Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sandusky's Coal Docks

Sandusky, Ohio has long been known as having one of the finest and most well-protected harbors on the Great Lakes. Since the late 1890s, the transfer of coal from railway cars to vessels has been taking place in Sandusky. For many years, the Pennsylvania Railroad owned the docks at the foot of King Street on Sandusky’s west side, and the transfer of coal from the railway cars to ships was done by the employees of the Lower Lake Coal Docks Co. The Twin Anniversary Edition of the Sandusky Register and Star News, from November 24, 1947 featured an article which explained how the process of loading coal went from manually dumping coal from wheelbarrows to the ships, to a steam operated crane, and finally to machines that are electrically operated. The postcard below, by E.B. Ackley featured the electrically operated coal loader #3.

 Several ships can be seen in this 1937 photograph of the coal docks.

This picture taken by the Torow Studio in the late 1940s captures the view of the coal docks at night.

Currently, the Sandusky Dock is owned by Norfolk Southern Corporation, and is operated by the Sandusky Dock Corporation. The average loading capacity is over 2,600 tons per hour. After dark, the lights from the docks can be seen for miles, causing us to take note of this vital part of the Great Lakes economy.

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