Some of the ore companies, finding that they were in danger of not being able to move their ore, and looking also to the great probability of a similar state of affairs next year, have fumed in and bought or chartered outright quite a large number of vessels, many of them not very good, of course, but in the aggregate of considerable capacity. One of these firms, Corrigan, McKinney & Co., has bought ten vessels, the aggregate capacity of which is 17,200 gross tons per trip and the purchase price about $257,000 in all. This fleet includes the steamers MINNESOTA, ST. PAUL, PROGRESS IRON CHIEF and IRON DUKE, and the barges HALLORAN, F.D. EWEN, JOHN M. HUTCHINSON, IRON CLIFF and IRON AGE. There is only one explanation of the purchase of these vessels. They are not of a kind that would be bought by an ore concern except as a result of such conditions as now prevail. The purchasers undoubtedly figure that even if they sell the whole fleet again at a marked difference in price next fall it will pay them to do so rather than take the chance of being unable to move their ore during the balance of the present year and in the most active part of next season. All vessels of this kind are, of course, free of contracts and will be available for immediate service.
The Marine Review
August 31, 1899
Corrigan, McKinnie & Co. of Cleveland are among the ore dealers who have found considerable difficulty at times during the present season in securing vessels suited to move small cargoes of ore, especially when the ore was to go to Buffalo or to what are known as the smaller ports in the ore trade on Lake Erie. They therefore concluded to secure a fleet of vessels suited to this trade, and have purchased three tows, six vessels in all, that are of about 1.800 tons capacity each. Four of these vessels the steamers IRON DUKE, IRON AGE and IRON CHIEF, and schooner IRON CLIFF, were purchased through W.C. Richardson of Cleveland, from Capt. James Millen of Detroit. All four of these vessels are in very good condition, especially the IRON CLIFF, on which a very large sum of money was spent for repairs last winter. Capt. Millen of Detroit now has left only two vessels, the IRON KING and IRON QUEEN. The other two vessels acquired by the ore dealers are the schooner F.D. EWEN from H.A. Hawgood of Cleveland, and the schooner JOHN M. HUTCHINSON, purchased through Hutchinson & Co. of Cleveland, from Charles D. Holland of Marine City. None of the prices announced in connection with these sales are correct. The price of $130,000 given out as the figure at which the Millen boats were transferred, is wrong. The purchasers have seen fit to withhold the figures.
The Marine Review
July 20, 1899
IRON CHIEF * Built July 12, 1881 Bulk Propeller - Wood
U. S. No. 100287 1154 gt - 996 nt 212.0 x 35.0 x 17.0
Broke stern pipe and sank 10 miles northeast of Point Au Barques, Lake Huron, October 3, 1904.
*Built as schooner (1112 gt); completed as propeller, winter, 1881-82.
Detroit/Wyandotte Master Shipbuilding List
Institute for Great Lakes research