Delmar R. Webster Collection

Identifier: GLMS-0030

Collection Overview

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material compiled by Captain Delmar R. Webster during his career on the Great Lakes. The largest series in the collection contains deck logs from the J. BURTON AYERS for 1945-1973. Records of the trips the AYERS made note ports of arrival and departure along with cargo and weather data. A log for loading information from the EDMUND FITZGERALD is also included for 1972-1973.

Meeting information for the 1982 and 1983 conventions of Columbia Transportation Company fleet officers (two file folders) documents activities of a professional organization to which Captain Webster belonged.

A subject file on the vessels ARMCO and J. BURTON AYERS for 1976-1987 (two file folders) provides scattered certificates and licenses acquired by Captain Webster. A loading manual for the ARMCO presents the guidelines used by Captain Webster when monitoring how cargo was stored in the holds of a Great Lakes vessel.


  • 1945-1987


2 Cubic Feet (2 records storage cartons)


Biographical Sketch

Captain Delmar R. Webster, Sr. was born in 1935 at Oak Hills, West Virginia. The Websters moved to Toledo, Ohio during his childhood. At the age of 18, Webster began service as a deckhand on a Great Lakes freighter. Webster joined the Columbia Transportation Company fleet in 1953 and sailed for this company until his 1989 retirement.

Captain Webster progressed through the ranks of command in the Columbia fleet from deckhand to vessel master. His original license was received by Webster in 1962. His master's license followed in 1972. In 1974 Webster commanded his first vessel. Captain Webster was master of the COURTNEY BURTON at the time of his retirement. A subsequent assignment on the oil tanker RANGER during Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf completed Captain Webster's sailing career.

During his lengthy service, Captain Webster held memberships in the International Shipmasters' Association, the Marine Propeller Club, and the Upper Lakes Pilots Association. In 1985, Webster was elected to the Grand Presidency of the International Shipmasters' Association. Captain Webster was a member of the Toledo Lodge #9 for ISMA.

Captain Webster and his wife of twenty-five years, Cathy, had three children, Delmar, Jr., Michelle, and Patrice. Captain Webster died on May 20, 1993 in Oregon, Ohio.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no known access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers using this collection assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright, and are responsible for securing permissions necessary for publication or reproduction.

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Collection is arranged by record type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated to the Center for Archival Collections in 1987.



Guide to the Delmar R. Webster Collection
June 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note