Events of the past few weeks have resulted in a pretty wide scatterment of the fleet of lake vessels originally chartered by the Atlantic Transportation Co. of New York City. Of some thirty or more vessels only the steamers SIMON J. MURPHY, KATAHDIN and ARAGON have been finally retained on the original charter arrangement by the Atlantic company, or rather by the receivers of that corporation. The THOMAS L. PARKER has been secured by the Hughes tug line of New York, while the S.V.R. WATSON is being operated by the Scully Towing Co. of New York. The barges METACOMET and J. H. RUTTER, which are still with the fleet at Valleyfield on the St. Lawrence river, where they have been tied up since last autumn, have been purchased by the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad Co., which will take them on down to the, coast and will, it is understood, place them in service in the coal trade between Weehawken and Cornwall on the Hudson and Boston. The Mack-Becker vessels of Cleveland, consisting of the schooners ANNIE M. ASH, BECKER and WADENA are being operated independently for the present, and will probably be sold, while the IRON STATE and IRON CITY - Detroit vessels - are in Boston harbor with no certainty as to what disposition will ultimately be made of them. The entire Gilchrist fleet of barges has been turned over for the time being to the Luckenbach Towing Co. of New York. The schooner CAMDEN is on a marine railway at Pictou, N. S. while the J. C. FITZPATRICK is at Sidney and the DAVID WALLACE and MOONLIGHT at Shelbourne, N. S. The four latter vessels are held for claims of greater or less amount. In the case of the DAVID WALLACE the claims will aggregate a considerable amount. This vessel, it will be remembered, was abandoned by her crew. There was nothing particularly wrong with her. A few men in a fishing smack found her floating at sea with nobody aboard, and they had no trouble in sailing her into port with their small vessel in tow. Now they are claiming half the appraised value of the ship on the score of certain salvage laws that are said to govern cases of this kind.
The latest announcement with reference to some ten or twelve of the barges held in the St. Lawrence is that the Donnelly Salvage & Wrecking Co. has libeled all of them on claims connected with the contract between that company and the Atlantic Transportation Co. for the transfer of the fleet through the St. Lawrence rapids.
The Marine Review
April 20, 1899
Steam screw SIMON J. MURPHY. U. S. No. 116684. Of 1380 gross tons; 1103 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1895. Home port, Milwaukee, Wis. 239.1 x 38.0 x 14.0 Of 800 Nominal horse-power.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1899