Kewaunee II YTM-752 - History

Kewaunee II YTM-752 - History

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Kewaunee Welcomes Visitors Again To Historic Vessel

KEWAUNEE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) – It’s an iconic vessel, which has been part of Kewaunee’s harbor for 75 years.

After a COVID-19 closure last year, the Tugboat Ludington is open again for tours, and the boat also has a history, dating back to World War II.

Mayor Jason Jelinek tells FOX 11 stepping onto the Ludington is like stepping back in time.

“This is where all the crew would have sat, and ate their breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day.”

And a trip to the lower engine room reveals a spool, with nearly a half-mile of steel cable.

“The cable is heavy, so it will go to the bottom, and it will actually drag across the bottom of the lake, and the sand and what is on the bottom will actually polish the cable. When it would get reeled back in. it would be shiny, like new.”

Jelinek says the Ludington’s cable was likely used after the boat was christened the “Major Wilbur Fr. Browder” in 1943 by the U.S. Army. The 115-foot long tug was heading to Europe to support the D-Day invasion in World War II.

“It was part of Normandy. This tug would have been pulling large cargo behind it. Munitions and things like that. So it was definitely an important part of the war effort.”

Jelinek says the tug was painted grey, and had a couple machine guns mounted on the deck. After the war, Jelinek says the vessel was transferred to Kewaunee where it served the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for decades under the name “Tug Ludington.” The city acquired the Ludington about 25 years ago, where it has transformed into a floating museum on the banks of the Kewaunee Harbor.

“In the last say maybe four or five years, the city has worked harder to make it more accessible,” said Jelinek.

After the pandemic closed the site last year, self-guided daily tours are now underway. Visitors use hand-held receivers to learn about exhibits on the boat.

“I’ve always been fascinated with tug boats, so it’s fun to see them. And I know they’re not being used as much as they used to be, so it’s nice to see this here,” said Chris Sadler, Stevens Point.

City leaders say the Tug Ludington can attract about 1,000 visitors throughout the summer season.

Kewaunee Ships of War, Kewaunee Public Library

During World War II, Wisconsinites contributed to the war effort in many ways. Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry flourished in communities along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, where manufacturers such as the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company and Globe Shipbuilding of Superior built submarines, cargo ships, and other vessels for the United States military. In 1941, the Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Company was founded in the small community of Kewaunee, Wisconsin, located on the Lake Michigan side of the base of the Door County Peninsula. Between 1941 and 1946, Kewaunee Shipbuilding employed more than 400 workers and delivered 80 vessels to the United States government for war use. The company, now know as Kewaunee Fabrications, continues to operate in the community as a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation.

In addition to its significant contribution to World War II, Kewaunee Shipbuilding also played a small role in the Cold War. In 1944, the company completed FS-344, an 850-ton Army cargo ship. Beginning in 1967, the ship was used by the U.S. Navy for intelligence gathering under a new name, the USS Pueblo. In January 1968, while surveilling Soviet and North Korean communications, Pueblo was captured by North Korean forces. The ship’s crew was held as prisoners of war for nearly a year, and the ship itself remains in North Korea, now on view as part of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.

The Kewaunee Public Library has recently made available online nearly 300 photographs from three albums donated to the library by John Robillard, a former employee of Kewaunee Fabrications. The photos, known as the Kewaunee Ships of War collection, document the history of the Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Company from 1941-1946, including ships under construction, ship christening events, and the interiors of completed ships.

The library collaborated with numerous community partners to complete the Kewaunee Ships of War project. Local partners included Tom Schueller of the Kewaunee County Historical Society Nathan Roets, social studies teacher at Kewaunee High School and the Outagamie Waupaca Library System. On October 16, 2013, more than 70 community members and 150 local high school students attended a public presentation about the project at Kewaunee High School, which featured a panel of former Kewaunee Shipbuilding employees and WWII veterans. The Kewaunee Ships of War project was funded in part by a $2,000 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Greater Green Bay Area Humanities Fund. Scanning of the photographs was completed by Northern Micrographics of La Crosse.

Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering built tugboats as well as large cargo vessels. This image shows the rings built around smaller ship hulls in order to roll them upright after welding. According to local history, the rings were necessary because the company only had one crane available due to wartime shortages. Kewaunee Public Library. Throughout the war, ship christenings at Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering were an opportunity for the entire community to come together and celebrate local pride and national patriotism. Here, the shipyard band performs for a crowd at a ship christening event. Kewaunee Public Library. Florence Ratajczak smashes a bottle of champagne to christen a new ship, 1941-1946. Kewaunee Public Library. Launch of FS-344 (later known as USS Pueblo) in the Kewaunee Marina, 1944. Kewaunee Public Library.


The plant's original operator was Wisconsin Public Service and it was owned by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (59%) and Alliant Energy (41%). [3] From 2000 to July 2005, the plant was operated by Nuclear Management Company, of Hudson, Wisconsin. The plant is now owned by Dominion Resources of Richmond, Virginia. In 2008, Dominion applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an extension of its operating license for an additional 20 years. [3] The license was extended until 2033.

On April 27, 2006, there was a small water leak at the plant, though no radioactive material was released. [4]

On October 22, 2012, Dominion Resources announced they would shut down and decommission the plant in mid-2013. Dominion's chairman and CEO said "the decision was based purely on economics. Dominion was not able to move forward with our plan to grow our nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale". Lower natural gas costs and resultant lower electricity prices created an electricity market in which the plant could not compete. The plant came offline permanently on May 7, 2013. [2] [5] Plans for decommissioning are uncertain: as a private owner rather than a public utility, Dominion cannot rely on charges imposed on utility customers by state regulators however, the firm has a substantial reserve fund earmarked for this purpose and a cause of action against the Department of Energy for failure to remove spent fuel. There is also the chance that the energy market might improve due to economic or political changes. [2]

The SAFSTOR (SAFe STORage) nuclear decommissioning option was selected. During SAFSTOR, the de-fuelled plant is monitored for up to sixty years before complete decontamination and dismantling of the site, to a condition where nuclear licensing is no longer required. During the storage interval, some of the radioactive contaminants of the reactor and power plant will decay, which will reduce the quantity of radioactive material to be removed during the final decontamination phase. A reduced workforce will move fuel assemblies from the reactor into the spent fuel pool. [6]

On July 15, 2017, as part of decommissioning effort, the remaining fuel assemblies were successfully transferred to 24 Magnastor casks. Pool-to-pad work was completed in 23 weeks. The entire used fuel inventory from nearly four decades of electricity generation at Kewaunee is represented by the 24 Magnastor systems and 14 legacy Nuhoms systems. [7]

As of December 2011, the Kewaunee decommissioning trust had approximately $517M in funds. [8]

Generation (MW-h) Kewaunee Power Station [9]
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual (Total)
2001 374,958 338,738 360,422 374,078 366,191 338,420 368,694 365,908 271,320 0 0 303,281 3,462,010
2002 394,109 356,706 390,893 379,730 246,100 380,201 389,404 388,724 378,133 393,001 380,890 390,843 4,468,734
2003 395,017 340,614 393,504 39,977 233,410 383,826 395,677 398,345 388,429 402,479 390,525 397,324 4,159,127
2004 195,008 363,960 386,957 411,416 425,146 410,108 420,571 420,641 410,377 102,736 0 326,962 3,873,882
2005 423,459 260,001 0 0 0 0 379,656 418,940 409,354 420,601 318,793 416,484 3,047,288
2006 425,724 383,206 425,196 325,889 98,495 404,221 422,279 416,143 11,353 30,239 325,775 404,579 3,673,099
2007 359,049 364,390 288,658 411,105 421,239 391,752 421,962 419,489 411,002 300,318 411,499 425,343 4,625,806
2008 423,644 397,908 379,119 0 283,772 410,671 424,505 398,938 408,761 422,952 412,246 424,779 4,387,295
2009 421,371 382,128 421,620 355,910 421,430 406,604 418,141 417,259 328,290 105,496 411,078 425,991 4,515,318
2010 424,163 385,510 425,766 410,893 424,750 409,739 418,575 419,392 410,992 424,298 410,657 425,519 4,990,254
2011 425,146 337,897 43,300 414,002 427,498 414,764 426,933 423,274 411,659 429,032 415,130 426,120 4,594,755
2012 429,967 402,100 428,348 63,877 278,368 412,850 417,344 419,026 409,961 415,347 412,608 426,096 4,515,892
2013 425,619 384,441 425,220 411,068 87,131 * - - - - - - 1,733,479

* Power station went offline (start of decommissioning phase)

This plant has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor. The plant has two 345 kV lines interconnecting it to the grid with one going to We Energies North Appleton Substation located 15 miles (24 km) north of Appleton, Wisconsin and the other one interconnecting with the Point Beach Nuclear Generating Station located just a short distance away. Two 138 kV lines exit the plant which go to the Green Bay area 30 miles (48 km) away.

Surrounding population Edit

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity. [10]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Kewaunee was 10,292, a decrease of 0.9 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 776,954, an increase of 10.1 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Green Bay (26 miles to city center). [11]

Seismic risk Edit

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Kewaunee was 1 in 83,333, according to an NRC study published in August 2010. [12] [13]

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

Only a small portion of our local history collection is available online. Thousands of other publications are located in the Society's library in Madison. Search the University of Wisconsin Library Catalog (formerly MadCat) for titles and call numbers. Then visit the library in Madison to consult the volumes you need.

contains 16,000 historical newspaper articles on notable Wisconsin people and communities. The entire collection is available digitally, displays the actual clipping and is downloadable. Most articles were published 1860-1940.

Vollrath manufactures equipment and supplies for the commercial foodservice industry. Their equipment offering includes mixers, slicers, induction ranges, countertop griddles and charbroilers, warmers, merchandisers, mobile serving units, merchandising carts and kiosks. Their supply offering ('smallwares') includes steam table pans, cookware, kitchen utensils, tabletop accessories, and buffet serving ware. Vollrath operates six manufacturing plants with locations in Wisconsin, New York and China and has been a leader in commercial induction cooktop technology. Vollrath is a global company with sales, service and warehouse support in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and China. They also have a large OEM arm, which produces custom stainless steel pieces for various applications. Vollrath offers food preparation, cooking and serving products. They sell their products through two-tier distribution.

The Vollrath Company was started in 1874 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin by Jacob J. Vollrath. Jacob sold his products from a cart and quickly expanded his business. Vollrath devoted its production facilities to military products during the wars and produced a Polio-Pak during the polio epidemic. It was among the first manufacturing companies in America to integrate computer technology. Today, the company is family-owned with Terry J. Kohler, the great-great grandson of Jacob Vollrath, serving on the company's board of directors.

Start up – 1900 Edit

Jacob Vollrath began building farm implements, steam engines, cast iron ranges and cooking utensils in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He manufactured porcelain enameled pots, pans, plates, cups and other kitchenware by coating cast iron with ceramic glaze. In 1874 it was reported that J.J. Vollrath & Sons was constructing a factory for the production of porcelain hollow ware and cast iron fences. [1] In 1874 he formed the Sheboygan Cast Steel Co. and constructed a plant in Sheboygan to do general foundry work while his son Andrew was in Germany learning porcelain enamelling. The Sheboygan Cast Steel Company produced railroad frogs and small cast parts for the furniture industry. The company expanded into manufacturing cooking ranges and agricultural implements.

In 1876, Andrew returned from Germany and production of enameled ware began. After making a few enameled cast iron utensils, Jacob went from one community to the next with a cart selling his stock. By 1881, Jacob employed 40 men and grossed $50,000 per year. The company flourished and was incorporated in 1884 under the name of Jacob J. Vollrath Manufacturing Company. [2]

In 1893 Vollrath exhibited iron ware at the Chicago World's Fair. [3]

By 1886, Jacob's business had expanded so much that his facility covered an entire block. He purchased 30 acres (120,000 m 2 ) of land along Lake Michigan for a home and a park. The 16-acre (65,000 m 2 ) which became Vollrath Park was later donated to the city by his heirs in 1917. In 1887, the Vollrath facility was one of the largest plants in the country devoted to enameled ware.

Jacob's second son, Carl, originated and patented “Speckled” enamel in 1889, which became common. Sheet steel stamped ware was added to the product line in 1892, which increased the range of items considerably. A catalog from that era shows the addition of coffee boilers, dippers, ladles, cake and pie pans, bowls and cups. Already manufacturing enameled cast iron sinks, stove reservoirs, refrigerator tanks, and water cooler tanks, Vollrath added bathtubs to the product line in 1895, although they weren't included in a catalog. At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Vollrath garnered the Grand Prize for enameled iron ware. Jacob died in May 1898, passing the company on to his children.

1901-1929 Growth Edit

In 1900 the company discontinued the manufacture of plumbing goods in order to devote its energies entirely to the cooking utensil field. The management at that time believed that concentration on one product would result in a better quality product. The company continued to grow, opening the first branch office in Chicago in 1900. A New York branch was built circa 1903, and a San Francisco office was built circa 1909. In 1904 Vollrath earned top honors for “Excellence in the Production of Colored and Plain, Stamped Steel and Cast Iron Enameled Wares” at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis.

In February 1908, the need for a shorter company name was realized and a new corporation, the Vollrath Company, was organized. To ensure that Vollrath enameled ware maintained its high quality, a new plant was designed. In 1910 construction of the new facility began at 18th and Michigan Ave in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which is the current site of the corporate offices and stainless steel manufacturing plant. A City ordinance was passed in 1909 to allow the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company to build a spur track along city streets to the new plant. [4] A complete unit for the economical handling of the product was built, where each department housed in surroundings designed for that particular process. The plans were for a massive plant including an 83000 s.f. Warehouse, a 38000 s.f. Enameling Building, a 10000 s.f. Pickling Shop and a two-story 9000 s.f. Mill and Mixing Building. The construction was planned to take several years. [5] To fund the construction, the capitalization of the company was increased from $100,000 to $300,000. [6]

Expansion continued at the Vollrath facility during the late 1910s and throughout the 1920s. In 1912 an 80000 sf addition was constructed. [7] Razing of the original foundry site on North Sixth street was begun in 1916. [8] The entire site had been sold to C. Reiss Coal with agreement the Vollrath would clear the site. [9] In 1918 new additions were added to the south end of the finishing and enameling shops. In 1919 the office building and gate lodge (then known as the watchman's house) were constructed in 1920 the power house was built. In 1922 the carton shed was added onto the building that was known as hay storage and the machine shop and annealing room were added in 1923.

In 1919 steam table pans and equipment were first featured in the Vollrath catalog. The pans were sold only to bona fide steam table manufacturers and were produced in sixteen sizes. The heaviest, a meat panel, weighing in at a hefty 35 pounds, featured the meat platter as an integral part of the pan. Vollrath Ware was approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute, and earned the distinction of being a “Star Product” in 1919.

In 1928, Vollrath was still expanding physically and increasing the product range. It made another addition to its warehouse and there were over 800 items in the catalog. Jean C. Vollrath became president of the Vollrath Company in 1932 after the death of his father. The Board Chairman was Walter J. Kohler Sr., Jacob's grandson who served as governor of Wisconsin from 1929 to 1931.

