The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of Buffalo (Propeller), burnt, 30 Jul 1866


Description
Full Text

Propeller CITY OF BUFFALO, cargo of oats, burnt at Buffalo, July 1866. Property loss, hull $25,000 cargo $11,000
      Casualty List for 1866
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      February 26, 1867

      . . . . .

Propeller CITY OF BUFFALO of 2,026 tons, owned at Buffalo by W. Hardy. In port at Buffalo July 1866 was destroyed by fire in Buffalo Harbor. Loss to ship $70,000 insurance $40,000 Loss to cargo $28,000. Insurance on cargo $17,500.
      Marine Casualties of the Great
      Lakes 1863-1873. U. S. Coast Guard

      . . . . .

      CITY OF BUFFALO Paddle/wheel steamer of 2026 Tons, Built at Buffalo in 1857. Changed to propeller April 11, 1864. Burnt at Buffalo, N. Y., July 30, 1866. Total loss
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the U. S. A.
      1790 to 1868 the Lytle, Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

      TERRIBLE CONFLAGRATION

      DESTRUCTION OF THE PROPELLER " CITY OF BUFFALO "
      Sturges' Elevator in Ruins !
      2,000 Barrels of Petroleum Burning ! - 1,000 Tons of Coal on Fire !
      LOSS OVER $250,000 !
      About 12 P. M., a terrible conflagration broke out on board the Propeller "CITY OF BUFFALO," which was unloading its cargo of wheat at Sturges' Elevator, opposite Washington St. In an instant the flames ran up the spout of the Elevator, and an immense fire resulted. Next to the Elevator was a shed containing about 3,000 barrels of petroleum, of which 500 were rolled into the Creek, the remainder was left to the mercy of the flames, on account of the immense heat. A shed adjoining, belonging to J. Ross, Esq., boat builder and repairer, was torn down with the aid of three tugs. About 1,000 tons of coal, lying in the rear of the Elevator, were rapidly commencing to burn. Several dwelling houses were also in flames. The Fire Department was promptly on hand, but at the time of writing, a stop had not been put to the destroying flames. A large lot of staves are at present designed to be devoured by the flames.
      The Buffalo Post
      Monday, July 30, 1866

      . . . . .

      THE CONFLAGRATION !
      More Destruction Of Property - Full Details Of The Fire !
      Amounts of Insurance ! - Losses, &c., &c.
      But a few months age we chronicled the destruction of one of our largest elevators on the Creek, and today we are called upon to give our readers a full detail of the great fire yesterday. We mentioned in Yesterdays "Post," the full extent of the fire, and today we present the full details of losses, &c. The Sturges' Elevator was owned as follows: Half by J.W. Irwin, of Chicago, and Edson & Co., of Albany, and the other half by Alfred Sturges, of Chicago. Mr. Edward Pomeroy, was the agent for the owners in this city. It was built at an
original cost of $60,000, but the present worth of the building was not much below $100,000. It had capacity for storing 325,000 bushels of grain. We did not learn the insurance of the above parties. The propeller CITY OF BUFFALO was the property of Hon. E.S. Prosser, and was valued by him at $80,000. She was the largest boat on the lakes, having a tonnage capacity of 2,026 tons. Mr. Prosser had an insurance to the amount of $45,000. The following is the summer of losses, which according to the most careful calculations, will sum up to at least three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. The following is a summery:

      Sturges Elevator . . . . . . . . . . $90,000
      Corn, 97,564 bu. . . . . . . . . . . $68,294
      Oats, 103,290 bu . . . . . . . . . . $36,151
      Propeller CITY OF BUFFALO . . . . . $80,000
      Cargo of same, not discharged,
      32,600 bu. oats . . . . . . . . . . $11,410
      Hale & Co., Staves (estimated) . . . $25,000
      Oil, 767 barrels, refined. . . . . . $12,000
      Coal, 1,000 tons . . . . . . . . . . $10,000
      Tool house. . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,000
      Dwelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,000
      --------
      Total loss . . . . . . . . . . . $335,127
Although the fire did not extend its ravages after 4 o'clock P.M., when it was brought under control it made a brilliant display of illumination during the entire evening, and at midnight the bright glow in the southern sky remained to signal the disastrous confragration, which began twelve hours before. In the heaps of Anthracite, and in the ruins of the massive elevator, there will be mouldering of fire for several days yet. It should be carefully watched and constantly drenched.
      The Buffalo Post
      Tuesday, July 31, 1866

      . . . . .
     
