The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
J. R. Whiting (Barge), 12 Feb 1879

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William Livingstone, Jr. purchased on Saturday the barge J.R. WHITING and it is not only possible, but probable, that he will immediately put the engine of the tug CLEMATIS into her. The WHITING was built at Saint Clair about three years ago by Simon Langell, but no machinery was put in. Since then she has been used as a tow barge. She is about 148' x 26', is double decked and has had 730 gross tons of iron ore in her hold on a draft of 12' 6" of water.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, February 12, 1879

The barge J.F. WHITING will be brought here to receive her machinery, at least such is the present intention.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Sunday, March 23, 1879

The steam barge Justin R. WHITING is nearly completed, and In a few days, Probably on Monday, will leave for Toledo where she will load grain for Ogdensburg. The WHITING deserves more than a passing notice, from the fact that her coming out is rather outside the usual order. Her keel was laid In the early part of 1875, at St. Clair. by Mr. S.. Langell, who intended her for himself. She was launched In October following, but minus engine and boiler, and her first trip was made behind the steam barge D. M. Wilson from Marquette to Cleveland with 736 gross tons of iron ore. At the latter port she attracted considerable attention. The manner of her build was regarded by Mr. Langell as an experiment. Her dimensions are: 144 feet length, 26 feet 2½ inches beam. and 15 feet depth of bold In the shoalest place. Thus It will be seen she is of full canal size. The experiment consisted in building a hull that would combine carrying a profitable load through the "ditch" on the usual depth of water, 10 feet 2 inches, and carrying a large load, say from Chicago to Buffalo, on a draft of from 18 to 14 feet. How well this experiment will work is at last about to be tested. Since her first season the WHITING has done but little, but early this spring she was purchased by Wm. Livingstone, Jr., who has about completed her as a full-fledged steam barge. She is well put together, and, although by no means handsome., is substantial, and will be a big carrier for her Incbes. She is well bolted, kneed and braced forward and aft, and has a middle deck. The engine was rebuilt from the one formerly in the tug CLEMATIS, but so thoroughly rebuilt that It cannot be recognized as hers. A new cylinder 32 x 30 inches has been put In, the cumbersome cogwheel reversing lever arrangement has given place to a more modern style-in fact, the whole has been changed to a high pressure condensing engine, capable of about 75 pounds with safety. Her cabin Is aft, and is 48 feet long and 21 feet wide, It contains a dining room, rooms for the captain and mate, a kitchen, mess room for the crew, wash, steward's and store room. besides a large spare room and a fine sitting room. These rooms are all finished in good style. and in panels, and are to be handsomely carpeted and amply provided with furniture. The engineers' and firemen's room are on either side or the engine, under the cabin. The pilot house is forward, and is a large, roomy structure, and contains a wheel that possesses the merit of being easily handled. The .boat has two boilers - the same that were in the tug CLEMATIS. About amidships is a large steam hoisting machine, to which will be attached apparatus for hoisting sail, all well as the cargo in the hold, a somewhat unusual feature Is a 40 feet center board. Not many modern steam barges can boast of this luxury. The WHITING will carry, besides her fuel, etc., about 23,000 bushels or wheat. She has not. been measured yet, hence her actual capacity cannot be correctly ascertained. Her officers will be: Captain, Alex. Rattray. fomlerly in the tug LIVINGSTONE; mate, Wm. Rattray; engineer, Robert Armstrong. She will be inspected today. As a boat for business, perhaps the WHITING cannot be beat.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Thursday, May 29, 1879

Yesterday the new steam barge JUSTIN R. WHITING had steam up, and for the first time worked her engine. The latter behaved splendidly, and gave every evidence of being all that was expected of it. It is doubtful if the boat gets away before the middle of the week, although work is being pushed to the best advantage, and only a little more remains to be done. At present a lower deck is being laid. A portion of the canvas is bent, and all the running rigging is in place, but the cabin is not yet furnished, and some more painting remains to be done. For business purposes, the WHITING will be a first class craft.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Sunday, June 1, 1879

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becoming propeller
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William R. McNeil
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J. R. Whiting (Barge), 12 Feb 1879