The ship best known as the Medusa Challenger is en route to her date with a Wisconsin shipyard, to be cut down to a barge. But the oldest freighter on the Great Lakes had one last jinx to cast before leaving Chicago for the last time.
After weeks of speculation, the oldest freighter on the Great Lakes — and one with a special place in Chicago history — is unloading its last load of cement, before steaming to Sturgeon Bay, Wis., to be transformed into a barge.
A Wisconsin shipbuilding company reportedly has been awarded a contract to transform 107-year-old ship into an un-engined barge.
The St. Marys Challenger, better known to Chicagoans of the Baby Boomer generation as the Medusa Challenger, arrived shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, loaded with powdered cement loaded in Charlevoix, Mich.
Ask any Chicago-bred baby boomer to name a freighter that traversed the Chicago River in the past 50 years, and you will probably be told, “the Medusa Challenger.”