Center for Archival Collections

Archival Chronicle

March 2006: Volume 25, Number 1

Gallery: Commerce on Lake Erie | Archival Chronicle Index | CAC Homepage

Commerce on Lake Erie

This issue of the Archival Chronicle Gallery continues our series of images from the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie Ports

 An 1888 view of Cleveland port activity, seen here from the foot of Superior Street.

 (Below) Two views of the port of Conneaut, Ohio in 1898 show the tremendous activity of Lake Erie shipping at that time.

(View, lower left) construction of a bridge to transport iron ore delivered by Great Lakes freighters. Shipments of ore originated from the port of Duluth in Lake Superior and were transferred by rail to steel mills inland.

In the view at right, laborers are seen loading steel rails. Finished products could make the journey to other manufacturing plants via the Great Lakes.

Port of Sandusky, Ohio in the late 1930s.

During World War II, heavy construction needed for the war effort was moved quickly and efficiently through the Great Lakes.

Fishing & Quarrying Industries


In addition to serving as a major port for bulk commodities, Sandusky was also an active center for the commercial fishing industry. Here we see the fish tug EARL BESS (constructed in 1914), owned by Lay Brothers Fishery of Sandusky.

  Another view from Lay Brothers fishery in Sandusky, Ohio, as it appeared dockside in 1891.

Limestone Quarry at Kelley's Island  

Quarry workers mine limestone on Kelley's Island in 1892, for use in the construction of the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Shipbuilding Industry on the Lakes

 Two views of the Craig Brothers Shipyard in Toledo, Ohio.

The Craig Brothers were well-known for their early use of steel in vessel construction. The firm built both passenger and freight-carriers.

 Ship launches were major occasions at the Craig Shipyard.

The launch of the freighter THOMAS A. ADAMS at Craig Brothers Shipyard in 1902, at left.
At right is the launch of the passenger vessel the INDIANAPOLIS in 1904. These photographs are part of the Craig Shipbuilding Company Collection (GLMS 95) located at the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes.