Edward B. Greene

Edward B. Greene – Benson Ford {3} – Kaye E. Barker


Kaye E. Barker on the St. Marys River, June 11, 2019. Photo by Roger LeLievre


Build Information

Year Built: 1952

Builder: American Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, OH

Hull #189

Registry: U.S. 263980

IMO #5097450

Laid Down: 1951

Launch Date: January 10, 1952

Commissioned: July 29, 1952


The Edward B. Greene was constructed in 1952 as a gearless bulk carrier by the American Shipbuilding Company at their Toledo, Ohio, shipyard for the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company. She was a member of the AAA Class, or the “Pittsburgh” Class, originally designed for the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel. The AAA Class ships were designed with refined hull streamlining and an asymmetrical stern to help improve water flow to the propeller. Adding to this, the rudder was slightly offset for more efficiency. All vessels of the class were originally 647’ long, 70’ wide, and 36’ deep with a cargo capacity of about 21,000 tons. The AAA ships were outfitted with oil fired boilers that provided steam for a large Westinghouse geared steam turbine, giving them around 7,000 HP. These engines pushed the ships along at around 16 MPH, making a round trip in just over 5 days, an improvement over the 6-7 day passages by older vessels. There were also some minor differences between the American Shipbuilding and Great Lakes Engineering Works units, those being that the Great Lakes Engineering ships had a slightly larger pilothouse but a slightly lower gross registered tonnage.

The Edward B. Greene was one of eight ships built along the AAA class lines, the others being the identical Arthur M. Anderson, Cason J. Callaway, Philip R. Clarke, Reserve and William Clay Ford, and the near-identical Armco, and J. L. Mauthe. The primary difference between the Greene and her sisters was that she had a triple-deck pilothouse, with a lounge and Texas deck on the second level for her guest accommodations. Her stack was more streamlined as well.

The Greene was originally constructed as a gearless bulk carrier, being designed with large box holds to make her an efficient carrier in the iron ore trade. She was converted to a self-unloader in 1982, and her equipment consists of a single hold belt with an aft loop-belt system feeding a 250′ deck-mounted boom.


  • Bow thruster installed, 1964.
  • Boilers automated, 1966.
  • Lengthened by 120′, Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wisconsin, 1976.
  • Converted to self-unloader, American Shipbuilding Company, Toledo, Ohio, 1981.
  • Stern thruster installed, 1982.
  • Repowered, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 2012.
  • Stern rebuilt & modified, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 2012.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 647′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 630’09”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: —

Capacity: 20,150 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 3 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 6-7-6]

Number of Hatches: 19 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After Lengthening, 1974

Length Overall: 767′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 750’09”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 27′

Capacity: 26,750 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 3 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 6-12-6]

Number of Hatches: 24 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After conversion to self-unloader, 1982

Length Overall: 767′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 750’09”

Breadth: 70′

Depth: 36′

Loaded Draft: 27′

Capacity: 25,300 Tons

Vessel Type: Loop-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 250′

Number of Cargo Holds: 5 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 4-5-5-5-4]

Number of Hatches: 23 [Dimensions: 46’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Stone Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1

Engineering Equipment



Engine Type: Steam Turbine

Engine Manufacturer: De Laval Steam Turbine Co., Trenton, NJ

Engine Model: Geared Steam Turbine

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 7700 SHP


Boiler Type: Oil-Fired Water Tube Boilers

Boiler Manufacturer: Foster-Wheeler, Baar, Switzerland

Boiler Size: 15466 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2

Repower – 2012

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce Bergen, Hordvik, Norway

Engine Model: B32:40L6P; 6-Cylinder,

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 8,040 BHP



Edward B. Greene – 1952-1985

Owner: Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH

Operator: Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE

Benson Ford {3} – 1985-1989

Owner: Rouge Steel Co., Dearborn, MI [Subsidiary of Ford Motor Co.]

Operator: Rouge Steel Co., Marine Division

Flag: United States

Home Port: Dearborn, MI

Kaye E. Barker – 1989-2014

Owner: Lakes Shipping Co., Cleveland, OH [Interlake Steamship Co.]

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH

Kaye E. Barker – 2015-Present

Owner: Interlake Steamship Co., Middleburg Heights, OH

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Cleveland, OH

Her Story

In 1950, the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company contracted the American Shipbuilding Company to construct a variation of Pittsburgh Steamship Company’s AAA class ship. The new ship would be of the same dimensions, with identical carrying capacity and engineering equipment, but would feature a more streamlined stack and a triple-level pilothouse forward. The second deck on the forward deckhouse featured a lounge and accommodations for guests of Cleveland-Cliffs officials.

