The Friends of Edna G is seeking volunteers to give tours of the historic Edna G tugboat during Two Harbors Heritage Days 2019 and possibly through the rest of the summer.

Tours have not been available in over five years. However, a new agreement with the city of Two Harbors was ironed out. A structural study recently completed shows the historic tug is not in imminent danger of sinking.

There will be a meet-and-greet for interested volunteers Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. at the Law Enforcement Meeting Room in Two Harbors. Interested volunteers will be given a tour script and training on how to give tours. There will be a follow-up training session June 26.

The other end of the engine ordered telegraph inside the Edna G in the pilothouse. The pilot or captain would use this device to alert the crew with orders for the engine. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)
The other end of the engine ordered telegraph inside the Edna G in the pilothouse. The pilot or captain would use this device to alert the crew with orders for the engine. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)

A very brief Edna G history

The tugboat was built by the Cleveland Shipbuilding Co. in 1896 for the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad to guide ore boats into the ore docks.

The 92-foot long, 23-feet wide, steam-powered tug was built with a steel hull, which was considered a novelty at the time.

The name came from J.L. Greatsinger, then-president of the railroad, after his daughter Edna.

In 1917, the ship was outfitted and shipped to the East Coast to provide aid for World War I before returning to Two Harbors. The boat was decommissioned and given to the city of Two Harbors in 1980.

A set of Edna G stamped life jackets sit at the top of the stairs to the captain's quarters on board the Edna G tugboat. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)
A set of Edna G stamped life jackets sit at the top of the stairs to the captain's quarters on board the Edna G tugboat. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)


What to expect on a tour

The News-Chronicle received a sneak preview of a tour of the Edna G from volunteer Tom Koehler.

Note that tours of the Edna G require climbing steps. Koehler recommends maintaining three points of contact with the boat, one hand and two feet, at all times.

Along the tour, one could expect to see the historic engine room, the dusty crew quarters, the wood-paneled galley, the swanky captain's quarters, the pilothouse and upper and lower decks. No access is available to the boiler room, but a view from the top of the steps provides enough context.