THE GOOD SHIP TACONITE, FLAGSHIP OF BOEING EMPIRE, BUILT ON MESABI RANGE PROFITS – by Aaron Brown (Hibbing Daily Tribune – May 7, 2017)

http://www.hibbingmn.com/

For just shy of $1.3 million you could be the owner of a yacht currently docked near Vancouver, British Colombia.

Made of virgin teak, this century-old wooden pleasure ship has been on the market a couple years. Apparently, today’s oligarch-on-the-go simply doesn’t have the time to maintain such an antique. I can distinctly recall my father’s frustration trying to restore and maintain my great-grandfather’s wooden speedboat. The boat seemed almost allergic to water, which was decidedly unhelpful.

But this craft in the Pacific Northwest is much more than a speedboat. And it’s been well cared for. At 125 feet of Depression-era opulence, this particular ship hosted billionaires and Congressmen, celebrities and the ruling class. It cost $421,000 to build in 1930, nearly $6 million in today’s dollars.

And its name is the Taconite. Who built it? Bill Boeing, founder of the Boeing Aircraft company and United Airlines. One of the most powerful businessmen of the 20th Century, and a titan of the Pacific Northwest, Boeing spent most of his free time piloting this yacht through the waters of Puget Sound. He died onboard in 1956. His ashes were scattered into the ocean from its deck.

So why would Boeing, an airplane man, name his custom-built yacht the Taconite? Taconite, after all, is the low-grade iron ore mined here on the Mesabi Iron Range of Northern Minnesota. Outside of mining communities, “taconite” refers to the day of the week when tacos are served.

For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.hibbingmn.com/opinion/columnists/the-good-ship-taconite-flagship-of-boeing-empire-built-on/article_d7a11ce2-31e0-11e7-953b-f733128d5177.html

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