Bulk Freighter Maricopa, circa 1900-1910

This Detroit Publishing Company photo of the bulk freighter Maricopa comes with little information. The Library of Congress dates it as “between 1900 and 1910.” There’s no photographer name and no location. It’s even filed as “S.S. Merick [sic] of Duluth,” for some reason.

According to information compiled by the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library in Michigan, the Maricopa was launched in July of 1896 and remained on the Great Lakes until Aug. 20, 1974. During that span it had at least six different owners and five names.

1896-1937 – Maricopa
1937-1940 – John P. Geistman
1940-1945 – E.E. Johnson
1945-1963 – Altadoc
1963-1974 – D.B. Weldon

Additional info:

  • First load was iron ore out of Two Harbors
  • Christened by the daughter of the mastermind behind Chicago World’s Fair
  • Was a concern of Duluth companies most of its useful life
  • Stored only grain in its waning days

From the Buffalo Commercial, July 3, 1896:

From Great Lakes Ships We Remember, p. 276:

1896 Maricopa 1962 (1974)
Steel Great Lakes bulk freighter

Built at Chicago by Chicago Ship Building Co., Hull 21
Launched July 2, 1896
425′ LOA, 406′ LBP, 48′ beam, 28′ depth
2 decks, hold beams, 12 hatches @ 24′, coal-fired boilers, triple expansion engine, 1600 IHP

Enrolled at Cleveland July 29, 1896 (#11)
406.0 x 48.2 x 23.4, 4223.57 GT, 3669.85 NT US 92736 to:
Minnesota Steamship Co., Cleveland OH, Pickands Mather & Co., Mgr. (home port Ashtabula OH)
Fleet owned by Minnesota Iron Mining Co. (parent company controlled by J. P. Morgan’s Federal Steel Co. 1900-1901)

Entered service 1896
Fleet merged spring 1901 into Pittsburgh Steamship Co., Duluth MN, a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, A. B. Wolvin, Mgr. (home port to Duluth MN)

Cargo hold rebuilt 1923 to arch construction at Conneaut OH by Pittsburgh Steamship Co. Remeasured to 3979 GT, 2966 NT

Sold 1936 to John P. Geistman, Duluth MN
Transferred 1937 to International Transportation Co., Duluth MN, John P.
Geistman, Mgr. and renamed John P. Geistman 1937
Transferred 1938 to Geistman Steamship Co., Duluth MN

Sold 1939 to Lakehead Transportation Co., Fort William ON (home port to Port Arthur ON)
Enrolled Canadian at 412.2 x 48.2 x 23.3, 4281 GT, 3200 NT Can 171063
Renamed E. E. Johnson 1940

Sold 1943 to Great Lakes Lumber & Shipping Ltd., Fort William ON
Sold 1945 to Paterson Steamships Ltd., Fort William ON and renamed Altadoc (2). (home port to Fort William ON)
Fleet renamed N. M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. 1951.

Sold 1962 to Goderich Elevator & Transit Co., Goderich ON for grain storage in Goderich harbor.
Renamed D. B. Weldon (1). Towed to Thunder Bay ON in 1974 and scrapped.

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