1930-1945 The Great Depression and World War II Edit

During the years of the Great Depression and under the guidance of President J.C. Vollrath, the company continued its entrepreneurial practices. By the late 1930s, Vollrath had begun replacing some enamelware with stainless steel. Vollrath's field sales force numbered nineteen in 1938.

The first military contract related to World War II was with the navy for spoons and ladles announced in August, 1940. [10] A much larger follow-on contract was awarded in March, 1941 for ladles, skimmers, turners and spoons. [11] With war imminent, Vollrath gradually converted to war production in late 1941, increasing the government supplies until August 1, 1942. At that time, Vollrath was working 100% on defense work, which continued throughout the war. By September 1943, Vollrath's price list of porcelain enamelware permitted for civilian use was strictly limited to a few dozen necessary items such as coffee pots, boilers, and percolators, vegetable insets, bain maries, double boilers, dish pans, ladles, pails, hotel pans, sauce pans, and stock pots for kitchen use.

On June 28, 1945, Vollrath was awarded the Army-Navy "E" Award for Vollrath's record in the production of materials needed in the war effort. Vollrath produced more than 12 million canteens during the war, along with many other products for military use, such as mess trays, meat cans, irrigators, and basins. Lapel pins were given to 764 Vollrath employees in recognition of this accomplishment.

1945-1959 The polio epidemic Edit

When the polio epidemic of the late 1940s and early 1950s struck, Vollrath developed the Polio-Pak Heater. Selling for $275, this 37" high stainless steel electrical unit could produce 15 double-thick steam heated woolen packs to administer to polio patients. In addition to treating polio victims, the Polio-Pak Heater could also be used for treatment of infections, vascular and muscular congestion, and any physical therapy that required either hot moist or hot dry packs. Vollrath also developed a 20½" high portable size Polio-Pak Heater for visiting nurses to use in patient's home.

Walter J. Kohler Jr. Edit

Walter J. Kohler Jr., Jacob's great-grandson, joined the Vollrath Company Board of Directors in 1939 upon his father's death, and became the Vollrath Company's fifth president in 1947 after acquiring a controlling interest in the firm, succeeding his uncle Jean C. Vollrath. [12] After joining the Vollrath Company, Walter became a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention. He had some political experience as a young man, having assisted his father, Walter J. Kohler Sr., in his successful Wisconsin gubernatorial campaign in the late 1920s. Walter J. Kohler Jr. became one of the few three-term governors in Wisconsin history. His terms as governor ran from 1951 through 1957, and he was heavily involved with the presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 election. [13]

1960-1979 Product expansion Edit

Expansion, acquisition, relocation and new product development became Vollrath's credo. A new 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m 2 ) foundry was dedicated in early 1965. [14] In April 1968 the newly erected 96,000-square-foot (8,900 m 2 ) fabrication building was dedicated during an open house. The 400 by 240-foot (73 m) building was constructed for production of the mobile equipment line and the new line of laboratory animal housing units for primates, dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents. It has since been converted into the shipping center. In 1970 Vollrath began molding medical plastics in Sheboygan. The plastic operation was subsequently moved to Gallaway, Tennessee in 1975. In 1973 construction was started on an expansion of the plant in River Falls, WI that would expand that facility to a total of 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m 2 ). [15]

In early 1974, Vollrath leased property in Clarksville, Tennessee, moving the cookware finishing there from Sheboygan. [16] Later that year Vollrath also purchased the hollowware and related assets of the Admiral Craft Corporation of New York. The newly acquired products were dubbed Century Ware to commemorate Vollrath's 100th year.

Vollrath entered the foodservice plastic marketplace in 1976 with the purchase of the Bolta line of about 800 different plastic containers, trays, racks and other foodservice items from the chemical and plastics division of the General Tire and Rubber Company. [17] Also that year, Vollrath was the first business in Sheboygan County to install a PBX phone system. [18] Construction of a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m 2 ) addition to the south end of the original office building was begun in June, 1977.

1980-1988 Movement into the new era Edit

In the 1980s, the Vollrath Company acquired and divested itself of several ventures. It consolidated the house wares and direct sales divisions to form a new consumer products division in 1980, and dissolved it at the end of 1984.

By 1981 Vollrath purchased the business of Dyna International Corp. from Peters & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. Vollrath eventually sold the line of self-leveling dispensers, dish and utility carts in 1986 to Servolift of Boston. In 1982 Vollrath sold its sink line to Keyline Sales of Elkhart, Indiana. That year Vollrath constructed an addition to the foundry for investment casting. That portion of the foundry business was in operation until 1985.

In April 1983 the Vollrath Company decentralized. Nine divisions were formed: food service, management systems, refrigeration, information network, management services, management consulting and education, consumer products, health care and international. Each division functioned under the corporate umbrella but had its own president.

In 1984 Vollrath installed a new IBM 3038-EX computer. It was the first of the IBM EX series to be installed in Wisconsin, and the fourth “generation” of IBM computer equipment ordered by Vollrath, considered to be a pioneer in the extensive use of such equipment in business and service.

As part of the decentrailization, a subsidiary company, Vollrath Refrigeration Inc. of River Falls, WI, was sold to Kenmare Capital Corp. [19]

Vollrath completed decentralization in January 1989.

