Johnston Boiler Company, Ferrysburg MI

(later Johnston Brothers, Inc.)

Most recent update: August 17, 2018.


In 1864, John Watt Johnston, a direct descendant of the legendary James Watt, purchased the defunct Turnbull Boiler Company, on Pine Street in Ferrysburg, and restarted it as Johnson Boiler Company, where it continues in business today.  In 1898, they expanded into shipbuilding, but returned to a concentration on boilers in 1916.  The shipyard was next door to the main plant, where the North's Cove marina is now: see it from the air on Google here.  The names and numbers of the various scows and other barges built by Johnston are very confused: if anyone can add to or correct the table below, please send your info to timcolton@aol.com

Hull # O.N. Original Name Original Owner Vessel Type GT Ft. Built Disposition
  127309 C. J. Bos William Verduin Tug 34 59 1898 I. J. Lyons 1942, deleted 1976
  127422 Columbia Sullivan Dredging Tug 92 80 1900 Scrapped 1960
  111311 Rowira Ranney Fish Co. Fish Tug 35 56 1900 Scrapped 1950
5 117013 Sea Bird T. B. Perkins Yacht 21 58 1900 Active
6                
7                
8   Elizabeth Hyde Chas. Hyde          
9 163701 No. 35 M. Sullivan Dump Scow 420 125 1900  
10 96548 H. Ewig H. Ewig & Son Fish Tug 62 70 1901 Col. N. L. Howard 1918, Helen H. Upham 1923, Dispatch 1943, scrapped 1973
11 96562 Henry J. Dornbos Verduin Bros. Fish Tug 44 63 1901 Urger 1920, now museum in Waterford NY
12     Buffalo Dredging Dipper Dredge   116    
13 ? 163022 Dredge No. 7   Dredge Scow 826   1901  
14 ? 163004 Scow No. 14   Scow 427   1902  
15 ? 163005 Scow No. 15   Scow 427   1902  
16 81846 William H. Kinch Frank L. Bapst Tug 58 68 1902 Scrapped 1951
17 3968 Bonita Graham & Morton Tug 58 63 1903 Chicago Harbor No. 4 1914, Eddie B. 1960, Seneca Queen 1969, Ludington 1970, Seneca Queen 1996, now Ronald J Dahlke
18 na General Ludlow US Army Corps of Engineers Dredge 213 140 1904 Sold 1921, Pointe Hennepin 1969, scrapped 1969
19 162321 No. 11 M. Sullivan Dump Scow 420 125 1904  
20 na Lightship (LV 75) US Light House Service Lightship 427 75 1902 Sold 1939, later St. Clair, abandoned 1977
21 201789 Tessler Charles Tessler Fish Tug 57 70 1905 Burnt 1949, Upper Mississippi River
22 202285 Frank Perry Perry Lumber Tug 496 128 1905 Sipsey 1914, to CoE 1942 as Robert H. Rolfe, sold 1946 as Bisso, scrapped 1975
23 203098 Chase S. Osborne Perry Lumber Tug 492 128 1906 To USN 1918 as SP-1121, later YT 41, sold 1921, Guardian 1922, scrapped 1961
24 ? na Lightship (LV 77) US Light House Service Lightship 578 75 1906 Sold 1940
25 203472 J. P. Manning LS & MI Southern RR Tug 58 63 1906 B. E. West 1927, abandoned 1980
26 203555 Robert E. Johnston Walsma & Van Toll Tug 22 44 1906 Abandoned 1974
27 204016 Charles E. Williams Buffalo Dredging Tug 106 87 1907 Paul W. Dickinson 1935, scrapped 1958
28 204485 C. F. Bielman, Jr. Charles F. Bielman Mail Boat 33 75 1907 Dove 1939, deleted 1962
29     M. Sullivan Drill Scow   106 1907  
? 163452 Destroyer   Scow 356   1907  
? 163205 No. 18   Scow 394   1907  
