The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
David Dows (Schooner), U157O29, 4 Apr 1881


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THE BIGGEST LAKE VESSEL
      Description of the Marine Monster of the Upper Lakes
      Toledo Blade: - At Bailey Bros. ship yard is building the largest vessel on the lakes. She will be the first five masted vessel that fresh water owns. Her dimensions are as follows: Length of keel, 265 feet; length overall, 278 feet; breadth of beam, 38 feet, nine inches; hold in shallowest place, 21 feet; in deepest place, 24 feet, eight inches She is to be a double decker, lower hold, 10 feet; between deck to spar deck, 11 feet; two center-board boxes, forward one 27 feet long; after box, 25 feet long.
      She is also filled in solid forward by five solid breast hooks, oak timber, 12 by 14 inches, bolted through and through with 1 1/4 inch iron. She is to be locked off by square fastenings. Her deck beams, lower ones, are 10 by 11 inches, her upper deck beams numbering 265 and 200 are 6 by six, balance 65 are 6 by 12.
      Kelsons are of the heaviest descriptions to give her good back bone, 5 feet 8 inches high and 24 inches thick, running through and through. Her main rail is 4 by 14 inches and will have a monkey rail both forward and aft, and to give the vessel additional strength she has one arch or iron belt that runs right through the vessel, of 8 inches wide and 1 inch thick; also a diagonal strip outside of the frame of an angle of forty-five degrees, of iron four inches wide and three-fourths of an inch thick.
      Her cabin and forecastle will be above decks. She is to have a windlass and four capstans furnished by the Emerson patent windlass company, R.I. Her blocks and hoops are to be all nickel-plated. Her rig of five spars will be fitted out with square rig on the foremast, the other four spars to be rigged with fore and aft canvas, having three jibs, square foresail, double topsail, with main and mizzen topmast staysail. The canvas she will spread
when it is shaken out to the breeze will be 5,500 yards.
      It is expected that she will be ready for service about March 1st, providing the ice is so she can be launched. Her estimated cost will be in the neighborhood of $95,000, her carrying capacity filled up will be 140,000 or on 14 feet six inches water will be from 90,000 to 95,000 bushels of corn. Her owner is M. D. Carrington of the grain commission firm of Carrington & Casey.
      Oswego Palladium
      Monday, February 14, 1881

      . . . . .

      VESSEL BUILDING. -- Bailey Brothers, of Toledo, are building for Messrs. Carrington & Casey, of Toledo, the largest sail vessel ever designed for the Great Lakes. Her dimensions are: Length, 265 feet; over all, 278 feet; beam, 38 feet, and depth of hold, 18 feet. The vessel will have two center-boards, twenty-seven and twenty-five feet wide respectively; four bulkheads and three keelsons, sixteen, fourteen, and twelve. She will have five masts, four of them rigged fore and aft, and the foremost square-rigged, after the style of the MICHIGAN. The vessel is calculated to take 20,000 bushels of grain out of Toledo harbor, but could carry 140,000 with water. She will register about 1,600 tons, draws six feet light, and fourteen feet when loaded to 99,000 bushels. The cost of her will be $75,000, and of her outfit $15,000 more, or $90,000 in all.
      Cleveland Herald
      Monday, April 4, 1881

      . . . . .

Messrs. Carrington & Casey's new five-master, built at Toledo, is to be called the DAVID DOWS, and will have as captain Joseph Skeldon and as mate John Thompson.
      Cleveland Herald
      Tuesday, April 5, 1881

      . . . . .

