Sep 11-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: September: Sep 11-05
Greeting the Cruise Ship    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bert deVriendt

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 07:00 am:

A few weeks ago we featured a shot uploaded by Brian Rendel, which had been taken by Bert deVriendt back in 1943. In case you missed it, we had a "then and now" follow up of that Hancock street corner:

A few months after Bert took this picture, he crossed over to the Houghton side and captured the South American as it pulled up for a stop at the Board of Trade Bar, which you see in today's photo. I'll try to find the same spot again this week to compare how things have changed over the years.

Many thanks to all of the folks who have entered the Quilt Raffle sponsored by the ladies of Sandstone Piecemakers. Proceeds are going to Still Waters in Calumet, the non-profit Home where the Pasty Cam was born back in 1998. Your support is much appreciated.

Fly the flag today, and have a good week :o)
Glad to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 07:31 am:

I just love all of these pictures posted on Pasty everyday. Each and everyone of the photographers has their own unique photos. They are just spectacular.

By Therese (Therese) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:24 am:

My Mom, Dolores Schneider Carson, remembers taking the South American from Detroit to Mackinac Island in the late 1940s. She and her friends would board the ship Friday evening after work at Ford Motor Company, spend the weekend on the lake and in ports northward, and arrive back in time for work Monday morning. Does any one know where the ship is now? I seem to remember seeing it moored in Mackinaw City or maybe Chicago many years ago.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:29 am:

What great memories.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:44 am:

I remember going down to see the South American
come into Houghton with my folks. It was the highlight of the week. The Twin City Band would play down there (local musicians) Then some of the adults would go to the Board of Trade afterwards.

By Cindy Lee Maki (Cindylee) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:48 am:

Look at them old cars. Me and hubby wish we had one now!!! Great pictues again this morning. Good day to all pasty people.

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:59 am:

Sold, 1974, to Ships, Inc., for scrapping at Camden, NJ. Scrapped, August 1992, Baltimore yard.

By Victoria (Mumbarko) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 09:35 am:

Isn't that the Library restuarant on the left? Or am I in the wrong place?

By John Fallon Jr. (Johnfallonjr) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:01 am:

In 1975 the ship I was on in the Navy pulled into New York city. While walking down the pier to go sight seeing we walked past an enclosed pier and saw the badly deteriorated South American. Brought back alot of memories of sitting down on the lake front below the park in Hancock (where the condos are now) and watching the South American go by.

By Eric Stewart (Estew) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 12:01 pm:

The South American also put in at Munising, to much fanfare, as seen in this 1957 photo.

South American in Munising.

Debi Steinle (Debi) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 01:31 pm:

It looks like the Board of Trade Bar is now the Library Bar & Brew Pub. This is looking down the hill toward the Canal where the UPPCO building is now. Correct me if I'm wrong.

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 01:47 pm:

Debi....thanks for the info......for a minute there I thought they were saying the top 2 pictures were taken from the same spot just years apart.....I was having a real hard time figuring that logic out....????

Sure hope they have reruns in heaven so I can check this area out in the next life.....It is just to cool up here with all the history.....I love it!!!!

By AJ - WI (Ajinwi) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 02:31 pm:

I read that the SS South American (1913-1964) was due to be scrapped, but it sank in 1967. Is that incorrect?

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 04:23 pm:

John Davis started the Library Bar in the old Board of Trade building. In those days the peanut shells landed on the floor. The Library is still in existence but up for sale and with no peanuts. John is still around and he and his son own the Northern Lights restaurant on the 7th floor of the Ramada on Franklin Square. My husband and I moved here in Nov. 1955 and we used to take the kids down to see the South American. The "Chief" from Baraga and his family came up in full Plains Indian dress and sold copper. The Copper Country Band did their thing. We, the towners, stared at the folks on the boat and they stood at the railing and stared down at us (if they weren't making a quick run of the town.

