Historic Steamship Towed to Buffalo for Restoration
A 113-year-old “Boblo Boat” SS Columbia is being towed from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, N.Y., where the historic vessel will be docked for the next year for restoration.
A towing contract was awarded to The Great Lakes Towing Company from nonprofit organization The SS Columbia Project, 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.
The towing company’s 2,400 horsepower twin screw Tug Michigan, with the assistance of the company’s Harbor Tug New Jersey, departed Toledo with the SS Columbia in tow on Tuesday morning bound for Buffalo.
For decades SS Columbia and its sister ship the SS STE. Claire, ferried thousands of passengers from Detroit to Boblo Island Amusement Park. The vessels sat largely unused and unprotected after they were decommissioned in 1991.
The SS Columbia, built by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in 1902, will receive a proper welcome in Buffalo Wednesday as the vintage steamship moves to the next stage in its restoration.