American Mariner will take taconite out

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Six boats were recently sold by the Oglebay Norton Company in Cleveland to American Steamship in Buffalo. With that sale came 6 name changes. It has been hard to keep track of the changes. One change was a little easier because the renaming happened at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. There, the Courtney Burton became the American Fortitude. The other 5 boats received new names at the same time at other shipyards around the Great Lakes. Each new boat name started with American. The 5 had these second names: Valor, Integrity, Century, Courage and Victory. The American Mariner will be coming into port today to load taconite pellets for Indiana Harbor. It has been the American Mariner since it was launched by American Steamship in 1980, although when construction started on it, the name was to be Chicago. Photo taken June 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-27-2006

American Mariner to start season

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The American Mariner, which has spent much of the winter in dry dock at the Fraser Shipyards in Superior (above), should finally go out to make a living, in this case, loading taconite at Two Harbors for Zug Island, Michigan. Zug Island is a man made island in River Rouge, Michigan, just south of Detroit, and the home of a steel plant now owned by United States Steel. That leaves the Reserve as the only remaining tenant from the winter. In early March, it was sold by the Oglebay Norton Company to K&K Warehousing in Menominee, Michigan.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/6/2006

Earl W. Oglebay delayed in Duluth

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The Earl W. Oglebay was set to depart its winter berth at Fraser Shipyard today, leaving only the Reserve and the American Mariner still in port from the winter layup. It was going to go to Silver Bay to load taconite, but two thousand footers got on the Silver Bay schedule, pushing the 630 foot boat off the list, or at least down. The Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, the 60 year old cutter, is still breaking thick ice on each side of the Soo Locks in Whitefish Bay and in the St. Mary’s River. Some folks at that end of the Lake are blaming our end of the lake for all their ice. Instead of east winds bringing the ice to us, west winds have sent ice eastward to the Soo, although we didn’t have much ice to send. The crew aboard the Mackinaw are not complaining. The ship will be decommissioned in June and turning the ice breaking duties over to a brand new Mackinaw. They were afraid they would not get any ice breaking in before the ship becomes a museum. While we will not see the old Mackinaw again, we can be proud that we sent them enough ice to give the Mighty Mac one last shot before it retires.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/1/2006

American Mariner prop inspection

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When the James R. Barker leaves sometime today with its second load of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan, there will still be 10 boats at their winter layup berths in Duluth Superior. One of them is the American Mariner, above. It was in dry dock at the Fraser Shipyard in Superior, allowing workers to check on the boat’s prop and rudder.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-17-2006

American Mariner welcomed

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The American Mariner makes its 7th visit today. The name comes from the owner, the American Steamship Company of Buffalo, and the crew on the boat. It was supposed to be called the Chicago when it was launched in 1980 but at the last moment, the name was changed to American Mariner. Photo taken July 18, 2000.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-29-2005

American Mariner visits many ports

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The American Mariner has visited these Great Lakes ports so far this year: Ashland, Ashtabula, Charlevoix, Cleveland, Conneaut, Drummond, Escanaba, Grand Haven, Green Bay, Harbor Beach, Indiana Harbor, Lackawanna, Lorain, Marquette, Meldrum Bay, Monroe, Munising, Muskegon, Ontonagon, Port Inland, Presque Isle, Sandusky, Silver Bay, South Chicago, Stoneport, Superior, Toledo, Zug Island and Duluth. Photo taken June 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-29-2005