facts concerning the early history of the Lake Marine are read with interest by all, and the following items relative to the prop. GENESEE CHIEF recently burned at Detroit, contributed by Capt. Swift of Maumee, are a contribution to our marine history, which we publish with pleasure. The CHIEF was built near Rochester, N. Y. in 1846, and was therefore 22 years old. Her builder was Geo. Steers, and Capt. S. was a bunk mate of Mr. Steers from the laying of the keel until the vessel was completed. Her machinery was built at Utica and put up by Capt. S., and on her trial trip propelled the vessel from Rochester to Kingston, 120 miles, in 9 1/2 hours, a rate of speed quite remarkable in those days. The engine in the propeller at the time she was burned, was the same one put in by Capt. Swift, a few improvements having been made to it.
On her first trip from Ogdensburg and Rochester to Chicago, her passengers numbered 450 and all came near being lost by fire. Five times the vessel took fire and was saved by the most strenous efforts of the officers and crew. She was commanded by Capt. Malcom Pierce. Four times the fires were put out without alarming the passengers, and the 5th time it was generally known, and it was with the greatest difficulty that a panic was averted.
On her second trip down the lakes the CHIEF ran into and sunk a schooner loaded with grain and the vessel, cargo and all on board of her were lost. On arriving at her destination the propeller was tied up and her owners were compelled to pay $16,000 damages. This ended her run on the lower lake route; she was soon after sold to parties on Lake Erie, and during her long career she was remarkably successful, and few steamers have earned their proprietors more money than did the GENESEE CHIEF.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
April 27, 1868 3-5
Steamer GENESEE CHIEF. U. S. No. 10243. Of 441.79 tons, Home port, Detroit, Mich.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1867
Steam screw GENESEE CHIEF.* U. S. No. 10243. Of 429 tons. Built Carthage, N.Y., 1846. First Home port, Rochester, N.Y.
* Rig changed to barge Sept. 5, 1868
Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States
Lytle - Holdcamper List. 1790 - 1868