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 07:21 pm:

AJ-Wi I thought I had heard that it sank also but this link claims it was scrapped, Check out this link and search for it there f

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 07:51 pm:

Ooops, here's a fix for RCW's truncated link above:
Click ® The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
at Bowling Green State University

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:13 pm:

FRNash. Now that looks much better. I ll have to try to do that too

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 08:24 pm:

The SOUTH AMERICAN was scrapped and the NORTH AMERICAN sunk..the ship suddenly sank in position 40.46N x 68.53.02W, about 29 miles NE of Nantucket Island, on September 13, 1967, in about 200 feet of water

By AJ - WI (Ajinwi) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 09:02 pm:

Thanks for clearing that up. I know I read that about the South American as I was not even aware that there was a North American. I did look at the above-referenced site. Looks like the South American was built in 1914 -- not 1913. When you have a question -- someone can always answer it for you!! I'm glad I asked rather than wonder about it. Thanks!

By 69 TOOT (Flyindamooney) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:07 pm:

A few of us from the class of 68 and 69 helped Jon, (not JOHN) Davis turn Christies Board and Trade into the Library......and the Press on Regardless and all the rest. That bar was an instant success because the local bars were not interested in student customers. Jon hit the nail on that one okay.........I only get up to CMX occasionally, but that bar has gone thru many many many changes over the years. When there was a second floor, we used to dance there. Jon used to wear his big suspenders and make the burgers and mugs hung on the ceiling....Mine was number 9 out of hundreds........SKYFLAKE....(jumping out of planes for fun long before I learned to fly them) Jon Davis is a huge part of the community........

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:13 pm:

My mother used to take us kids down to the Cohodas (sp?) Paoli dock on Tuesday nights to see the SOUTH AMERICAN when she tied up. We would go sightseeing on board 'til the first whistle blew. We lived in Houghton then, on Montezuma Ave. Must've been '48. Who'da thunk that I would be sailing aboard the NORTH AMERICAN in '59? That was such a good summer. Sorta broke my heart when the NORTH sank. Had hopes that the SOUTH would stay at Mackinac Island as a hotel and museum. But the funding never appeared. Saw pix of the SOUTH on boatnerd or another site when she was in such terrible shape. Isn't her ship's bell in a museum in Detroit? I see different cruise ships on the lakes now, but they just don't have the look or feeling of the old Georgian Bay Transit Co's boats. SS ALABAMA, SS NORTH AMERICAN AND SS SOUTH AMERICAN. They were laid up every winter in Holland, MI.

By John Dupuis (Jackd) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:26 pm:

If you go to then to photo gallery
then to historic photo gallery thento passenger ships of the Great Lakes there are several pictures and you can even hear ablast of her whistle.

By Azfinn (Azfinn) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:26 pm:

Great pictures. Brings back memories as a young kid in the 50's of going to see the South American in the summertime as it docked it Houghton. Wasn't it on Thursday evenings? Seems I recall that we thought it was pretty neat that the stores stayed open later on a night other than just Friday night. Such fun to see all the people and listen to the Twin City Band play. And the lights of the boat reflecting on the water when it departed after sundown was very cool....

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 11:39 pm:

Okay, does anyone remember when was the last time (what year) that the South American was seen in Houghton?

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 07:01 am:


Well, I made it to this spot yesterday, and found the view a bit more cluttered than back in '44. The "Gazatte Apartments" occupy the old Mining Gazette offices, and the pedestrian overpass hides the view of the canal. In the lower left you can see that it is the Library, in the same location as the Board of Trade. The best evidence is the shape of the three arched windows with the second story protrusion above them:
It's not quite the same angle, but you get the idea.
jim pykonen (Akbar) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 10:51 am:

Great work Charlie in tracking down the updated location! I cant help but notice in the 1944 picture, is that a train passing across the top of Quincy Hill in the background?

