The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 14 Apr 1864

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Sketch of its History and Arrangements for the Present Season

The arrangements of the Lake Superior Line for the coming season have been completed and will be composed of the following first-class steamers: Steamers Cleveland, Illinois, Northern Light, Iron City, Traveller, Meteor, Dubuque, Pewabic, Mineral Rock, Star of the North (new), and North Star, also new. One of the above boats will leave Detroit daily. On or about the 1st of July, an additional new steamer will take her place on the route to supply the place of the Dubuque, the latter after that date to be engaged chiefly in the transportation of freight. It may not be out of place at the present time to give a brief summary of the Sault Ste Marie and Lake Superior traffic from its commencement. Prior to 1845 nothing but sail vessels traversed the waters of Lake Superior, and those were few in number. During a part of 1844-45 steamers plied between Mackinaw and the Sault, connecting with boats plying to Chicago. In the winter of the latter year, the propeller Independence was taken over the portage and commenced plying that season, commanded by Captain James Averill. She was subsequently commanded by Captain R. Ryder and Captain John McKay, and was lost in 1853. The steamer Julia Palmer was taken over the portage in 1846, and after one season s service on Lake Superior, was lost in the fall of 1847. During the winter of 1848-49, the schooner Napoleon was converted into a propeller, and for several years plied on those waters. She was subsequently brought down to the lower lakes and engaged for a time in towing on the rivers, and occasionally in the lumber trade. She was lost in the fall of 1860, at the Chantry Islands, near Saugeen. The propeller Manhattan was taken over the portage in 1850, and run on Lake Superior, commanded by Captain John Caldwell, and continued in the service until after the completion of the canal. The propeller Monticello made her debut on Lake Superior in 1851, was hauled over the portage during the winter of that year, and was commanded by Captain J. Wilson. She was lost in the fall of that year. The steamer Baltimore, in 1852, was taken over the Portage, and continued to ply there until 1855, when she was lost. She was first commanded by Captain J. Wilson, and subsequently by Captain John Shook and R. Ryder. The steamer Sam Ward and propeller Peninsula, if our dates are correct, were conveyed across the Portage in 1853, the first named commanded by Captain Estabrook, the latter by Captain Jones. Previous to the opening of the Sault canal, which took place in 1855, communication was regularly kept up between Detroit and the Sault Ste. Marie by steamers, beginning in 1844, by way of Mackinaw.

The steamer Detroit, in 1846, commenced plying to that locality, and the following season the steamers Sam Ward and Pacific were more or less engaged on the same route. The Sam Ward, Detroit, and Champion kept up the communication during 1847-48. In 1849 the steamer Benjamin Franklin, Captain J. C. Benjamin, plied there and was lost the following season at Thunder Bay. The steamer Northerner, Captain Sweet, and London, Captain Baby, were running there in 1850. The same steamers continued on the route in 1851, the latter commanded by Captain W. Watts. During the sea, son of 1852 the propeller Peninsula, Captain H. J. Jones made fifteen trips to the Sault. The Northerner, Captain Sweet, and London, Captain John Robertson were also running the same year. The steamer Albany, Captain H. J. Jones, made thirty-one trips to the Sault in 1853, and was lost in the fall of that year. The steamers Northerner, Captain Sweet, E. K. Collins (new) and propeller Globe plied there also. The steamers Northerner, Captain Stewart, Illinois, Captain Howe, E. K. Collins, Captain Jones and North Star, Captain Sweet, also propeller Ogontz, Captain Frazer and Globe, were the only steamers running in 1854. The Collins was burned at Malden in the fall of that year. Of events subsequent to the completion of the Sault Canal, we propose to give a brief review another time.

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14 Apr 1864
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 14 Apr 1864