The shipyards are busy places nowadays. There are more vessels in winter quarters at Buffalo this year than at any other port on the lakes, and more than were ever laid up here before. During the winter, or before spring, nearly all those vessels will undergo repairs more or less extensive, and this is why these companies are working by gangs of men early and late.
In the first of the Mills dry docks stands the big wooden steamer MILWAUKEE of the Western Transit Company. She appears to be most hopelessly dismantled. Above her main deck forward the planking is torn off, showing her skeleton-like frames. The hugh wooden arches which run fore and aft on either side, have been sawed off between the uprights, leaving them like hugh arms waving in wild despair at the apparent destruction, which a gang of hammering, chopping and sawing workmen are accomplishing. The MILWAUKEE is to have new arches and upper works, which, in addition to other repairs, will cost in the neighborhood of $15,000.
In the other Mills dock is the Anchor Line Steamer DELAWARE, also looking very dilapidated. Before she is in shape again over $10,000 will have been expended in giving her new floors, keelson and general repairs; and as soon as she is out the CONESTOGA, of the same line, will be put in her place for a similar overhauling.
Mr. Mills said to an Enquirer reporter, that they have enough work to keep them very busy all winter.
The Union Dry Dock, next to Mills, is equally rushed. Men and horses are hauling great timbers and sheets of steel through the mud to various places, while the big black forms of two steel steamers loom up in the docks. The first is the mammoth Erie Liner CHEMUNG. At first sight nothing in particular seems to be the matter with her, but inquiry revels the fact that the vessel lost her rudder in a storm during the latter part of the season. She will have a new one, besides other repairs.
The other steamer is the BRAZIL, which ran into and sank the steamer SAMUEL MATHER last fall, thereby giving her own stern a bad twist.
The object of most interest, however, is in the company's steel yard across the street, where, at the edge of the Blackwell Canal, the keel of a large steel steamer of peculiar build is being laid. It is the CODORUS, one of three boats all alike to be built at Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. The King Iron Works, who are building the engines for the CODORUS, say the outlook is much better than it was at this time last year. (part)
January 4, 1892
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