Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Charles S. Neff Collection

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  • Barge Sidney O. Neff
        The steam barge, Sidney O. Neff was built at Manitowoc, Wis. during the fall 1890 and into 1891 by Capt. Sam Neff & Sons. It was 149 feet long, 30-foot beam, and 10 feet in depth; 435 gross tons; 350 h.p.; carried crew of 11. Details of the building of ...
      The steam barge, Sidney O. Neff was built at Manitowoc, Wis. during ...
  • Steam Barge Sidney O. Neff
        The fierce gale of May 18,1894: "Lake Michigan was mad ~all night -and for several days before -the sea ran mad -18 vessels wrecked -woman froze to death in the rigging of the Cummings, Milwaukee, Wis. In all the fury, the barge-rigged Sidney O. Neff was sailed by five hardy ...
      The fierce gale of May 18,1894: "Lake Michigan was mad ~all night ...
  • Steamer S. Neff
        Built by Capt. Sam Neff, Oshkosh, Wis., 1880-81; 142 feet over all; 30-ft.beam; 6.5 depth; draft, 5 ft.aft., nothing for'd; engine, rolling valve, 14 x 14, taken from the tug, Ajax; boiler, 5 1/2 x 14, marine type; 110 lb. steam;. Capt. Sam Neff, owner & master. His wife, Marcelia ...
      Built by Capt. Sam Neff, Oshkosh, Wis., 1880-81; 142 feet over all; ...
  • Steamer S. Neff
        Steamer S. NEFF Captain Samuel Neff Master & Owner in DePere Wis. Lock with deck load of lumber from Menominee Mich. to Appleton, Wis. about 200M Pine Draft 5 ft was in this trade 1881-1886. Burned Lake Erie after 19 years Engine Rolling value 40 14 x 14 from tug ...
      Steamer S. NEFF Captain Samuel Neff Master & Owner in DePere Wis. ...
  • Wrecks of News Boy and Blazing Star
        Wrecks of the News Boy and Blazing Star, Fisherman's Shoal, Lake Michigan, as seen in 1892. Outfit from the News Boy was salvaged by Samuel Neff & Sons in 1892 for $350. Charles S. Neff was present at the salvage work. The Blazing Star, a canal schooner of 265 tons, ...
      Wrecks of the News Boy and Blazing Star, Fisherman's Shoal, Lake Michigan, ...
  • Steamer North Star
        Among the odd steamboats of the past may be noted the North Star. Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893, lists the vessel as of 14 net tons; built Oconto, Wis. by Fowle in 1871. Port of hail, Ft. Howard. The North Star ran as a Green Bay to De Pere ferry ...
      Among the odd steamboats of the past may be noted the North ...
  • Barge Sidney O. Neff
  • Steamer W. W. Neff
        The side-Wheeler, W. W .Neff, used as a rafting steamer in the Oshkosh & Wolf-Fox river system of Wis., was built by W.W.Neff, the son of Orren Neff, Oshkosh, and brother of the boatmen, Capt. Sam Neff and Edwin Marion Neff. The vessel was used during the lumbering days in ...
      The side-Wheeler, W. W .Neff, used as a rafting steamer in the ...
  • Steamer A. Neff
        The A. Neff, or Abel Neff, carrying freight and passengers on Lake Winnebago, was a familiar sight in the early 1870s in and around Oshkosh, and the Wolf river. The vessel was about 100 feet long, with twin wheels and a 10 x 12 engine. It also ran between Green ...
      The A. Neff, or Abel Neff, carrying freight and passengers on Lake ...
  • Steamer Charles S. Neff
        Steel steamer, Charles S. Neff, built by Jenks Ship Building Co., Port Huron, Mich.1901; launched 2 July 1901 for Capt. Samuel Neff and his sons, Sidney O.Neff and Charles S. Neff; 200 x 38 x 11.6; 992 gross tons. Carried lumber, pig iron, grain, coal, pulpwood; a fine ship; John ...
      Steel steamer, Charles S. Neff, built by Jenks Ship Building Co., Port ...
  • Schooner Richard Mott
        Sch. Richard Mott is listed in the Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903, as having been built in 1854; 147x26; 267 gross tons. The Inland Lloyds Vessel Register of 1893, lists the Mott as having been built at Buffalo in 1851 by Jones. Port of hail in 1893, Chicago.
