The First Vessel Owners -- Before The Railway Era -- Early Transportation Companies -- Association Of Steamboat Owners -- Packet Boat And Other Lines -- Michigan Central And Lake Shore Lines -- Association Of Lake Lines -- Iron Ore Companies And Vessels -- Present Line Companies -- Lake Carriers Association -- Lumber Carriers Association -- Canadian Transportation Lines, Etc. -- The Canadian Pacific Railway Lines -- The Canadian Marine Association.
THE owners of the earliest vessels on the lakes were usually individuals or companies of large financial resources. Lake commerce began in the prosecution of vast enterprises, of which transportation by water was only a part. The Griffin was built, partly for the fur trade, partly to advance the great scheme of territorial conquest, which burned in the breast of the ambitious and indomitable La Salle. The early fur trading companies, extending operations far beyond the lake region, built pioneer vessels.
Next, in the progress of lake fleets, came government ownership. Squadrons sprang up at the command of nations, contending for mastery of the Great Lakes, and, when peace finally followed, the individual lake carriers began years flourished in ever-increasing numbers. During the first half of the pres-ent century, masters were usually owners or part owners of the craft they commanded, especially of the sailing vessels.
These were practically the conditions when railroad construction modified lake traffic. No sooner had the iron tracks reached port, than the railway company began to organize lake lines to co-operate with them in land transportation; thus the first period of lake commerce closed.
Modern conditions then took shape. The iron companies of the Lake Superior region in time began to build vessels and to engage in the lake transportation of their ore. A recent question of grave concern to lake carriers is the probable degree to which the latest organized ore-carrying company, the Bessemer Steamship Company, will influence that trade.
There are two large and distinct corporate interests at present on the Great Lakes, the line companies, affiliating with the railways, and the ore-carriers, identical in interest with the operators of iron ore mines.
Vast coal interests exist on the Great Lakes, but the coal operators are not vessel owners, and there is no prospect that they will be. As lake commerce is now constituted, the up freight is comparatively unimportant. No vessel property would prove profitable, engaged primarily in coal transportation. There is usually more tonnage than cargoes for coal. A few coal operators own vessels, but it is because they have still larger interests in ore.
The grain traffic also, from its very nature, is wholly distinct from vessel ownership. Lumber interests have partially ownership in vessel property. The individual vessel owners, having no affiliations with traffic interests, constitute a numerous class and still possess a large proportion of lake tonnage.
Early Transportation Companies. -- Reference, somewhat more extended, may properly be made to the more important of the earlier transportation companies, one of which was the Steam Transportation Company on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river.
This company advertised, in 1826, to "transport all property delivered to their agents at the different ports on the lakes, and forward the same to any other port, and, if required, to New York, Montreal, and any ports on the western lakes on the most liberal terms." The agents were S. Dennison, at Rochester; C. Hotchkiss, Lewiston; O. Hathaway, Youngstown; Alvin Bronson and Matthew McNair, Oswego; P. Butterfield, Sacket's Harbor; Ainsworth & Lee, Cape Vincent; A. Chapman & Co., Morristown; John C. Brush, Ogdensburg.
The steamer Ontario, which, during the first few years of her existence, had been sailed by Captains Maloy and Robert Hugin-son, was advertised, in 1827, by the Ontario Steamboat Company, to ply between Ogdensburg and Lewiston, calling at various landings. She was commanded by Capt. P. Ingalls, with the same agencies as above cited, and on June 20 the steamer Martha Ogden, owned by the same company, commenced plying between Cape Vincent and Morristown.
Association of Steam Boat Owners. -- Soon after steam became established as a motive power, the vessel owners began to form associations for mutual advantage. James L. Barton, of Buffalo, one of the most prominent marine men of a half century ago, was closely identified with these early efforts at co-operation. In describing them he says:
"It is well known that the steamboats navigating these waters have very frequently consolidated their interests and made returns of all the earnings to one office, where their accounts have been annually settled. In 1833, the first association was formed by the steamboat owners, and, as I was then engaged in commercial business, I was appointed secretary to the company; and, as such, kept all the books and received the returns from each boat.
"In 1834 the boats kept up the association, which was composed of 18 boats, costing $600,000, some new ones having come out that season. The same mode of keeping and settling accounts was adopted. In 1836 the steamboat association was dissolved; the number of steamboats increased; so did the business. In 1839 another association was formed by the owners of the different steamboats, and a line of eight boats ran between Buffalo and Chicago."
In 1840 the steamboat association was kept up, and embraced more boats than the one of 1839. The total was 48 boats, valued at $2,200,000, and the business done that year by the boats of the association amounted to $201,838.
In 1841 the same arrangement existed among the steamboats, and was continued for some years afterward. There were a few boats which usually kept out of the association.
PACKET BOAT AND OTHER LINES, ETC.
The Ohio Canal Packet Boat Company had a line of packet boats running between Cleveland and Portsmouth on the Ohio river, a distance of 300 miles, leaving either point daily, and these boats connected with lake vessels on through traffic.
Bronson & Crocker, in 1839, were the proprietors of the Troy & Oswego line of canal boats at Oswego. The Western Transportation Company had a line of canal boats running between Albany and Buffalo in connection with the steamboats Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Erie, Buffalo, Pennsylvania; brigs Neptune and Rocky Mountains; schooners Platina, Dayton, Wyandotte, Major Oliver, and the Ohio line on the Ohio canal.
The various lines of transportation grew rapidly between 1840 and 1850. The railroad companies were reaching lake ports and began to organize lake transportation companies to operate in connection with their roads.
A line of steamers was formed in 1848 to ply between Monroe and Buffalo, consisting of the steamers Southerner, Baltimore, DeWitt Clinton, Ben Franklin and the Julius. The line was to ply in connection with the Michigan Central railroad.
In March, 1853, daily communication was established between Chicago and Milwaukee by a line of boats, and in July two vessels of Ward's line were put on. An opposition line started the steamer Garden City, August 1, and a few clays later direct weekly communication was opened between Chicago and Sault Ste. Marie.
The Northern Transportation Company was formed in 1851 with a line of first-class propellers plying between Oldenburg and Chicago, and intermediate points, Crawford & Chamberlain, proprietors. In 1852 the Northern Transportation line was composed of the propellers Ogdensburgh, Boston, Prairie State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Cleveland, J. W. Brooks, Lady of the Lakes and Louisville. New boats were added in the course of years, their tonnage ranging from 280 to 300 tons. The company continued in existence for upward of 24 years, during the latter part of which it was clearly demonstrated that owing to the fall in lake freights, in connection with so long and extended a route, the business did not pay, and gradually the steamers were disposed of and converted into steam barges. They proved well adapted for heavy weather, and equally so with those of the larger class. During the latter years of the above corporation it was almost exclusively under the management of Philo E. Chamberlain.
The principal commercial lines in operation on the lakes in 1853 were the American Transportation Company, Western Transportation Company, New York and Lake Erie line, Northern Transportation Company, composed of twelve steamers; Troy and Western line; Lake Superior line, between Cleveland and the Sault, and Detroit and the Sault, three different lines; Detroit and Sandusky, steamer Bay City; Detroit and Port Huron, steamers Pearl and Ruby, E. B. & S. Ward, proprietors; also a line of boats between Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago.
In Farmer's history of Detroit appears the following account of the Michigan Central line: From the time the Michigan Central became a private corporation passenger traffic from the East was especially sought for, and in order to obtain it the company in 1847 began building a boat to run between Buffalo and Detroit. Their first boat, the Mayflower, built at Detroit, was completed May 28, 1849, and from that date formed with the Atlantic a regular Michigan Central railroad line between Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit. The Mayflower was the finest boat that had thus far appeared on the lakes. She had 85 staterooms and could carry 300 cabin and from 300 to 500 steerage passengers. In the season of 1850 and 1851 the line to Buffalo consisted of the Mayflower, the Atlantic and the Ocean; and in the same year the steamboats Southerner and Baltimore ran to Cleveland.
The Mayflower stranded on December 16, 1851, near Erie, but no lives were lost. She was recovered in the spring of 1852 and again took her place in the line. In the same year the Forest City and the May Queen were running to Cleveland.
On August 20, 1852, the propeller Ogdensburgh collided with the Atlantic on Lake Erie off Long Point, and 131 lives were lost. The Buckeye State took the place of the Atlantic, and in 1853 ran in connection with the Ocean and the Mayflower. In 1854 and 1855 the Michigan Central railroad line was made up of the Buckeye State, the Plymouth Rock and the Western World. The two boats last named went into service July 7 and 10, 1854, and were much the largest and finest ever placed on the lakes. They were nearly alike in size, build and finish. The Plymouth Rock was 363 feet long. The Mississippi, an equally fine boat, was added in 1855, and with the Plymouth Rock formed the line for that year. After the completion of the Great Western railroad through Canada in 1854, their occupation was nearly gone. They were laid up in the fall of 1857, and year after year remained at the Central wharf. In 1862 the Western World and the Plymouth Rock were sold to Capt. George Sands, of Buffalo. Their engines were taken out and placed in boats to be used on the coasts of China. Their hulls and also that of the Mississippi afterwards served as dry docks at Bay City, Port Huron and Cleveland or Buffalo.
Another railroad company, operating on Lake Erie nearly a half century ago, was the Michigan Southern, now part of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern road. This company's road was opened from Monroe to Adrian, Mich., in 1840, and by extension westward and its connection with the Northern Indiana road, now also a part of the Lake Shore system, a road between Toledo and Chicago was completed in 1849.
Auditor R. H. Hill, of the L. S. & M. S. Ry. Co., in a letter to the publishers of this history gives the following account of boats operated by the Michigan Southern Company: "In 1852 the Michigan Southern Co. operated six boats -- the Baltic, Golden Gate, Southern Michigan, Northern Indiana, Empire and Empire State. The four boats first named were chartered. The Empire State was owned by the Michigan Southern Co., and I think the Empire was owned. In 1853 the Michigan Southern Company operated three boats: the Southern Michigan, Northern Indiana and Empire State. In 1854 and 1855 the Michigan Southern Co. operated four boats; the three last named and the Empire. On May 1, 1855, the Michigan Southern Railway Co. and the Northern Indiana Railway Co. were consolidated. In 1855 and 1856 this new company (the M. S. & N. I.) built two large and handsome steamers -- The Western Metropolis and the city of Buffalo. In the year 1856 they also built the propeller Euphrates. While I have no positive information about it, I believe that in 1852, 1853 and 1854 the old Michigan Southern Company ran two of their boats between Buffalo and Monroe, Mich. [Monroe was the eastern terminus of the Michigan Southern Company.] I believe that in 1855 they abandoned the line between Buffalo and Monroe and ran their boats between Buffalo and Toledo.
"A report of the M. S. & N. I. Co., dated October 12, 1855, states: 'The company own four steamboats on Lake Erie, three of which run in a line between Toledo and Buffalo, and one between the former and Dunkirk. A new boat is to be built the ensuing winter, in the place of the Empire State, of the Buffalo line, using her engine, and which will be ready to take her place in the line early next season.' I have been informed by persons who were somewhat acquainted with the matter that the M. S. & N. I. Co. found it was decidedly unprofitable for them to operate this marine equipment, and therefore determined to abandon the operation of their steamers after the close of the season of 1857."
IRON ORE COMPANIES AND VESSELS.
Many of the iron ore mining companies on the upper lakes have in recent years through auxiliary companies purchased modern vessels, and transported their own ore to lower lake ports. Representative companies are herewith briefly sketched.
