Schooner Passage: Sailing Ships and the Lake Michigan Frontier

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Wayne State University Press, 2000 - History - 262 pages
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Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, schooner trade was a well-developed system of maritime transport for commodities such as grain, lumber, and iron. The schooner trade was as critical to the development of the Great Lakes region as covered wagons were to the Far West and paddle wheel steamers were to the South.

Schooners sailed the Great Lakes in large

numbers and played a formative role in the

shaping of pioneer life throughout the region. The schooners that traveled the Lake Michigan basin succeeded in bringing a range of shoreline communities and four separate states into one coherent region. Although schooners successfully competed with steam vessels for more than a half-century, wooden sailing ships could not match the scale of the giant steel bulk carriers that began to emerge from shipyards in the twentieth century. The Mary A. Gregory—one of the last schooners left—was torched, sunk, and buried in Lake

Michigan in 1926. Schooner Passage is a

history of these magnificent sailing vessels

and their role in maritime trade along Lake

Michigan.

Theodore J. Karamanski shares with the reader the stories of the men and women who sailed on the schooners, their labor issues and strikes, the role of the schooner in the maritime economy along the Lake Michigan basin, and the factors that led to the eventual demise of that economy in the early twentieth century. Karamanski has put together historical accounts from newspaper clippings, historical society archives, and government documents to provide one of the few available histories of schooners.

Schooner Passage will interest scholars and students of Great Lakes and American history as well as the general reader interested in nineteenth-century western expansion.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
11
Bridged in Chicago 132
17
Lake Michigans maritime frontier
18
1
25
Twomasted clipper
26
Canaller schooner
32
Bertha Barnes
39
2
43
The Lucia A Simpson in Chicago River
118
Schooner Granger
124
Conquest and Helen Pratt in Chicago River
130
P Hall
138
Wolf Point
144
Schooners after the Great Fire
151
Christmas tree ship
161
5
173

Isolda Bock of Benton Harbor
46
Map of the mouth of the Chicago River
52
Shipment of grain from Chicago
61
Tug and lumber schooner Charlevoix
68
Chicago Lumber Company yard
74
3
77
Crew of the Joses
84
The Lyman Davis under way
90
Entrance to forecastle Lucia A Simpson
96
Bertha Barnes with raffe sail
175
Miller Brothers shipyard north branch of the Chicago River
181
Ice on an overloaded schooner
188
Crew of the Jackson Park Lifesaving Station
194
Tug in heavy surf
200
Deck of a typical schooner
207
Schooner Twilight
209
Last crew of the City of Grand Haven
216
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Theodore Karamanski is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University of Chicago.

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