Fishing Tug the Neegee

The history

The Neegee was built as a “workhorse” for the harbor. She was used not only for fishing but also as a tug to tow large pulpwood booms out of the harbor to be added to a larger boom that would be towed to the paper mills in Ashland, Wisconsin. She required a crew of three and many local men remember their time aboard the Neegee.

Neegee was owned and used by the Scott family into the 1950s when she was sold to Dick Eckel, local fisherman. The lamprey, however, ended the lucrative trout fishing by the end of the 1950s and she was sold to the Sivertson fisheries to be used at the head of the lakes as a “smelter”. The Neegee eventually was stored on land at Sivertson fisheries in Superior, Wisconsin until given to the Cook County Historical Society in the late 1990s. 



The fishing tug Neegee was acquired, moved, and restored in 2003 to its current location on Lake Superior's shore. The Cook County Historical Society, in partnership with the City of Grand Marais, operates this self-guided fish house that honors the once dominant commercial fishing industry. The Neegee is on display year round, located in the Grand Marais Recreational Park (Municipal Campground) Next to the Neegee is the Fish House Replica and smokehouse with a typical skiff used by most fishermen. 

Grants from the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program, along with many many volunteer hours & donations helped to stabilize and restore the Neegee. Work continues!


The Future

Continual interest in this region’s maritime history—and wonderful collections recently donated to the Society—have inspired the organization to plan for a future site that shares an even broader story of life that was dependent on Lake Superior.

The Society has also acquired the Hammer Family Maritime Collection and Scott Fish House Collection—adding to the scope of the commercial fishing and maritime story. With this recent addition to the Maritime Collection, site locations and concepts are being developed for a maritime, boat, and fishing museum to be created.