Stewart J. Cort

 Statesboro

Stewart J. Cort was built in 1972, is 1000 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

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2007Nov27_5737PRODThe Stewart J. Cort was launched in 1972 in Erie, Pennsylvania. The bow and stern of the Cort were built in Mississippi. The two pieces were connected,  making her a navigable vessel able to make the trip to Erie under its own power. There she was split back into two sections and a midsection was inserted.  She was the first of 13 thousand footers to be built for Great Lakes service. At her launch she was 270 feet longer than any other laker on the Great Lakes. Her pilothouse, galley, and crew accommodations were at the bow of the boat, the only 1,000-footer on the Great Lakes built that way. A unique cargo unloading system was placed in her stern. It is a short shuttle that extends over the side of the boat, allowing her to discharge cargo very fast but limiting her only to docks that can accommodate it.
She was named in honor of an officer of Bethlehem Steel. She made 33 trips to the Twin Ports in 2010, loading taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior on every visit. During the 2012-13 season, the Cort made 41 visits to load at Superior.
Picture above taken Tuesday, November 27, 2007.
2017
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The Cort arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge early afternoon on May 3, 2017
2015
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Above, as she came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on April 3, 2015.
2013
Click below to watch a video of a rare Duluth departure of the Cort, on August 25, 2013
[KGVID width="560" height="315"]http://duluthshippingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cort2feb2016.mp4[/KGVID]
2012
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The Stewart J. Cort came in the Duluth entry today (April 2, 2012). (images above and below)
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2011
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I used to have a segment on Lisa Johnson’ Northland Morning program on KUMD in Duluth, every Thursday morning at 8:15. Halfway through the segment on July 14, 2011 (usually about 5 minutes long), as I was doing the show by phone from my office next to the Lift Bridge, I noticed the Stewart J. Cort going by my window, a happening that hardly ever happens. I went nuts and started to cry (almost) when I realized I could not go out and get a picture of this rare event. Happily, Lisa gave me permission to leave the show and get my picture, which you can see above. When I returned, I called the station and she was kind enough to let me back on and pick up where I left off. So that day’s show was in two parts. Just below, you can listen to part 1. Below that is part 2.
2007
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Picture above taken Tuesday, November 27, 2007: Since the Cort almost always loads taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior, she seldom comes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.
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The Cort spent the winter of 2006-07 in layup at what was then the St. Lawrence Cement dock in Duluth (now the CRH US cement dock). It is much easier to get pictures since she was not a moving target. I took the picture above shortly after she arrived in port, on January 15, 2007; below on March 12, and below that I was back 2 days later to catch her unique bow.
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2003
Picture below taken Thursday, August 21, 2003 while she was docked at the BN in Superior
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2002
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Picture above taken Tuesday, January 1, 2002 as she came in to port by way of the Superior entry, on her way to the dock at Burlington Northern; below, minutes later as she move to the BN Dock to load iron ore pellets.
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Below, taken on Monday, July 15, 2002 as she backed away from the BN Dock to turn and depart via the Superior entry.
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2001
210326-132On March 26, 2001, Port Authority official Captain Ray Skelton presented a plaque to Captain Dennis Cotty of the Stewart J. Cort recognizing the Cort for being the first ship of the 2001 shipping season to arrive in the Twin Ports after transiting the Soo Locks at the eastern end of Lake Superior. Outside, below, the crew was getting ready to load 45,000 tons of iron ore pellets destined for Bethlehem Steel in Burns Harbor, Indiana. You see the discharge arms moved out and over the cargo holds and about to start loading iron ore pellets. She wintered in Milwaukee prior to making her trip to the Port of Duluth-Superior.
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Twin Ports Visits since 1996
1996 39
1997 41
1998 44
1999 46
2000 48
2001 46
2002 44
2003 45
2004 46
2005 46
2006 48
2007 42
2008 37
2010 33
2011 40
2012 41
2013 39
2014 36
2015 40

Comments

  1. Dennis Scully says:

    I had just graduated from Gannon in May 1971. Not having a clue about what to do about a job, I stopped in at the Employment office and was sent down to the Stewart Court to paint. Glenn Summers, Gannon basketball star, must have been in the “same boat” as I , having just graduated himself or was looking for summer work , was there. There were also some others. We worked no more than a week, when we were let go. I never knew why, except that maybe we were non union or something.

