Here is a pictorial history of the evolution of the former coal dock over the past 80 years, from its construction to its current potential as a great community asset.
The Dock Under Construction by Frank Sears in the 1930s
The Diamond Alkali unloads coal at the newly constructed Sears dock in the mid-1930s. Note the wooden pilings and the historic wooden boat on the north side of the dock.
Dock in Operation in 1950s and 1960s
The former coal dock received shipments of coal for early steam-powered electrical production, residential and commercial heat, and ultimately electrical power generation at TCLP’s Bayside power plant. Shipments of road salt were also brought in by boat for the State Highway Department in the ’50s and ’60s. Note the work boats in the inner harbor.
Former Coal Storage Lot
TCLP stored its coal on a lot on the west side of M-22, creating a stark visual contrast with the February snow. The building that currently houses the Great Lakes Children’s Museum is visible along M-22, as well as a house that has since been removed.
Unloading Coal in the 1980s
The 730-foot Middletown photographed at the former dock in the 1980s.The vessel is still active as the American Victory
Fred White, Jr.
The Fred White Jr’s 20 hatches emptied into five hold compartments, capable of hauling 18,500 tons of coal. The cargo was unloaded via a 250-foot self-unloading boom. At her maximum rate of 6,000 net tons per hour, she could off-load a full load in less than four hours. The 636-foot vessel was renamed American Courage in 2006, following a sale.
The Fred White Jr.’s 20 hatches emptied into five hold compartments, capable of hauling 18,500 tons of coal. The cargo was unloaded via a 250-foot self-unloading boom. At her maximum rate of 6,000 net tons per hour, she could off-load a full load in less than four hours. The 636-foot vessel was renamed American Courage in 2006, following a sale.
Former Industrial Waterfront
The Grand Traverse Region’s last industrial waterfront. From top to bottom: The former coal dock and coal storage lot, the unused Sinclair dock and fuel depot (gray tanks), the Marathon/BP dock (formerly known as the Rennie dock) with a tanker unloading fuel (white tanks). Note the railroad cars at the very bottom of the photo on what is now the Leelanau Trail.
Taken in April 2012, before the boating season had begun. The new Greilickville Harbor Park is visible (circle drive), as well as two Maritime Heritage Alliance vessels on the inner wall of the former coal dock.
Boat facts courtesy of BoatNerd.com.