Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
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US Coast Guard, 9th District (Cleveland, Ohio) - GLMS 42
This collection was transferred from the United States Coast Guard, 9th District headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio to the Bowling Green State University Center for Archival Collections in December 1975. These files were transferred to the Institute for Great Lakes Research (now the HCGL) in 1983. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. Final processing of this four cubic foot collection was completed in January 1992 by Mark J. Barnes.
Captain Ralph N. Dempwolf became the first Commander of the United States Coast Guard's 9th District in 1942. This organizational restructuring ws not the first activity for the Coast Guard or its predecessor agencies centered in Cleveland, Ohio. Founded in 1915, the Coast Guard assumed the responsibilities of such programs as the Steamboat Inspection Service, the Life Saving Service, and the Lighthouse Board. Cleveland's first lighthouse dated from 1829. Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century the surfmen based in Cleveland were frequently noted in the local newspapers for rescuing passengers and crews from wrecked vessels.
Cleveland's role as an administration center grew with the demands of the job of providing navigational assistance to the Great Lakes. From one lighthouse in 1829, operations in Cleveland came to supervise the 9th District of the Coast Guard that extends from Massena, New York to Duluth, Minnesota. This district encompasses 5,480 miles of shoreline and thousands of vessels to monitor annually.
Investigative responsibilities were added prior to World War II to duties of Captains of Ports. Federal police powers to enforce anchorage regulations, handle hazardous cargo transfers, and to monitor movements of foreign vessels were added in 1940. Within two years such matters became part of Captain Dempwolf's duties in a revised Coast Guard that had new military assignments added to those of navigational assistance.
Duties today for the staff of the Coast Guard, 9th District office range from enforcing Department of Commerce revenue regulations to coordinating search and rescue operations on the Great Lakes. This set of multiple and complex responsibilities can be examined through the records in this collection.
The record series in this collection document activities of the United States Coast Guard, 9th District office in Cleveland, Ohio for the years 1911-1971. These files concentrate on the period 1935-1965. Within the four cubic feet of this collection researchers may examine the commercial aspects of the Coast Guard's duties through files on vessel inspections. These three cubic feet of records reflect whether a vessel was enrolled as one licensed to operate on the Great Lakes. Inspection files for 109 vessels are present.
The role of the Coast Guard as a life-saving service for persons in distress can be studied through correspondence on incidents where assistance was rendered in 1969-1970. In files regarding the May 1965 collision of the CEDARVILLE and the TOPDALSFJORD the rescue mission of the Coast Guard is also emphasized.
The investigative nature of some Coast Guard assignments is reflected in the transcript of the hearing conducted to determine the cause of the CEDARVILLE/TOPDALSFJORD collision. This hearing analyzed the circumstances that led to the loss of several lives during an accident in the Straits of Mackinac under foggy conditions.
Box 8 (8 folders)
May 8-9, 1965
Series contains the seven-volume typescript record of the hearing held by the United States Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation to analyze the reasons for the collision of the CEDARVILLE and TOPDALSFJORD in the Straits of Mackinac on May 7, 1965. The hearing was held May 8-9, 1965 at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Also included is the record of the Sub-Board Investigation into the collision dated May 9, 1965.
Box 1 (1 folder)
May 8-9, 1965
Series contains exhibits 1-26 presented for evaluation at the Marine Board of Investigation hearing into the CEDARVILLE collision with the TOPDALSFJORD on May 7, 1965. Included are charts, diagrams, written statements, log books, and journals pertaining to the collision.
Box 1 (36 folders)
Arranged chronologically and then by incident number
Series contains correspondence regarding incidents where assistance was rendered by the Coast Guard for vessels on the Great Lakes and connecting waterways. These documents were prepared by the local Coast Guard stations and filed with the Search and Rescue Coordinator in Cleveland, Ohio. The files reflect rescue and assistance activities of the Coast Guard.
Box 1 (2 folders)
Series contains correspondence regarding the collision in the Straits of Mackinac of the CEDARVILLE and TOPDALSFJORD on May 7, 1965. Items date from the years 1964-1967.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE FILES
Box 1 (14 folders)
Arranged chronologically and then by filing code number
Series contains correspondence on administrative matters involved in operating Coast Guard stations on the Great Lakes.
