The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Onoko (Propeller), U155048, 1 Apr 1882

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      Arrival of the Largest Craft.
A great topic of conversation in marine circles last evening was the new monster irom steamship ONOKO, The largest craft on the lakes, which arrived in port here during the afternoon on her maiden trip. The JOHN H. LYON, CITY OF ROME, COMMODORE, ect., are all eclipsed in size by this last monster. Her dimensions are as follows: --
      Length over all, feet - - - - - - - 303
      Length of keel, feet - - - - - - - 288
      Beam, inside of fenders - - - - - 39
      Depth of hold, feet - - - - - - - - 21½
      False bottom [from ceiling[ feet - 4
      Measurement, tons - - - - - - - - - 2,164
The hold is 21½ feet deep independent of the false bottom.
The new craft is most substantially constructed, is fairly modeled, and is well finished off. She has great steam power, and in her outfit has all the latest improvements. She was built at Cleveland by the Globe Iron Works, is of iron, was constructed under the superintendence of John H. Smith, and cost about $210,000. The owners are Messrs. Jones, Lynch, and Captain Pringle. On about 13 feet of water she brought up a cargo of 2,536 tons of coal. She left Cleveland on Saturday night at 11 o'clock, and arrived here at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The Captain reports that she behaved splendidly and steer like a yacht. he fact that she went all the way up our crooked harbor to the gas works in the north branch without a collision or any trouble speaks volumes. On the way here she stopped at Detroit and made several other stops to key up and yet made good time. On this lake she made 2 knots an hour and all the way averaged 9½ knots. It is expected that on 14½ feet of water she will carry 100,000 bushels of wheat.
      The Officers of the OKONO are as follows:--
      Commander - - - Captain W.H. Pringle.
      First Officer - - - Captain W.J. Pringle.
      Second Officer - - Captain Frank Aufrett.
      Chief Engineer - - N.O. Steel. (O.N. Steel)
      Second Engineer - George Parsons.
      Steward - - - - - - - George D. McCurrdy.
      When her coal cargo is out, the new craft will come down the river to the grain elevators where the public will have an opportunity of seeing her.
      The J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, April, 1882
( in the write up about the Onoko from the J.W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, April 1882 it shows the Chief Engineer as N.O. Steel. Is this a misprint by the article or a typing error on the web site? We were told by our grandmother, daughter of O.N. Steele, that he was the Chief Engineer on the ship when it first sailed. Also as a point of information the Second Engineer, George Parsons, was his son in law.
      J. Wallace Fl. )

The new iron steamship ONOKO, Capt. Pringle, completed loading her cargo of wheat yesterday afternoon, and at about 3:30 o'clock left the harbor on her way to Buffalo. Her report at the custom house says she has 96,000 bushels of wheat, but this is not the truth. The weighmasters who superintended the loading give the true figures - 88,215 bushels. These are large enough, certainly, on her draft of water, which is only 14 feet forward and 14 feet 4 inches aft. It is the general opinion that on 15 feet of water she could take 115,000 to 120,000 bushels of wheat. The cargoes that have been carried by our largest craft are now as follows:
Steamship City of Rome . . . . . . . . . . 82,000
Steamship Chisholm, corn . . . . . . . .80,000
Schooner David Dows, corn . . . . . . . 80,000
Schooner David Dows, oats . . . . . . .129,000
Propeller Boston, corn . . . . . . . . . . . 85,000
Propeller Boston, wheat . . . . . . . . . . 72,000
Steamship J. B. Lyon, corn . . . . . . . 75,000
Schooner Geo. W. Adams, wheat . . .72,000
Schooner Geo. W. Adams, oats . . . 130,000
Propeller Commodore, oats . . . . . . 141,000
Steamship Onoko, wheat . . . . . . . . . .88,215
It is thought that the Onoko can carry 155,000 bushels of oats. - [Inter-Ocean
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      April 27, 1882

Considerable has been said about what the steamship Onoko could carry on a few inches greater draught of water. The Inter-Ocean states that she took out of Chicago 88,215 bushels of wheat on a draught of 14 feet forward and 14 feet, 4 inches aft, or an average of 14 feet 2 inches. It states further: "It is the general opinion that on 15 feet of water she could take 115,000 to 120,000 bushels of wheat. " The "general opinion" appears rather ridiculous as the following figures will show. The difference between her actual load and 120,000 bushels is over 31,000 bushels or 930 tons. This she would have to carry on an additional 10 inches of water or 93 tons to the inch, which is about three times what she could carry.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      April 28, 1882

      About noon on Saturday the new iron steamer Onoko arrived here with something over 88,000 bushels of wheat. She left Chicago last Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and her time in coming down was three days and nineteen and a half hours. The Onoko is the largest vessel afloat on the lakes, and by far the homeliest. She looks very like a huge canal boat with a smoke stack and four sticks. Her model is really frightful; her upper works are without decent shape, and to cap it all, her painting is but a daub. For a new vessel, she is the worst looking sight that ever appeared on our inland waters. She could have been given a respectable appearance without much interfering with her carrying qualities. One of these days we will show those Cleveland fellows an iron steamer that will be worth looking at. The Onoko is an eye-sore. - [Buffalo Courier.
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      Tuesday, May 2, 1882

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maiden trip & capacity
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William R. McNeil
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Onoko (Propeller), U155048, 1 Apr 1882