The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
T. W. Snook (Propeller), U24949, collision, 16 Sep 1887

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Chicago.---The canal-boat GEORGIA, laden with 6,200 bushels of corn, was sunk in the river last Friday by a collision with the steambarge T.W. SNOOK. The GEORGIA was bound down, in tow of the steam canal boat CITY OF HENRY, and the SNOOK was bound up with a cargo of lumber. Both vessels entered the last draw of eighteenth Street bridge at about the same time. The SNOOK cleared the CITY OF HENRY, but struck the GEORGIA, crushing in her bows and causing her to sink almost instantly. Her cargo is a total loss. It is insured in the Continental. The damage will foot up about $4,500. The SNOOK had her stem twisted off by the force of the blow. When she returns here she will be libeled, and the courts will be asked to decide whether or not the SNOOK was at fault for sinking the GEORGIA. Marine men say she was not and they also say that the city authorities ought to put a stop to the towing of canal boats up and down a crowded channel like Chicago River in fleets of four, five and six. There were four boats including the GEORGIA, in tow of the CITY OF HENRY when the SNOOK struck the GEORGIA. The handiest tug in Chicago would not attempt to tow more than one vessel at a time, but a canal boat, with steam power, would not hesitate to tow a string of boats that would reach from here to Christmas, so long as she was pretty certain of collecting damages from the first vessel that came in collision with her or any of her consorts.
      The Marine Record
      Thurs. Sept. 22, 1887 p. 1

Chicago Lake Interests - In Chicago river there are many canal boats carrying stone from the canal to docks along the river. They are mostly old and tender. The ordinary rubbing of boats in that crooked and narrow channel will send an old canal boat to the bottom. Then the lake vessels are called upon to pay the loss. If a canal boat is lucky and gets rubbed often enough, she becomes almost as good as new without expense to their owners. They go up and down the river in tows at full speed, looking for all the world as they twist around like links of bologna. When the river is crowded, a basket of eggs at a prize fight is as safe as they are. Let it be recorded with joy that the two canal boats that collided in trying to get around the steamer CLYDE while going at full tilt had to divide the damage, and for once judge Blodgett did not make the lake steamer pay the bill. He was not lenient with the steamer SNOOK whose owners were assessed some $5,000 for sinking a canal boat three years ago. If the United States district judge had watched canal boats on Chicago river for several years and seen the recklessness with which they are run, he might give the lake boats a better show when these collision cases come before him. It does seem that admiralty ought to be warped a little, in some instances.
      The Marine Review
      October 22, 1891

Steam screw T.W. SNOOK. U. S. No. 24949. Of 168.54 tons gross; 124.9 tons net. Built Mount Clemens, Mich., 1873. Home port, Montague, Mich. 133.0 x 24.0 x 9.0 Of 112 nominal horse-power.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1885

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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Damaged
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  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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T. W. Snook (Propeller), U24949, collision, 16 Sep 1887