The Southdown Challenger

November 21, 2006

Quiet Night on the Detroit River

Quiet Night on the Detroit River, photo by theempirebuilder.

The latest entry into the Small World Files is today’s photo of the 100 year old Southdown Challenger upbound on the Detroit River just above the Ambassador Bridge. Mac of Detroit Bike Blog wondered if I’d seen these photos. I hadn’t and spent a good long while poring through this amazing set of Southdown/St. Mary’s Challenger photos that takes you all across the Great Lakes, under the Mackinac Bridge and even belowdecks.

A few recent ones were taken on Leelanau County’s Suttons Bay. I mentioned that the hill in one of them looked like the hill on a site we had designed for a housing development. Wade, the photographer, said “I’m sure you are right. In fact, in the link you sent, the Challenger is in the 5th row from the top on the far left side.”

Anyway, check out this amazing gallery of photos and also head over to Boatnerd.com to read the equally amazing history of the St. Mary’s Challenger, which was built in 1906 in Detroit and has gone through a dizzying array of names and circumstances in the century that followed. Seriously, there should be a movie or something about this ship.


One Response to “The Southdown Challenger”


  1. […] years ago I shared the story of the Southdown Challenger on Michigan in Pictures. I was happy to see that the oldest operational freighter on the Great […]


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