The tug Commodore Jack Barry
was originally registered in Grand Haven, Michigan in 1887 and owned by the Barry brothers (Miles, John and Thomas). The vessel was named after Commodore John Barry, an ancestor of the Barry brothers, who was a well known captain in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.
For several years the Commodore Jack Barry
was used in Muskegon Harbor (Michigan) as a general towing tug assisting lumber schooners and other vessels in and out of the harbor and for towing small rafts. The Commodore Jack Barry
was considered one of the fastest tugs on Lake Michigan, and according to Muskegon sources, won many races.
In 1890, The Barry brothers established the Independent Tug Line in Chicago and moved the Commodore Jack Barry
to Chicago. By 1899 the Barry brothers quit the Chicago tug business and sold out to their competitors including the Commodore Jack Barry
While off Superior, Wisconsin, one of the newer tugs on Lake Superior, the Commodore Jack Barry
went up in flames (which started forward of the pilot house) on October 13, 1897, with an estimated loss of $5,000.