• Paddle Wheel Steamer
  • 15ffw 5m
  • Point Pelee, Lake Erie
  • 41 49.675  82 38.066

Chronological History #

  • 1848, Apr 8 Enrolled Buffalo.
  • 1848, Apr 21 Ran aground Mamajuda, 10 miles from Detroit.
  • 1848 Ran Buffalo to Sandusky route until mid-June, then added to Chicago through end of the season.
  • 1848, Aug Broke a shaft, Cleveland for repairs.
  • 1849-50 Returned to Buffalo-Sandusky Route.
  • 1849, Apr Underwent renovations to cabins, & added 2 arches from bow to stern, over the wheelhouse.
  • 1850 Enrolled Cleveland.
  • 1850, Apr Broke an engine.
  • 1850, May Fire onboard, probably under boilers.
  • 1850, Jul 31 Steampipe burst killing 8 passengers, 3 crew; 30+ injured.
  • 1851-53 Buffalo-Cleveland Route.
  • 1852, Jul 12 Collided with propeller CITY of OSWEGO & sunk, Fairport; 15 killed; Repaired Cleveland.
  • 1852-53 Owned Lysander M. Cushing et al, Buffalo.
  • 1853-54 Owned David S. Bennett, Buffalo.
  • 1854 Jan 12 On rocks & scuttled in Dunkirk Harbor; raised & repaired Buffalo.
  • 1854 Apr 5 Ran aground.

Selection of News Articles for more www.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca #

Merchant Steam Vessels of the U.S.A. 
      1790 to 1868 Lytle – Holdcamper List  #

AMERICA paddle wheel steamer of 1083 tons, built at Port Huron, Mich., 1847. Stranded April 5, 1854, on Pelee Island, Lake Erie. The vessel is a total loss. No lives were lost.

 Toledo Blade 
      April 13, 1854 #

The AMERICA lies in seven-foot water, on a rock bottom, about one hundred rods from the light on the North end of Point au Pelee Island. She was, where she struck, about half a mile out of her track, and was headed almost towards the light. According to the statement of Capt. Stafford, when he went below at 12 o’clock, the AMERICA was on the right course. He directed her to be kept on her way, but it seems the second-mate thought the captain was in error and varied her to the South about three points. This officer soon became alarmed and went to make an inquiry of the captain about how near the light they could run safely. The reply of the captain was “not less than three-quarters of a mile, and prefer a greater distance.” The mate then said we are too near land. The captain sprung for the deck, but before he could reach it, the steamer struck. She lay easy until Friday night when a stiff North-Easter broke her so much that she filled with water. On Saturday morning, the captain left for Detroit on the propeller BRUCE, and on the same morning the GRANITE STATE took off the crew. When the CLEVELAND went up Saturday, four men were still on board, but they have probably been obliged to leave ere this, as the heavy wind of Saturday night would place her past saving. The boat will probably be a total loss, but the engine and ground tackle will no doubt be saved. It seems too bad after escaping the dangers of the past winter at Dunkirk, to be run upon the rocks, to break up so early in the season.—Cleveland Plain Dealer 

Buffalo Daily Republic 
      Wednesday, April 19, 1854  #

      THE AMERICA. — The officers of the CLEVELAND report that AMERICA has gone to pieces. The late gale has left nothing of her hull to be seen but the timbers. When the wind subsides it is likely that some attempt will be made to save her machinery. — Cleve. Herald. 

The steamer AMERICA, ashore at Point Au Pelee, has at last gone to pieces. The late gale has left nothing of her hull to be seen but the timbers. An effort will be made to save some of her machinery. It was only a few years ago that AMERICA was the largest and finest craft on the lakes. Last season she had got down to a mere freighting business, and now she has gone where all good steamers go.

Cleveland Morning Leader 
      Friday, April 21, 1854 #

      Yesterday a vessel brought into this port about fifty tons of the engine of the ill-fated AMERICA. This and a portion of her furniture were all that was worth saving. 

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