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The Kaye E. Barker was built at American Shipbuilding Co, Toledo Ohio as hull #189 in 1952. Her and 7 sister ships were to be called the "AAA" class boats. United States Steel received 3 of these boats, (Cason J. Calloway, Phillip R. Clarke, Arthur M. Anderson) Interlake Steamship received 1 of these boats, (J.L.Mauthe) Ford Motor Company received 1 (William Clay Ford), and Columbia Transportation(Oglebay Norton) received 2 (Armco and Reserve). Finally we come to the Edward B. Greene, built for the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company she would become their new flagship when built. Cleveland Cliffs used this boat for may years. They conducted an experiment proving that oil squeezed from rocks (aka Shale Oil) could be used for fuel aboard boats. In 1976 she was lengthened 120 feet thus making her new dimensions 767 feet long. All of the AAA's underwent similar surgery except for Interlake's J.L. Mauthe . In 1981 she also was converted to a self -unloader making her a more economical and versatile vessel to run. During the 80's though, the economy was in a recession and sadly many of the older or uneconomical boats felt the heat of the scrapper's torch. In 1985 Cliffs sold the Greene and fleetmate self-unloading vessel Walter A. Sterling to Ford Motor Company because Cliffs halted operations and retired from the shipping business. Because of the new company change, it also meant new names. The Sterling became the William Clay Ford (2) (note- The original Clay was scrapped) and the Greene became the Benson Ford. They served Ford proudly until 1989 when Ford too halted operations and left the steamship business. Ford sold the trio of boats (Clay, Benson, and Henry Ford II) to the Interlake Steamship Co., thus creating the subsidiary fleet "Lakes Shipping Company." The Benson was renamed the Kaye E. Barker to honor the wife of chairman of the board of Interlake, James R. Barker. The Clay was renamed the Lee A. Tregurtha to honor the wife of vice chairman of Interlake, Paul R. Tregurtha. The Henry Ford II was renamed the Samuel Mather and never operated under this name. She was scrapped in 1994. The Kaye E. Barker remains in operation today hauling taconite to Rouge Steel (aka Ford Motor) and other general cargos. She should be a "mainstay" on the lakes for many years to come.


767 feet long

70 feet wide

36 feet depth or draft