John Purves Tugboat at Night
John Purves tugboat at night is docked along the water, It is a 149-foot, large red tugboat, that was built in 1919.
The tug has sailed everywhere from the Bering Sea to the Caribbean and the Great Lakes. You can tour the inside of the tug by paying a fee at the Door County Maritime Museum. Other than the museum, this small part of the dock area is untouched by commercial development.
For myself, that is part of Sturgeon Bay’s charm. The city was built on shipbuilding and the tugboats are a large part of that history.
Sturgeon Bay is my hometown and many of the families that I grew up with had parents and grandparents that relocated to the area to build or repair ships for Bayship, PBI or Palmer Johnson’s.
The John Purves tugboat, additional tugs that rotate in and out and Coast Guard boats that line the bay are the workhorses that guide the ships in or out of port and still sit next to that historic old bridge.
Years have passed, things change. A few of the businesses that built the town of Sturgeon Bay, no longer remain; and have been replaced with larger commercial buildings and hotels. For me, the dock area is a location to see history. What once was; and still is, the backbone that built this small community.