ORIN LILLY, Great Lakes Sailor
This page donated for use by GLS-Downward Bound MIGenWeb site. Copyright © Bill Harvey November 1997
Copying of the files within by non-commercial individuals and libraries is encouraged. This message must appear on all copied files. Commercial copying and use on any other website or published media must have permission.
Synopsis by Bill Harvey E-mail: BHarvey402@aol.com
ORIN LILLY, Great Lakes Sailor PREFACE While oral family history infers that Orin Lilly was the master or captain of the vessels that he sailed on, there is no conclusive evidence of this to be found in his diaries from either 1857 or 1859 while he was sailing on Lakes Erie and Ontario. However, from the tenor of the diaries and the work and events that he described, it is highly probable that he was a senior mate. Basically, his diaries are more concerned in reporting the weather conditions and logistics than specific daily events. He was religious in reporting something every day. His spelling and punctuation have been copied as written. My comments as reviewer and editor of this limited history appear as [Editorial Comments]. Data on the various vessels, noted in parenthesis ( ) which are mentioned in the diaries, appears in Appendix A at the conclusion of the abstracts. Where it is apparent that Orin Lilly was sailing on a specific vessel, that vessel is described in an editorial comment. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In addition to the diaries, information has been derived from family history gathered by Gladys M. Lilly Harvey some time during the 1940s thru 1970 or thereabouts. This has been supplemented by reference to a book entitled "A Pictorial History of the Great Lakes," Bonanza Books, 1963, by Harlan Hatcher and Eric A. Walter. Of particular help has been Duff Brace, Curator of the Ashtabula Marine Museum located in Ashtabula, Ohio. Mr. Brace has provided history and data regarding the vessels which were mentioned in Orin Lilly's diaries. Additional data has been derived from the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph for March 31, 1859. Refer to Appendix B. FAMILY HISTORY Orin Lilly was the son of Leonard Lilly and Vesta Thayer and was born in 1822; birth place unknown but probably New York state. Orin apparently was the sixth of nine children of this marriage. No information appears regarding the Thayer family. After wearing out poor Vesta, who died in 1840, Leonard married Lovinia Whitney in 1843. Apparently no children came from this marriage. On July 25, 1845, Orin Lilly married Mary Ann Sullivan, the daughter of Dennis Sullivan from Rochester, New York. Dennis Sullivan journeyed to the Cleveland, Ohio, area in 1828 and acquired the property near Euclid which eventually became known as Lillys-by-the-Lake. He did not return from the trip and was never heard from again. However, his daughter, Mary Ann and at least one brother, Henry, survived as heirs to the estate. Henry Lilly served in the Union Army during the Civil War for nearly three years. Since he had been a sailor prior to his enlistment and was discharged as a Private in Nashville, Tennessee, it may be supposed that he served on the Union gun boats which patrolled the rivers during the war. Being discharged as a private would further suggest that he was a typical hard drinking, fighting Irishman, who may not have taken kindly to military discipline. Apparently he never married. Mary Ann and Orin Lilly lived outside of Euclid and proceeded to have eight children with George Orin being born January 6, 1853, as the third child. Orin Lilly was actively sailing on the Lakes at that time, so he must have gotten home now and then to take care of parental duties. (George Orin Lilly was the father of Leonard Orin Lilly and Gladys Mary Lilly Harvey. This makes Orin Lilly the paternal great-grandfather of Ann Lilly Runyon and John Orin Lilly and maternal great-grandfather of William Leonard Harvey.) 1857 DIARY Starting on December 29, 1856, he indicates that he "worked at the yard". By January 8th, the "Thermometer 6 degrees below zero". On the 9th "all hands gone to a dance at Feers". [This reference to Feers or Freers, as is spelt later, is interesting in that the Freers apparently were good friends or close acquaintances.] On the 15th "went to Cleveland got a coper bilor and a thermometer". [Evidently he distrusted his thermometer.] However, on the 18th "thermometer 8 below 10 o clock wind NE 8 o clock thermometer 10 below and clear". On the 20th "went to the crick and got a paper". 