Cleveland, June 7. - The opening of the present marine season in Cleveland is one that will be long remembered by vessel men. There are many features of interest, and they are good ones. Principal among them is the amount of ship-building being done. Four new boats, to be among the first on the lakes, will have floated into Lake Erie before July 5, and it is very probable that their aggregate tonnage is such as to make the present the most extensive shipbuilding season in the history of Cleveland. These boats, added to the very large Cleveland fleet - second to none on the lakes - will make a massive showing. They will represent a carrying capacity of 7,000 tons, and are built at a cost of about $441,000. Every dollar's worth of this work is being done in Cleveland. The owners are well-known Cleveland vessel men, and the boats will be managed in Cleveland.
First among them to get off the ways was the James Pickands, named after James Pickands, of Pickands, Mather & Co., coal dealers, of this city. This boat is now on her first trip up to Ashland for a cargo of iron ore. She was built at the yards of veteran ship-builder Thomas Quayle, and alike to the number of large craft on the lakes built at this yard, reflects credit on her maker. The James Pickands was launched on Saturday, May 22. She is owned by Capt. John W. Moore, James Pickands, A. R. Manning, Thomas Fitzpatrick, and Wm. Quayle. This boat was built at a cost of about $100,000. Her measurements and something of her make-up are as follows: Length over all, 250 feet; length of keel, 235 feet; depth of hold, 20 feet; beam, 39 feet. The size of her keel is 10x14 inches; main keelson, 16x16 inches; assistant keelsons, 14x16 inches; floor keelsons, 10x13 inches; frames, 16 inches at center, at bilge 15 inches, at top 8 inches. She has double thickness 6-inch flitch, with extra floors running from bilge to bilge. Garboard strakes 6 inches, 5 inches bottom, 6 inches around the turn of the bilge, and 5 inches up to the coursing board.
Her motive power is a steel boiler 16 feet in length, 8½ feet shell, and a compound engine, cylinders 28-inch and 52-inch, with 42 inch stroke; wheel 11 feet in diameter, 14 feet lead; shaft 10½ inches. Her carrying capacity is estimated 1,900 tons. She is calculated for the grain, coal, and iron ore trade, and will be ready for her first cargo in about one week [sic]. Capt. Smith Moore is sailing her.
At the Globe ship-building company's dock yesterday afternoon the steel steamer Spokene (2) was launched. This is the first boat built entirely of steel in Cleveland, and she has attracted much attention during the course of construction. The Spokene is the property of Captain Thomas Wilson of the Wilson transit line and others. She cost about $150,000, and has a carrying capacity of 2,300 tons. She is built entirely of steel, excepting, of course, her bulwarks and cabins. Every particle of this boat is as heavy as if she was made of iron, notwithstanding the fact that she might have been reduced 25 per cent, and still be as strong as if she was made of iron. She is 250 feet keel, 278 feet over all, 24 feet depth of hold and 38 feet beam. Her motive power is a duplicate of that in the James Pickands. This steamer has gangways similar to a propeller. She goes into the Wilson transit line and will be used principally in the flour, railroad iron and grain trade. Capt. John Lowe will sail her, and Thomas Kelley, in the Walulla last year, will be first engineer.
Another steamer, equally as large as the steel boat but made of wood, is being built, also for the Wilson transit company, at Quayle's ship-yard. (3) This boat will cost $100,000 aright. She will have all the latest improvements and money is not being spared in making her a first-class boat. Her dimensions are: 255 feet keel, 270 feet over all, 39 feet beam and 22 feet depth of hold. She will be stricken by steel in and out. Her motive power will be an exact duplicate of the other two boats. Capt. James B. Lowe will command her. She will have a capacity of 2,000 tons.
The fourth boat building, (4) at W. H. Radcliffe's yard, is for H. J. Webb & Co., vessel brokers. This steamer, but little smaller than the others, will be ready to launch about July 2. She is 220 feet keel, 235 feet over all, 37.3 beam and 19 feet deep. The machinery will be a duplicate of that in the Devereaux and William Chisholm, cylinders 28 and 50 by 36 inches. Capt. John Nelson, who is superintending her construction, will command her. Charles L. Scovill will be first engineer. The cost of the boat will be $90,000. Her carrying capacity is 1,700.
