North America & South America

The North American. (Image: Zenith City Press)

Steamers North American and South American were built in Ecorse, Michigan, in 1913 and 1914 for the Chicago, Duluth & Georgian Bay Transit Company of Detroit. The North American had a history of running aground as she sailed the Great Lakes. On tow for Piney Point, Maryland, for use as a training vessel, the ship suddenly sank about twenty-nine miles northeast of Nantucket Island on September 13, 1967, in two hundred feet of water. The South American sailed the Great Lakes until 1967, when ownership transferred to the Seafarers’ International Union of Piney Point, Maryland. It then steamed to Newport News, Virginia, where its engines were removed and it was converted into a dormitory for the Lundberg School of Seamanship. After many failed attempts to return the South American to the Great Lakes as a museum or restaurant, she was scrapped in 1992.