The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lilac (Steamboat), 25 Feb 1892

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Two light-house tenders, the LILAC and COLUMBINE, building at the yard of the Globe Iron Works Company, Cleveland, to go, respectively, to the First light-house district with headquarters at Portland, Me., and the Thirteenth district with headquarters at Portland, Ore., are described in the annual report of the lighthouse board just issued. These boats as they appear on the stocks at the yard of the Globe company are of great credit to the officers of the light-house board as well as the builders. They are duplicates, and it may be said of them in a general way that the hulls are as fine in appearance as either of the costly steam yachts that left the stocks in Cleveland recently and their engines are as neatly built as anything ever turned out by the Globe company. They will prove good specimens on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the work of lake shipbuilders. Another light-house tender for lake service, the steamer AMARANTH, is nearing completion at the yard of the Cleveland Ship Building Company, and four others, lightships for the Atlantic coast, described in Vol 4 No. 7 of the Review, are under way at the yard of F. W. Wheeler & Co., West Bay City, so that shortly after the spring opening seven boats will be turned over from. lake builders to the lighthouse department, six of them going to the coast.
The engraving shows the general plans of the LILAC and COLUMBINE. The material is Siemens-Martin mild steel, and the dimensions are:
Feet. Inches.
      Length over all 155 0
      Length from inside rudder post to inside stem 145 0
      Beam molded 26 6
Depth of hold from top of beam to top of keel plate 15 2
Depth of hold from top, of beam to top of double bottom 12 4
The vessels will be fitted with a double bottom. Inside height of this double bottom, in the 'clear between plates amidship, will be 34 inches. The vertical center keel plate will run from end to end of the vessel, tapered forward and abaft the double bottom, to the height of keelsons at these places; it will form the keelson and extend down to the skin of the vessel for three frame spaces, the floor plates on these frames being cut and securely riveted to the center keel-plate by angles 3 by 3 inches by 6 pounds. The side keelsons or girders will also run continuously, the floor plates and brackets between the girders being cut. This double bottom will be divided into four separate water-tight and independent compartments, each provided with a sufficient number of manholes properly constructed and so located that access can be had at all times to every compartment for cleaning and other purposes. There will be seven watertight bulkheads dividing the parts of each vessel above and forward, and abaft the double bottom, into eight water-tight compartments. The vessels will be built with a flat plate keel in double thicknesses and provided with an extra protective keel, also with one outside bilge keel on each side of the vessel. The vessels will be rigged as two-masted schooners, with pole top masts, gaffs and derrick booms. Each will be supplied with a steam windlass, steam hoisting engine, and the best appliances for handling anchors, buoys, and cargo or any other purpose required by the service. An electric plant for operating a search light and for illuminating all parts of the vessel will also be a feature of importance.
There will be for each steamer one right-banded cast-iron screw propeller, about 9 feet 4 inches in diameter and of suitable pitch, driven by an inverted cylinder, surface condensing, fore-and-aft compound engine; the cylinders to be 22 and 41 inches in diameter, with a stroke of 30 inches. The steam will be furnished by two cylindrical single-ended boilers, 10 feet 8 inches in diameter and 10 feet 9 inches long, each fitted with corrugated furnaces.
In addition to the necessary trials of the machinery at the dock a trial trip is also to be made of about twelve hours' duration, or as may be directed by the lighthouse board, at the expense of the contractor, and the engine must develop 600 indicated horse power when making 110 revolutions per minute, with a coal consumption of 2 + pounds per indicated horse power, and steam, per gauge, at 100 pounds pressure per square inch.
      The Marine Review
      February 25, 1892

A number of government officials from Washington will witness the launching of the Lighthouse steamer LILAC, at the Globe Shipyard, Wednesday afternoon at 3 o'clock.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      March 29, 1892

Cleveland, March 31. -- This morning's Leader gives the following account of the launch of the LILAC:
Notwithsdtanding the unfavorable weather, a large number of people responded to the neat invitations issued by the Globe Iron Works Company to the launch of the steel steamer LILAC, built for the United States Lighthouse service, for use in supplying the lighthouses in the First District. Commander Frank Wildes, inspector of the First District, came on from Portland Me., to witness the launch, and is delighted with the appearance of the boat. Other delighted visitors were Commander George W. Coffin, naval secretary of the Lighthouse Board; Mr. Wilfred Sylvern. the desinger of the vessel, and Commander Howison, also of the Lighthouse Service, all from Washington; Commander Nicoll Ludlow, of the Ninth District, from Chicago; and Commander Woodward, of the tenth District, from Buffalo. The ropes were cut at 3 o'clock and the boat glided down the ways and dropped easily into the water. Miss Lois Augusta Allen 8 years old, a daughter of Secretary Luther Allen, of the Globe Iron Works Company, performed the christening ceremony with a bottle of champagne in a bouquet of lillies. She wor lilac decorations, as did her brother, Master Edward F. Allen, who escorted her. The boat was much admired as she sat in the water. She carried the ensign aft, and the Union Jack forward, with the lighthouse flag at the mainmast. Brass bas-reliefs of the lighthouse ornament either bow and the stern.
      The LILAC is 155 feet in length over all, with 145 feet between the perpendiculars 23½ feet beam, 15 feet molded depth, and 12 feet 4 inches depth of hold. She will carry two pole spars. Her engines will be placed on board almost immediately, and the cabins will soon follow. Much of the interior furnishing is already finished and ready to be placed on board. The boat has a double bottom at each end, 34 inches of space intervening. This protection extends 10 feet up on either side, so that a leak in the hull would have no effect on the safety of the boat.
      Buffalo Enquirer
      March 31, 1892

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under construction & launch
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lilac (Steamboat), 25 Feb 1892