Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chautauque (Steamboat), freshet, 15 Mar 1846
Full Text

On Saturday afternoon a report came that the ice was forming a dam some 3 miles up the creek, and the probability was that when it gave way, would do much damage below. It did give way, and came rushing down, about 7:30, urged forward with impetuous violence by the high waters of the Creek. When it struck the steamer WISCONSIN, which was moored near the Clark & Skinner Canal, she broke away, although held by two strong chain cables, one attached to an anchor, and the other to three piles and a hawser, and sweeping in her course 22 steamboats brigs and schooners, most of which were more or less injured, besides damaging others along the Creek. The following comprises a list of the craft injured:
Stmr. G.W. DOLE was washed down to nearly opposite the foot of Main St. She is a total wreck.
Stmr. St. LOUIS kept her mooring, but sustained considerable damage. Her larboard guard and paddle boxes were much broken. Damage about $250.
Schr. STRANGER, lying on the other side of the Creek, had a boom broken, and shrouds carried away. Damage about $300.
Schr. HURON, larboard shrouds broken.
Prop. PRINCETON, damaged slightly in the bow.
Brig GLOBE, damaged slightly.
Stmr. ROCHESTER, drifted from her moorings at the foot of Main St., and was injured considerably. Her paddles were broken and bulwarks stove. Damages estimated at $1,500.
Schr. AVENGER, foremast and bowsprit carried away, and the bulwarks stove.
Schr. UNITED STATES, bulwarks and shrouds broken. Damage about $300.
Brig ILLINOIS, had her bulwarks stove. Another brig lying near her, name not knowm, had her bowsprit and head carried away.
Schr. ESSEX was slightly damaged.
Schr. DANIEL WEBSTER, lying near the Lower Elevator, had her stern stove in, and main boom, main gaff, bowsprit, and part of her larboard bulwarks carried away.
Schr. DOLPHIN had her bulwarks damaged considerably.
Schr. RAINBOW, lost her mainmast and a part of her bulwarks.
Brig UNCLE SAM, lying near the Upper Elevator had two shrouds carried away.
Schr. ADAIR, ran foul of the Stmr. WISCONSIN. In a sinking condition, 4 feet water in her hold.
Schr. VERMONT, larboard bulwarks, stanchions and jibboom carried away. Damages estimated at $250.
Brig OSCEOLA, starboard bulwarks stove, windlass gone, rigging much injured.
Stmr. CONSTITUTION, bulwarks stove.
Schr. JOSEPH WARD, main boom gone, otherwise not injured.
Brig HOOSIER, bow stove, bowsprit split. Damage about $100.
Stmr. DEWITT CLINTON, upper cabin stove in by the brig BOSTON. Damage about
Schr. SLYPH, bulwarks injured. Damage about $20.
Schr. HARRISON, lost an anchor, and 20 fathoms of chain. Damage about $400.
Schr. JENNY (sank at the end of the pier last fall) was considerably damaged
Schr. EMMLIN (a yacht belonging to James M. Wadsworth, of Genesee,) had bowsprit and both masts carried away. She lies near the end of the pier.
Schr BALTIC, lying near the Lower Elevator, was slightly damaged.
Schr. MARION, rigging carried away, &c. Damage about 150.
      The vessels outside the pier are as follows:
* Stmr. CHAUTAUQUE, upper works entirely gone, one shaft broke, engine considerably damaged, lost 2 boats. The hull will be the only part saved.
Stmr. LEXINGTON, lost anchor and chain, but little injured.
Stmr. UNITED STATES, slightly damaged. preparations are making to get up steam, and bring her in today.
Stmr. WISCONSIN, wheelhouse damaged, and lower cabin stove. Her damage is estimated at $1,500.
Stmr. INDIAN QUEEN, drifted down the river, and grounded on Horseshoe Reef.
As near as we can see, with the aid of an excellent telescope, she has sustained but little injury.
Schr. JANE LOUISA, mainmast carried away, and stern and bulwarks gone. Damage about $400.
Schr. EMPIRE, came off with slight injury.
Schr. H.M. KINNE, lies afoul of the EMPIRE, much damaged. Damage about $150
Schr. Wm. WOODBRIDGE, and four others, lie together next below the steamer
UNITED STATES. The WOODBRIDGE has lost her mainmast and booms. Damage about
$200. The others are more or less damaged.
Schr. TOLEDO, lies near the UNITED STATES, slightly damaged, about $50.
Schr. DAYTON lost her bowsprit, main boom, and bulwarks damaged considerably
Schr. MIRIAM badly damaged.
Schr. G.H. McWHORTEN, much injured. She lost her bowsprit and bulwarks. Damage about $250.
      Schr. H. CALVIN escaped with little injury. Damage about $30.
      Schr. FREE TRADER had her head, stem post, bowsprit, and a part of her bulwarks carried away. Damage about $30.
Brig EUROPE had her bulwarks stove, and main and jibboom carried away.
      Schr MARTHA FREME bowsprit gone.
      Schr. BARCELONA afoul of the steamer LEXINGTON, bulwarks much injured. Damage about $400.
The canal boat MISSOURI, of the Fulton Line, drifted down and partly sunk, between the INDIAN QUEEN and the head of Bird Island.
Another canal boat belonging to the same line, the OSCEOLA, which was lying on the South side of the Creek, opposite the harehouses of Messrs. Ward & Co., is missing entirely.
In addition to the above, the wharf just below Main St. was considerably damaged and the apparatus for hoisting cargoes from the vessels attached to the stores, were swept clean for quite a distance.
      Daily National Pilot, Buffalo
      March 16, 1846

Media Type
Item Type
Reason: freshet
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired ?
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 42.88645 Longitude: -78.87837
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.


Chautauque (Steamboat), freshet, 15 Mar 1846