By Fred Longpre (Fritz) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 01:36 pm:

I was on the South American when it was at the Scrap Yard in New Jersy. I was working on a Tug Boat and told the Captain the story about her, he was kind enough to get me close enough to jump on and explore her and then come back at my signal and pick me up. It was a sad to see her in that condition. I remember my father talking about her glory days.
I took a few pictures when I was on her and when I find them I`ll put them on line if anyone is interested. I also know some of the reasons it was not scrapped early on and what happened to her in the end..

By Jim Curtis (Jcurtis) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 04:35 pm:

Cool photos! That dock is literally just a few yards east down the shore from where the new Portage Lake District Library is being constructed.

Wow, the "Americans" docked there too, eh? I knew that section of had a lot of history with the Cahodas & Paoli warehouse (now UPPCO), the train staion (now Matilla Construction) and the Roach and Seeber warehouse (later Gundlach Construction, which burned in '04 and is now the site for the new library), but I did not know the passenger ships docked there, too.

If you want to see the library being built, can go to the library construction web cam at:

Peace to All!

By AJ - WI (Ajinwi) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 08:55 pm:

Fritz: I, for one, would love to see your pictures and to hear what happened to her. Tell us! And if it isn't toooo much trouble, I would love to see your pictures.

By Brian Rendel (Brian) on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 10:03 pm:

My thanks to Charlie for sharing Bert's pictures with you. I have more to share of his work and will post in my guest album on Pasty. I posted a shot Bert took of the band playing by the the South American that shows how big that boat was. I added a few shots my dad took of the South American on her stops in Munising in 1962 when I was VERY young (and lived in Munising & AuTrain). A cousin of mine worked on the ship for a few summers, and visited us when the ship stopped. For you South American fans who want to hear her whistle another time, visit

By Fred Longpre (Fritz) on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 10:17 am:

I found the pictures I took of the South American at the scrap yard in Camden NJ but I better get in contact with Charlie at pasty here to see how to go about showing them, I have never done anything like this..

By AJ - WI (Ajinwi) on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 07:14 pm:

Fritz: I can't help you. I have no clue how to do it. Do you need a scanner in order to post the pics? If you are able to post them, why don't you post them in the current day's "What's Up" so I don't miss it? Good luck!

By Fred Longpre (Fritz) on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 07:17 am:

To all that are interested in the pictures I have of the South American, they will be put in an album with the story on what I know about her. A very nice person (Mary) said she will help me put this together and get it out on pasty. net for everyone to see and read. We will start on this project soon.

By Bill Denning (Parpagayo) on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 10:47 pm:

This is for lovers of the South American, and I hope that I'm not violating an anti-commercialism policy with what I write.

The very first Shoebox Memory was a shot of the South American, posted by Nancy Nelson. You can find it and an extensive discussion about the ship at

Last month my family & I spent 11 wonderful days at a friend's camp at Five Mile Point. One of the souvenirs that we purchased was Keweenaw Videos' DVD on the North & South American. It contains very interesting promotional films that the Georgian Bay Lines made about the two steamers. Well worth the money for anyone interested in these lovely ships.

Cheers, Bill

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 11:37 pm:

Thanks to Fred Longpre and his daughter, Amy Harrer (who scanned the photos), we have a pictoral history of the South American in the Camden, NJ scrapyard. Check it out in Fred's Gallery, where he added a bit of narrative to each photo.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 11:53 am:

Thanks Fred, Amy, and Mary for the pictures of the South American. It brought back many memories of my senior high school trip in 1951 on her from Detroit to Mackinac Island and return.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 11:34 pm:

Strange that in nearly six years at da Tech including a few summers from Sept 1958 - June 1964, somehow I managed to avoid ever seeing the South American in Houghton! (How'd I ever do that? I guess I must have actually done some studying!) But to answer my own question of Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 11:39 pm: "Okay, does anyone remember when was the last time (what year) that the South American was seen in Houghton?"

According to Dates in the History of Chassell, Michigan on the Chassell, Michigan Info site, "The Georgian Bay Line's 321 foot pleasure cruise ship "South American" discontinued its weekly scheduled visits to the Copper Country in 1966."

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