Milton D. Ward (Steamboat), U90162, 20 Sep 1896
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For 4 years the poor old stm. MILTON D. WARD has been trying to sleep her last long sleep along the dock at the beautiful Water Works Park. But ruthless hands are laid upon her about once a year and her last final reting place is not yet known.
It was 4 years ago that with a broken back and groaning ribs she was tenderly laid up neat the intake piers of Detroit's water supply system, to be used as a smallpox hospital. She did not work as a pest house. The authorities took one patient down to the dock in a hack but the residents in that neighborhood were on guard and prevented the character of the old boat being soiled by being used as a refuge for contageous diseased persons. No other smallpox case was taken near her and there were prospects that she would float her life out alongside the land and then quietly and peacefully sink to slumber on the beautiful blue clay bottom of Lake St. Clair.
One night 2 years ago, the form of a man was seen wandering to and fro like a specter upon her hurricane deck, ever and anon disappearing down the hatchway. Later flames arose fiercely from midships, and burned out her insides, leaving one paddlebox and her stem and stern posts rearing their guant outlines against the sky. For a time what was left of her former glory swayed and sagged against the dock and little boys caught perch and rock bass from convenient positions around her. Again the hands of a ruthless man was raised against her and her mooring lines were cut with the evident intent of allowing her to float to some igminious bone yard along the Rouge marsh flats. The boat could not stand movement and after drifting away from the dock the current sent a shudder through her and she gurgled a few tons of water and settled down.
Yesterday the board of water commissioners filed a bill in the Wayne Circuit Court for the purpose of having the wreck declared a public and private nuisance. The suit is against the city of Detroit, Mrs. Louisa B. Grummonds and the board of health. Four years ago the city contracted with the Grummond Line to pay $5,000 for the use of the boat for 2 years with the understanding that it was to be returned at the end of that time in as good a repair as when furnished. Before 2 years expired the boat was burned and the Grummond estate refused to touch her, holding the city responsible for rent at the rate agreed upon for the first 2 years. The application of the water board will probably make a final disposition of the WARD for all time to come.
September 30, 1896
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The wreck of the old steamer MILTON D. WARD lies in Hawley's slip at the foot of Twenty-fourth street, for the rental of which the city pays Hawley $10 per month. He is afraid, however, she will burn up and damage his property, and wants her removed. President Millen of the board of works has written the corporation counsel to learm whether the hulk can be removed piecemeal -- there is no other way -- without the Grummonds or someone else coming back at the city, claiming to own the boat and demanding damages.
Detroit Free Press
October 27, 1900
Steam Paddle MILTON D. WARD. U. S. No. 90162. Of 541.10 tons gross; 421.08 tons net. Built Marine City, Mich., 1870. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 182.5 x 28.5 x 7.8 Of 500 horse-power.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891
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- William R. McNeil
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- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes