One last ride for Chicago boat pilots

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

It's the end of an era for one Chicago family who has been part of Chicago's rich history for more than a century. After four generations working on tugs and fire boats in the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, the Schmidt family's reign on the river is ending.

Even though none of Bill's kids decided to work on Chicago's tugs or fire boats, one of them chose service on the water. To his delight and surprise, daughter Heidi joined the United States Coast Guard in 2007 and graduated as a Lieutenant. Heidi and her husband Taylor continue to serve in the reserves.

Photojournalist Erik Arendt did much of the heavy lifting on this report.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.