Two local firms, MCM Marine and Reid Metals will dismantle the former
Lake Michigan car ferry, Arthur K. Atkinson
— SAULT STE. MARIE — Two local firms, MCM Marine and Reid Metals will dismantle the former Lake Michigan car ferry, Arthur K. Atkinson, according to a press release jointly-issued by the Darwin "Joe" McCoy and Ed Reid. Marie, Mich.
"We're pleased to be able to offer additional employment for the Sault area," said those orchestrating the project adding that the careful demolition and recycling of this vessel will protect the waters and eliminate future potential environmental risks.
The Arthur K. Atkinson, one of the last existing examples of the Railcar Great Lake Ferry, took her maiden voyage in January of 1917 sailing as the
#6, according to boat nerd member and historian, William Keetly who compiled the information upon learning the vessel was being docked in the Sault for the final time. Ann Arbor
Keetly provided a great deal of interesting information highlighted by the December 1923 sinking of the Steamer Lakeland approximately 9 miles off of
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where the #6 rescued 27 crewman from life boats in a northwest gale. Ann Arbor
According to Keetly, the
Ann Arbor #6 was renamed the Arthur K. Atkinson in 1959 and she subsequently became the first car ferry on the Great Lakes powered by diesel engines.
Her final years were filled with inactivity, however, starting with engine trouble in 1973. The Arthur K. Atkinson made a brief resurgence in August of 1980 and ran between
and Mantitowac, Wisc. until the ferry service between those two ports ceased in April of 1982. Since then, Keetly writes, the vessel had been towed to numerous locations under different owners before finally winding up in Detour in November of 2003. Frankfort
Reid and McCoy credited the Interlake Steamship Company, the DeTour Dock Company, U.S. Marshall Service, Wellington Marine and the U.S. Coast Guard for helping to make this project a reality.
Employees of MCM Marine will dismantle the old ship, according to the press release, after removing items of historical significance for preservation.
Reid metals, a specialist in metal recycling, has over 50 years of experience in the demolition and re-use of metals, according to the press release, explaining the company's interest in salvaging the vessel.
Source: Sault Ste. Marie Evening News. 22 December 2011