In addition to these boats a fire tug costing $20,000 is being built for the city. This will be ready the latter part of this month. One new river tug, the John F. Whitelaw, has been built. She is worth about $2,500. On Monday evening another river tug, the American Eagle, burned to the water's edge off this port on June 19, last season, goes into commission. She has just been rebuilt at a cost of $3,500 and is now valued at $6,500. Edward Dahlke is the owner.
With this large amount of ship-building the consequent manufacture of marine engines and boilers has followed. This work was all done by the Globe iron company. The cost of machinery and boilers in these four boats will aggregate $120,000. In addition to this, this company has compounded the engines of the steamer Columbia and tug Samson. They are at present constructing at "Scotch" boiler for the Cleveland and Bay City transportation company, of which Thomas Christie of Detroit is president. It is to be 12 feet in diameter, 12½ feet long, and allowed 110 pounds of working pressure. These works will cost about $70,000. A single transportation company's repairs made by the Globe company this spring amounted to $20,000. In all, the repairing will amount to $60,000.
The business to be called strictly ship-chandlery in Cleveland amounted to $300,000 last year. Cleveland now ranks next to Chicago in this important part of the lake trade. The business is confined to two houses here, G. W. Grover & Son and Upson, Walton & Co. The amount of capital invested is about $75,000. Considerable rivalry has existed between the two firms, and vessel men have for the past few years been treated to goods that are sold here on a very close margin. This state of things has not gone on as much this season, and it is probable that both houses will close with fair earnings. This season to ship chandlers here has opened with a tremendous business. Such a fitting out of boats has never before been seen. The extra rush, as is always expected, lasted only while the fleet was getting out. The lull that came afterward was as much a surprise as the extra demand in the beginning. Grain freight at Chicago had attracted the boats, and the ore was late coming down, but business in this line has again revived, and ship-chandlers are not only looking for, but are confident of a good season. The business of this season will in all probability reach $300,000.
Among the Cleveland vesselmen ore freights generally demand the most attention. Today the rates are $1.15 from Marquette, 90 cents from Escanaba, and $1.20 from Ashland. The iron ore freight is steady at those figures,and is liable to continue so for some few days at least. These are good rates on ore, being fully 25 per cent better than last year. One of the reasons why those rates are liable to hold is the low condition of coal freights. The rate on coal to Chicago today is 60 cents, and to Milwaukee 50 cents. Very little coal has been shipped, not only on account of the better class of vessel going up light, but principally on account of the scarcity of coal here. The railroads have been to blame to some extent, but fears as to what action the miners would take was more of the cause for delay. At all events it has resulted in good for the vessel man and may be the cause of helping him out in ore freights. Vesselmen unanimously admit that the opening freights are decidedly encouraging and betterr than were expected, and what is best of all, they promise to hold up. But for the considerable contracted ore taken during the past winter by brokers here, rates would be better and the freight markets stronger all around.
Taking all branches into consideration the season so far has been the best all round one that the Cleveland vessel man has ever seen. From the matter above the following tables showing the ney amount of vessel cost and tonnage, the number and value of marine engines and boilers, the volume of ship chandlery, business, etc., will be of interest.
J. W. Grover & Son, ship chandlers, sail makers, and riggers, 117 and 119 River street, Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the oldest firms in their line of business in the entire chain of lakes. Established in 1869 as successors to L. L. Lyon & Co., who had previously conducted the business since 1842, the house has always had a growing reputation for the regularity and promptitude that characterize all their transactions and for their general reliability. Almost the entire vessel trade out of Cleveland is transacted by this firm and it stands deservedly high in the esteem of all vesselmen. Mr. J. W. Grover has been dead a number of years, but the business has been carried on by his son, Mr. Chris. Grover, without changing the old synonym of the house. They transact a very large and prosperous business, and their transactions are not alone confined to the vessel trade., but they have a very large city connection. A specialty is of course made of marine business, in which regard may be mentioned the fact of their supplying all the established vessel lines trading to and from Cleveland.
