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Hon. James L. Oberstar departs Duluth

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The Great Lakes freighter Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Tuesday afternoon August 4, 2015 to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She departed Duluth late morning the next day (above). This was her 6th visit to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 17 times last year. On most of her trips, she brought limestone in and then loaded iron ore pellets, usually here but sometimes departing for North Shore Mining in Silver Bay.

Hon. James L. Oberstar, Sept. 10, 1934 to May 3, 2014

The boat Hon James L. Oberstar arrived Duluth to salute the Congressman
Listen to her boat whistle as the Hon. James L. Oberstar sounded a full, formal Interlake Fleet Salute in honor of Mr. Oberstar. The Interlake Fleet Salute is 2 long blasts, followed by 3 short. The Captain will draw out the salute for full effect!  And, as is maritime tradition, the Bridge will return the salute.

Oberstar leaves a legacy to the Great Lakes

20110604_3088 James L. Oberstar died on May 3rd, 2014. He was our Congressman from 1974 until 2010. He served as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2006 until 2010. He was a true friend of Duluth, Minnesota, the Great Lakes and the shipping world.
20110524_2954 For his service to shipping on the Great Lakes, the Interlake Steamship Company renamed their boat, Charles M. Beeghly to the Hon James L. Oberstar in May, 2011. Interlake is in Cleveland but they brought almost the entire company up to Duluth on 3 airplanes for the rechristening on May 24, 2011. Duluth Mayor Don Ness was Oberstar’s campaign manager from 1997 to 2007. Here he is seated just behind Mr. and Mrs. Oberstar at the rechristening.
20110524_2949Oberstar’s wife Jean performed the official duty of renaming the boat with a bottle of champagne.
Behind her is James R. Barker, Chairman of the Board for Interlake and proudly watching  behind him, Congressman Oberstar.
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Above, Oberstar chats with Adele Yorde, PR Manager for Duluth Seaway Port Authority. Below, the boat was brightly decorated and looked great with her new coat of paint.
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Congressman Oberstar served Duluth with distinction. Thanks to Interlake Steamship, his boat will continue to serve Duluth and the Great Lakes for many more years.
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He was in Duluth in May, 2004 for the official decommissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard cutter Sundew.

Convoy here, three at a time

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Above, the Hon James L. Oberstar came in at 12:20, April 30, 2014. Right behind her was the Cason J. Callaway, and then the Thunder Bay
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Lined up to load pellets

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The Hon. James L. Oberstar came in to port early morning on Friday, September 20, 2013 to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She is seen here, in back, entering the Duluth harbor on her way to the Aerial Lift Bridge and Lake Superior with her cargo of pellets. Meanwhile, the Great Lakes Trader (unseen here) moved in to load iron ore pellets at the CN.  The Thunder Bay, in front of the Oberstar, had just arrived to load pellets. After the Great Lakes Trader departed with her pellets early Saturday morning, the Thunder Bay moved into the busy dock to collect her share.

Hon. James L. Oberstar comes to town

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On May 24, 2011, the Interlake Steamship Company renamed the M/V Charles M. Beeghly the Hon. James L. Oberstar, the recently retired United States Congressman from the State of Minnesota.

Oberstar back for 1st trip after her Duluth Christening

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Hon. James L. Oberstar is launched …

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… by Jean Oberstar, wife of the congressman. Behind her is James R. Barker, Chairman of the board for Interlake and behind him, Congressman Oberstar.
 

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Duluth mayor Don Ness sits behind the Oberstars. Before running for mayor, Ness worked for Congressman Oberstar.
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Duluth Seaway Port Authority Public Relations impresario Adele Yorde chats with the Congressman. Not so many years ago, Yorde worked in the congressman’s election campaign writing copy.
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I have taken 100’s of pictures of the Kaye E. Barker and today, I had the chance to meet and take the picture of the boat’s namesake, Kaye E. Barker (above). Likewise for James R. Barker, Kaye’s husband and Chairman of the Board of Interlake Steamship (below).
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The Hon. James L. Oberstar makes his …

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presence felt again in Duluth. The ‘boat’ was pulled to the dock behind the DECC for her re-christening on Tuesday, May 23, 2011

The Hon. James L. Oberstar arrives in the Twin Ports for her Christening…

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… and also, by the way, to load some iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth after the festivities on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. She arrived through the Superior entry at 7:09 on Sunday morning, May 22, 2011. She is seen above waiting at a Port Terminal dock for the celebration.

