The Kaye E. Barker was the first laker to leave Duluth under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, leaving at 12:12 today (March 22, 2019), thus opening the 2019-20 shipping season. Below, she is seen moving easily through the ice, just beyond the Lift Bridge. She was headed to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets for Indiana Harbor. Coincidentally, on January 15, 2019, the Barker closed the 2018 shipping season. In the inset, the Barker is seen departing Duluth on April 2, 2015. (Click each image to see a larger version
The Kaye E. Barker was built and named for Edward B. Greene, the president of Cleveland Cliffs from 1933 to 1954. In the winter of 1975-76, she was lengthened by 120 feet at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Five years later, she was converted to a self-unloader. She became the Benson Ford in 1985 and the Kaye E. Barker in 1989.