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Photo Courtesy Emory Massman - Banner by John A. Harris

CLICK HERE TO VISIT - the building of the JTH model


Built: American Ship Building Co., Cleveland, OH 1943

Hull #: 1010

Class: US Maritime class A1 bulk carrier (L6-S-A1)

Official #: 243685

Lloyds No.: 5174454

Call Sign: WA6537

Port of Registry: Buffalo, NY

Classification Society: American Bureau of Shipping

Keel Laid Nov. 19 1942

Launch Date: May 1, 1943

Delivery Date to Buckeye: July, 26, 1943

Dimensions: 620' x 60'2" x 35'

Tonnage: 8758 gross - 6472 net

Cargo capacity: 14,600 tons

Holds: 4

Hatches: 17 - steel (ea. 3.3m x 11.5 m)

Generators: 2 x 75 kW

Bow thruster and Aft thruster (added during 1964 refit)

Speed: 12 knots



Type: 4 cyl. double compound Lentz
2 @ 530mm x 1219mm - 2 @ 1270mm x 1219mm

Cylinder and Stroke: 20 7/8 - 20 7/8 - 50x48

Independent/shaft H.P.: 2,500

Builder: American Ship Building Co., Cleveland, OH

Date of build: 1943



Type: Water Tube

Number: 2

Side: 9346 sq. ft. (Heat. surf.)

Builder: Combustions Engineering Co., Inc.

Date of build: 1943






Converted to self-unloader during winter lay-up 1963-64 Superior, Wisconsin. This was the first shipboard installation of this type of conveyor boom, with a turntable and three part boom in addition to the A-frame.



Number of cargos by year:
1971 - 107
1972 - 101
1973 - 99
1974 - 85



Named after Buckeye Steamship founder & President Mr. John T. Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson was the son of Charles L. Hutchinson, a lake boat captain and shipping company owner himself. A life long resident of Cleveland, Ohio and educated at University School. After graduating in 1908 he began working for the family business as an accountant. Upon learning the business he incorporated the Buckeye Steamship Company, May 13, 1923. In 1935 he was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Lake Carriers Association. He served as President of the Association from 1947 to 1952. During the year of 1939 Mr. Hutchinson also became President of Pioneer Steamship Co., and a Partner in Hutchinson & Co. John T. Hutchinson was born July 24, 1889 and passed away on June 6, 1958.



Made maiden voyage 7/29/43, light from Cleveland to Duluth to load iron ore.

Distinction of opening interlake navigation at Duluth when it arrived on 3/27/49 to load grain.

Was the flagship of the Buckeye Fleet before being sold to American Steamship on 11/6/63

Was the first Great Lakes vessel to be equipped with radar.   The radar equipment, designed by Bell Telephone Laboratories, was installed by Western Electric Co. at Buffalo on April 23 1946. The initial radar unit had a range of up to 40 miles.  The Great Lakes News, May, 1946. P 10.

A casualty of the 80's downsizing - Laid up in Cleveland on 12-18-81 never to sail again under her own power. Several years later she would be towed to the "frog pond" in Toledo.

On April 18, 1988, JOHN T. HUTCHINSON was towed from Toledo to Lauzon by the tug W.N. TWOLAN, arriving on the 27th of April. On June 14th, JTH and her former fleetmate CONSUMERS POWER are towed together by the tug Omega 809 bound for the scrap yard Li Chong Steel & Iron Works, in Taiwan. Passing through the Panama Canal on the 14th of July, they arrive in Taiwan October 2, 1988 and dismantling began on October 14th.




8/13/46 - Trip #15, Two Harbors to Conneaut Ohio, dented portside bow at Conneaut dock. Damage minor.

9/28/47 - Trip #26, Duluth to Conneaut, rubbed u/w object near the vicinity of cut #4 wrecked crib #11 St. Marys River. Minor damage.

10/15/47 - Struck dock at National Tube Co. Lorain while docking. Damaged plating on bluff of bow. Damage minor Repair cost $3,650.00.

12/9/47 - Trip #35, Port Arthur to Buffalo. Damaged prop while warming up engines at Standard Elevator in Buffalo. Prop replaced. Cost $7,000.00

10/24/48 - While in tow of the Great Lakes towing tugs Minnesota and Kentucky she struck the dock at Conneaut causing minor damage to her starboard #3 plate. Cost $350.00.

