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SS Calcite freighter turns 100 today

August 1, 2012
Jordan Travis - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

The pilot house of a well-known freighter will be the center of a celebration of the boat's centennial today.

The SS Calcite, a self-unloading bulk carrier built specifically for Bradley Transportation Co. in 1912, was scrapped some time ago, Bob McCallum, 40 Mile Point Lighthouse board of directors member, said. However, its pilot house was saved and sits outside the lighthouse where visitors can walk inside and get a look.

Today between 1 and 3 p.m., lighthouse museum directors will rededicate the pilot house in honor of the ship's 100th birthday. The cook who served on the ship on its trip to the scrapper will be there, and he'll put a plaque on the pilot house after McCallum makes a speech about the ship itself.

There is no charge to attend, according to the museum website.

In honor of the Calcite's centennial, a local baker has agreed to bring 100 cupcakes, which will be served along with lemonade and coffee, McCallum said.

In preparation for the celebration, the pilot house was completely restored over the past three weeks, McCallum said.

Fact Box

What: SS Calcite pilot house re-dedication

Where: 40 Mile Point Lighthouse, north of Rogers City on US-23

When: 1-3 p.m. today

"It was in good condition, but we did a better job," he said.

The Calcite made its first visit to the Port of Calcite on June 26, 1912, according to a history written by Mark Thompson, Presque Isle County Historical Museum director.

The rededication is part of the Nautical City Festival, which is focused on honoring 100 years of operations at the Calcite Quarry, McCallum said. The lighthouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including during the ceremony.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.



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