C. Patrick Labadie Collection

Identifier: GLMS-0041

Collection Overview


This collection contains information on the operation of Great Lakes vessels from 1848 to 1980. Enrollment data for 40 vessels registered between 1848 and 1942 reflects efforts to standardize licensing procedures. Log books for the WILLIAM P. PALMER, the HENRY PHIPPS and other vessels record daily activities during voyages. Meeting minutes are present for the annual meeting of the Masters and Chief Engineers of the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of the United States Steel Corporation for 1956 and 1957.


  • 1848-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1932-1977


7 Cubic Feet (6 legal manuscript boxes, 1 record storage carton)

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a number of sources providing researchers with insights into Great Lakes shipping activities. Though not large (4 cubic feet), this set of maritime history resources permits users to examine subjects from daily vessel operations through logs and procedure manuals to issues of an industry-wide nature through annual meeting minutes for vessel officers. Coverage is extensive in time span, if not volume, with information dating from 1848-1980.

A record group on Proceedings (1.5 cubic feet) includes minutes from the 1956 and 1957 annual meetings of the Masters and Chief Engineers employed by the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U. S. Steel and assorted log books from eight vessels dating from 1941-1974. The WILLIAM P. PALMER and the HENRY PHIPPS are covered the most extensively through the logbooks.

Reports (1.5 cubic feet) cover shipping activities from a construction and maintenance perspective through Offsets on the PHILIP R. CLARKE and the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON. Survey and Casualty Reports on nine vessels document the inspection process for damaged vessels. Vessel enrollment information offers a view of the effort to standardize registration and licensing procedures for Great Lakes vessels. Enrollment data for forty vessels (see Appendix 1) registered from 1848 to 1942 is included. Vessel Traffic reports for locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway record trip activities.

A record group on printed material (1 cubic foot) offers published works on shipping for examination. Fourteen items have been retained in the collection and Appendix 2 lists materials separated for cataloging in the main HCGL print materials collection.

Some 240 photographic images, including 159 glass plate negatives, have been separated for inclusion in the main HCGL photographic images catalog. The area around Saugatuck, Michigan and its role in the tourist excursion business in the 1900-1940 period receive coverage here.

Biographical Sketch

Charles Patrick Labadie was born in Grosse Point, Michigan on March 17, 1940. Mr. Labadie studied engineering at the University of Detroit before joining the staff of the Detroit Historical Commission. The Great Lakes region has been Mr. Labadie's milieu throughout his career as an historian of the shipping industry. Past positions have also included employment with the Saugatuck Marine Museum in Saugatuck, Michigan and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit, Michigan. Since 1973, Mr. Labadie has been the Curator/Director of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Canal Park Museum in Duluth, Minnesota.

As a frequently published author on Great Lakes shipping, Mr. Labadie's research has been extensive. His insights into maritime history and his donations to research centers place C. Patrick Labadie in a position of esteemed value among both his colleagues and studies of the Great Lakes region.

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The C. Patrick Labadie Collection was transferred to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes in a series of donations beginning in 1974. The Instruments of Gift were signed on April 10, 1984 and April 5, 1991.

Processing Information

Processing was initiated in June 1980 by Martha Crain. Final processing of the compiled donations of Mr. Labadie was completed with the assistance of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant by Mark J. Barnes in August 1991.

Guide to the C. Patrick Labadie Collection
Mark Sprang
November 2018
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