9/30/49 - Toledo to Duluth. Rubbed corner of the C&O coal dock in Toledo. Damage estimate $3,188.75

4/23/55 - Trip #1, Chicago to Calcite to Duluth. While maneuvering into Cutler LaLiberte stone dock in Duluth her starboard bow came into contact with corner of dock. Damage minor, cost $7,300.00

7/4/55 - Trip #11, Duluth to Conneaut. Rubbed bottom due to low water level in St. Marys River. Visual inspection, drydocking cost $12,140.00

8/7/55 - Trip #16, Duluth to Conneaut. While maneuevering to ore dock current forced port bow to strike dock causing 2 dents above water line. Cost $14,400.00

11/2/56 - Trip #27, Conneaut, OH to Superior. Hit underwater object in Detroit River in the vicinity of bouy #45. Sustained plate damage at a cost of $26,400.00

11/23/56 - While tied up at Conneaut awaiting to unload, a strong current sent the vessel into the end of pier on the starboard side amidship. Sustained plate and frame damage at a cost of $30,199.79

12/3/56 - While manuevering into her winter layup birth at River Rouge her bow struck the Nicholson Fuel dock causing damage to shell plating and four internal frames. Cost was $4,735.00

11/22/60 - While at Toledo entering drydock area of American Shipbuilding she struck the corner of the drydock causing considerable damage to her starboard bilge plating as well as some other structural damage at a cost of $14,833.49

12/8-9/63 - Trip #21. Calcite to Superior to Duluth. While discharging at Cutler, Magner, La Liberte Stone dock in Superior during a strong gale she rubbed and pounded portside aft plates. Damage estimate $16,000.00.

12/18/63 - During an inspection it was found she had struck an u/w object on an unkown date and location. Plate damage was estimated at $34,500.00.

8/6/65 - she suffered bow damage when she collided with a bridge at Grosse Ile, Mi., knocking the bridge down.

6/10/68 - collided with a German ship called the SUSANNE REITH. This took place at the mouth of the St. Clair River.

1/15/71 - she received minor wiring damage due to a fire on her deck.

Later that Winter the "HUTCH" received considerable ice damage while steaming through the Straits of Mackinac.

8/1975 - Man Overboard - As the 4-8 Watchman aboard the John T. Hutchinson in 1975, I was painting the boat deck (in back, the top of the house, the level holding the lifeboats). It was about 5pm on a gorgeous August afternoon on upper Lake Michigan. I painted the entire deck since it was late in the day and there was no need to leave pathways for work crews. Old Gus Nesman (65), the Bosun, wanted to turn on the welder that was located on the lifeboat deck. He placed a ladder on the side of the ship from the main deck up to the boat deck. Someone coming out of the messroom at the time saw Gus falling off the ladder then being sucked into the propeller area. He came up behind the ship, but then went down again - Gus could not swim. We lowered a lifeboat and rowed around for over an hour looking for Gus, all we found was his yellow baseball-style hardhat, which he had just gotten because he liked mine so much. Finally, at dusk, the Captain, a good friend of the old bosun, gave the orders to sail on.
Reported by David R. Frank

12/8/76 - Struck dock at Cleveland causing minor plate damage. Cost estimate $24,020.00


John T. Hutchinson - Namesake of the "Hutch"

May 1, 1943 Launch at Cleveland OH. (Cleveland Plain Dealer Photo)

Soo, 1940's

The glory days as the flagship of the Buckeye fleet. (Marine Publishing Photo)

At Conneaut OH 1950. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Original and long time Skipper, Capt. Harold Jacobson. 10/26/50. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Locking through at the Soo, 1956 postcard. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Buckeye colors. (Photo by Tim Klinges)

Departing Duluth. (Photo by Tim Klinges)

St. Marys River, 5/29/60 (Vanderlinden Photo)

Lay up, early 1960's? (J.A. Harris Collection)

Her final year in the Buckeye fleet 1963. (E. Massman Photo)

Just sold to American Steamship 1964.  Getting new paint an unloading boom, Frasier Shipyard. (John Dunlap Photo)

Close up at Frasier 1964 (John Dunlap Photo)

Her new boom being installed. (Russ Plumb Photo)

Brand new paint, boom and owner at Hancock, 9/24/64 (J.A. Harris Collection)

Being towed on Detroit River. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Detroit River. (J.A. Harris Collection)

C&O #2 dock, Ohio, 1970's (James Huffman Photo)

