The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Vega (Propeller), 4 May 1899

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      The past week has seen a general opening of navigation on the great lakes. Before this issue of the Review is in the hands of its readers all ports with the possible exception of those on the north shore of Lake Superior, will be open and the regular traffic of the season will be in full progress. The opening was devoid of any unusual features beyond the fact that exceptionally warm weather caused the ice to break up rather more rapidly than had been anticipated and in consequence a general movement of the ships came several days sooner than had been predicted in some quarters. The steamer FERDINAND SCHLESSINGER, bound for Milwaukee with a cargo of coal from Lake Erie, opened navigation in the Straits of Mackinaw at 8:20 o'clock on the evening of April 26. The running time of the SCHLESSINGER from Port Huron to Mackinaw City was in the neighborhood of twenty-four hours. The steamer NEOSHO was the second boat to pass up. She got through at 10:30 o'clock the same evening, followed by the steamer VEGA at 1 o'clock the next morning and the FLETCHER at 4:15 o'clock. The steamers W.R. LINN and Geo. W. ROBY, first of the down-bound fleet, passed through the Straits at 8:40 o'clock in the morning of April 27. The LINN also led the grain fleet into Buffalo, arriving there during the afternoon of April 29 and beating the ROBY by an hour. Navigation through the St. Mary's river to Lake Superior was opened April 29 by the steamer WALDO, which passed the Sault at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, although the LIVINGSTON, which arrived at noon but was delayed for repairs, was the first boat up. The WALDO was also the first vessel to reach Duluth. She made that port on the morning of May 1, but was delayed several hours in ice outside the harbor. The LIVINGSTON arrived at Ashland on the evening of the same day. The first ore cargo. that of the steamer E.C. POPE. reached Cleveland May 1. Last year the first ore cargo reached one of the Ohio ports April 19. The Welland canal opened April 24 when the steamer RALPH and consort HAROLD passed down.
      The Marine Review
      May 4, 1899

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early passage
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Vega (Propeller), 4 May 1899