Edward E. Gillen (1872)
Gallery
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Edward E. Gillen #75591
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Edward E. Gillen, Fall 2005 (USACE)
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The tugboat Edward E. Gillen, 1932 (Milwaukee Public Library)
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Edward E. Gillen ship registration number board
By The Numbers
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Service History

The tug J.J. Hagerman, registry number 75591, had a wooden hull and was built in 1872 by George Notter in Buffalo, New York for the Milwaukee Tugboat Line. She was always used as a harbor tug by the Milwaukee Tug Boat Line, and on June 13, 1914 , was sold to Edward E. Gillen, Racine and then used as a dredge tug. On Feb. 18,1915, the J.J. Hagerman was renamed Edward E. Gillen and rebuilt March 3, 1915. The vessel was abandoned in 1928 at the Sturgeon Bay bone yard and was seen there as late as 1934.
In 1928 (the same year as the original Edward E. Gillen was abandoned) a new vessel was built by the Sturgeon Bay Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company named Edward E. Gillen. The same engine that was in the J.J. Hagerman later known as Edward E. Gillen was installed in this new wooden hull tug. The latest Gillen was severely burned in Milwaukee, at the foot of Washington Street, about Sept. 1928, and the above engine taken out and scrapped because it was badly damaged by fire. A second engine (built by Sheriffs Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee in 1895) that had been removed from the tug Starke was installed as a replacement.
Final Voyage

The wooden tug Edward E. Gillen was owned by the Edward E. Gillen Towing Company out of Milwaukee (now Mequon) and they sold it in the mid-1960's. Subsequently, the vessel was stripped and the abandoned in the Kinnickinnic River on Milwaukee's south side. Some say that she ended up in the bone yard at Sturgeon Bay where she could still be seen in 1933.
Today

The Gillen was originally owned by the Edward E. Gillen Towing Company from Milwaukee. The company is still in operation and actively involved in marine construction projects. They are located across the Kinnickinnic River from the shipwreck.

The wreck of the Gillen is located at the bend of the "KK" River on Milwaukee's near south side. The river has had a long history as a working river and the margins have been occupied by commercial and industrial businesses all along.
February 2008: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the US Environmental Protection Agency have proposed to dredge a section of the Kinnickinnic River to remove contaminated sediments. The dredging would remove and destroy any remnants of the tug Edward E. Gillen. See The Wisconsin Department of Natural resources pamphlet titled "The Tugboat Edward E. Gillen (47-MI-0497): Urban Archaeology And The EPA " by Mark J. Dudzik.
 
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