The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
City of Madison (Propeller), U4350, fire, 16 Aug 1877

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      Chicago, August 17. - The propeller CITY OF MADISON, of Chicago, was burned to the water's edge at a late hour last night, about thirty-five miles off Kenosha. The crew were all saved. The loss will probably not exceed $10,000.
      Cleveland Herald
      August 18, 1877

      The burning of the steam barge CITY OF MADISON has been noted. The following is the statement of the second engineer: " On Thursday evening, while the MADISON was lying at the pier, I settled up with the boat, got my money, and went ashore. I had been getting $35 per month, and wanted $45, which the captain refused to pay. After I had left First engineer Seymour followed me ashore, and asked me to go back, saying that I would be paid $45. I told him that I didn't want to go back. He insisted, and finally I agreed to return to make the single trip. Seymour, McCarthy, and myself went to a saloon and got a cigar. I did not get a bottle of whisky, and I was not drunk. I then returned to the boat, which pulled out for Ludington about 10 o'clock. About 1 o'clock in the morning I went on watch. About ten minutes before the fire alarm was given I went into the boiler-room and found three gauges of water. I put on some feed. Then I went to the closet, where I remained not to exceed two minutes. On my return the fireman reported that the boat was on fire. I started the 'pony' which works the pumps. Then I went upstairs to call the First engineer, but had to return on account of the fire. The boat swung around, and I stayed in the engine-room about ten minutes. Then I went upstairs and found the first engineer and crew getting out the lifeboat. I started to go back to the engine, but couldn't get down. When I returned I found that the small boat had been launched, and, with all hands on board, was about half a mile off. I made a line fast to the rail of the propeller and threw the other end overboard. I then crawled down the line into the water and shouted for help. In a few minutes the small boat came and took me off."
      Cleveland Herald
      August 22, 1877
Steam screw CITY OF MADISON. U. S. No. 4350. Of 487.23 tons. Home port, Chicago, Ill.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $10,000
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 42.58474 Longitude: -87.82119
William R. McNeil
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City of Madison (Propeller), U4350, fire, 16 Aug 1877