Identifier: GLMS-0014

Collection Overview


The records for the G. A. TOMLINSON date from 1968, however the bulk of the collection consists of material generated in 1979, the last year the TOMLINSON was in service. The collection contains records left by the ship's chief engineer, bills of lading, deck logs, crew lists, and labor contracts. The TOMLINSON was built in 1907 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan and was originally the D. O. MILLS.


  • 1959-1980


.75 Cubic Feet (2 legal manuscript boxes and 2 volumes)


Scope and Contents

This collection contains files from the ship's engineers serving on the G. A. TOMLINSON from 1959 to 1980. Box 1 holds a subject file with information primarily related to vessel maintenance. This file documents the last decade of service for the TOMLINSON with labor contracts, bills of lading and numerous technical files on vessel operations.

Box 2 contains log books in which engineers recorded data on engine room activities and loading procedures for scattered years from 1968 to 1978.

Vessel History

The G. A. TOMLINSON (US 203979) was built as a bulk freighter named the D. O. MILLS in 1907 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works of Ecorse, Michigan. The Interlake Steamship Company of Cleveland, OH owned the MILLS until 1959 when it was sold to another Cleveland-based company known as the Tomlinson Fleet Corporation. At this time, the MILLS became known as the G. A. TOMLINSON and was converted to a self-unloader at the Fraser-Nelson shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin.

The TOMLINSON was named for fleet owner George Ashley Tomlinson of Duluth, Minnesota. Tomlinson was born in 1869 at Lapeer, Michigan and worked in the Detroit newspaper business until 1893. His early marine experience came in working for a vessel agency until 1901. In that year Tomlinson bought the first vessel in what would become an 18-vessel fleet. At various times Tomlinson was president of the Duluth Steamship Company, the Superior Steamship Company, the Globe Steamship Company, and the Inter Ocean Steamship Company. Tomlinson was a member of the Lake Carriers' Association executive committee and chairman of the board for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Tomlinson died in 1942.

The G. A. TOMLINSON was sold to the Columbia Transportation Company of Cleveland in 1971. In 1974, a bowthruster was added and the engine was converted to oil burning. The TOMLINSON was sold in 1979 to the Triad Salvage Company of Ashtabula, Ohio for scrapping.

Several accidents occurred during the career of the G. A. TOMLINSON. On April 11, 1972 a grounding occurred in the Detroit River near Belle Isle. In Buffalo, New York on May 21, 1974 a stranding caused $150,000 in damage. At Toledo, Ohio on April 8, 1977 an accident damaging machinery required repairs worth $235,000. A hole six feet by ten feet was made near the bow in a collision with a scow on May 24, 1979. The TOMLINSON was blown by gusting winds against the Ashtabula breakwall on October 28, 1979. The G. A. TOMLINSON survived these periodic batterings and sailed the Great Lakes for 72 years.

Conditions Governing Access

No known access restrictions.

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Related Materials

For records of other vessels scrapped by Triad Salvage, see GLMS 13 - Steamer PAUL L. TIETJEN records and GLMS 12 - Tanker M/V POLARIS records.

For maintenance records of work done by Triad Salvage, see GLMS 53 - Triad Salage, Inc. records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was donated by Robert Weiner, owner of Triad Salvage, Inc., in Ashtabula, OH, in 1981. The material was found aboard the G. A. TOMLINSON when it was delivered to his company for scrapping.



Guide to the G. A. TOMLINSON Records
Mark Sprang
June 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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