nd time we have seen it this year in the Twin Ports. Usually it loads taconite at the CN dock in Two Harbors and takes it down to Gary. Above, it is entering the Duluth ship canal in November, last year. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy’s training ship, the State of Michigan, should have arrived earlier this morning. It left it’s home port of Traverse City, Michigan on May 12 for a two week training cruise with stops in Cleveland, Port Huron, and Duluth. While here, it will be docked at the DECC and will be open for public tours this afternoon.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-21-2007

Ryerson in the Superior channel

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The Edward L. Ryerson was waiting at anchor off the Superior entry yesterday for the wind to die down so the Mesabi Miner could get away from the dock at Burlington Northern and depart. Presumably, that has happened and the Ryerson is now loading taconite. But this is not your every day taconite; it is taconite that the boat will take to Quebec City. That means it will be going through the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway, almost to salt water. You can count on one hand the number of US flagged vessels that have made that journey in the last 25 years at least. The Canadian operated Welland Canal can only handle vessels less than 740 feet long. That leaves out all 13 US flagged thousand-footers; they will never get beyond Buffalo, at least in one piece. Buffalo is the last stop on Lake Erie going east before a boat takes the Welland to avoid Niagara Falls, always a good idea. Above, the Ryerson is just coming through the Superior entry and is beginning to turn toward the BN dock last August.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-20-2007

LSW and Tatjana exchange wind turbine blades

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That’s Lake Superior Warehousing Company’s lead stevedore, Tim Rogers, watching over the activity there on Friday morning. That’s the German flag flying in front of the US flag in honor of the cargo coming off the Tatjana yesterday. Behind Rogers, the last of 3 wind turbine blades is discharged from the ship to a waiting trailer. The blade is part of one wind turbine shipped here on the Tatjana from Rostock, Germany, by Nordex, a German company that builds wind turbines around the world, although this will be the first one they will build in the United States. The wind turbine will be taken by truck to Hewitt, Minnesota and should be operational in June. Minnesota Power will be the exclusive user of the electrical power generated by the wind turbines there. The Tatjana also carried steel products in its cargo hold, some of which was discharged in Hamilton. The rest of the steel will be discharged in Chicago. That’s where they were headed when they departed last night. When done there, they will return to Duluth to load grain. Photo taken on May 18, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-19-2007

Roger Blough visits BNSF dock

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The Roger Blough made a rather rare visit to the Twin Ports yesterday and an even rarer visit to the BN dock in Superior (above). It likely departed the Superior entry yesterday evening with a cargo of taconite. The Tatjana will be here today to discharge one wind turbine. It made one stop at Hamilton to discharge some steel products before coming to Duluth. When it departs Duluth today, it will still have some more steel products to discharge, this time in Chicago. Photo taken on May 17, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-18-2007

Algomarine departing Duluth

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The Algomarine was here last July but before that, not since it made two trips here in the winter of 2002. As it did last year, it will be here to discharge salt. It was built in 1968 as the Lake Manitoba and was part of a fleet of boats that included the Algonorth and the Capt. Henry Jackman. Algoma Central purchased the Lake Manitoba in 1987 and gave the boat its current name. One year later, a 250 foot self unloader was added to her deck, greatly increasing the speed it could discharge cargo and undoubtedly extending the boat’s useful life on the Great Lakes. Above, the Algomarine departs Duluth on July 20th last year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-17-2007

Cason J. Callaway at DM&IR

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The American Fortitude, Cason J. Callaway and Arthur M. Anderson will all be here today discharging limestone. Much of the limestone brought into the port is taken by train to pelletizing plants on the iron range and used to make flux pellets, which are then brought back down to a port, often Duluth or Two Harbors, and from there shipped to steel mills on or close by Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. Previously, limestone was added to the process at the steel mill. Flux pellets bring the limestone with them to the steel mill. Above, the Callaway was discharging limestone at the CN Dock (then DM&IR) in April, 2005. Photo taken on April 18, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-16-2007

Voyageur Pioneer leaving the dock

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The Voyageur Pioneer should arrive around noon today to load spring wheat. This ship brings a lot of history with it, starting in Glasgow, Scotland where it was launched as the Saskatchewan Pioneer in 1982. It was built for salt water and Great Lakes work, allowing the boat to work the oceans during the two months the Great Lakes are closed. The first ocean trip (after the initial trip from Scotland) left Duluth on November 14, 1983 for France. It visited Duluth many times after that as the Lady Hamilton, but it is coming to Duluth today for the first time as the Voyageur Pioneer, a name it picked up when it was sold in 2006. Above, a tug (not seen) is pulling the Lady Hamilton away from a Port Terminal dock in 2003. Photo taken on June 27, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-15-2007