The keel for the new vessel was laid in drydock at American Shipbuilding’s Toledo, Ohio, shipyard. She would become the first Great Lakes vessel constructed entirely in drydock. The new ship was christened Edward B. Greene and floated out of drydock on January 10, 1952. The Greene then underwent final fit out before sailing on sea trials on June 18, 1952. Delayed by a steelworkers’ strike, the new flagship sailed on her maiden voyage on July 29, 1952, departing Toledo with great fanfare as she set off to load iron ore in Marquette, Michigan, for Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1975, the Greene sailed a trip under with her boilers being fired with the experimental shale oil, an alternative fuel source to crude oil during the energy crisis of the 1970’s.

In 1976, Cleveland-Cliffs contracted Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wisconsin, to lengthen the Edward B. Greene by 120′. The Greene was placed in drydock in early 1976, where she was then cut in half just aft of midship, and her stern section floated out of the drydock. The new mid-body was floated in and lined up with the bow, followed by the stern section. The sections were then welded together and a new, larger rudder was installed to handle the vessel’s larger size. In mid-June, the project was complete, and she passed her sea trials and returned to service, only to be found that a large crack developed in her hull on June 20, 1976. She unloaded her cargo of iron ore and was repaired at American Shipbuilding Company’s Lorain, Ohio, yard.

In order to maintain a competitive fleet, Cleveland-Cliffs had the Edward B. Greene converted into a self-unloader. On August 6, 1980, the Greene arrived at American Shipbuilding’s Toledo, Ohio, shipyard, to undergo the conversion, where her cargo hold bottom was removed and new sloped sections were lowered through her cargo hatches and welded together. Conveyor belts running lengthwise of the ship were installed in the hold. A loop-belt elevator system was installed just forward of the aft deckhouse with a 250’ cargo boom to deliver the cargo to the dock.

After losing several vital cargo contracts, Cleveland-Cliffs sold off their fleet in the mid-1980’s, selling the Edward B. Greene and her fleetmate Walter A. Sterling to the Ford Motor Company in 1984, to be operated by their subsidiary Rouge Steel Company. The Greene was renamed Benson Ford {3} and was repainted into Ford colors over the winter of 1984/1985 at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin. She entered service for Ford in the spring, primarily hauling ore from Marquette, Michigan, to the Rouge Steel mill in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Ford did carry some odd-spot cargoes besides ore for Rouge Steel, such as delivering coal, to Manistee, Michigan, on August 2, 1985, becoming the largest ship to enter the port.

On March 13, 1989, it was announced that the Marine operations and the three remaining ships were sold to Interlake Steamship Company’s subsidiary Lakes Shipping Company.  The Benson Ford {3} was rechristened Kaye E. Barker with her former fleetmate William Clay Ford {2}, being renamed Lee A. Tregurtha, during ceremonies at Cleveland’s lakefront docks on August 2, 1990. The former Ford vessels were operated by a separate entity due to the two fleets being operated by different unions.

The Kaye E. Barker remained largely dedicated to transporting ore from Marquette to Rouge Steel’s mill in Dearborn, while carrying loads of aggregate and coal here and there. In 1994, she became the largest vessel to load at Marblehead, Ohio, and in 1997 she became the first Interlake ship to load at Alabaster, Michigan, as well as the first Interlake ship to handle a grain cargo. On August 8, 1998, she unloaded the final cargo of limestone to the Dow Chemical plant in Ludington, Michigan.

On November 5, 2006, while on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point, the Kaye E. Barker suffered a rare boiler explosion, causing injuries to two crew members. The injured crew members were airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard, while the ship sailed to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where she docked for inspection.

In 2012, the Kaye E. Barker was repowered with two new diesel engines by Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. While in the yard, a portion of her stern was removed around her rudder and propeller shaft, and replaced with new redesigned stern to accommodate for her new controllable pitch propeller. She returned to service later in the 2012 season.

In 2015, the Lakes Shipping Company was dissolved and the vessels were absorbed directly into the Interlake Steamship fleet.

The Kaye E. Barker continues to be an active member in the Interlake Steamship Company fleet, serving the ore, coal, and aggregate markets.

Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on July 1, 2020


Bawal, Raymond A., Jr. Twilight of the Great Lakes Steamer. Inland Expressions, 2009. Pp. 31-36.

Berry, Sterling P. “Greene, Edward B.”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 1 July 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/g/greene-edward-b>

Davidson, Todd. “Kaye E. Barker”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online, N.d. Accessed 1 July 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/kebarker.htm>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 169.

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“M/V Kaye E. Barker”. Interlake Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 1 July 2020. <http://www.interlake-steamship.com/our-fleet/m-v-kaye-e.-barker/>