The Organizational Records, 1932-2020, and undated, provide an unprecedented record of marine construction in the Great Lakes, including work on the Mackinac Bridge, the Soo Locks, and the Chicago Sanitary Canal, harbor work, dredging, and, more recent, habitat restoration projects.
The records include the following four series: Professional Organizations and Local History, 1980-2009; Daily Reports, 1960-1993; Jobs, 1932-2002, and No Low Bids (NLBs), 1970-2002. In addition, one folder of organizational history materials, published and written notes, collected by the archivist, is found in the first folder in Box 1. The collection is organized following its original order, by series, and within series by number, date, and format.
Series1: Professional Organizations and Local History, 1980-2009 (3 boxes, 1.5 cubic ft.), includes records of the following organizations: AASD and MCC; BLU; DCA; NADC; and Benzie County Economic Development Corporation. The series documents the involvement of the Luedtke family in professional organizations and associations and in their local community. This series is organized alphabetical by organization name, type of format, and then chronologically.
AASD and MCC (the American Association of Small Dredging and Marine Construction Companies), which is the predecessor of the National Association of Dredging Contractors (NACD), Testimonial, Senate Committee on Small Business, September 21, 1987 (one folder in Box 1). This folder includes background information such as newspaper clippings, congressional testimony, witness lists.
Benzie County Economic Development Corporation, Annual Meeting Minutes, 1980-2009 (Box 2, .5 cubic foot) includes: agendas, meeting minutes, reports, board comments, bylaws, and attachments including guidelines to establish a port authority, consulting proposal, articles of incorporation, and as resignation letter.
BLUA (Betsie Lake Utilities Authority) organizational records, 2004-2008 (Box 3, .5 cubic foot), include: Articles of Incorporation, 1988; Correspondence, 2005; Engineering Proposal, 1998; photograph of board members, 2004; property purchases, 2004; meeting minutes, 2007-2008; and wastewater treatment facility improvements, 2003.
DCA (Dredging Contractors of America) Annual Meeting materials, 2001-2008 (part 6 folders in Box 1) includes: greetings, activities, maps, driving directions, lists of attendees, schedules of events, reception and banquet information, agendas, meeting Minutes, biographies of speakers, financial records, reports, and bylaws.
NADC (National Association of Dredging Contractors) Annual Meeting materials, 1988-1989 (3 folders in Box 1), includes: agendas, meeting minutes, reports, financial records, congressional reception materials, by-laws, and enclosures.
Series 2: Daily Reports, 1960-1993, Boxes 4-77 (73 boxes, 36.5 cubic feet). This series is on printed Daily Report forms. Each form includes the following information added in handwriting: job number, date, day, shift, location, names of men who worked that day, their classification and rate of pay, equipment used, hours worked, total figures. Daily Reports are organized by job number and begin with Job number 298, 1960. There are obvious skips in the sequential job numbers within the series which were present when the collection came to the Clarke.
Series 3: Jobs, 1932-2002, Boxes 77-314 (237 boxes, 118.5 cubic feet). This series includes the jobs that Luedtke bid on, won, and completed in Michigan and other states including Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and California. Some of these jobs were for the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which was noted on the labels. Most of the jobs include building something in a marine environment, but Luedtke also hauled rocks, lifted sunken boats, and moved a crane. Each job may include some or all of the following material: communications (various types), bid opening form, bid proposal, contract, addendums to bid, bid proposal, and/or contract; drawings (various, often blue-lines), lists of cost, equipment, labor, hours; changes to contract, certificates or bills of insurance, quality assurance programs, claims, quality control, financials/cost sheets, permits, newspaper clippings (copies), contracts, orders for equipment, photographs, negatives, change orders, and survey reports. Some of the earliest photographs include 1920s photographs of Luedtke divers in hard hat suits for commercial diving (deep diving). There are also incident reports and notes about a fire in Chicago. The series is in order by job number, which is also in chronological order. The first Job documented is number 5, Waukegan, Illinois, 1932, and the last is Job 309, Kenosha, Wisconsin, 2002. The sequential job number is almost complete. Two jobs have no number and are filed in the order in which they were found: Job H, Mackinaw city, 1943 – 1944, and Job Unknown, Port Washington, WI, 1950.
Jobs of note include the following: Job 354 includes correspondence with Albert Kahn Associated Architects and Engineers, 1966. Job 692 includes vandalism and oil spill. Job 644 includes photographs of Luedtke on strike. Job 608 includes information that Luedtke was fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), see the correspondence on yellow paper. There are also several major lawsuits within this series, notably one with Chicago over a collapsed tunnel (Job 763), a long, vicious lawsuit in which Luedtke finally emerged vindicated.
