The Bradley Fleet in Winter Layover, ca. 1952

Bradley Transportation Exhibit

Bradley Transportation, founded in 1923, was the result of consolidating 3 companies: Calcite Transportation, Limestone Transportation, and Bradley Transportation.  The resulting company was a subsidiary of Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company, Presque Isle County’s most profitable business.  

Stock in the company was sold to fund the construction of self-unloading freighters.  Six were in operation concurrently, but the company owned 11 in its history:

SS Calcite

Launched: 1912
Retired: 1960

The company’s first ship, she was scrapped in 1961.

SS W.F. White

Launched: 1915
Retired: 1976

She was sold in 1976 and renamed the Erindale, then scrapped in 1984.

SS Irvin L. Clymer

Launched: 1917
Retired: 1990

Initially named the Carl D. Bradley and then the John G. Munson.

SS Rogers City

Launched: 1923
Retired: 1981

First called the B.H. Taylor, this vessel was scrapped in 1988.

SS T.W. Robinson

Launched: 1925
Retired: 1982

The Great Lakes first turbo-powered vessel, she was scrapped in 1987.

SS Carl D. Bradley (2)

Launched: 1927
Sank: 1958

The Carl D. Bradley sunk on Lake Michigan in 1958.  Read more.

SS Cedarville

Launched: 1927
Sank: 1965

The SS Cedarville sank as a result of a collision in the Straits of Mackinac.

SS Calcite II

Launched: 1929
Retired: 2013

This was the first ship ever to be fitted with a bow thruster.

SS Myron C. Taylor

Launched: 1929
Retired: 2007

Blown against a harbor wall in 2007 and scrapped shortly after.

SS George C. Sloan

Launched: 1943
Retired: 2021

This “maritime class” vessel was acquired to replace the Cedarville.

SS John G. Munson (2)

Launched: 1952
Retired: Still sailing

The Munson was the largest self-unloader in the world when built.

Bradley Transportation Company consolidated with the Pittsburgh Steamship Company to create USS Great Lakes Fleet in 1967. Today, only one ship of the fleet remains on the lake, and the John G. Munson visits Rogers City, picking up her load of limestone the way she did back in 1952.

Within our exhibit, models of the John G. Munson and the ill-fated Carl D. Bradley are available to view. 

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SS Calcite, ca. 1951