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. hosts favorite son

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In 1986, a Polish sailor named Derek Czepczynski walked off the Ziemia Opolska while it was in Duluth loading grain. He sought out immigration officials to seek asylum and was allowed to stay. Two years later he sent for his wife Maria and son Art, making Duluth their new home. After working as a cook on Polish ships for 18 years, in 1990, he moved over to the US flagged Kinsman Independent where his menus changed a little. He has continued to work on US flagged ships and has worked on the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. for the last 4 years. Happily, the McCarthy stops in Duluth about once a week, allowing them to spend some time together. Art just came back from several tours of duty in Iraq and is now attending UMD as a sophomore. On Sunday, he was visiting his father in the galley of the McCarthy (above), and even got to sample some of his father’s food for lunch. Photo taken on May 13, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-14-2007

Federal Matane leads plethora of boats

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The tenders at the Lift Bridge must have been tired on Saturday afternoon, but visitors to the Duluth ship canal were happy to see all the traffic. The operators had to lift the bridge 5 times within a couple hours. Above, the Federal Matane led off the traffic, going under the Lift Bridge at 3:15. Fifty minutes later, the Algolake came under the bridge, and soon after that the John G. Munson departed. It was followed by the Paul R. Tregurtha. It departed at 5:30 and as it was turning south after clearing the South Pier light, the James R. Barker arrived to load taconite. (The Tregurtha went south since it was taking coal to Marquette, on the south shore of Lake Superior.) The Virginiaborg was originally set to depart shortly after the Barker arrived, but it was delayed an hour or so, giving visitors time to eat dinner before they had to return to the ship canal to watch another boat. I might point out that yesterday’s schedule, printed here, included all these boats, in only slightly different order.  Photo taken on May 12, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-13-2007

Paul R. encounters April ice near Duluth

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The Federal Matane is expected in port today to load spring wheat for Spain. It was built in China in 2004 and is German owned but operating now under a charter to Fednav in Montreal. This is the second trip here for the ship. It was here for the first time in 2005 under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. Such a flag is often called a flag of convenience and only indicates where a ship is registered, and usually has nothing to do with ownership, origin of the crew or ports of call. The largest boat on the Great Lakes, the Paul R. Tregurtha, a frequent visitor to the Twin Ports, is expected here around 8 am and should be leaving around 8 pm tonight. It will be loading coal, as it usually does, at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Above, the Tregurtha approaches the Duluth ship canal on April 15th this year. Photo taken on April 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-12-2007

Cornelius to take wheat to Buffalo

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The American Spirit should have arrived under the Lift Bridge by now. It will be going to the Burlington Northern dock in Superior after taking on fuel at the Murphy Fuel dock in Duluth. At the BN, it will load taconite to take to Zug Island in the city of River Rouge, just south of Detroit. This boat is the former George A. Stinson that used to work on behalf of National Steel. When they went bankrupt, the Stinson came back to Duluth, in June, 2003, and stayed until it took a few trips for Great Lakes Fleet that winter. The next spring, the owner, American Steamship, renamed it the American Spirit. It has been here about 30 times a year since then. This is the 5th visit this year. Above, the Adam E. Cornelius departed Duluth last evening, taking a load of wheat for General Mills in Buffalo. Photo taken on May 10, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-11-2007

Great Lakes Trader arrives Duluth

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The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader arrived yesterday afternoon (above) with a load of limestone. The barge is pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. The barge was built in 2000 in Mississippi and the tug was built in 1998 in Sturgeon Bay. They have been together since 2000. You can see the tug’s elevated pilot house that allows the captain better vision when navigating the vessel. The barge has a self unloader on the deck. After discharging their cargo of limestone, they will move over to the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior to load taconite for a down-bound cargo. Photo taken on May 09, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-10-2007

American Victory no longer Middletown

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The American Victory loaded limestone at Port Dolomite, Michigan and should be arriving today to discharge that cargo before going over to Burlington Northern to load taconite for Lorain. It visited here many times as the Middletown as above, in November, 2004. It became the American Victory when it was sold to American Steamship by Oglebay Norton in June, 2006. The boat was built in 1942 as the Neshanic, serving as a tanker in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II. It was awarded nine service stars, one for each major battle it was in. It was hit by a Japanese bomb in 1944.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-09-2007

