A group of dedicated volunteers in America have celebrated the 100th birthday of the Great Lakes bulk carrier Willis B. Boyer by rechristening the historic ship under her original name, Col James M. Schoonmaker. When launched by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan in 1911, Schoonmaker was proclaimed to be ‘The World’s Largest Bulk Freighter’ and carried a record 12,650 net tons of coal from Toledo, Ohio to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The 613ft by 64ft vessel maintained her crown as ‘Queen of the Lakes’ for another three years while carrying additional record cargos of iron ore and rye. In 1969 the ship was renamed Willis B. Boyer during a change of ownership and in 1986 was purchased by the City of Toledo, Ohio for operation as a museum. During 2010 the 15,500dwt vessel was put though a major drydocking and restoration. JS


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