American Integrity

American Fortitude

American Integrity was built in 1978, is 1000 feet long and flies a U.S. flag

American Mariner
Previous Names:
Lewis Wilson Foy: 1978-1991
Olglebay Norton: 1991-2006
American Integrity: 2006-

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American Integrity moves into Lake Superior just after leaving the Duluth ship canal.The American Integrity is the former Oglebay Norton. The name change happened when she and 5 of her fleet mates were sold by the Oglebay Norton Company in Cleveland to American Steamship in Buffalo in June, 2006. This is not the boat’s first name or owner change. She was built for Bethlehem Steel Company in 1978 at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin as the Lewis Wilson Foy. As the Foy, she made her maiden voyage to Superior, where she took on a load of iron ore pellets for Burns Harbor, Indiana. In 1991, she was sold to the Columbia Transportation Company of Cleveland where she became the Oglebay Norton. She is one of 13 thousand foot long boats on the Great Lakes. She usually comes to Duluth to load coal, taking it to Detroit Edison although she also takes coal to Lake Superior ports such as Muskegon, Marquette and Silver Bay. She loads a couple cargos of iron ore pellets a year. The American Integrity made 34 visits to Duluth during the 2012-13 season. Picture above taken Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Aboard the Alder on March 12, 2015, I took this picture of the Great Lakes Towing Company tugs North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Minnesota are already in open water. Behind them, the American Integrity spent the winter at the Port Authority dock at Holcim Cement. Moving behind the American Integrity (below), we see her twin propellers out of the water, waiting for ballast water to be added before she headed under the Blatnik Bridge and over to Midwest Energy Resources where she would load coal for St. Clair on April 9th (2 below), putting her deep in the water and ready to start a new season.
American Integrity makes the turn from the Duluth harbor toward the Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, August 1st, 2008 was an otherwise beautiful morning as Captain Pat Nelson moved his 1,000-foot American Integrity around the turning buoy in the Duluth harbor and toward the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. He was standing outside his pilot house when American Integrity departs Duluth while being fired upon by the Pride of Baltimorehe noticed deck hands on the Pride of Baltimore swabbing one of their on-board cannons that just happened to be pointed at his boat. He quickly moved inside just before the cannon fired (inset shows the Pride of Baltimore firing her cannon on another visit to the Twin Ports). (Click pic to enlarge) Of course, there was no cannon ball launched; just a very loud boom and a lot of smoke. It was the start of the Duluth Maritime Festival. When asked if that was the first time his boat had ever been fired upon, Nelson responded, "Yes, from a cannon." Over the years, his boats have been fired upon with slings shots and pea shooters, and once, from a sailing ship, a barrage of water balloons.
American Integrity turns into the Duluth harbor
Picture above taken Saturday, May 2, 2009
American Integrity slides by the tug North Carolina
Picture above taken Wednesday, May 28, 2008
American Integrity goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift  Bridge
Picture above taken Saturday, May 17, 2008
American Integrity entering Duluth ship canal with ice on her hull and birds in the air
Picture above taken Saturday, December 8, 2007
Picture above taken Thursday, May 17, 2007
Picture above taken Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Picture above taken Monday, July 17, 2006
Picture above taken Sunday, December 4, 2005
Picture above taken Friday, July 29, 2005
Picture above taken Sunday, October 10, 2004
Picture above taken Saturday, July 10, 2004
Picture above taken Saturday, July 10, 2004
Picture above taken Monday, January 5, 2004
Picture above taken Monday, January 5, 2004
Picture above taken Monday, January 5, 2004
Picture above taken Monday, December 1, 2003
Picture above taken Monday, September 29, 2003
Picture above taken Monday, July 7, 2003
Picture above taken Thursday, December 26, 2002: Split Rock Lighthouse from the Oglebay Norton
Picture above taken Wednesday, December 25, 2000: Christmas dinner on the Oglebay Norton
Picture above taken Thursday, June 6, 2002: approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
Picture above taken Saturday, May 18, 2002: entering the Duluth harbor
Picture above taken Thursday, May 3, 2001
Picture above taken Tuesday, December 12, 2000: arriving Duluth in winter
Picture above taken Saturday, October 2, 1999


  1. So much confusion with the ships names. I’m looking through them as I found out my uncle works for CN, when I notice the American fortitude is the former Courtney Orton and the American Integrity is the former Olglebay Norton. But while looking at pictures of the two I see one of AF as the Court and it looks like the name Olglebay is being sanded off… Please explain?????????????????

