Wednesday, July 1, 2015

An Evening on the Valley Camp

The Valley Camp is a ship that currently serves as a museum ship in Sault Ste Marie.  On this night it was serving as a site for boatnerd gathering.

The Valley Camp was built by the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio and launched in 1917.  She is 550 feet long and has a beam of 58 feet.  She could carry around 12,000 tons of cargo and was powered by 1,800 hp triple expansion steam engine.  When she was launched she was known as the Louis W. Hill and was owned by the National Steel Company.  In 1955, she was sold to the Wilson Marine Transit Company and given her current name.   In 1959, she was sold to Republic Steel.  She sailed until 1967 and was retired because she still used coal.

In 1968, she was sold to Sault Ste Marie for $10,000 and towed there from Wisconsin.  She remains pretty much intact.
 Part of her hold has been converted into a museum.  This is a comparison of her to the 1000 footers that are currently plying the Great Lakes.  She is a little over half as long and half as wide as them.   It would take her almost 6 trips to carry the same amount of cargo as one trip of the Paul R. Tregurtha.  This is part of the reason why relatively fewer ships travel the Great Lakes today.
 A display showing different navigational aids and their meaning.
 A model of the SS Overland which represents the worst disaster on the Great Lakes.  The ship was overloaded and sank within site of her dock.  Over 800 people were killed.
 A display dedicated to the Coast Guard.
 I believe this is one of the lifeboats from the Edmund Fitzgerald.   This was torn away during the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald and gives you a pretty good idea of what that ship went through.
 This was the galley.  This was also where we ate dinner and it was pretty cool.
 If I remember correctly, this was the Chief Engineer's quarters.  It looks pretty nice, almost as nice as the Captain's Quarters.
 Looking towards the pilothouse.  Even a relatively small ship like this looks pretty large when you are standing on the deck.
 Part of the engine.  The triple expansion engine has three chambers, with each of a different size.  This was a fairly efficient engine for it's time but was eventually replaced by the steam turbine engines.
 Some of the gages for the steam engine.
 Another view of the engine.  I kind of wish my other views would have turned out better.
 As I said, this was powered by coal.  This is the room where the coal would be passed into the boiler.  There used to be men shovelling, eventually that was replaced by a chute.  This was a pretty hot and nasty job.
 A painting of the Roger Blough.
 Some of the crew quarters.  These would be for some of the lower rated crews, evidenced by the fact the room was shared.
 Looking towards the rear.
 Her pilothouse.
 The weather station.
 A closer shot of the pilothouse.
 A shot of her stack.
 Another shot towards the pilothouse.
Looking up at her whistles.  She still has the original whistles.

No comments: