Commodore Jack Barry (1885)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

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.
Final Voyage

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.
© 2017 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society