Terry J. Kohler Edit

Terry Jodok Kohler is the third generation of Kohlers to serve at Vollrath, joining the firm in 1962 after more than eight years in the United States Air Force and at MIT. He is the great-great grandson of Jacob J. Vollrath. A graduate of MIT, his undergraduate degree was in industrial management, with an MBA in Industrial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has served as president, CEO, and chairman of the board. His thesis and research were in the area of business application of large scale digital computers in smaller companies. Upon joining Vollrath, Terry pushed the integration of computers into manufacturing, installing the first computer (an IBM 1440 system) in 1964, launching Vollrath to the forefront of the industry in control of inventories, production management, and manufacturing scheduling. He was responsible for the installation of the series of IBM computers, and allowed the company to serve as “guinea pig” for computer development. He also orchestrated the decentralization of the company in 1983 and negotiated the purchase of North Sails in 1984. [20]

1989-2014 Modern acquisitions Edit

In late 1989, the Vollrath Company purchased the Leyse commercial aluminum cookware line from General Housewares Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut. Purchase of the Kewaunee, Wisconsin manufacturing facility gave Vollrath greater control in supplying commercial aluminum cookware rather than relying on a foreign manufacturer for production. [21] In 1991, Vollrath acquired the Bloomfield Industries division of Specialty Equipment Companies Inc. [22]

On December 15, 1992 Vollrath reached the landmark position of $100 million in annual sales.

In May 1994 Vollrath acquired a line of food warmers and accessories with the purchase of Idea/Medalie Division, Rogers, Minnesota. Production of the warmers was moved to Vollrath's Kewaunee, Wisconsin plant.

On September 30, 1996 the Vollrath Company, Inc. entered into a restructuring agreement and became the Vollrath Company, L.L.C. Vollrath had purchased Luitink Manufacturing Co. of Menomonee Falls, and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in May 1999 to give the company new flexibility for precision created smallwares. In 2004 Vollrath acquired Corsair Display Systems in Canandaigua, New York, expanding their equipment capabilities and allowing for the introduction of mobile carts to the Vollrath catalog and expanding their customizing capabilities. In 2009, Vollrath acquired three companies:

  • Luxine in Malibu, California to increase their capabilities in the emerging field of induction technology.
  • Anvil in Asheville, NC, to branch into countertop cooking equipment. [23]
  • Lincoln Smallwares to expand its cookware, bakeware and manual food processor offerings including the Wear-Ever and Redco brands. [24]

In 2011, The Vollrath Company acquired Traex Co. in Dane, WI from Libbey Inc of Toledo, OH. [25]

Even though Vollrath had been selling its products in Europe since 1985, growth in the European market prompted the opening of a headquarters in Rijen, Netherlands in 2011. [26]

In May 2012, Vollrath acquired Polarware, and its division, Stoelting, a Wisconsin-based food service manufacturer with focus on serving pans and utensils. [27] In Nov, 2012, the Stoelting Process Solutions division was sold to RELCO, LLC. [28] Also in 2012, Vollrath acquired Acry Fab Inc., Sun Prairie, WI. Acry Fab is a manufacturer of food accessory dispensers for the convenience store market. [29]

In August 2012, Vollrath started construction of a distribution center in Sheboygan. [30] It was their first large scale construction project since the 1960s.

In March 2013, Vollrath announced that they were moving all of their production in China to Sheboygan citing rising production costs, inconsistent quality, and difficult production scheduling. [31] They had been manufacturing as many as 3 million food pans a year in Shanghai. The company was unable to accomplish the return of production equipment that it had purchased and supplied the contract manufacturer in China.

Labor unions have played a part in shaping the company over the past century. The first major impact unions had were indirect. Vollrath had to shut down its foundry and lay off 175 workers due to lack of coal during a coal miner's strike in 1919. [32]

Organizing effort by the Enamel Workers Union in 1937 led to accusations of discriminatory labor practices against union members with one employee's termination resulting in hearing before Atty Nathan Feinsinger of the Wisconsin Labor Relations board. [33] [34] Various unions have been involved in organizing workers for collective bargaining, fair wages and better working conditions. Disputes with company management led to a number of strikes over the years. Strikes occurred in 1946, [35] 1967, [36] and 1968, [37]

In the 1957 contract negotiations, the workers were represented by Local 167 of United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). [38]

The strike in 1946 was about changing rates for the piece-rate portion of workers' pay. Workers were represented by Local 167, Farm Equipment and Metal Workers, CIO. Workers were represented by the UAW during the 1967 and 1968 strikes. The 1967 strike occurred over dispute of unilateral curtailment in employee rest breaks.

Paul Bartelt succeeded Tom Belot as president and chief executive officer in September 2009. [39]

Kewaunee wants ship returned from North Korea

Tom Schuller (left), president of the Kewaunee County Historical Society, and Richard Dorner, director of the Kewaunee History Center, look at scrapbooks from the Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., which built dozens of WWII ships. (Photo: Meg Jones/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

KEWAUNEE - Its crew was allowed to return home to America after 11 months but the USS Pueblo is still a prisoner in North Korea.

It's on prominent display at the Victorious War Museum in the capital of Pyongyang, bullet holes fired by North Korean troops outlined in red paint.