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As the Charles M. Beeghly, the boat was in the Twin Ports 152 times since 1996. Many consider her to be one of the prettiest boats on the Great Lakes. She was very popular with visitors to the Duluth ship canal, as you can see in the picture below that I took on August 30, 2008. (Click here for more information and pictures)

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Interlake renames Beeghly to MV Hon. James L. Oberstar

(from Interlake Steamship Company, March 7, 2010)
The Interlake Steamship Company is pleased to announce the renaming of the M/V Charles M. Beeghly in recognition of the Honorable James L. Oberstar, retired United States Congressman from the State of Minnesota. The Vessel will sail from layup this March as the M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar, and will be rechristened later this spring. Details of the rechristening will be released as arrangements are finalized. Congressman Oberstar is a distinguished Minnesota legislator and legislative leader who dedicated nearly half a century to service in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Oberstar’s tenure on Capitol Hill stretched over 36 years as a Member of Congress and 11 years as a senior Congressional aide. Most recently, he served as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he earned a reputation as Congress’ primary expert on transportation issues. Congressman Oberstar was a featured speaker at the christening of Interlake’s M/V Mesabi Miner in Duluth in 1977.
Congressman Oberstar’s exposure to the iron ore industry and Great Lakes shipping started at an early age, as his father was an ore miner. As a legislator, Congressman Oberstar was well known as a tireless champion of maritime issues, particular those on the Great Lakes. He represented Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, a region that depends upon Great Lakes shipping to move iron ore pellets to market, often through the westernmost Great Lakes port of Duluth, Minnesota.
Congressman Oberstar fought for adequate Great Lakes’ icebreaking resources to keep iron ore moving to the nation’s steel mills during the winter months, an effort that culminated in the 2006 launching of the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter MACKINAW.
He also worked to legislate funding for a critically needed second lock capable of handling the Great Lake’s largest 1,000’ long vessels at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the construction of which is now underway. Among his many other accomplishments, Congressman Oberstar was a vocal advocate for adequate and fair funding for dredging across the Great Lakes basin, a critical component to the efficient movement of maritime commerce across the Great Lakes.
The M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar (formerly the M/V Charles M. Beeghly) is 806’ long with a beam of 75’, and has a carrying capacity of 27,500 net tons. The Vessel was built in 1958 at the American Shipbuilding Company in Toledo, Ohio, and christened the Str. Shenago II in 1959. The Vessel has undergone numerous efficiency improvements, including a mid-body insert that increased its length by 96’ in 1972, conversion to a self-unloader in 1981, and repowering from a steam powered vessel to a diesel powered vessel in 2009.
“Interlake is honored to be able to recognize Congressman Oberstar’s service and dedication to our Country by naming a vessel after him,” stated Mark Barker, Interlake’s President. “Few legislators have made more contributions to Great Lakes shipping and the United States maritime industry.”
Click here to see many more pictures from Beeghly to Oberstar
The Interlake Steamship Company, headquartered in Richfield, Ohio, operates a fleet of nine self-unloading bulk carriers on the Great Lakes. Interlake, a family owned business, is one of the largest U.S-flag fleets operating on the Great Lakes, and carries approximately 20 million tons of bulk cargo throughout the Great Lakes annually. Those cargoes include iron ore, low-sulfur coal, grain and limestone. Interlake was founded in 1913, with roots that can be traced back to 1883.

Beeghly arrives to friendly crowd

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The Charles M. Beeghly arrived last night to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. The boat gave a double salute to acknowledge the large crowd that gathered to welcome it to Duluth (above). It was built in 1959 in Toledo and is 806 feet long, and is nearly identical to the John Sherwin, a boat that spent many years in the Twin Ports sitting idle. This is the 8th trip here this season for the Beeghly, more than the total trips it made in each of the last 5 years. Photo taken on August 30, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-31-2008

Charles M. Beeghly

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Two salt water ships should be coming under the Lift Bridge today. The Uta is expected in from the anchorage and the Beluga Expectation should be coming in sometime this morning. Both will load grain. Before 4 more salt water ships arrive on Friday, three thousand footers will be here today to load coal, the Paul R. Tregurtha, Indiana Harbor and American Integrity. The Charles M. Beeghly was expected in late last night to load taconite. Above, it is moving through the harbor on August 18, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-27-2007

