1000 Foot Keel

Native Americans have used the lakes for thousands of years, but the development of sailing vessels and freighters have taken commerce to unimaginable levels.  The first European commerce took place in the late 1600’s, resulting in the first sailing vessel casualties on the lakes in 1679 (Frontenac on Lake Ontario at Cape Enrage and Griffin on upper Lake Michigan).

Early sailing vessels were eclipsed by wooden steamers.  These vessels expanded as iron and steel technology advanced.  Today  massive 1000 foot freighters that now dominate the lakes trade, first appearing on the water in 1972.  Dan Hall’s song celebrates these goliaths as they ply our inland seas, delivering millions of tons of coal and iron ore to ports all around the mid-west.

  • American Integrity (1000′×105′)
  • American Spirit (1004′×105′)
  • American Century (1000′×105′)
  • Edgar B. Speer (1004′×105′)
  • Edwin H. Gott (1004′×105′)
  • James R. Barker (1004′×105′) 
  • Mesabi Miner (1004′×105′)
  • Paul R. Tregurtha (1013′6″×105′) Largest vessel on Great Lakes
  • Stewart J. Cort (1000′×105′) First 1000 footer on the lakes
  • Burns Harbor (1000′×105′)
  • Indiana Harbor (1000′×105′)
  • Walter J. McCarthy Jr. (1000′×105′)

Tug/barge combination: Presque Isle (1000′×104′7″)