The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sep. 6, 1895

Full Text
A Regular Service Will Be Maintained the Year Around

A curious vessel went into service on Lake Erie on August 17. She was the Shenango No. 1, the first of two car ferries which are to run between Conneaut, O., and Port Dover, Ont. She belongs to The United States and Ontario Steam Navigation Co., and on her maiden trip across the lake she carried twelve cars of coal for the Grand Trunk Railway. Officials of the navigation company, of the Pittsburg, Shenango and Lake Erie railroad and Conneaut and Port Dover officials were on board. The boat left Conneaut at 10 a.m. and reached Port Dover, on the northern shore of Lake Erie, at 5:30 p.m., and was welcomed with much rejoicing.

The Shenango No. 1 is 270 feet long and 54 feet beam. She is built of wood, with steel plating and steel deck stringers, from which braces run diagonally. She is on 1,941.90 gross tons – 1,320.50 net tons. There are four tracks between the decks to carry the cars. The two outside tracks carry six cars each, and the two inside seven each, says the Buffalo Express. The boat draws 12½ feet loaded and 9½ feet light. Power is furnished by three fore-and-aft compound condensing engines, two of 38 and 46 inches in diameter and one of 20 and 48 inches in diameter, three foot stroke. There are four vertical steel boilers, 12 feet high and 12 feet in diameter, each weighing 29 ½ tons, with 192 flues in each boiler.. The Shenango also has three double-acting steam pumps and three watertight bulkheads, is lighted throughout by electricity and has one 5,000 C.P. search-light on top of the pilot-house. Four life boats swing to the davits, and there are two life-rafts. The boat is licensed to carry 20 regular or 973 excursion passengers to and from any point within 150 miles of Conneaut.

The Shenango will make two round trips every twenty-four hours between Conneaut and Port Dover. She and her mate are expected to make trips regularly winter and summer in all kinds of weather, and be able to break through any ice that can form on Lake Erie.

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Item Type:
Even as these two ferries were being launched, it was fairly obvious that the days of wooden carferries were at an end. All of the large ferries built after these were steel-hulled. SHENANGO No. 1 (US#116688) was caught in the ice and burned off Conneaut in March, 1904, while her sister SHENANGO No. 2 was sunk in a collision in 1922 after being reduced to a barge in 1921. Both vessels appear in the archives of Historical Collections of the Great Lakes.
Date of Original:
Sep. 6, 1895
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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 Free Press (Detroit, MI), Sep. 6, 1895