This classic tug was built in 1908 by Benjamin F. Cowles as the Walter F. Mattick for Benjamin Cowles and Walter Mattick of Buffalo, NY. She was chartered to the Michigan Limestone Company in 1912. In 1919 she was sold to the Merchants Steam Lighterage Company of Philadelphia, PA and renamed Merchant. She returned to the ownership of Benjamin F. Cowles in 1921. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acquired the tug in 1924, and renamed her Marinette. In 1947 she was sold to the Great Lakes Paper Company of Fort William, Ontario, where she was renamed Esther S. and converted from steam to diesel. In 1966 she moved to the J.P. Porter Company of Montreal, Quebec, and her name was changed to Mount McKay. Purvis Marine Limited of Sault Ste. Marie, ON acquired the tug in 1978. She was chartered to Columbus Marine of Sarnia, ON from 1984 to 1987 before returning to Purvis. She was sold into private ownership in 1990. In the early 2000s, she was acquired by David Garrick and moved to Duluth, MN. She was then donated to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation of Duluth. This venture did not last long, and the Mount McKay was soon re-sold to Don Bergholm of Duluth, MN. It has since been sold at least one more time.
The Mount McKay is located in Superior, WI, in private ownership.
- Type: Single Screw Tugboat
- Year Built: 1908
- Builder: Benjamin F. Cowles, Buffalo, NY
- Engines: 1 Kahlenberg C-6
- Length: 80′ 00″
- Breadth: 21′ 06″
- Depth: 9′ 00″