The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Dec. 18, 1879

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The Chicago Tribune publishes the following list of vessels laid up at that port:

Propellers - Antelope, Juniata, Alaska, Potomac, Arabia, Chicago, Commodore, Dean Richmond, Starucca, Portage, Conestoga, Nebraska, James Davidson, Colorado, Jarvis Lord - 15. Total tonnage, 21,731; total corn capacity in bushels, 759,000.

Schooners and barges of standard grain tonnage - Lizzie A. Law, Hartford, Helvetia, A. M. Peterson, Flying Mist, Nevada, Jamaica, Niagara, Delaware, Homer, Lucerne, Metropolis, H. J. Webb, St. Lawrence, Ellen Spry, R. B. Hayes, Nabob, Parana, James Platt, Tom Simms, M. L. Higgie, M. E. Tremble, C. K. Nims, San Diego, E. L. Coyne, Ford River, W. B. Allen, S. V. R. Watson, Floretta, F. C. Leighton, James Couch, Nellie Gardner, F. A. Nicholson, G. S. Hazard, F. A. Georger, J. H. Rutter, Harvey Bissell, Goshawk, Michigan, Pensaukee, A. Mosher, S. B. Pomeroy, Donaldson, Sunrise, Halsted, Ganges, City Chicago, John Miner, Ostrich, M. Fillmore, J. O. Thayer, Exile, G. D. Russell, J. W. Doane, J. Kelderhouse, H. C. Richards, Redwing, Manitowoc, T. H. Howland, William Jones, Kate Darley, Lafrinier, Melvina, Knight Templar, Scotia, Groton, L. VanValkenburg, San Jacinto, Clara Parker, Golden West, T. W. Ferry, W. I. Preston, Mary Collins, C. C. Barnes, A. J. Rogers, George Steele, G. H. Warmington, Charles Foster, F. A. Morse, Richard Winslow, Ida Keith, F. W. Gifford, C. H. Burton, Mears, Higgie & Jones, M. E. Perew, J. Bigler, Owasco, Champion, I. N. Foster, Kingfisher, S. J. Tilden, L. Hanna, E. J. McVea, Resumption, Empire State, Telegraph, Bertha Barnes, Lem Ellsworth, S. J. Luff, Lottie Cooper, Ada Medora, Minnie Slauson, Col. Ellsworth, Grace Murray, Newsboy, Fleetwing, Libbie Nau, City of Woodstock, Bertie Calkins, Naiad, Flying Cloud, G. M. Filer, Yankee Blade, Lucy J. Clark, Imperial, American Union. Total number of American grain carrying sail vessels, 117; total capacity, 3,650,000 bushels.

The lumber carriers are as follows: Schooners Queen of West, Christiana, Sardinia, Bessie Boalt, Hattie Fisher, Dawn, G. D. Norris, Kearsarge, Pilot, Louisa McDonald, George L. Wrenn, Jennie Mullin, Levi Grant, White Oak, Cuyahoga, Tempest, L. A. Barton, Mantha, Edna, T. Y. Avery, Beloit, H. Rand, Salma, L. B. Shepperd, Planet, G. D. Dousman, C. North, Jenny Lind, W. H. Hawkins, E. M. Stanton, Potomac, Monsoon, North Star, Noque Bay, Moselle, Antares, C. Hibbard, Honest John, Contest, Reciprocity, B. F. Wade, Peoria, Belle Walbridge, Skylark, Mary Nau, Emeline, C. Michaelson, A. Bradley, E. R. Blake, Tom Paine, Jason Parker, Annie Tomine, Lena Johnson, Westchester, Petrel, Clipper City, Two Brothers, Truman Moss, Regulator, Otter, Racine, C. C. Trowbridge, Carrier, C. L. Johnson, M. Mueller, Mystic, Advance, Live Oak, A. Howlett, W. H. Dunham, W. Loutit, J. F. Tracy, Moses Gage, Acorn, Cecelia, Clara, L. B. Coates, Pauline, Ida, Norman, R. B. King, Topsy, Manitowoc, Peshtigo, Glad Tidings, Lincoln Dall, J. Bean Jr., Hungarian, William Jones, Magnolia, Belle Brown, M. E. Cook, Josephine Lawrence, C. Raab, C. A. King, Winnie Wing, Coaster, Florence Lester, Adriatic, William Crosthwaite, Magdalena, George L. Seaver, I. M. Forrest, J. & A. Stronach, A. M. Beers, Lavinda, Japan, Collingwood, E. Bates, S. G. Andrews, Maine, L. M. Mason, E. M. Portch, Milwaukee Belle, C. North, C. G. Mixer, Maj. N. H. Ferry, Lumberman, J. W. Brown, C. J. Roeder, Amoskeag, Ironsides, Perry Hannah, M. Thompson, H. D. Moore, Minerva, J. B. Merrill, Ketchum, E. T. Judd, L. Stevenson, Lewis Day, E. P. Royce, D. L. Fisher, Transfer, E. E. Tyson, Montpelier, Nelson, Barbarian, Racine, Albatross, J. V. Jones, Myrtle, Mary Amanda, A. O. Hansen, J. P. De Condres, Frank Crawford, Cascade, J. B. Penfield, Jessie Phillips, F. M. Knapp, Menekaunee, Marinette, D. R. Martin, Kate Gillett, Eliza Day, Lotus, Granger, Planet, Windsor, Sonora, A. Bronson, Mary B. Hale, Commerce, Ethan Allen, A. Jackson, William Sturges, R. Campbell, Radical, Mediator, J. V. Taylor, Iver lawson, Josephine Dresden. Total number of lumber vessels, 174; tonnage, 58,000.

Canadian craft - Steam barge Lincoln - 1 corn capacity 15,000 bushels. Schooners Manzanillo, Gibraltar, Sligo, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Herbert Dudley - 6, corn capacity, 140,000 bushels.

Miscellaneous steam craft - Steamers Alpena, Ruby - 2. Line propellers Peerless, City of Fremont, City of Traverse - 3. Steam barges George Dunbar, Fayette, Marh Groh - 3. Tugs Wm. Livingstone, Jr., Bismarck, besides regular harbor tugs.

Grand total steam and sail grain vessels132
Grand total tonnage of the grain fleet37,483
Grand total corn carrying capacity4,549,000
The steam barge William Edwards, with a corn capacity of 60,000 bu., and the schooner Marion W. Page, also 60,000 bu. are expected, and will bring the total corn capacity of the fleet to 4,609,000 bu.
Aggregate number of steam vessels, including harbor tugs72
Aggregate number of sail vessels198
Aggregate tonnage98,288

At the close of the season of navigation last year there were 376 vessels in port, exclusive of canal boats, and their total tonnage was 107,562.

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Imagine going back from 2001 and strolling the docks of the Chicago waterfront in the late fall of 1879. Practically every foot of wharf and dock space has a vessel tied to it for the winter. They are every size, shape, condition and color that you can imagine. 370 lake carriers all in rows with their overlapping rigging forming tracery against the chill sky. Incredible!

It's interesting that the vessels are distinguished by their grain carrying capacity as well as their tonnage. Not surprising from one of the premier grain ports of the world. Note that many or most of the vessels were not actually homeported in Chicago. One might surmise that they were being pre-positioned to carry early cargoes out in the spring..
Date of Original:
Dec. 18, 1879
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Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
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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Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Dec. 18, 1879