104-year-old Laker

dweller - June 4, 2010

There's a new historical exhibit on the Challenger, the oldest "Laker" still operating on the Great Lakes. She is 104 years old this year.  Details here...

captino's picture

This *is* the same boat once known as the Medusa Challenger, originally "The St. Mary's Challenger." My own first sighting of her occurred from my office in the Builder's Building in 1969, as she began rounding the Chicago river turn at Wolf Point, near LaSalle and Wacker Drive. She is better known as the St. Mary's Challenger, but has been a cement carrier, I guess, for most of her life. In looking this up I discovered there is actually a movie called "The Medusa Challenger" starring Joe Mantagna, shot in Chicago, but I don't think it was about the boat. The Challenger and the S.S. Badger share the same type of steam engine, called a "Skinner Marine Unaflow."

Gagarin's picture

Is this the same ship that was once called the "Medusa Challenger" in the 1960's and 1970's? If it is, I recall seeing it go up the Chicago River from my office at State Street and Wacker Drive on its way to a Material Service Company that provided redi-mix concrete to building contractors. The Chicago River has a bend at Wabash and Wacker where the old Chicago Sun Times/ Daily news building was located (now the site of Trump Tower) and it usually got stuck in the mud. With the help of tugs it was easily freed and I could see the mud being churned up from the bottom of the river from my 14th floor office.