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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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William E. Corey: 1905

William E. Corey: 1905

South Chicago, 1905. "Steamer William E. Corey, stern view on the ways." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Corey / Ridgetown

Google satellite indicates that she's still there. No streetview, but many photos of her on the site.

There are large signs warning against boarding her, as seagulls have her thoroughly contaminated.

The rudder was probably left off to prevent damage during side launch, and installed later. Otherwise, rudders are clamped full over for side launch. The battleship posted a couple days later has a wooden clamp on her rudder for the stern launch.

Drydocking is very expensive and time consuming, so a great deal of underwater work such as hanging a rudder or propeller blade is done either by divers, or by ballasting one end and pumping out the other. Freighters have multiple large ballast tanks to allow any trim condition.

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1905 - 1970

William E. Corey (1905)

Later names

Ridgetown (1963)


Chicago Shipbuilding Company
South Chicago, Illinois

Year Built: 1905

Launched: June 24, 1905
Type: Bulk freighter

Completed: August 1905

Fate: June 21, 1974 Sunk as breakwater.

Location: Port Credit, Ontario, Canada.
43.32N - 79.34W

Dimensions, machinery and performance
Length: 569'

Engines: 1 Triple expansion
Beam: 56'

Boilers: 2 Scotch Marine (coal fired)
Draft: 19' 6"

Shafts: 1
Gross Tons: 6,363

HP: 1,800 IHP

Speed: 10 knots
Funnels: 1
Masts: 2
Construction notes
1937 rebuilt, 6,485 GRT
1937 Babcock & Wilcox water tube type boilers fitted.

Maiden voyage.
Nov. 28, 1905:

Grounded in storm at Gull Island Reef in the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior. Refloated
on Dec. 10, 1905.

June 1970:

Sunk as breakwater at Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada. Later raised.

Lower East Side

Wow, I've been here. Near 98th street right? I think this is now a tug boat yard.


Noticed that the building on the right seems have had another structure to its left, you can see what appear to be an outline of it. Taken down to make room? And I wonder if the exterior stair on that building was the only way to get to the upper level? Still not sure if I'd wanna be wandering around under the "Corey' while she's only held in place by those pieces of wood. If it did let go, those chaps on the opposite side would get a royal drenching!

It ran aground 5 months after launch

The $475,000 William E. Corey was launched by the Chicago Shipbuilding Co. on June 24, 1905. It was the first flagship of the Pittsburgh Steamship Co. of Cleveland. The steamer ran aground on a reef in western Lake Superior in a severe storm on November 28. She was salvaged and repaired at a cost of $100,000. After years of operation and several structural changes, the William E. Cory was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., a British company, in 1963 and renamed the Ridgetown. It was operated regularly until near the end of 1969. The Ridgetown was sold to the Canadian Dredge & Dry Dock Co. in 1970. It was eventually towed to Nanticoke, Ontario, and loaded with stone to settle as a temporary breakwall. It was later refloated, towed to Port Credit Harbor in early summer 1974 after wintering at Toronto, and again loaded with stone and sunk as a breakwater. She is presumably still there.

This is a pic of her taken in 1997.

Gone, but not forgotten


The Corey is still around, renamed Ridgetown, sunk in 1974 as a breakwall at Port Credit, Ontario.


Not exactly what I think of when I think of shipping hubs.

Forgot something!

Hope they remember to install the rudder before they slide it down the ways!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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