    • Shaina, the name of the company which owned the Courtney Burton was Oglebay Norton Marine. They also owned the ship named Oglebay Norton (now named American Integrity). In the picture where they are sanding the ship, they are removing the Oglebay Norton company name, in preparation for changing the ship name to American Fortitude. I hope that helps.

  2. I meant to say the American Spirit DID salute as she arrived just before the Integrity left!

  3. Why is the American Integrity not saluting? It arrived last night after 9:00 and again at 11:43 a.m., it did not salute the bridge again? What is going on — the American Spirit as she arrived port just before the Integrity left!!

  4. Austin loves ships says:

    She went by the edge hotel , we watched from are balcony

  5. Jwold, for the Integrity and her sisters or near-sisters (American Century, Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., Indiana Harbor, and Burns Harbor), maximum draft carrying a full load of coal would be about 28′ or 28.5′ with around 65,000 metric tons (metric ton = 2,204 lbs) or 72,000 short tons (short ton = 2,000 lbs) of coal aboard. For taconite they’re listed as able to carry up to 80,900 long tons (long ton = 2,240 lbs) or 82,200 metric tons at a draft of 34′ – 0.75″.

    The Integrity and similar footers almost never load to either maximum capacity, as they’re typically limited to drafts of 26′ to 26.5′, the standard maximum draft through dredged channels at ports around the Great Lakes as well as tight spots such as the St. Mary’s River, Lake St. Clair, and the southern stretches of the Detroit River.

    Salties have the same 26′ – 26.5′ draft restrictions as they transit both the aforementioned areas around the upper Great Lakes as well as the Welland Canal and dredged channels along the St. Lawrence River between Lake Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Smaller salties that visit the system (like most of the Wagenborg, HHL, or BBC ships) often have a draft of around 26′, so they can carry their maximum capacities of around 8,000 – 12,000 metric tons at a time on the Great Lakes. Most larger salties, from Wagenborg’s A-borg class and BBC’s Ems / Oder class on up through pretty much every Fednav, Canfornav, and Polsteam ship, have maximum drafts between 32′ – 35′ and so are carrying less than their maximum capacities while they’re on the lakes. The largest salties that transit the system (called “handy lakers” in world shipping circles) are 620′ – 656′ long, 77′ wide or so, and are operated by the likes of Fednav, Canfornav, Polsteam, and a handful of other companies. They can carry between 19,000 – 23,000 metric tons of cargo on the lakes and between 30,000 and 37,000 metric tons of cargo at a maximum draft in deeper water. Larger salties that can only load to a 26′ draft at ports on the Great Lakes often top off with more cargoes once they get to deeper channels downstream of Montreal.

  6. Beautifule ship! What is the draft of these thousand footers when they leave fully loaded with ore or coal? Same question for the salties do they have A limit coming through the welland?

  7. First vessel I ever saw. :) And favorite.

  8. Tristin (loves ships) says:

    I was very lucky to see the A.I. come into the canal in Duluth. Not everyone gets to see that.

  9. I particularly enjoyed the picture of Split Rock Lighthouse taken in 2002 from the deck of the Oglebay Norton (American Integrity now). How often does one get that view! It is spectacular!!!

  10. Enjoy this lake freightor a lot. It is a fantastic boat. Especially seeing it enter the Duluth Harbor.

  11. John Lanpher says:

    What a fabulous boat. We traveled thru the UP about a year and a half ago on a lighthouse tour. We also took a boat ride thru the Sioux Ste. Marie locks. While in the locks, we were along side a 1000 footer that was upbound. We saw many 1000 footers and were very impressed as this was our first time seeing them.

    We used to live in Minnesota and would visit Duluth harbor alot. My Dad and I would come up to the the lift Bridge in the 50’s as a kid. We now live in Colorado, so this was a treat. Someday, we hope to be able to tour a 1000 footer.

    • Same experience… My Dad and I would race down the hill when we saw a boat coming in. Great memories… Great Dad. Living in Milwaukee now, I still return to Duluth to do the same thing with my wife.

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