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Fire Apparatus Dictionary => Fire Boats and other Watercraft => Topic started by: District5 on July 18, 2003, 02:41:17 AM

Title: Lorain
Post by: District5 on July 18, 2003, 02:41:17 AM
This picture shows the launching of the fire tug "Torrent" on June 4, 1910.  Does Lorain have a large enough harbor that a fire boat was in operation almost 100 years ago or was there a company in Lorain building fire boats?
Title: Re: Lorain
Post by: YARBFD10 on July 18, 2003, 08:55:11 AM
Lorain does have a good sized harbor.  Steinbrenner Shipping, as in Yankees Steinbrenner, used to be a major industry in Lorain.
Title: Re: Lorain
Post by: dcmkris on July 18, 2003, 05:01:10 PM
Although Lorain was one of the kings of shipbuilding in the late 1800's to middle 1900's.  I don't know if it ever had it's own fireboat.  Its last work was done in 1983 when Steinbrenner closed the yards and moved everything to Florida.  I believe the last ship built there was the Stewart J Cort which still holds the record for largest cargo carried in one trip on the great lakes.  Here is some more info about the "Torrent".

She was built for the Duluth & Iron Range RR she served them until 1922 when she was sold to the Milwaukee, WI fire department, where she proudly served until being scraped in 1950.

She was steel hulled and was 110' long and 28' wide.  

The Duluth & Iron Range RR is a iron ore hauling RR in Duluth, MN & Two Harbors, MN.  The need for a fireboat probably arose from their ore docks being made principally of wood around the turn of the century.  That and the massive amount of freighters back then made for many shipping accidents.  I have one account from the early 1900's that had 4 ships at one ore dock & 10 more waiting in the harbor and on Lake Superior.  You must also take into account that their were at least 4-6 other RR ore docks in the Duluth, MN/Superior, WI harbor.  On top of that there are many coal, grain, & general merchandise docks in the harbor.

I'm not sure D&IR would have responded to all these docks but it is quite possible they did respond to them.  They ran their own tugboat up until the late 70's or early 80's.

I have included a pic of the fire tug while she was in service with the D&IR RR.  A close inspection in the background will give a small clue as to what the harbor looked like.  The photo is courtesy of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at Bowling Green State University.

Their page is http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/hcgl/vessel.html
Title: Re: Lorain
Post by: SixbyFire on July 18, 2003, 08:43:49 PM
When the IFBA convention was in Cleveland back in 92'(?), WRFBA did a station/apparatus/frequency roster for Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Now as always happens, I'm in the middle of a move and the book is at the other house, but I do remember a fireboat being listed for Lorain, but it was listed as being out of service. IIRC it was rated at 3000 GPM, but I'll have to check the book to be sure. I don't recall if it had the name of the fireboat or not.

Jeff Christner
Title: Re: Lorain
Post by: Box 2565 on April 24, 2010, 03:30:13 AM
Another photo of the Torrent.