Day excursions to places like the Lake Erie Islands were very popular on the Great Lakes and in Toledo at the turn of the 20th century. The image above shows large numbers of passengers waiting to embarque on the Arrow, likely going to Sandusky or the Lake Erie Islands. Click here to see another image of the Arrow at the same dock. The image was taken in the early 1900s, though it is undated.
The Arrow, built in 1895 by the Detroit Dry Dock Company, was a 165 foot-long, side-paddlewheel steamer, built for passenger travel. The Arrow could carry approximately 900 passengers and typically ran between Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands. There is evidence that the Arrow visited Toledo as well, though it was not one of its primary ports. On May 31, 1908 on the way from Sandusky to Toledo, there was a tragic accident aboard the Arrow when a passenger (who was playfully pretending to jump overboard) fell overboard and drowned before the crew and passengers could help him.
The Arrow continued to take passengers on excursions to the Lake Erie Islands until it burned at Put-in-Bay on October 14, 1922. It was rebuilt and ran between Chicago and Wauseon until burning again in 1931. After the second fire, the Arrow was rebuilt as a barge and eventually wrecked on a reef north of Honduras in 1946.
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