Great Lakes Towing guides 1902 steamship to Buffalo


The following is the text of a news release from The Great Lakes Towing Company:

(CLEVELAND) — The Great Lakes Towing Company was contracted by The SS Columbia Project to tow the 113-year-old “Boblo boat” SS Columbia from Toledo, Ohio, to Buffalo, N.Y., where the SS Columbia will be docked for the next year for restoration.

The SS Columbia Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore and enable the SS Columbia to serve as a cultural flagship reconnecting New York City to the waterfront cities and towns along the Hudson Valley where excursion steamboats were long a familiar sight.

The towing company’s 2,400-hp twin-screw tug Michigan arrived in Toledo overnight. With the assistance of the towing company’s harbor tug New Jersey, the tug Michigan, with the SS Columbia in tow, departed Toledo on Tuesday morning bound for Buffalo.

With a rich history of its own, surpassing 116 years, the towing company is proud to assist SS Columbia during its journey to restoration and a second century of service.

For decades SS Columbia and its sister ship the SS Ste. Claire ferried thousands of passengers from Detroit to Boblo Island Amusement Park. The vessels largely sat unused and unprotected after they were decommissioned in 1991.

The SS Columbia, built by the Detroit Dry Dock Co. in 1902, will receive a proper welcome in Buffalo on Wednesday as the vintage steamship moves to the next stage in its restoration.

By Professional Mariner Staff