A description of the Graham & Morton Transportation Company's new steamer Lora, which is now receiving her first cargo of freight for Chicago, will be interesting to many of our readers. This fine propeller was built -- at a cost, complete, of about $60,000 -- expressly for the passenger and freight traffic between Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and Chicago, and is admirably adapted for the route.
The building of the boat was superintended by Jacob H. Randall, of Benton Harbor, and reflects great credit on him. She has very fine lines, and her construction throughout has been from the very best of material. No expense has been spared to make her as staunch and fine a vessel and sails the lakes. Her frame is bolted together in the strongest possible manner, the ceiling being all edge-bolted, making her as strong as wood and iron can make a vessel. She has three water-tight bulk-heads, and every caution has been used to make her perfectly safe to any weather and under all circumstances. The underwriters have rated her at A1, which is the best possible standing which can be obtained by a vessel of her class.
The engine and boiler were built at Grand Haven, by Bryce, Bloecker & Co. The boiler is 8 1/2 x 16 feet, and is made of steel. It stands a test of 100 pounds, steam pressure, and its capacity is equal to 568 horse-power. The engine has a single crank, link motion, with slide valve and independent cut off. It has a steel cross-head and a well-braced column frame, seven feet square at the base. The cylinder is 26 x 30. The shaft is ten inches in diameter and has very strong bearings. The wheel is nine feet eight inches in diameter and was made by Farrar & Trefts, of Buffalo. The steamer is provided with the latest improvements in the way of steering machinery, windlass, etc.
The dimensions of the Lora are as follows: length of keel 160 feet, length on deck 176 feet, extreme breadth 31 ½ feet, depth of hold 11 feet, burthen 931 85-100 tons.
The offices of the Clerk and Steward are located on the main deck, aft of the engine room and between them is the grand staircase leading to the upper cabins. The main saloon is 12 x 127 feet in the clear. Forward is a gentlemen's smoking-room, fitted with large curved plate-glass, affording a magnificent view. The cabin is finished with walnut and gilt trimmings, the alcove near the grand stairway being also fitted with plate-glass all around. The cabin is to be decorated with magnificent landscapes in oil colors. The staterooms, fifty in number, are along the sides of the cabin and furnish accommodations for one hundred and fifty passengers. The berths are fitted with woven wire mattrasses. [sic] The carpets, curtains, etc., are furnished by Marshall Field & Co., and are of the best of material and rich in figure. An elegant upright piano from Reed's Temple of Music, Chicago, will stand opposite the stairway. The cabin will be heated by steam, and the whole interior of the boat will equal in elegance any steamer on the lakes.
The hull of the boat is painted black and the upper works white, about the same as the Messenger. The name "Lora" will appear in a lattice work frame between the smoke stacks, and with the other decorations which are to be added about the pilot house, and her equipments in the way of life-boats, etc., the steamer will make a handsome appearance in the water.
Below we give the list of officers: Master, A. C. Bartlett; First Mate, W. A. Boswell; Second Mate, Edward Evans; Clerk, Thos. O'Hara; Steward, Henry Gardner; First Engineer, Chas. Pierce; Second Engineer, Edwin Ryan.
Capt. Bartlett, who commands the Lora, has been a mariner on these lakes for forty-two years, and no better qualified seaman could be found. His first officer, W. A. Boswell, is also an old and able seaman, Thos. O'Hara, Clerk, and Mr. Pierce, 1st Engineer, have for a number of years past occupied like positions on the Messenger. The other officers are also long-tried and efficient men, and those who have an opportunity of taking a voyage in the Lora will find themselves in the best of care. The steamer goes to Chicago next week to receive her furniture, and she will then be added to the Graham & Morton Transportation Co's line of steamers.
The best wishes of the Traveler-Herald go with this magnificent propeller. Long live the Lora.