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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Superior in Douglas County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

S.S. Meteor

Last of the Whalebacks

 
 
S.S. Meteor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
1. S.S. Meteor Marker
Inscription.  The Great Lakes whaleback fleet was the revolutionary result of Capt. Alexander McDougall's attempts to improve conventional ship design. Between 1888 and 1898, 43 whalebacks were launched and became forerunners of the bulk fleet on the Great Lakes today. Thirty-nine whalebacks were built in Superior-Duluth, and most of them were launched from a site about one mile west of here, now the Fraser Shipyards.

The S.S. Meteor was launched at Superior in 1896 as the Frank Rockefeller to carry iron ore. Later, as the South Park, she carried such diversified cargoes as grain and automobiles. In 1943 she was coverted to an oil tanker and renamed Meteor. She has been preserved as a memorial to her builder and a tribute to Superior.

As a boy, Franklin D. Roosevelt came to Superior with his father to watch the launching of a whaleback. In his enthusiasm to get a good view, he was swept into the slip by waves. A member of the Superior Fire Department rescued him before he reached deep water.
 
Erected 1974. (Marker Number 205.)
 
Topics and series. This historical
S.S. Meteor and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
2. S.S. Meteor and Marker
marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society series list.
 
Location. 46° 43.349′ N, 92° 3.793′ W. Marker is in Superior, Wisconsin, in Douglas County. Marker is on Marina Drive. Follow the signs from U.S. 53 to Barker Island. You'll see the ship before you reach the island. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Superior WI 54880, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Stockade Site (approx. 0.9 miles away); The University of Wisconsin-Superior (approx. 1.2 miles away); Summer White House - 1928 (approx. 1.8 miles away); Burlington Northern Ore Docks (approx. 2˝ miles away); The Superior Entry (approx. 2.6 miles away); Burial Ground of the Fond du Lac Band (approx. 2.9 miles away); Illumination History of the Aerial Lift Bridge (approx. 4.2 miles away in Minnesota); Lewis G. Castle (approx. 4.2 miles away in Minnesota). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Superior.
 
Additional keywords. Shipping
 
S.S. Meteor and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, July 11, 2009
3. S.S. Meteor and Marker
S.S. Meteor image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, July 12, 2009
4. S.S. Meteor
S.S. Meteor image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, July 11, 2009
5. S.S. Meteor
Entrance to S.S. Meteor Site image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
6. Entrance to S.S. Meteor Site
Barker's Island Sign; Veteran's Memorial in the distance.
Nearby Bell image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
7. Nearby Bell
Bell presented by the people of St. Louis Parish in memory of The Great Seafarers · May 1978

St Louis Superior A.D. 1912 · Presented by Rev.Louis.Charro
Nearby Seaman's Memorial Statue image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
8. Nearby Seaman's Memorial Statue
This statue, dedicated in 1979, was created because of the Edmund Fitzgerald disaster in 1975.
Dedicated to the Seaman of the Great Lakes image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
9. Dedicated to the Seaman of the Great Lakes
I challenge the deep with God as my helmsman. Courage my vessel, and the love of those who wait on shore, ...my strength.
John Frank Leino
Sculptor: William Bradford Frost
Assisted by: Debra Anunti
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 30, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 31, 2009, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,388 times since then and 25 times this year. Last updated on June 7, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 17, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   3, 4, 5. submitted on July 31, 2009, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on June 17, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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