Darlene E. Kelley
April 24, 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 7)

The Islander

The effect of the
demonstation that the grape culture would be soon sucessful was soon
apparent.  Small vineyards, the nucleus of larger ones, dotted the
island .  Large profits for a time resulted from the sale of the fruit,
packed in boxes for table use.  Farms divided in five and ten acres
lots, were parcelled out to different owners, th price of land, under
the impetus thus given it, advanced three to four hundred percent. and
within a few years there was nearly one thousand acres set to vines.
The excess of supply over demands, for table use, as also in the crop
for that use, directed attention to the manufacture of wine, and there
were,in course of time,erected on the island cellars, which, including
those of the Kelley's Island Wine Company, were capable of storing half
a million gallons of wine.  The increase of population and business
demanding better facilities for transportation with Sandusky than that
afforded by sailboat, the passage by which was uncertain, uncomfortable,
and often dangerous, the sbstitution of steam power became not only
desirable but necessary.  Accordingly, on the 1st of May,1846, under the
supervision of Captain Dibble, of Sandusky, was commenced the building
of a steamer , appropriately named at the launching The " Islander ".
The Islander was built and owned on Kelley's Island.  Her topsides, deck
beams, and decks were of red cedar; her measurement was seventy two
tons, with an upright high-pressure engine built by Camp and Johnson of
Sandusky.  Her total cost was something over six thousand dollars.  She
made her first trip October 16,1846, under command of Captain George W.
Orr, who commanded her with the exception of one season, until becoming
too small for the business was sold in 1854. Upon the sale of her
another steamer named the Island Queen was built on the island by
Captain Dibble costing eighteen thousand dollas, measuring one hundred
and seventy-two tons, and made her first trip in Jne ,155.  The island
newspaper or Journal was named after the  "Islander", which was read to
the people of the Island each week and chershed especially during the
winter months. This poem written by Emma Howlett, written on Kelleys
Island,  published in Volume 7, No 11 of the Journal, called the
"Islander" 1866-67, was no doubt inspired by the steam boats The
Islander and The Island Queen.          "  Song of the Steamship "
" I come, I come in my might along :          To the surges around me I
raise this song: The billows crests my proud sides lave,     And shouts,
greet me, Queen of the wave. And proud to carry a burden so strong,
The waters exultant bear me along.

I come, I come in my pomp and pride,       The wide expanse I fearless
ride;               A noble being with beauty rife,                   As
I walk the waters a thing of life,            Well may I boast as I
chant my song,         For human life I bear along.
My precious burthen, the young and old,    A kind protector in me behold
;                  Though rich or poor, in bonds or free,        Whether
deadly foes or friends they be,     Unmindful of these, I hasten along,
Fearless and careless chanting my song.
Over the waves I onward sweep                Rocking them on the mighty
deep,             The busy, the idle, the merry, the grave,    All, all
I bear on the crested wave;             And still, as the cabin or deck
they throng, I hum to myself my ceaseless song.        

But at night when darkness spreads its pall, As my mighty heart throbs
rise and fall, When my weary charges have sunk to sleep, I faithfully
bear them over the deep. As over the waves I glide along, I solemnly
chant my ocean song.

Perhaps the news I bear on my wings,
As silent it spreads on its journeyings,
Will make the heart strings throb and thrill As fraught with good, as
fraught with ill.
But little I reck as I sing my song
Of the grief or joy I bear along.

Ah! there may be danger lurking near,
Making the bravest quake with fear,
The treacherous rock where the breakers roar, 'Neath the beetling cliff
that bounds the shore, Yet He'll protect as I dash along, And in His
strength I'll chant my song.

Onward I'll rush through each voyage, rife
With the malevolent whirl and tempest's strife Till the haven I reach to
depart no more, Or my timbers bleach on a distant shore, Till then, will
I speed my freight along, And not till then will I cease my song."