The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Jan. 5, 1881

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Sailing In A Rotten Steamer.
Rotten Life preservers, Rotten Life Boats and a Rotten Hull - The Rotten Company Which Sacrificed Many Lives.

The coroner's jury investigating the causes of the loss of the steamer Alpena with many lives, in one of the autumn hurricanes on Lake Michigan, have just finished their sitting at Grand Haven. Following is their deliberate and horrible return upon the facts prepared by them:

"We find in the evidence that the persons found, known to have been passengers on the steamer Alpena on the fifteenth of October, 1880, came to their death by the foundering of the steamer on her route from Grand Haven, Mich., to Chicago, Ill.

"We also find that the steamer Alpena was in bad condition and unseaworthy for a passenger boat; that her life preservers were in bad condition and unfit for use, many of them having the appearance of having been used by passengers, and the fastenings broken off, showing that said fastenings were rotten.

"We further find, from the appearance of one of the life-boats of the steamer Alpena, that it was rotten and unseaworthy, and that said steamer was manned by inexperienced sailors, excepting the captain and mates.

"We also find from the evidence of John Luckens, formerly second engineer of the Alpena, that the holding-down bolts of the engine bed-plate were either broken or pulling through the bottom of said steamer Alpena; that second engineer Lucken was ordered to turn up said 'holding-down' bolts on every trip, and that when he asked the chief engineer of the Alpena to report this to the chief engineer of the Goodrich Transportation Company he was ordered to mind his own business and do as he was told.

"We further find from the evidence that the Goodrich Transportation Company is censurable and should be held responsible for any and all damages."

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Jan. 5, 1881
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Richard Palmer
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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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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Jan. 5, 1881