      A LAUNCH AT TOLEDO.
      Toledo, April 21. -- This afternoon a vast crowd of people that could only be estimated by acres, gathered at the extensive ship yard of Bailey Brothers, for the purpose of witnessing the launching of the mammoth schooner DAVID DOWS. The monster craft was built for Mr. M. D. Carrington, of the commission firm of Carrington & Casey, of this city, and will engage in the grain trade of the lakes.
      At precisely 4:30 o'clock this afternoon every prop and stay was cleared away, the word was given, and the DOWS slid gracefully into her native element, with probably 200 persons on deck. Not a single slip or accident occurred, and the shrill whistle of tugs and other craft announced the success of the event, while cheers from thousands of throats rent the air in congratulation of the grand triumph.
The DAVID DOWS is, in all respects, the largest mast vessel ever launched at a lake port, or that ever sailed the waters of the great chain of lakes. She measures 278 feet in length, is 287 feet over all, 29 feet beam and 20 foot hold. It is claimed that she will not only be the largest, but the strongest and most substantial craft on the lakes, and the many careful steps taken in her construction to secure strength would seem to indicate this latter point. Her floor timbers along the keel are 12 x 7 inches, tapering down to 4 x 6. Her planking is unusually heavy, ranging from 4 to 7 inches inside and out. Among other precautions for strength is an iron strap belt 8 x 1 inches around her on the outside of the timbers and inside of the planking, and diagonal belts 4 x 5/8 inches. She has two center boards, 27 and 25 feet long, respectively, three keelsons, 16, 14 and 12 feet, and shifting bulkheads. She has five spars, four of them full rigged and the foremast square rigged. In her construction nothing but the most perfect timber has been used, it all having been culled over carefully after reaching the yard. Most of the material for the hull comes from this section of the State, a great deal of it being taken from the woods a few miles east of Ironville, while part of it comes from along the line of the Wabash Road, a few miles southwest of the city. In general, it can be truly said that every means that could have been thought of have been used to give strength, solidity and durability. The total cost of the wood-work is about $78,000. All of the work has been done by the Bailey Brothers under the superintendence of Captain Skelton, who will command the vessel.
      The DOWS will carry between 5,000 and 6,000 yards of canvas, and from this fact alone an idea of her proportions can be gained. She is, as stated above, square rigged forward, has foresail, mainsail, mizzensail, jiggersail, and jiggermastsail, foregaff topsails, two topstaysails, one square sail, upper and lower topsails, and a multitudinous number of sails, some of them being made and manned especially for the DOWS. There are 400 yards of hatch covers alone. The contract for rigging the vessel was let to the Messrs. Wilcox Bros., and the price paid will be about 16,000.
      On deck she presents a sight massive as it is grand. her eight hatches are well protected, as one would suppose, and every pin, spike or rope has it own particular and peculiar place. The forecastle forward is a spacious compartment, well lighted, and ventilated, and having eight bunks all sizeable and serviceable. The ice and provision house is located amidships, if finished in the best possible manner and provided with arrangements for keeping rations in a good, sound state.
      Her cabin appointments are the finest of any boat on the lakes. The large dining room, captain's room, pantry, and other compartments are handsomely grained and will be provided with all modern furniture ready for use and comfort. The artist who did the decorative work has indeed made it his masterpiece, and this may be said of the entire painting done on the boat. J. W. Potts was the contractor who performed this part of the work, and he has given great satisfaction in all respects.
The carving is another feature deserving of special mention. The figurehead represents a dragon, massive in proportions, being twenty-four feet long from tip to tail, handsomely gilded and well put on. The stern also bears the work of the carver, the scrollwork and name all being hewn out by hand, Mr. George Buck, of Brooklyn, N. Y., performed this difficult task, doing his work in a neat and tasty manner. Mr. Buck carved the figureheads to the ERASTUS CORNING and several of the largest steamers and sailers on the lakes.
      The total carrying capacity of this nautical leviathan will be 140,000 bushels of grain, but she cannot carry over 90,000 out of Toledo harbor, at least until that future great time when we shall have a deepened and straightened channel of several feet of water than there is a present. She registers 1,481 63-100 tons. When loaded to 15 feet draft, as she will be when she carries 130,000 or 140,000 bushels, she can be handled much easier than many smaller craft. Her crew will consist of twelve men, with necessary cook and other culinary attendants.
      Cleveland Herald
      Friday, April 22, 1881

      . . . . .

Schooner DAVID DOWS of 1481 tons, built Toledo by Bailey Bros. in 1881. Owned by Carrington et al Home port, Toledo. Value $75,000. Class A 1. Remarks -- iron strapped.
      Inland Lloyds Vessel Classification, 1882

      . . . . .
     