  2. My grandfather designed and managed the construction of the Poe lock in Sault Ste. Marie. The Cort was his favorite ship and she was the first to run through his lock. I’m very excited to have found this site!

  3. Marian Entley says:

    My step father George Dunbar(1926-2013) was second cook on the Cort. Over his 46 year career the majority of his time was on the Cort. His maritime credentials logged every arrival and departure of his employment. I gave it to the Erie Historical Museum this January 2014 along with a huge collection of memorabilia from George’s lifetime on the Great Lakes. Up until late in 2013, George had a handle on each boat, who owned it and who was among the crew. Any time at all George recall in great detail his time aboard the M/V Stewart J.Cort, the M/V Lewis Wilson Foy and the days climbing the hill from Erie’ s Cascade Docks to visit with my Mom Sally
    Upon their marriage in 1983; George moved from Buffalo, Ny to Erie, Pa and lived at West 2nd and Plum Street; though every season he was one of the first crew at Fit out and one of the last to leave because the crew had to eat! He cleaned and polished the stainless steel galley every day. He also acted as porter to several of the professional crew with great pride of all that sailed with him. He retired in 1998 at 70 1/2.

    • I know i am a little late. I thank you for your contribution to the page. Any chance you have any pictures of your step father and/or the Cort, especially before 1996. I could add them above and use your note above as a caption.
      Thanks again
      Ken

  4. Marian Entley says:

    My step father George Dunbar(1922-2013) was second cook on the Cort. Over his 46 year career the majority of his time was on the Cort. His maritime credentials logged every arrival and departure of his employment. I gave it to the Erie Historical Museum this January 2014 along with a huge collection of memorabilia from George’s lifetime on the Great Lakes. Up until late in 2013, George had a handle on each boat, who owned it and who was among the crew. Any time at all George recall in great detail his time aboard the M/V Stewart J.Cort, the M/V Lewis Wilson Foy and the days climbing the hill from Erie’ s Cascade Docks to visit with my Mom Sally
    Upon their marriage in 1983; George moved from Buffalo, Ny to Erie, Pa and lived at West 2nd and Plum Street; though every season he was one of the first crew at Fit out and one of the last to leave because the crew had to eat! He cleaned and polished the stainless steel galley every day. He also acted as porter to several of the professional crew with great pride of all that sailed with him. He retired in 1998 at 70 1/2.

    • Donna Grein says:

      My father was chief steward on the Cort, Bill (Dick) Grein for the last years of his career. He spoke fondly of George Dunbar, his second cook. My mother, Gerry, made many trips with my dad on the Cort. He passed away in the winter of 1987 at age 56 just a few months short of retirement.

  5. Mina Grin Nemrava says:

    I would love information about Freddie Korn (spelling?), He worked with my father (Oliver Grin) for Cleveland Tankers on the Meteor and others. My father passed away in 1973 but I always remember how kind Freddie was to us.

  6. I am 63 years old now, I worked on both the cort and Presque Isle. I have bean in every place that a human could fit on both of those ships. I was a facility installations Mach. Did you know that before the cort was crisond it was called Hull 101. presque was hull 102. they changed the color of the presque we painted it black you can see that where the paint is rubbed off on the sides. many many stories about them to be told. It is a grate thing to be able to say I worked on them, I am very proud. O and the cort still looks pritty good for its age. I wish I could say the same for me.

