Posts Tagged ‘Steamer’

It Was a Death Race

July 31, 2012

Image from Wikipedia

IT WAS A DEATH RACE.

Whaleback’s Efforts to Pass the Virginia Causes a Steampipe to Burst.

Chicago, Ill., June 24. — The whaleback Christopher Columbus steamed up to the last point Saturday night struggling beyond its strength to win a moonlight race of excursion boats, and was a cripple at its dock early Sunday morning. There was a big hole in the top of the last of its battery of six boilers, the varnish of the cabin was steamed into wrinkles, and in the salon there was the smell of salves on the red wounds of six of the crew caught in the hold when the pope to the engine was blown into fragments. This terrible accident was caused by the summer folly which makes the lake captains crazy to race their ships into port.

Two men were killed and thirteen were seriously or painfully injured. The dead are:

E.J. STITE, fireman, 24 years old; lived at Paxton, Ford county, Ill.; died at 8:20 this evening at St. Luke’s hospital.

UNKNOWN MAN, supposed to be Frank Wilson, a fireman; face so badly scalded that he has not yet been identified; died at 5:15 o’clock this morning at St. Luke’s hospital.

The injured are:

John Hoppe, fireman, resided 200 West Madison, flat 3; inhaled steam and lungs badly scalded; hands, arms and chest seriously scalded; will probably die at St. Luke’s hospital.

Frank Rosner, fireman, resides at West Newton, Nicollet, Minn.; face, hands and arms scalded; at St. Luke’s hospital; may recover.

Arnold Keine, deaf mute, lives at Dubuque, Ia., aged 21 years; face and both hands badly scalded; at county hospital; may die.

George W. Kehoe, waiter in cafe; face, hands and arms scalded and right hand ct. Resides 122 Carol street, Buffalo; at St. Luke’s hospital; may not recover.

James Larimer, fireman, scalded on face and body; may recover.

Miss Boxheimer, pianist Bowman orchestra; severely burned about face and hands.

H.H. Darrow, 278 Chestnut street, Chicago; musician; face badly scalded.

George W. Kell, waterman, Buffalo; badly burned about face and hands.

J.E. Ryan, fireman, 614 Forty-sixth street, terribly burned about face, body and arms.

Nix Seter, waterman; terribly burned about head and face.

Miss Jessie L. Stone, 262 Campbell avenue; scalded in face, not seriously.

The inquest began at 2 o’clock this afternoon. Steamboat Inspector Stewart H. Moore stated positively that the accident was not due to any overpressure of steam, nor was it the result of racing with the Virginia. An expert in marine boilers ventured the explanation that water had accumulated in the pipe leading from the boiler not in use to the steam dome. When steam was turned on in this boiler the water was shot with resistless force against the iron-casting leading to the dome. As the accident occurred the instant steam was turned on it would seem that there is a good deal in this explanation.

Image from Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Chicago, Ill., June 24. — Stewart H. Moore, local government inspector of steamboat boilers, has made an examination of the steampipe which burst on the whaleback steamer Christopher Columbus on the southbound trip Saturday night, injuring two persons fatally and a score less seriously. “The breaking of the steampipe, to my mind,” he said, “is an accident that could not be foreseen, nor anticipated. It only serves as an illustration of the treachery of cast-iron, and cast-iron is the only thing for boiler makers to use on pipes of this character. So far as I can see, the break was not the result of a flaw, but the metal was in good condition. That it should happen could not be guarded against, and the officers of the boat are in nowise to blame for the injury done.”

The Columbus has a batter y of six boilers and it was the connection of the sixth one with the main steam pipe that had been blown loose at both ends. Everybody who was in the engineroom was burned by the escaping steam and the roar caused a panic on deck. Engineer Webster heroically performed the task of shutting off the valves on the different boilers, preventing further escape of steam. In doing this he was badly burned. The ship was then off Waukegan and she laid there until the injured had been cared for and arrangements made for using a battery of three boilers.

Hobbling along like a lame horse the Columbus finally reached her dock at Chicago at 5 a.m. It was charged that the Columbus was racing with the Virginia and that in trying to catch up to the Goodrich steamer the whaleback’s boilers were crowded beyond the legal limit, which was 170 pounds. Officers of both steamers, however, deny that they were racing.

