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
The Edward L. Ryerson has been in long-term layup in Superior, WI since 2009.
Click here for other pages featuring the Edward L. Ryerson
Many 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. She came to the Twin Ports 20 more times that season. In each case, she loaded iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe dock in Superior.
Above the Edward L. Ryerson came in for layup at Fraser Shipyard on May 18, 2009, reflecting a bad economy especially within the steel industry. She has remained in layup in port ever since (January 26, 2016).
A month earlier, she was here on April 20, 2009 to load iron ore pellets at the BN. Below, in the Duluth harbor departing two days later after loading blast furnace trip at the Hallet #5 dock in West Duluth. She took the cargo to Hamilton, Ontario.
Above, she made an unexpected stop in the Twin Ports on April 5, 2008 to get some minor repairs at Fraser Shipyards in Superior.

Above and below, the Ryerson is coming into port on November 3, 2008 for  an early winter layup,  a sign of a poor economy, and in this case, a sign of trouble in the steel industry since the Ryerson carries iron ore. She had an extended layup between 1998 and 2006.
Above and below, she arrived Duluth on July 1, 2007 to load iron ore pellets. It was her 11th trip that season. She used the Superior entry on the first 10 trips.
Below, she made a quick return 3 days later needing some repairs.
Above, she came in using the Superior entry on August 27, 2006. Below she moves into the Burlington Northern Santa Fe dock to load iron ore pellets.
Below, I visited her after she had docked.
260827-1-230Before September 3, 2006, the Edward L. Ryerson had not come through the Duluth piers since May 17th, 1998. She was on its way to the Burlington Northern Taconite Facility in Superior when Captain Eric Treece (right) realized he would have to wait for the CSL Tadoussac to clear the berth. He diverted to the Duluth entry, much to the delight of 100’s of boat watchers at the ship canal (below).
Below, on November 11, 2006, she was back again.
A closer look while she is in extended layup
Above on February 22, 2008; below on November 2, 2012
Below, March 13, 2013 at Fraser
More pictures from Fraser, on July 15, 2013


  1. Saw something thing on boatnerd about tariffs on steel imports. I hope this will increase domestic production which would require more ore, and hopefully the old girl will be back again!! Would love to see her in that run to Dofasco again now that I am on the St. Clair river again.

  2. Just saw her in layup I think at the Tower Ave Slip in Superior. My family was in Superior for lunch and we were heading back to the high bridge when we saw a ship sitting at the end of the road, so we went to see who it was and it was this pretty girl. My mom took a couple pictures but has yet to send them to me.

  3. Christian B says:

    This ship is SO ELEGANT! But what is this beautiful ship in Layup

  4. craig genson says:

    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 says:

      Cant get enough of this page and the Ryerson had a great time with Capt. Eric Treece and the crew especially my friend (Potsie) Guy Curtis

    • Lana L eeger says:

      My late father-in-law was the Captain of the Ryerson in the 70’s after James Shoesmith retired. My husband and I were lucky enough to take a “cruise” aboard The Ryerson in 1976. It was one of my most memorable vacations !

      • Louis Jefferson says:

        Nice to hear from you. I sailed with your Father-in-law for 9 years on the Ryerson I was with him when the Fitzerald sank. We had to anchor for 3 days in the Chicago Harbor before we could go to Indiana Harbor. We hit bottom going into Chicago. Lou jefferson

    • Richard Kohl says:

      Just returned from Alaska to real life in Wisconsin. Sailing on this wonderful old girl is on my bucket list.

  5. craig genson says:

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

  6. Louis Jefferson says:

    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

  7. Gene Onchulenko says:

    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.

    • Gene,
      The Reyerson sailed Aug. 4, 1960 from Manitowoc, WI to Escanaba, MI to load iron ore for Indiana Harbor, IN on its maiden voyage. My source is the book Freighters of Manitowoc by Tom Wenstadt Page 284. Hope this helps you. My father in law and great uncle helped build this boat, both my wife and I saw this boat launched. We still love to see it.

  8. Here is a new pic of its new location.


  9. 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.

    • Wayne Oien says:

      My Father was on the Ryerson in 1962. I believe he was an oiler. I got to spend the night on it while it was loading. I was only 9 years old but the ship is truly special to me.

  10. jake madden says:

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

  11. 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 .

    • 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

      • 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

      • 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 says:

          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.

        • 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 says:

            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 says:

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

  12. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Oliver Grin MD says:

    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

  16. William Oldham says:

    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.

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


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

  19. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 says:

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

  20. right!

  21. 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 says:

      philip r. clarke?

    • Tristin (loves ships) says:

      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.

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

    • All of those ships are still running the lakes as of today, 12/1/15.

  22. Ali- a Duluth crazy girl :) says:

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

  23. 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

    • 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) says:

      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. 🙁

  24. 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!

  25. chas thomes says:

    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 . . .

  26. Tristin (loves ships) says:

    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

    • Well as of September 2015 the J.B. Ford was towed across the Duluth Harbor to the Azcon scrapyards in Duluth. She is still waiting her fate

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

  28. William Seabloom says:

    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.

  29. 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!!!

  30. chas thomes says:

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

  31. agreed, james!

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

  33. 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.

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

  35. Tristin (loves ships) says:

    don’t scrap her. she’s too beautiful.

  36. beautiful ship. hope she isnt scrap.

  37. 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.

  38. a.g. wilson says:

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

  39. 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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