21st "went to Cleveland". [Land trips from Euclid to Cleveland and back apparently were all day affairs and involved "taking the cars." Just what the cars were is not clear. These could have been passenger, freight or even, as noted subsequently, hand cars.] On the 23rd, "worked 1/2 day in blacksmith shop. On the 24th " worked in shop to day". 27th "halled some wood to day and went to the yard". [It may be assumed that he was either working in the shipyard or at home during this period when the lake was frozen or otherwise unfit for commerce.] January 27th has an interesting note "got a paper to day dated 17 January". [Is he indicating that it took this long for the paper to arrive from Cleveland or that he picked up an old paper? Or could this paper be something other than a newspaper?] By February 8th, the ague was starting to be a bother: "had an ague chill to day". 10th "had a shake of ague to day". By the 11th he decided to do something about the ague and "went to the Crick and got a bottle of collegog." [If ague was malaria, then it may be assumed that collegog was some type of quinine medicine. In any case, it probably had a high alcoholic content which may have helped anyway.] However, he "had a shake of ague today" on the 12th. By February 16th, it appears that the lake was starting to open up since he "went to Cleveland the Scow Frederick (1) left for Vermillion". [Although steamers had been introduced to the Great Lakes as early as 1822, sailing vessels were still very common by 1857. Scows were shallow-draft with center-boards, schooner-rigged and eminently suitable for shallow Lake Erie.] Vermillion lies about 25 miles west of Cleveland which would not be a difficult trip in one day since Orin reported on the 17th: "came back from Cleveland ." The weather remained pleasant and the lake open for a week until the 24th when "shipt centre board to day". [If he was on the Scow Frederick, it would be reasonable to raise (ship) the center board if it was going into dock.] The ague returned on the 28th with March weather being extremely variable. It is possible that he was still on the Frederick during this period. However, by April 3rd, he reported that he "went to Cleveland" and "I went to the harbor". On the 4th: "settled with J E Greete". [This might infer that he was paid for his time on the Frederick.] By March 5th, he "commenced work on the Prop Owego (2)." [By 1856, propeller driven steam ships were replacing the earlier side-wheelers on the Lakes. The Owega displaced 482 tons, was built in 1852 in Cleveland, of wooden construction, and was owned by the Erie Railroad.] On the 9th, he "commenced to load" and on the 11th "shipt a watchman". [These statements would indicate that he had a responsible position on the Owego.] The next day, Sunday April 12th, they "left Cleveland -- went into Fairport took on 43 1/2 cords wood lay at Fairport all night". [Fairport is about 28 miles down the lake to the NE from Cleveland. The quantity of fuel taken on confirms that the Owego was a fair sized steamer.] The weather kicked up about this time, but they made it to Erie, Pennsylvania, where on April 14th "blew a gale with snow squalls lay in Erie all night" and on the 15th "still in Erie - blowing a living gale with snow". On Thursday, April 16th "boat went ashore for provisions had a ramble on the island". [This would be Presque Isle indicating that the Owego was anchored in the protected bay off Erie.] On Friday, they "left Erie 1/4 to 8 -- with foot of snow run into ice 1 mile above Dunkirk -- 9 men went ashore on ice". [Dunkirk, New York, was a popular port below Buffalo and lies directly south of Port Colborne, Ontario, at the south end of the Welland Canal. This canal bypasses Niagara Falls between Lakes Erie and Ontario.] Saturday, April 18th: "still in the ice Portsmouth (3) came down 1/2 p 10 and went back to Erie". [The Portsmouth was a larger propeller steamer also owned by the Erie RR.] Sunday: "one deck hand went a shore on ice". Monday, the 20th: "went a shore with 13 men for provisions on the ice". By the 22nd, things must have been getting tough since "one deck÷hand went a shore and staid". And on April 23rd: "still in the ice Jersey City (4) came down a bout 10 of 4 lay a long side had a fever to day". [Coming down could mean coming down from the Welland Canal indicating that the ice was concentrated around Dunkirk while the northern part of the lake was free.] The next day: "went a shore with 11 men for provisions went to Centreville". [No Centreville exists in the Dunkirk area today.] On the 25th: "had a shake of ague at the heirmesy hotel got in at 5 with out any buckets". [By this time, the Owego had been in the ice at Dunkirk for a week. Orin's ague is recurring and apparently the hotel didn't have any slop buckets. Life was not easy.] By the 26th the Owego was able to move and "finished unloading haled over to the E dock" and on the 28th "left Dunkirk commenced to load". [If they had left Dunkirk, they may have gotten back to Erie for another load.] On Tuesday, April 29th: "went in to Conneaut took on 15 1/4 cords wood -- rote a letter home". [Conneaut is in the very northeast corner of Ohio on the lake.] From late April through May and June, Orin and the Owego were back and forth between Dunkirk and Cleveland spending more time loading and unloading than steaming. They were frequently in the company of other vessels such as the Portsmouth, the Chief (5) and the Olean (6). On Sunday, May 5th, Orin was home since he "went to the cemetree to day -- turned cow into Contreals pasture". Apparently during this period he was able to be home most Sundays. He "went a fishing caught 18" on May 31st and on June 14th "went a fishing and caut a bout 100lbs". However, the lake was still tricky. On June 30th "arrived at Fairport at 10 + 1/2 p 10 the Prop North America (7) "went a shore very cold" and the next day "left Fairport 10 p 5 made an attempt to pool off North America a breast Conneaut 5 p 9". [Apparently the North America went aground in the fog at Fairport. After a charitable attempt to free the slightly smaller boat, they went on up to Conneaut, a distance of roughly 40 miles in less than 4 hours, indicating that they could easily steam 10 miles per hour.] On July 2nd: "commenced to paint" and "finished painting to day" on July 10th. [Apparently he was painting at home since they went from Cleveland to Put-in Bay on South Bass Island north of Sandusky on July 5th. He either was in the company of the "Prop Olean bound for toledo" on the 4th and the 6th or on board.] On July 7th, he notes "had a squall a breast of Turtle light". [Turtle Light was one of the early light houses in the Great Lakes. It is assumed that it was around the passage between Sandusky and the islands immediately to the north. These islands apparently were used for firewood supplies since there was no commercial development there at that time.] The remainder of July, August and September were spent steaming back and forth between Toledo, Cleveland and Dunkirk. However, on Sunday, August 2nd while in Dunkirk: "went a berying to day". And on August 17th "went home 1/2 p 8 arrived at home 1/2 p 4 and hired a girl". [This is interesting since on September 7th "went home and found my wife sick". One might suspect that a baby was due about then. Orin had been home during the winter nine months earlier. This must not have been terribly important since on the 9th "bought an over coat to day".] September 18th indicated that "Emeline went to Centreville". [At this time they were in Dunkirk. Emeline was Orin and Mary Ann's second child and could have been 9 or 10 years old at the time. Was she traveling with her father to visit relatives in Centreville?] On the 21st, back in Cleveland: "unshipt our rudder" and on the 23rd "got new rudder today". On the 28th: "went to Centreville" from Dunkirk. From then on entries reflect wind and weather conditions back and forth between Cleveland and Dunkirk with many notes regarding loads of goods and barrels ranging from 35 to 70 tons at a time. The remainder of the diary from October 17th is missing. 