In the latter 1830's and early 1840's regular steamboat communication became established between the Maumee and the various ports of Lake Erie, including Buffalo, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Monroe, and had even extended beyond Detroit to ports on the upper lakes to include Chicago, Milwaukee, etc.
The first announcement of a steamboat plying exclusively between the towns on the Maumee is reported to have appeared in the spring of 1838, when it was announced that the SUN, C. K. Bennett, Master, would make regular trips daily between Perrysburg, Maumee, Toledo, and Manhattan." The following year the GEN. VANCE began her trips between the various ports of the Maumee. Captain Spink took his craft from Perrysburg at 7:30 every morning, touched at Maumee and Oregon, arrived at Toledo before the train left on the Kalamazoo line for Adrian, and put in at Manhattan at 9:00. By noon the GEN. VANCE was back in Perrysburg, leaving that place at 1:30, and from Toledo at 4 o'clock, "or after the arrival of the cars from Adrian. "Besides the two regular trips made each day, the craft was offered for sailing parties "by giving a few hours notice to the Capt., or to the . . . agents," J. Hollister 8: Co., of Perrysburg. The Captain also was attending "prompt” to all calls from Capts. Of vessel who . . . [desired] to be towed either up or down the river.
Captain Wm. H. Gallagher, with the steamboat ANDREW JACKSON, supplied service between Toledo and Monroe, leaving Toledo every morning at 8:00, and Monroe at 1:00 in the afternoon. On alternate days, the steamboat COMMERCE, Captain V. P. Stevens, left Lower Sandusky (Fremont) at 7:00 in the morning for the Maumee ports, returning to the Sandusky the following day.
(from article entitled "Navigation at the foot of the Maumee Rapids, 1815 - 1845 by Maurer Maurer, published in Morthwest Ohio Quarterly, July 1943, pp. 158-173)
. . . . .
STEAM ON LAKE ERIE.
The following list is believed included all, or nearly all the steamboats at present employed on lake Erie. Several of the smaller onees towards the end of the list, are employed upon rivers and bays, and do not make the trips between Buffalo and Detroit. The tonnage is derived from various sources, and is probably near the mark.
Names Captains Tons Built
CLEVELAND Hart 580 1837
JAMES MADISON Bristol 700 1837
MILWAUKIE Hazzard 500 1837
CONSTELLATION - - - - - 530 1837
BUNKER HILL Nickerson 470 1837
CONSTITUTION Appleby 500 1837
NEW ENGLAND Burnett 450 1837
GEN. WAYNE Pratt 400 1837
MICHIGAN Allen 462 1833
THOMAS JEFFERSON Wilkins 428 1835
SANDUSKY Titus 387 1834
COLUMBUS Walker 392 1835
PENNSYLVANIA Cotton 355 1833
DANIEL WEBSTER Tyler 376 1833
DeWITT CLINTON Squier 430 1836
UNITED STATES Shook 366 1834
MONROE Atwood 350 1835
COMMODORE PERRY Wilkinson 352 1835
ROBERT FULTON Hart 368 1835
NORTH AMERICA Edmunds 361 1834
RHODE ISLAND - - - - - 200 1837
NEW YORK Shepard 325 1833
O. NEWBERRY - - - - - 170 1833
ERIE Edwards 150 1836
CINCINNATI Young 180 1836
GENERAL PORTER Norton 352 1834
C. TOWNSEND Fox 312 1835
OHIO - - - - - 171 1830
BARCELONA - - - - - 160 1836
W.F.P. TAYLOR - - - - - 125 1835
* COMMERCE Stevens 80 1837 *
GOVERNOR MARCY McKenzie 161 1833
ECLIPSE - - - - - 240 1833
MAJOR DOWNING - - - - - 45 1834
MEZEPPA - - - - - 66 1835
Wm. PEACOCK - - - - - 120 1829
VICTORY - - - - - 77 1834
GENERAL JACKSON - - - - - 65 1833
GENERAL BRADY - - - - - 66 1833
MACOMB Allen small 1837
GENERAL GRATIOT Hanson 62 1831
Many of the above boats are equal in point of strength, speed, and accommocations for passengers to any in the world. With disparagement to others, we boast the CLEVELAND, for beauty, speed, and luxury of furnishings; more competant judges than we are say she will not be surpassed at present. But she will have competitors probably in the three first of the following list of boats not completed; as well as in the MILWAUKIE of Buffalo which made one trip last season.
BOATS BUILDING ON LAKE ERIE
Names Where Building Tons.
ILLINOIS Detroit 700
ERIE Erie 450
BUFFALO Buffalo 700
WISCONSIN Conneaut 600
ROCHESTER Cleveland 400
SAGINAW Sandusky 300
OSCEOLA Ashtabula 400
CHESAPEAKE Maumee 375
PRESIDENT Huron - - -
BELVIDERE Belvidere - - -
OSCEOLA Buffalo small
LEXINGTON Black River 400
- - - - - - - Fairport - - -
- - - - - - - Vermillion - - -
The tonnage of the above boats is stated in round numbers, and may not be entirely correcy. It is believed they are not greatly erroneous.
Of the boats plying on the Canada side we know nothing. The names of two are THAMES and MINNISSETUNK.
The following list of steamboats which have been lost, broken up, &c. may be worth preserving:
WALK-IN-THE-WATER; built in 1818, wrecked near Buffalo in 1821, tonnage 338.
SUPERIOR; 346 tons, built in 1822, dismantled.
NIAGARA; 156 tons, built in 1824, she was broken by collision with the PENNSYLVANIA near Huron in 1837.
PIONEER; 120 tons, built in 1825, wrecked on the Upper lakes in 1836
SHELDON THOMPSON; 241 tons, built in 1825, broken up in 1837
UNCLE SAM; 247 tons, built in 1833, engine taken out the present season.
WILLIAM PENN; 250 tons, built in 1826, dismantled 1837.
CHIPPEWA; 45 tons, built in 1833, broken up in 1828
WASHINGTON; 609 tons, built in 1833, wrecked on her second trip near Long Point, U. C.
DELAWARE; 177 tons, built in 1833, wrecked in Lake Michigan 1836.
ENTERPRISE; 219 tons, built in 1825, condemned.
CAROLINE; 219 tons, built at Charleston, S. C. in 1822 of live oak; brought to New York, thence by river and canal to Lake Ontario, where she was employed some time as a ferry boat; afterwards brought to Lake Erie through the Welland canal, and employed upon the Detroit River and elswhere; seized for smuggling the last summer, taken to Buffalo and sold. The end of this boat is well known.
We find in a list derived from official resources in 1837, the names of several small boats belonging to Detroit which are not given above.
CHICAGO 186 tons
DETROIT 137 tons
DON QUIXOTTE 51 tons, of these three we know nothing more than is given; nor of the
CINCINNATI of Detroit
LADY OF THE LAKE
WATER WITCH, they were probably very small boats.
Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
Wednesday, April 4, 1838; 2:2