American Fortitude was built in 1953, is 690 feet long and flies a U.S. flag
Ernest T. Weir (2): 1953-1978
Courtney Burton: 1978-2006
American Fortitude: 2006-2014
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|In Nov. 2008, the American Fortitude entered long-term layup in Toledo.
On November 26, 2014, the American Fortitude left Toledo under tow of the tug Evans McKeil, presumably destined for a scrapyard in Brownsville, Texas.
She laid up in Oswego, NY for the winter of 2014-2015. On May 14, 2015, she arrived (under tow) at IMS, Port Colborne, Ontario, to be scrapped.
The American Fortitude was built as the Ernest T. Weir in Lorain in 1953 as a vessel in the National Steel fleet. In 1978, Oglebay Norton bought the boat and renamed her the Courtney Burton. Three years later, a self unloading boom was added to her deck giving her a new and longer life on the Great Lakes. Without the addition, she would probably have seen the scrap pile sometime in the 1980’s.
|The Courtney Burton was laid up for two years in Toledo in 2003 but was back out working the Great Lakes to open the 2005 season. She took over the route run by both the Joseph H. Frantz and the Kinsman Independent, taking wheat from Duluth Superior to Buffalo. Above, she is loading wheat at General Mills in Superior.|
|The Courtney Burton came into port in early June, 2006, with a load of limestone that she discharged. She was set to go over to load a grain cargo when she was diverted to Fraser Shipyards (above and below) in Superior to get refitted to become the American Fortitude, now sailing under the ownership of American Steamship Company. They had just finalized the purchase of 6 boats from the Oglebay Norton Company.|
|Above, departing Duluth on August 15, 2006, below, arriving on November 5|
|Above on September 22, 2005|
|Above and below, taken on July 6, 2002|
|Picture below taken August 11, 2002|
|Picture above taken August 18, 2001|
|Picture below taken while she departing Duluth in May, 1998|