1859 DIARY The 1859 diary is very similar to that of 1857. Wind and weather are foremost. The most significant difference overall is the apparent scope of sailing on the Great Lakes. Orin reports trips through the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario. The year begins on Saturday January 1st: "Paid Mr. Robinson $5". [No indication why.] On Tuesday the 4th: "Scow California (8) came in at 7 AM". On Sunday the 16th: "Went to George Owens this day". [Was George Owens a person or a boat?] Warm weather prevailed and on the 20th "Scow California came in from Black river". [The Black River is midway between Cleveland and Sandusky and enters the Lake at Lorrain.] However, on the 23rd "Ice on Lake as far as you can see". This apparently didn't slow the California down since on the 31st "Scow California left for Black River and came back" with the same report the following day. [These references to the California might indicate that he was aboard.] On Saturday, February 5th: "Went home 1/2 p 5 received a letter from Captain Sisson". [Refer to Appendix B for further information on Captain Sisson.] On the 6th: "snow 14 inches deep at home to day". On the 9th, he noted: "Philemon came here to day". (Philemon was an older brother.) Thursday, the 10th seemed important since he "received 2 letters 1 from J. Manchester 1 from Jacob Murphy". [It appears that he was actively seeking employment at this time since Sisson and Manchester are mentioned subsequently.] On Tuesday, February 22nd: "Scow California came in" and on Wednesday: "Peter Smith (9) went to toe the Scow Price (10)". [It appears that the Peter Smith was a steam tug.] After receiving "a letter from John Manchester" on Saturday, the 26th, on the 27th " 1/2 p 8 went to the Scow Price on the Peter Smith Scow California left for Blackriver". He may !have been sailing on the California but on Monday, the 28th, he must have been home since: "Emeline very sick with imflemation of the lungs" and on March 1st "Emeline a little better this PM" and on the 2nd "Emeline a little better this morning". The next day "met Franklin Lilly at the depo in town". [Franklin Lilly doesn't appear to be a kin unless he was an uncle.] On the 4th "took the Owego (2) out on the boxes". [This may have referred to removing the Owego from dry-dock. The boxes may have been some type of cradles or carriages to roll the ship down the dry-dock tracks. However, the Owego was supposedly sunk in 1857.] Things were definitely picking up since on Saturday, the 5th: "Capt Sisson came in to day from Dunkirk" and on Sunday "Prop Equinox (11) came in from Sandusky left 1/2 p 9". However, on Monday "Commenced work on the Lady of the Lake (12)". [A note under March Bills Payable for "Monday 7 Commenced work on the Lady of the Lake" with checks by the names "DK, Charly Orin, John Smith, Phrily, Cafter and Erwin". This would appear to indicate that he had hired these men to work on this boat and that he was overseeing them. The Lady of the Lake was built in 1846 in Cleveland, 320 tons of wood.] By March 20th, Orin "left Cleveland for Dunkirk at 1/2 p 1 PM with full load arrived at Fairport at 5 I got aground on the bar left at 25m p 11 21 1/4 cords of wood". [The phrase "I got aground" rather than "we" might indicate that Orin was navigating as would be proper for the Mate.] On the 23rd, on the way back from Dunkirk: "run through ice 1/2 inch thick of[f] Madison." [Madison is between Astabula and Euclid.] On Thursday, March 24th, in Cleveland: "Ready Scow Burk (13) on the pear last night." [This is interesting since the Burk has not be found in the marine histories.] Friday, March 25th: "left C 20 m to 4 arrived in [Fair]Port 1/4 p 7, heavy sea blows a gale". The on Saturday, the 26th, disaster strikes: "left Fairport 1/2 p 1 blowed up and lost 1 D hand and cook 1 and 2 Engineer and 1 fireman badly burnt worked on the beach til 11". [Refer to Appendix B for the news report on this "BLOW UP" of the Lady of the Lake.] Continuing on Sunday, March 27th: "got freight up on the beach all day Vermont (14) took 1 corps to Cleveland Praire (15) came in and took freight to C and part of crew". [Whatever his role was, he was working diligently to salvage the freight as is confirmed in the newspaper report.] On the 28th: "went to the beach for frt worked on the beach all day -- I saved 50 bbls". The salvage effort continued on Tuesday: "11 went to Perry to pick up freight I saved about 600 bbls". On Wednesday: "went to Madison dock then to the station took the cars to Painesville arrived at Fairport at 8 PM tired as a cur". [Perry is midway between Fairport and Madison. Painesville is