Series 4: No Low Bids (NLBs), 1970-2002, Boxes 315-375 (60 boxes, 30 cubic feet) document jobs Luedtke either just collected data on and decided not to bid on, or jobs they collected data on, bid on, and lost to competitors. There are very few completed bids in this series. Some of these jobs were for the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which was noted on the labels. For each Michigan job the folder may include some of all of the following material: abstract, proposal and/or addendum, maps, photographs, negatives, bid form and instructions, description of work to be done, equipment to be used, survey reports, invitation to bid and addendums, drawings (various), communications (various), project manuals, Luedtke notes of informational meetings, and project planning notes (on green paper), and insurance bid bonds. Sometimes Luedtke sent letters protesting that the competitor who won the bid over Luedtke could not possibly do the job at the rate they promised. These letters have been retained in the series. Besides Michigan, there are NLBs for Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Indiana, and Missouri. This series is in chronological by month, day and year. For labeling purposes, the name of the job and year was included on the folder label, not the month, but the strict chronological order in which they were originally filed was followed by the processors. This series was heavily weeded. Please refer to the processing notes for clarification on the weeding.
All the boxes in the collection are .5 cubic foot boxes, except for two, Box #4 and #351, which are both .25 cubic foot boxes, a point which is noted on the box and folder listing.
Allergy Note: Those with allergies should be aware that while the collection overall is in excellent condition, parts of it have a slight mildew odor. Researchers should exercise caution while using the collection.
The 2023 addition mostly includes a sample of subsequent Job files. Still unprocessed. Also included here are Boxes 376-377 which contain materials collected by members of the Luedtke family for reference and because of their services on multiple Great Lakes and for multiple organizations such as American Waterways Operators, Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Lake Carriers’ Association, UnLock Our Jobs, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Waterways Council. The folders contain: meeting minutes, agendas, PowerPoint printouts, newsletters, military documents, a CD, mission statements, news articles, informational packets, and some advertising material.
American Waterways Operators: A Tugboat, Barge, Towboat advocacy group operating in the United States and its waterways.
Great Lakes Commission: A public agency established in 1955 with the goal of being a forum to support the industry, trade, quality of life, and environment of the Great Lakes for both the United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Great Lakes Maritime Task Force: The Task Force was founded in 1992 to promote waterborne commerce and other related industries on the Great Lakes. Involving and representing a wide array of different groups including but not limited to, cargo shippers, Vessel owners, maritime laborers, marine and shipyard construction companies, and port authorities.
Lake Carriers’ Association: The Association promotes the interest of U.S.-flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes through change by legislation and regulatory advocacy by educating legislators, regulators, and the public in the role of the Great Lakes. This includes the effects it has on the American economy and to increase the efficiency of waterborne commerce.
UnLock Our Jobs: This organization has the goal of protecting the waterways of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River from the spread of Asian Carp while leaving the Chicago Locks open for use. The organization is composed of a coalition of agriculture businesses, river communities, laborers, and concerned citizens.
US Army Corps of Engineers: A branch of the United States Army, The Corps of Engineers in both war and peacetime is dedicated to maintaining the security of the United States, improving environmental sustainability, maintain the United States infrastructure, and supporting research and development for the stability and safety of the United States. In terms of the Great Lakes, they are responsible for dredging America’s waterways allowing for continued transportation of commodities.
Waterways Council: Founded in 2003 the Council's goal is for the protection, preservation, restoration, and improvements of the many Great Lakes locks and waterway systems.
As per the donor agreement, all materials not retained by the Clarke were set aside to be reviewed by the donor. Materials weeded from the collection include duplicates, blank forms, taxes, miscellaneous financials and correspondence, and reading material. A total of 81 cubic feet (76 boxes) of material was withdrawn during processing.
The Jobs folder included lawsuit depositions which included social security numbers. Pages with social security numbers were removed or copied and the copies were retained. Much supporting documentation was withdrawn from the law suits. Lawsuit materials retained explain sufficiently what the lawsuit was, who was involved, and how it was finally settled. Also, all materials were retained for jobs at Detroit, Mackinaw and the Soo Locks.
The No Low Bid (NLB) series was heavily weeded. For out-of-state jobs that Luedtke actually bid on the Clarke retained the proposal, contract, addendums to both, and Luedtke notes (usually on green paper). Luedtke collected a lot of information in this series but did not always bid on the jobs. If there was no evidence that they actually bid on the job and it was out-of-state, the entire folder was weeded. If it was unclear if Luedtke bid on a job in Michigan, all the materials in the folder were retained and a note was put in from the archivist explaining the situation.
During processing of Boxes 376-377, individual meeting bios, non-relevant advertising, duplicates, Congressional Research Services documentation, personal contact information, personal notes were withdrawn.