The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), June 26, 1892

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The City Hall clock had scarcely ceased striking 3 yesterday afternoon when the steamer Chicora started down the way at the Orleans street yard, and in a few seconds' time was floating gracefully in the stream several hundred yards from the dock line. A tug soon brought her up to the shears, where she will lie until her machinery is hoisted in. A thousand or more people witnessed the launch, and a good many others were "just a moment too late." As the sidewheel steamer Kirby is Frank Kirby's masterpiece in metal ship-building, so, undoubtedly, will the Chicora prove to be in wood. Her lines are as symmetrical and beautiful as any yacht, and with the powerful machinery ready to be placed in her, the boat must be very fast. Her engine is triple expansion, cylinders 21, 33, 54 by 42 inch stroke. She will have two steel boilers, 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet long, constructed for a pressure of 165 pounds: Howden's forced draft attachment will be provided. The Chicora's dimensions are: Length over all 210 feet; keel, 197 feet; breadth 35 feet; extreme breadth, 39½ feet; molded depth, 15¼ feet. She will have a 250 light electric light plant, and in general finish she will be similar to the Indiana. She will have fifty-six state-rooms, large smoking room and a spacious social hall. The cabins, as well as the grand staircase and gangway between decks, will all be finished in mahogany. She will have sleeping room for 200 passengers and an excursion license for 1,500. She will be schooner-rigged, with standing gaffs and booms. The boilers and machinery will be placed exactly in the center of the boat.

The Chicora is built for the Graham & Morton Line, and will take her place on the Chicago and St. Joseph route about August. She will be the all-year-round boat of the line. She was built of wood to enable her to battle with the heavy ice often encountered at the head of Lake Michigan in winter. Capt. Ed Stines, who has long been in Graham & Morton's service, will command the new boat.

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Item Type:
The trim passenger and package freight steamer CHICORA (US#126902) was a powerful, state of the art vessel when launched. That is part of the reason she chose to issue her usual challenge to the lake gods in deep winter of 1895. On January 21 of that year she left Milwaukee for St. Joseph, Michigan with a cargo of flour and 25 souls aboard. She never arrived, and has since become the "holy grail" for wreck searchers in that part of the lakes system. But in June of 1892 all thoughts were fine and hopeful at her launch at Detroit.

For several photos and a description of the loss, see
Date of Original:
June 26, 1892
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Language of Item:
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 Free Press (Detroit, MI), June 26, 1892