The Joe Thompson turns into the CN dock

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The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson came in the Superior entry last night (September 28, 2011) at 10:32. The barge has a long and interesting history but the tug did the good stuff today. After pushing the barge next to the Graymont Dock to discharge limestone, the tug disengaged from the barge and went over to get fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock. That finished, she returned to her other half, reconnected and after the discharge was completed, departed Graymont and moved up the St. Louis River early this morning and made her turn into the CN dock to load iron ore pellets.
Across the river, you see the sprinklers at Midwest Energy Corporation keeping the coal dust down. The start of their dock is at the left side of the picture. With gale warnings for Lake Superior, she may be in town a while even after her cargo holds are loaded. (Click pics for larger images and about the vessel.)
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Joseph H. Thompson kicks up some ice fog

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The tug barge Joseph H. Thompson departed Duluth on Sunday morning sending some birds from the thin ice into the air. With a cargo of iron ore pellets in the barge, it was completing its 23rd trip here this season. It was only here 15 times last year and 5 the year before that. When it moved out of the ship canal and into Lake Superior, the crew no doubt saw the Polish owned Irma at anchor, a sight we have not seen much this season. No other boats were active in the port. Late last night, the Kaye E. Barker was expected to pass by the Irma on its way to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal for Marquette. The Irma was expected to come in at first light this morning. Photo taken on December 07, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-08-2008

Joseph H. Thompson has lively history

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The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson (seen above entering the Duluth harbor in 2005) is due today with a load of salt. This is the 19th trip here this season but only the 5th one with salt. It usually brings in limestone. As today, it has almost always departed with a cargo of iron ore pellets, sometimes from the CN dock in West Duluth, other times as today from the BNSF dock in Superior. The barge part is still most of the hull of a boat built in 1944 as the Marine Robin. It crossed the Atlantic several times during the war and was one of the many boats used in the Normandy invasion. In 1990, the vessel was turned into a barge when the stern and part of the hull were removed. A tug was built from the steel that was removed and was then inserted into a notch built into the back of the barge.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-03-2008

Joseph H. Thompson has much history

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The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson (seen above arriving in August, 2002) is due today with a load of limestone. This is the 12th trip here this season. It was one of the first boats of the season when it arrived on March 29th. The barge part is still most of the hull of a boat built in 1944 as the Marine Robin. It crossed the Atlantic several times during the war and was one of the many boats used in the Normandy invasion. In 1990, the vessel was turned into a barge when the stern and part of the hull were removed. A tug was built from the steel that was removed and was then inserted into a notch built into the back of the barge. Photo taken on July 02, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-18-2008

Joseph H. Thompson has long history

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The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson is due today with a load of limestone. After discharging that cargo, it will load taconite at the Burlington Northern before departing the Superior entry. The barge part is still most of the hull of a boat built in 1944 as the Marine Robin. It crossed the Atlantic several times during the war and was one of the many boats used in the Normandy invasion. In 1990, the vessel was turned into a barge when the stern and part of the hull were removed. A tug was built from the steel that was removed and was then inserted into a notch built into the back of the barge. It was here 14 times in 2003, and has been making fewer trips since then, coming only 5 times last year. This is the second trip this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-27-2007

Joseph H. Thompson arrives

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The Joseph H. Thompson arrived on Thursday afternoon (above) with a load of limestone. It will complete that and then load taconite before departing sometime today. It started life in 1944, crossing the ocean several times in the war effort. Today the vessel is a tug barge combination. The barge part is still most of the hull of the boat built in 1944.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-15-2005

Thompson built in 1944

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The Joseph H. Thompson started life in 1944, crossed the ocean several times in the war effort and was present for the Normandy invasion. Today the vessel is a tug barge combination. The barge part is still most of the hull of the boat built in 1944. In 1990, a major renovation took place. The stern and part of the hull were removed, creating the barge. A new tug, the Joseph H. Thompson, Jr., was constructed out of steel that had just been taken out of the hull of the original boat.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-13-2004

Thompson has long history

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The Joseph H. Thompson should be here this morning to load taconite. It is a tug-barge combination. The barge has a long and interesting history. Among other things, the barge part was previously the hull of the Marine Robin, a ship that was at the Normandy invasion in 1944.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-08-2004