The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Joseph Herald (St. Joseph, MI), 30 April 1870

Full Text
The "Corona."

The new and splendid side-wheel steamer, perfectly equipped in every respect, arrived in St. Joseph from Chicago, on Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock. By the kindness of Capt. Napier we were shown all over the boat, and from personal inspection are able to give the following report:


Length 187 feet; breadth of beam 27 feet, and 48 feet over all; depth of hold 10 feet, and 10 feet between main and cabin decks; tonnage 470 23-100; wheel 30 feet.


The hull is built of the best seasoned white oak, planked inside and out and strengthened by transverse arches running fore and aft over the inner lining. The bottom is entirely filled up and is solid as if constructed of a single timber. The hold is divided by three solid water-tight bulkheads into four compartments, either one of which may get full of water without a drop entering one of the others. In case of a leak, even large enough to let in a stream of water eight inches in diameter, there are sufficient pumps to keep the hull clear, viz: one steam syphon, one bilge and two bilge injection pumps. The U. S. Inspector pronounces the Corona the best built boat on the lakes.


This is that of the Comet; the cylinder is 40 inches in diameter, with a 10 foot stroke. The paddle wheels are 30 feet in diameter. The boiler is entirely reconstructed, with new fire box, new lining and new tubes. It has been subjected to the test of a cold water pressure fo 60 pounds to the square inch, and is entitled to carry 40 pounds of steam. With 20 pounds the Corona has made 12 miles an hour.


Every precaution has been taken to guard against fire. All of those parts of the boat in the least exposed to heat are protected by iron sheets, and the boiler and chimney are covered with a layer of felt and sheet iron next the wood. The lamp room is also fire proof, being one continuous iron plate.


The ladies' cabin is entered from the main deck, is carpeted with elegant Brussels, and contains the family and bridal state rooms. The upper cabin contains accommodations, very fine they are, for upwards of 180 passengers. Each state-room will accommodate three persons, though a large number of the rooms have double berths in which according to the law made and provided, "two women, or one man and two children under eight years, or a husband and wife, or a man and his two children under the age of eight years, or two men of the same family may sleep." The carpets are all of the finest Brussels, and the curtains of the rooms in the Ladies' cabin of heavy red damask. The rooms are complete with mirrors and all necessary fixtures. The chairs and sofas in this cabin are of plush velvet.


The boat will be heated by steam. The state-rooms are so constructed that the cabin lights are inside the rooms, so that light and air enter every one from above as well as from the window at the side. Captain Goodrich has taken all the pains in the world to make the Corona the best boat afloat for comfort and safety of its passengers and crew.


The captain, mate and sailing officers have rooms in the texas aft of the wheelhouse, comfortable, convenient and pleasant, and the same may be said of the deckhands in the forecastle, and the cabin crew in the second cabin aft. The kitchen, pantry, baggage room and saloon are all complete in themselves, up to the very latest of all the first class late improvements of this most luxurious and practical age. They are presided over by men who know their duty and perform it well, for neither Capt. Goodrich or Capt. Napier tolerate any others.

The Corona has the hose and fire engines required by law, has iron rods and tiller chains, three good compasses, one good life preserver under every berth for every passenger, and carries more than her complement of fire buckets and axes. She is well found with two anchors, and chains of 75 fathoms each, every link of one inch iron. She has one life boat and two yawls, one of which at least ought to be a life boat, the only weak point on the whole boat.

Captain - N. W. Napier
First Officer - Robert Jones
Second " - Henry Stines
First Engineer - W. H. Benny
Second " - J. Collins
Clerk - J. R. Clark
Steward - J. Gee
Wheelsman - J. Webster

The boat carries 23 men, officers and crew all told

The Corona speaks for herself and needs no praising. She will be worth an amount to this community which the HERALD has no means of calculating, as her accommodations will tempt hundreds to visit Saint Joseph, many of whom will fall in love with our magnificent country, and come here to invest their capital and improve our great natural advantages. Success to the Corona.

The HERALD acknowledges thankfully the courtesy of Capt. Goodrich, and also the kind attentions of Capt. Napier, also those of J. B. [sic] Clark the popular and affable clerk, and W. H. Benny the chief engineer.


The fare to Chicago will be the same as last year, $2, or $3 the round trip.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Capt. N. W. Napier was Nelson W. Napier of St. Joseph, who was lost in the sinking of the Alpena in 1880. Clerk James R. Clark went down on the Chicora in 1895.
Date of Original:
30 April 1870
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Robert C. Myers
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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St. Joseph Herald (St. Joseph, MI), 30 April 1870