For North Korea, the USS Pueblo is the ultimate propaganda tool, a middle finger aimed at the United States by a country threatening to create a nuclear arsenal and routinely firing ballistic missiles — including the launch of a submarine-based missile last weekend — to ratchet up tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Some folks in the Lake Michigan community of Kewaunee think the Pueblo should be on display in their town and not Pyongyang.

In essence, they want the Pueblo to come home.

"There are people in this town who would go over to North Korea and sail it back," Tom Schuller, president of the Kewaunee County Historical Society, said this week. "It was a slap in the face for the United States and this city to have its ship taken over without a shot and they want it back."

Built in Kewaunee during World War II, the USS Pueblo and its 83-person crew were seized in January 1968. One sailor was killed in the attack and the rest were detained in North Korea prisons where they were subjected to torture and beatings before being released two days before Christmas.

During a lecture at the Kewaunee County Historical Society earlier this month attended by an overflow crowd, Rick Rogala described what it was like to be beaten after the North Koreans realized the middle finger the imprisoned American sailors displayed in photos reprinted in American media was profane. The North Korean captors had studied in England and didn't know the meaning of the gesture, which the American sailors told them was a "Hawaiian good luck sign."

"The worst part of it was not knowing when we would get released. I thought somebody would come to our aid right away," Rogala said in a phone interview from his Florida home. "Then it was one day, then two days, then weeks and then months and it could have been years."

The ship on display in North Korea was one of 80 vessels built during the war by Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., which opened in 1941. The 850-ton Army cargo ship was initially used as a training vessel before it was transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1966, renamed the USS Pueblo and first used as a light cargo ship before being converted to intelligence gathering.

Maynard E. Lufter was the personnel manager at the Kewaunee shipyard, hiring as many people as he could find. Most draft-age men were in the military.

"We had a lot of farmers who had two jobs — they had their farm to run and their job in the shipyard," said Lufter, who turns 98 in July. "We had a lot of problems in keeping help. They would go to the next shipyard where they could pay a higher rate."

Lufter organized the shipyard band to play at launchings, which frequently drew hundreds of residents who came to see the giant splash of water when ships slid into the water, among them the vessel destined to end up in North Korea.

It was a source of pride for Kewaunee, which rapidly built tugboats and freighters that quickly became part of the American fleet. Among those watching the ship launchings was Don Kickbusch, 85, who graduated from Kewaunee High School in 1949 and served in the Navy, where he spent time as a signal man on a destroyer in the Korean War.

The City of Kewaunee has formally requested return of the plaque in the Pueblo's pilot house which says where it was built. The city got no response from North Korea, said Kickbusch.

"This is the birthplace of the Pueblo. It's a big tourist attraction in North Korea, it would be a big tourist attraction in a little town like Kewaunee where a lot of people helped build it," said Kickbusch, who worked in the Kewaunee shipyard after his Navy stint. "I think it should come back to Kewaunee, but I don't think that will happen."

The Kewaunee History Center and museum collections include many photos of the ships built in the community, including the Pueblo, as well as a collection of books about the Pueblo capture.

"I think its coming back is an idealistic thought but it has great interest because of the historic connection to the Cold War," said Richard Dorner, director of the Kewaunee History Center, who served in an Army intelligence unit in West Berlin during the Vietnam War.

The event at the Kewaunee County Historical Society was organized by Chris Sturdevant, a Waukesha Public Library children's librarian who started the Midwest chapter of the Cold War Museum 10 years ago. He visited North Korea last year to run in a 10K that was part of the Pyongyang Marathon.

An Air Force veteran, Sturdevant walked through the USS Pueblo and snapped photos with other tourists. On board, visitors can see pictures of the Pueblo crew plus ship artifacts and uniforms and the bullet-riddled door.

Sturdevant, too, would like to see the USS Pueblo returned to the United States, and like the others, he's not holding his breath until that happens. But as a Cold War historian, he knows sometimes countries change.

"Who knows? There would have to be some very big movements in North Korea. But the Berlin Wall came down and things can happen very fast," said Sturdevant.

History of the Trail

The history of this rail-trail is unique. The Ahnapee and Western Railroad was incorporated in 1890. The railroad transported goods such as dairy, lumber and cherry products. During World War II, the railroad company even transported German prisoners of war to work during the fruit harvest in Door County.

Artifacts of the old railroad can be found throughout the trail. Along the route you can find boiler culverts, steel bridges, concrete bridges and some buildings. The railway ceased use. The railway was then converted to the current rail-trail that is in use today.

The Trail

The trail is multi-use. The trail is open to biking, walking, running and horseback riding. The Ice Age Trail section runs from Casco Junction to Kewaunee. There are parking lots to access the trail. The parking lots are at Casco Junction, County Road C, Bruemmer County Park and at the trailhead in Kewaunee where the world&rsquos tallest grandfather clock is located.

The trail follows Little Scarboro Creek and the Kewaunee River. The Kewaunee River views along the trail are stunning. There are several bridges that cross the river offering views of the river. Need to take a break? There are benches along the trail to sit for a bit, if needed.

