Historic "Boblo boat" heads for renovation

SEPTEMBER 2, 2015 — The Great Lakes Towing Company has been completing a historic contract for the SS Columbia Project — towing the 113 year old "Boblo boat" SS Columbia from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, NY, where it will be docked for the next year for restoration.

The "Boblo boats," SS Columbia and its sister vessel SS Ste. Claire, operated for more than 85 years between Detroit and the Boblo Island Amusement Park, which began operation in 1898 and closed on September 30, 1993.

The vessels largely sat unused and unprotected after they were decommissioned in 1991.The SS Columbia Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore and enable the SS Columbia to serve as a cultural flagship reconnecting New York City to the waterfront cities and towns along the Hudson Valley where excursion steamboats were long a familiar sight.

Great Lakes Towing's 2,400 horsepower twin screw tug Michigan, assisted by the company's harbor tug New Jersey, departed Toledo on Tuesday morning bound for Buffalo with the SS Columbia in tow.

The SS Columbia, built by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in 1902, is set to receive a warm welcome in Buffalo today as it moves to the next stage in its history.

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