SSHSA Awards
Steamship Historical Society of America Annual Awards

SSHSA presents awards to people and organizations who have contributed to the society, or to causes similar to our mission in preserving and sharing maritime heritage. Want to nominate someone for an award? Click here for a 2020 nomination form or contact us at

Ship of the Year Award is in recognition of a significant milestone or any other accomplishment contributing to the historical importance of the engine-powered vessel. This award encompasses a specific distinction for tugs.

Jay Allen Award for Distinguished Editorial Service is in recognition of an individual who has made important contributions to SSHSA's official magazine, PowerShips.

C. Bradford Mitchell Award is bestowed upon an individual, institution or agency in recognition of a single achievement, such as an important book, or founding of an institution contributing to the goals, objectives and mission of the Steamship Historical Society of America.

Samuel Ward Stanton Award for Lifetime Achievement recognizes the accumulated value of on-going work over a lifetime in our areas of concern.

SSHSA Past Award Winners

SSHSA Awards 2017

Ship of the Year - SS COLUMBIA

Designed by noted marine architect Frank E. Kirby, famed for his excursion steamers and Great Lakes overnight boats. Columbia was delivered in 1902, and operated for 90 years on a route just a few miles upriver from where she was built by Detroit Shipbuilding Co. at Wyandoe, Michigan. Kirby's team produced the then state-of-the-art steamer specifically for passenger carriage for day and summer trip excursions. Louis O. Keil drew Columbia's exquisite interiors with mahogany paneling, brass fixtures, gilded moldings and leaded glass. The 200' vessel boasts a triple-expansion steam engine with indicated horsepower of 2000, driving a single propeller. She commenced daily roundtrips on the Detroit River from the foot of Woodward Avenue down 90 minutes to Canada's BOB-LO Island Amusement Park, and was last certified to carry 2,566 passengers. The 115 year old Columbia is perhaps best known as the elder and larger of the two Bob-Lo boats, the younger running-mate being the SS Ste. Claire. Columbia was recognized in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, was awarded National Historic Landmark status in 1992 and is currently owned by SS Columbia Project, a non-profit group dedicated to restoring her so that one day she may return to service - on the Hudson River!

C. Bradford Mitchell Award - CAPT Brian McAllister

For providing the vision, dedication, support, enthusiasm and determination in both compiling and completing this comprehensive history of McAllister Towing. The book documents more than just Captain McAllister's passion for the company which bears his name. It illustrates 150 years of invaluable American Maritime Heritage, surviving and even thriving through social upheavals and economic cycles. As 4th generation and patriarch of the McAllister business he presides over an organizaton of some 800 workers, 75 tugboats in 12 ports of call and also a vibrant ferry service. His perseverance demonstrated in the successful publication of this book, typifies his company's, and his family's, longstanding attributes of integrity, loyalty and outstanding service.

Ships of the Year

  • 1995 SS Virginia V
  • 1996 SS Rotterdam
  • 1997 SS E.M. Ford
  • 1998 SS Delta Queen
  • 1999 SS Yankee
  • 2000 SS Independence
  • 2001 SS John J. Harvey
  • 2002 SS Badger
  • 2004 SS Milwaukee Clipper
  • 2005 SS Belle of Louisville
  • 2006 RMS Queen Mary
  • 2007 SS John W. Brown
  • 2008 SS Sabino
  • 2009 SS Jeremiah O'Brien
  • 2010 SY Cangarda & SS United States
  • 2011 Cruiser Olympia
  • 2012 NS Savannah
  • 2013 MV Coho - Ship of the Year
    USS Iowa- Museum Ship of the Year
    Angels Gate - Tugboat of the Year
  • 2014 Edward M. Cotter - Ship of the Year
    Aphrodite - Yacht of the Year
    Wallace Foss - Tugboat of the Year
  • 2015 Berkeley - Ship of the Year
    Hoga - Tugboat of the Year
  • 2016 USCGC Ingham - Ship of the Year
    Hercules - Tugboat of the Year

View award winners 2016-2015