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


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  • Adella Shores
    Image       The Str.Adella Shores, built 1894 at Gibraltar, Mich. was purchased by Capt. Samuel Neff & Sons on March 20, 1897. It was 195'x 37' and of 734 gross tons. In 1904 the Shores broke records as a lumber carrier when she brought one million feet of lumber from Ashland, Wis. ...
    Image     The Str.Adella Shores, built 1894 at Gibraltar, Mich. was purchased by Capt. Samuel Neff & Sons on March 20, 1897. It was 195'x 37' and of 734 gross tons. In ...
  • Tug Ajax
    Image       The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870 for Capt. Sam Neff, Oshkosh, by the Ryan Bros., Oshkosh. H. S. Doman, builder of marine engines, Oshkosh, later of Antigo, said that the Ajax was the first propeller type steamer on the rivers above Oshkosh. The engine, a 14 by ...
    Image     The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870 for Capt. Sam Neff, Oshkosh, by the Ryan Bros., Oshkosh. H. S. Doman, builder of marine engines, Oshkosh, later of Antigo, ...
  • Tug Ajax
    Image       The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870, Oshkosh, Wis. by Von & the Ryan Bros. for Capt. Sam Neff. H.C. Doman, builder of marine engines. Oshkosh, later of Antigo. said that the Ajax was the first propeller type steamer on the rivers above Oshkosh. The engine, a 14x14 ...
    Image     The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870, Oshkosh, Wis. by Von & the Ryan Bros. for Capt. Sam Neff. H.C. Doman, builder of marine engines. Oshkosh, later of ...
  • Tug Ajax
    Image       The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870, Oshkosh, Wis. by Von & the Ryan Bros. for Capt. Sam Neff. H.C. Doman, builder of marine engines. Oshkosh, later of Antigo. said that the Ajax was the first propeller type steamer on the rivers above Oshkosh. The engine, a 14x14 ...
    Image     The tug, Ajax, 55' long, was built in 1870, Oshkosh, Wis. by Von & the Ryan Bros. for Capt. Sam Neff. H.C. Doman, builder of marine engines. Oshkosh, later of ...
  • Alaska
    Image       Three boats named Alaska were drawn by Charles S. Neff. It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel built of iron in 1871, Buffalo, N.Y.; of 1288 gross tons; 212 x 32. Anchor Line. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893, 1902, and in various Ship Masters' Assoc. ...
    Image     Three boats named Alaska were drawn by Charles S. Neff. It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel built of iron in 1871, Buffalo, N.Y.; of 1288 ...
  • Alaska
    Image       Three boats named Alaska were drawn by Charles S. Neff. It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel -built of iron in 1871, Buffalo, N.Y.; of 1288 gross tons; 212 x 32. Anchor Line. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893, 1902, and in various Ship Masters' Assoc. ...
    Image     Three boats named Alaska were drawn by Charles S. Neff. It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel -built of iron in 1871, Buffalo, N.Y.; of 1288 ...
  • Alaska
    Image       Three boats were drawn by Charles S.Neff with the name Alaska.It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel, built of iron in 1871 at Buffalo, N.Y.; of 1288 gross tons; 212 x 32. An Anchor Line vessel; note that in this drawing the Anchor Line flag is ...
    Image     Three boats were drawn by Charles S.Neff with the name Alaska.It is probable that each drawing is of the same vessel, built of iron in 1871 at Buffalo, N.Y.; of ...
  • B. W. Aldrich
    Image       The tug B. W. Aldrich was built in Milwaukee, Wis. in 1868; 49 tons; 65 x 15; double engines, 16 x 18. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893; Ship Masters Assoc. Dir., 1903....
    Image     The tug B. W. Aldrich was built in Milwaukee, Wis. in 1868; 49 tons; 65 x 15; double engines, 16 x 18. Listed Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893; Ship Masters ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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. ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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?
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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.