S.S. Meteor Flyover on Barker’s Island

Explore Superior: the S.S. Meteor

We drive by it on a daily basis, yet few of us have toured the Meteor. 

The S.S. Meteor is the sole surviving ship of the unconventional “whaleback” design. It was the 36th of a total of 44 whalebacks built by Scottish captain Alexander McDougall.

The whaleback design enabled her to carry a maximum amount of cargo with a minimum of draft. The Meteor was built in 1896 in Superior, Wisconsin and originally christened as the Frank Rockefeller. Later renamed South Park in 1927 and turned into a sand dredge in 1927, she was spared the scrap yard in 1942 and renamed the Meteor when WWII necessitated as many ships on the Great Lakes as possible. 

With a number of modifications, she sailed until 1969. She is currently a museum ship in the city of her birth, and is located on Barker’s Island, just off of Highway 2/53 adjacent to the bay and in view of Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes. The Meteor is open to the public for tours from mid-May until mid-October.




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