The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Golden Age (Schooner), U85785, 1 Sep 1882

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Valentine Fries' new vessel has been named the GOLDEN AGE. She was launched at Milan, Ohio, on Saturday afternoon. Her keel length is 287 feet, overall 295 ffet, beam 39 feet and 6 inches, hold 12 feet 6 inches. Her carrying capacity is placed at 120,000 bushels of corn on fourteen feet of water - the largest capacity on the lakes. She will likely not go into commission this season.
      The J.W. Hall Great lakes Marine Scrapbook, Sept./November, 1882

Valentine Fries, the builder and owner of the new monster schooner Golden Age, said on the day of her launch, "This is the fourth vessel I have built here, the others being the M. W. Page, Chas. Foster and Wm. Edwards. I shall probably not attempt to build another vessel here, as the Golden Age has about exhausted the supply of ship timber in this vicinity. I expect, however, to be engaged in the construction of iron vessels in Cleveland. I do not expect to man the Golden Age until the opening of the spring trade unless there should be a sudden increase in freights. I intend her as a consort to the Edwards, which is a steam vessel, and she will run from Buffalo to Chicago on the grain, coal and iron trade."
      Detroit Post and Tribune
      September 30, 1882

The GOLDEN AGE (US#85785) was a more-or-less forgotten schooner of very large proportions. In fact, she was the largest sailing vessel in the world when built, and her 1,846 ton gross exceeded the tonnage of the fabled five-mast DAVID DOWS, built the previous year, by more than 400 tons. Speculation was that she was designed as a five-master herself, but she came out with four poles and was later cut down to a three-mast schooner barge. She was launched at Abbott's Bridge, Ohio, and sailed uneventfully for builder Fries until sold to Pringle barge line in 1913. She was finally abandoned and laid to rest on the west side of Put-in-Bay in 1924.
      David Swayze's note
Schooner GOLDEN AGE. U. S. No. 85785. Of 1846.96 tons gross; 1763.79 tons net. Built Abbott's Bridge, Ohio, 1883. Home port, Huron, Ohio. 278.0 x 38.8 x 20.0.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885


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new vessel
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William R. McNeil
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Golden Age (Schooner), U85785, 1 Sep 1882