The Cleveland Iron Mining Company was organized in 1849 and was chartered by the Legislature of Michigan in April of 1850. The incorporators named in the Act were as follows: John Outhwaite, M. L. Hewitt, C. D. Brayton, Benjamin Strickland, Samuel L. Mather, John W. Allen, Aaron Barker and E. M. Clark. M. L. Hewitt was made president of the company, Samuel L. Mather, secretary and treasurer. This company was one of the first to mine iron ore in the Lake Superior district. It was organized for the purpose of mining ore in Marquette county, Michigan, where they owned about 3,000 acres of land. The ore was transferred from the mines near Ishpeming to the port of Marquette, where it was loaded on vessels, and then brought down to Lake Erie ports, Cleveland, Ohio, being one of these ports.
The first cargo of iron ore ever shipped from the Lake Superior region was transported by the steamer Ontonagon for the Cleveland Iron Mining Company in 1856, and consisted of 269 tons. The steamer left the port of Marquette about June 18, of that year, and arrived at Cleveland June 24. This company, then, has the distinction of shipping the first iron ore, and the Ontonagon of transporting the first cargo in an industry that has grown to great magnitude. The shipments of this company during the first year were 6,343 tons. For many years the Cleveland Iron Mining Company kept on developing its mines, bringing its ores down in wild tonnage, until 1867, at which time, although elected president of the company in 1869, Samuel L. Mather was still secretary and treasurer and its real moving spirit. At this time they made their first purchase of an interest in vessel property, buying a half interest in the bark George Sherman, of about 550 tons burden. The other half of the vessel was owned by H. J. Webb, the pioneer vessel broker of Cleveland. This interest remained in this company for about three years, at the end of which time it was sold. Some of the individual stockholders in this company about this time organized the Cleveland Transportation Company, owning the steamer Geneva and consort Genoa, steamer Havana and consort Helena, steamer Sparta and consort Sumatra, and steamer Vienna and consort Verona. This company continued to be thus interested for about fifteen years, when they disposed of their holdings. At the time when the company became interested in the fleet mentioned above, Samuel L. Mather was president, John Outhwaite, vice-president, and F. A. Morse, secretary.
In 1889 W. G. Mather was vice-president, and mainly through his influence the company began the building of steel steamers, on account of their lasting qualities. The Pontiac and Frontenac were built this year for this company, by the Cleveland Ship Building Company. The Pontiac is 320 feet over all, 40 feet beam and 25 feet deep, has a gross tonnage of 2,298, and a net tonnage of 1,788. The Frontenac is 289 feet over all, 39 ½ feet beam and 24 feet deep; has a gross tonnage of 2,003, and net tonnage, 1,676. Here again this company showed its progressive spirit by being the first iron ore company to construct steel tonnage for the transportation of its product on the Great Lakes.
In 1890 the principal stockholders of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company acquired a controlling interest in the stock of the Iron Cliffs Company, a corporation which owned in Marquette county, Mich., some 55,000 acres adjoining that of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, on which there were located several rich mines. After this purchase a new corporation was formed, taking a controlling interest in the stocks of the two companies, and was named The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. In October, 1890, Samuel L. Mather died, and thereupon W. G. Mather was elected president of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, J. H. Wade, vice-president, and J. H. Sheadle, secretary, positions which each officer retains.
In 1893 the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company built the steel steamers Pioneer and Cadillac. The Pioneer was constructed by the Detroit Dry Dock Company. She is 241 feet over all, 35 feet beam and 17 feet deep. She has a net tonnage of 774 and a gross tonnage of 1,124. This vessel is equipped with three hoisting cranes on the spar deck, for the purpose of handling pig iron. The Cadillac was constructed by the Chicago Ship Building Company; she is 244 feet over all, 37 feet beam and 19 feet deep. Her net tonnage is 1,068 and gross tonnage, 1,264.
Early in 1890 some of the principal stockholders in the above company acquired a controlling interest in the St. Clair Steamship Company, which owned the steamer Kaliyuga and the schooner Fon-tana. The Kaliyuga was built at St. Clair, Mich., in 1887, is 288 feet over all, 40 feet beam and 24 feet 8 inches deep; her gross tonnage is 1,941, and net tonnage, 1,581. The Fontana was built at St. Clair, Mich., in 1888; has a gross tonnage of 1,163 and a net tonnage, 1,105. Her keel is 230 feet long.
These wooden boats, together with the small wooden vessels, viz., steamer E. S. Pease and schooner Planet, employed for carrying up the coal used in the mines and ore down, are operated in connection with the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company's fleet. The Lake Superior Iron Company was organized in 1853, with the following board of directors: Herman B. Ely and Anson Gorton, of Marquette, Mich., and Samuel P. Ely, George H. Ely and Alvah Strong, of Rochester, N. Y., and with the following officers, Herman B. Ely, president; Anson Gorton, secretary, and Samuel P. Ely, treasurer. It was incorporated under the laws of Michigan, with a capital stock of $300,000, which has since been increased to $2,500,000. The purpose for which it was organized was the mining of iron ore, the smelting of the same, and the manufacture of iron for market, the selling of the products of their mines and manufactories, and the acquiring, holding, selling and conveying all property, real and personal, necessary for the purpose of carrying on its business.
Its first vessels, built in 1890 by the Cleveland Ship Building Company, were the Joliet and the La Salle, both steel steamers. Their dimensions were the same, 266 feet keel and 38 feet beam. Their tonnage is 1,921. In 1891 the Cleveland Ship Building Company built for the Lake Superior Iron Company the steel steamers Griffin and Wawatan. These were also of the same dimensions with each other, viz.: 266 feet keel and 38 feet beam. Their tonnage was 1,856.
In 1892 this company had built the steel steamers Andaste and Choctaw. They were of a peculiar type, called the monitor type, a cross between the regular steamboat and the whaleback. They were intended to be of the same dimensions, but differ slightly from each other in size. The Andaste is 267 feet keel and 38 feet beam, and has a tonnage of 1,574 gross tons, while the Choctaw is 266 feet keel and 38 feet beam, and has a tonnage of 1,573 gross tons.
Hanna, Garretson & Co. began business in 1851, and boat building in 1857. This firm was composed of Dr. Leonard Hanna, Hiram Garretson and Robert Hanna. They came to Cleveland from New Lisbon (now Lisbon), Columbiana Co., Ohio, for the purpose of organizing a bank and establishing a wholesale grocery business. They were accompanied by Mr. Snodgrass, who was to have charge of the bank, but, owing to the death of Mr. Snodgrass, the bank part of the project was abandoned. Hanna, Garretson & Co. was the first grocery firm to handle sugar to a large extent in Cleveland. They also became interested in Lake Superior copper mines, and in 1857 built a twin-screw propeller, named the City of Superior, being intended for the Lake Superior trade, and running between Cleveland and Superior City, then an important point, Duluth not having been thought of.
In 1858 this firm built the Northern Light to take the place of the City of Superior, which had been lost. The Northern Light continued to run until 1874, when she was dismantled, her engines being placed in new boats. In 1865 Hanna, Garretson & Co. built the Lac-La-Belle, a much larger and far superior boat to any then on the lakes. The Lac-La-Belle was sunk in St. Clair river by coming in collision with the steamer Detroit, the sunken steamer being afterward raised and repaired and again put into commission.
In 1874 Marcus A. Hanna and H. M. Hanna organized the Cleveland Transportation Company in connection with the Cleveland Iron Mining Company, and in that year built two steamers and two schooners. The steamers were the Geneva and the Vienna. The schooners were the Genoa and the Verona. The Geneva was commanded by Capt. George P. McKay, and was lost on Lake Superior during her first year. The Vienna was lost in 1893. In 1874-75 this company built four more vessels, two schooners and two steamers. The steamers were the Sparta, which had a gross tonnage of 1,017, was 202 feet long and 34 feet beam; and the Havana, which had a gross tonnage of 1,041, was 205 feet long and 34 feet beam. The two schooners were the Sumatra, 845 tons, and the Helena, 894 tons, and which was afterward re-built and named the Amboy.
This line of boats ran for many years, engaged in carrying the products of the Cleveland Iron Mining Company under contract with the Cleveland Transportation Company. This company went out of existence in 1889, and the boats were sold to the Orient Transit Company, which was closed out in 1893, and during its existence the Vienna was sunk in a collision with the steamer Nipegon on Lake Huron, no life being lost. The Helena was sunk and one life lost.
The present firm of M. A. Hanna & Co. is the successor of Rhodes & Co., which was the successor of that of Rhodes, Card & Co., the latter being the great pioneer coal and iron firm of Cleveland. The Hanna brothers have for nearly half a century been closely identified with the development of lake commerce, and during all of this time they have kept on increasing their interests in vessel property. In 1873-4, as narrated above, they built a line of eight wooden vessels, known as the "Black Line," these eight vessels being the first to run on the lakes that were painted black. They were built to carry ore from Marquette to Cleveland, at $3 and $3.50 per ton, a very high price when compared with the price paid for this same transportation at the present time, fifty cents per ton. These black boats were as follows: Steamers -- Sparta, Havana, Geneva and Vienna, and schooners -- Sumatra, Helena, Genoa and Verona.
These were all wooden vessels, and because of the short life of vessels constructed of this material, and also because of the reduction in the price of steel, the above line of boats were succeeded by others made of steel. The great interests of mines, docks, furnaces, etc., owned by the Hanna brothers, were in part acquired through the relations which the lake trade bears to the iron and steel business.
L. C. Hanna, youngest of the three brothers, has for several years past had charge of the iron and vessel business, and as a natural consequence has given more attention to the details of the business than either of the others. And like his elder brothers he has steadily pursued the wise policy of building up and keeping up a strong organization by placing in charge of the various departments over which he is superintendent, men of ability, and paying them liberal salaries. It is probably not too much to say that L. C. Hanna is at least as well informed as to the iron industry as any man connected with lake transportation, especially that part relating to mining and transporting ore.
The Minnesota Steamship Company was organized September 3, 1889, for the purpose of doing a general freighting business, but more especially for freighting the ores of the Minnesota Iron Company on the Great Lakes. Its incorporators were J. H. Hoyt, C. A. Neff, H. S. Sherman, A. C. Dustin and J. M. Shallenberger. Its first board of directors were: Jay C. Morse, C. P. Coffin, C. W. Hillard, James Pickands, J. H. Chandler, H. H. Porter and William R. Stirling. The first officers were: President, J. C. Morse; vice-president, James Pickands; secretary and treasurer, C. P. Coffin; executive committee: Messrs. Morse, Porter and Stirling. The capital stock when organized was $500; now $300,000 (authorized capital $5,000,000). The names of present officers of the company are: Samuel Mather, president; J. H. Chandler, vice-president; C. P. Coffin, secretary and treasurer.
The vessels owned by the company are the propellers Manola, 310 feet in length, 2,325 net tons, built in 1890; Mariska, 310 feet, 2,325 net tons, built in 1890; Maruba, 310 feet, 2,311 net tons, 1890; Matoa, 310 feet, 2,311 net tons, 1890; Marina, 308 feet, 2,431 net tons, 1891; Masaba, 308 feet, 2,431 net tons, 1891; Maritana, 330 feet, 2,957 net tons, 1892; Mariposa, 330 feet, 2,831 net tons, 1892; Maricopa, 400 feet, 3,669 net tons, 1896; barges Malta, 302 feet, 2,237 net tons, 1895; Marcia, 302 feet, 2,237 net tons, 1895; Manda, 352 feet, 3,121 net tons, 1896; Mariba, 352 feet, 3,121 net tons, 1896; Magna, 352 feet, 3,124 net tons, 1896.
The Minnesota Iron Company is perhaps the largest ore mining company on the lakes, its only rival being the Rockefeller-Carnegie interests. It was organized fifteen years ago to develop the Vermillion iron range of Minnesota, and its capital stock is $16,500,000. Its holdings in mining property, now extended to the Mesabi range, covers hundreds of acres. It also owns and operates about 154 miles of standard-gauge railroad; five ore docks, equipped with 743 pockets of a capacity of 120,900 gross tons of iron ore, and nine steel steamers and five barges with a combined capacity for a single trip of about 50,000 tons. The railroad is operated by the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad Company, and the vessels by the Minnesota Steamship Company, both of which are controlled by the parent organization. Its seven mines, representing the developed property, have a producing capacity of 3,000,000 tons annually, and the railroad and docks can handle 3,500,000 tons.
The number of employes of the company in its raining operation varies from 1,500 to 3,000. In thirteen years which have elapsed since the first shipments from the Vermillion range the original hard-ore mines of this company have produced 5,169,071 gross tons of ore; the Chandler, another of its leading properties, has sent out 3,793,007 tons; and its Mesabi mines, the largest known of which was discovered five years ago, and which have been shipping but three seasons, have produced 1,842,504 tons, making a total tonnage of 10,804,582 gross tons, or more than 12,000,000 net tons of iron ore handled by a, concern only fifteen years of age. Not all of this ore, which represents a very heavy annual output, is moved by the fleet of nine steel steamers and five barges owned by the Minnesota Steamship Company. These vessels are capable of moving probably close to 1,000,000 tons in a season of navigation. The balance of the product is provided for by charter of vessels in which stockholders of the company are interested, and by the engagement of vessels also in the general market.
The five ore-shipping docks of the company at Two Harbors, Lake Superior, are fifty-seven to eighty-six miles from the mines. The railway system (Duluth & Iron Range Company) between mines and shipping docks is standard gauge, with 154 miles of main line and 60 more of side tracks, laid with 8o-pound rails. At the ore shipping docks vessels frequently load and depart with a cargo of 3,500 or 4,000 tons within two hours from the time they reached port. One record has been made of 2,350 tons of ore loaded in 45 minutes. From 15,000 to 40,000 tons of ore are handled daily at Two Harbors.
The Republic Iron Company was organized in 1870 under the laws of the State of Michigan, with a capital of $500,000, which has since been increased to $2,500,000. The incorporators were as follows: Edwin Parsons, Jonathan Warner, John C. McKenzie, Edward Breitung and Samuel P. Ely. The purpose for which this company was organized was to handle the iron ore of the company at Republic, Mich., and the shipping of the ore to Lake Erie ports. The first boat loaded by this company reached Cleveland in 1872, and the business was carried on in this way, the ore being carried to market in other people's vessels until 1881, when they brought the schooner Grace Holland, and built the steamer Republic, the latter being now known as the steamer Marquette. The Grace Holland is 189 feet long and 33 feet wide, and has a tonnage of 629. She is still owned by this company. The Marquette is 235 feet long, and 35 feet wide, and has a gross tonnage of 1,343. She was sold to J. W. Moore and others in 1892.
In 1882 this company built the steamers Continental and Colonial, the latter of which has a tonnage of 1,501 gross, and the former, 1,506. At the same time they built the consorts, Specular and Magnetic. Each of these vessels is 264 feet long and 38 feet wide, and has a gross tonnage of 1,676, except that the Specular is now a steamer and has a tonnage of 1,741. The company next, in 1890, built the steel steamer Republic, which has a gross tonnage of 2,316, is 291 feet long and 40 feet wide. The Colonial was sold, in 1892, to J. W. Moore and others.
The board of directors of this company at the present time are: H. B. Perkins, Peter White, G. W. R. Matteson, J. V. Painter, Samuel Mather, A. Hart, W. D. Rees, N. M. Kaufman and W. F. Dummer. The officers are as follows: W. D. Rees, president and treasurer; H. B. Perkins, vice-president; and W. D. Castle, secretary. The wooden boats of this company have all been built in Cleveland, by Presley & Co., with the exception of the Grace Holland, which was built at Bay City, Mich. The steel steamer Republic was built by the Globe Iron Works Company.
The Menominee Transit Company was organized in 1890 by Ferdinand Schlesinger, M. A. Hanna and H. M. Hanna, being incorporated under the laws of Ohio. Mr. Schlesinger was the controlling owner of the Chapin Mining Company, of whose ores M. A. Hanna & Co. were the sales agents. The Menominee Transit Company was organized with the view of building about ten steamers for the purpose of carrying the ores of the Chapin mine, and of carrying on outside business, when there should not be ore enough to be handled to keep the steamers busy. An order was at once placed with the Globe Iron Works Company for the building of six steel steamers, the first of which steamers, the Norman, came out in the fall of 1890. She made six or seven trips that fall, and was lost in collision with the steamer Jack, on Lake Huron, May 30, 1895.
The other steamers were all ready for business and all in commission by August 1, 1891. These steamers were, in the order in which they were completed, the Saxon, German, Briton, Grecian and Roman. They were all built on the same model and dimensions, and were 312.5 feet long, 40 feet beam and 24 ½ feet deep, or, according to custom-house measurement, 296.2 feet long; 40.4 feet beam, and 21.1 feet in depth; gross tonnage of each 2,348 tons, net or registered tonnage, 1,875 tons. These boats continued to carry the ores of the Chapin Mining company until the failure of that company in 1893, when the Menominee Transit Company and its six steamers went into the control of the builders of the boats. The boats have since been managed by M. A. Hanna & Co. They are all of steel, and at the time they were built were of the largest class. The carrying capacity of each, which all vessel men understand, differs from the registered capacity, is 3,100 gross tons and fuel in addition, on a draught of seventeen feet of water. Mr. Schlesinger, after the failure of his company, went to Mexico, purchased a silver mine, which he operated a few years, and is now the owner and operator of a mine on Lake Superior.
The officers of the Menominee Transit Company are as follows: Leonard C. Hanna, president; George P. McKay, general manager, H. M. Hanna, treasurer, and J. J. Purcell, secretary.
The Bessemer Steamship Company is one of the most recent and is the most powerful transportation company on the lakes. It represents the Rockefeller interests, is closely affiliated with some of the largest iron-mining properties in the Northwest, and with the Carnegie Steel Company, the largest producer of steel in the world. The Bessemer Steamship Company was organized in 1896. Its officers are: F. T. Gates, president; George D. Rogers, treasurer; L. M. Bowers, general manager. The capital invested was originally $3,000,000, and $1,000,000 has since been added. The number of vessels owned is 21. Their actual carrying capacity per trip is about 100,000 gross tons. They average 20 trips per season between Duluth, Chicago and Lake Erie ports, and will, therefore, carry annually about 2,000,000 gross tons. As a rule they do not carry cargoes up the lakes. This magnificent fleet is named from 21 famous inventors, as follows:
The propeller Morse is the largest vessel on the lakes. She is 476 feet in length, over all, 50 feet beam and 30 feet deep, with quadruple engines, 3,000 h. p.
Her capacity is 7,500 net tons on a mean draft of 17 feet, 2 inches. Her capacity is exceeded by the barges Fritz and Roebling, each of which is 456 feet over all, 50 feet beam, 29 feet deep, and has a capacity of 8,000 net tons on a draft of 17 feet, 2 inches.
Sketches are herewith presented of the principal line companies now in operation:
The Union Steamboat Company. -- The history of the Union Steamboat Company dates back to the year 1851, in which year the New York & Erie railroad was completed to Dunkirk. At that time the management of this railroad began to take into consideration the advantages to be derived from facilities upon the Great Lakes in its interest, and in 1852 this management had under charter certain side-wheel steamers, to-wit: Keystone State, Niagara, America and Empire. These steamboats were used, however, for only a short time, for the reason that screw steamers were better suited to the service, and the vessels of this type, including the California, Genesee Chief, Paugasset, Princeton and Oregon were taken into service. In subsequent years the fleet was largely extended and steamers of the same type were chartered, among them being the Owego, Portsmouth, Susquehanna and Indiana.
The first screw ship which the company built was the Jersey City, built in Cleveland and coming out in 1854. She was followed by the building at the same point of the Olean and the Almira, completed in 1856, and the New York, built the same year in Buffalo. The Canisteo and the Passaic were built in Buffalo in 1862, and in the same year the Tioga was built in Cleveland. These were all wooden steamers, and of the first class for their times, ranging from 550 to 600 tons capacity, the two former being slightly the larger. The Wabash, launched in 1863, was the last steamer built by the Erie Railway Company previous to the organization of the Union Steamboat Company. About the same time the Governor Cushman and Marquette were in the company's fleet by charter, and were of the same type of steamer and about the same size of the other screws named. These steamers up to 1869 were used in the traffic of the Erie Railway Company upon Lake Erie only, and constituted lines to Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.
Early in 1869 a combination was made of different lines of lake steamers and the organization of a corporation under the laws of the State was made, which constituted "The Union Steamboat Company," the purpose of which was to create a forwarding lake line and feeder to the Erie Railway Company, and to extend the operations of such line to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It has fulfilled that purpose in a most efficient manner, and has been a powerful instrument and ally of the railway company. At first the stock was not wholly owned by the Erie Railway Company, but subsequently that company acquired the whole property.
At the time of the organization the fleet consisted of sixteen steamers, all of which have since gone out of the possession of the company, or gone out of existence, mainly the former by sale to outside parties, so that not one of the original fleet of the company is now its property.
In 1869 the company completed its first steamer after its organization. This was the steamer Jay Gould, with a carrying capacity of 1,000 tons. In 1870 it built two steamers, the B. W. Blanchard and the James Fisk, Jr., each having a carrying capacity of 1,200 tons. In this same year the company purchased the steamers Galena, Winona and Mendota. These steamers carried 600 tons each. In 1871 the steamer Newburgh, with a carrying capacity of 1,350 tons, was completed. The Dean Richmond, a steamer with a capacity for 1,500 tons, was purchased in 1870, burned in 1871, and thoroughly rebuilt and put in commission in the spring of 1873. The steamer Waverly was built in 1874. She had a carrying capacity of 1,200 tons. In 1875 the steamer Starrucca was built, with a carrying capacity of 1,500 tons. This steamer was stranded on Lake Superior in November, 1888, and became a total wreck. In 1875 the steamer Portage, with a carrying capacity of 1,900 tons, was built, and in 1878, the steamer Avon, with a carrying capacity of 2,100 tons. Also in 1878 the steamer Nyack, a very fine passenger steamer, with a tonnage capacity of 1,250, and accommodations for 150 passengers, was completed. In 1879 the steamer New York, with a carrying capacity of 2,200 tons was built. In 1880 the steamer Rochester, with a capacity of 2,400 tons, was built, and in 1882 the first metal steamer built by the company was completed. This was the H. J. Jewett, which has a carrying capacity of 2,400 tons. In 1885 the Tioga, the next metal steamer, was completed, with a carrying capacity of 2,650 tons, and in 1888 the twin steamers Owego and Chemung were built, each having a carrying capacity of 2,550 tons. Some of the names of the earlier steamers have been duplicated in naming later steamers of the fleet.
In 1872 the Union Steamboat Company became interested in the Union Dry Dock Company by the purchase of one-fourth of the stock of that company. Subsequently it became the owner of the entire stock, and all the steamers built by the company since 1872 have been built in the yards of that company.
In the year 1869, in which the company was organized, the following lines were maintained: One between Buffalo, Chicago and Milwaukee, of seven steamers; one between Buffalo, Cleveland and Toledo, of six steamers; one between Buffalo and Detroit, of six steamers; and one between Buffalo and Lake Superior ports of two steamers. Several of these steamers were under charter, and not the property of the company. In the following year, 1870, the line between Buffalo and Chicago was increased to twelve steamers. The Buffalo and Toledo line remained the same, as did the line from Buffalo to Detroit, and that from Buffalo to Lake Superior.
In 1871 the Buffalo and Lake Superior line was increased to five steamers, the other lines being continued with the same number of steamers as the year before. The same arrangement was continued in 1872, with the exception of the Detroit line, which was diminished by the withdrawal of three steamers.
In 1872 the Union Steamboat Company, and the Atlantic, Duluth & Pacific Lake Company, the latter an institution organized by the Erie & Western Transportation Company, made a coalition to run a joint line between Buffalo and Lake Superior. This line consisted of 11 steamers, mainly contributed by the two interests named, though several steamers owned by outside parties were taken into this fleet. This arrangement was maintained for one season only, both of the parties in interest abandoning Lake Superior for the year 1873, to be renewed again in 1874, though the line was largely reduced and consisted of but three steamers, two of which, the Arctic and the Pacific, were contributed by the Union Steamboat Company, and the Winslow, by the Erie & Western Transportation Company. In the year 1873 the Union Steamboat Company, by contract with the Green Bay & Minnesota Railroad Company, ran a line to Green Bay in connection with that road, which contract was for a term of years; but was terminated before the expiration of the contract in 1877, by the bankruptcy of the railroad company in question, and the line was withdrawn. In 1875, 1876 and 1877 the Lake Superior arrangement continued with the same fleet, except the addition of one steamer, making four in all.
In the winter of 1877-78 a new arrangement for doing Lake Superior business was perfected, and an organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, entitled "The Lake Superior Transit Company," the parties to which were the Union Steamboat Company, the Erie & Western Transportation Company, and the Western Transportation Company. This organization owned no steamboats, but provided that each of the institutions interested should charter to the Lake Superior Transit Company such of its steamers as were fitted for the business. This arrangement continued until the winter of 1889-90, when the Union Steamboat Company withdrew from it entirely, selling its stock to the other parties in interest.
In 1878 distinctive and separate lines were discontinued to Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit. For some years afterward business to Lake Erie ports was done by through lines, but latterly none of the steamers of the through line to Chicago and Milwaukee has stopped at any way ports.
The present fleet of the Union Steamboat Company consists of the following named steamers with capacity as stated: Ramapo, 4,000 tons; H. J. Jewett, 2,400 tons; Chemung, 2,600 tons; Rochester, 2,400 tons; Owego, 2,600 tons; New York, 2,200 tons; Tioga, 2,600 tons -- making the aggregate capacity, 18,800 tons.
The Union Steamboat Company was organized February 3, 1869, and was merged into the Erie Railroad Company June 30, 1896. The following officers of the company from the organization to the present time, have been as follows: Presidents -- Jay Gould, February 4, 1869, to April 3, 1872; A. S. Diven, April 3, 1872, to January 30, 1873; P. H. Watson, January 30, 1873, to January 13, 1875; G. R.Blanchard, January 13. 1875, to February 2, 1876; S. S. Guthrie, February 2, 1876, to December 4, 1884; John King, December 4, 1884, to June 14, 1895; E. B. Thomas, June 14, 1895, to the present. Treasurers -- E. A. Buck, February 4, 1869, to April 3, 1872; William Watts Sherman, April 3, 1872, to January 30, 1873; William Pitt Shearman, January 30, 1873, to June 14, 1878; C. G. Barber, June 14, 1878, to March 29, 1881; B. W. Spencer, March 29, 1881, to February 3, 1885; Edward White, February 3, 1885, to the present. General Managers -- S. D. Caldwell, 1869 to 1873; Washington Bullard, 1873 to October 30, 1896; Charles Paine, appointed assistant general manager September 1, 1896. Washington Bullard died October 30, 1896, and on November 4, 1896, the office of assistant general manager was abolished, and Charles Paine was appointed general manager.
The Western Transit Company was incorporated in 1855 as the Western Transportation Company, with a large capital, and soon afterward had a full line of boats running both on the Great Lakes and on the Erie canal. They had twenty propellers, six sailing vessels and 200 canal boats. Ever since its incorporation it has been engaged in carrying freight and passengers on the lakes, and freight upon the Erie canal, its vessels running in connection with the New York Central & Hudson River railway. In 1864 it had the following vessels: Empire State, Badger State, Oneida, Mohawk, Plymouth, Tonawanda, Free State, Potomac, Racine, Neptune and Mayflower.
The boats of this company, one or more of them, leave Buffalo daily through the season of navigation, for Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Port Huron, Mackinac, Port St. Ignace, Sheboygan and all other principal points on the lakes. Through bills of lading are made out for European ports, and a general forwarding and transportation business is carried on.
In 1880 John Allen, Jr., was president and general manager of this company, and John L. Williams, secretary and treasurer. The presidents of this company have been G. L. Douglass, John Allen, Jr., John H. Rutter, and Sherman S. Jewett, the latter of whom died in the month of February, 1897, S. D. Caldwell, who had been general manager of the company since 1883, resigned that position in January, 1896, and was succeeded by G. L. Douglass, the present general manager. The secretary and treasurer of the company since the reorganization, or since the organization of the Western Transit Company, in 1883, has been E. B. W. Rossiter.
This company now owns fifteen steamboats, all engaged in the freight business, and charters two others for the same business. Those owned by the company are as follows: Arabia, an iron boat built at Buffalo, in 1873, net registered tonnage 1,203; Badger State, a wooden steamboat, built in Buffalo in 1862, and of 917 net registered tons; Boston, an iron steamboat built in 1880, at Wyandotte, Mich., and of 1,669 net registered tons; Buffalo, a wooden steamboat, built at Cleveland, in 1878, and of 1,662 net registered tons; Chicago, a wooden steamboat, built in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1879, and of 1,721 net registered tons; Commodore, a wooden steamboat, built in Cleveland, in 1875, and of 1,927 net registered tons; Empire State, a wooden steamboat, built in Buffalo, in 1862, and of 962 net registered tons; Harlem, an iron steamboat, built in Wyandotte, Mich., in 1888, and of 1,858 net registered tons; Hudson, an iron steamboat, built in Wyandotte, Mich., in 1888, and of 1,853 net registered tons; Idaho, a wooden steamboat, built in Cleveland in 1863, and of 906 net registered tons; Milwaukee, a wooden steamboat, built in Cleveland in 1879, and of 1,571 net registered tons; Mohawk, a steel steamboat, built in Wyandotte, Mich., in 1893, and of 1,616 net registered tons; Montana, a wooden steamboat, built at Port Huron, Mich., in 1872, and of 1,382 net registered tons; Syracuse, a steel steamboat, built at Wyandotte, Mich., in 1884, and of 1,677 net registered tons; and the Vanderbilt, a wooden steamboat, built at Port Huron in 1871, and of 1,157 net registered tons. The two chartered boats are the Kearsarge, a steel steamboat, built at Chicago in 1894, and of 2,721 net registered tons, and the W. H. Gilbert, a steel steamboat. Freight connections are made with all the principal points on the lakes.
The Erie & Western Transportation Company, of which the Anchor Line is the sub and better-known title, is the lake connection of the Pennsylvania railway. It was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania June 21, 1865, the first board of directors being James S. Swartz, George S. Bonnell, George B. McCulloch, A. P. Hepburn and W. I. Gayley, the election taking place February 5, 1867. The capital stock was at first $500,000, which was increased to $2,000,000 in April, 1872, and to $3,000,000 in June, 1881. On July 1, 1892, it issued $750,000 in five per cent. mortgage bonds, which are still outstanding.
The company has a large fleet of freight and passenger steamers on the lakes, and owns or controls docks, warehouses and elevators at Buffalo, Erie, Chicago and Milwaukee, besides doing a large business in Duluth. Among its eastern connections are the Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio and West Shore railways. It also has an important connection in the Erie canal. Formerly a large canal line was operated in direct connection with the line, but it was not found to be profitable, and was sold early in the nineties.
The line maintains agents at all important points connected with the lake trade, and issues through bills of lading to and from foreign ports. The principal office is in Philadelphia, but the management is in Buffalo. Following are the vessels of the line that are now lost, sold or out of commission: Metal steamers, Philadelphia, Merchant; wooden steamers, Salina, Thos. A. Scott, Winslow, Arizona, Prindiville, Annie Young; tug Erie; schooners, Gardner, Keepsake, Annie Sherwood, Schuylkill, Allegheny, C. H. Weeks. The Winslow was burned October 3, 1891; the Annie Young October 20, 1890; the Arizona was partially destroyed by fire November 17, 1887, but was rebuilt next year, having passed into other hands. The Scott was lost October 29, 1880, after having been changed to sail; the Merchant was lost in October, 1875. The Philadelphia was lost in collision with the Albany of the Western Transit line November 7, 1893, the greatest accident in the decade, as 16 of her crew and eight of the crew of the Albany were drowned. The other vessels mentioned above were sold at various times. The only marine disasters sustained by the line were in the loss of the Philadelphia and the Annie Young, nine of the latter's crew having been lost in a boat by which they sought to reach shore.
The present fleet of the line is composed of the metal passenger and freight steamers India, China and Japan, now in the Lake Superior trade; the metal freight steamers Alaska, Lehigh, Clarion, Susquehanna, Co-dorus, Schuylkill and Mahoning; and the wooden steamers Gordon Campbell, Wissa-hickon, Delaware, Conestoga, Juniata, Ly-coming and Conemaugh. It is the established policy of the company to maintain its vessel property in the best possible condition by frequent rebuilds of the hulls and upper works and the replacing of the machinery.
The presidents of the line were James S. Swartz, elected February 5, 1867; Joseph D. Potts, elected February 20, 1869; and Frank J. Firth, elected June 7, 1872, the present incumbent. The other officers are E. T. Evans, Western manager; John E. Payne, Eastern manager; P. R. Perkins, treasurer; Frank Staley, secretary; F. Hoffman, auditor, and John A. Miller, assistant auditor. The management of this line was first placed in the hands of John E. Payne, who was succeeded as Western manager by E. T. Evans on April 21, 1873, having been the manager of the Atlantic, Duluth & Pacific Lake Company.
The Northern Steamship Company was incorporated in 1888, under the laws of the State of Wisconsin, with a capital stock of $2,000,000, James J. Hill, of St. Paul, becoming president, and W. P. Clough, of St. Paul, vice-president, while John Gordon took charge of the company's affairs at Buffalo. This company at once began business upon the completion of its fleet of steel freight steamships. Through this line Buffalo became directly connected with Duluth, and through this line four great Eastern railroad lines became directly connected with the Great Northern railroad, which runs thence to Everett and Seattle on the Pacific coast, thus forming a closely connected through line for freight from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific.
This fleet of freight steamers was completed and placed in commission in 1889, and consists of the following propellers: North Wind, North Star, Northern Queen, Northern King, Northern Wave, and Northern Light. They were all built by the Globe Iron Works Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, and are each of about 2,500 tons burden. They are strong, substantial, steel vessels, of fine model, fast and seaworthy. A description of one of them is a description of all, for they are all built on the same model. Each is of 2,476 gross tons; 299.5 feet long; 40.8 feet beam, and 21.6 feet depth of hold. The estimated horsepower of each is 1,200.
At Buffalo the company's regular trunk line connections are the Lehigh Valley and Erie railroads at the Delaware, Lacka-wanna & Western dock; it has also fine clocks at Cleveland, West Superior and Duluth. In the fall of 1896 the company completed at Buffalo a lake freight house 1,000 feet long.
While John Gordon was in charge of the company's business at Buffalo, he was assisted by the following gentlemen: Stewart Murray, general freight agent; Capt. J. H. Killeran, marine superintendent; Duncan Frazer, superintending engineer; W. J. Stewart, auditor, succeeded by A. M. Thomas; T. P. Carpenter, general passenger agent, succeeded by A. A. Heard; and W. S. Canright, purchasing agent. Mr. Gordon retired from his position in the fall of 1895, and was succeeded by W. C. Far-rington, vice-president. Francis B. Clarke is now general traffic manager. The other officers of the company in Buffalo and elsewhere are as follows: Stewart Murray, of Buffalo, general freight agent since 1892; I. M. Bortle, general passenger agent; Capt. W. C. Brown, of Buffalo, marine superintendent, succeeded by James Brodie; Howard James, of Duluth, purchasing agent; F. C. Cruger, of Duluth, assistant auditor; L. H. Wood, of Duluth, cashier.
To the traveling public the greatest interest attaches to the two fine passenger steamships, built for this company by the Globe Iron Works Company of Cleveland, and named the North West and the North Land. The determination to build these steamers was reached in the spring of 1892, and in August of that year the keel of the North West was laid. Not long afterward the construction of the North Land was begun. The object in building this line of steamers was to give to the passengers thereof a rapid voyage from Buffalo to Duluth, free from the delays and annoyances incident to the loading and unloading of freight. This has been successfully accomplished, and on these fine steamers passengers enjoy all the conveniences and comforts to be found on any of the great Trans-Atlantic liners.
The North West and the North Land are built exactly alike, and a description of one answers for a description of the other. Each is 383 feet long over all; 360 feet long between perpendiculars; 44 feet beam, and 34 feet 5 feet inches deep to spar deck. The load draft is 14 feet, and the load displacement 4,482 tons. The gross registered tonnage of each is 4,244, and the net registered tonnage 2,340. The main engines of each boat have eight steam cylinders, two high pressure ones, each 25 inches in diameter; two first intermediate, 36 inches in diameter; two second intermediate, 51 ½ inches in diameter, and two low pressure, 74 inches in diameter, the stroke in each case being 42 inches. The indicated horse power is 7,000, and the steam pressure 195 pounds. At 120 revolutions the speed is calculated at twenty miles per hour.
When the builders and owners of the North West decided to adopt the quadruple expansion type of engine, this type of engine had up to that time throughout the world been confined to yachts and other small craft of high power, and this vessel was the first of large tonnage to be thus equipped. Since then the Cramps of Philadelphia have adopted them in American line ships.
There are 28 boilers in each vessel, of the Belleville type, with an aggregate heating surface of 25,760 square feet. To sum up, there are on each boat 65 steam cylinders, 26 pump cylinders, 6 centrifugal pumps, 6 fan blowers, 3 dynamos, 1 electric elevator, and 1 hand steerer, the steamers being, of course, under ordinary circumstances steered by steam. The refrigerating machinery is of 8 tons capacity in 24 hours, and is so arranged as to cool all compartments in which perishable provisions are kept. The machine is arranged to manufacture 1,000 pounds of ice daily for use on shipboard, and the system for cooling the provision rooms is known as the direct expansion system. Of all systems in use it is considered the most economical and efficient.
There are three decks to each vessel -- main, saloon and spar -- and the total capacity of each ship is 540 passengers. The distance is 1,000 miles, and the schedule time from Buffalo to Duluth, including stops at Cleveland, Detroit and Mackinac island, was, in 1896, from 9:50 P. M. on Tuesday or Friday to 5 P. M. on Friday or Monday. The fastest time between the two cities so far made by either of these boats is 63 hours, including stops, and excluding stops, 59 hours and 30 minutes. The fastest time has been made on Lake Superior, within a fraction of 22 miles per hour, which is very fast when it is considered that the draft is about 16 feet.
The Great Lakes Steamship Company was organized for business in the spring of 1896, by Gen. John Gordon and A. R. Atkins. At that time they purchased the steel steamer Globe, which was built at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1894. This fine vessel is of 2,996 gross tons burden, and 2, 279 tons; is 330.4 feet long, 42 feet beam and 24.3 feet deep. She is valued in Lloyds at $195,000. In the spring of 1897 three other first-class steamers were put into service: the J. W. Moore, of 2,500 tons; the Olympia, of 2,500 tons; and the Char-legagne Tower, Jr., of 2,200 tons.
During the season of 1896 the Globe operated between Buffalo and Cleveland, and Manitowoc, and the entire fleet of four steamboats run in connection with the Wisconsin Central lines at Manitowoc, Wis., and they make connections with various trunk lines on Lake Erie. The Great Lakes Steamship Company is not a member of the lake pool, and it is the design to run its boats independently. The office of the company is in Buffalo.
The Lehigh Valley Transportation Company is owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, and was organized in 1881, in which year the following boats were purchased and put into service: The R. A. Packer, of 1,300 tons; the Oceanica, of 2,000 tons; the Clyde, of 1,800 tons; and the Tacoma, of 2,200 tons. In 1882 the following boats were added: The H. E. Packer, of 1,700 tons; and the F. Mercur, of 1,700 tons. In 1888 the following were added: The E. P. Wilbur, of 3,000 tons; in 1889 the Seneca, of 3,000 tons; and in 1890 the Saranac, of 3,000 tons, and the Tuscarora, of 3,000 tons. These boats run regularly between Buffalo and Chicago and Milwaukee, and occasionally one of them goes up to Lake Superior. Capt. W. P. Henry is the manager of the line, with his office in Buffalo.
The dockage of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, which owns the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company, is at the present time 52 per cent. of the dockage of the entire Buffalo harbor. The length of its canal excavation is 8,100 feet, made at a cost of $325,000. It has constructed 1,600 feet of canal to connect the the system of canals on the Tifft farm property with the city ship canal, and 1,700 feet of additional canal outside of the Tifft farm to make connection with Buffalo creek, a total of 11,400 feet of canal.
It has completed 9,280 feet of dock on the Tifft farm, at a cost of $200,000, and 1,935 feet on the city ship canal, at a cost of about $75,000. In addition to this it has constructed 2,700 lineal feet of freight houses on the docks at a cost of $140,000, and in addition to this, 1,880 feet of dock are used as a coal trestle, which cost $235,000; 3,575 feet of lumber docks, which cost about $225,000, and 1,000 of ore docks, which cost about $175,000, and it has spent $110,000 in hoisting machinery on the ore docks. It also has 6,213 feet of feet of frontage on Lake Erie proper, adjoining the Tifft farm, which lake frontage has been riprapped at a cost of $49,000. Every dock has railroad facilities to an aggregate of 20.6 miles of road, owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, and which cost about $10,000 per mile, exclusive of the cost of the land.
The freight exchanged on the docks of this company during the season of 1896, which closed November 30, was as follows: With the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company, east bound, 169,868 tons, west bound, 58,705 tons. The total amount exchanged with all the transportation companies with which it connects, was 372,230 tons of east bound freight, and of west bound, 90,719 tons. The transportation companies included in this exchange were the Lehigh Valley, the Union Transit company, the Northern Transit Company, the Lake Erie Transportation Company, the Clover Leaf Line, the Soo Line and a few miscellaneous lines. The increase in the amount of freight handled in 1896 over 1895 was 85,887 tons.
The ore movement in 1896 amounted to 74,585 tons, and the grain freight for the season was something phenomenal, greater than ever before in the history of lake commerce, 37,000,000 bushels. The total number of boats that loaded and unloaded at the docks of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company during the year 1896 was 853, of which 463 were east bound, and 390 west bound.
The Clover Leaf Steamboat Line is operated in connection with the Toledo, St. Louis & Kansas City railroad, which has its termini at St. Louis and Toledo. For some years before the establishment of this steamboat line the railroad company had been aware of the fact that in order to compete successfully with other roads on east and west bound through traffic it was necessary that a lake line be established and operated by them for the transportation of freight between Buffalo and Toledo, which would practically extend their mileage about 250 miles, and enable them to interchange business with all the trunk lines at Buffalo.
With this object in view the railroad company chartered two package freight steamers to ply between these two points, and designated the lake line, the "Clover Leaf Steamboat Line." A representative of this leaf was used in every possible way in order to attract the attention of the public. All stationery was stamped with that leaf, and all its freight cars showed it upon their sides, the same sign being painted on the smoke stacks of its steamers.
The steamboat line was established April 11, 1890, and it has been found very profitable, both for the railroad and for the steamboat line. Business has increased every year, and each season the company has been obliged to charter steamers outside of the regular ones. These steamers run in connection with the West Shore railroad, the Lehigh Valley railroad, the Erie railroad, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad, and the New York Central. The line occupies docks at the foot of Mississippi street, 178 feet on Buffalo river, and about 80 feet on the Clark & Skinner canal, with offices in the Marine building.
In 1890 the company chartered the propellers Dean Richmond and Roanoke. On her first trip for this company, the Roanoke took fire and was considerably damaged, and for the rest of the season the Osceola was chartered instead. In 1891 the Dean Richmond and the John Pridgeon, Jr., were chartered; in 1892, the John Pridgeon, Jr., and the B. W. Blanchard; in 1893 the same two as in 1891, and also the A. A. Parker and the B. W. Blanchard; in 1894 the John Pridgeon, Jr., and the B. W. Blanchard; in 1895 the same two boats regularly and the J. S. Richards and Norwalk for occasional trips; in 1896 the B. W. Blanchard and the F. & P. M. No. 5, owned by the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad Company.
On October 14, 1893, the Dean Richmond, with an east-bound cargo of merchandise, foundered off Dunkirk in a gale blowing 65 miles per hour, and was lost, together with her entire crew of 18 men. She was at the time commanded by Capt. George W. Stoddard, of Toledo, Ohio, a most competent master, who had sailed the lakes nearly his whole life, who had commanded some of the finest boats on the lakes, and who intended to retire at the close of that season. The first mate was Walter W. Goodyear. The vessel and cargo were a total loss, the latter being insured for $40,000 and the former for $46,000.
The Union Transit Company in the spring of 1892 purchased the steamers Avon and Portage, from the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad Company, for the purpose of organizing a line from Buffalo to Duluth, stopping at Cleveland, Detroit, Port Huron, Sault Ste. Marie, and all the south shore ports on Lake Superior. In addition to the above named steamers they chartered the steamers J. C. Ford and Nyack, making a line of four steamers, which are operated during the season in connection with the New York, Lake Erie & Western railroad, the Lehigh Valley railroad, and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad, at Buffalo, and the Eastern Minneapolis railroad at Duluth. During the seasons of 1893 and 1894 the company chartered several other steamers to run in its line.
In the spring of 1895 the steamers John M. Nicol, John T. Moran. Eber Ward, W. H. Stevens, and James Fisk, Jr., were chartered for a term of years from the Crescent Transportation Company, the line thus having a line of seven steamers, the rail connection at Buffalo being the same as when the company was first organized, but arrangements were perfected with the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railroad and the Northern Pacific railroad as well as the Eastern Minnesota and the Great Northern railroad, for the interchange of traffic at the head of the lakes.
During the month of September, 1895, the Union Transit Company was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, with a paid up capital of $200,000, and H. C. French was elected president and general manager of the company, with Theodore H. Myers, secretary and treasurer. Since February, 1896, Alvin S. French has been vice-president. During the spring of 1896 the company purchased from the Crescent Transportation Company the five steamers which they had under charter from that company, paying therefore $230,000. The present fleet of the company consists of the following steamers: Avon, 2,100 tons; John V. Moran, 1,500 tons; John M. Nicol, 2,000 tons; William H. Stevens, 1,500 tons; Portage, 1,900 tons; Eber Ward, 1,500 tons; James Fisk, Jr., 1,400 tons; aggregate capacity, 12,000 tons.
The railroad connections of the Union Transit Company at Buffalo are the Erie, Lehigh Valley, and Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, and at Duluth and West Superior, the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha, St. Paul and Duluth, Eastern Minnesota, Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroads. In Buffalo the company's offices are in the Ellicott Square building.
The Lake Erie Transportation Company, commonly known to marine men as the Wabash Lake Line, is owned and operated by the Wabash Railroad Company. A. W. Colton, of Toledo, is president and general manager, and R. H. Hebard, agent at Buffalo. This company was organized about 20. years ago. Its principal trade, east, consists of grain and flour; and west, of general merchandise, connecting at Buffalo with the Erie, Lehigh and Lackawanna railroads.
The Wabash line own and operate the steamers: Geo. J. Gould, S. C, Reynolds, Russel Sage, and John C. Gough. When the steamer Gould was built in 1893, the A. L. Hopkins, formerly owned by the company, was taken in trade by the Union Dry Dock Company, of Buffalo. The steamer Morley, also one of its boats, went ashore at Grand Marie, Lake Superior, in 1887. She was recovered the following spring, taken to Detroit, and there sold to Grand Traverse parties, who rebuilt and christened her the Grand Traverse. Some time afterwards she was bought by the Lackawanna Transportation Company, and put in the Green Bay service. In this line she ran until the fall of 1896, when she was sunk by collision at Bar Point.
The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Buffalo Steamship Company, commonly known as the "Soo Line," is incorporated at Minneapolis, and was organized in 1890. The company at the present time operates four steamers, running between Gladstone and Buffalo. At the latter port they connect with the Erie, Lackawanna, and the Le-heigh railroads. East bound the principal trade consists in grain and flour, while westbound boats stop at Cleveland and carry general merchandise. The general offices of the company are in Buffalo, and R. H. Hebard is general manager.
Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company. -- For many years prior to 1892 Lake Erie was without a daily line of steamers between Cleveland and Buffalo; while passenger boats on routes between Buffalo and Lake Michigan and Lake Superior ports occasionally stopped at Cleveland, their stops at intermediate ports precluded anything like rapid movement, and with a heavy through traffic there was no particular desire on the part of such lines to care for the local traffic. Thus the desire of many people to take advantage of the restfullness found only by water travel was frustrated. Fast lines of steamers skirting the American shores of the Great Lakes have not only become a luxurious mode of travel but a necessity to take some of the vast army of people and large consignments of freight which must be moved.
This fact became so patent to a number of Cleveland's wealthy men that in the year 1892 it was decided to establish a daily line of fast steamers between Cleveland and Buffalo, which should touch at none of the intermediate ports, but to constitute a through line without interruption in order to afford better facilities for the constantly growing passenger and freight traffic between these two great cities on Lake Erie. Accordingly the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Company was organized and incorporated, and has since become widely known as the C. & B. Line, "connecting Cleveland and Buffalo while you sleep." M. A. Bradley, one of the largest individual vessel owners on the Great Lakes, was chosen president, and T. F. Newman, who for many years past had been in charge of the Cleveland interests of the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, was selected as general manager. These gentlemen, with the Hon. George W. Gardner, ex-mayor of Cleveland; Harvey D. Goulder, proctor in admiralty, J. K. Boles, D. Shurmer and R. C. Moody, constituted the executive department, of the company. Only one change has taken place in the executive department caused by the death of J. K. Boles, who was succeeded by George W. Avery. H. R. Rogers, for years connected with the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, was placed at the head of the traffic department, as general freight and passenger agent, with W. F. Herman as assistant, under the title of traveling passenger and freight agent. Mr. Rogers remained with the company until the spring of 1896, when he resigned to accept a responsible position with the B. & O. R. R. He was succeeded by W. F. Herman, with John J. Nieding as assistant general freight agent. H. S. Fisher, formerly purser of the City of Cleveland, of the Detroit and Cleveland Line, was made passenger and freight agent at Cleveland, and John C. Fitzpatrick, a veteran in the vessel business, was appointed passenger and freight agent at Buffalo. In the year 1894, Mr. Fitzpatrick resigned his position and was succeeded by H. S. Fisher, as general agent, with headquarters at Buffalo.
After details of organization had been completed, the company purchased from the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company two steamers to ply between Cleveland and Buffalo nightly, reaching their destination the following morning. While these steamers were large and fast, they were still found, after their first year's operation, to be inadequate in some respects, and immediate action was taken toward the building of a steamer fully adapted to the requirements of the route. Accordingly, in the spring of 1895, an order was placed with the Detroit Dry Dock Company for a new side-wheel steamer, which should be the largest and fastest of that type on the Great Lakes with corresponding superiority in finish and speed. In the spring of 1896. its new steamer, City of Buffalo, was placed on the route. She has a capacity, under the rules of the United States steamboat inspection service, of 3,000 people, this number being fully 500 greater than the next largest passenger steamer on the lakes. With this complement of passengers aboard, the steamer has room still for 800 tons of freight. She is beyond all doubt the fastest steamer of her class ever constructed, and has proved so entirely satisfactory, and has shown such excellent results after two years operation, that in the fall of 1897 the company awarded another contract to the Detroit Dry Dock Company for a sister ship, the City of Erie, which, it is expected, will be placed on the route early in June, 1898. With this steamer on the route, the service between Cleveland and Buffalo is promised, and beyond all question will be, the best night service between any two cities on the continent. The distance from Cleveland to Buffalo, 183 miles, will be made in nine hours.
The company will also make tri-weekly trips between Buffalo and Erie. This company, in conjunction with the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, operate a nightly line of steamers between Cleveland and Toledo, stopping at the intermediate ports of Lorain and Sandusky, also a day line of steamers between Cleveland and Toledo, stopping at historic Put-in-Bay island in both directions. Thus it will be seen that passengers or shippers of freight can avail themselves of the finest of water service between Buffalo, Erie and Cleveland; Cleveland, Lorain, Sandusky and Toledo; Toledo, Put-in-Bay islands and Cleveland, and similar service in the opposite direction during the season of navigation, which is from about April 1 to December 1, each year.
The Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, of Detroit, was originally established by Capt. Arthur Edwards in 1850, and operated by him until 1852. running two boats, the Southerner and the Baltimore, between Detroit and Cleveland.
In 1852 the late Hon. John Owen and his associates built the new steamer Forest City, and in connection with E. B. Ward & Co., of Detroit, operated the line, which was run by individual owners until 1868, when it was incorporated under the laws of Michigan, and under the title of The Detroit & Cleveland Steam Navigation Company, with a capital of $300,000. Mr. Owen was president of the company from 1868 until a few years before his death.
The present officers consist of Hon. James McMillan, president; Hugh McMillan, vice-president; W. C. McMillan, treasurer; and David Carter, secretary and general manager. The company has now a capital of $1,500,000.
In 1882 the Lake Huron division was inaugurated between Detroit and Mackinac island and St. Ignace, and the steamers City of Alpena and City of Mackinac placed upon the routes. These two steamers were sold in 1892 to the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Company and replaced by new and larger steamers. The Cleveland & Buffalo Company changed the names of these boats to the State of New York and State of Ohio.
The following is a complete list of the steamers owned and run by this company on its various routes since the line was established. In 1850 the steamers Southern and Baltimore, which ran for two years; in 1852 the Forest City was built for the route and the St. Louis and Sam Ward were added. In 1853 the May Queen was built for the route, and the Cleveland, built the previous year, was put on, these two steamers carrying the business until 1865, when the Ocean was put on and ran that season and part of the next. In 1856 the steamer City of Cleveland was added, it being the intention to operate a morning and evening line with the three boats. This proved unre-munerative. During 1856 the owners of the May Queen purchased the steamer Ocean, and these two boats filled the route until 1862, when the Morning Star came out new and displaced the Ocean, the Cleveland that year running on the line for part of the season. From 1864 until 1867 the City of Cleveland and Morning Star did the work, and in the latter year the company built the R. N. Rice, which, with the Morning Star, ran until 1868, when the latter boat was lost by a collision with the bark Cortland on June 20, 26 persons losing their lives. In 1868 the Northwest took the place of the Morning Star.
In May, 1868, the new corporation took charge of the business under the name of the Detroit & Cleveland Steam Navigation Company, with a capital stock of $300,000, and to run for thirty years. The R. N. Rice and the Northwest were on the line until 1877. In 1876 the Northwest was rebuilt at an expense of $86,000, and in 1877 the R. N. Rice was partially burned, the Saginaw taking her place during the season of 1877. The City of Detroit came out new in 1878, being a composite steamer costing $175,000, and she, with the Northwest, took care of the traffic on the Cleveland route until 1883. The new iron steamer City of Cleveland came out in 1880, a duplicate as to size and cost of the City of Detroit, the former boat running on a route to Houghton, Mich., in connection with the Lake Superior Transit Company, for a period of two years, when she was placed on the Mackinac route, which steamer was supplemented in 1883 by the new iron steamer City of Mackinac, costing $160,000. The capital stock was increased that year to $450,000, and in the season of 1884-85 the same boats ran on the same route as in 1883.
In 1886 the new steel steamer City of Cleveland, the third of that name and costing $300,000, came out. The name of the old City of Cleveland was changed the same year to City of Alpena. The City of Mackinac and the City of Alpena were on the Lake Huron division until the close of 1892, when they were sold, as stated above, and were replaced by the two magnificent steel steamers of the same names, which came out at the opening of the season 1893, and are now running on the Lake Huron division.
From 1885 to 1889 the City of Detroit and the City of Cleveland were on the line between Cleveland and Detroit, and in 1889 the new steel boat City of Detroit No. 2 was placed on the Lake Erie division, taking the place of the first City of Detroit. The cost of the new steamer was $350,000. During the season 1889 the City of Detroit No. 1 was put on the route between Chicago and St. Joseph, Mich., as an excursion steamer, but the route was abandoned at the end of the season. Her name was changed, in 1893, to the City of the Straits, and the "No. 2" was dropped from the new City of Detroit. The City of the Straits was, at the opening of season 1890, put on the excursion route between Cleveland and Put-in-Bay, where she continued until the close of the season 1895. Early in 1896 the company, in connection with the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company, established a daily line between Cleveland and Toledo, consisting of the City of the Straits and the State of New York, the latter boat having been superseded on the Buffalo route by the new steamer City of Buffalo.
The losses sustained by the company, during the 42 years of its existence, were those referred to above, since when, through a mishap to her steering gear, the new City of Detroit sunk the steambarge Kasota in July, 1890, and the same steamer ran on Dougal rock at the Lime Kiln Crossing in the latter part of March, 1891, which is a remarkable record of freedom from accidents.
The Detroit and Cleveland Company's steamers are among the finest passenger vessels on our Western waters, and the boats are surpassed by but few in the world. In their design and construction they embrace everything that experience and money can provide for safety, comfort and speed, and the thousands who annually travel on them are living evidence of the wide-spread popularity of this great line.
THE ASSOCIATION OF LAKE LINES.
This association is organized under the general plan governing the various traffic associations of the railroads, of which there are now several controlling the freight and passenger traffic in different sections of the United States. Its purposes, in common with such other associations, are the economical and orderly conduct of all traffic for which its members compete, the establishment and maintenance of uniform reasonable rates, rules and regulations to prevent unjust discrimination in charges and facilities, and the co-operation with connecting carriers and adjacent transportation associations.
Prior to 1895 no formal organization governing the lake lines existed. It was, however, the custom each year for the several lines to co-operate with respect to all matters of common interest. This cooperation was secured through informal meetings from time to time as occasion required and by delegating to a joint agent, temporarily appointed for the season of navigation, the power to promulgate such regulating action as determined upon by the interested parties.
At the opening of the season of navigation of 1895 the association was formally organized under the title above indicated, and the compact then entered into was one of continuing duration. At that time the membership comprised the following lines: The Western Transit Company, Union Steamboat Line, Erie & Western Transportation Company, Northern Steamship Company, Lehigh Valley Transportation Company, Lackawanna Transportation Company, Union Transit Company, and Minneapolis, St. Paul & Buffalo Steamship Company. These lines are what are known as the regular lake lines, being thus designated by reason of their corporate ownership and affiliation with connecting railroads with which their business is interchanged, and in contra-distinction from the numerous independently-owned steamers having no alliance with the railroads and operating between any or all ports as business may seem most attractive. This distinction has also attached to the regular lines by reason of the general character of their business; under close traffic relations with Eastern and Western railroads they form a connecting link between the Eastern and Western lake ports, and thereby become a part of through routes for the carrying of merchandise, flour, grain, coal and other general traffic between the seaboard and western points.
The association as at present organized is under the direction of a commissioner. A board comprising the managers of the various lines meet at frequent intervals, and pass upon all questions properly within the scope of the association. Subordinate to this board are various committees, comprised of agents of the lines and located at the different lake ports, such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and Duluth. Through these committees the affairs of the association are directed with respect to the business at the particular points such committees are located.
The traffic under the jurisdiction of the association is all merchandise traffic passing eastward and westward between the lake ports carried by the associated lines. The west-bound traffic is merchandise of the heavier class received at the eastern lake termini from connecting rail carriers, and the Erie canal, destined to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan or Lake Erie ports, or points beyond, as well as traffic originating at the eastern lake ports and destined to the western points. The westward bound traffic from New York via the Erie canal is carried by organized lines, such lines being owned by or operating directly in connection with the lake lines members of the association of Lake lines, and such canal traffic is accordingly within the jurisdiction of the association.
Covering the westward-bound traffic received at the lake ports both from eastern rail connections and the canal, the regular lake lines form part of the through routes to western points, and are recognized by the eastern connecting carriers and the public as regular connections, and covering the through routes so formed tariffs are published by the eastern rail lines as well as the canal lines, and bills of lading issued which have the same commercial standing as bills of lading issued by routes comprised of rail lines.
The eastward-bound traffic, to which the jurisdiction of the association extends, is all package freight tendered to the regular lake lines for shipment at Lake Michigan or Lake Superior ports and destined to Lake Erie ports, or through such latter ports for delivery to the connecting eastern rail carrier. This traffic is mainly flour and grain products, a certain class of packing house products, pig lead, copper, glucose and lard. Covering this traffic, through tariffs are issued by the lake lines from western lake ports to the seaboard in connection with the eastern rail lines, and through tariffs are also issued by the roads west of the lake ports in connection with the lake lines covering shipments of the traffic described that may originate at points beyond the western lake ports. On all such traffic bills of lading are issued by the regular lake lines, and carry the same commercial responsibility as bills of lading of the railroads.
It will be noticed from the foregoing that a very large proportion of the traffic carried on the Great Lakes is not under the supervision of this association. Bulk grain, iron ore, lumber and coal are extensively carried by vessels, independently owned and operated between the lake ports only, and not as part of through routes between eastern and western points. The traffic of such vessels is secured at rates from time to time prevailing, and are usually determined with regard to the supply of traffic and the demand for vessel space.
During the season of 1896, 80 steamers were in the employ of the associated lines, having a tonnage carrying capacity of 175,595 tons. As the close of the season approached, this number was increased to meet the demands of increased traffic.
Beginning with the season of 1897 the Cleveland & Buffalo Transit Company and the Detroit & Cleveland Steam Navigation Company became members of the association, thus practically extending the jurisdiction of the association to all carriers engaged in the package freight service.
The primary movement of looking toward the association of vessel owners had its inception in Cleveland, and on September 1, 1880, the nucleus was formed of the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, which became strong as the years passed, and new tonnage was added. There was talk in other ports of a general association, local meetings being held from time to time, and on December 18 the Cleveland vessel owners decided to meet with those of other cities on February 16, 1881, in Chicago. Articles of association in the form of resolutions were adopted, the most pertinent article setting forth that: "The object of this association shall be for the purpose of devising and discussing plans for the protection of the interests of lake tonnage (steam or sail), and for the better operation of local associations with each other."
At a meeting held March 12, 1887, the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association organized with Capt. Alva Bradley as president, H. M. Hanna as vice-president, and B. L. Pennington as secretary. The Cleveland association subscribed to the articles and resolutions adopted at Chicago in February, and held strongly to the principles thus set forth (but the general association languished, and lost all energy), and from that time until 1892 the Cleveland association maintained its organization, and labored faithfully for the objects expressed in the article quoted above.
Captain Bradley continued to fill the office of president until his death. He was succeeded by H. M. Hanna, who was maintained in that office until the amalgamation of the society into the present Lake Carriers Association in 1892. B. L. Pennington was also continued as secretary until private business interests caused him to resign. He was succeeded by Capt. George P. McKay, who continued in office until the union of the two associations in 1892.
The Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, at first acting with other local bodies, and later by its own force, with a tonnage membership of over 300,000 net tons, registered, established shipping offices in Cleveland, Ashtabula and other contiguous ports, sent delegations to Washington, on important matters, such as reciprocity in wrecking privileges, the load line tradition, the establishment of aids to navigation, including lighthouses, lightships, improvement of channels, establishment of life-saving stations, removal of obstructions, and other matters of like nature.
The association outlined a system for prompt and accurate reports of new obstructions, which were from time to time found as the draught of vessels increased. It took successful measures in opposing the bridging of the Detroit river, on more than one occasion; it established and maintained, by private subscription, a system of range lights, which have become essential to the safe navigation of the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. In connection with its shipping offices the association established a rate of wages for seamen, and, after some conflict, asserted the right of seamen to seek employment where they would.
In 1885, on account of the weakness of the vessel owners to establish a general vessel owners association under the plan adopted at the Chicago convention in 1881, the Lake Carriers Association was organized at Buffalo, its purpose being, as was explained in its constitution, "To consider and take action upon all general questions relating to the navigation and carrying business of the great lakes and the waters tributary thereto, with the intent to improve the character of the service rendered to the public, to protect the common interests of the lake carriers, and to promote their general welfare."
It was the further purpose, as set forth in the constitution, of this organization to deal only with general questions affecting the lake carrying marine, and membership was invited from all lake ports. This organization secured a membership of about 300,000 tons. It also dealt with the question of private lights, that is, lights needed in navigation and supported by private subscription, until the government could be induced to supply and maintain such lights; the establishment of better channels, the removal of obstructions, and opposition to the bridging of the Detroit river, holding that the latter would be a general calamity to lake interests; it interested itself in all legislation affecting the Great Lakes; aided in securing the improvement of Hay lake channel, and in all similar work, but did not establish shipping offices. S. D. Caldwell was the first president of the Lake Carriers Association, and Francis Almy secretary, the latter, however, being superseded by Charles H. Keep, all of Buffalo. No praise would be too great for these officers, and the association itself, in the attention given and the success attained in their efforts to carry out the policy of the association.
It was soon discovered that the two associations were operating largely in the same fields. In December, 1889, a bill was introduced in Congress known as the "load line bill." It applied only to lake vessels, and its peculiar provisions threatened to interfere with the carrying capacity of many classes of lake craft. By the united efforts of the Lake Carriers Association and the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association, through delegations which visited the committees of both Houses of Congress the bill was reported adversely and never came up again. Previously the two associations had united in a successful protest against the bridging of the Detroit river, and in other matters of a like nature, and so closely allied were they that in the report of the president of the Lake Carriers Association, in the spring of 1891, reference was made to a specially important feature of the work of the past year in the establishment of close relations between the association and other organized vessel interests. The two societies acting with the same general purpose, occasionally found themselves at cross purposes. Therefore, the impetus given to lake commerce, and the great increase in the number of large and costly vessels, demanded the union of the two associations, to the end that in all matters of common interest the vessel owners of the lakes should be able to act promptly, as a unit. Conferences were held at Buffalo and Cleveland, at Chicago and Detroit, which culminated in a meeting on April 28, 1892, at Detroit, which was very largely attended by vessel owners from all sections of the lake regions. At that meeting it was decided, with the consent of both associations, to reorganize the Lake Carriers Association, to amalgamate the Cleveland Vessel Owners Association with it, and invite all vessel owners on the lakes to come into the general organization, which was to have shipping offices wherever required about the lakes. Officers were elected and standing committees chosen, and authorized to carry on the work of the reorganized association.
Slight changes were made in the objects of the new association, which were to include in its operations all matters upon which vessel owners were accustomed to act in common. The first year the total number of vessels entered was: steamers, 360, with a net registered tonnage of 430,800; and schooners, 255; net registered tonnage, 149,039 tons, making a total of 615 vessels and a tonnage of 579,919.
In order that the association should not again degenerate into a mere local organization, it was provided that the president should hold his office but for one year; that the board of managers should include a fair representation of every port on the lakes; that the members of the standing committee should be selected from the various ports in fair proportion to membership. Under this ruling M. A. Bradley was chosen president for the first year; Charles H. Keep, secretary; Capt. George P. McKay, treasurer; and Harvey D. Goulder, counsel.
The new association at once began efforts to secure the establishment of government range lights in the Detroit and St. Clair rivers. The association had assumed the payment for private lights amounting to about $6, 500 a year. By continued efforts the government has been prevailed upon to establish lights wherever required on the American side, leaving the vessel owners to pay only for private lights established in Canadian waters.
The law relative to wrecking had been that American wreckers might not conduct operations upon an American vessel in Canadian waters without a special permit, Considering the limited facilities in Canada for such work, and the great disproportion of American to Canadian tonnage, this frequently resulted in great hardship. There existed similar provisions in our laws against Canadian wreckers. The passage of a law was obtained authorizing Canadian wrecking operations in our waters whenever the Canadians would permit our vessels to conduct similar operations in theirs. This privilege was obtained, and reciprocity of wrecking privileges established.
The interest in the reorganized Lake Carriers Association from the outset was very general. The conduct of its affairs has been exceptionally wise. While it has at times been compelled to deal with questions which were not of interest to each member, yet all of its work has been along the general lines of the purpose for which it was organized. With the exception of the office of president, no change has been made in the official staff of the association, but in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, the office of president can be held but one year by the same man, and each year a new presiding officer has been chosen.
Formerly, there was no system for reporting newly discovered shoals and obstructions to navigation, or for securing their marking or removal; efforts for securing lighthouses, fog signals, life-saving stations and aids to navigation were local, and it was in consequence of this that it was so difficult to secure necessary attention at Washington, which the commerce of the Great Lakes warranted, and their necessities were comparatively unknown, while other localities united in pressing their wants upon Congress. But now that association has made the vessel owners strong and of one mind, the necessary attention is paid to all their requirements as they are brought before Congress.
As has been said, the first president of the association was M. A. Bradley, who served as presiding officer in 1892. He was followed by Capt. Thomas Wilson in 1893, Capt. James Corrigan in 1894, William Livingston in 1895.
The annual meeting of the Lake Carriers Association in 1896 was held January 15, at Detroit. Capt. J. J. H. Brown, of Buffalo, was elected president to succeed William Livingston, of Detroit. The secretary, treasurer and counsel were re-elected. The annual report showed the chief features of interest for the year just closed to have been as follows:
An abuse in overcharging vessels for fuel at the port of Buffalo, and in compelling all vessels to fuel with the parties who chartered them for coal cargoes. The association had determined to put an end to such extortion and discrimination. An agreement was entered into by the members of the Lake Carriers Association not to take fuel during the season of 1895 from the shippers of hard coal. This agreement was faithfully adhered to, and fuel was obtained at Buffalo in 1895 at much lower prices than in former years. At the annual meeting in 1896 the officers of the association were able to report that the old abuses had been stamped out and would probably never re-appear.
An important contract was entered into by the Lake Carriers Association whereby all grain shoveling at the port of Buffalo should be done by one contractor instead of by separate gangs at the different elevators. The contractor's price showed a marked reduction from prevailing figures. The officers of the association were able to report that this contract had been in successful operation, with important results, both in the saving of time to vessels and economy in unloading.
Two other very important matters came up at the annual meeting in 1896. The first was a proposition to regulate navigation in the St. Mary's river by Act of Congress, and a committee was appointed to prepare such rules as they thought advisable to secure greater safety in navigating the river, and to ask Congress to pass a law authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to adopt regulations for the navigation of the river, which regulations should have the force of law. Subsequently the Act of Congress was obtained, the rules prepared by the committee of the Lake Carriers Association were submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, and approved by him, and in the season of 1896 they went into operation with the force of law.
The other important matter referred to was the project of the Michigan Central railroad to build a bridge with two large piers in the channelway of the Detroit river opposite the city of Detroit. A resolution was adopted at the annual meeting that the Lake Carriers Association should oppose this project with all its power, and a very active contest between the vessel interests and the railroad interests subsequently took place. This contest was continued all through the year 1896, and it was announced that the Bill introduced for the proposed bridge would be withdrawn from further consideration by the present Congress.
The annual meeting in 1897 was held at Detroit January 12, and the following officers for the ensuing year were elected: President, James W. Millen, of Detroit; vice-presidents, J. S. Dunham, Chicago; C. E. Benham, Cleveland; David Carter, Detroit; S. D. Caldwell, Buffalo; George Berriman, Erie; Howard Shaw, Bay City; F. J. Firth, Philadelphia; L. S. Sullivan, Toledo; W. H. Wolf, Milwaukee; W. C. Farring-ton, Duluth; M. J. Cummings, Oswego; secretary, Charles H. Keep, Buffalo; treasurer, George P. McKay, Cleveland; counsel, Harvey D. Goulder, Cleveland.
The annual report showed the association to have an active membership on its rolls of 722,863 net registered tons, an increase of more than 100,000 tons over the previous year, by far the largest tonnage ever enrolled in the association. The proceedings of the annual meeting in 1897 were largely taken up with matters relating to the business operations of vessels rather than to matters of legislation. Chief among the matters discussed were the price to be paid for shoveling grain at the port of Buffalo, and a certain proposed improvement in bills of lading, and various economies in loading and unloading charges upon different kinds of freight.
The annual meeting for 1898 was held at Detroit January 19. The report of the secretary showed a tonnage of 687,237 for 1897, a decrease of about 37,000 tons from 1896, caused by the withdrawal of several fleets, which, however, have since reunited with the association. The tonnage for 1898 will be larger than ever before. During 1897 the association was able to reduce the expense for private lights in the Detroit river to a smaller sum than ever before expended. Perhaps the most important feature of the work of the Lake Carriers Association during the year in the legislative field was the success in the efforts of the committee on navigation in securing the lighting of lake channels and waterways on a very considerable scale by gas buoys. The officers and managers of the association having this matter in charge have been working for several years to secure the appropriation for a considerable number of gas buoys on the lakes. After a number of disappointments, they succeeded last season, with the powerful assistance of Senator McMillan, of Michigan, in securing a substantial appropriation for gas buoys, with a distinct provision in the appropriation bill that the buoys should be sent to the Great Lakes. Forty of these gas buoys were sent by the lighthouse board to the various lake lighthouse districts, and during the season of 1897 twenty-nine of these were in actual service, in addition to the two Canadian gas buoys in Point Pelee passage. There are seventeen other points on the lakes where gas buoys are still needed, and where their establishment has been recommended by the lighthouse officials in charge of the various lake districts. The board of managers hopes that a moderate appropriation can be obtained from Congress at this session which will provide part if not all of these additional gas buoys.
Capt. J. S. Dunham was elected president, with the following as vice-presidents: H. H. Hawgood, Cleveland; David Vance, Milwaukee; C. W. Elphicke, Chicago; A. A. Parker, Detroit; G. L. Douglas, Buffalo; G. A. Tomlinson, Duluth; Chas. A. Eddy, Bay City; F. J. Firth, Philadelphia; Lean-der Burdick, Toledo; M. J. Cummings, Oswego; Alvin Neal, Port Huron; James Mc-Brier, Erie; J. H. Westbrook, Ogdensburg; F. W. Gilchrist, Alpena; G. E. Tener, Fairport. The secretary, treasurer and counsel were re-elected.
The association award the contract for shoveling grain at Buffalo at $2.95 per 1,000 bushels. Resolutions were adopted recommending changes in the rules for navigating the St. Mary's river, favoring the enlargement of Erie Canal locks, and urging both the American and Canadian Governments to establish better aids to navigation on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence river.
At Detroit in February, 1898, there was organized a Lumber Carriers Association for the purpose of fixing minimum rates for carrying. Officers of the new association were elected as follows: President, A. W. Comstock, Detroit; vice-president, Alvin Neal, Port Huron; secretary, A. M. Carpenter, Port Huron; treasurer, E. J. Reis-ter, Tonawanda, N. Y. The minimum rates for carrying lumber were fixed as follows:
Lake Huron and Georgian Bay to Ohio ports, $1.25; Lake Michigan ports to Ohio ports, $1.37 ½; above Whitefish point to to Portage to Ohio ports, $1.50; above Portage to Ohio ports, $1.62 ½. Rates to Buffalo and Tonawanda to be 12 ½ cents in advance on rates to Ohio ports. Rates on hard-wood lumber were fixed at 75 cents advance over pine minimum. Rates were also adopted as to minor lumber products. No steamer owned by a member is to be permitted to tow a vessel not belonging to the association. Assessments of 5 to 10 cents per net ton annually is authorized to be levied upon members.
Very few owners of lumber vessels are members of the Lake Carriers Association. A circular letter, sent to owners of small vessels by a Michigan owner who has a large number of vessels engaged in the lumber trade, thus explained the needs of the organization: "The lumber carriers for several years past have been running at ruinously low rates on account of the strong competition of the vessel owners themselves. I think this could be easily overcome, providing enough of the owners would get together and form a lumber carrying association and fix a minimum rate of freight, whereby it would show a reasonable return on the investment; and also attempt to remedy some of the many evils which we are subjected to."
Dull times in July, 1898, caused the Lumber Carriers Association, like some of the vessels enrolled on its books, to go into ordinary. The rates of freight on lumber and cedar were suspended for the season. The organization is maintained in hopes of making it effective at a later day. With two or three boats after every possible load, it was impossible to maintain the agreed rates. Bills of lading have been made for the association rates, but the ves-elman is said to have granted a substantial rebate to the shipper. "The fleet is decreasing rapidly each year," said a vessel-
man, "but the business seems to fall off even faster than the boats. There is but little left except loading cedar off the beach, and even that trade goes to the railroad."
CANADIAN TRANSPORTATION LINES, ETC.
Among the principal Canadian transportation companies may be mentioned the Canadian Navigation Company, of Toronto; Canadian Pacific Steamship Line, of Owen Sound; Northwest Transportation Company, of Sarnia; North Shore Transportation Company, of Collingwood; Great Northern Transportation Company, of Collingwood; Montreal Transportation Company, of Kingston; Merchants Line and G. E. Jacques & Co., Montreal and Hamilton; Mathews Line, of Toronto; and the Kingston & Montreal Forwarding Company, of Kingston.
One of the companies running lines of boats from Lake Ontario and Lake Superior in 1870 was the Lake Superior Royal Mail Line. The boats of this company ran from Collingwood to Fort William, and were the Algoma and the Chicora. These boats ran every week from port to port, calling at Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Michipicoten and intermediate points, carrying both passengers and freight. The Algoma was formerly the City of Toronto, afterward the Racine and at last the Algoma. She was wrecked in a fearful storm which swept Lake Superior in November, 1885, and a portion of her passengers was lost; but those who obeyed the orders of Captain Moore were saved. This accident occurred near Port Royale, and was caused by the vessel striking on a rock, just when the captain was turning round to take to the open lake.
The Canadian Navigation Company was organized in 1857, succeeding the Royal Mail Line, which ceased to exist about 1857. In 1875 the Canadian Navigation Company and the Richelieu Navigation Company, of Montreal, combined their interests and formed the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company. At the time of the union of the two companies the Richelieu had the following steamers: The Passport, Magnet, Kingston, Champion, Grecian, Spartan, Corsican, and Bohemian. The Kingston was wrecked, but subsequently repaired and called the Algerian. The Champion, a wooden vessel, became unseaworthy in 1880, and was broken up. The Grecian was wrecked in 1870 on Split rock, above the Cascade rapids in the St. Lawrence river, and became a total loss. The Passport and Magnet have been in use since 1847. The boats of this line run between Toronto and other points on upper Lake Ontario, and ports on the St. Lawrence. The Spartan was built in 1864, and the Corsican in 1870. They all connect with the Hamilton Steamboat Company's vessels, and with those on the Niagara line.
The Merchant's Line was established in 1872 by George E. Jacques & Co., of Montreal, a firm which had then been in existence for, perhaps, 25 years under different names, but which has always had a George E. Jacques connected with it, the present individual of this name being a grandson of the founder of the firm. In 1872 a daily line began running between Montreal and Chicago under this name, and also another line was confined to points on the St. Lawrence river and Lake Ontario. Originally the line running to Chicago was composed of some twenty-five steamers, among them the Osprey, the Colonist, the Indian, the Huron, the Bristol, the America, the China, the Scotia, the Prussia, the Europe, the Asia, the Cuba, the Alma Munro, and the Magnet. The Osprey and the Huron were the largest of these vessels. At first the business of the line was confined chiefly to the carrying of freight; only a few passengers being taken; but later the line developed into a passenger-carrying line mainly.
At the present time this line comprises the steamers Cuba, Melbourne, Persia, Ocean, Arabian (an iron boat), the Lake Michigan, the Sir L. Tilley, the latter being the largest in the line, and being 180 feet long. 32 feet wide and ten feet deep. She is of 804 tons register. The principal owners of this line are Capt. J. B. Fairgrieve and R. O. and A. B. Mackay, of Hamilton, W. A. Geddes, of Toronto, and George E. Jacques & Co., of Montreal.
The Niagara Navigation Company was organized in 1878, and established a line between Toronto, Niagara and Lewiston. Their first vessel was the Chicora, a large steel side-wheel steamer, 230 feet long and 52 feet wide. This boat ran alone on this line until 1888, when the Ongiara, formerly the Queen City, was put on the Niagara river, plying from Niagara-on-the-lake to Lewiston.
The Cibola came next, 260 feet long by 28 feet 6 inches wide, and 11 feet 6 inches deep. She was built of Dalzell steel, said then to be the best known to ship builders, the plates having been sent over from Scotland by the Dalzell Company. The hull was divided into five water-tight compartments. Her construction was commenced May 24, 1887, and she was launched November 21, same year. The engines were from the establishment of Rankin, Black-man & Co., of Greenock, Scotland, and were of the direct action, diagonal compound type, having two cylinders, 47 x 85 inches, and a stroke of 5 feet 6 inches. This vessel was burned at Lewiston, July 15, 1895, the third engineer losing his life.
The Chippewa made her first trip July 26, 1893. She is 311 feet long, and 67 feet wide by 13 feet 6 inches deep. She was built by William Hendrie, of the Hamilton Bridge Company. This vessel was named after a famous man-of-war of 1812.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company run one excellent steamship from Windsor, Ontario, opposite Detroit, to Fort William, at the northwest extremity of Lake Superior, leaving Windsor every Saturday at 3 p. M., throughout the summer season, commencing June 26, and continuing to August 28. The steamer on this line is the Alberta, a steel steamship built on the Clyde. She starts on her return trip on Tuesday, and reaches Windsor about noon on Thursday. The Alberta is a fine vessel, having all the modern improvements. She is 270 feet long, 38 feet wide, 23 feet deep, and has a registered tonnage of 2,300.
Besides this steamship the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company run two steamers from Owen Sound on Georgian Bay, to the head of Lake Superior, these boats being the sister steel steamships Athabasca and Manitoba. From Fort William a night's ride carries one to Rat Portage on the Lake of the Woods, from which place steamers run regularly to Fort Frances, at the head of navigation on Rainy river, through picturesque stretches of water which rival in beauty the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence.
The Canadian Marine Association was organized February 18, 1885, for the purpose of protecting the mutual interests of Canadian vessel owners. At first the membership was composed of the principal steamboat lines and vessel men, the membership being about forty. The first officers were John H. G. Hagarty, president; Capt. J. B. Fairgrieve, vice-president, and W. A. Geddes, secretary-treasurer. The present officers are R. O. Mackay, of Hamilton, Ont., president; W. A. Geddes, of Toronto, Ont., vice-president, and Capt. J. V. Trow-ell, of Toronto, Ont., secretary-treasurer. The membership at the present time is about fifty. The original vessel-men members gradually permitted themselves to drop out of the association.
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Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.