Thursday, January 09, 2014

Col. James M. Schoonmaker / William P. Snyder Jr.

Who am I?

Thanks to Ted Wilush for identifying the ship as either the Col. James M. Schoonmaker or the William P. Snyder Jr. Both ships were built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works and primarily sailed for the Shenango Furnace Company. The Col. James M. Schoonmaker was launched July 1, 1911 and the William P. Snyder Jr. was launched January 27, 1912. The Col. James M. Schoonmaker was chartered to the Wilson Marine Transit Company for the 1965 shipping season. In 1969 the ship was renamed the Willis B. Boyer and sold to the Interlake Steamship Company. She was chartered by the Republic Steel Corporation and sailed for them until 1971 when she was sold to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. They operated the ship until 1980 when she was laid up for the final time. In 1986 she was sold to the city of Toledo, Ohio for use as a maritime museum. She arrived at International Park in Toledo on June 25, 1987 and was restored. The ship was re-christened the Col. James M. Schoonmaker July 1, 2011 – 100 years to the day after she was first launched! The city of Toledo could no longer afford the upkeep on the ship and in October 2012 the Col. James M. Schoonmaker was towed to her new home at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. In 1966 the William P. Snyder Jr. was chartered to the Interlake Steamship Company and then sold to them at the end of the shipping season. The ship was sold to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in 1971 who sailed her for several years before selling the ship in 1983 to American Bulk Shipping, Inc. of Los Angeles, California for use as a container vessel. The new owner defaulted on the payment and the ship was returned to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. The William P. Snyder Jr. never sailed again and was sent to be scrapped in 1986. If you would like to see a photo of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker being towed to her new port, please click here. If you would like to see a color photo of the William P. Snyder Jr. taken by Harold Fricke, please click here.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Who am I?

Thanks to Ted Wilush for identifying the ship as the Eskimo. The ship was built by the Davie Shipbuilding Company for the Canada Steamship Lines and launched on April 27, 1959. The Eskimo was sold to Transport Desgagnes, Inc. in 1980 and renamed the Mathilda Desgagnes. The ship proved very versatile and in addition to the many destinations she visited in the Great Lakes she also journeyed to ports in the Artic, Florida, Texas, New York, Portugal, and Nigeria. In January of 2007 the Mathilda Desgagnes was acquired by Transcomar Shipping in Port au Prince, Haiti and renamed the Gisela. Please click here to see another photo and additional information about the Eskimo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

USS Sablefish

Today I noticed that I had not posted once in 2012. Thankfully I am still able to add a new message before the year ends!

The site still is very active and I continue to receive e-mail messages as well as comments from all over the world concerning the ships depicted. Whether the message is from an “old salt” himself, a descendent or someone who fondly remembers watching the ships go by as a kid it just proves that although these ships are long gone they are not forgotten.

The sole picture for this year will be neither a mystery or even a ship but a submarine! The USS Sablefish plied the Great Lakes in 1959 and returned in 1961. The photo shows her on the St. Clair River. The submarine was commissioned on December 18, 1945 and decommissioned on November 1, 1969. If you would like to learn more about the USS Sablefish please click here.

Don’t forget to check back now and then! While there may not be many new posts there will always be corrections, updates and maybe even an identification or two!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Charles S. Hebard / Charles A. Paul

Who am I?

Thanks to Ted Wilush for identifying the ship as either the Charles S. Hebard or the Charles A. Paul. Both ships sailed for the Wilson Transit Company. The Charles S. Hebard was launched in 1906 while the Charles A. Paul was launched in 1907. The Charles S. Hebard toiled the Great Lakes until 1965 when it was sold to the Medusa Portland Cement Company for use as a dock. The Charles A. Paul started life as the General Garretson for the Gilchrist Transportation Company. The ship was acquired by the Wilson Transit Company in 1913 where she was first renamed the E.J Kulas in 1935, the Powhatan in 1936, the Charles A. Paul in 1937 and finally the B.F. Jones in 1956. The ship was scrapped in 1973. If you would like to see a color photo of the Charles S. Hebard, please click here. If you would like to see another photo of the Charles A. Paul, please click here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mystery Ship

Who am I?

This ship appears to have run aground. Does anyone know where and when this photo was taken?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fairmile B Motor Launch

Who am I?

Thanks to an anonymous visitor this Mystery Ship may finally be identified! The ship appears to be a Fairmile B Motor Launch. Approximately 650 motor launches were built between 1940 and 1945 with most of them going to Great Britain’s Royal Navy. Thirteen different companies in Canada built 80 of those 650 boats. If you would like to learn more about the Fairmile B Motor Launch and the role it played in World War II please click here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Raise The Flag?

What does this picture depict? It appears that a fleet flag is higher than the American flag! The man on the right looks to be raising a pennant with the number 1223. Is this a ship number? The man on the left seems to be to be raising a Union Jack. Does any of the activity correspond with the passing ship? The photo was taken at Belle Isle in the 1960's. The ship is the Shenango II.

Thanks to Anonymous for clarifying what is transpiring in the picture. The United States flag is being flown from a flagpole with a gaff. As the gaff is a place of honor in a flagpole configured in this manner the United States flag is always flown from the gaff. Further information can be found here. The flagpole is still located on Belle Isle just outside the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. The color picture of the flagpole was taken during the summer of 2013.