Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin

Saginaw was built in 1953, is 639 feet long and flies the Canadian flag

Previous names:
John J. Boland (3): 1953-1999
Saginaw (3): 1999-
The Saginaw(3) was launched as the John J. Boland(3) in 1953 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. They also built a sister boat to the Boland, the John G. Munson. The Boland carried mostly limestone and coal until she was laid up in the 80’s.  In the early 90’s, American Steamship made some improvements and she was back  on the lakes until they laid her up at Fraser Shipyards in late 1998 (above and just below).
102299-108In October, 1999, she was sold to Lower Lakes Towing. I went over to Fraser Shipyards on October 22, 1999 to walk the deck (above) of the old John J. Boland as she was in the process of becoming the Canadian flagged Saginaw. I went down to the engine room and saw someone on his knees working on the boat’s engine. He was Scott Bravener (inset), the president of Lower Lakes Towing, the company buying the boat. He is reading a copy of the Duluth Shipping News in the picture, just to make sure I was who I said I was. (I was.)  All the company’s owners are licensed officers. At any time, you might find any of them in the captain’s chair in the pilot house of one of their boats or at their desk back in headquarters.
Two days later, the tug Roger Stahl came to town to tow the boat to her new home in Sarnia, Ontario. The next spring, she was back in Duluth with a new name and the gray and white colors of Lower Lakes Towing (below).


  1. I remember the towing of the ship.

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