The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Siberia (Propeller), U115848, 26 Jun 1882

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Captain James Davidson's new steamship, the largest craft ever built in the Saginaw valley, and about as large a craft as we have on the lakes, was launched at Bay City yesterday. Her name is the SIBERIA. Captain Davidson has watched her construction in person, has spared no pains or expense to have her perfection itself, and has introduced various improvements not to be found in our lake craft generally. The dimensions are as follows: --
      Length of keel, feet - - - - - 259
      Length over all, feet - - - - 280
      Breadth of beam, feet - - - 40
      Depth of hold, feet - - - - - 19½
The depth of hold from middle deck is 12 feet 4 inches; distance between decks, 7 feet 2 inches. Built after the
      Model Of Ocean Going Steamships,
she had been made as strong as wood and iron can make her. Her main keelson is 16 x 16 inches. She has two sister keelsons 13 x 14 inches running forward and aft; six floor keelsons 12 x 13 inches; two strakes of bilge keelsons of 12 x 12 inches; two strakes of 10 x 10 inches, and two strakes of 8 x 8 inches. These immense timbers give her an almost solid floor. Her ceiling is 6½ inches, with four strakes of clamps 7 ½ inches. She is double futtocked and double floored. Her planking on the bottom is 4½ ¼ ¾ inches thick, 5 inches at the bilge and 4¾ inches on top. Her frames are 17 inches in thickness at the keel, 14 inches at the bilge, and 7 ½ inches on top. These immense frames are strengthened by an iron girt 16 inches wide and 7/8 of an inch thick, fastened through and through, running fore and aft. To this are riveted iron bands 5 inches wide and ¾ of an inch thick, which takes a diagonal course to the turn of the bilge and then take the floor. They commence at every opening of frame, crossing twice, and are solidly riveted at each crossing. An iron arch 8 inches wide by ¾ of an inch thick extends from around the fantail, forward, which, with the rest, makes a complete network of iron bands around the boat, imparting great strength and firmness.
      The Cabins
are on deck. The eating-rooms and apartments of some of the crew are aft. They run from aft forward 56 feet, and are 37 feet wide. They are arranged in modern style, being commodious and affording every convenience. Forward is the pilot-house, 11 x 11 feet, and texas 10 x 10 feet. The quarters of the captain and other officers are located here, except those of the engineers, which are in the after cabin. She has six hatchways.
      Her Machinery
The new craft has great power. She has a fore-and-aft compound engine, the high pressure measuring 38 inches, with same stroke. She has two 5/8 inch steel boilers. They are 14 feet long and 8 feet shell. Each has a 5 x 11 feet dome. She is supplied with injectors, a pony engine, steam pump on deck, steam hoisting apparatus, etc.,
      There are Three Masts,
and are to be rigged in regular ocean style. She ahs a patent steam windlass. The cable is 1½ and 1-5/8 inches in diameter. She has two patent flue anchors.
      Immense Capacity.
The custom house measurement of the SIBERIA is 1,618.26 tons. Her real carrying capacity will be about 2,000 tons. She is expected to carry 80,000 bushels of corn on a draught of 14 feet 6 inches of water. The cost of the new steamship complete will have been $120,000. A.C. Rosa, of Buffalo, is the builder, the same man who built the OCEANICA, CONEMAUGH, and LYCOMING.
      The SIBERIA will ply between Chicago and Lake Erie ports in the grain trade, and will prove a most important addition to our lake fleets. Captain Davidson, the owner, is to be congratulated.
      J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, May/June, 1882

The steamer SIBERIA, built by Capt. James Davidson at Bay City was launched Monday. She is 259' keel, 280' over all, x 40' x 19' 6" depth of hold.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, June 28, 1882
Steam screw SIBERIA. U. S. No. 115848. Of 1618.26 gross tons gross; 1222.48 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1882. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 272.0 x 39.0 x 18.0.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

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launch, Bay City
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Siberia (Propeller), U115848, 26 Jun 1882