The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
J. W. Brooks (Propeller), broke machinery, 6 Jul 1855

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BROOKS, J.W. Propeller, burst her boiler off Ashtabula. Lost 3 men and towed in. Property loss $3,600
      Buffalo Morning Express (casualty list)
      Jan. 11, 1856

      . . . . .

      We learn by telegraph that the propeller J.W. BROOKS, bound to Ogdensburg, blew up fifteen miles from Ashtabula, on Friday morning. Two engineers were badly scalded, and will probably die. One fireman and one deck-hand jumped overboard and were drowned. There were ten or twelve passengers on board, but none of them were injured.
We find the following additional particulars in the Cleveland Herald:-
      The boiler of the propeller J.W. BROOKS, Capt. G.F. Shattuck, Northern Transportation Co. Line, bound to Ogdensburgh, burst when off Ashtabula about ten miles, at nine o'clock yesterday morning. The propeller left here at half past one o'clock in the morning---she had a full load of freight and several passengers. But a moment before the explosion the engineer tried the water at four cocks, and found it flush, and the pressure of steam was less than seventy pounds, by the indicator. The "stay bolts" were blown out and the rivets drawn upon the side of the boiler, and no injury was otherwise done to the boat or boiler. The noise, the captain says, was very slight, and sounded similar to the striking of a log by a vessel. Two firemen, John Quayle of Brockville, and Peter Frases of Edwardsburgh, jumped overboard, being probably somewhat scalded and although a boat was immediately lowered, did not appear again and were drowned. The 1st. engineer, George Huntly was slightly scalded. The 2nd. engineer, Joseph Harrison, was more seriously scalded, but whether mortally, or not, is not yet ascertained--probably not, however. None others were injured.
The propeller MONTEZUMA, passing "in shore" was hailed by the Clerk, while on his way to Ashtabula in the yawl, and promptly went to her, and arrived with her in this port this morning. The injury done the boiler can be repaired in three or four days.
      The Democracy, Buffalo
      Tuesday, July 10, 1855

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: broke machinery
Lives: 3
Hull damage: $3,600
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.86505 Longitude: -80.78981
William R. McNeil
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J. W. Brooks (Propeller), broke machinery, 6 Jul 1855