The launch of the steel steamer KEWEENAW in two sections at Bay City has created almost world-wide comments. Such a feat has never before been attempted. The KEWEENAW is an exact duplicate of the MACKINAW built last year, and which is now winning fame for her builders and money for her owner in the freight traffic on the Atlantic Ocean. The history of the building of both vessels is full of interest. The MACKINAW was too large to go through the Welland Canal and down the rapids of the St. Lawrence, but this did not prevent her being built above the canal. The vessel was completed last fall and came under her own steam to Buffalo, where she was placed in the Union Dry Dock and a row of rivets cut out around her amidships, the ends filled up with water-tight bulkheads, and then each part was towed from Buffalo to Montreal where the two halves were re-joined, and the vessel once more able to make headway under her own steam, proceeded to New York. The MACKINAW is the only American built vessel belonging to the class known in England as "tramps," and which constitute a great portion of the boasted English marine wealth. It required nearly two months from the time she left Bay City for the MACKINAW to reach New York City. It was the first time anything of the sort had been attempted by an American shipbuilder, and there were many thing connected with the work of getting the vessel to the seaboard that could be learned by experience only, and which will prove useful in taking the next vessel to the Atlantic. It is for this reason that it was determined to launch the KEWEENAW in halves. The two parts will be towed to Montreal, where a dry-dock will be utilized for putting them together again, and when the vessel leaves Montreal she will be complete, and no one will be able to tell from her appearance, that she took such a long voyage with all the part forward of the engines separated from the other. The KEWEENAW and MACKINAW each has a carrying capacity of 3,000 tons of coal.
May 6, 1891
Steam screw KEWEENAW. U. S, No. 161010. Of 2,511.40 gross tons; 2,004.25 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1891. Home port, New York, N.Y. 270.0 x 41.9 x 24.0 Steel built.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1892
NOTE:-- Vessel lost on Ocean in Dec. 1894