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Calumet makes first visit of the shipping season

• Jul 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Three vessels visited the port of Grand Haven since my last article.

Last Wednesday evening, Grand River Navigation’s self-unloading motor vessel Calumet arrived with a load of asphalt sand for the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg. The Calumet tied up shortly before dusk and was gone before sunrise the next day.

Early Friday morning, Port City’s articulated tug/barge Bradshaw McKee/St. Marys Conquest came in with a cargo of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. The pair was backing out to Lake Michigan before midnight.

Interlake Steamship Co.’s self-unloader Kaye E. Barker closed out the ship traffic for the week when it arrived Saturday morning with a cargo for the Verplank dock. The Barker was in port for most of the day and departed in the afternoon.

The Calumet was visiting for the first time this season. It was built as the William R. Roesch in 1973 by the American Shipbuilding Co. of Lorain, Ohio. Managed by Kinsman Marine Transit, it was named in honor of the president of Jones and Laughlin Steel Co., who eventually became president of U.S. Steel Corp. He died in 1983.

There was a photo gallery published on the Tribune website last week that included several photos of the Calumet visiting Grand Haven in the 1980s as the Roesch.

After a series of owners and managing companies, the Roesch wound up in the Oglebay Norton fleet and was rechristened as the David Z. Norton in 1995.

In 2007, the Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Co. purchased the Norton and shortened its name to David Z. During this time, it was operated by Lower Lakes Transportation. 2008 saw Lower Lakes Transportation purchase the vessel and rename it the Calumet.

The freighter is named after the Calumet River in Chicago and replaced an older vessel of the same name in the fleet. It is 630 feet long; 68 feet, 2 inches wide; and 36 feet, 11 inches deep. It has a capacity of 19,500 tons, with an unloading boom that is 260 feet long. The Calumet is powered by two 5,600-horsepower Alco 16V251E diesel engines that allows the vessel to operate at a speed of 16.1 knots. Additionally, it is equipped with a bow thruster.

Watch for the Wilfred Sykes at Meekhof’s D&M and the Saginaw at Verplank’s later this week.

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