inland from Fairport.) On Thursday: "went down on the beach took a barrel of pork out of a man's seller in Madison". [Apparently Orin was continuing to salvage freight which someone had taken from the accident?) Salvage continued thru Friday, April 1st: "Scows came down for the freight in Perry left the beach for Fairport on the Scow Rich (16) at 1/2 p 11". The salvage effort apparently ended on Saturday, the 2nd: "Went down and paid hardy for board went to Painesville 1/2 p 1 left for home at 1/2 p 6 arrived at home at 7:20". On Sunday, April 3rd he was "at home all day" but on Monday "went to Cleveland" and on Tuesday "left Cleveland for home at 4 PM Snow at Euclid 9 inches deep". [Can one imagine the salvage effort compounded by miserable spring weather?] On Thursday, the 7th: "built a fence today and bought a clock went down and cleaned up received a letter from Philemon". [The fence was important since he reported under CASH ACCOUNT in the back of the diary: "Mr Hasmer turned in his sheepe April 9".] On Sunday, April 10th: "left for home on hand car at 8". [He had been in Cleveland Friday and Saturday.] He was back to Cleveland on Monday and stayed through Wednesday when he: "went board the Granite State (17) left Cleveland at 8 PM with a full load". [Obviously, he was able to get another position quickly after the accident. The Granite State was owned by Northern Transit Co. of Odgensburg, NY, which may explain the broader scope of travel subsequently.] On the 14th, breast Erie 10 m to 10 blew a gale could not get to Dunkirk went to Buffalo got there 1/2 p 7". By Saturday: "Snow on hills all day got our mail put on" and on ,*Sunday "left Buffalo at 2 AM arrived in DK at 7 unloaded took on 108 tons and left at 6 PM". On Monday in Cleveland: "unshipt the rudder" and on Thursday: "got our rudder shipt". By Saturday April 23rd: "dug of the beach from Madison stock howled like all went onto F Port at 1/2 p 10". Up until the middle of June, it was back and forth between Cleveland, Dunkirk and Sandusky with notes about wind and weather, loading and unloading with only a note that he "went to a dance" in Fairport and occasionally got home. Very smoky on the Lake at that time. On June 2nd, he noted: "blew a gale S Artic (18) went out and came back". On June 16th, in Cleveland" Went up to Spaldings law office til 1/4 to 6". On Friday, the 17th: "went to Spaldings office and was there til 1/2 to 7". Saturday: "went up to Spaldings office laid up and went home at 8 PM". [At this point and based upon subsequent notes, it is apparent that Orin was relieved of his duties aboard the Granite State and effectively was "on the beach." It can be surmised that this was the result of the accident in March. In any case, the remainder of June through early August he was primarily occupied around home. The new report in Appendix B notes that the freight from the Lady of the Lake was insured and that the bulk of freight was salvaged. This is confirmed by Orin's diary, so it is difficult to determine just what the problem might have been] The following paints an interesting picture: June 19th "at home all day". Monday the 20th: "went a fishing this afternoon". Thursday, the 23rd: "shingled 1 side of my house". The 24th: "went a fishing" and on Saturday: "finished shingling the house". Sunday: "went a strawberying". However, on Monday, June 27th: "went to Cleveland put 600 bbls flour in the Granite State left for home at 8 PM". (What was he doing loading the Granite State, but not sailing on it?) He was at home the next day and on Thursday, June 30th: "mixed mortar to plaster my house" and "plastering my house" on Friday. [The possessive "my house" rather than "our house" should make modern feminists cringe.] He was back in Cleveland on the 2nd and 3rd, but on Monday, July 4th: "went home at 10AM went to a ball at Fenners". [Was July 4th being celibrated then with dances and other festivities?] The leisurely summer continued with "went a fishing to day" on the 7th, "went fishing all day" on the 10th, but "commenced to build a cook house on the 15th. The effort continued on Saturday June 16th: "at work all day". And on Monday: "shingled one side of my cook room to day" and "finished shingling" on Tuesday. By Thursday, he apparently finished "extend my cook room". Friday, the 22nd: "went to