? 164000 No. 16   Scow 451   1908  
30   No. 36 Buffalo Dredging Dump Scow   137 1908  
31 205585 Herbert G. Mollhagen & Co. Tug 55 68 1908 H. Ewig 1918, Roy R. Love 1939, Charlevoix 1968, Roy R. Love 1992
32 206346 Francis B. Hackett Hackett Towing Salvage Tug 194 96 1909 To USN 1917 as SP-1161, later YT 36, Shenandoah 1920, Choptank 1923, sold 1947, Gloria St. Philip 1969, Choptank 1979, Admiral 1989, scrapped 2006
33 205777 Forelle F. W. Tamms Bros. Fish Tug 46 54 1908 Foundered on Lake Michigan 1923
34 206238 Castanet Ranney Fisheries Fish Tug 46 69 1909 Donald Wells 1930, abandoned 1931
35 206658 Mackinac Arnold Transit Ferry 350 138 1909 Woonsocket 1926, training ship 1968, Claude “Sonny” Simmons 1969, scrapped 1994
36 206692 James Edwards Great Lakes Dredge Tug 82 81 1906 Terry E. Buchanan 1952
37 207111 A. Fisher Fisher’s Sons Fish Tug 58 68 1909 Oscar F. Mayer 1912, scrapped 1951
38     Central Dredging Tug       Not built
39 na Shearwater US Bureau of Fisheries Tug 95 85 1909 To USCG 1940, sold 1944, later Cindy K. 1961
40 207427 John E. Meyer Barnett & Record Tug 133   1910  
41   Composite Edwards Bros Tug   70    
42                
43                
44 208243 Harvey Schneiderwind & Sons Fish Tug 81 70 1910 Deleted 1951
45 208478 Andrew H. Green Great Lakes Dredge Tug 115 86 1911 Scrapped 1957
46 164439 No. 37 Buffalo Dredging Dump Scow   156 1910  
47     Great Lakes Dredge Dump Scow   137 1911  
48 209789 William J. McCarthy Great Lakes Dredge Tug 98 82 1912 Central 1924, Capt. Frank Becker 1957, Vixen 1968, Alice St. Philip 1972, scrapped 1977
49   Natoma No. 8 Natoma Const'n. Dredge   150 1911  
50 252397 Oscar I New Aetna Cement Tug 16 44 1911 Later Oscar
51   Natoma No. 10 Natoma Const'n. Dredge   150 1911  
52   David Campbell City of Portland OR Fire Boat   125 1912  
53   Natoma No. 7 Natoma Const'n. Dredge   135 1912  
54     Bucyrus Co. Dredge   110 1912  
55     Bucyrus Co. Dredge   110 1912  
56 176251 Handy Andy New Aetna Cement Scow 51 54 1913 Abandoned 1977
57     Lake Winnipeg Shipping Tug   112 1913  
58 274070 Oscar II New Aetna Cement Dredge 50 58 1913 G.L. 110 1960, scrapped 1978
59     New Aetna Cement Hopper Scow   58 1913  
60     New Aetna Cement Hopper Scow   58 1913  
61     Yuba Construction Placer Dredge   131 1914  
62     Yuba Construction Placer Dredge   131 1914  
63 212278 Ottawa GR, H & C RR Ferry 75 57 1914  
64 212487 American American Construction Tug 88 72 1914 Fred W. Upham 1922, Lila Haden 1942, N. R. Coppedge 1961, scrapped 1977
65 212588 Philip T. Dodge International Paper Tug 68 70 1914 Eugene F. Moran 1919, Schenectedy 1920, Dauntless No. 5 1924, Cathleen E. Moran 1955, Mary D. 1964, Clayton P. Kehoe 1968, Dori 1971, Robert A. Bott
66 213529 J. C. Stewart Stewart Co. Tug 113 71 1915 To Corps of Engineers 1924 as Col. M.J. McDonough, sold 1946 as J.C. Stewart, scrapped 1965
67     Natoma Const'n. Placer Dredge   112 1915  
68     Yuba Construction Dredge   165 1915  
69 592612   US Army Corps of Engineers Dump Scow 388 126 1916 Now Scow 21
70 na   US Army Corps of Engineers Dump Scow   126 1916