Back

Darlene E. Kelley
donkeyskid@webtv.net
May 1, 1999
***********************************************************************
Historical Collections of Ohio                    
The Kelley Family Book
compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley  1897    
And Then They Went West by D. Kelley  1998     (Part 12b)
***********************************************  

Boats that Served Kelleys Island (Part 2)

The cement works at
Ottawa City located at the northern extremity of Catawba Island, was
then in full operation shipping cement to various lake ports, and the
management of the cement company having made liberal offers in the way
of freight,the owners of the Islander decided to build a larger boat.  A
subscription for stock was started and about seven thousand dollars was
subscribed by island folks and two thousand by Rivera St. Jurjo of
Put-in-Bay.  The keel was laid in July on George Kelley's shore dock,
and the new boat was christened, " Island Queen " and launched about
Thanksgiving day and was froze in until January 7th when she was towed
to Sandusky by the steamer Ariel where her machinery was installed and
she was ready, for service in the spring of 1855.  Her official
measurement was 172 tons.  During the summer after the sale of the
Islander, the people had to depend on sailboats and the Detroit
Steamer--Bay City.  Captain Lundy agreeing to stop at the island when
passengers enough to amount to five dollars in passage money wished to
land or leave there.  When the Queen started to run, she included on her
route, Freemont, Plaster Bed and other Sandusky Bay ports, besides
Sandusky, Ottowa City and the Islands.  She also went to Cleveland or
Toledo once a week with cement from Ottawa City.  She, like the
Islander, made a part of her earning by towing sailing vessels in and
out of Sandusky Bay. She, like the Islander, had a upright or "
Sawgate," high pressure engine. She cost about $18,000.00 when
completed, which was twice the amount estimated and subscribed and did
not pay out for five years. The war breaking out, and the fisheries and
vineyards prospering exceedingly during that period together with a good
excursion business of full loads twice a week, she made money and
invited competion.  She gave up going to Fremont at the beginning of the
Civil War and began daily instead of tri-weekly trips to the islands
except when she went to Huron, Black River or some point after
excursions.  The Queen never met with a serious accident nor suffered
anything more than a broken crankshaft except when she was captured by
Rebels and sunk on " Chick-a-no-lee" reef. Claims for $2,000.00 were
filed for this loss together with the Alabama Claims, but the commission
threw it out as " not coming within the scope of protocol."  The growing
business on the route necessitated a larger boat and the Queen was
accordingly sold in 1866 to the parties of whom the Evening Star a 340
ton steamer was bought.  The Star ran about two years without oppostion
when the Reindeer was put on route by Mr. Fox of North Bass.  The
business grew unprofitable for both boats.  A consolidation was made and
the Lake Erie Steamboat Company was formed with A.S.Kelley as president.
The Star and Reindeer were sold at a loss.  In 1852 the sailboat
Sportsman was brought to the island.  The sloop Gazelle owned by
J.E.Woodford and Captain William Black and sailed by the latter, was
built that year at Port Clinton and brought to the island.  The Gazelle
was a fast and sea worthy boat of about thirty tons capacity. She was
decked over and had a cabin and one large hatchway.  She ran from
Sandusky to the islands regularly until the steamer Island Queen took
the route.  She was said by A.S.Kelley to be the best sailing vessel
that seved the island  It was this boat that brought back the passengers
of the " Queen" from Put-in-Bay when the      "Queen" was captured by
Rebels in 1865.  Mr. Woodford also brought the Coral to the island from
Lake Huron where he had used her in the fishing trade.  The Zouave
sailed by Captain Vessey brought passengers and mail from Sandusky in
1863 and before , and the Zula sailed by Captain Dayton served the
island similiarly at about the same time.  The Rina and the Julia, the
latter sailed by "Johnnie " Reinheimer were staunch sailboats.  The
Julia was built like a pound boat and could carry at least six tons of
freight.  The Gilmore a three hundred ton Schooner was owned by Erastus
Huntington and Captain Ort. Moor of Kelley's Island.  Captain Moor
sailed her. A story is told about the Gilmour by Captain Corydon
Woodford, who when as a lad, sailed on her as cabin boy. The Gilmore was
an old boat then and was so leaky, as to require much work at the pumps,
to keep her afloat.  When she was at dock, the crew did not dare go to
sleep for fear she would sink, so they resorted to the following
expedient.  They procured several bushels of horse manure and dumped it
into the water along side the boat near the " run" where she leaked the
worse, and by poking the manure down into the water, it was sucked into
the seams until the leak had automatically calked itself.  Ship was then
pumped dry and the crew went to sleep in no fear of waking up in a
watery grave.  It was only fair to say that the Gilmore was repaired and
carried stone from the island, making regular trips up to 1884 or later.
>From an account in the Islander regarding the scow Elmina being lost in
a fog. we learn that this boat was engaged in carrying stone to
Cleveland for Charles Carpenter who owned her.  The date is
approximately 1860. It is recorded that the sailboat White Fawn, Captain
Lincoln sailed to Sandusky on December 20th 1869 and returned with the
mail and fourteen passengers.  In 1862 the steamer Dart, Captain Selah
Dustin ran between Detroit and Sandusky and stopped at Kelley's Island
whenever there was freight or passengers for it. In 1864 and '65 the
steamer Parsons was on the same run.  On September 30 the new steamer
Messenger commenced making weekly trips between the island and
Cleveland, Ohio.  After the sale of the Star and Reindeer, the Island
Queen was again put on the route and served for the balance of the
season.  This was her last appearance.  She went to Detroit  and was
soon afterward burned.                            
(Con't in part 3)

Back