James L. Oberstar died on May 3rd, 2014. He was our Congressman from 1974 until 2010. He served as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2006 until 2010. He was a true friend of Duluth, Minnesota, the Great Lakes and the shipping world.
For his service to shipping on the Great Lakes, the Interlake Steamship Company renamed their boat, Charles M. Beeghly to the Hon James L. Oberstar in May, 2011. Interlake is in Cleveland but they brought almost the entire company up to Duluth on 3 airplanes for the rechristening on May 24, 2011. Duluth Mayor Don Ness was Oberstar’s campaign manager from 1997 to 2007. Here he is seated just behind Mr. and Mrs. Oberstar at the rechristening.
Oberstar’s wife Jean performed the official duty of renaming the boat with a bottle of champagne. Behind her is James R. Barker, Chairman of the Board for Interlake and proudly watching behind him, Congressman Oberstar.
Above, Oberstar chats with Adele Yorde, PR Manager for Duluth Seaway Port Authority. Below, the boat was brightly decorated and looked great with her new coat of paint.
Congressman Oberstar served Duluth with distinction. Thanks to Interlake Steamship, his boat will continue to serve Duluth and the Great Lakes for many more years.
He was in Duluth in May, 2004 for the official decommissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard cutter Sundew.