SAIL CRAFT ON LAKE SUPERIOR
(From the Detroit Free Press)
We notice in some of our exchange papers, various accounts of the number of vessels on Lake Superior, which are very imperfect. Many seem to be under the impression that until a few years past, there were no vessels of any considerable tonnage on that Lake. This is an error.
As early as I806, the fur companies owned two or three schooners that navigated those waters - Mr. Houghton, in his excellent work on the minerals of the section, gives an account of several. The schooner "RECOVERY," belonging to the British North-Western Company, before the last war. As soon as the two countries were known to be at odds, a stratagem was resorted to in order to save her. She was secreted in a narrow bay, on the south side of Isle Royal, and stripped of her spars, and covered with brush wood, where she lay until peace was declared. She was afterwards run down the rapids of the Ste. Marie, and used in the lumber trade on Lake Erie, by Capt. Fellows. -- Her hull now lies off Fort Erie.
The schooner "MINK," was in commission there before the war. She was also run down the rapids, and Tom Hammond, an Officer, who served under the gallant Perry on Lake Erie, employed her as a freighting craft for some years in this vicinity. She was finally sunk in the River Rouge, a few miles below us.
The third vessel, from Lake Superior, which had been employed there - name not recollected - was run down the rapids, and unfortunately went to pieces.
From 18I5 to I822, we learn from Mr. Houghton's work, the Lake was navigated by only a small schooner.
Some twelve years since, the fur business was again prosecuted with much success, and the American Fur Company built the "ASTOR" of II2 tons. Her timbers were got out at Charleston, O., in the fall of I834, and was shipped to the Sou in the Spring following, by Oliver Newbury Esq.- the timber and plank was carried to the head of the rapids and put together. She was finished in August, and was sailed for La Pointe, by Capt. C.G. Stannard, who continued to command her until I842, when his brother took charge of her. She was wrecked at Copper Harbor in I844, where her hull is still to be seen.
In I837,the fur company built two other vessels of some 20 tons each; one of them, however, was never launched. The "MADELINE" was sailed by Capt. Angus, and employed in the fish trade.
In I838,the fur company built the schooner "Wm. BREWSTER" of 73 tons, John Wood, master. Four years after she was run down the falls, and is, we believe, now on Lake Erie.
The fleet on the Lake is now rapidly increasing. Since the mines on it's shore have commenced working, considerable tonnage is required, and will rapidly increase yearly. The present force on the lake is:
Steamboat JULIA PALMER 280 tons
Propeller INDEPENDENCE 280 tons
Schooner NAPOLEON 180 tons
Schooner ALGONQUIN 70 tons
Schooner MERCHANT 70 tons
Schooner SWALLOW 71 tons
Schooner UNCLE TOM about 40 tons
Schooner CHIPPEWA about 40 tons
Schooner FUR TRADER about 40 tons
Schooner SISKAWIT about 40 tons
Schooner WHITE FISH about 50 tons
Total tonnage about 1,160 tons
The Daily Courier
Saturday, July 17, 1847