The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Fletcher (Propeller), 1873

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      On Thursday last we called attention to the fact that the Cleveland iron-masters had organized an ore-transportation company, and that the business was to be carried on with large barges towed by powerful freight-steamers. After showing why it would be more advantageous for Buffalo iron-shippers to adopt the barge system in the transportation of ores than it can be for those of Cleveland, we urged our iron-masters to imitate the example set them by their Cleveland competitors, and expressed the opinion that by doing so they could have their iron laid down at their docks at much lower rates than they have it at present.
      We are gratified to be able to announce that the company, the formation of which we recommended, has been organized, and the vessels for the ore service are now well advance towards completion. They are being built at the yard of Mr. Notter, at Black Rock. One, the FLETCHER, is to be a propeller, with the following dimensions: Length of keel, 180 feet; over all , 200 feet; breadth of beam, 33 feet; depth of hold, 14 feet. Her capacity from Marquette will be 1,100 gross tons. The FLETCHER's barge consort, the IRONTON, will be 205 feet over all, 35 feet beam, and 13 feet hold, with 1,200 gross tons capacity. The same men are also building the schooner E.P. BEALS. She is 140 feet long, 26 feet 3 inches beam, and 12 feet hold. The BEAL will be employed in the Lake Superior or Champlain ore trade, or in the grain trade, as circumstances may suggest. If the practical operation of the steamer FLETCHER and her consort are as satisfactory as there is every reason to suppose they will be, the company intend to build more vessels on the same principle.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      April 21, 1873

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new vessel, Black Rock
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Fletcher (Propeller), 1873