The Chief Wawatam was unique. It was the only bow-loading railcar ferry on the Great Lakes. She was the last of the “hand bombers,” hand-fired steam vessel on the lakes. And she had a bow propeller for icebreaking. In addition to moving railcars across the Straits of Mackinac, she was charterd to the state of Michigan in winters to keep the Straits clear. The Chief was built in 1911, and served until the end of ferry service in 1984.