The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of Buffalo (Steamboat), U127132, 28 Oct 1895

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" C I T Y O F B U F F A L O."
      That Is The Name Chosen For The New Cleveland & Buffalo Passenger Steamer.
      The Cleveland newspapers and the Cleveland people have for some time been trying to find out what name the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit line directors are going to give the handsome new sidewheeler building for the line at Wyandotte. The Detroit Free Press informs them, on the word of Manager Newman himself, that the name chosen is the CITY OF BUFFALO. It is just possible that when he sees this the manager may decide to change the name, but at any rate CITY OF BUFFALO is the way it stands at present.
      There are on the lake at this time three boats bearing the name CLEVELAND. One is the fine steamer CITY OF CLEVELAND belonging to the Detroit & Cleveland Steam Navigation Company; another is the large coarse freighter CITY OF CLEVELAND, belonging to the Bradley Estate of Cleveland; the third is a lumber carrier named CLEVELAND that was built in 1860, and is ready to "pass out." Not satisfied with these honors the people of the great iron ore receiving port have rolled every log and pulled every wire to induce the directors to name her CITY OF CLEVELAND or FOREST CITY. But there is another FOREST CITY on the lakes, a course freighter, and this bars out the latter name.
      Manager Newman and the directors have decided, and wisely, that neither of the names wanted by the people down there will suit the line. There is already confusion arising over the similarity of names of the big passenger boat and the big Bradley freighter. The latter went aground on Bar Point Friday, and the dispatches telegraphed it all over the lakes without distinguishing between the two boats. One Detroit paper, that knew no better, made the same announcement, and the result was the loss to the company of perhaps $100, because of the change of mind of many passengers bound to Cleveland who got the idea that their boat was aground, when in reality she left her dock on time for Cleveland that evening; and the end of it is not yet. The Detroit & Cleveland Line, by the way, should be given the exclusive right to this name, as it was the first company on the lakes to adopt it in full. The boat that bore it came out in 1880. She was afterward called the CITY OF ALPENA, and the name was transferred to the present big boat. Now the older one is called the STATE OF OHIO. In 1882 the Bradley freighter came out. Old Alva Bradley, owner of the freighter, had about $1,500,000 invested in vessels, all of which hailed from Cleveland, and a million or two more in Cleveland real estate, and that was his reason for giving his boat the name. The freighter has been unusually unlucky since she was made into a steamer, and every time she meets a mishap the results are partly visited on the unfortunate head of the passenger steamer. Manager Mott Bradley could do no better now than have the name changed. Looked at in this light, the people of Cleveland are foolish to expect that another boat of that name or of FOREST CITY will be launched. It causes a confusion that is certainly dangerous to the passenger line.
      CITY OF BUFFALO sounds all right. The steamer BUFFALO sails in the Western line, but there can be no confusion if the names appear in this city. There was a CITY OF BUFFALO many years ago, but she has long since passed away.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, October 28, 1895

      . . . . .

      "The CITY OF BUFFALO "
      The Cleveland and Buffalo Company have named their new sidewheeler, being built at Wyandotte, " The CITY OF BUFFALO." She will be launched in a few weeks and christened CITY OF BUFFALO by Mrs. Thomas F. Newman, wife of the General Manager of the company. Capt. John Edwards, who has sailed the STATE OF OHIO since she was put on the route, will be commander.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Wednesday, November 6, 1895

      . . . . .

      The Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company will launch their new steel passenger steamer CITY OF BUFFALO at Detroit today if the weather permits. The steamer will be christened by Mrs. T.F. Newman, wife of the general manager of the company.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, December 21, 1895

      . . . . .