      TERRIBLE CONFLAGRATION.
      STURGES' ELEVATOR DESTROYED.
      ----------
      PROPELLER " CITY OF BUFFALO " BURNED !
      200,000 Bushels Of Grain Destroyed !
      LOSS OVER 4300,000 !
      &C., &C., &C.
      ----
      About noon yesterday, a stream of fire was observed to run up abaft the smokestack of the propeller CITY OF BUFFALO, Captain Hathaway, which had arrived yesterday from Milwaukee, ladened with oats, and was discharging at the Sturges Elevator, foot of Washington street. In less than five minutes the flames had extended the whole length of the vessel, and she was one sheet of hissing, crackling flames, from stem to stern. As soon as possible, tugs were hitched on to her and she was towed to the end of the dock slip, but not until the fire had communicated to the elevator; which was soon enveloped in flames, presenting a grand and awful spectacle. From the position of the elevator in the slip and the rapidity with which the fire spread over the combustible material it was impossible for the Fire Department, which was promptly at the scene of the conflagration, to do anything towards saving that building. Their attention was directed principally to staying the progress of the flames, and protecting the adjoining property and buildings. The wind at this time blowing from the northwest, communicated the fire to a shed, adjoining the elevator, in which was stored about 150 barrels of coal oil, which was soon in a blaze, and the oil barrels bursting, the slimy contents began to slowly spread a sheet of fire on the water in the slip. Here was danger indeed. On the opposite side of the slip there were tiered on the dock about 5,000 barrels of oil. Fortunately for the citizens of Buffalo an all wise providence, at this time, changed the wind to the north, driving the oily fire back on the elevator and dock, and thus preventing one of the most disastrous conflagrations. Had the fir communicated to the C.J. Well's elevator, on the opposite side of the creek, and to the oil stored on the dock, the destruction of property would have been ruinous.
      EFFORTS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
      The Fire Department under the direction of Superintendent Hurlburt, worked manfully and to their almost superhuman efforts may be attributed the confining of the devouring element, to the dock on which the elevator stood.
      LOSS BY THE FIRE.
      From the best information we have been able to ascertain, and we do not think it will vary much from the final loss, when correctly ascertained, the destruction of property is as follows:
      Sturges' Elevator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $120,000
      Propeller CITY OF BUFFALO . . . . . . . $80,000
      Grain in propeller & Elevator; Oats . . . $41,315
      Corn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$66,323
      Oil in storehouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,700
      Damage to coal-dock, outbuildings, &c. .$6,000
      --------------
      Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. $316,339
      INSURANCE, &c.
      The elevator was owned one-half by H.D. Sturges, Esq., of this city, on which there was no insurance; and the other half by D. Irwin, Esq., of Chicago, and --- Orr, of Albany, which was insured for $46,000. The propeller CITY OF BUFFALO was owned by E.S. Prosser, Esq., and was insured for $45,000. Her cargo was consigned to J.R. Bently, Esq.; while the grain in the elevator, was owned by various parties who did their own insuring, and which it is impossible, at this time, to ascertain correctly for what amount and where they were insured.
      OWNERS OF THE GRAIN IN ELEVATOR.
      The following is a list of owners and amount of grain stored in the elevator:
      Nims, Gibson & Lyon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32,401 bushels corn
      Edw. Pomeroy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,957 do
      J.M. Richmond & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 do
      M.R. Enmes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,872 do
      Lee & Scofield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,500 do
      P.J. Helmilch & Son . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,800 do
      A.L. Griffin & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7,500 do
      A.T. Holt & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7,634 do
      Total ------------
      97,564 do
      S.K. Worthington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,180 bushels oats
      Jason Parker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11,960 do
      H.C. Worthington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37,750 do
      J.R. Bently & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39,400 do
      Total --------------
      103,290 bushels

      There was also a large lot of staves, on the dock, owned by H.H. Hale, Esq., which was still burning at a late hour, and in all probability, the larger part of them have been destroyed. At the far end of the dock, E.L. Headstrom had a large quantity of coal, which was burning slowly around the edges, and at least 300 tons of which will be destroyed or injured.
      THE PROPELLER.
      About 4 o'clock in the afternoon the propeller being considerably burned amidships, the weight of grain at either end caused her bow and stern to sink and her center to hump up, forming a perfect "turkey back" There is nothing left of the noble craft, that had buffeted so many storms, but the hull and machinery.
      THE ELEVATOR.
      The elevator is most completely burned, there being nothing left but the foundation walls, and the tall chimney which looms up like a solitary sentinel over the desolation around. It was built in 1863; was of the capacity of 325,000 bushels, and could transfer 96,000 bushels per day.
      THE FIRE AT NIGHT.
      The pyramidical mass of burning grain, some 60 to 70 feet high, presented a most beautiful spectacle at night, lighting up the heavens and its reflections on the water around giving additional sublimity to the scene. It reminded the looker on more of a mountain on fire than anything we can think of in the way of comparison.
      WRECKERS.
      During the height of the fire, and when the heat and danger was most intense, numerous wreckers in small boats could be seen pushing as near the ruins as the heat would allow, carrying off the grain that rolled down the sides of the heap and spread itself on the water. Now and then their escape from the sheet iron roof which rolled up like paper and fell with a singing plunge into the water, were miraculous. About 300 barrels of oil were thrown from the dock and floated off to places of safety.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      July 31, 1866

     

      THE PROPELLER CITY OF BUFFALO. - The hull of the late mammoth craft, the CITY OF BUFFALO, lies directly across the Blackwell canal preventing the egress and ingress of vessels. Immediate attention should be paid to this matter, and the obstruction removed.
      The Buffalo Post
      Wednesday, August 1, 1866



      CITY OF BUFFALO. - The hull of the late leviathan of the lakes, the propeller CITY OF BUFFALO, is being raised from its watery bed.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      August 25, 1866


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: burnt
Hull damage: $25,000
Cargo: $11,000
Freight: oats
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1866
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.12299
Language of Item:
English
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Contact
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Email
WWW address
Comment on this item
Groups of Related Records
Shipwreck news
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit




My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.










City of Buffalo (Propeller), burnt, 30 Jul 1866