Steam ship's anchor raised from Detroit River after 60 years
Ship was set on fire in Lake St. Claire
DETROIT – Crews raised a 6,000-pound anchor Tuesday from the bottom of the Detroit River where it had been sitting for the past 60 years.
The luxury steamer Greater Detroit was a 536-foot-long floating hotel that ferried guest around the Great Lakes. The Greater Detroit and her sister ship, the Greater Buffalo, were the largest side-wheel steamers ever built.
The hull was launched Sept. 15, 1923, and made her maiden voyage Aug. 29, 1924. Designed by Frank E. Kirby, who also designed the Boblo boats and the Ste. Claire.
The ship could carry more than 2,100 passengers and had 625 staterooms.
With the rise of commercial airplane and highway travel, operations came to an end in 1950 and the ship was tied up downtown for six years. She was tied up where the Riverfront Towers are today.
On Dec. 12, 1956, the Greater Detroit’s anchor was cut at her mooring because there was no steam power on board to raise it. She was taken out into Lake St. Clair and set on fire.
The anchor now will go on display at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Office.
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