Charles M. Beeghly at the Twin Ports

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The Charles M. Beeghly will be here today to load taconite pellets for Indiana Harbor. It is nearly identical to the John Sherwin, a boat that was recently towed to Fraser Shipyards for an evaluation after sitting idle in the harbor since 1981. In that same year, the Beeghly was converted to a self unloader so it is still on the lakes. The Sherwin did not get a self unloader and remains idle to this day. There is no word yet on whether the Sherwin will be upgraded so it can join the Beeghly again.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-13-2006

Beeghly at Fraser

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Eleven boats spent the winter in Duluth Superior. Six of them, including the Charles M. Beeghly, seen above in February at the Fraser Shipyard in Duluth, will be departing Duluth today, beginning their, and our, shipping season. The first Canadian boat of the season, the CSL Laurentien should also be here today. It will be the first boat to load taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior. All of this activity starts today because the Soo Locks will open one minute after midnight on Saturday morning. For the same reason, we will be welcoming the first boats from beyond the Soo early Sunday morning. It looks to be a race between the Paul R. Tregurtha and the Columbia Star, two thousand footers that make many trips to the Twin Ports each year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-23-2006

Charles M. Beeghly

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There is not much traffic left for this shipping season. The Roger Blough and the Edgar B. Speer were expected here late last night. The Charles M. Beeghly and Edwin H. Gott should be the 9th and 10th winter lay-up arrivals today. The James R. Barker left yesterday afternoon with coal for Marquette. It is expected back on Tuesday morning, the 11th and last arrival for winter lay-up and the last traffic of the season. There should be no traffic on Monday. Above, the Charles M. Beeghly departing Duluth last April.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-15-2006

Charles M. Beeghly returns

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The Charles M. Beeghly will be here today for the 6th time this season. It is very similar to the John Sherwin, a boat that was taken out of service in 1981. The Sherwin is still out, sitting at a berth in Superior. In the same year, the Beeghly was converted to a self unloader and remains a working boat on the Great Lakes, although it too was out of service from 1981 until 1984 because of the steep decline in the steel business in the early 80’s.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-13-2005

Charles M. Beeghly here for taconite

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The Charles M. Beeghly is very similar to the John Sherwin, a boat that was taken out of service in 1981. It has been sitting in water close by the Blatnik Bridge since. The Sherwin was not converted to a self unloader but the Beeghly was in that same year. As a result, the Beeghly is still operating on the Great Lakes, arriving here today to load taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-25-2005

Charles M. Beeghly arrives Duluth

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The Charles M. Beeghly (now Hon. James L. Oberstar ) is very similar to the John Sherwin, a boat that was taken out of service in 1981 and has been sitting in water close by the Blatnik Bridge since. The Sherwin was not converted to a self unloader. The Beeghly was converted to a self unloader in the same year, and as a result, is still operating on the Great Lakes. It should be here today to load taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/10/2005

Beeghly enters Duluth ship canal

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The Charles M. Beeghly will be here today for the 6th time this season. It is very similar to the John Sherwin, a boat that was taken out of service in 1981. The Sherwin is still out, sitting at a berth in Superior. In the same year, the Beeghly was converted to a self unloader and remains a working boat on the Great Lakes, although it too was out of service from 1981 until 1984 because of the steep decline in the steel business in the early 80’s.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-25-2004

Beeghly in Duluth harbor

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The Charles M. Beeghly will be here today for the 5th time this season, loading taconite for a lower lakes port. The boat was originally built for the Shenango Furnace Company, but in 1966, that small fleet was disbanded and the Shenango was sold to the Interlake Steamship Company in Cleveland. It was renamed for a man who started working at the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company as a clerk and a salesman and ended up as Chairman of the Board. Photo taken July 8, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-06-2004

Charles M. Beeghly

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The Charles M. Beeghly is very similar to the John Sherwin, a boat that was taken out of service in 1981 and has been sitting in water close by the Blatnik Bridge since. The Sherwin was not converted to a self unloader. The Beeghly was converted to a self unloader in the same year, and as a result, is still operated on the Great Lakes. It should be here now discharging limestone and will load taconite before departing Duluth. Photo taken June 12, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-01-2004