Edward L. Ryerson


Edgar B. Speer

Edward L. Ryerson was built in 1960, is 730 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

Edwin H. Gott

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edwardlryerson20090518_5763Many believe the Edward L. Ryerson is the prettiest boat on the Great Lakes. She was laid up in 1998 and many thought she would never sail again but increased need for taconite gave new life to the boat. She made her first appearance in the Twin Ports since 1998 on  August 9th, 2006 and she continues to visit us this season. She came to the Twin Ports 20 more times that year, and she made 25 trips to Duluth Superior in 2007. As of August 31, 2008, she made 18 trips to the Twin Ports. In each case, she loaded iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe dock in Superior. Picture above taken Monday, May 18, 2009.
Picture above taken Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Picture above taken Monday, April 20, 2009
Picture above taken Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Picture above taken Friday, February 22, 2008: She spent the 2007 – 2008 winter at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

Picture above taken Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Picture above taken Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Picture above taken Saturday, November 11, 2006

Picture above taken Sunday, September 3, 2006

Picture above taken Sunday, August 27, 2006: Moving into the Burlington Northern Santa Fe dock to load iron ore pellets. Below, on the deck of the Ryerson while she is at BN.

Picture above taken Friday, May 1, 1998

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

craig genson April 9, 2015 at 7:42 am

I was a deckhand on the Wilfred Sykes and the Ryerson with Inland Steel loved them both Capt. Eric Treece the best I worked with


craig genson March 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

I sailed on the Ryerson for Inland steel.Capt. Eric Treece was the man


Louis Jefferson March 19, 2015 at 7:40 pm

My husband, Louis (Lou) Jefferson, sailed with Inland Steel from 1971 – 1986 on both Blocks, Sykes, and a couple other boats. While on the Ryerson they were 3 hours ahead of Fritzgerald that night. Got to Whitefish Pte. in time. But waters were high beyond belief. Contact – calliedj@comcast.net


Gene Onchulenko March 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Have a framed photo black & white night shot 15″ X 16″ taken by the late Fort William, ON, Fire Chief Harold Lockwood. Photo taken at C.N Ore Dock, north side, Port Arthur ON. Photo taken in 1960. Likely first trip to Port Arthur and could be Maiden Voyage. Vessel launched 1960.
Vessel looks very sharp no scratches or scrapes. Hoping this was the Maiden Voyage. Have no other info re date. Anybody have any information?. Tried to locate negative no luck. Photo was headed to dumpster but retrieved by me. It hangs proudly on my wall.


Kelly Bents February 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

Here is a new pic of its new location.



scott davis December 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I sailed on the L.E.Block in 1959 & 6o then sailed on the Ruerson in 61, 62 an part of 63. I was a fireman than oiler I belive that some of the engineers were Bob LaCourse Benn t Wentworth John Schineer and I think Hal Brown. The cheif was ENIO cARELLA The Capian was Geo. Fisher. If you know anything about anyone who sailed on the shikp durin g that time please se d me the info.


jake madden November 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Does anyone remember a James Durbin who worked in the engine room? That’s my grandfather.


scott davis November 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I sailed on the ryerson from 1961-1963 . I would sure like to get a chance to make a tour . I remember a lot of the guys that I sailed with mainly in the engine room and would like to hear about them. If any of the guys read this please send an email .


Bob November 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hey Scott
My Dad was 1st, 2nd 3rd and Chief on the Ryerson starting from 1967 and he retired in 2005 area. He’s known alot of guys going through. Let me know and ill throw a few names at you. You probably know a lot of guys he knows. Obviously a lot of guys passed away


scott davis November 13, 2013 at 11:01 am

would you please tell me your fathers name . some of the guys I remember was bob k]lacourse hak brown norman o’riley jim leclair my room mates name was leroy I canlt remember his last name but I remember he was from upper michigan


jake madden November 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm

James Durbin ring a bell?


Ed Clayton February 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Scott, I remember a lot of those names. I also knew Jim LeClair (passed away) very well. My dad was an oiler for years on the Joe Block and then a 3rd asst eng on the Randall. I even did a summer on the Randall back in ’72.


Bob November 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

My dads name is Bob Baxter. He mentioned Bob La Course, Berry Wentworth, John Schnider. I know an retired captain Ray Lungquist. He was probably a mate when you sailed. Let me know if those guys ring a bell.



holly jorgenson November 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

there is a Facebook page called “Boatnerds of Facebook”. there are over 2000 members of that page, many past and present crew of various boats. if you have access to it, it’s a great place to make contact with people.