Centralia Enterprise and Tribune (Centralia, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1895

Image and article from Tower Accidents and Other Stories

The Steamer, L.R. Doty Goes Missing

July 13, 2010

The L.R. Doty from a painting by Rev. Edward J. Dowling courtesy Historical Collections of the Great Lakes (Image from http://www.ship-wreck.com)

LAKE BOAT IS LOST.

BIG FREIGHT STEAMER L.R. DOTY WITH CREW OF FIFTEEN.

CAUGHT IN BIG STORM.

She Left Chicago Monday With 107,000 Bushels of Corn — Believed to Have Sunk in the Lake Off Kenosha.

Reports of Wreckage.

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 28. — The loss of the steamer L.R. Doty, with her entire crew, during the gale of Tuesday, is now conceded. Wreckage brought here has been fully identified by Captain Elison of the steamer George Williams, which belongs to the same line, as having come from the Doty. The Olive Jeanette, which the Doty had in tow, was towed into Chicago today. Her crew confirmed the loss of the steamer.

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 28 — The steamer L.R. Doty with her crew of fifteen men is believed by marine men to have been lost in the great storm in midlake off Kenosha. The probable fate of the Doty was learned by the tug Prodigy, which was sent out by the Independent Tug line to search for the Doty and the schooner Olive Jeanette, which the steamer had in tow. When twenty-five miles off Kenosha the Prodigy came on a large amount of wreckage, consisting of pieces of deck, a pole mast painted brown, cabin doors, stanchions from the after part of a steamer, and much lighter woodwork. A piece of the steering pole which projects from the bow was also brought in.

The Olive Jeanette circa 1890 courtesy C. Patrick Labadie Collection, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

The Doty left south Chicago Monday with the schooner Olive Jeanette in tow, for Midland, Georgian bay. The Doty had on board 107,000 bushels of corn, shipped by Counselman & Co. After discharging the cargo at Midland the two vessels were to go to Lake Superior where they were chartered for cargoes to Lake Erie. During the storm when there was such great anxiety among vesselmen over the vessels which were known to be buffeting the tremendous seas along the west shore, the Doty and Jeanette were lost sight of. Both were staunch vessels, and the Doty was known to be a powerful steamer, capable of living through any sea. When the Susquehanna reported having sighted a four masted schooner off Kenosha, it was figured out that the vessel must be the Olive Jeanette, as she was the only four-masted boat within 200 miles of that point at the time.

Still there were no fears for the Doty, particularly as it was given out that the steamer was out searching for her consort. Yesterday afternoon a telegraphic search was made for the Doty, and then it was learned that the steamer had not been seen at any point along the west shore nor been sighted by any incoming boats since she had been seen with her consort off Milwuakee on Tuesday afternoon, before the full force of the gale swept down from the north. When this became known it was felt that the Doty had been lost and the news brought it by the tug Prodigy that wreckage from a large steamer had been found off Kenosha was quick confirmation.

The dead so far as known are: Capt. Christoper Smith, Port Huron; Chief Engineer Thomas Abernethie, Port Huron; First Mate Harry Thorpe, Detroit; Steward ____ Doss, West Bay City. The names of the rest of the crew are not known to the owners at Cleveland.

Cleveland, O., Oct. 28. — The steamer L.R. Doty, which is believed was lost during the recent great storm on Lake Michigan, was owned by the Cuyahoga Transit company, of this city. She carried a crew of sixteen men. A telegram was received at the office of the company here today stating that there were strong indications that the Doty had been lost with all on board. The Doty was a wooden steamer and was built at West Bay City, Mich., in 1893. Her capacity was 1700 net tons. She was 291 feet long and forty-one feet beam. Her insurance was $190,000.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Oct 28, 1898

FIFTEEN MAY BE LOST

Steamer Doty and Crew Missing on Lake Michigan.

Chicago, Oct. 27. — The steamer L.R. Doty, with a crew of fifteen men is believed by marine men to have been lost in the great storm in midlake off Kenosha.

The names of the crew so far as known are:

Captain — Charles Smith, Port Huron.
Chief Engineer — Thomas Abernethie, Port Huron.
First Mate — Harry Thorpe, Detroit.
Steward — ______ Doss, West Bay City.

The remainder of the crew are not know[n] to the owners in Cleveland.

The probable fate of the Doty was learned today by the tug Prodigy, which was sent out to search for the Doty and the schooner Olive Jeanette, which the steamer had in tow. When about twenty-five miles off Kenosha the Prodigy came on a large amount of wreckage, consisting of pieces of deck, a pole mast painted brown, cabinet doors, stancions from after part of a steamer, and much lighter wood work. A piece of steering pole which projects from the boat was also brought in.

