The Canadian-flagged Cuyahoga was inbound early Thursday morning with a load of trap rock from Bruce Mines, Ontario. The “Hog” traveled up the Grand River to the Verplank dock in Ferrysburg, unloaded and was backing out to Lake Michigan before noon.
Interlake Steamship Co.’s self-unloading motor vessel Kaye E. Barker arrived late Sunday morning with a load for the Verplank dock. The Barker’s cargo was stone that was taken aboard in Port Inland, Michigan. After unloading into the evening, the Barker departed at around sunset.
The Cuyahoga was visiting for the second time so far this season. It was the 13th visit of the season for the Barker.
The Cuyahoga has been sailing the Great Lakes since 1943. It was built at the American Shipbuilding Co. in Lorain, Ohio, as the Mesabi and entered service for the Great Lakes Steamship Co. as the J. Burton Ayers. During its career, the vessel spent time under the banners of Wilson Marine Transit, Kinsman Marine and then the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Co.
In the 1990s, the Ayers was often subject to early layups due to its small size. Amid rumors of being sold for scrap, the vessel was purchased by Lower Lakes Ltd. in 1995 and renamed Cuyahoga.
The small size of the Cuyahoga was the reason it was laid up so often in the ‘90s, but that is now an advantage for the venerable carrier, as it frequents ports with narrow rivers. One such river is the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, for which the vessel is named.
We may see the arrival of a vessel at the power plant in the next week or so.