Their stock of vessel supplies and ship-chandlery is exceptionally fine and well assorted, and everything possible necessary for the requirements of vessel equipment is kept on hand. Their grades of all kinds of cordage, wire rope of every description, sail cloths, flags, signal lanterns, etc. are the finest procurable, and the demand for their goods among the vessel fraternity is always increasing. The firm stands deservedly high in business circles in Cleveland and is conducted on a liberal business-like basis. Their prosperity reflects the highest credit upon the management, which has rendered one of the most popular houses in any port along the lake system.
The Globe iron works, machinists, founders, and boiler makers, Cleveland, Ohio, of which H. D. Coffinberry, J. B. Cowle, J. F. Pankhurst, and Robert Wallace are associated partners, was established in 1853, since which time the firm has by its reliability and the superior nature of its products continually risen in general repute. They are now employing in their machine shop 100, the boiler shop 100, and the foundry 40 men, who find regular and remunerative employment, though at times they employ a far greater number. The principal business conducted is marine engine building and boiler making, though a general machine, foundry, engine building, and boiler business is conducted. They have furnished the entire machinery outfit for 160 steam vessels, notable among which are the City of Cleveland, Henry Chisholm, R. P. Ranney, Selah Chamberlain, E. B. Hale, of Capt. Bradley's line; Republic, Colonial, and Continental of the Republic iron company's line; Buffalo and Chicago of the Western transit company; Onoko, J. H. Glidden, S. T. Everett, Wm. Chisholm, and J. H. Devereux of Minch's line;Egyptian and Persian of Winslow's line;H. B. Wilson, Spencer, Kasota, Tacoma, Wallula, and the two vessels now building for Capt. Wilson's line; the tug Pringle, steamers H. D. Coffinberry, D. W. Rust, and D. Leuty of Rust's line; Kalkaska and Ogema of W. D. Wood's line; Progress for Menominee transportation company; Columbia, for J. C. Lockwood; Edwards, for V. Friese; Smith Moore, for H. H. Brown; D. Calvin, for Calvin and Son of Garden Island; tugs International, Record,Forest City, J. W. Bennett, L. P. Smith, Helene, Temples; steamers Havana, Sparta, Vienna, and Verona of Cleveland Transportation company's line; Peerless of the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior transit company, besides many other notable specimens too numerous to mention. The firm ranks deservedly high in business standing, and is as well and favorably known as any similar institution along the entire chain of lakes. During the past winter they have built and are under contract to furnish over 300 tons of boilers, and four large fore-and aft compound engines, including all the machinery for four large steamers. At present they are unusually active in filling orders for their propeller wheels, the Ętna shaking grate bars, steam reverse and steam steering engines, and steam pumps. Taken altogether, this is a firm of which Cleveland may well feel proud.
William H. Radcliffe, the ship-builder and general jobber, whose office is situated at the foot of Taylor street, Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the well-known vessel builders of the lakes. Established in 1872, he has since that period steadily won his way into the confidence and respect of the marine public, and the excellence of his work is attested by the many fine vessels he has turned out from his yards. Among them may be mentioned the schooner Genoa, built for the Cleveland transportation company, a 1,200 ton vessel, which when built was considered a very large craft. In 1873 the steamer Havana was built for the same firm; and between that time, during the period of uncertainty existing util 1878, he turned out from his yards the tug Triad, the first three-cylinder tug built upon the lakes. Late in the fall of 1878 he commenced the erection of the steamer John N. Glidden for Capt. Philip Minch, the well-known vessel owner. The following season was built the A. Everett for the same owner. The Rufus P. Ranney, a steamer of 1,800 tons, was the next product of his yards, built for the late Alva Bradley (now known as the Bradley transportation company). For Capt. Thomas Dowling the tug Dreadnaught was built later in the same year. In 1882 the steamer Robert Wallace built for Messrs. Gawn and Wallace et. al, of Lorain, Ohio; the tug George R. Page of Fairport, Ohio, for the Youngstown railroad company, followed by the David Wallace, consort to the Robert Wallace -- as fine a pair of barges as float upon fresh water. This year Mr. Radcliffe has upon the stocks a two-decked steamer of about 1,700 tons, building for H. J. Webb et. al. The dimensions of this vessel are: length of keel, 220 feet; over all, 240 feet; breadth of beam, 37 feet; depth of hold, 20 feet. Her engine will be fore-and-aft compound, built by the Globe iron works. One hundred and fifty men find constant employment in these yards, and a large and flourishing industry of which not only Cleveland but the lake vessel system may well feel proud. Mr. Radcliffe is held in great esteem by his business contemporaries, and has served the city as a fire commissioner for four years, one year of which he was president of the board - a well-known business man, respected by all.
