The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Charles S. Neff Collection


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  • Tug Baltimore
    Image       Tug Baltimore as seen on the stadium machinery, 1934; owned by Booth Fisheries. Cleveland, Ohio. Presumably Sister ship to tugs, Louisville, Nashville and Pittsburgh -10 tugs in all -built 1910, Lorain, Ohio....
    Image     Tug Baltimore as seen on the stadium machinery, 1934; owned by Booth Fisheries. Cleveland, Ohio. Presumably Sister ship to tugs, Louisville, Nashville and Pittsburgh -10 tugs in all -built 1910, ...
  • Car Ferry Tow Barge No. 1
    Image       Car Ferry Barge No. 1. Charles S. Neff owner
    Image     Car Ferry Barge No. 1. Charles S. Neff owner
  • Tug Boscobel with tows Active & Noque Bay
    Image       ACTIVE 400 M Lumber ADVANCE 500 M " ALERT 500 M " TUB BOSCOBEL Two barges in tow -- 2 loading at PESTHIGO Two unload at Chicago NOQE BAY 1000 M Lumber PESTHIGO 1000 M Lumber MAUNTEE 1000 M Lumber BARGES Built TRENTON
    Image     ACTIVE 400 M Lumber ADVANCE 500 M " ALERT 500 M " TUB BOSCOBEL Two barges in tow -- 2 loading at PESTHIGO Two unload at Chicago NOQE BAY 1000 ...
  • Schooner Mary Battle
    Image       The Mary Battle, of St.Catherine Is, Ont.,an old timber carrier was similar in size to hundreds that traded through the old Welland canal. Some of them carried hewn timber, picking up their cargoes along the shores of the upper Great Lakes. then sailing to Kingston. Ont.. where lumber was rafted ...
    Image     The Mary Battle, of St.Catherine Is, Ont.,an old timber carrier was similar in size to hundreds that traded through the old Welland canal. Some of them carried hewn timber, picking ...
  • Wreck of D. S. Austin
    Image       The D.S.Austin, a wooden schooner of 281 gross tons, was owned by Samuel Neff & Sons from 1896 to 1898, when the schooner was stranded Nov. 7, 1898 on Lake Michigan, one-fourth mile north of the Ludington (Mich.) piers. The vessel broke up. See History of the Great Lakes, by ...
    Image     The D.S.Austin, a wooden schooner of 281 gross tons, was owned by Samuel Neff & Sons from 1896 to 1898, when the schooner was stranded Nov. 7, 1898 on Lake ...
  • Schooner D. S. Austin
    Image       D.S.Austin, a wooden schooner of 281 gross tons, was owned by Samuel Neff & Sons from 1896 to 1898, when the schooner stranded on Nov. 7, 1898 on Lake Michigan, one-fourth mile north of the Ludington (Mich) piers. The vessel broke up. Cf. History of the Great Lakes, by Beers, ...
    Image     D.S.Austin, a wooden schooner of 281 gross tons, was owned by Samuel Neff & Sons from 1896 to 1898, when the schooner stranded on Nov. 7, 1898 on Lake Michigan, ...
  • Sternwheeler Brooklyn on Fox River
    Image       Brooklyn Capt. W. W. Neff
    Image     Brooklyn Capt. W. W. Neff
  • Flat boat - M. Brunette
    Image       B & E ex tug "Mary Newton" Flat boat str. M. Brunett 100 x 21 x 5 ft. 1880 Green Bay Run for many years stone barge
    Image     B & E ex tug "Mary Newton" Flat boat str. M. Brunett 100 x 21 x 5 ft. 1880 Green Bay Run for many years stone barge
  • Steamer G. T. Burroughs
    Image       G. T BURROUGHS C. S. Neff Aug 25/3?
    Image     G. T BURROUGHS C. S. Neff Aug 25/3?
  • Schooner Butcher Boy
    Image       Butcher Boy, ex barque, sailed on the Great Lakes for many years; 149 feet long; 29 foot beam; 11 feet in depth. Built De Pere, Wis. 1868. Listed in Ship Masters' Assoc. Dir. 1903; Beers, History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 1,p.802; Inland Lloyds Vessel Register,1893. In commission in 1899. ...
    Image     Butcher Boy, ex barque, sailed on the Great Lakes for many years; 149 feet long; 29 foot beam; 11 feet in depth. Built De Pere, Wis. 1868. Listed in Ship ...
  • Schooner Butcher Boy
    Image       BUTCHER BOY 149 x 29 x 11 - 1869 Dupere Wis Ex Barque Sailed for many years
    Image     BUTCHER BOY 149 x 29 x 11 - 1869 Dupere Wis Ex Barque Sailed for many years
  • Schooner Butcher Boy
    Image       Schr. Butcher Boy ex Barque built Depere Wis. 1899 owned by Samuel Neff & Sons
    Image     Schr. Butcher Boy ex Barque built Depere Wis. 1899 owned by Samuel Neff & Sons
  • Steamer Arizona
    Image       Built Cleveland Ohio, 1868; 189 x 32; 765 gross tons; used as sand sucker. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893; Ship Masters. Assoc. Directories,1903 etc.; Beers, History of the Great Lakes, Vol. 1,p.793. Note: The name of Jay A.Pearson is evidently the name of a previous sketcher; it does not ...
