The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chili (Propeller), U127078, collision, 7 Aug 1904

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The propeller CITY OF BERLIN is now lying on the bottom of the Detroit River as a result of a collision with the propeller CHILI off Windmill Point. The crew of the BERLIN escaped in a small boat and the CHILI continued to Port Huron, there making temporary repairs and later leaving for Chicago. As the boat swung around from the force of the impact, she was rammed again and again. Capt. Goodrow of the BERLIN tried to make for shore when he saw his boat was sinking, but the last blow from the CHILI disabled her steering gear and the BERLIN could only drift with the stream.
      The boat was carried about two miles when she went down a short distance from shore. Nothing is visible of the boat except the pilot house and the smoke stack. It is believed she is a total loss. The BERLIN was built in 1891 and was owned by Henry Wineman of Detroit. She carried no insurance.
      Buffalo Evening News
      August 9, 1904

Capt. H.W. Baker last night secured a contract to raise the propeller CITY OF BERLIN, which was sunk by the CHILI on Belle Isle a week ago Sunday. The boat will be cofferdamed and a canvas jacket will be placed around her to float her to Detroit. Baker expects to have the BERLIN afloat in 10 days.
      Buffalo Evening News
      August 17, 1904

      Capt. M. M. Drake, who left Sunday night for Milwaukee, where he will attend the trial of the CHILI vs CITY OF BERLIN, is expected back the latter part of this week. The case is now before Judge Seamans of the United States Court, and the evidence is nearly all in. The question at issue is as to which vessel is to blame for the collision which occurred on the night of August 7, 1904, at the turn in Detroit River on the Windmill Point Range, at which time the CHILI was only slightly damaged while the BERLIN was sunk. Later she was raised and repaired at Manitowoc, and libeled the CHILI for $70,000. Capt. Drake is managing owner of the CHILI.
      Buffalo Evening News
      April 4, 1905

Steam screw CHILI. U. S. No. 127078. Of 2,584.33 tons gross; 1,845.27 tons net. Built at Cleveland, Ohio in 1895. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 320.5 x 42.0 x 21.8 Steel built.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1897

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Reason: collision
Remarks: Repaired
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  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.35782 Longitude: -82.92992
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Chili (Propeller), U127078, collision, 7 Aug 1904