First was the arrival of Central Marine Logistics’ self-unloading steamship Wilfred Sykes on Thursday, June 7. The Sykes traveled upstream to the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg and unloaded a cargo of slag, departing in the early evening.
On Tuesday morning, Port City Marine’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest came in with a load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg.
With just a few cargoes brought in by frequent visitors recently, this is a good time to profile all the docks that we have in Grand Haven.
As you come upriver from the lighthouse, the first dock on the right is Government Basin. This dock serves U.S. Coast Guard Station Grand Haven and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when they have boats in port.
The first two docks after that are both on Harbor Island.
The Board of Light & Power plant is where our coal cargoes go. The coal piles that you see at the power plant were mined in West Virginia and transported to Toledo, Ohio, by rail, where it is then loaded onto ships.
The BLP produces synthetic gypsum as a byproduct of the coal-burning process. It is trucked out of the plant daily, except on weekends.
Next is Meekoff’s D&M dock, which usually has 2-3 piles of material stockpiled at a time.
A little farther upriver on the left is the former Construction Aggregates dock. This dock used to export sand and was last used in 2009. Usage of this dock declined in the 2000s, but from 1988 to 2000 it averaged 26 outbound shipments of sand.
Around the curve of Harbor Island, the rest of the docks are on the north (Ferrysburg) side of the river.
Before Verplank’s, there is a pipeline. There used to be several liquid product companies that were based out of Ferrysburg. Atlantic Richfield, Murphy Oil and Pyramid Oil used to all be serviced by tankers via the pipeline at the western end of Verplank’s. As activity dwindled, the dock was referred to as Koch Fuel. This dock last saw activity in 1991.
The St. Marys Cement terminal silos are where our cement boats go to unload. Traditionally, it takes a cement boat about 24 hours to discharge a full load at the terminal.
Currently, on both sides of this dock is Verplank’s, which has various piles of material, ranging from salt to slag.
In the early 2000s, D&M used the dock space between the cement silos and the railroad swing bridge. Before that, the space was occupied by Grand Haven Materials, established sometime before 1977. Cargoes of potash and urea were unloaded into silos that have since been demolished.
As of now, there are no vessels scheduled into Grand Haven for the next week or so. Keep watch on marinetraffic.com for any potential ships coming to our port.