The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Willowglen (Propeller), C393816, 1982

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Mesabi (1943) ==> Lehigh (1943) ==> Joseph X. Robert (1981) ==> Willowglen (1982) ()

WILLOWGLEN, P.& H. Shipping bulk carrier, acquired from the bankrupt Soo River Line in 1982. .

* "The last of the Maritimers to come from the [Great Lakes Engineering Works] Rouge River yard was hull number 295, a `B1' style vessel built as the MESABI. It was renamed LEHIGH (III) in July, and delivered to the Bethlehem Steel Corporation on Nov 1, 1943. She was sold to the Soo River Company in 1981, (the first Maritimer to sail under a foreign flag), and renamed JOSEPH X. ROBERT. In 1982 she was sold again, this time to the P&H Shipping Co., and renamed WILLOWGLEN. In service 1990." (Wiening Reflections, 133)

"* "The American Ship Building Company proposed to build vessels at a cost of about $1.97 million each. Their plans, designated by the Maritime Commission as L6 S A1, included a radical new cruiser stern design which had not yet made an appearance on the Lakes. In addition, the plans... included use of a rather unusual Lentz-Poppet compound steam engine, for which the American Ship Building had acquired the license to manufacture in the United States.

Great Lakes Engineering Works, on the other hand, retained a more traditionlal stern and featured a considerably larger smoke stack. Their quotation amounted to approximately $2.2 million each for the vessels. GLEW's design also incorporated a more traditional 2500 hp triple-expansion engine, just about the most powerful triple-expansion engines ever fitted into steamboats. The Maritime Commision gave these plans the designation L6 S B1...." (Wiening Reflections, 126)

* "Since the sixteen vessels were ordered by the [United States Maritime] Commision basically for their own account, they received the nickname `Maritimers', a catch phrase which took hold and remained in use throughout their lives." (Wiening Reflections, 127)

* "On Apr. 27 [1987], as Willowglen was downbound making the pier above the MacArthur Lock at the Soo, strong winds caught her and blew her clear over to the Poe Lock. She hit the wall hard, opening up a 12-foot crack in her bow. Temporary repairs were completed at the old Carbide Dock below the locks. Then on Apr. 30, as Willowglen was downbound off Detroit River Light, Captain John E. 'Jack' Hartley, 60, was stricken in his bed and was pronounced dead by the time he was rushed from the boat to a Windsor hospital. He had sailed for 42 years and had come to P. & H. Shipping from the old Soo River Line." (Lake Log Chips, v15 #26, May 16, 1987)

* "Scanner reports that Willowglen grounded off Port Colborne on Nov. 26 [1987] and was still there the following day." (Lake Log Chips, v16 #16, Jan. 9, 1988]
      Record courtesy Lachlan MacRae

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Willowglen (Propeller), C393816, 1982