Steam powered freighters, once the mainstay of the Great Lakes fleet, are now in the twilight of their era on the inland seas. Once numbered in the hundreds, this class is now represented by only twenty active carriers as of the end of the 2008 shipping season. They range from the ST. MARYS CHALLENGER built in 1906, with over 100 years of steadfast service, to the last steam powered freighter to be built on the lakes, the CANADIAN LEADER, built in 1967. Individual histories are given for each vessel providing details of previous and current operations. These steamers encompass a variety of carrier types, including cement carriers, straight deckers, and self-unloaders. Included are numerous never before published photographs, portraying these vessels in previous operations and current operations.
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