Alpena Getting Stocked Up on Salt

ALPENA, MI – The freighter Mississagi was docked at the mouth of the MississagiThunder Bay River early this evening unloading salt.

Officially the winter of 2013/2014 is over but that is not stopping Alpena from getting stocked up for the next big blast.

The freighter Mississagi can been seen unloading tons of salt that will be covered with tarps until it is needed next fall.  This is one of the first ships of the year to dock in the river.

The Mississagi is a lake freighter launched in 1943. Originally she was powered by a 2,500 horsepower (1,900 kW) triple-expansion steam engine. In 1985 her steam engines were replaced by a 4,500 horsepower (3,400 kW) diesel engine.

She was built to a design from the United States Maritime Commission. She had fifteen sister ships, also built the Maritime Commission’s design, known colloquially as “Maritimers”.

The vessel was originally commissioned as the Hill Annex.  When she was acquired by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company in July 1943 she was rechristended the George A. Sloan. She was bought by the Bradley Transportation Company in 1966 which converted her to a self-unloading bulk carrier. In 1967 Bradley Transportation was purchased by US Steel, which also owned Pittsburgh Steamship, which returned the George A. Sloan to Pittsburgh fleet.

In 1966, she ran aground in the Straits of Mackinac. She was laid-up in 2000, and sold to Port Dover, Ontario firm Lower Lakes Towing Limited which renamed her Mississagi for the start of the 2001 season. The Mississagi almost collided with the Port Huron, Michigan sea-wall on October 4, 2004.