PONTIAC and ADAM E. CORNELIUS at Hocking Valley, Toledo, circa March 1968

Pontiac and Adam E. Cornelius at Hocking Valley, Toledo, circa March 1968

This image shows the freighters Pontiac and Adam E. Cornelius in winter lay up at the Hocking Valley Pier slip, around March 1968.  This pier is located on the North corner of Front Street and Craig Street.  In early 2020, American Valor and Manistee are both laid up in the same location.

The Pontiac was built in 1917 in Ecorse Michigan for Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. It was 580′ long and 60′ wide with a gross tonnage of 8200. The Pontiac was sold for scrap in 1985.

The Adam E. Cornelius was built in 1958 by Manitowac Ship Building Co. for American Steamship Co.  It was 650′ long ad 72 1/8′ wide with a gross tonnage of 14,084.  The Cornelius was cut down to a barge in 1989.  The vessel (now known as Sarah Spencer) stopped actively working in 2009 and in 2014 was laid up in Toledo.  In October 2019, the Spencer was finally towed to Port Colburn for scrapping.


We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below to tell us more about this moment in history, your memories connected to the Pontiac and/or Adam E. Cornelius, or experiences at the Hocking Valley Pier slip.

This exhibit is made possible by visitors like you.  Please consider making a donation to the National Museum of the Great Lakes to help us continue our important work of preserving and making know the history of the Great Lakes.

2 replies
  1. severin F johnson
    severin F johnson says:

    some of your fact are wrong the A.E. Cornelius was 666 feet long 72 wide molded depth 40 carried 22000 tons was fourth in a line of self-unloader build in Manitowoc WI launching Tuesday November 25 1958 trail running June 4 thru June 6 1959 build with out fancy Captain or Chief engineer quarters plain guest quarters and plain officer and crew mess.true working ships with no frills or extra 13 years later A.S.C. built ships model after the Cornelius. Roger M Kyes (A.E.Cornelius) Charles E. Wilson (J.J. Boland) H.Lee White. American Mariner ships the ship Museums need to have a self-unloader ship far more interesting then a straight decker .My father work on th A.E. Cornelius from 1959 till 1975

  2. Carrie Sowden
    Carrie Sowden says:

    Dear Mr. Johnson,
    Length and tonnage numbers often differ depending on the source and how they were calculated. We have taken all of our size data from the Historical Collection of the Great Lakes at Bowling Green State University.
    Thank you for leaving a comment and sharing your knowledge with us! We hope you will continue to visit every couple weeks as we add to the exhibit.
    Cheers,
    Carrie Sowden – Archaeological Director, NMGL

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