      THE LAUNCH OF THE DAVID DOWS
      Special Dispatch to the Post and Tribune
Toledo, O., April 21. - Fully 5,000 people witnessed the launching of the big schooner "David Dows" at Bailey's shipyard this afternoon, excursions coming in on several Michigan roads. The boat was handsomly decorated with colors. The flags represented a grand sight. At precisly 4:27 the word was given, the ropes were cut, and the boat slid, with a rush, to the water, struck with a curve, righted, and gayly rode the waves. An immense shout from the crowd, the whistling of tugs and the ringing of bells announced the event.
      --------------------
      DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW BOAT
      The David Dows is in all respects the largest boat ever launched at a lake port, or that ever sailed the waters of the great chain of lakes. She measures 278 feet in length, is 287 feet over all, 39 feet beam, and 20 foot hold. It is claimed that she not only will be the largest, but the strongest and most substantial craft on the lakes, and the many careful steps taken in her construction to secure strength would seem to indicate the latter point. Her floor timbers along the keel are 12x7 inches, tapering down to 4x6. Her planking is unusually heavy, ranging from 4 to 7 inches inside and out. Among other precautions for strength is an iron strap belt 8x1 inches around her on the outside of the timbers and inside and diagonal belts 4x 5/8 inches. She has two center boards, 27 and 25 feet long respectively, three keelsons 16, 14 and 12 feet, and shifting bulkheads. She has five spars, four of them full-rigged and the foremast square rigged. In her construction, nothing but the most perfect lumber has been used, all having been culled over carefully after reaching the yard. Most of the materials for the hull comes from this section of the state, a great deal of it taken from the woods east of Ironville, while part of it came from along the line of the Wabash road, a few miles southwest of the city. In general it can be truly said that every means that could have been thought of have been used to give strength, solidity and durability. The total cost of the woodwork is about $78,000. All of the work has been done by the Bailey Brothers, under the superintendency of Captain Skelton, who will command the vessel.
The Dows will carry between 5,000 and 6,000 yards of canvas, and from this alone an idea of her proportions can be gained. She is, as stated above, square rigged forward, has foresail, mainsail, mizzensail, jiggersail, and jigger mastsail, four gaff topsails, two top staysails, one square topsail, upper and lower topsails and a multitudinous number of sails, some of them being made and named especially for the Dows. There are 400 yards of hatch covers alone. The contract for rigging the vessel was let to Messrs. Wilcox Brothers, and the price paid will be about $16,000.
On deck she presents a sight as massive as it is grand. Her eight hatches are well protected, as one would suppose, and every pin, spike of rope has its own particular and peculiar place. The forecastle forward is a spacious compartment, well lighted and ventilated, and having eight bunks, all sizeable and serviceable. The ice and provision house is located amidships, is finished in the best possible manner and provided with arrangements for keeping rations in good, sound state. Her cabin appointments are the finest of any boat on the lakes. The large dining room, captain's room, pantry and other compartments are handsomely grained, and will be provided with all modern furniture necessary for use and comfort. The artist who did the decorative work has indeed made his masterpiece, and this may be said of the entire painting done on the boat. J. W. Potts was the contractor who performed this part of the work, and he has given great satisfaction in all respects.
The carving is another feature deserving of special mention. The figure head represents a dragon, massive in proportions, being 24 feet long from tip to tail, handsomely gilded and week put on. The stern also bears the work of the carver, the scroll work and name all being hewn out by hand. Mr. George Buck of Brooklyn, N. Y., performed the difficult task, doing his work in a neat and tasty manner. Mr. Buck carved the figure heads to the Erastus Corning and several of the largest steamers and sailers on the lakes.
The total carrying capacity of this nautical giant will be 140,000 bushels of grain, but she cannot carry over 90,000 out of Toledo harbor, at least until that future great time when we shall have a deepened and straightened channel of several feet more water than there is at present. She registers 1,418.63 tons. When loaded to 15 feet, as she will be when she carries 130,000 or 140,000 bushels, she can be handled much easier than many smaller craft. Her crew will consist of twelve men, with necessary cook and other cabin attendants.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      April 22, 1881

Among the many teething pains the DOWS suffered in her first few weeks due to her unprecedented bulk was the following:
      DOWS IN TROUBLE AGAIN
      Special Dispatch to the Post and Tribune
Erie, May 20. - The big schooner David Dows cannot carry a full load out of Erie harbor. She is loaded with 245 car loads of coal and has been aground at the wharf for two days. The tugs cannot move her, and she must wait for a west wind to raise the water in the harbor.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      May 21, 1881
     
     

      "THE DOWS LITTLE SISTER"
      SHE PROVES THE LARGEST CARRIER.
There is great rivalry between the masters and crew of the monster schooners DAVID DOWS and GEORGE W. ADAMS. The DOWS measures 1,481 tons, and the ADAMS 1,444 tons, the DOW being 37 tons the largest, according to the Custom house measurement. The DOW is larger, but has not so much beam as the ADAMS. When the DOW first came out, it was reported by the builders and the owners [the same parties built and own both craft] that she would be considerably the largest carrier. Indeed the captain and crew of the DOWS have been calling the other her 'little sister." All this must be changed now. It is the DOWS that is the ADAMS 'little sister."
When they loaded oats, on the last trip, the ADAMS, to the surprise of all, took the greatest number of bushels. Captain Shelden, of the DOWS, insisted however, that the oats she loaded were very light and occupied more space than they otherwise would. "When the DOWS and ADAMS load heavier stuff," continued Captain Shelden, "it will be seen which is really the largest carrier."
      Well, now they have loaded heavier stuff - corn - and there is another surprise for Captain Shelden and the builders and owners. The DOWS took 81,065 bushels of corn and the ADAMS 81,738 bushels, the ADAMS having 673 bushels the largest cargo. It is thus seen that as between these two craft the ADAMS takes the cake, and the DOWS is the "little sister."
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, April/July, 1881
     
     







Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
building, launch,Toledo
Date of Original:
1881
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.E.8942
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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David Dows (Schooner), U157O29, 4 Apr 1881