The new Graham & Morton steamer was successfully launched last Wednesday, in the presence of about 5000 people.
The dimensions of the boat briefly stated are as follows: Length of keel, 165 feet; over all, 175 feet; depth of hold, 13 feet; breadth of beam amidships, 23 feet; height from keel to top of pilot house, 36 feet.
The engines are of the fore and aft compound type, 700 nominal horse power, with two cylinders, each with 22 inches high pressure and a thirty inch stroke; the shaft is nine inches in diameter and the wheel measures nine and one half feet across, with a sixteen foot lead. The engine and shaft weigh forty-three tons and are by far the heaviest carried by any boat of this size and class on the whole chain of lakes. The boiler is 8 1/2 by 16 feet in size, and with the capacious dome above it weighes [sic] over twenty-four tons. It is calculated to carry 125 pounds at an ordinary working pressure, with a consumption of coal ranging from half a ton to three-quarters of a ton per hour.
The machinery is placed exactly amidships and is calculated by its great weight to perfectly ballast the boat at all times, whether carrying a load of passengers or not, and hold her down to a steady bearing even in the roughest weather. The weight of the whole machinery, with steam on, together with an ordinary supply of fuel, is estimated at a round one hundred tons.
The cabins are three in number. The lower cabin is located forward of the engines in the hull, and will contain the dining room, kitchen and 18 staterooms. The main cabin occupies the space between decks and extends the full length of the vessel, and is principally seated for day passengers. The upper cabin or grand saloon includes the full upper promenade deck and nearly equaling in length the main cabin. The cabins when completed will be models of the decorator's and draper's art and will have no rival in elegance of appointments on the upper lakes.
The passenger capacity is placed at 500 under ordinary conditions, there being seats for 480 passengers within the cabins, and a much larger number can be comfortably provided for should the trade demand.
It is expected to make the first trip across the lake with the new boat about the middle of June, or before if possible, but it is impossible as yet to fix the exact date.
When complete and on her route the Puritan will make trips as follows:
Leave Benton Harbor every week day afternoon at 3:10, after the arrival here of the passenger trains on both railways, arriving in Chicago at 6:30 in time for supper, the theaters and the outgoing evening trains; returning, leave Chicago every night except Saturday at 11:30 o'clock, arriving in Benton Harbor in time for the outgoing train on the Wabash at 6:13 a.m. On Saturday the Puritan will leave Chicago at 7 o'clock, arriving here at 10:30 p.m. and will remain here until 6 a.m. Sunday, leaving at that hour for Chicago and arriving there at 9:30, in time for morning church services; leaving there again at 10 a.m. and arriving here at 1:30 p.m. Sunday; leaving here at 7 p.m. and arriving there at 10:30, in time to take the regular trip out again at 11:30. This will permit people from either side to cross the lake to spend Sunday, returning in time for Monday's duties. For the day ride over and back only one dollar will be charged for the round trip, as no bed or stateroom will be included, and for the Saturday night trips the fare will be reduced to $1.50.