Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Part V: Isle Royale Queen II

In 1955, after a successful career as a miner, commercial fisherman, and ferryboat owner and operator, Charlie Kauppi died. The Kauppi family sold the Copper Queen to the Sievertson family of Grand Portage, Minnesota, where she was re-christened Voyageur and put into service from Grand Portage to Isle Royale. The family also sold the Isle Royale Queen I to Capt. Ward Grosnick, a commercial fisherman out of Ripley, Michigan. Ward continued to sail the Queen I from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale from 1955 to 1959 when he had the T. D. Vinette Boat Company of Escanaba, Michigan, build the Isle Royale Queen II. The picture above is the Queen II being hauled down the main street of Escanaba on her way to the marina for launching. I am told by T.D. that the schoolchildren were excused so that they could watch her going by. When the Queen II was put into service, Ward sold the Queen I to a private party.

The Isle Royale Queen II was designed by Naval Architect Walter Haertel of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. She was 57-feet in length with an 18-foot beam, fabricated of steel, and powered by three Gray Marine engines (later re-powered with twin Cummins). Marine Surveyor Capt. F. Manzzutti described her as follows: "...she was specially designed, staunch, graceful, open water long-voyage, heavy weather ferry...with a gracefully raked stem; streamline, contour, elliptical after-splay; tumble-home transom; rounded forefoot; slightly flared , raised bow; straight sides; vee bow merging to semi-modest vee bottom to midship thence to a near-flat bottom to the reinforced transom area."

Ward and his sons ran the Queen II until May, 1971, when he sold both the boat and business to the Donald Kilpela family of Livonia, Michigan. Pictured below is the Isle Royale Queen II taken in 1975 as she lay aside the Rock Harbor dock on Isle Royale National Park.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By the way, I don´t know the story of how you first heard about the Queen or why you were interested in buying it. That must have been a very interesting conversation with Aunt Betty.