There was quite an assemblage of ladies and gentlemen on the lake shore, near the foot of West Tenth street, yesterday afternoon, to witness the launch of the rebuilt steam barge Ellsworth. Shortly after three o'clock the shore line was cut, but the craft refused to go faster than a snail pace, the slush on the ways having taken cold.
The crowd enjoyed the treat of seeing a craft launched slowly, for usually launches are so sudden that one does not realize that the vessel has started until she strikes the water. But the owner, Mr. Mattoon, did not favor such a launch, so he hailed the tug Morey, which was in the new harbor, and running a line from the barge to the tug, the launch was made successfully by the aid of a little steam.
The Ellsworth is now as staunch a craft as floats on the lake, having received as thorough a rebuild as was ever given to a vessel. Twenty five feet have been added to her length amidships, and her dimensions are: Length, 123 feet, beam, 17 feet 6 inches, depth of hold, 8 feet 6 inches. She will carry about 2,000 bushels of wheat, and will run between Detroit, Cleveland and this port. The old ceiling was taken out and new put in, consisting entirely of oak. Double arches have been put in, extending from bow to stern, and her timbers have been doubled throughout. She is thoroughly ironed, being edge bolted, and is now stronger and better than when she was first launched.
The work has been done under the superintendency of Mr. John E. Riley, a good mechanic, one who never slights his work and builds for time. Few thought the Ellsworth when the Ellsworth was hauled out that such a job could be done, but mechanical skill and perseverance, such as are possessed by Mr. Riley, have succeeded in turning out a job, such as is seldom seen, and costing but $4,000.
The Ellsworth will be commanded by Captain L.C. Cole, a competent seaman who has had experience with steam crafts and who will se that she is not beaten by other steam barges. She will be ready for sea the fore part of next week, and will then wrestle with her fate. Success attend her.