Post card. Passing the ill-fated Edmund Fitgerald. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Unloading 1974. (Greg Opp Photo)

Unloading in Buffalo 1974 (Greg Opp Photo)

Entering lower Lake Huron from St. Clair River 1975 (James Huffman Photo)

Toledo OH 1976 (James Huffman Photo)

Toledo OH 1978 (James Huffman Photo)

Tawas MI 1978 (J.A. Harris Photo)

Tawas MI 1978 (J.A. Harris Photo)

Toledo OH Consolidated Dock 1979. Old WC Richardson at her stern (James Huffman Photo)

Clear sailing 1979

Monroe MI, Layup 1980 (Tom Salvner Photo))

June 7 1981, downbound St. Clair River (Tom Salvner Photo)

Final lay up in Cleveland 1981. (Tom Salvner Photo)

Cleveland old River bed. Never to sail again. 1982 (Russ Plumb Photo)

Moved to Toledo.  7/25/84 Awaiting final scrap tow overseas. (Al Hart Photo)

Toledo. Laidup next to CADILLAC 1984 (Al Hart Photo)

1988, next to Adam E. Cornelius. (Al Hart Photo)

Scrap tow 4/22/88 (Jimmy Sprunt Photo)

Final run, April 27, 1988. Being towed through Welland Canal enroute to Taiwan. (Jeff Cameron Photo)







Framed Ships Articles

These framed articles are her original frame and articles from 1943, they are signed by her original and long time Captain, Capt. Harold Jacobson. (J.A. Harris Collection)

Framed Articles & Station Bills

original framed articles from 1943.(J.A. Harris Collection)

Framed Articles & Station Bills

(J.A. Harris Collection)

Framed Articles & Station Bills

(J.A. Harris Collection)

Framed Articles & Station Bills

(J.A. Harris Collection)

Framed Articles & Station Bills

(J.A. Harris Collection)

Captain's Chair

From the pilothouse of JTH (J.A. Harris Collection)

Hutchinson Bell

This bell was removed off the "Hutch" just prior to her scrap tow. It was refinished and presented to Mrs. Jane Hutchinson-Cauffield, daughter of John T. Hutchinson. I Had the pleasure of interviewing and visiting with Jane at her home in Ohio on 2/24/02. She also allowed me to photograph the bell. (Photo by John A. Harris)

Hutchinson Signed Letterhead

This is a signed letter on Hutchinson & Co. letterhead, from the Hutch's original Master, Capt. Harold Jacobson. It is dated from May 16, 1947.(J.A. Harris Collection)

Form 21 (Front)

This form is used to board and unboard a vessel while at port (Courtesy of Tim Klinges)

Form 21 (Back)

The backside of the same form. (Courtesy of Tim Klinges)

Radio Communication Headset

From the engine room of JTH. (from the J.A. Harris Collection)

1969 Thanksgiving Menu

(From the J.A. Harris Collection)





Harold Jacobsen, 1943,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59
O. Keller, 1955
S. Anderson, 1960
A. McLean, 1963
Eldon Williamson, 1964,65
Wilbur Buswell, 1966,67,68
Stephen Lewandowski, 1969,1970,71
W. Opp, 1972,73,74,75 (Passed away 1987)
W. McCoy, 1976
A. Wilhelmy, 1977
R. Cull, 1978
William Cross, 1980
Robert Trotter, 1979,1981



