The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 24 Jun, 1870

Full Text

IN CAMPBELL, OWEN & CO'S DOCK. - A visit to this establishment is productive of much pleasure, and an hour spent there shows what a number of hands are required to carry on the work, even when business is comparatively slack. The old propeller Hunter is in the upper dry-dock, and is being rapidly transformed into a barge. The large hole in her port side, where she was struck by the Comet, has been closed up, and the upper seams have been caulked. A new and very strong hog frame has been put in, running along the keel, instead of the two she had when a steamer. It is expected that she will be fully ready by July 1st, and she will come out of the dock one of the staunchest barges on the lakes. In the lower dry-dock were tow Canadian scow-barges receiving repairs, and on the stocks is the frame of a canal vessel of the largest size. The tugs Sweepstakes, Quail and Robb were lying along the dock front receiving or awaiting some attention. The dock is being extended, and a pile driver is at work along the lower end. As some difficulty has been experienced in moving vessels when several have been at the dock, a spar buoy has been anchored abreast of the upper dry dock, and about 150 feet from the shore, to which the vessels can make fast, and save the trouble of anchoring. Since the severe illness of Mr. Campbell the yard has been under the immediate superintendence of Mr. Steven R. Kirby, who removed from Saginaw to this city some two months ago, and who brings energy and experience with him. He has now on the table a draught for a large propeller, differing essentially from those at present on the lakes. She will be built on the plan of a double-decked sea-going propeller, and immensely strong, being intended to carry grain both in the hold and on the berth deck. The plan calls for a vessel of 200 feet on the load line (drawing 12½ feet), 40 feet beam, and 10½ feet depth; tonnage about 1,500. Her capacity will be about 39,500 bushels of wheat in the hold, and 21,000 bushels between decks. The boilers are to be placed between decks and amidships, adding materially to her steadiness in heavy weather.

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Item Type:
Campbell, Owen & Co. later became the Detroit Dry Dock Co., one of the most prolific and innovative shipbuilders on the lakes. The vessel on the drawing board in the article probably came out as the double deck passenger freighter GORDON CAMPBELL the next year. S. R Kirby, who had been designing and building vessels on the Saginaw River since the mid-50's, was the father of Frank E. Kirby, DDD's crack designer of TASHMOO, CITY OF ERIE, and many other famous passenger vessels.
Date of Original:
24 Jun, 1870
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Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 24 Jun, 1870