Two New Vessels Christened Saturday - The George B. Sloan and Samana Afloat
The impetus given to ship building by the ruling high freights, is shown at all the ship yards on the lakes, and as a result scarcely a day passes that noble ships, rising in carrying capacity, finish and beauty with ocean crafts, are not launched. The American people needed something to arouse them and warn them of the danger of the American flag being swept from the lakes as well as the ocean by the British flag, and the prospects of twenty five cents per bushel on grain from Chicago and Milwaukee to Lake Ontario ports has had the desired result.
Oswego, pre-eminent as a ship building point, was under a cloud - a cloud without either a silver or green back lining, for some time; but thanks to her enterprising vessel men, the cloud has been dissipated, and she once more takes her rank among commercial cities and her mechanics find labor at home.
Saturday afternoon, a new vessel, that would do honor to a Steers, was launched from the ship yard of A. Miller & Co., at three o'clock, amid the plaudits of an immense throng of people.
The sun shone brightly; the hills, the trestle work, the lumber piles, the wharves, and in fact every point from which the launch could be seen was crowed with gay, laughing women and solemn, sedate men. All being in readiness at 3 o'clock, the shores were removed, the vessel wedged up, and at the word of command the rope was cut, and away went the George B. Sloan with a grace that did honor to her namesake. The launch was a success in all particulars, not even rope yarn being broken, and when the fair schooner settled down into the water quietly and serenely, the crowd cheered and said that was no parachute feat.
The new schooner is, we think, the handsomest ever turned out from Miller's yard. Her lines are good, and her sheer, instead of being abrupt, as is often the case with canal vessels, is graceful and pleasing to the eye. She is built of the best of oak well fastened, being edge bolted, and ought to stand any breeze which Neptune furnishes. She is of the three and after rig, well sparred with towering spars, and will spread canvas enough to waft the Great Eastern.
The cabin is a model of beauty and convenience and reflects credit upon Larry Ward, the builder. It has all the modern conveniences essential to the happiness of the crew, and is a home fit for any man. The George B. Sloan, named for one of our most prosperous and enterprising citizens, was built under the careful eye of Mr. Edward Lefevre, of the firm of A. Miller & Co., a thorough, honest mechanic. She is of full canal size, staunch and strong of the following dimensions: Length 142 feet, beam 20 feet, 3 inches, depth of hold 11 feet 3 inches with a tonnage of 313 90 tons, Custom House measurement.
It is thought that she will carry through the Welland Canal without lightering 19,000 bushels of wheat, or 23,000 to Buffalo. She is owned by Capt. Thomas Martin, J.A. Hathaway and A. Miller, and the gentlemen have every reason to be proud of their handsome, staunch craft, which will sail next Saturday. Captain J.L. McDowell, a thorough seaman and one who believes that time is money, will command her.
The Samana, named after the Bay of Samana, Island of St. Domingo, lately taken possession of by New York merchants to be made a station for merchant men, has been rebuilt from the schooner Dane, and to say that she is better and stronger than when her keel first kissed the water, is but to express the opinion of all who have seen her. She is owned by *Ald. Morgan M. Wheeler, who has spared no expense to make her a respectable consort of his fleet and right well has he succeeded.
The oak which has entered into the rebuilding of the schooner, was selected by the gentlemen from an immense stock at Thorold, and it has been used without stint. The work has been under the superintendence of Mr. Peter Dufrane, for many years foreman in Shickluna's yard. St. Catharines, which is sufficient guarantee that it has not been slighted.
She is thoroughly ironed, in a manner to withstand the rude buffets of our inland seas. The cabin exhibits Ald. Wheeler's taste and judgment, nothing being neglected to make it a home. Her dimensions are: Length 143 feet, beam 25 feet. depth of hold 11 feet, with a tonnage of 287 42 100 tons. She will carry through the canal, without flooding, 18,000 bushels of wheat. She will be in the "A" class well up toward the head , where she will remain for many years to come.
The joiner work on the Samana was done by Captain A. H. Preston, a thorough mechanic, and one who has an eye for symmetry and beauty.
Captain James Curren, a young man of more than ordinary experience, will command her, and that he will render a good account of his stewardship is patent to all that know him. He will leave with his new vessel Wednesday of this week, and is in hopes to have two 25 cent freights this fall.
Oswego Daily Palladium
Tuesday, September 23, 1873