J. B. Ford

J.A.W. Iglehart

J. B. Ford was built in 1904, is 440 feet long and flies the U.S. flag

James L. Kuber
Previous names:
Edwin F. Holmes: 1904-1916
E.C. Collins: 1916-1959
J.B. Ford: 1959-
October 9, 2015—The J.B. Ford was towed across the harbor this morning, in preparation for scrapping.
Click here for pictures of that event

The J. B. Ford was built as the Edwin F. Holmes in Lorain in 1903. She started life on the Great Lakes hauling iron ore, coal and grain. In 1956, she was bought by Huron Cement Company for the purpose of hauling cement. In 1996, LaFarge Corporation, another cement company,  purchased her. After several years serving as a cement storage unit, she was towed to Superior, Wisconsin in 2001 to continue service as a cement storage unit (a humble job for a former Great Lakes freighter). After efforts failed to save her as a museum ship, her future is in doubt but as of Summer, 2015, she remains at a dock in Superior. Above pictures taken in September, 2008; below in March, 2006.


  1. The J B Ford is a wonderful time capsule. If anyone were trying to picture what cargo ships looked like during the 1905 storm take a glance at the Ford. Unlike the E. M. Ford of 1898 (rebuilt with new deck houses in 1950’s), the J. B. Ford still retained some of her original woodwork and cabins from 1903. If one were to removed the pilot house and oversize chart room, that remaining cabin is identical to her sister ship the Umbria. Old post cards show a badly damaged cabin from that storm.
    Once the J. B. Ford is gone one would need to go scuba diving to visit wrecks like the Superior City wrecked near Whitefish Point, to see a similar ship. The J. B. Ford was a fleet mate of her when it was called the E. C. Collins. If anyone has free time find more on my page http://www.steamshipjbfordhistoricalsurvey.org

  2. Robert Adlet says:

    Does anyone know the story behind the name “J. B. Ford” ?

  3. j.b. Ford is long gone we only can remember her in our hearts

    • Nate Rivard says:

      The J.B. Ford is still afloat and in tact as of 7/10/16 at the Azcon Scrap Yard slip. According to the Vista Star Tours, efforts are being made to make her a National Historic Landmark…. On the water. I hope they succeed, how can you destroy a ship still afloat that is older than the Titanic?

  4. What is this one I never seen this one before does anybody know this one

  5. My wife and I saw this ship at the scrap yard today, it’s I’m very rough shape. It looks nothing like these pictures. The entire stern is covered rust. It makes me wonder if the ship really could of been salvaged. I

  6. Where were we?

  7. Svenska Fisk says:

    It is set to be scrapped. They were unable to raise enough money to save it. 🙁


  8. Tristin (loves ships) says:

    Sadly the chance of this boat running again is very slim. 🙁

  9. i am going to save this ship need help any one.

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