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Cargill Coal Docks

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Did you know...

Reload this page for more GREEN BAY ROUTE facts.

W.W. Cargill's Coal Dock in Green Bay, which transferred coal from ships to waiting freight cars.

William Wallace Cargill established a series of grain elevators throughout the upper Midwest during the late 1800's.  The grain was shipped to eastern markets via the Green Bay Route.  As a spin-off, he also sold coal in many of the small towns served by this grain elevators.  Cargill purchased land adjacent to the Green Bay & Western's dock facilities on the west bank of the Fox River and established a large coal dock on the property, which was completed in May 1903 to supply his operation.

C. Reiss Coal cranes:

The C. Reiss Coal Company erected two traveling cranes prior to 1900 for transferring coal between ships and railroad cars.

The original bridge #1 collapsed during high winds on August 15, 1944. It was replaced soon afterwards with a new #1 bridge. Bridge #2 collapsed sometime after 1974, perhaps as late as 1980 or so, from high winds.  The new #1 bridge was taken down with controlled demolition around 1995.

- Mark Ferrier, Jim Elbe & Brian Cassidy

Coal was delivered by steamships of the Lackawanna - Green Bay line, which was owned by the came consortium that had a strong interest in the Green Bay & Western.  As a result, the GB&W handed the coal distribution from the coal dock as far west as the Mississippi River.  The docks were located due east of the Green Bay depot, at milepost zero of the railroad.

Coal shipments into the port of Green Bay doubled in the first five years the dock was in operation.  After becoming ill in 1904, W.W. Cargill sold his interest in the dock to the C. Reiss Coal Company, which still receives coal and coke trains to this day.

The hoisting system shown took coal from the waiting steamers and a tramway took the coal to storage pockets and also loaded railroad cars.  Large unloading cranes remained a landmark on the west bank of the Fox River until the last one was demolished in the 1990's.

This postcard (numbered #2099) was dated 1907 and was published by E.C. Kropp, Milwaukee.

Related photos:

Postcard, 1907.

From the collection of Cargill, Inc. corporate archives.

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Updated July 11, 2015