Box 1 (1 folder)
Arranged alphabetically by vessel, then by person's name
Series contains reports of vessel casualty and personal injury regarding vessels and crew involved in the CEDARVILLE/TOPDALSFJORD collision on May 7, 1965.
ENGINEER'S FIELD BOOK FROM THE LITTLE CREEK BUILDING SITE
Box 1 (1 folder)
Series contains two booklets of notes regarding landscaping efforts for the grounds of a Coast Guard station. The notes report on the seeding of the lawn area, placement of sod, and measurement along boundary lines.
Box 1 (3 folders)
May 1967-July 1971
Series contains marine forecast logs. The logs are handwritten records of marine forecast information issued to vessel operators. Wind and wave conditions are noted. General weather data is present.
Boxes 2-4 (3 cubic feet)
Arranged alphabetically by vessel name
Series contains files compiled regarding inspections of Great Lakes vessels performed by the Department of Commerce through the Coast Guard to certify that each vessel qualifies for re-licensing it to operate on the Great Lakes. These inspections are annual in sequence. There are numerous gaps and not every vessel is licensed for the entire period from 1911 to 1962. Certification forms appear along with related correspondence. Some files contain small booklets used for boiler inspections. Files are present for 109 vessels.
1-8. Transcripts of Marine Board of Investigation Hearings regarding the collision of the CEDARVILLE and the TOPDALSFJORD, May 1965
9. Exhibits 1-26 for the Marine Board of Investigation Hearings regarding the collision of the CEDARVILLE and the TOPDALSFJORD, May 1965
10-46. Assistance rendered, 1969-1970, 1978-1979
47-48. CEDARVILLE/TOPDALSFJORD Collision, 1964-1967
49-62. General Administrative Files, 1967-1971
63. CEDARVILLE/TOPDALSFJORD Collision Report of Vessel Casualty or Accident, 1965
64. Engineer's Field Book from the Little Creek Building Site, 1962-1963
65-67. MAFOR (Marine Forecast) Logs, May 1967-July 1971
Box 2: Enrollment/Inspection documents for vessels A-G (1911-1962)
|9||AUGUSTUS, A. A.||1918-1919|
|10||BRADLEY, CARL D.||1938-1958|
|11||BROWER, A. G.||1911-1912, 1919|
|17-28||CORNELIUS, ADAM E.||1927-1928, 1930-1932, 1935-1938, 1942-1944, 1948|
|31||DAVIDSON, A. D.||1911, 1914|
|35||DUNN, JR., JOHN||1938-1961|
|36||DURSTON, J. F.||1938-1961|
|40||FERBERT, A. H.||1936|
|44||GATES, JOHN W.||1936-1961|
Box 3: Enrollment/Inspection documents for vessels H-O (1912-1961)
|2-6||HARVEY, A. F.||1915, 1938, 1940, 1942, 1944-1946|
|8||HILL, JAMES J.||1937-1961|
|9||HOSFORD, HARRY WILLIAM||1935-1961|
|14||IRELAND, ROBERT L.||1937-1961|
|17||JONES, HARRY R.||1937-1961|
|18||JOYNT, ROBERT N.||1959-1961|
|22||KINNEY, A. T.||1938-1961|
|23||KOPMEIER, NORMAN J.||1938-1961|
|27||MANUEL, JOHN S.||1937-1961|
|29||MATHIOTT, E. G.||1936-1961|
|31||MEYERS, CARL W.||1938-1961|
|37||MOODY, R. E.||1938-1961|
|38||MURPHY, SIMON J.||1940-1961|
|40-42||NETTLETON, A. E.||1912-1913, 1915, 1917, 1924-1925|
Box 4: Enrollment/Inspection documents for vessels P-Y (1923-1961)
|1||PAINE, WILLIAM A.||1937-1961|
|5-15||PITZ, A. H.||1923-1943|
|16||RANNEY, RUFUS P.||1936-1961|
|21||STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT||1937-1961|
|24||STEWART, A. E.||1912-1914|
|25||STIFEL, WILLIAM F.||1938-1961|
|37||WALSH, JAMES P.||1935-1961|
|39||WELLS, J. P.||1946-1961|
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