The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John R. Stirling (Propeller), U25855, 1911

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Capt. M. J. Galvin has named the steamer Vanderbilt after his friend John R. Stirling, now of Detroit, but formerly of this city. Capt. Galvin bought six boats from the Western Transit Company last fall. Though the Vanderbilt's name has been officially changed to John R. Stirling, a christening party may be held when the boat opens her season of navigation in the spring.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, February 7, 1905

      Capt. George Tebe of Chicago has bought the package freight steamer JOHN R. STIRLING from the Great Lakes Engineering Works and will make alterations and place the boat in an excursion business out of Chicago. The STIRLING was formerly the VANDERBILT of the Western Transit Line, and was aquired by the Great Lakes people when they built the stm. SUPERIOR. This vessel was built at Port Huron in 1871 and is 1,302 gross tons.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      June 28, 1906 9-4

      Chicago, June 18 - The stm. JOHN STIRLING, formerly the VANDERBILT, has been bought by the Northern Michigan Line and will be used in the freight service between Chicago and Northern Michigan points, taking the place of the stm. ILLINOIS, which has been chartered to the Crosby Line of Milwaukee.
      The STIRLING was bought about a year ago by a coterie of Chicago gamblers, headed by Mont Tennes. After much money had been spent in transforming the old freight steamer into a gambling ship, which was run in opposition to the CITY OF TRAVERSE, the scheme fell through and the STIRLING has since been lying idle at a dock.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      June 19, 1907 9-4

Steam screw JOHN R. STERLING.* U.S. No. 25855. Of 1,302 tons gross; 1,157 tons net. Built 1871 at Port Huron, Mich. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 223.2 x 34.0 x 14.4 and a crew of 14. Freight service. Of 500 indicated horse power.
      * Formerly steam screw VANDERBILT.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1911
      Steam screw VANDERBILT. U.S. No. 25855. Of 1,302.85 tons gross; 1,157.28 tons net. Built 1871 at Port Huron, Mich. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 223.2 x 34.0 x 14.4
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895 [steam vessels]

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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John R. Stirling (Propeller), U25855, 1911