Kewaunee River Views

Tunnel to Kewaunee

Looking for a diversion while you run or bike? Wildlife abounds on the trail, and it is not uncommon to see deer crossing the trail right in front of you while you run. In addition, if you enjoy bird watching the trail is full of beautiful birds. Because of an abundance of amazing wildflowers, butterflies can also be found everywhere along the trail during summer.

Trail Running

This section of the Ice Age Trail is perfect for a flat and easy trail run. For a beginning trail trail runner, this would be a perfect trail to try out. No trail shoes necessary on this trail. Unsure about trail running check out Trail Running for Beginners for more information.

Kewaunee River


The Kewaunee River Segment is the perfect trail to get come cross training in. The segment is a great trail for biking. There are many reasons why this is one of my favorite local trails to ride. One reason that I enjoy the trail is that I can ride different sections each time I go out, as there are multiple parking options. Second it is easy to accidentally ride that extra mile, as you get lost in the natural beauty of the river right next to you as you ride.

If you are looking for a longer distance ride, you can ride other sections of the Ahnapee State trail. The Ahnapee State Trail is 48 miles long. I have biked all of it.

This summer my eight year old daughter and I decided to bike the entire Kewaunee River Segment of the Ice Age Trail. An out and back on the trail would be 25 miles, which is a bit to long for an eight year old. We broke it up into three different bike rides. We decided to celebrate finishing the section with ice cream at Kewaunee Custard. Of the three bike rides we rode 10 miles, 12 miles and finally a 6 mile ride to finish. The custard was the perfect ending to an evening ride!

Coming Into the City of Kewaunee


The Ice Age Trail Kewaunee River Segment is the perfect trail to get out and run and or ride your bike on. It is easy to start your run or bike ride at multiple points along the trail. The scenery along the trail will keep calling you back for more. One ride or run just isn&rsquot enough. Plan your trip today, and let me know how far you went!

Interested in other sections of the Ice Age Trail? Look no further check out the Trails here.

Lake Michigan carferries

For over 100 years, trains and ships were partners in serving the eastern and western shores of Lake Michigan.

This unique form of transportation began November 27, 1892, when Ann Arbor No. 1 sailed from Kewaunee, Wis., to Frankfort, Mich., (then called Elberta) with 22 freight cars.

Prior to the launch of the Ann Arbor No. 1, which had rails embedded in its deck, goods were unloaded from freight cars onto lakeboats, then reloaded onto trains at the other shore. Thus, a new type of transportation was introduced – a rail ferry that let freight cars, and the commodities they handled, cross a large body of water seamlessly.

Transporting freight cars across Lake Michigan grew out of the need to bypass the congested rail yards in Chicago. Between time spent in interchange, classification yards, and transfer runs, it often took a week or more to get a freight car through Chicago. To reduce transit times of goods traveling cross-country, some Midwest railroads experimented with sending rolling stock across Lake Michigan in large boats, thereby avoiding the time-consuming Chicago transfer.

At their peak, carferries sailed across Lake Michigan on up to 15 different ferry routes, although after World War 2, cross-lake rail service was concentrated on seven routes, operated by three different railroads: Ann Arbor, Grand Trunk Western, and Pere Marquette, which became part of Chesapeake & Ohio in 1947.

Ann Arbor was the pioneer in Lake Michigan carferry service, operating three routes from a hub in Frankfort, Mich., to Sturgeon Bay, Kewaunee, and Milwaukee. After the company’s bankruptcy in 1973, successor Michigan Interstate continued providing rail and carferry service until 1982, when it lost its operating subsidy from the state of Michigan.

The Grand Trunk Milwaukee Ferry Company, a subsidiary of Grand Trunk Western, was the smallest carferry operator on Lake Michigan, with a single route from Muskegon, Mich., to Milwaukee, which lasted until 1978.

Pere Marquette-Chesapeake & Ohio was the largest operator of railroad carferries on Lake Michigan. Newly merged in 1900, Pere Marquette’s three predecessor railroads, Chicago & West Michigan, Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western, and Flint & Pere Marquette, placed a joint order for four new ferries from American Ship Building of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1901, in order to strengthen its position among the three cross-lake carriers. (Flint & Pere Marquette launched its first ferry, the Pere Marquette, in 1896.)

Pere Marquette carferries sailed three routes from a hub in Ludington, Mich., to Milwaukee, Manitowoc, and Kewaunee.

Like locomotives, the earliest vessels of the Ann Arbor and Pere Marquette were numbered, rather than named like ocean ships. Grand Trunk later switched and started naming its boats as early as 1903. Pere Marquette and Ann Arbor soon followed, using both names and numbers.

The carferries were originally designed to haul only railroad cars, but when Pere Marquette launched the City of Saginaw 31 and City of Flint 32, all of that changed. They were large, modern boats, built to accommodate the early 1930s tourist trade with comfortable, Pullman-style staterooms, large dining rooms with lake views, and facilities for loading and transporting private automobiles.

Manitowoc Shipbuilding was a leader in carferry construction and reached its zenith prior to the Great Depression. The last boat it assembled was the $2 million City of Midland 41 for Pere Marquette in 1941.

