Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Empire (Steamboat), 3 Apr 1846
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Cleveland, April 3, 1846. - Correspondence of the Buffalo Morning Express:-
The steamer EMPIRE is preparing with all possible despatch for service. She has undergone some very important improvements during the past winter. Two massive timber arches have been thrown length-wise of her, well fastened to her keels fore and aft, that must give her great strength. Her power is also greatly increased. Her wheels and cylinder are very much enlarged. She now has a 16 inch cylinder -- among the largest, if not the very largest now in use. Her speed must of necessity, under those improvements, far exceed her best time of last season. She is repainted and Capt. Howe has the utmost confidence in her retaining her former rank among the fleet of new steamers that are being brought into service.
The Cleveland ship builders have added some very fine craft to the commerce of the lakes turing the past winter. The steamboat SARATOGA promises to be a very fine craft. In point of model she is beautiful and when finished according to the design of the owners, she will be a magnificent affair. She is in a good state of forwardness, and will probably be in commision by the first of May. She is 200 foot keel, and her upper cabin will form an unbroken saloon, I70 feet in length. The finish of the cabin will be different from anything yet brought out, and will give a most splendid effect to the appearance. The style of the finish is according to the most modern design of the Millers of your city, and is truly magnificent. The sides of the saloon will be studded by fifty state-rooms, the front of which will have broad pannels ornamented with the gilded stucco mouldings, the ground work imitation of rich figured damask and the center filled with beauti ful paintings. Between each pannel a pilaster extends from the floor, the cup of which surmounted by a cornice of exquisite finish. The state-room doors are to be ornamented by stained glass, as are also the sky-lights. The painting and ornamenting of the cabin is under the immediate supervision of D.S. Miller. In addition to the unusual accommodations, there are two splendidly furnished and finished apartments that are denominated "Bridal rooms", which, with a class of passengers, who, after the modern custom of bridal tours, frequently crosses our lakes, will make the SARATOGA a very popular boat. She has in all, 6I state-rooms. Her engine is of 720 Horse Power, and the wheels 27 feet in diameter, with II feet face to the buckets. Her model and power betoken her a fast boat.
There are three new propellers, two schooners and one Brig now building here. One propeller for Messrs Mittleberger & Co. not yet launched, but nearly ready; one for Mr. E. Berkle which is progressing to completion, and one for Messrs Gillett & Co., which will not be out until fall. -- The Brig is of 280 tons burthen, and owned by Messrs Pease & Allen -- one of the schooners is 220 tons and is owned by the Messrs D.& C.T. Richmond, and the other,70 tons, by Mr. D. Clark, all of which will leave port next week ready for business.
There are several new vessels building at different points on the Lake between this and Buffalo.
The Schooner N.C. BALDWIN is lying at Conneaut, where she went ashore last fall, and undergoing repairs. She has been lengthened 20 feet, and will soon be ready to launch, when she will enter service again.
      Morning Express, Buffalo
      Tuesday, April 7, 1846.

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strengthened and improved
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Empire (Steamboat), 3 Apr 1846