Maritime History of the Great Lakes
D. B. Spear (Steamboat), U6817, fire, 17 Sep 1876
Full Text

FATE OF THE STEAMER D. B. SPEAR. -- The D. B. SPEAR burned in the river just before midnight last night. She was lying at the dock at the foot of Magnolia street, and was discovered to be on fire by a gentleman who was passing along Summit street at that point. He says that in two minutes from the first sight of the light the boat was wrapped in flames from bow to stern. The fire department was promptly on hand, but they were foiled in their attempt to save the vessel, by a remarkable incident. As the first stream of water struck her lines gave away and she drifted quickly off, and it is reported that her wheels soon began to play. An eye witness relates this strange story, and supposes that the heat from the burning generated steam in the boiler and started her engine. How her engine could start under such circumstances, no one has yet explained. Neither has any one explained in what manner the fire started, or whether there was ant person aboard. The sight of the drifting and burning wreck is said to have been one of great beauty. --- Toledo Commercial, 18th.
      Cleveland Herald
      Wednesday, September 20, 1876
Steam paddle D.B. SPEAR. U. S. No. 6817. Of 45 tons gross. Built Black River, Ohio, 1973.
      Herman Runge Note

Item Type
Reason: fire
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss ??
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.66394 Longitude: -83.55521
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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D. B. Spear (Steamboat), U6817, fire, 17 Sep 1876