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Near Rogers City in Presque Isle County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

SS Calcite

1912

 
 
SS <i>Calcite</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
1. SS Calcite Marker
Inscription.  The Calcite Pilot House was saved and retired to Rogers City where it was installed as a tourist attraction at Harbor View overlooking the Calcite Plant. Over the years, she was visited by thousands of people. Eventually, the Pilot House was removed and relocated to the Rogers City Chamber of Commerce grounds on U. S. 23. Gradually she began to decay from neglect and vandalism and was finally moved to 40 Mile Point Lighthouse Park and located near the lighthouse and facing the lake. The Pilot House continued to deteriorate.

In 1996, the 40 Mile Point lighthouse Society was organized and one of the first projects was to save the Pilot House. Once again it was moved - this time to its present location. Moran Iron Works of Onaway and the Kiwanis Club of Rogers City helped with the move.

The restoration work was undertaken by retired Great Lakes sailors, members of the Society and those who volunteered their time, expertise and hard work to the effort. Presque Isle County backed the project with financial assistance. Much of the needed materials were donated by local individuals and businesses. Moran Iron Works, Ellenberger
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Lumber and the U. S. Steel Great Lakes Fleet are among the many businesses that made the restoration effort a success. Many others donated various nautical artifacts for display.

Point of interest: The illuminated letter “L” on the mast is a whistle light. When the whistle was sounded, the light would come on as a visual aid for oncoming boats to see. The letter “L” stands for the limestone that is quarried at the former Michigan Limestone Operations, Inc. (often referred to as Calcite), now owned and operated by the Carmeuse Corporation.

The Steamer Calcite is technically a ship. However, Great Lakes sailors refer to the lake freighters as boats.

Self-unloaders were called "Boomers" because of the long unloading booms on their decks. When the Calcite was built in 1912, the self-unloader concept was more of a curiosity. Now nearly all lake boats are self-unloaders.

The new, 1000 foot lake boats are called “Footers”.

Built in 1912 in Wyandotte, Michigan by the Detroit Ship Building Company. At the time of construction, she was the largest self-unloading ship in the world. Home port was Rogers City, Michigan - Port of Calcite.

Registry No. US 209973
Hull No. 188
Overall length: 436 feet
Beam: 54 feet
Depth: 29 feet
Engine: Quadruple expansion steam
Marker detail: SS <i>Calcite</i> image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: SS Calcite
engine
Cargo Capacity: 7000 tons of limestone


During a career spanning 49 years, she transported 24-3/4 million tons of limestone and 6-1/2 million tons of coal.

No longer considered large enough to be cost-effective, she was scrapped in 1961 at Conneaut, Ohio.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 45° 29.145′ N, 83° 54.771′ W. Marker is near Rogers City, Michigan, in Presque Isle County. Marker can be reached from County Park Road, 0.2 miles north of U.S. 23 when traveling north. Marker is within Presque Isle County Lighthouse Park, beside the restored Pilot House from the SS Calcite. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7323 US Highway 23, Rogers City MI 49779, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. International Shipmaster's Association (a few steps from this marker); Forty Mile Point Lighthouse / Lake Huron Graveyard of Ships (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bunkhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); 40 Mile Point Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); S.S. Joseph S. Fay Shipwreck (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Glawe School
Marker detail: SS <i>Calcite</i> in winter layup with five of her big sisters image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: SS Calcite in winter layup with five of her big sisters
(about 600 feet away); Site of Frederick Denny Larke Home (approx. 6.4 miles away); Frederick Denny Larke General Store (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rogers City.
 
More about this marker. This is a large "kiosk-style" marker with multiple text and picture insets.
 
Additional keywords. SS Calcite
 
Marker detail: <i>Calcite</i> ready for launch March 30, 1912 image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Calcite ready for launch March 30, 1912
(below) Calcite pilot house returns to Rogers City after being scrapped in 1961
SS <i>Calcite</i> Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
5. SS Calcite Marker (tall view)
SS <i>Calcite</i> Pilot House (<i>adjacent to marker; unrelated marker visible in foreground</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
6. SS Calcite Pilot House (adjacent to marker; unrelated marker visible in foreground)
SS <i>Calcite</i> SS Calcite Pilot House (<i>front view; illuminated letter “L” visible on mast</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
7. SS Calcite SS Calcite Pilot House (front view; illuminated letter “L” visible on mast)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 835 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 24, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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May. 20, 2024