The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), July 22, 1900


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THE GREAT 1873 BOOM
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MORE BIG SCHOONERS BUILT THAT YEAR THAN ANY OTHER
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The year 1873 was a memorable one to the lakes because of the launching of a large number of wooden schooners ranging in size from 400 to 900 tons, the Wells Burt and John M. Hutchinson being good examples. No year before or since equalled 1873 for the introduction of that class of tonnage. Several of the fleet are afloat and at work to-day, but the majority have passed out; some of those that went to the ocean within the past two years were of that class. Following are some of the boats and their first cost, prices then greatly exceeding those of to-day. Timber was cheaper then because so near by, and wages were the same as now, but the demands for tonnage were so great and the prospect of a boat paying for herself in two or three seasons so enticing, the freight-rates being four or five times greater than those of to-day, that investors were willing to pay almost any price:

Schooners Ida Keith, 490 tons, cost $35,000; John B. Merrill, 650 tons, $50,000; Wabash, 400 tons, $27,000; John M. Hutchinson, 1,000 tons, $80,000 - she carried 70,000 bushels of wheat, which was an enormous load for those days; Henry C. Richards, 670 tons, $50,000; Queen City, 640 tons, $60,000; Wells Burt, 770 tons, $70,000.

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The foregoing facts are taken from a file of The Detroit Free Press for that year, and here are some others of interest: Keweenaw lays up and Capt. Albert Stewart resigns her command after eight continuous seasons without losing a trip or having an accident on the Detroit-Lake Superior route. Steamer Mineral Rock, built in 1856, ashore at White Rock and given up by everybody as a total loss; however she was released, repaired, and continued into the lumber trade until lost for sure four or five years ago. Steamer D. M. Wilson makes the round trip between Detroit and Marquette in five days, considered very fast then. Schooner Ogarita sails from L'Anse to Detroit in two and a half days. Schooner H. A. Kent, on her maiden trip, lost her centerboard - a presager of bad luck, of which she had as much as any lake schooner until she passed out a few years ago. The largest vessel on the lakes, the propeller Amazon, towed two schooners from Buffalo to Detroit in 32 hours, all being light; the Amazon carried about 75,000 bushels, had twin screws and four masts, the first of her kind on the lakes, and was looked upon with wonder wherever she appeared.

Some other large-class (over 400 t.) schooners built in 1873:
ALLEGHENY, 664 gt.
C. C. BARNES, 583 gt.
BENJ. F. BRUCE, 729 gt.
BUCKEYE STATE, 519 gt.
CHARLES H. BURTON, 515 gt.
W. S. CROSTHWAITE, 673 gt.
ELMA, 401 gt.
SAMUEL H. FOSTER, 673 gt.
NELLIE GARDNER, 567 gt.
GENOA, 731 gt.
HATTIE, 401 gt.
CHESTER B. JONES, 494 gt.
GEORGE MURRAY, 790 gt.
HALSTEAD, 497 gt.
HELVETIA, 793 gt.
EMMA C. HUTCHINSON, 738 gt.
IRONTON, 786 gt.
JOHN T. JOHNSON, 448 gt.
LUCERNE, 728 gt.
MARENGO, 648 gt.
MARINETTE, 505 gt.
JOHN MARTIN, 938 gt.
MAUTENEE, 647 gt.
MENEKAUNEE, 588 gt.
SOPHIA MINCH, 636 gt.
ALEXANDER B. MOORE, 1018 gt.
NIAGARA, 764 gt.
NIMROD, 559 gt.
JOHN O'NEILL, 616 gt.
GUIDO PFISTER, 694 gt.
RED WING, 723 gt.
J. H. RUTTER, 1224 gt.
CHARLES N. RYAN, 412 gt.
THOMAS N. RYAN, 438 nt.
SANDUSKY, 572 gt.
SAVELAND, 689 gt.
SCHUYLKILL, 472 gt.
SCOTIA, 904 gt.
SHAWNEE, 572 gt.
ELLEN SPRY, 546 gt.
URANUS, 534 gt.
VERONA, 728 gt.
M. R. WARNER, 700 gt.
D. M. WILSON, 758 gt.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
July 22, 1900
Local identifier:
GLN.5814
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), July 22, 1900