Apr 1, 2024 - News

Hulett unloader could be reassembled in Canton

Historical black and white photo of Hulett Unloaders in action at Cleveland's bulk terminal

The Hulett unloaders in action. Photo: Cleveland Memory Project

The Port of Cleveland has entered into a contract with Canton-based Maple Leaf Demolition to remove the dismantled pieces of two Hulett unloaders from the Cleveland Bulk Terminal.

Why it matters: The Port selected Maple Leaf, officials said, because the company wants to reassemble one Hulett in its entirety on a site it owns in Canton.

What they're saying: "We are very pleased to offer Maple Leaf the opportunity, because we recognize the role [the Huletts] played in Cleveland's industrial and maritime history," said Dave Gutheil, the Port's chief commercial officer, in a statement.

Caveat: The machines are more than 800 tons apiece, and there's no guarantee Maple Leaf will successfully reassemble one.

Flashback: The Huletts revolutionized the Great Lakes shipping industry, dramatically reducing the time and manpower necessary to unload freighters of their iron ore cargo.

  • At their height, 77 unloaders existed across the Great Lakes, with 14 in Cleveland, but they became obsolete with the arrival of self-unloading ships.

What's next: Removal could begin as early as this month.

  • If Maple Leaf is unable to re-erect the Hulett, the Port says, it will still be contractually obligated to preserve pieces of the machine for a year to give other companies an opportunity to display them.

Go deeper: The history of Cleveland's Hulett unloaders

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