Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

 

… was built in 1977, is 1000 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

Previous names:
Belle River: 1977-1990
Walter J. McCarthy Jr: 1990-

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The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was built in 1977 by Bay Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay. She is owned by the American Steamship Company of Buffalo. The McCarthy comes to Duluth/Superior about once a week throughout the shipping season usually loading low-sulfur western coal at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior. It takes her about 9 hours to load the boat with coal, which she usually takes to Detroit Edison.
There she unloads it and returns to Superior for more coal. It is about a 5-day round trip. Her original name was Belle River but it was changed to her present name in the spring of 1990 when Mr. McCarthy retired from his position as Chairman of the Board of Detroit Edison, the company that operates Midwest Energy Resources in Superior where the McCarthy usually loads. She made 32 trips to the Twin Ports in the 2012-13 shipping season.
Above, she arrives under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 11, 2009
2016
The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. departs under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on December 20, 2016 on her way to deliver coal she just loaded at Midwest Energy Resources to Presque Isle, Michigan.
2015
Above, the McCarthy departed Duluth on September 19, 2015; below on September 27, 2015
2013
Above, she arrived Duluth on July 29, 2013
Above and below, she departed Duluth on August 5, 2013
2012
Above, she is at her winter layup berth in Superior, on February 13, 2012; below, she is arriving Duluth April 10, 2012 on her first trip back to the Twin Ports after layup,  coming in to load coal at Midwest Energy.
Above, she is loading iron ore pellets at the Two Harbors dock while the John J. Boland waits her turn to do the same thing. Nick Stenstrup took both pictures.
2008
The tug North Carolina is pulling the McCarthy away from her winter layup dock at Hallet #8 in Superior on April 8, 2008. The tug Kentucky worker her stern. Upon arriving for layup on January 14th, she hit a submerged object, receiving significant damage.
2007
I took the picture above on May 5, 2007, arriving at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior just in time to watch the crew performing a required safety drill with one of their lift boats. Below, seagulls signal her arrival at the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 15.
2006
Above, she is loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources on October 22, 2006; below, she departs Duluth on December 9.
2005
Above, she brings some ice to Duluth on January 5th; below she departs July 1 in much better weather
Thousand footers always attract a crowd, as the McCarthy in the photo, above, taken  July 31st, 2005. Below she was the first boat to come under the Lift Bridge after the Vlieborg crashed into the side of the pier just in front of our office on August 24th, 2005.
2004
Above, she loads coal at her usual place at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. She will take the coal to Detroit Edison power plants. Detroit Edison owns Midwest Energy. Below, a couple hours later, she left Duluth to take her cargo to Detroit.
I took the picture above of the McCarthy on Saturday, August 14, during the 2004 Bayfront Blues Festival.  The McCarthy entered stage left as I was looking over the shoulder of New Orleans drummer Bernard “Bunche” Johnson. He was on drums for John Mooney and his Bluesiana Band. Happily, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority saw it and put it on their calendar the next year. That calendar was in almost every place of business in Duluth. It was fun, for the year, to be able to make small talk anywhere in Duluth, oh, by the way, that is my picture up there. I don’t think I gained anything but it was fun.
Above, she arrives Duluth on August 1; below, she arrives under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on November 3.
2003
The McCarthy is closely watched as she departed the Duluth ship canal on April 21, 2003
2002
Above, she sits at her winter layup  berth at the Port Terminal
Above, she is loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior on April 26, 2002; a little later, she is departing Duluth with coal for Detroit Edison.
2001
Above, she made a rare trip to the Burlington Northern dock in Superior to load iron ore pellets on May 3, 2001; below, she leads the Vista King out the Duluth ship canal on July 4, 2001
Above and below, she is departing Duluth on September 12, 2001; above approaching the Lift Bridge, below, just passing under the bridge.
2000
The children in the 4th grades at Homecroft School made a visit to the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. on May 2, 2000 while she was loading coal at Midwest Energy in Superior. Here two of them hear all about the ship from First Mate Bill Stirton. In the back, Third mate Alan Flood looks on. In the right of the picture, you can see Channel 4 Photojournalist Dave Stokes getting tape for the evening news.
1999
Above, the McCarthy arrives Duluth on June 17, 1999; below, she is turning the corner to move up the Duluth harbor after coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on November 2, 1999.