The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chief Justice Waite (Steamboat), U125281, sunk, 1 Sep 1899

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The excursion steamer CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE has been refused a license by the local inspectors and is not yet in service. An appeal was made to the supervising inspector Wescott, who ruled that with certain repairs she could run inside the breakwater. Her owners said yesterday that the work had been done and that the boat would start on her way to Manuatt (?) Beach next week.
      Chicago Inter Ocean
      June 21, 1898

At Chicago the workmen are stripping the old passenger and excursion steamer CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE of her machinery and everything that can be sold for junk. The hull is to be abandoned and may constitute filling for the extention of the park.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Tuesday, January 23, 1900

      Chicago, August 10. -- All that remains of the excursion steamer CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE will go to fill up the basin adjoining lake front park. The vessel is partly submerged, where it has been since last September, when it went down during an especially stormy night. Only the lower deck and hull are left, and Justice Bradwell, the WAITE's last owner, before a wrecking company bought it, says "he would not give $5 for the boat now." For twenty-seven years she was one of the best steamers on the lakes. Chief justice Waite of the Unite States Supreme Court, whose home was in Toledo, presented the boat with a flag, and many of Toledo's best people attended the christening. After an honorable career of a score of years, the WAITE fell into the bad company after coming to this port. She was purchased by men who conducted gambling on board and catered to the sporting element. The boat became a floating Monte Carlo, and scenes were enacted paralleling the doings aboard Mississippi steamers in the palmy days of gambling on that great waterway. Fancy liquors were served to passengers free if they played, or at fancy prices if they did not play. The gambling fixtures and furnishings were of the best. Finally the shore authorities arrested the proprietors and confiscated the gambling paraphernalia.
      Detroit Free Press
      August 11,1900
Steam paddle CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE. U. S. No. 125281. Of 571.10 tons gross; 443.52 tons net. Built Trenton, Mich., 1874. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 188.8 x 46.0 x 11.4 Of 500 nominal horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1896

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Reason: sunk
Remarks: Total loss
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  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 41.85003 Longitude: -87.65005
William R. McNeil
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Chief Justice Waite (Steamboat), U125281, sunk, 1 Sep 1899