CHAMPLAIN Crashes into Fassett St. Bridge, April 5, 1957

Champlain Crashes into Fassett St. Bridge, April 5, 1957

On April 5, 1957, the Champlain was tied up at the old B&O railroad dock, where it had been wintering for the 1956/1957 season.  A horrendous  rain storm containing winds of over 30 miles per hour, with gusts almost twice that, broke all 12 mooring lines of the Champlain.  The vessel floated down river until it ran into the Fassett Street Bridge.  The damage was minimal to the Champlain but took out three spans of the bridge.  Two cars were on the bridge at the time, but they were able to get to safety.  The damage was reportedly over $500,000 dollars, and the bridge was finally torn down in 1960.  The Champlain was scrapped in Turkey in 1987.


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The Anderson’s, July 1965

The Anderson’s, July 1965

The aerial image above shows the loading of a “saltie” at the Anderon’s grain elevator in 1965. “Salties” are vessels that come onto the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean, usually by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway. In 1960, following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Anderon’s opened this loading facility, the first on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes designed for deep water ocean vessels. In 1964, they added an addition, increasing their storage capacity to 16 million bushels, with the ability to load 1 million bushels a day onto ships. Click here to see another image of grain elevators in Toledo. 

The St. Lawrence Seaway opened the Great Lakes to larger vessels from the Atlantic Ocean. Before the Seaway opened, smaller ocean vessels could reach the Great Lakes through the New York State Barge Canal. Click here to learn about an ocean vessel in Toledo in 1948. In 1964, Harold Anderson, senior partner of the Anderson’s, testified before Congress about the effects of the St. Lawrence Seaway upon their business. The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway had allowed them to increase their overseas shipping of grain bushels by 30 million bushels, as well as improving the price per bushel. Anderson said, “Toledo is in the most advantageous position in the lakes as far as the grain movement is concerned.”


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ARROW

Arrow

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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WYANDOTTE at the C&O Coal Dock

Wyandotte at the C&O Coal Dock

This image shows exactly how coal is loaded onto a bulk freighter at the C&O Coal Dock (now the CSX dock).  The Wyandotte, a self unloading ship, is shown here with the boom out to the side so the loader can get to the hatches.  The coal is dumped from rail road cars onto the conveyor belt and then taken up to the loading rig.  This rig then moves out over the boat and is positioned over the hatches and the coal is shot into the hold.  You can see that the rig has tracks to move on as it evenly loads the coal into the freighter.

This vessel, the Wyandotte, is a famous Great Lakes vessel for being the first one built with a self-unloader arm in 1908.  Not a large boat, only 286’ long, and built by Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse, MI, the Wyandotte was finally laid up in 1962


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Loading Coal, ca. 1910

Loading Coal, ca. 1910

This image was taken as a series of photos by a photographer with the Detroit Publishing Company sometime between 1907 and 1910. When put together the images form a panorama (see below). Between 1895 and 1924, the Detroit Publishing Company was one of the most significant image publishers in the world. Click here to see another image from the Detroit Publishing Company.

This image highlights the significance of the coal shipping industry in Toledo. Toledo was at the center of a transportation system that connected the railways with the waterways. This image shows the variety of railroads that brought coal into Toledo, like the Hocking Valley Railroad, which brought coal from the coal mines of Ohio’s Hocking Valley. Once in Toledo, it was much more efficient to transport coal by lake freighter. The Jay C. Morse, the lake freighter in the image, was built in 1907 by the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio for Pickens, Mather & Co. The Morse was over 500 feet long and had the ability to carry the coal from hundreds of railcars in a single trip.


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US Steel Layup, April 10, 1971

US Steel Layup, April 10, 1971

US Steel had a long winter layup during the winter of 1970/1971.  This image shows five of their boats (from L to R) D.M. Clemson, Eugene P. Thomas, D.G. Kerr, Homer D. Williams, and Horace Johnson, in Toledo on the Maumee River at Bay View Park on April 10, 1971.  Earlier that winter, on February 9, the Homer D. Williams had a fire aboard.  A spark from welding lit upon tarps and caused damage to her side plating and forward lower cabins.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see some scaffolding on the port side of the Williams, probably where they were doing repairs in preparation for the 1971 sailing season.


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Toledo Shipbuilding Company

Toledo Shipbuilding Company

This image shows the bustling Toledo Shipbuilding Company with several freighters in for repairs as well as at least 2 if not 3 ships getting built in drydock.  Since Craig Shipbuilding was first opened on this site, followed by the Toledo Shipbuilding Company in 1908, and then AmShip Toledo in 1952, over 160 ships were built here and untold numbers of them overhauled, repaired, and repowered.  The site is still being used as a shipyard by Ironhead Marine.


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PRINS FREDERIK HENDRIK Unloading, May 29, 1952

Prins Frederik Hendrik Unloading, May 29, 1952

Here we see the unloading of steel bars from the Prins Frederik Hendrik directly onto rail cars at the Marine Docks on May 29,1952.  The Prins Frederik Hendrik has previously been highlighted in this exhibit, loading boxed jeeps.  Foreign vessels were common callers at the Port of Toledo, taking manufactured goods to Europe and bringing supplies in from the continent.  The Prins Frederik Hendrik was built specifically for the Great Lakes – European trade route with a limited length (258’) allowing transit along the New York State Barge Canal (the successor of the Erie Canal).


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CITY OF TOLEDO Portrait

City of Toledo Portrait

The portrait above appears to show a man on the deck of the City of Toledo, a passenger ship, built in Toledo, Ohio in 1891. The man in the above portrait is not actually aboard the City of Toledo, he is standing in front of an artistic backdrop, meant to make it appear that he was sailing aboard this passenger ship. This portrait would have been taken as a souvenir of the subject’s trip aboard the City of Toledo, though the date and location are unknown.

CITY OF TOLEDO

The City of Toledo was built by Blythe Craig Shipbuilding in 1891 and was the first passenger ship built by John Craig after moving the company to Toledo in 1890. The City of Toledo was built for speed, with an engine that could reach speeds of 24 miles per hour. Speed was important for passenger ships on the Great Lakes and the owners of the newly launched City of Toledo issued a general challenge to other vessels to race them to see who was faster. The owners of the Frank E. Kirby issued a challenge to the City of Toledo and even put up $300 as a wager. Click here to learn more about the Frank E. Kirby. It seems unlikely the race ever took place as the City of Toledo sustained damage to it’s sea chest six months after launching and needed repairs. The City of Toledo did take part in other races, leading the captain in 1906 to announce in the newspaper that he would race no more that season.


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Ott’s Boathouse at Walbridge Park, ca. 1900

Ott’s Boathouse at Walbridge Park, ca. 1900

This image was taken from Ott’s Boathouse at Walbridge Park and shows a variety of leisure vessels on the Maumee River around 1900-1902. Canoes and rowboats could be rented from Ott’s Boathouse and the Maumee River was also a popular location for sailing vessels and other pleasure boats. Click here to learn about the Maumee River Yacht Club, just upriver.

The only identifiable vessel in the photograph is the Cygnet. The Cygnet was a steam powered yacht, likely owned by William Gates, owner of Gates’ Union Ticket Office, which arranged tickets for passengers on railways and passenger ships. Research shows that Gates owned a steam yacht named Cygnet in 1906 and was part of the Toledo Yacht Club, possibly even acting as Commodore. Click here to see an image of the Toledo Yacht Club in 1936.


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