The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lady Elgin (Steamboat), 5 Jun 1857

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This evening about half-past seven o'clock, without note of approach, the LADY ELGIN (Northwestern Transportation Line,) Capt. Tompkins, dropped quietly into the river and slid into Spencer & Co.'s dock at the foot of State St., direct from Superior. The captain was heartily welcomed by many warm friends, who had deeply sympathized with him in his ice-prison away up in the cold north. The LADY ELGIN left this port for Superior on the 6th of May last-arrived at the Sault on the 9th, and when twelve miles above the Sault, encountered as impenetrable barrier of ice, in which she lay thirteen days. On the 22nd she began to work her way through the ice, succeeded and arrived at Superior on the 27th. There was a strip of ice all along the south shore, from thirty to forty miles wide, as far as Marquette; encountered ice again twenty-five miles west of Ontonagon, extending through to La Pointe and Bayfield. Many pieces of this ice were as much as twenty feet thick and were as dangerous to encounter as icebergs at sea. These pieces had been formed by drifts of ledges, one upon another. On the 28th ult., the LADY ELGIN left Superior, and made her way comfortably till about the foot of the lake, when she had to push her way through thirty miles of ice-shut in completely from shore to shore, as if in mid winter. No water was to be seen anywhere. In many places the ice was in higher ridge, to strike which was like encountering a rock. Here it was that the skill of the navigator and the strength of the ELGIN were tested; but they proved both true as the safe arrival records.
      Detroit Free Press
      June 5, 1857 1-4

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ice passage on
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lady Elgin (Steamboat), 5 Jun 1857