The Globe ship-building company started on old River street, foot St. Paul street, Cleveland, Ohio, of which H. D. Coffinberry is president; J. F. Pankhurst vice-president and supervising engineer; Robert Wallace, secretary; John B. Cowle, treasurer, and J. H. Smith, yard superintendent, was organized about five years ago for the purpose of building iron and steel vessels. Their first contract was for the steam barge Onoko, the largest vessel built on fresh water, which has a carrying capacity of 3,000 gross tons. This was followed by the sidewheel yacht Twilight, tugs International and Record, steamers Wm. Chisholm and J. H. Devereux, the side wheel passenger steamer Darius Cole, and are now at work upon a steel steamer for Capt. Thomas Wilson of Cleveland, which is to be 250 feet on the water line, 265 feet over all, with a beam of 38 feet, and 24 feet depth of hold. She is provided with a water bottom of 500 tons water ballast, divided into six water-tight compartments, with a large duplex pump and piping arranged to pump from either or all compartments at once. Her engines are fore-and-aft compound, 28 and 54 inch diameter of cylinders and 42 inch stroke, steam reversing engine, supplied by two steel boilers of 8½ feet diameter, 16 feet long, and allowed to carry 110 pounds of steam. She is to be provided with steam steering windlass, gear line shaft with hoisting engine on spar deck, three masts with two fore-and-aft sails. This vessel will have two gangways on each side to the lower deck. This is a very gracefully modeled and thoroughly well-built vessel and reflects the highest credit upon her builders and designers, and in which the owner takes a natural pride. This company are the only first and only iron shipbuilder who have made a specialty of designing and building iron or steel vessels, suitable for loading, carrying and unloading iron ore without injury to the vessel; noticeably in the steamers Onoko, Chisholm and Devereux. The proprietors of these yards have succeeded in establishing a reputation second to no firm in the country, and as a representative house stands in the front rank of the vast shipbuilding interests of the chain of great lakes.
The firm of Thomas Quayle's Sons, ship-builders, was established in 1847, and have their office and works on Central way, Cleveland, Ohio. The firm consists of Thomas Quayle, George L. Quayle, and Wm. H. Quayle, and during the many years they have been in business they have turned out some very fine specimens of lake craft. This firm are successors to the well-known old firm of Quayle & Martin, who were ship-builders for upwards of twenty years. Mr. Thomas Quayle, one of the original proprietors, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, vessel builder on the lakes. The proprietors of these yards have always stood high in marine circles for the careful and painstaking way they have always performed their work, and it is a noticeable fact that where many yards are idle or running on short time they are running almost to their full capacity, with a large force of workmen. A large number of vessel have been designed and built by them, among the more noted of which may be mentioned: Propellers Commodore, Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee, Conestoga, and Delaware; steamers City of Rome, Cumberland, Tacoma, John B. Lyon, Wallula, City of Cleveland, Harry E. Packer, Kasota, and the George Spencer, all of which vessels are well and favorably known to vessel men. They have on stocks at present two very fine vessels, in which they take a particular pride, as being remarkably good specimens of first-class steamboat work. They are being built for Moore, Bartow et al., and Capt. Thomas Wilson et al., respectively. The larger boat is 270 feet over all, 255 feet on the water line, beam 39 feet, and a depth of hold of 22 feet. The smaller is 250 feet over all, 235 feet on the water line, with breadth of beam of 39 feet and a depth of hold of 20 feet. Being built for the carrying trade they are both excellent carriers, designed to run at a fair rate of speed, capable of standing great wear and tear, and are models of what may aptly be termed "business craft." Their carrying tonnage is 2,100 and 1,900 tons. The yards occupy an extensive tract of ground, with 600 feet of river front, and are fitted with all the conveniences and appliances necessary for carrying on the business of a successful shipyard. Saw mills, machine shops fitted with all the requisite machinery, shears for stepping spars, etc., in fact all the details of a large enterprise are here complete, and reflect the greatest credit upon the members of the firm and their superintendents. The firm has always had a fine business record - a representative house in its line, with a well sustained reputation from Duluth to Buffalo.
F. H. Penfield, manufacturer of fine grades of lubricating and illuminating oils, axle and mill grease, naphtha and gasoline, has his office and warehouse 40 and 42 Merwin street, Cleveland, Ohio. Established in 1857, no firm in the trade possesses in a higher degree the respect of the general public. The experience of Mr. Penfield is a guarantee of the choice nature of his selections of all kinds of oils, and his largely increasing trade augmenting, as it does year by year, testifies to the superior nature of his goods. The connections of the firm extend to all ports and most of the interior towns in all the states that border on the lakes. The finer grades of lubricating, machine and illuminating oils is made a special feature of the business, and it may be mentioned that a great many printing and newspaper offices are supplied directly by Mr. Penfield on account of the superiority of the oils furnished. Steamboat and machine oils of every description are handled in large quantities, and the attention of engine builders, machinists, boiler-makers, shipyards, and vessel men generally is called to this fact. A large number of the steam vessels and sailing craft upon the lakes use his lubricating and illuminating oils exclusively. Mr. Penfield has recently associated with Mr. Frank Rosenzwerg, so many years long and favorably known in his connection with the Miller oil company of Cleveland, a gentleman thoroughly well posted in all the details of the business.
The Globe dry-dock,Presley & Co., proprietors, is situated corner of Elm and Spruce streets, Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. George Presley is business manager, and has the distinction of having built the first railway dry-dock in general use in the city. About fifteen years ago the Globe dock was built and justly enjoys the reputation of being the most cleanly and orderly dry-dock on fresh water. A large part of the vessel repairing and docking done in Cleveland is done at this dock, and the thorough experience of their Mr. George Presley, himself a vessel builder of many years' standing, is a guarantee of the excellence and thorough manner in which is performed all work entrusted to them. Mr. Presley was one of the pioneer ship-builders of the great lakes, and a great many years ago, as far back as 1857, built the Prairie State, besides building at different intervals the schooners White Cloud, Lady of the Lake, Black Warrior, Black Hawk, L. M. Hubby, Cuyahoga, Miami, Muskingum, and steamers Caldwell, New York, Maine, Boston, Ferris, besides the schooner Morning Light, Fayette Brown and scores of others.
The principal new works of the present firm were the steamers Smith Moore, Columbia, Colonial, Continental, and the monstrous schooners Magnetic and Specular, all of which are much praised by vessel men for their superiority in the carrying trade. The firm employs a large force of experienced and competent men, and are constantly kept busy by their ever-increasing business. The yards and dock cover an area 600 feet front, 400 feet wide, and 300 feet deep, fitted with all the conveniences and modern appliances of a first-class ship yard. They have on hand a full and complete line of timber, planks, spars, etc., and all necessary materials for building and repairing all kinds of vessels. Their work is notoriously well done, to which the increasing popularity of the yard bears attestation.
Return to Home Port
For an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwrecks Research see the site maintained by David Swayze.
Hundreds of other articles from the Detroit Tribune transcribed by Dave Swayze and others can be searched on the Newspaper Transcriptions section of this site.