The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lady of the Lake (Propeller), exploded boiler, 26 Mar 1859

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PROPELLER BLOWN UP .- On Saturday afternoon the Propeller LADY OF THE LAKE, which left here on Friday afternoon with a heavy load of flour, hams, pork and beans, for the new York and Erie Railroad, at Dunkirk, blew up when leaving Fairport, rendering her a perfect wreck. She had just left the wharf and headed out of the harbor. The fireman and cook were killed, the Engineer had his leg broken, and several other hands crippled. The name of the fireman, we learn was Peter Murphy. The names of the others injured we could not learn. Capt. Sisson was on the pilot house at the time and escaped uninjured.
      The cause is supposed to have been a defect in the boiler plate. The Propeller was owned by Chamberlain, Crawford & Co., of this city, was probably valued at from $12,000 to $15,000. She was one of the oldest boats on the lakes, but had been repainted and fitted up this spring. She was running between Dunkirk and Cleveland, carrying freight for the N.Y. & Erie R.R.
      Cleveland Morning leader
      March 28, 1859

IMPORTANT TO MARINERS. -- The Cleveland Herald is advised by Capt. Keating that the wreck of the sunken propeller LADY OF THE LAKE, lies north east by north, one mile from the Grand River (Fairport) Beacon and one mile from the shore.
      Buffalo daily Republic
      April 4, 1859
      . . . . .

      LADY OF THE LAKE Propeller of 326 Tons, built Cleveland 1846. Exploded at Fairport, Ohio, March 26, 1859. Two lives lost. Vessel total loss.
      Merchant Steam vessels of the U. S. A.
      1790- 1868 Lytle - Holdcamper List

      . . . . .

      WRECKING. - The Painesville Advertiser says that Mr. Isaac Coffin is now at work raising valuables that went down on the propeller LADY OF THE LAKE, which blew up last spring at Fairport. The wreck lies near the piers, and Mr. Coffin is now raising the engine. He got out the safe last week, and found the paper money all right.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Tuesday, July 19, 1859

      . . . . .

The propeller LADY OF THE LAKE, belonging to the Northern Transportation company, blew up off Fairport in March 1859. Two of the crew were killed and several others injured. The administrator of one of the killed parties---Timothy Murphy---brought suit for damages against the Transportation Company, and the case has just been tried in the Court of Common Pleas, resulting in a verdict of $1,000 for the plaintiff. The administrator, Mr.Bradley, claimed that the explosion was due to negligence on the part of the Company---that the boat was out of repair and badly managed. The defence consisted of a general denial of this. Much interest was felt in the trial, and the testimony of experts in the building and management of boilers was taken in Philadelphia and Cincinnatti. Messrs. Heisley and Dickman appeared for the plaintiff and Judge Spaulding for the defence. The case was very ably conducted on both sides.
      Cleveland Plain dealer
      Friday evening, June 22, 1860

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: exploded boiler
Lives: 2
Freight: provisions
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.75004 Longitude: -81.27399
William R. McNeil
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Lady of the Lake (Propeller), exploded boiler, 26 Mar 1859