Lady B
Lady B West Linn Tidings
Lady B Lake Oswego Review

Lady B

77 years old, last of her kind.

Transported logs along the Willamette River.

Help to preserve this part of Willamette Falls History.

Please contact Advocates for Willamette Falls Heritage to find out what you can do.

Holly Bartholomew, Lake Oswego Review

Photo from Lake Oswego Review

   The Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation hopes to find a new home for the Lady B, a 75-year-old tugboat that towed logs along the Willamette River between Wilsonville and the mills near Willamette Falls during the mid- 20th Century.

   The Lady B, a 40-foot steel-hulled vessel was part of the Bernert Family fleet and is now owned by the Bernert family’s business, Wilsonville Concrete.

   Over a year ago, Wilsonville Concrete offered the Lady B to the heritage foundation, which hopes to publicly display the boat somewhere along the river. But finding the perfect site has been challenging, and if a new home is not found soon the boat will be scrapped.

Patrick Malee, West Linn Tidings

Photo from West Linn Tidings

   If you overhear Joe Bernert talking about one of his family's old tugboats, you might first assume he is referring to a child, or maybe a beloved pet.

   Take the "Lady B," for instance — a smaller tugboat which has been owned by the Bernerts since the 1940s.

Patrick Malee, West Linn Tidings

Photo from West Linn Tidings

   In 1907, Josef Bernert built a powered tug boat with 4.5 horse power, the first of its kind. By the 1920s, the Bernerts had established the Joe Bernert Towing Company, utilizing tugboats that pulled logs to the paper mills located down river.

   "People who brought logs into the mill were a major source of economy," Bernert said.

   Those early tugboats were made of wood and still a generation removed from Joe Bernert's era. Indeed, by the time Joe came around, the Bernerts had a fleet of tugboats that lined the docks on the Willamette River and some of his earliest memories took place on the water.

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