Hon. James L. Oberstar comes to town

On May 24, 2011, the Interlake Steamship Company renamed the M/V Charles M. Beeghly the Hon. James L. Oberstar, the recently retired United States Congressman from the State of Minnesota.


  1. I find it rather ironic naming a boat after a politician who was primarily responsible for putting the Delta Queen on the Mississippi out of service and probably got the ball rolling on the red tape and hoop-jumoing the S.S. Badger on Lake Michigan is currently going through.

  2. Calypso4811 – I loved your straightforwardness about it all, especially with naming boats after politicians. My stomach went sour when I found out about the Oberstar. Might have been a better idea to, if they HAD to name a boat after Oberstar, to rename the long idle John Sherwin after him- not a boat that had been active for 30 years under a good name. The Oberstar will always be the Beeghly to me; I had so many memories of her as the Beeghly. A crime to rename a ship within the fleet after carrying the same name longer than half of Interlake’s ships have existed. Really too bad.

  3. Greg Hayden says:

    OTOH the Beeghly was built in Lorain Ohio for the Shenango Furnace Company as the Shenango II her first trip to Duluth was around May 1959.

    Greg Hayden

  4. This is NOT a good trend naming your boat after a politician. Like everything else with Government, this will get out of hand and Politicians will do anything to get their name on a boat

  5. Interlake wanted to change the name while Mr. Oberstar was in office, but he declined the offer since he thought it would not be and/or look right. The new name was even painted on the side and had to be repainted. As soon as Mr. Oberstar was out of office, Interlake wanted to do it again and Mr. Oberstar accepted the idea. It seems to many it was thus simply an honor to a man who has been instrumental in the development of commerce on the St Lawrence Seaway. Out of office, he would probably not have much influence in matters that concern Interlake.

    Also, the event was a great honor to Duluth, not an insignificant matter in a very competitive international shipping industry. Interlake put almost the entire company on two planes so they could attend the ceremony in Duluth. That meant a lot to the Duluth shipping industry. It was the first christening of a boat here since the John G. Munson was christened at the port terminal in 1952

  6. the oberstar link above gives some of the reasons that mr. oberstar was honored in this way.

  7. Frank Rogers says:

    Quid pro quo.

    Said politician “advances” legislation favorable to Great Lakes Shipping, Interlake returns a favor.

  8. I completely agree with you calypso4811 and I second on the soapbox. I have been unhappy since they changed the name of the ‘Chuck’. And as far as I am concerned…it will always be the ‘Chuck’. There should be a darn good reason for changing the name of a boat/ship and I don’t see one here. Nothing special about Oberstar.

  9. Calypso4811 says:

    Okay, now, what’s the deal with changing the name? I looked up Mr. Beeghly and found that he never seems to have become a serial killer nor a child molester. So why has his name been replaced in favor of a politician? Now I live and breathe politics, but it doesn’t seem quite fair. Why couldn’t they have built a new ship and named it after Mr. Oberstar? How does this make Mr. Beeghly’s son, daughter, 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren feel about this? I know, the owner’s can name their boat whatever they choose, I just have to be curious if it was for the most HONORABLE of reasons. Okay, I’ll now step down from my soapbox.

  10. Jill from Alabama says:

    You’re right, Frank!! There must be some explanation . . .

  11. Great shot as always, Ken.

    But what’s with the guy in the bottom of the picture?

    Obviously not a boatnerd like us – he’s facing the wrong direction!

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