The ferry steamer ANN ARBOR No, 1 was successfully launched at Toledo yesterday. Her displacement is 2,800 tons and her speed when loaded, is estimated at 17 miles an hour. She is fitted with machinery for breaking ice and will attain a speed of 5 miles an hour while crushing ice. She will run between Frankfort, Mich., and Kewaunee, Wis., making two trips each day. The cars will be run on the railroad tracks, which extend the entire length of the steamer, and carried without break of bulk between Kewaunee and Frankfort. The ferries will run the year round and are expected to make the passage across Lake Michigan regardless of wind or weather. The boat launched today cost $250,000.
Thursday, September 29, 1892
Wednesday afternoon the car ferry ANN ARBOR No. 1 was successfully launched at Toledo from the Craig Steam Boat Co. She is 261 feet overall, 52 feet beam and 18 feet depth.
Port Huron Daily Times
Friday, September 30, 1892
THE ANN ARBOR NO. 1
THE SCHEME TO CARRY CARS ACROSS LAKE MICHIGAN
The steamer Ann Arbor No. 1, built to carry cars across Lake Michigan for the Toledo, Ann Arbor & North Michigan Railroad, was successfully launched from the yard of John Craig & Sons, Toledo, Wednesday afternoon.
The Toledo, Ann Arbor & North Michigan has for some time been perfecting its arrangements for a through freight line from the west to the east, and by means of these transfer cars it will endeavor to solve its problem of getting its freight across Lake Michigan without breaking bulk into steamers. If successful, the scheme will result in saving of an immense expenditure. This freight line is to be kept running through summer and winter. Its main western terminus is at Winona, Minn., the end of the Green Bay, Winona & St. Paul Railroad, this company and the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan being the principal members. The eastern connections are the Grand Trunk and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, with which the western lines have traffic contracts. The Green Bay, Winona & St. Paul has a connection at Merrillan, Wis., where it can receive St. Paul and Minneapolis traffic from the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha. The distance thence to Green Bay is 148 miles. Thence the route is over the Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western, a leased line, to Kewaunee, thirty-four miles. From there freight is taken across Lake Michigan to Frankfort, sixty miles, and the Toledo, Ann Arbor & North Michigan carries it across Michigan to Durand, whence it is taken eastward by the Grand Trunk and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. This route is operated by companies in very close relations with each other, and for traffic purposes it is practically one line.
The boat just launched will go into service October 10, and the other will follow some six weeks later.
The car transport service of sixty miles at this point is attended with all the difficulties found in taking cars across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and some difficulties peculiar to the situation. There are deep water and heavy seas, and in winter heavy running ice; consequently it was necessary to make the transfer boat with high and strong bows. The cars are loaded at the stern, and the bow is decked for a distance of fifty feet back and rises twenty-five feet above the load line. The vessel is 267 feet long on deck, 52 feet beam and 18 feet molded depth. It is calculated to draw twelve feet of water and to have a displacement of 2,550 tons at that draft.
The vessel is built of oak, with a solid frame up to two feet above the loading line, and will have a belt of iron six feet wide to protect the planking from the ice. Extra deck beams are placed at the load line. to prevent crushing in if the vessel is nipped in the heavy ice. She is strengthened longitudinally by a steel cord with diagonal steel ties every four feet running to the keel. The keelson is strengthened with a steel plate two feet wide and three-quarters of an inch thick. The vessel is so molded as to ride over and crush down on ice rather than cut it through.
There are twin screws in the stern and a single screw in the bow, which are worked by horizontal compound condensing engines of twenty and forty inches diameter, and thirty-six inch stroke. There are three boilers ten feet in diameter and fourteen feet long, calculated for 125 pounds of steam pressure. The vessel will be equipped with the latest appliances, such as steam steering gear, steam windlasses, electric lighting and an electric search light to insure safety in night navigation.
The cars will be secured by a method different from any heretofore practiced. There are four tracks, and there will be two posts on each side of each car, between which posts the cars will be wedged by keys. These post are connected longitudinally by heavy stringers, and diagonal tie rods will be put in place between each two cars. These tie rods will be provided with turn-buckles to properly adjust their length. By this arrangement any damage at any part of the structure will be largely localized. The cars will be held to the deck by four chains attached to the trucks, each with a turn-buckle.
The vessel is expected to make a mean speed of twelve and a maximum speed of fifteen miles per hour. The steamers are duplicates.
Detroit Free Press
Friday, September 30, 1892
Steam screw ANN ARBOR, No. 1. U. S. No. 106974. Of 1,127.76 tons gross; 563.88 tons net. Built Toledo, O., 1892. Home port, Toledo, O. 260.4 x 53.0 x 14.7 Of 1,500 Nominal horse-power
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1895