Tag Archives: First autumn snow

Arthur Anderson Enters Duluth in First Autumn Snow (30 Oct 2023)

Here is the SS Arthur Anderson coming into Duluth during the first snow of the season. It is quite something to see and, as comments indicate, a taste of winter to come. The Anderson did not come in on November 10 this year (the anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald) so this will have to do. I have appended the one from 2020 so you can see it here.


  • SS Arthur M. Anderson was launched February 16, 1952, making her one of the oldest Laker type ships currently serving on the Great Lakes. Lakers are bulk carrier vessels designed to carry large amounts of ore, grain, coal from the areas where they are mined or grown and transport them to the industrial areas for production. Laker ships (called boats) are designed for Great Lake use only and do not operate beyond it. The shipping season usually lasts from around late March till late December or Mid-January depending on the ice.
  • She is named for Arthur Marvin Anderson, who a was director of U.S. Steel and served on its finance committee. He was also vice-chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co. at the time.
  • Over the years the Anderson has undergone several refits including adding a new 120-foot (37 m) midsection that allowed here to increase her tonnage to 26,000 tons. A self-loading boom was added to aid in loading and unloading. A softer midsection prohibits her from loading as much cargo as others. She is one of three Great Lakes Fleet (the operator) steamships with this limitation.
  • On 10 November 1975 the Anderson was in close proximity with the Edmund Fitzgerald and the last to speak with its captain before it sank and reported its disappearance After docking, the U.S. Coast Guard asked its captain, Jesse “Bernie” Cooper, to go back out to search for the missing ship. Captain Cooper was hesitant knowing the ferocity of the storm but went out anyway. Captain Cooper believed the Fitzgerald had grazed the bottom at some point allowing her to take on water that led to its demise later.
  • In February 2015 the Anderson was stuck and stranded in ice in Lake Erie near Conneaut Harbor, Ohio. She was freed by the Canadian Coast Guard after five days on 21 February 2015. An American Coast Guard ship, sent to escort the Anderson to Detroit became stranded in the thick ice as well.
  • The Anderson was put on long-term layup at the end of the 2016 shipping season. She was transferred in April 2019 to the Fraser Shipyards for where she was refitted and returned to service on 25 July 2019.

Great Lakes Shipping History Books