Bill January 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I was on the Ryerson in 63, 64 and laid it up in 65. Engineers were: Hal Brown; Bob LaCroase; and Dion. Chief was Eino Karralala.


scott davis March 7, 2014 at 8:34 am

bill I was an oiler during 1963 on the ryerson ,my room mates name was leroy . I went homefor a vaction august or septem ber and my wife this kin d of life was over I don’t remember so I never returned. I don’t rember all the guys in the engine room , so maybe you could refresh my memory, it sure needs it. thanks

Louis Jefferson March 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Can u connect me with the lady that posted a message that your grandfather was her father-in-law., John Leeger (sp?). Thx!


RJ October 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Today I heard that it was going to be headed to scrap along with the American Victory, as the Indiana Harbor is going into long term layup at Frasier Ship Yard.


[dec] December 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm

The Ryerson & the American Victory were simply moved to other spots in order for Frasier Shipyard to work on their docks as they were in the way. I have not heard any rumors or found any news that the Indian Harbor will be going into long term lay up & they wouldn’t lay her up in Frasier as she would take up too much space. I also doubt they would lay up a 1000 footer over some their smaller ships in their fleet.


[dec] December 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

The Ryerson & the American Victory were simply moved to other spots in order for Fraser Shipyard to work on their docks as they were in the way. I have not heard any rumors or found any news that the Indian Harbor will be going into long term lay up & they wouldn’t lay her up in Fraser as she would take up too much space. I also doubt they would lay up a 1000 footer over some their smaller ships in their fleet.


Nick G March 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm

They better not scrap the ryerson and the victory! Two classics and my two favorite ships.


Charlie September 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Today is Sept 12 2013. This morning I noticed the Edward Ryerson is no longer in the slip in Superior where it had been tied up for the past several years. It left within the past week or so. Anyone know its destination? Hopefully a dock to take on a load of cargo, and not the the scrap yard. Charlie


holly jorgenson September 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm
William Oldham March 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Any word yet on the Ryerson? Do you know of a site where one might inquire? Thank you, Bill


Ryan August 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I would love to see any pics of this ship. It is my favorite of all the boats. I like seeing them all, and this is one I would love to get up close to. If anyone can email photos to rcarlson30@yahoo.com


Oliver Grin MD August 28, 2013 at 12:01 am

I was aboard the Ryerson in the early sixties and worked under Bob LaCourse a great guy! The Ryerson is the most beautiful of all the Lake Carriers!

Oliver Woodhouse Grin MD
Harbor Springs, MI


William Oldham August 1, 2013 at 7:10 am

My dad worked at the Manitowoc Shipyards and was a welder. I watched the Ryerson launch when I was seven years old and toured through it the next year at it’s commissioning. Will never forget it since it was over fifty years ago. There is a guy writing a book about the ship now. I am fortunate in that he sent me a stock of glossy photos of the ship inside and out. I hope to build an R/C model of the boat someday. It is a very handsome boat.


TheKGB April 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Here is a photo I took on April 20, 2013….more to follow.



Pat March 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Has anyone heard anything of the possibility of the Ryerson coming out of layup this year? I know the possibility seems slight.


Bob March 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

My Dad was chief engineer on the Ryerson for a total of 5 years. He said it will never be converted to a self unloader due to the cargo hold would not allow it. The Sykes was converted due to a different cargo hold design. As far as scraping it probably wont happen because Mittel Steel has to have a certain number of ships in its fleet even though they dont own any of the ships. He sailed for Inland from the mid sixties to around 2005. Sailed on the Randal, L.E. Block, P.D. Block, Sykes, Ryerson, E.J. Block, and finished his career on the Joe Block.


Glenn March 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I believe bob is correct. I remember reading somewhere that her hull design was to maximize the amount of ore she carried. Therefore she had straight sides in her hold rather than angled ones that made conversion to a self unloader easier. So to do a conversion on her = New cargo holds.


Bob March 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Bay Ship and Frasier both quoted Inland Steel to lengthen her. My Dad is not 100% positive but he thinks he remembers there was talk to also widening the Ryerson on both sides. Then it would be able to have the self-unloading cargo hold design. Not sure if I can post pictures on this site but I have a picture my Dad gave me with a couple Cat Bulldozers in the bottom of the Ryerson that he took years ago.


william wiseman jr October 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

my dad was chief steward aboard the ryerson.. loved watching her sail


chas January 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm



chas January 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Aren’t the Calloway/Munson/Anderson/ – oh hell, what’s the other boat in that family – all about to sink or be retired? There has to be a place for a refurbished Ryerson!


holly jorgenson January 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm

philip r. clarke?


