The Mississagi like so many other freighters was built at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan in 1943. She is one of the Maritime Class of ships.
She began her career as the George A. Sloan for the U.S. Steel Corporation and was operated by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. She was named in honor of the director and member of the finance committee of the U.S. Steel Company. She was used to carry iron ore to the various U.S. Steel steel mills. Occasionally, she was used to carry slag and coal.
Even though her design was approved by the Coast Guard, her deck cracked on her first trip on Lake Huron and her deck was subsequently strengthened. The Coast Guard ordered all other ships of her class to be strengthened in a similar fashion.
In 1966, she was acquired by the Bradley Transportation Company which was owned by the Michigan Limestone Division of U.S. Steel. At this time, she was converted a self unloader. She was then moved back to the Pittsburgh Fleet as the U.S. Steel Corporation merged the fleets. She was used to carry various cargoes.
In 1984, she was equipped with a 4,500 horsepower diesel engine and a bow thruster.
In 2000, she was laid up pending sail to the Lower Lakes Towing Company. In 2001, she was finally sold and renamed the Mississagi. She now carries mostly stones, aggregates, sand, coal, salt and grain found on the lower lakes.
I'm glad that some companies keep these old ships around. Makes for a nice history of the lakes.
She is 620 feet long and can carry over 15,000 tons of cargo.