Tim Bell,Porter, 1978, 79
Sigmunt Drewiega, Chief Eng, 1974
Cleve T. Lang
Frederick H. Bultman V, Deckhand, 1975
James Miller, Deckwatch, 1968
E. Liberty, Chief Engineer, 1955
Arthur Kole, First Asst., 1967 to 1981
Arthur Conroy, 2nd Asst., 1969, 1975
Leslie Pearson, Chief Cook, 1969
Wayne Perkins, 2nd Cook, 1969
John Goforth, Bosun, 1969
Hassan Madry, Gateman, 1969
Michael McCalmon, Gateman, 1969
Silvester Blazik, Wheelsman, 1969
Oren Russ, Wheelsman, 1969
Frank Relkin, Wheelsman, 1969
Henry Witkowski, Watchman, 1969
Leo Dziesenski, Watchman, 1969
Brian Tatum, Watchman, 1969
James Garretson, Deckwatch, 1969
Joseph Fleuty, Deckwatch, 1969
Larry Smith, Deckwatch, 1969
Joseph LaBlanc, Deckhand, 1969
Mahsan Al Mulwallad, Deckhand, 1969
Ralph Gray, Deckhand, 1969
Richard Carlson, Oiler,1969
Francis Shea,Oiler, 1969
Arthur Garretson, Oiler, 1969
Fred Vance, Fireman, 1969
Robert Van Dinter,Fireman, 1969
Edward Rauch, Fireman, 1969
Charles Allen, Wiper, 1969
Hamid Hizam, Wiper, 1969
Robert Smith, Conveyorman, 1969
Lawrence Tulgetske, Asst Conveyorman, 1969
Lawrence Rodden, Porter, 1969
David Centala, Porter, 1969
Anthony Bonus, Porter, 1969
Neil LaBreche, 1969, 3rd Mate
John Allen, 1st Mate, 1969
Louis Gerzina, Deckhand, 1949-50
Thomas S. Meagher, 3rd Mate, 1974
W. Pallas, Chief Engineer, 1957,58,59,60
R. Koob, 3rd Asst., 1944; 2nd Asst., 1949
J. Lobensteyn, Chief Cook, 1944
William Cross, 2nd Mate, 1969,75
J.L. Cross, 2nd Mate, 1944,49
Merle Buell, 1st Asst., 1944
Joseph McMahon, 1st Mate, 1944,49
H. Gunnlaugsson, 3rd Mate, 1944
Leroy Knudsen, 2nd Asst., 1944; 1st Asst. 1949
David R. Frank, AB, 1975
Len Werda, Oiler, 1973
Tim Klinges, Deckhand, 1944
P. Wilhelm, Chief Engineer, 1977,78,79
G. Kerr, Chief Engineer, 1976
John O. Greenwood, Night Porter, 1955
John Gies, Chief Engineer, 1980
Fred W. Dutton, Wheelsman, 1944(?)
Ted Dutton, 1944
Scott Jones, Deckhand, 1978
Samuuel Johnson, Chief Engineer, 1975, 1980
Robert G. "Bobcat" Katarincic, 3rd Asst 1969, Chief Engineer 1981
Andrew Jones, Wiper, 1981
J. MacIver, Chief Engineer, 1963
Joseph Meegan, Chief Engineer, 1966,67,68,69
Otto Nordstrom,Chief Engineer, 1943 to 1956
Alton Hayes, 1st Mate, 1974
Joe Martinson, Watchman, 1974
John McClain, 1st Mate, 1975
Frank McCabe, Chief Eng., 1964,65
L. Taefel, 3rd Mate, 1949
F.E. Barat, Chief Cook, 1949
Albert Wuendsch, 3rd. Asst, 1949
August Nesman, Bosun, 1975 (passed away 1975)
Neal Dowd, Chief Engineer, 1970,71,72,73 (passed away 1999)
James Friedrich, 1975
James Harmon, 1975
Samuel Johnston, 1975
Ed Charette, 1975
Homer Turek, 1975

Bill Rogers

Allen Datt, 3rd Mate, 1972

Harold Dean, Chief Cook, 1976

Dean Gilbert, Deckhand, 1979

John Knopf, Fireman, 1969

Ralph Leslie, Fireman, 1974 to 1981

Musieh Muhsin, Gateman, 1982

Bob Smith, Conveyorman, 1967 to 1981

Wayne Wanger, Gateman, 1974



I would like to thank the following for their assistance in gathering this information and photos.



FLEET HISTORIES - Series 5, by John O. Greenwood, Freshwater Press
NAMESAKES OF THE LAKES, by John O. Greenwood, Freshwater Press
KNOW YOUR SHIPS - Marine Publishing
American Steamship Co.
Bowling Green State University - Historical Collections
Mrs. Jane Hutchinson-Cauffield
David R. Frank

Photo Credits

John Dunlap
Greg Opp
Emory Massman
James Huffman
Tom Salvner
William Forsythe
Jeff Cameron
Russ Plumb
Roger Lelievre
Tim Klinges (Deckhand aboard JTH 1944)


If you have any information, lore, or photos you would like to contribute to the JOHN T. HUTCHINSON tribute page, I would certainly welcome it. I am also looking to buy, trade or even arm wrestle for items pertaining to the JTH.  Email me at:

JOHN T. HUTCHINSON wake up call: "Rise and shine for the Buckeye Line, get your sleep in the winter time"


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