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Hon. James L. Oberstar departs Duluth

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.
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.
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.
He was in Duluth in May, 2004 for the official decommissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard cutter Sundew.

Convoy here, three at a time

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

Lined up to load pellets

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

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


Hon. James L. Oberstar is launched …

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

Duluth mayor Don Ness sits behind the Oberstars. Before running for mayor, Ness worked for Congressman Oberstar.
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.
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).

The Hon. James L. Oberstar makes his …

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…


… 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.

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)