Canadian Enterprise in the shipping canal

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Above, the Canadian Enterprise is coming under the Lift Bridge in October, 2005. It was also expected to come under the bridge earlier this morning and should be departing this morning. As above, the boat will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to take to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Canadian vessels are regular visitors to the busy coal dock. The Enterprise was built in 1979 along with a sister ship, the Canadian Transport. Both boats are often at Midwest to load coal for Nanticoke.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-08-2007

Anderson coming in to Twin Ports

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Three thousand footers are due in Duluth before noon today. The Mesabi Miner and the Paul R. Tregurtha will be here to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The James R. Barker is also expected to go under the Lift Bridge for fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal. It will then go down the Superior channel to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe dock just inside the Superior entry. Both coal boats should also be departing Duluth before the day is out. The not quite so long Arthur M. Anderson is bringing limestone from Cedarville, Michigan to discharge at the CN Dock in West Duluth. Above, it is entering the Duluth ship channel in October, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-07-2007

McCarthy life-boat training

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The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. came into port on Saturday morning to load coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. While they were here, and docked at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior, they tested their life boat and did some routine training on the proper use of it. In an emergency, there isn’t much time to figure out how it works, but regular training keeps the crew ready in case it is needed. Photo taken on May 05, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-06-2007

Diezeborg enters Duluth harbor

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After a stop in Menominee, Michigan to discharge cargo, the Dutch flagged Diezeborg arrived late Friday afternoon (above) to load beet pulp pellets. Built in 2000, this is the 4th trip to the Twin Ports for the ship. It will be delayed in loading cargo because some repairs are needed for damage caused when they encountered very heavy seas on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken on May 04, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-05-2007

American Century no longer Columbia Star

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The American Century was scheduled to arrive last night so it should be departing today with coal for the St. Clair power plant of Detroit Edison, it’s usual stop. Then the Canadian flagged Algolake and the U.S. flagged Walter J. McCarthy Jr. will be here to take two loads of coal to Ontario Power Generation at Nanticoke. After that, two thousand-footers (all 13 are US flagged) will take two more loads to Detroit Edison, and so the season progresses. To most of us, it seems pretty exciting but the routine of making trips back and forth is beginning to set in for those who work on the boats. The picture above was taken in October, 2001 when the American Century was owned by the Oglegbay Norton Company and was called the Columbia Star. The boat was sold to American Steamship in Buffalo last spring.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-04-2007

St. Clair & H. Lee White arrive on one lift

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The Aerial Lift Bridge was up for two boats in one lift late yesterday afternoon. First the St. Clair came in and the H. Lee White followed close behind. Both are expected to depart today, with the St. Clair departing Duluth and the H. Lee White departing Superior, both loaded with taconite. The St. Clair will be going to Gary. If the Federal Ems departed last night, as expected, there will be no salt water ships in port today. After a brief spurt of traffic, we are down to one arriving Friday and another on Saturday. Photo taken on May 02, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-03-2007

BN loading taconite to H. Lee White

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The H. Lee White will be here today for the 3rd time this season, discharging a load of limestone before moving over to the Burlington Northern Dock to load taconite pellets. The White was the first boat to visit the Twin Ports from beyond the Soo Locks this year, arriving on March 26th to load taconite at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Taconite Facility in Superior (above). The self-unloading boom has been moved away from the deck so the cargo holds can be filled. The steam you see rising above the deck of the boat is caused by taconite pellets still warm from the pellet-making process on the Iron Range hitting the cold March air. The pellets were loaded directly into rail cars from the pellet plant and sent to the BN where they were then discharged onto conveyor belts and sent to the ore dock and loaded into the boat. Pellets still warm from the pellet plant are referred to as ‘fresh pellets.’ Photo taken on March 26, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-02-2007

Chromium ore loading to Federal Patroller

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The Federal Patroller departed the Twin Ports last night with a cargo of chromium ore for Sweden. A sister ship, the Federal Power, was expected to arrive here last night. It will also be loading chromium ore at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth and taking it to Sweden. Above, the Federal Patroller is seen behind some of the chromium ore that was being loaded on to it Sunday evening and is now being loaded into the Federal Power. The chromium ore was brought here by train from a stockpile created in World War II near Columbus, Montana. The ore will be used in Sweden in the making of steel. Photo taken on April 30, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-01-2007