The Doty left South Chicago Monday afternoon with a cargo of corn for Midland. Her consort, the schooner Olive Jeanette was sighted today in the lake off Grosse Point, but the steamer has not been heard from since the gale broke. A description of the wreckage was telegraphed to Cleveland tonight and the owner of the Doty said it corresponded with the Doty.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Oct 28, 1898

THE DOTY WRECK.

Chicago, Ills., Nov. 2 — Positive evidence of the loss of the steamer L.R. Doty has been furnished by Captain H.R. Nelson of the schooner D.S. Austin.

Twenty-two miles north-north-east of the Chicago last Thursday, a lifeboat painted black on the outside and brown on the inside and lettered “L.R. Doty” on the stern was seen.

Farther on was the entire roof of the pilot house, with a large door and rope attached to it. Lighter stuff was encountered for a distance of fifteen miles.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 3, 1898

UPDATE: Additional information  left by Tamara in the comments mentioned that the name of one of the victims was spelled incorrectly in some of the news accounts. She states:

An earlier article about the L R Doty has W J Hossie, second mate listed as W J Bossie. Hopefully this can be corrected.

I tried to find an article with the “Bossie” spelling, but didn’t find one, but did find the following one with him listed as W.D. Hossie:

LAKE STEAMER LOST.

Fate of the L.R. Doty — No Longer a Matter of Doubt.

CHICAGO, Oct. 29. — The loss of the steamer L.R. Doty with her entire crew, during the lake gale of Tuesday, is now conceded. Wreckage brought here have been fully identified by Captain Ellison of the steamer George Williams, which belongs to the same line, as having come from the Doty. The Olive Jeanette, which the Doty had in tow, was towed into Chicago today. Her crew confirmed the loss of the steamer.

The above was the list of men on the boat on Oct. 9, when they were last paid off. It is possible that one or two changes have been made since that time. The Doty was a wooden steamer and was built at West Bay City, Mich., in 1893. Her capacity was 1,500 net tons. Her insurance valuation was $100,000.

Reports from Toledo say that the schooner St. Peter foundered and six lives were lost: Mrs. John D. Griffin, wife of the captain; John McGra?e of Kingston, a seaman named Bosworth and three Swedes, names unknown, who shipped at Oswego. The captain says that the storm was the worst he had ever seen, and he has sailed the lakes since 1867.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Nov 10, 1898

L.R. Doty Windlass

The following article can be found on the  Fox News website. (LINK)

L.R. Doty, ship that sank in Lake Michigan 112 years ago, found largely intact near Milwaukee
Published June 24, 2010 | Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A great wooden steamship that sank more than a century ago in a violent Lake Michigan storm has been found off the Milwaukee-area shoreline, and divers say the intact vessel appears to have been perfectly preserved by the cold fresh waters.

Finding the 300-foot-long L.R. Doty was important because it was the largest wooden ship that remained unaccounted for, said Brendon Baillod, the president of the Wisconsin Underwater Archaeology Association.

Read the rest at the link.

The Doty at the Soo Locks 1896 - Andrew Young photo courtesy of the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes

Brendon Baillod at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Research website has a complete article with lots of pictures, explaining the history and their findings. Definitely a must read and see! (LINK)

Christopher Ring, with his wife, Donna, is the great grandson of Christopher Smith who was captain of L.R. Doty when it was lost in a storm in 1898. The attended a presentation at the Discovery World Sunday, July 11, 2010, on the recent finding of the ship's wreckage.

Image and complete article at the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. (LINK)

Ship went down in Lake Michigan amid storm in 1898

By Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel

For the first time, Christopher Ring glimpsed the deck where his great-grandfather had earned his livelihood.

He looked through the open hatches to see where his ancestor’s last cargo still lies. And he saw the rudder, turned hard to port, which his namesake would have ordered moved to turn his great steamship around in a brutal gale.

Ring, 64, was awe-struck.

He heard tales of his great-grandfather, whose body was never found, whose shipwreck was lying somewhere unknown and unseen at the bottom of Lake Michigan. But not until last month when the Salem, Ore., man was surfing the Internet did he learn that his great-grandfather’s ship, the L.R. Doty, had finally been discovered 20 miles off Oak Creek in 320 feet of cold water.

Read the rest at the link.