Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Idlewild (Steamboat), U85595, aground, 6 Aug 1904
Full Text

      nearly 300 Passengers, Mostly Women and Children From Buffalo, Were in Peril
The steamer IDLEWILD, owned by the Idlewild Park Association of Grand Island, went hard aground in the Canadian Channel of the Niagara River, near the foot of the island, late yesterday afternoon, and gave its load of nearly 300 passengers, mostly women and children from Buffalo, a bad fright. Fortunately the mishap did not end seriously.
      The steamer left the Ferry Street landing at Buffalo at 2:30 this afternoon on an excursion around the island, intending to complete the trip at 5:30 o'clock. The boat had turned the foot of the island and was forging out into the Canadian channel when something that caused the boat to lurch violently was encountered. The steamer veered towards the island, refusing to respond to the helm, and another shock was experienced as she went aground.
A number of the women aboard went into hysterics and it was some time before many could be assured that they were safe. Word was sent the Upper Tonawanda and Grand Island Ferries and a tug and scows were dispatched to the assistance of the stranded boat. The passengers were placed aboard the scows and taken to one of the pleasure resorts on the west side of the island, from where they took another steamer back to Buffalo.
With the assistance of tugs the steamer is reported to have been released from her perilous position above the Falls late tonight. The extent of the damage to the boat could not be learned.
      Buffalo Evening News
      August 7, 1904

Steam Paddlewheel IDLEWILD. U. S. No. 85595. Of 363.42 tons gross; 284.13 tons net. Built at Wyandotte, Mich., in 1879. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 186.0 x 26.0 x 7.4 Of 500 nominal horse power. Iron built.
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1895

Item Type
Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
Date of Original
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.03311 Longitude: -78.96254
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Idlewild (Steamboat), U85595, aground, 6 Aug 1904