The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), July 16, 1884

Full Text
Over 1,500,000 Passengers Carried Without the Loss of One
Report of the Supervising Inspector of Steam Vessels

The report of Joseph Cook, supervising inspector of steam vessels of the eighth district, comprising the sub-districts of Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Huron (including the city of Port Huron), Grand Haven and Superior for the six months ending June 30, ult., sets forth that the number of vessels propelled wholly or in part by steam, to which certificates of inspection have been issued is as follows, viz.: Passenger 70, ferry 18, towing 203, freight 146, yacht 93, canal 17, making a total of 547, with an aggregate gross tonnage of 129,623 28-100 gross tons, or 102,009 27-100 net tons.

Twenty-eight steamers have been added to the service with an aggregate of 7,302 82-100 net tons.

Three steamers have gone out of service with an aggregate of 44 26-100 tons.

Five-hundred and eighty-seven boilers have been inspected, of which 13 were found defective and 22 gave way under hydrostatic pressure.

Two investigations have been held by local boards for violations of the law; one by the Grand Haven and one by the Marquette board.

Licenses have been issued to 1,957 officers divided between the various grades as follows: Masters 399, mates 3, pilots of the first class 282, pilots of the second class 285, chief engineers 426, assistant engineers 562. Of these 300 were original and 1,657 renewal.

Thirteen pilots, 11 engineers and assistant engineers have been refused licenses.

The licenses of one master, four engineers and assistants have been suspended or revoked.

Two accidents by fire have occurred with a loss of property estimated at $12,050. The loss of property by collisions has been $15,000.

Casualties have been reported by the Detroit board as follows: April 2 the ferry steamer Michigan Central, while lying at her dock in Detroit was run into by the transfer steamer Great Western, a Canadian vessel, damaging the Michigan Central to the amount of $15,000.

On May 11 the steamer City of Detroit, bound from Cleveland to Detroit, while ascending the Detroit river about three miles below Detroit, discovered a small boat containing five persons near the Canadian shore; the men lying on their oars. As the steamer approached the men in the small boat bent to their oars and undertook to cross the steamer's bows. The engine of the steamer was immediately reversed and the men in the boat stopped pulling. The small boat drifted into the steamer's swells and was capsized, drowning one of the occupants.

On May 29 the steamer Alcona bound up Lake Erie when abreast of Point Pelee island lighthouse, broke the jib and key in the lower end of the main connection, thereby breaking the cylinder, cylinder-head, piston-head, and causing other damage, the total damage being estimated at $3,000.

On June 24, the steamer Pearl, bound from Alpena to Detroit with a cargo of lumber, shingles, and with 15 passengers, struck on White Rock reef while attempting to make a landing. Damage to vessel and cargo, $800.

Casualties reported by the Milwaukee board follow: On April 2, the freight steamer C. H. Clarke, with a cargo of wood, bound from Arcadia to Milwaukee, when on Lake Michigan about 40 miles north northeast of Milwaukee, was discovered to be leaking. A heavy sea was running and the wind was blowing fresh. All the pumps were manned, but the water gained. The crew were ordered to throw the deck load overboard, and while they were thus engaged the vessel broached to; two or three seas boarded her, which washed most of the deck load above the main rail overboard, carrying one of the crew with it, who was lost. She was got off before the wind again, and after working the pumps for three hours was three of water. Upon arriving in port it was discovered that the vessel made the water through the ventilating pipes under the main rail.

Casualties reported by the Grand Haven board follow: On January 28 the tug Geele of Muskegon, Mich., was stove in by ice and sunk in shoal water. She was subsequently raised at a cost of $25.

On April 22 the tug Caroline Williams of Manistee left the port of Manistee with the schooner Watertown in tow. About 3 o'clock a.m. of the 23d fire was discovered in the hold of the tug. All efforts to subdue the flames proved of no avail. The crew took to the small boat and were picked up by the Watertown. Loss estimated at $12,000.

On April 18 the steam barge G. P. Heath while taking in topsail lost the mate overboard. There was a fresh breeze blowing at the time with some sea. Life preservers were thrown over; the vessel rounded to and every effort was made to save the mate without avail.

The number of passengers carried is 1,342,828 and not one single person of all this vast number was lost.

Statement of steam vessels during the quarter ended June 30, 1884:
Detroit District Recapitulation
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Inland Passenger2510,825.608,369.69
Ferry boats52,126.201,361.41
Towing boats183,770.652,472.04
Freight boats3621,252.7817,987.48
Chicago District
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Inland Passenger53,931.543,102.80
Yachts10183.18 155.82
Towing boats472,522.991,566.55
Freight boats3427,768.8324,695.70
Canal boats131,181.60927.29
Totals10935,503.01 29,848.26
Milwaukee District
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Ferry boats174.4237.06
Towing boats251,182.45905.97
Freight boats3013,839.4410,439.63
Huron District
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Ferry boats6370.65282.94
Towing boats271,397.64905.97
Freight boats3113,677.2910,439.63
Grand Haven District
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Ferry boats361.6141.42
Towing boats551,628.58901.57
Freight boats81,902.281,433.06
Superior District
No.Gross tonnageNet tonnage
Ferry boats191.4676.03
Towing boats17555.25306.70
Freight boats21,194.08917.67

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Date of Original:
July 16, 1884
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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), July 16, 1884