Chief Wawatam Elevator Apron Collapsed in St. Ignace

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The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby wawatam » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:06 am

Nearly 30 years after being abandoned, the apron, "A "frame and counterweights of the Chief's dock in St. Ignace collapsed on Wednesday 08-03-11. Too bad; it was quite a landmark and it was the first thing many people saw when they came into St. Ignace. Hate to see that happen after the city invested more than a few bucks into making the dock into a really nice park.
Last edited by wawatam on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby AARR » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:00 am

I am sorry to hear this. I am one of those people that enjoy seeing the old, even if not used, railroad stuff.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:18 pm

The other dock in Mackinac City wasn't looking in that great of shape when I was there in 2007.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby GP30M4216 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:33 pm

Does the City of Milwaukee dock in Manistee have an apron? I think it would help tell the story of carferries by having an apron at the site. Too bad the apron at St. Ignace collapsed though....it clearly survived many many winters with no maintenance.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:09 pm

Wow, I was just up in St Ignace a couple weeks ago, and got some pics of the apron. Im glad I did now!
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby GP9R » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:09 am

I'm Glad I went up there too
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:42 pm

At least the Mackinaw City side may have a chance. On a tour of the USS Mackinaw, they had "plans" for the whole pier. The whole pier would be turned into a museum/park with the icebreaker being the focal point. The carfloat apron will be restored and a railcar will be placed on it. Now if only they could get the Chief there as well....
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby BB » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:00 pm

GP30M4216 wrote:Does the City of Milwaukee dock in Manistee have an apron? I think it would help tell the story of carferries by having an apron at the site. Too bad the apron at St. Ignace collapsed though....it clearly survived many many winters with no maintenance.


No apron here. Both aprons are still in place at Elberta.

City of Milwaukee/USCGC Acacia event next weekend

8/8 - Manistee, Mich. - The weekend of August 12-14 will be an open-house weekend to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the launch of the City of Milwaukee, and also to dedicate the USCGC Acacia as a museum ship. Dennis Hale and Art Chavez will be the featured speakers.
MQT Rail pictures at RRPictureArchives.NET
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:56 am

GrandTrunkFan wrote:At least the Mackinaw City side may have a chance. On a tour of the USS Mackinaw, they had "plans" for the whole pier. The whole pier would be turned into a museum/park with the icebreaker being the focal point. The carfloat apron will be restored and a railcar will be placed on it. Now if only they could get the Chief there as well....


Did the Chief finally get scrapped? It was a barge on the lakes still last I knew.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby MP73point4 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:24 am

The remaining barge version was cut up about November of 2009. What an experience seeing her in operation in the late 70s/early 80s. It was like going back in time.
http://www.stignacenews.com/news/2009-1 ... apped.html
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby SW » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:36 am

Interesting that one of the issues driving abandonment 30 years ago was the cost of repairs needed to avoid collapse, and it managed to survived this long after that.

Saw the front page of the St. Ignace paper while here on Mackinac Island, and of course, it was the headline with pictures. While everyone is sad about it, there is apparently no money in that cash-strapped city's budget to do anything about it.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby TraintrackGal » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:53 pm

I have a wonderful memory of the Chief. I was returning to St. Ignace on one of the Arnold Line ferries and the Chief just happened to be in our vacinity, returning from Mackinaw city. We were less than 50 ft from her. Sadly, I'd run out of film :x but in my mind, I will never ever forget seeing her in action up close and then being engulfed in her black smoke. I think it was in the late 70's while I was still in college. We who saw her were very lucky..... :shock: :D
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby AARR » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:25 pm

TraintrackGal wrote:I have a wonderful memory of the Chief. I was returning to St. Ignace on one of the Arnold Line ferries and the Chief just happened to be in our vacinity, returning from Mackinaw city. We were less than 50 ft from her. Sadly, I'd run out of film :x but in my mind, I will never ever forget seeing her in action up close and then being engulfed in her black smoke. I think it was in the late 70's while I was still in college. We who saw her were very lucky..... :shock: :D

IIRC the late 70's was the zenith for MIGN. The Chief made two round trips per day...and lost about $500 per car on every trip :(
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby wawatam » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:39 pm

For anyone who is interested, BOATNERD has a several pages of pictures of the Chief in the Historical Perspectives Gallery. Also, my nephew posted some of my poor quality 8 mm movies of the Chief on Youtube. Tim.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby hoborich » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:17 pm

Interesting that one of the issues driving abandonment 30 years ago was the cost of repairs needed to avoid collapse, and it managed to survived this long after that.

True. But it likely would have collapsed a long time ago in daily use.

I just missed it. I was in St Ignace on August 4.
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:55 pm

I was up in St Ignace over the weekend and I got a couple pics of the carnage:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

And does anyone know the vintage of these cars?:
Image
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby AARR » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Nice pics GTF. Thanks for posting. I was out that way in August but did not have time to get over to St. Ignace.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...
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Re: The Chief's dock, St. Ignace

Unread postby SW » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:06 pm

The full article is now available without a subscription (now that it's over 4 weeks old):
http://www.stignacenews.com/news/2011-08-11/Front_Page/For_Chief_Elevator_Rebuilding_Seems_Unlikely.html
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