The Alexander Henry has found a home.
Earlier this week, Thunder Bay City Council gave its okay to moving the historic icebreaker to a dock at the Pool 6 site on Thunder Bay's waterfront. City administration will now go ahead with negotiating a lease with the Thunder Bay Port Authority.
"We're escstatic," said Charlie Brown, president of the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society (LTMS). "We're thrilled — it couldn't be any better."
"When we approached council last December with the plan to purchase the Henry and display it as a tourism attraction ... we asked for the $125,000, which they provided for the tow, and we asked for the Pool 6 site."
- Alexander Henry completes its journey from Kingston to Thunder Bay, Ont.
- Alexander Henry icebreaker sets sail for Thunder Bay
- Alexander Henry, historic icebreaker, returning to Thunder Bay
The Alexander Henry returned to Thunder Bay in June. Prior to that, it was on public display at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston.
However, that museum lost its space, opening the door to return to the Alexander Henry, which was built by the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company, to the Lakehead.
Since it's arrival in the city, the ship has been stored at a private dock, and it will likely remain there for a few more weeks, at least, Brown said, while the city negotiates with the port authority.
Site work needed
Some work needs to be done at the Pool 6 site, as well.
"We have to bring in fencing, we have to do electrical hookups," Brown said. "Grass needs to be cut. There's all kinds of things we have to do."
And while it was announced recently that Pool 6 will be hosting a cruise ship for the first time in several years next summer, Brown said the Pool 6 dock is large enough to accommodate both.
As for the Alexander Henry's public opening, Brown says "the sooner to better."
"I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that we can get it up and running early in September," he said. "We're looking at holding a big grand opening for the public."
The Alexander Henry was commissioned in 1959 and worked the Great Lakes until the mid-1980s, when the current breaker, the Samuel Risley, came into service.