Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 22, no. 1 (October 1989), p. 7

The following text may have been generated by Optical Character Recognition, with varying degrees of accuracy. Reader beware!

Ship of the Month No. 176 PIERSON INDEPENDENT The fall of 1 9 8 8 was especially stormy on the Great Lakes. The long, hot and very dry su m m e r rapidly gave way to a cold and wet autumn, and the la kes were raked by seemingly endless winds. Ships lost days waiting for the winds to subside sufficiently that the vessels might enter some of the smal ler and more exposed ports, such as those along the shores of Lake Huron. It seemed especially appropriate for the autumn of 1988 to be windy, for that season marked the 75th anniversary of the Great Storm of November, 1913. No ships were lost on the lakes as a result of the storms of1 9 8 8 , but such, unfortunately, was not the case in 1 9 1 3 . One of the survivors of the Great Storm of 1 9 1 3 was the steamer J. H. SHEA DLE (I). In 1905, the Grand Island Steamship Company, an affiliate of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, contracted with the Great Lakes Engineering Works, of Ecorse, Michigan, to build a 533-foot (overall) steamer, which was the WILLIAM G. MATHER (I)(25). This vessel proved to be extremely longlived, later operating as (b) J. H. SHEADLE (II)(55), (c) H. L. GOBEILLE (65), and she is still in operation today as (d) NICOLET for the American Steamship Company. In 1906, with the MATHER operating successfully, the same owners ordered three more steamers from the Great Lakes Engineering Works. They were to be larger than the MATHER, with an overall length of 552 feet, and all would have very long careers. All three of the sister ships would end their days under the Canadian flag, and the longest lived of the trio would be the steamer which is the subject of our feature, for she served for 73 years on the lakes. The three new ships were named MICHIGAN, ISHPEMING and J. H. SHEADLE (I), and the latter was the last of the three to enter service. She was launch ed on Saturday, September 29, 1906. The steamer was 530.0 feet in length (between perpendiculars), 5 6 . 2 feet in the beam, and 3 2 . 0 feet in depth. Her tonnage was 6 9 2 4 Gross and 54 76 Net. She was powered by a triple ex pansion engine with cylinders of 2 3 , 37 and 63 inches bore, and a stroke of 4 2 inches. Steam was provided by two single-ended, coal-fired, Scotch boilers, which measured 15'0" by 12'0". The engine was built for the ship by the Great Lakes Engineering Works and bore the builder's number 3 3 5 . The boilers were manufactured by the Lake Erie Boiler Works. The SHEADLE was the yard's Hull 22, and she was completed in time to enter service late in the autumn of 1 9 0 6 . She was enrolled at Marquette, Michi gan, and was assigned registry number U. S. 293628. She was named in honour of the secretary of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. Before going into service, the SHEADLE was painted in the usual Cliffs livery, with a black hull and forecastle, green cabins with red trim, and a black stack with a large red letter 'C'. On the bow in white letters appeared the ship's na me, as well as the legend "The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. " identifying the owner. After a few years, the wording was changed to "The Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co. " to reflect a corporate reorganization. The SHEADLE had a full forecastle, with a closed steel rail for most of its length and an additional small raised section of rail right at the stem. The stem itself was straight and the anchors, carried well below deck level and suspended from hawsepipes, had their flukes tucked back in to recessed pockets so that only the bottoms of the anchors normally were visible. On the forecastle head sat the texas cabin (which contained the master's office and accommodation), and immediately forward of the texas was the small, "turret-style" pilothouse with seven large windows in its rounded front. On the monkey's island above the pilothouse was an open bridge, from which most of the navigation was done. A waist-high steel "dodger", a canvas weathercloth and an awning provided the only shelter from the elements for officers on watch. The foremast rose up out of the texas. An open rail ran down the shelter deck, and a closed steel taffrail was placed around the flush quarterdeck. It protected the after cabin, which was fitted with large windows and a clerestory. The two lifeboats were car-

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit
Privacy Policy