      Sch. Richard Mott is listed in the Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903, ...
  • Steamer Nebraska
        The wooden steamer, Nebraska was bought in a damaged condition by Samuel Neff & Sons from R.R.Rhodes, Nov. 1901 and sold, June 1902 to J. J. Boland & David O. Hagen, Buffalo, N.Y. Repaired Milwaukee Dry Dock Co.; 1483 tons; built 1867, Cleveland, O., by E. M. Peck; 267 x ...
      The wooden steamer, Nebraska was bought in a damaged condition by Samuel ...
  • Steamer M. C. Neff
        The M. C. Neff, named after the wife of Capt. Sam Neff, was built at Oshkosh, Wis. by Capt. Neff in 1888 & sold in Sept. of that year to the S.K.Martin Lumber Co. The first inspection of the vessel, May 16, 1888; had large A frame with boom & ...
      The M. C. Neff, named after the wife of Capt. Sam Neff, ...
  • Steamer M. C. Neff
        The M. C. Neff, named after the wife of Capt. Samuel Neff, Marcelia Cynthia (Ellenwood) Neff, was built in Oshkosh, Wis. in 1888, and sold immediately after it was finished to the S. K. Martin Lumber Co.,Chicago. It was 137' in length; 28' width; 10.8 depth; could carry 375,000 ft. ...
      The M. C. Neff, named after the wife of Capt. Samuel Neff, ...
  • Steamer Charles S. Neff
  • Steamer M. C. Neff
        Launching flags fly for the steamer, M. C. Neff, May, 1888, Oshkosh, Wis. A swift little steamer; 137 x 28.9 x 10.8; 276 gross tons. First inspection May 16, 1888; sold to S. K. Martin Lumber Co. Burned Sept. 20, 1909 at New Duluth, Minn.
      Launching flags fly for the steamer, M. C. Neff, May, 1888, Oshkosh, ...
  • Steamer Lawrence
        Passenger & freight steamer; built 1868, Cleveland, Ohio; 135' x 25'; 447 gross tons. Rebuilt 1902, and name changed to Frontenac. Berthed foot Wabash Ave.,Chicago. Listed Beers, History of the Great Lakes, Vol 1., p. 847; Inland Lloyds Vessel Register, 1893; Ship Masters' Assoc. Directory, 1903. In Register of 1905, ...
      Passenger & freight steamer; built 1868, Cleveland, Ohio; 135' x 25'; 447 ...
  • Steamer Marion
        Steamer Marion was built in Sheboygan, Wis. in 1889; 202 X 34. Bought by Samuel Neff & Sons in 1899, and used in the salt trade. Early in 1903, the Marion was sold to the Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois line, of Chicago. The Marion was being repaired at Milwaukee when ...
      Steamer Marion was built in Sheboygan, Wis. in 1889; 202 X 34. ...
  • Side-wheeler W. A. Knapp
        The W. A. Knapp was one of the earliest steamboats on Lake Winnebago and the nearby lakes and rivers. At one time she was owned by Neff & Co. as one of seven freight & passenger steamers on the Fox & Wolf rivers, and Lake Winnebago. When river business slackened ...
      The W. A. Knapp was one of the earliest steamboats on Lake ...
  • Larbord & Starbord
        Showing the old fashioned way of steering a sailing ship.
      Showing the old fashioned way of steering a sailing ship.
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Charles S. Neff Collection


Charles S. Neff was born in Oshkosh, WI in April of 1870 and died in Cleveland, OH in 1940. His father Samuel Neff had been involved in shipping on the Fox and Wolf Rivers but moved his business to Milwaukee about 1880 because he did not think he could compete with the railroads. He formed the Neff and Sons Shipping Company with his sons Sidney and Charles. After their father died they tried to keep the partnership going for about a year but then divided the assets and formed separate companies. Charles lived during the time of sail, steam power and diesel power. He collected photographs and other material of historical interest. Some of his collection is in the Maritime collection of the Milwaukee Public Library. He also made drawings using color pencils and whatever paper that was at hand. Some were drawn from memory, others from life. Some of the original drawings were given to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, WI. Color slides were taken of all of the drawings and Marcy Neff-Fisher, his daughter, prepared notes for each slide. Digital copies have been made of the slides and notes. The collection also include the volume Marcy Neff-Fisher had privately published for family and friends about the Neff family's long involvement in shipping.