      Elegant New Passenger Steamer Of The C. & B. Line Launched Today At Detroit.
      (Special to the Evening News.)
      Detroit, Dec. 24. -- The new side wheel steamer, built for the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company was launched without a hitch from the Wyandotte yards of the Detroit Dry Dock Company at 3 o'clock this afternoon. Long before the time a large crowd of men and women assembled in the yards, the most interested a party of men from Buffalo and Cleveland, headed by T.F. Newman of Cleveland, general manager of the Transit Company. The arrangements were as perfect as could be desired, and as the boat slid down the ways she was christened CITY OF BUFFALO with hearty cheers.
      When completed the vessel will be probably the finest steamer on the Great Lakes. She is built after a pattern of the Detroit and Cleveland steamers with all the improvements and appliances which have been devised in the past few years. She has an all steel frame and there is not a piece of timber below the deck rail. There are six water-tight compartments to insure safety in case of accident. She is 308 feet overall, and 296 feet on the waterline, with 55 feet beam in the hold and 78 feet beam over all.
      The plating is 5/8 and 7/8 of an inch at the outer edge and up on the deck is a 90 inch steel plate. The 3-1/2 inch deck planking is bolted to a 5/8 inch plating. Bolted beams and cross braces are attached to the keel every 18 inches throughout her entire length. The main shafts are 29 feet long, 24 inches in diameter, with a combined weight of 58 tons. The buckets are 4 x 12 feet, of 7/8 inch steel, reinforced at the outer end by a 5/8 inch steel plate, and weigh 2880 pounds each.
      The machinery which will be put in the CITY OF BUFFALO will comprise six large boilers, 12-1/2 feet in diameter and 12 feet long. The boilers are 15-16 inch plate and weigh 40 tons each. Four of the boilers are sufficient to run the boat at its highest speed, the other two being held in reserve in case of accident. The furnaces are provided with a Howden forced draft, which, it is claimed, will make a saving of about 30 per cent in the fuel.
      There will be 16 small engines besides the two large ones, to operate the electric plant, blowers, capstans, steering gear and search lights. The steering gear will be made at Cleveland, by the Globe Iron Works, and will be of the most improved pattern. The vessel will have two tiers of staterooms, each furnished to accommodate three people. There will also be 150 first-class sleeping berths, six parlors and bath-rooms, lavatories, etc., that will be provided with hot and cold water, and hot and cold air, and will be lighted by electricity. During the latter part of this week she will be towed to the Detroit Dry Dock Company's upper works to receive her machinery, upper decks and state-rooms.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, December 24, 1895

      . . . . .

The tonnage of the new paddle steamer CITY OF BUFFALO is 2,398.27 gross and 1,262.83 tons net, and her official number is 127,132.
      Marine Review
      May 14, 1896
      Side-Wheel Steamer CITY OF BUFFALO.
Numerous statements have been made during the past week regarding fast runs made by the new paddle steamer CITY OF BUFFALO between Cleveland and Buffalo. Until a test of the steamer's speed is made under fair conditions, accompanied by reliable reports, it will probably be beat to refrain from any statement of her time between the two ports. It is quite certain, however, that the new boat, under favorable conditions, will have little difficulty in making the run, which is a little less than 180 miles, in nine hours. She is undoubtedly the fastest side-wheel steamer on the lakes and has cost her owners, complete, a trifle less than $240,000. The steamers WESTERN METROPOLIS and CITY OF BUFFALO, which were operated by the Lake Shore Railway on this same route in the fifties, were costly boats and very fast, but there is little question of the new CITY OF BUFFALO improving on the beat time ever made by either of them. Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, vessel owner of Cleveland, erected the beam engines of the WESTERN METROPOLIS in 1856 and was chief engineer on her during three seasons. He says that the Western Metropolis was a little faster than her sistership, as the power of the two vessels was the same, while the displacement of the CITY OF BUFFALO was a little greater than that of the METROPOLIS. He is positive that the best time ever made by the WESTERN METROPOLIS between Cleveland and Buffalo was 9 hours and 5 minutes. owners of the present CITY OF BUFFALO claim to have beaten this time already by nearly half an hour, but it will probably will be well to await verified accounts before making definite statements about the speed of the new boat.
      The steamer's reception at Buffalo and Cleveland was one round of crowds and enthusiasm. The mayors of both cities took part in the dedication, and the excursions of business men were so largely attended that in Cleveland, at least, the big vessel was unable to accommodate all of them. The Cleveland excursion was under the direction of the Maritime Board, one of the auxiliary organizations of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Capt. Win. S. Mack is chairman of this organization. He was assisted in conducting the dedication by President Cowles of the Chamber of Commerce and Messrs. Harvey D. Goulder and B. L. Pennington. The resolutions that were adopted are as follows:
"Although organized but three years ago, for the purpose of operating a line of freight and passenger vessels on Lake Erie, the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Co., by a careful and progressive management, presents to the people of Cleveland today a steamship that represents in every detail the beat practice of modern ship building; an artistic and mechanical triumph; a ship of vast dimensions, and of beauty and speed, combining luxurious richness of interior decoration, the beat achievements of naval architecture and the highest skill in marine engineering.
"It is fitting that the members of the Maritime Board and the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, assembled on this magnificent vessel, should give expression to their appreciation of the enterprise of this company; and it is therefore
"Resolved, That we tender to the owners of the CITY OF BUFFALO our hearty congratulations upon the success of their undertaking and the manifold advantages and beauties of this ship; and we feel especially honored today in being permitted to dedicate this masterpiece of the ship builder's skill.
"Resolved, That the thanks of the Maritime Board and of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce be extended for this excursion and that an engrossed copy of these resolutions be presented to Mr. Thomas F. Newman, general manager of the company."
      Marine Review
      May 21, 1896

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building at Wyandotte
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William R. McNeil
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City of Buffalo (Steamboat), U127132, 28 Oct 1895