The tug Miner brought A. R. Alger & Co.'s new steamship MANISTIQUE from Gibraltar yesterday, and she is at present at the foot of Orleans street receiving her machinery, which was constructed for her at the dry dock engine works. Her dimensions are as follows: Length of keel 157 feet; length over all, 171 feet; beam, 30 feet; depth of hold, 12 feet. She is double strapped for 60 feet of her length, that is there is one iron strap going in one direction from the head of each frame, each alternate strap leading forward and the other aft. This arrangement is expected to give her great strength, as there is much more riveting than by the ordinary method. Her main keelson is 12x15, the two sister keelsons are of the same size, and the two riders 12x12. The bilge keelsons are five inches outside and five inches inside.
Her garboard streak is five inches thick; thence to turn of bilge four inches; around turn of bilge, five inches; thence to rail, four inches. The frames extend to the rail, and the bulwarks are built up solid, the same as her sides. She has a heavy shelf-piece let into each deck beam, and one hanging knee to each beam. Her ceiling is couched with locust, which withstands as much pressure across the grain as oak stands endwise. Her frames are grooved, and some of the ceiling is left open for ventilation. In model this vessel is very handsome, having a stern like a tug. The bow is sharp below and bluffer above, and her lines very fine. She will have three masts, all of which will carry fore and aft sails. The officers' quarters will be forward, and the engineers, cook, etc., will sleep aft.
The steamer is, to a certain extent, built as an experiment, as she is intended to carry 500,000 feet of lumber, and at the same time tow a raft. For raft towing she is equipped as follows; Nearly amidships there are two iron chalks,* one on each side, and behind each of these are two open timberheads. Two lines will be attached to the raft and brought through each chalk and made fast to the timberhead. In order to keep these lines out of the wheel while the steamer is turning, they will be supported by two guys from the mizzen masthead. When it is necessary to turn, one of these lines can be slackened and the tension of the other line will assist in turning her quickly. The MANISTIQUE is equipped with a steel boiler, eight feet six inches shell and sixteen feet long, built at the Buhl iron works. Her engine is a fore and aft compound with cylinders 21 and 27 by 36. Her boiler and coal bunkers are situated on the main deck, leaving the hold clear for lumber. She will be ready in about four weeks, and will be commanded by Capt. Hackett, formerly of the tug Vulcan.
Detroit Post and Tribune
April 22, 1882
NOTE: This sturdy vessel later became the famous Reid wrecker and crane ship MANISTIQUE , a second career in which her heavy construction and unique layout must have served her well. As a wrecker she had a large steel "A"-frame built over her forward deckhouses to support a massive deck crane.
*i.e. chock - a chock is a curved guide made out of heavy wood or metal which serves to keep a line which may feed in at a variable angle running in a fixed direction.
Steam screw MANISTIQUE. U.S. No. 91436. Of 437 gross tons; 382 tons net. Built at Gibralter, Mich., in 1882. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 157,1 x 31.1 x 12.5 Tow service. Crew of 14. Of 600 indicated horse power.
Merchant Vessel List U. S. A., 1918