Strange Accident to a Ship in Dry Dock
The strange accident to the wooden side-wheel passenger steamer MUSKEGON of the Goodrich line at the dock of the Milwaukee Ship Yard Co. has caused quite a discussion among vessel men. A ship builder who has seen the vessel in dock says she is a most complete wreck. "It seems," he says, "that the Milwaukee company docks vessels regularly without the use of horizontal side shores, which is a safe enough practice when the vessels are of full form with a long midship body, and when they have bilge blocks all ready to take and support the bilges. With a side-wheeler like the MUSKEGON, which has a short midship body and very fine ends, the procedure in docking should be different. It is best in vessels of this form to use side horizontal shores from about the fender strake to the side of the dock, to keep the vessel perfectly upright on the keel blocks, until the dock is pumped out and the bilge blocks are placed under the bilges. In fact, many builders keep the shores in place on side-wheelers until they are floated from the dock. It is claimed that the Milwaukee people did not place any side shores on the Muskegon, and the few bilge blocks amidships not fitting well, she lay over to starboard and plunged forward a bit, tripping most of the keel blocks, and those she failed to trip went through her or forced her bottom in. She is broken in three or four places on the keel forward and in one place aft. Both arches are broken clean through, and arch posts split to pieces. Her planking as far aft as the paddle wheels is torn apart. The cabin forward is broken to pieces and twisted out of shape, right fore and aft. She went into dock for the purpose of tightening a few holding-down bolts on the engine bed and was in good shape when she went in. She would have remained in service for some time yet this season if the accident had not occurred."
It will be quite a job to get the wrecked steamer out of dock. The MUSKEGON was built in 1871. She was of the old type of side-wheel steamers, with high arches and a wide overhang. Her insurance value was $25,000.
October 1, 1896
Burger & Burger of Manitowoc will rebuild the Goodrich steamer MUSKEGON, which was wrecked in dry dock at Milwaukee. She was bought in at auction in Milwaukee, Tuesday. The Goodrich company and the dry dock company will fight out at law their difference over the loss on the vessel.
December 10, 1896
Settlement of judgment secured a year ago by the Goodrich Transportation Co. of Chicago against the Milwaukee Dry Dock Co. has been made by the. payment of $10,915. The case grew out of damages sustained by the steamer MUSKEGON while in drydock in September, 1896.
May 18, 1899
Steam paddle MUSKEGON. U. S. No. 90466. Of 662.20 tons gross; 485.65 tons net. Built Manitowoc, Wis., 1871. Home port, Milwaukee, Wis. 193.7 x 29.0 x 12.0.
Merchant vessel List, U. S., 1896