The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sarnia (Ferry), U23394, fire, 28 Jan 1879

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At about 3 o'clock this morning the ferry SARNIA, lying at Fitzgerald's yard was discovered to be on fire. The fire department were soon on the scene, but when the arrived the flames had enveloped the ladies' cabin, and in fact nearly all the upper works of the boat. In the course of an hour they had the fire out. The damage is estimated at about $3,000, with some insurance. It had been the intention of the owners of the SARNIA to have remodeled her and have a stern wheel put in, and she had been taken to the shipyard and the carpenters commenced work on her yesterday. The origin of the fire is unknown, but it would seem, from the fact that there had been no fire on the boat since she was put there, that it was incendiary.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, January 28, 1879

D.N. Runnels has purchased two-thirds of the burnt ferry SARNIA. Her engine and boilers will be taken out and a track that will take three cars on board, will be laid on her decks. She will be employed carrying cars in the SAGINAW's place, which will go to Detroit and receive new boilers. Mr. Runnels talks of putting a screw engine in the SARNIA.
      Detroit Post & Tribune
      Friday, March 21, 1879

The remains of the ferry SARNIA were towed out of Black River this morning by the ferry DORMER and tied up near the drydock.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Saturday, May 10, 1879

The ferry SARNIA is to be transformed into a car ferry, to be used while the SAGINAW is repairing.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, May 15, 1879

The SARNIA made her first trip today in the capacity of a car ferryboat.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, May 27, 1879

The old ferry SARNIA went into commission yesterday as a barge and is loading lumber at Brook's and Joslym's Mill.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Wednesday, September 24, 1879

Steam paddle ferry SARNIA. U. S. No. 23394. Built Port Huron in 1860 by J. Randall. Of 119 tons. Became barge in 1879.
      Herman Runge Notes

      Barge SARINA. U. S. No. 23394. Of 90.33 tons gross; 85,82 tons net. Built Port Huron, Mich., 1860. Home port, Port Huron.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1891 [unrigged vessels]
Paddle ferry steamer SARINA. U. S. No. 23394. Of 123 tons. Built Port Huron, Mich., 1860. First Home port, Detroit, Mich. DISPOSITION: Rig changed to a barge May 17, 1879
      Merchant Steam Vessel of the U. S. A.
      The Lytle-Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Hull damage: $3,000
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.97086 Longitude: -82.42491
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sarnia (Ferry), U23394, fire, 28 Jan 1879