Another Wisconsin company, Christy Corporation of Sturgeon Bay built the final two Lake Michigan carferries in 1952, the Badger and Spartan, honoring the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University football team mascots. The contemporary boats hearkened back to the streamlined era of carferry building, with clean lines, curved smokestacks, and art deco styling. They cost $5 million each and were capable of running at speeds of up to 18 mph.

The big boats were powered by dual, Skinner Marine Unaflow, coal-fired steam engines, and were the last coal-burning, passenger-carrying boats built in America. The powerful Skinner engines responded very quickly when reversing direction, an extremely important capability since the boats docked without the aid of tugboats.

The Unaflow engines were also helpful to the boats in their continual battle against ice. The boats traveled Lake Michigan year-round, and ice was their number one enemy. Ice could surround a boat and render her immobile, drive her aground, or cause damage and sink her.

On October 22, 1929, one of the big boats did sink. Grand Trunk’s Milwaukee, departed from her namesake city with 25 freight cars bound for Grand Haven. Lake Michigan storm warnings had been posted, with strong northeast gales of 34-37 mph recorded, but Captain Robert McKay chose to sail anyway. The boat was sighted heading directly into the storm and was said to be pitching and rolling heavily.

A Coast Guard patrolman near South Haven, Mich., found the boat’s message case with a handwritten note: The ship is taking water fast. We have turned around and headed for Milwaukee. Pumps are working but sea gate is bent and can’t keep the water out. Seas are tremendous. Things look bad…. signed A.R. Sadon, Purser.

Loading railroad cars onto the full-size boats was a fascinating process.

Train crews placed “idler flats” or spacer cars between the switch engine and freight cars. This method of loading and unloading ensured that the heavy locomotive never entered the ship’s deck, which could sink or capsize the vessel.

The lower deck contained four level holding tracks that could accommodate between 24 and 34 railroad cars, depending on the ship’s size.

Ann Arbor developed a unique system to secure freight cars that became universal on Great Lakes carferries. A pair of rails, called jacking rails, were laid 25 inches outside the railroad tracks embedded in the ship’s deck. Screw jacks were used to lift the railroad cars off their trucks. The cars were then secured to the jacking rails with chains. This prevented the car’s independent motion when the ship pitched and rolled on heavy waves.

Carferry economics and changing times

A Lake Michigan crossing averaged 60 miles and took between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the weather, the payload, and speed of the boat. Average crew size on a boat ranged between 55 and 60 men, who loaded and secured approximately 24 railroad cars, fueled the engines, piloted the boat across the lake in all types of weather, and unloaded the cars.

Compared to the typical 1970s five-man railroad crew, which could handle a 125-car freight train, the boats were clearly costly and labor intensive. Fuel alone consumed an average of 70 tons of coal daily.

Chesapeake & Ohio data from 1961 showed its carferries transported 132,000 freight cars, 54,000 autos, and 153,000 passengers that year. By 1970, freight car loadings were down to 77,387, and 1976 saw only 26,987.

As the railroad industry evolved, and pre-blocked trains, 3-man crews and shorter Chicago interchange times were introduced, Lake Michigan carferry traffic dwindled.

On March 18, 1975, Chesapeake & Ohio petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue all ferry service, claiming losses of $4 million a year. After four years of deliberation and hearings, the ICC authorized a compromise agreement called the “Kewaunee Package.” This permitted the suspension of service to Milwaukee immediately in 1979, Manitowoc in 1980, and Kewaunee in 1983. However, the ICC did request that Chesapeake & Ohio keep existing freight rates fixed to help protect the small Green Bay & Western.

GB&W operated a 254-mile railroad from Kewaunee to interchanges with the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western at Winona, Minn., plus a principal connection with the Burlington at East Winona, forming the western link of a bridge route around Chicago. GB&W relied heavily on its rail-water connections from Chesapeake & Ohio and the Ann Arbor.

Deregulation in 1980 dealt a further blow, as Chessie System and Burlington Northern began routing more traffic on their own lines into Chicago, rather than hand off cars to GB&W for the shorter trip across Lake Michigan. Virtually all bridge route carferry business disappeared, and GB&W lost nearly one third of its traffic base.

Shortly before Chessie’s carferries were scheduled to end service on July 1, 1983, a group of businessmen in Ludington, Mich., formed the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company. MWT leased three boats and port facilities from Chesapeake & Ohio for six years.

During that period, MWT struggled financially. In 1989, only 2500 freight cars crossed the lake – less than 10 cars each trip – and all for paper companies in Wisconsin, rather than bridge traffic.

Unable to make a profit, and advised by its insurance company to end service to Kewaunee after the Badger began scraping the lake bottom in the town’s harbor, MWT operated the last railroad carferry from Kewaunee to Ludington on Friday, November 16, 1990. For GB&W, the embargo of rail traffic meant a loss of $1 million in revenue.

Of the once proud fleet of Lake Michigan carferries, only one remains in service today. C&O’s S.S. Badger, now operated by Lake Michigan Carferry Service, still carries passengers and automobiles – but not railroad cars – between Ludington, Mich., and Manitowoc, Wis., during the summer months.

For further reading: The Great Lakes Car Ferries, by George W. Hilton, (Howell-North, Berkeley, Calif., 1962)

Watch the video: वतहर वटवतरग- समसय एव नदन. YTM (January 2023).

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