  7. I was involved in the design of the Cort’s material handling system. In fact I held several patents on that system including the rotary elevator , the hold gates and others. I spent a lot of time in Erie when the ship was being built and was on board when it took its first trial trip around lake Erie, I was also on board when the unloading system was tested at 20,000 TPH.
    If possible I would like to receive some comments on how that system has worked after 40 years of operation.
    A couple of months ago I received a phone call from someone who wanted to talk to me about the Cort. Unfortunately I was feeling very bad that day at 89 years old and wasn’t talking to anyone. I regret that action and would apologize to that unknown individual if I could contact him.
    Thank you for any information you can give me about the Cort.

    • did you work on the splicing of the main convayor belt I was on Art thomas crew and was involved in cutting and splicing the belt I have some storyes ta tell ya about that. Calvin

      • I didn’t work on the splicing of the belt. I was always working on the design of the system,however I’d be glad to hear any stories that you have. Thanks

        • First off thanks for replying Fred. I have been wanting for years to talk to some one about this.I dont think very many people beleive me when I say I worked on them. I worked from start to finish on both. When Erie marine started shutting down though I was only one of about 15 men left. There use to be a big blue print 5 feet by about 3 feet of the midbody on the wall in the pipe shop, I have it to this day. please excuse my spelling Fred I wasnt good in english in school. We used cables and a big air powered winch on the deck above the unloading wheel where we cut a hole about 10 feet by 12 feet. The belt came in rold up about 100feet at a time. The final pull was the hardest we had to pull as much slack as possible out of the belt . We lost it once on the last pull the cable broke, the weight of the belt pulling on the back side of the unloading wheel when falling got that huge wheel rotating and it pushed the belt near the bottom of the ship.It took quit some time and work to pull it out. What would you like to know about it Fred. Calvin

          • I walked the belt looking for a snag that had occurred in it back in the winter of 75/76 when some work was being done on the ship’s dented plates. It is hard to explain to some people that the Great Lakes waves have enough power to make serious dents in 2″ thick steel plate. I worked for the chandler and repair facility at the time. The Cort is an amazing ship and I do not know a single man (or Woman) that worked on her that did not take pride in building, repairing, or sailing her on the Great Lakes.

        • calvin e webber says:

          When you designed the system is there a lever or some thing that runs on the edge of the belt and controls the cylinders to keep the belt tracking straight. I cant remember

    • calvin e webber says:

      one day I was about 1 hour before the end my shift the forman came to me and ask if I would work a double shift. Thay needed to get work done on the belt so thay could start testing it. So me and two other men had ta go down in the port tunnel about three modjuls back from the bow and work on some hydrolic cylinders and parts that had to do with making the belt stay lined up. we worked 24 or more hours straight on that project. Fred, was there a roller hooked to some sort of arm that ran on the edge of the belt that controled the cylenders that kept the belt lined up? I cant remember if there was or not Calvin

  8. Lisa Bertolo says:

    My father was a ship welder for Litton Industry in Erie Pa when the Cort arrived to have the mid section installed. My father also welded the Presque Isle and had also designed the tug for it.

  9. Thanks for all the info. She’s docked in our port at Milwaukee right now and I was curious. Interestingly a friend was just posting from balmor some Bethlehem steel artifacts.

  10. LYNN ROBINSON says:

    My Dad work on her also , when we where kids he took us on a tour , and we where so impressed by the microwave oven in the galley lol . I would LOVE to visit her again , when and if she comes to our port . I will never forget some of the stories he told us about this ship , she has a very specail place in my heart and I am glad she still sails today . Huggs to all

  11. david a senger says:

    hello i work on the cort as a welder way back as she was being bult in erie pa. id love to get a tour whean she in port

    • calvin e webber says:

      how long did ya work there david, and did ya work on the presque also. I didnt like the presque because the tunnels wher alot smaller you had to walk bent over all the time or you would hit your head. You must be getting up there in age also I was pretty young then and im 63 now. Calvin

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