The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Maid of the Mist 1st. (Steamboat), 23 May 1846

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LAUNCH.---On Saturday the steam ferry boat of the Niagara Falls Bridge and Ferry Association, was launched at Bellevue, a mile and a half below the Falls. She has been christened the "MAID OF THE MIST," is of 150 tons burthen, and is to be propelled by two engines of 20 horse power each. This is the first boat of any size that was ever above the whirlpool below the Falls. There was quite an assemblage to witness the launch, and a band of music to enliven the scene. This boat, which is designed as a ferry between the two shores, from Bellevue, over, could in case of war be easily run down to Lewiston, but could never return.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      Mon. Morning, May 25, 1846 p.3

      . . . . .

      The Rochester Democrat says the engine for the new steam ferry boat, at the Falls, launched last Saturday, is to be made by R. Benedict of that city.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      Thurs. Morning, May 28, 1846 p.3

      . . . . .

      The loss of this steamer is thus described by the Rochester American "We learn from a gentleman from the Falls, that the little steamer MAID OF THE MIST, disappeared from public observation yesterday. She was moored for the winter at the wharf at Bellevue, and was deemed to be beyond the reach of casualty. The snow, however, gathered in such masses on her decks, that she was weighed down deeply at one side. The water made its way over her decks, and filled her hull so completely that she sunk in 20 feet water. She is still held by her cables, but it is very doubtful whether she can be raised---the current being very rapid, and the channel shelving off abruptly to a great depth. She was owned by the Niagara Falls Association, and the loss is from $5,000 to $7,000---no insurance. The little steamer , so aptly named, has played a gallant part, in showing up the Falls to thousands of visitors, during her brief but eventful life. She was the first steam vessel to tempt the storm and wave, in the "hell of waters" in Niagara River, and many of our readers have trod her quivering deck, as her elfin hull rose and fell in the mad tide.
Many had doubts of her strength and safety, and deemed it a hazardous exploit to make one of her brief voyages. But we imagine that her place will be soon supplied with a stauncher craft, and one more confided in by the public."
      Daily Courier, Buffalo
      January 7, 1851

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launch & later wreck
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Maid of the Mist 1st. (Steamboat), 23 May 1846