Tristin (loves ships) April 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

Well, she is not as up to date as the other boats (including engine and self-unloader) and she is owned by a different company than the Calloway/Munson/Anderson/Clarke. She is owned by Mittal Steel who also owns the Wilfred Sykes and the Joseph L. Block.


Bob April 21, 2013 at 10:24 am

Actually a company called Marine Logistics owns all three ships! A foreign company like Mittal cannot own ships in the U.S.


Ali- a Duluth crazy girl :) January 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

anyone know about the status of the Ryerson right now?? i really hope she doesn’t turn into scrap!


Chris September 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

The Ryerson has NOT been converted to a diesel nor will she unless the economy picks up enough to justify running her, even then i dont see her being converted


Anders September 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

Chris I can definitely see her being converted to diesel and probably some sort of unique self unloader due to her square shaped hold.

One thing we have to remember with the Ryerson is that she is owned and operated by Central Marine Logistics. CML is a US based partner of ArclorMittal Steel and so would carry cargos for them. If converted I could see her making runs from the Iron Range ports down to Burns Harbor where they have hopper systems where she could unload. In recent history she was running ore to Dafasco Steel in Hamilton ON due to their shoreside gantry cranes used in unloading her. I believe she also made runs to smaller ports and was unloaded with dock side cranes (Astabula OH).

She will sit until needed or if there is a contract for cargo that suits her design. I don’t think anyone needs to worry about scraping.


Tristin (loves ships) January 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I agree with you Chris. First off, she doesn’t have a self-unloader and second off like you said she is not diesel which makes her just like the rest of the ships who were towed to the scrapyards throughout the last two years. So sadly, I think this is the end of the line for this beautiful laker. It would have been a pleasure to see her under the bridge under her own power. She looks like she’s bound for the scrapyards. :(


Joe Hanna September 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I heard a rumor that the Ryerson will be ,or has been converted to diesel. Does anyone know if this is true? What a shame!


chas thomes June 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

Can anyone tell us what the future of this boat is? Is there anything that will get this boat back in service? Ore shipments are strong, many ore boats looking pretty beat up these days, FIX ‘ER UP AND PUT HER BACK ON THE LAKE! Or at least make her available for tours . . .


Tristin (loves ships) June 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Sadly I think she is not needed along with the American Victory, American Valor, American Fortitude, J.A.W. Iglehart, and possibly the J B Ford


holly May 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

william, currently the ryerson is in layup at fraser shipyards in superior, wi (duluth-superior harbor), having arrived there on may 18, 2009.


William Seabloom May 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

I would appreciate an update on the location of the Ryerson and if a tour of the boat is a possibility. Our daughter in law Dr. Elizabeth Borer is granddaughter of the Ryerson for whom I believe the ship is named. He grew up in Duluth and the home is now a bed and breakfast.


steve March 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

my all time favorite boat! i was probably 11 when i first saw her sailing toward rock cut, beyond charlotte beach. i have several prints of watercolors of her, by jeannie taubman! she hangs on my livingroom wall, and will always hold a place in my heart! she beautiful!!!


chas thomes March 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

With the Calloway and Co. running out of time, fix the Ryerson. Cheaper than a new boat?


holly February 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm

agreed, james!


james zindler February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Lets hope the economy gets better so the Ryerson can get back to open water.


Eddy S. January 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm

The Ryerson is a beautiful ship, They won’t scrap her, The only reason she is in lay-up since 2009 is becasue they been waiting for the economy to improve better and the Iron Ore trade to improve better too. The other reason she is not out sailing is the Ryerson can’t hull other cargoes, the Only cargoe she can carry is Iron ore.

( The bulk carrier was built with one cargo in mind; that’s being iron ore. Her basically square boxed holds do not favor the carrying of such other bulk cargoes as coal, slag, or limestone due to the difficulty in unloading these cargoes.—- This is from her history page on boatnerd.


Amy December 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I hope she’s not scrapped, too! The Edward L. Ryerson is like a great work of art.


Tristin (loves ships) October 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

don’t scrap her. she’s too beautiful.


Nick September 29, 2011 at 9:20 pm

beautiful ship. hope she isnt scrap.


Suzanne September 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

We saw her sitting at Frasier this past week. She is so beautiful, but she is starting to look a little worse for wear. I hope they don’t scrap her.


a.g. wilson July 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I hope she isn’t scrap also. She surely is a beautiful vessel!


Anders July 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Does anyone know why it is still at Frasier? Doesn’t look like they have touched it in a while.

Hope it’s not scrap.


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