Robert L. Pringle (Tug), 1915
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Looking back to the last half of the gay 1890s, there are still many Clevelanders that remember and talk about the grand little ferry steamers that carried passengers between their dock at the foot of Superior Street and the noted summer resort Euclid Beach, six miles east of the river.
They were pretty little boats, painted white with trimmings with lettering a bright red. On alternating trips they carried many thousands of passengers, who fondly nicknamed them the Euclid Beach Tubs. Standing at the docks one got a three-quarter front or rear view, making them look rounded like a tub. They were both of the same dimensions, 98 feet long and 29 feet beam. Built at Cleveland in 1890 for ferry service on Lake Superior, between Duluth and Superior, they naturally got the names of DULUTH and SUPERIOR.
They remained on Lake Superior until May 25, 1895, when they were placed on the Cleveland- Euclid Beach route under Cleveland ownership, and continued to carry the pleasure seekers up to 1901, when no doubt many of the old timers wonder what became of them. Again they traveled far to other waters to carry loads of passengers.
This time the twins were separated and the Duluth was taken over by T.C. Ewing of Escanaba, Michigan, where she was used as a ferry along the bay until 1905. In 1906 she was sold to R.L. Boynton of St. Ignace, Michigan, and in 1910 the name was changed to CITY OF CHEBOYGAN, under the ownership of Island Transportation Company of St. Ignace. During these years she ran between Cheboygan, St. Ignace, Mackinac Island and Pte. Aux Pins. In 1924 the Duluth was again sold, reconstructed and renamed the CITY OF PORT HURON in June 27, 1924, and placed on the Sarnia-Port Huron ferry route at the head of the St. Clair River. The sturdy old wooden tub remained in daily service until 1939 when the route was abandoned because the new bridge connecting these cities was completed. She lay partly submerged a few years ago on the Sarnia bank and by now may have been scrapped.
In 1902 when the Duluth left Cleveland the Superior went back to her old stamping ground, Duluth, and was sold to the Union Towing Company who sold her in 1905 to the Pittsburg Steamship Company. She was used as a supply ship at the Soo through 1915, when she was sold to the Pringle Barge Line Company of Detroit. Converted into the tug ROBERT R. PRINGLE she towed barges along the rivers until May 6, 1920, when she burned at Stag Island below Port Huron and was beached. A 48-year life, not bad for a wooden tub.
April 1946 p. 129
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- William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes