In the April issue, we did our best to answer several questions which had been asked of us by member Robert Ireland of London, Ontario. If nothing else, our answers to readers' questions quite frequently prompt correspondence from other members who have access to more information. We are pleased to reprint here some comments received from Gordon Wendt of Sandusky, Ohio, who hopes that what follows may help Bob Ireland to complete his file on PICKUP, (b) LUCILE. Needless to say, Gordon's information has proven most welcome for our files too, and we thank him for his assistance.
"Here's a bit of local lore re LUCILE. Johnson's Island in Sandusky Bay was, for two brief periods, operated as a pleasure resort in competition with Cedar Point, 1894 through 1897, and again from 1904 through 1907. For another two years, Cedar Point interests leased it as a camping site. The Island was never the equivalent of Cedar Point and it was operated more as a picnic, swimming, and dancing spot. A lack of finances and the powerful competition from the Point accounted for its demise as a resort.
"During the 1905 and 1906 seasons, LUCILE was chartered for the Johnson's Island service, about a three-mile run across the Bay. She ran with LENA KNOBLOCH (U.S. 140459, 75.0 feet in length, built 1881 at Buffalo) and ALTON (U.S. 203057, 43.1 feet, built 1905 at Sandusky). Although the park was not a financial success, it attracted large holiday crowds and, on Labour Day, 1906, six small boats were on the run.
"As for LUCILE, she ran until August 9, 1906, and then, for some unknown reason, had to go to the dockyard at Toledo. This seems odd, for there was a yard at Sandusky that could easily have accommodated her. When she was about three miles from the Maumee River light at Toledo, she foundered as a result of a flange on her steam pipe giving out. She went down and was a wreck, although all aboard were saved. She was raised on December 6, 1906, and her engine was salvaged, but where it went I do not know.
"My records show that she had been built as PICKUP by King at Marine City in 1883. She burned and was rebuilt as LUCILE in 1886. She was sold to Dora May Brower of Ashland, Wisconsin, this sale actually being a trade for DAISY. (Ye Ed. presumes that this DAISY was U.S. 157131, 51.9 feet, built 1884 at South Haven, Michigan, and registered in 1896 at Marquette just as was LUCILE.) LUCILE ran between Duluth and West Superior as a ferry but lost money, allegedly too large for the service. She then ran between Ashland and Washburn but burned at Ashland on August 6, 1904. She was rebuilt in 1905 and appeared on the Johnson's Island run.
"When she ran here on Sandusky Bay, she was sailed by Captain Brower who, in the spring after her demise, published a poem all about her in the Sandusky newspapers."
That a small steamer the size of LUCILE/PICKUP would roam from Marine City to the Lakehead to Sandusky Bay is not really surprising. Ye Ed. wonders, however, where Capt. Philo Chrysler fits into all this, for one of the few things we knew about this steamer before Gordon's letter was that this Chrysler ran her in 1890 between Petsokey and Charlevoix.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.