Tuesday, October 29, 2019

SS Alpena/Leon Fraser Laker

(a ship tracker, another tracker)

See Old Lakers for some other "bridge on the bow" boats that I have seen.

A view of the stern of the sister ship Fairless shows it "pushing water."

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District posted
Happy 75th Birthday [in 2017] to the Grand Old Lady of the Lakes. The oldest freighter still operating on the Great Lakes launched on this day [June 21] in 1942 as the Leon Fraser and was the longest boat on the Great Lakes at the time. She was shortened in 1991 for a new career as a cement carrier but is still one of the most popular and beautiful boats on the lakes. Three long and two shorts to the Alpena!
[BoatNerd [Updated link]]

Michael Konczak posted
Leon Fraser at Fraser Shipyards waiting to be converted to the Alpena, November 1989. Photo by Michael Konczak
[The elevators in the background are the  Cenex-Harvest States Grain Cooperatives.]

(new window) This video has an informative narration, so it has earned a position near the beginning of the notes.

Leon Fraser was retired from iron-ore service in 1982. Her four sister ships of the 1942 "supers" class were scrapped in the 1980s. But this ship was shortened, converted to a self-unloader and renamed Alpena for starting cement service in 1991. [DuluthNewsTribune]

She hauls cement to the Twin Ports about once a month. [DuluthShippingNews (lots of photos)]

More about the recent fire mentioned in the above  video  This article implies that it is still a steamship. That would explain why it has "one of the loudest whistles on the lakes."

[The aft winch suffered an electrical fault (short) and there was no circuit breaker per 1941 codes. By today's code, a circuit breaker would probably have prevented this fire. "(According to the Coast Guard, planned postaccident modifications to the Alpena would feature additional circuit protection in accordance with current regulations.) "]

Steve Vanden Bosch posted four photos with the comment: "Mail Delivery Early 1900's on the Detroit River to the Alpena."
[But this was not the converted Leon Fraser. This one was built in 1909 by Detroit Shipbuilding.]




Michigan Film Photographer Karl Wertanen posted
The classic "Alpena" (1942) downbound on the St Clair River headed for Detroit Lafarge 10/11/19.
Oldest freighter on the lakes.
As always... I'm grateful for those who take the time to like and share my images! I appreciate your support!
Archival Fine Art Prints starting at $20!

Bob Biaggio posted two photos with the comment: "The Alpena departing Green Bay September 16, 2019." (source)

David Kaye posted three photos with the comment: "Happy River and Alpena meeting in the Soo Harbor.  10-24-19"



Jim Hoffman posted
The Leon Fraser downbound at the Soo. She sails today as the cement carrier Alpena. Photo taken by Jim Hoffman.
Liam Hoffmann commented on Jim's posting
(new window)

Alpena downbound Leaving the MacArthur Lock. 10-24-19
[The end is worth watching because it is riding high and you can see the top of the rudder and some propwash.]

David Kaye posted two side views of the Alpena.

Drone photo of Alpena arriving in Alpena for the Lafarge Cement Plant. It is a cement plant. It looks like they have three older rotary kilns and two newer ones.

1995 Flickr of Alpena west of the Skyway

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