Joseph H. Thompson has lively history

The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson (seen above entering the Duluth harbor in 2005) is due today with a load of salt. This is the 19th trip here this season but only the 5th one with salt. It usually brings in limestone. As today, it has almost always departed with a cargo of iron ore pellets, sometimes from the CN dock in West Duluth, other times as today from the BNSF dock in Superior. 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.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-03-2008
Kenneth Newhams :