Fish Tugs of the Greatest Lake
PALMER 227024 Built by Sturgeon Bay Boat Works in 1926 for Alfred P. Shellswick, Waukegan, Ill. The wood hulled vessel was 47 ft. x 13 ft. and equipped with a 45-54 hp. Kahlenberg oil engine. Shellswick fished with her until after having the AL SHELLSWICK built in 1935. The crews much preferred to work on the newer boat, and in time the PALMER was laid up at an inlet on Washington Island. Later brought out and bought by new owners, the boat spent many years at Racine, owned for a time by Robert Strege. By then the Kahlenberg had been replaced with a Cummins diesel.
Above: undated. Below: August 2016 at Racine, both photos courtesy of Jeff P.
Sadly, the PALMER sunk at its riverside mooring on the day after Christmas, 2016, quickly becoming encased in ice. After several weeks of careful planning and hard work, the boat was raised intact on January 19, 2017. Nonetheless, after sitting on shore for three months, backhoe set to work on April 21 to reduce the historic boat to scrap. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the disposition came at the insistence of the boat's insurer.
Above: Palmer in the ice, January 2017. Photo courtesy Capt. Pete Thompson, Lakeland Marine Towing.
contents copyright 2002-2017, Harvey Hadland and Bob Mackreth