    Image     Built Cleveland Ohio, 1868; 189 x 32; 765 gross tons; used as sand sucker. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893; Ship Masters. Assoc. Directories,1903 etc.; Beers, History of the Great ...
  • S. D. Arnold
    Image       The S.D. Arnold. better known as "Bootjack" because of the angle made by her twin smoke stacks, was used in the log trade between De Pere, Wis. and Marinette, Wis. Built 1871, De Pere, Wis.; passed out of registry, 1894. Listed Beers, History of the Great Lakes, Vol. l....
    Image     The S.D. Arnold. better known as "Bootjack" because of the angle made by her twin smoke stacks, was used in the log trade between De Pere, Wis. and Marinette, Wis. ...
  • Tug Alert
    Image       Old harbor tug, Alert of Chicago, watching for a tow in the 1880s. The Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903, lists the tug as being built in 1874; owned by Lydon & Drews, Chicago; 49x13; 23 gross tonnage....
    Image     Old harbor tug, Alert of Chicago, watching for a tow in the 1880s. The Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903, lists the tug as being built in 1874; owned by Lydon ...
  • Str. Weston M. Carroll
    Image       Steel steamer, Charles S.Neff, built by Jenks Ship Building Co., Port Huron, Mich. 1901; launched 2 July 1901 for Capt. Samuel Neff and sons, Sidney O. Neff & Charles S.Neff; 200 x 38 x 11.6; 992 gross tons. Carried lumber, pig iron, grain; a fine ship; John A. Doak, captain. ...
    Image     Steel steamer, Charles S.Neff, built by Jenks Ship Building Co., Port Huron, Mich. 1901; launched 2 July 1901 for Capt. Samuel Neff and sons, Sidney O. Neff & Charles S.Neff; ...
  • Str. Charlemagne Tower, Jr.
    Image       For $1.00 "and other valuable considerations," Charles S. Neff, Milwaukee, Wis. purchased on Dec. 17, 1912, the wooden steamer, Charlemagne Tower Jr., of 1825 gross tons; 255.8' x 40', and 21.3'. It had been built in 1886 in Cleveland, 0., and was owned by the J. C. Gilchrist Co., Cleveland, ...
    Image     For $1.00 "and other valuable considerations," Charles S. Neff, Milwaukee, Wis. purchased on Dec. 17, 1912, the wooden steamer, Charlemagne Tower Jr., of 1825 gross tons; 255.8' x 40', and ...
  • Steamer Maggie Duncan
    Image       The Maggie Duncan was built in 1890 at Fort Howard Wis.; 535 gross tons; 164 x 31. Listed Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903; also Inland Lloyds Register, 1902 and 1893, when it was owned by Samuel Neff & Son Sidney. It was operated by the Neff firm from 1893 until ...
    Image     The Maggie Duncan was built in 1890 at Fort Howard Wis.; 535 gross tons; 164 x 31. Listed Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903; also Inland Lloyds Register, 1902 and 1893, ...
  • Steamer Congress (Ex Nebraska)
    Image       The Congress was built under the name of the Nebraska in 1867. In Nov .1901, the vessel was purchased by Samuel Neff & Sons from R.R.Rhodes, repaired in the Milwaukee Dry Dock Co. yards, and sold in June,1902, to J. J. Boland and Davis O. Hagen, Buffalo, N.Y. The name ...
    Image     The Congress was built under the name of the Nebraska in 1867. In Nov .1901, the vessel was purchased by Samuel Neff & Sons from R.R.Rhodes, repaired in the Milwaukee ...
  • Ferd Laabs' Sons Grist Mill
    Image       Photograph of the Ferd Laabs' Sons grist mill which was moved on the barges Lucy and Eveready, and pushed by the tug, Ajax from Winneconne, Wis. to Oshkosh, Wis. on July 4th, 1879. Charles S.Neff was a boy of 9 yrs. and rode in the Ajax with his father, Capt. ...
    Image     Photograph of the Ferd Laabs' Sons grist mill which was moved on the barges Lucy and Eveready, and pushed by the tug, Ajax from Winneconne, Wis. to Oshkosh, Wis. on ...
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Charles S. Neff Collection


Charles S. Neff was born in Oshkosh, WI in April of 1870 and died in Cleveland, OH in 1940. His father Samuel Neff had been involved in shipping on the Fox and Wolf Rivers but moved his business to Milwaukee about 1880 because he did not think he could compete with the railroads. He formed the Neff and Sons Shipping Company with his sons Sidney and Charles. After their father died they tried to keep the partnership going for about a year but then divided the assets and formed separate companies. Charles lived during the time of sail, steam power and diesel power. He collected photographs and other material of historical interest. Some of his collection is in the Maritime collection of the Milwaukee Public Library. He also made drawings using color pencils and whatever paper that was at hand. Some were drawn from memory, others from life. Some of the original drawings were given to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, WI. Color slides were taken of all of the drawings and Marcy Neff-Fisher, his daughter, prepared notes for each slide. Digital copies have been made of the slides and notes. The collection also include the volume Marcy Neff-Fisher had privately published for family and friends about the Neff family's long involvement in shipping.