Cleveland at 1/2 p 10 went bord the Prop Jefferson (19) in Neils place left for Sandusky at 9 PM". [The Jefferson was another Northern Transit Co. vessel of 344 tons displacement and of wood as were all of the boats of that era.] By Sunday, he was "abreast of North East at 7 AM arrived in Dunkirk at 10 p 10". [North East is a small town NE of Erie just before the border with New York.] He remained aboard the Jefferson until the weekend, when on Sunday, July 31st: "went down to Mother Freers she is sick Came back at 8 had a rain shower and rote a letter to George". [Who is George? Possibly an unmarried brother, but not likely to be his son who would have been only six at the time.] On Monday, August 1st: "went to Mayfield after shingles". [Mayfield is about 6 miles south of Euclid.] On Tuesday, he "finished shingling" and celebrated "went to a concert with wife staid to dance". Friday was back to work: "shipt bord the Prop Jefferson on the dry dock all day". On Saturday, the 6th: "got of the railway at 9 AM got up steam went up to the ware hous at 20 p 12 and found that steam pipe had burst left for Sandusky". [Must not have been a critical pipe or else it was easily repaired. However, problems continued on the Jefferson.] On Tuesday, stopt 2 hours to pump up the boiler a bout 11 miles out" [of Dunkirk.] And on Wednesday, the 10th: "went on deck 1 AM boat stopt could not make pump work by 3 hoses". [They still made it to Cleveland and on to Sandusky however.] But in Sandusky on Thursday, August 11th: "went up on the railway broke the chain and run off". [The railway was at the dry-dock where a chain was used to tow the boat up the railway. It must have been interesting when it broke.] They tried again on Friday: "went on the railway a gain to day" and on Saturday "got of the railway at 5 left for Dunkirk at 11 PM". On Sunday: "pumps would not work". They continued to muddle along back and forth between Cleveland and Dunkirk until Tuesday, September 6th, then: "left the Jefferson at 12 and went home". On Wednesday: "went to Mother Freers to day paid Charly Galls 5 dollars". [From a tabulation in the back of the diary it appears that Orin could have earned as much as $155 while working on the Jefferson during this period.] On Thursday, September 8th: "went to Cleveland went bord the Granite State". From there on the 9th: "left for Sandusky stopt at Black river took on 53 cords wood". [Black River comes out at present-day Lorain about 25 miles west of Cleveland.] On the next day, Saturday: "went to Putin bay master came near drounding left Sandusky for Detroit at 9". [Here is additional evidence that Orin was not the captain or master of the Granite State.] From then on until December 7th, the entries detail continuous steaming back and forth between Cleveland and Ogdensburg, New York, which is well down along the St. Lawrence River. These trips involved going through the Welland Canal. Notable locations mentioned include: Gravely Bay, possibly Chippewa Bay now; Pt Dullikon(?) somewhere around the south entrance to the Canal; Oswego, New York; Cape Vincent, at the entrance to the St. Lawrence; French Creek, downstream from Cape Vincent; Port Dalhosa, on the north end of the Canal; Port Colborne, at the south end; Long Point, a projection of Ontario in to the Lake directly north of Erie, Pennsylvania; Clayton, on the St. Lawrence in the 1000 Island area; Alexander Bay, same area; Genesee, possibly around Rochester; St. Catherines, at the the north end of the Canal. Interesting notes during this period include: September 19th: "left the bay at 6 with brig Mayflower (20) in tow". [The Mayflower had been built as a sailing vessel in 1844, but was rebuilt in 1857. It is probable that it was used as a barge from that time on.] 20th: "arrived Oswego commenced to load worked all night". 23rd: "left the Canal 1/2 p 2 AM arrived Clev 9 PM commenced to load at 10 -- 12 still at wor:8k". 24th: "1 AM 5 nigers quit -- workt all night". 25th: "4 AM finished unload Slep til 7 1/2 p 7 commenced to load -- worked til 6". 26th: "finished loading at 4 PM left for the Canal at 5 PM". This indicates that he was probably getting less that two or three hours sleep each night and supervising both steaming and loading and unloading when in port. [Review of the Painesville Telegraph for that period indicated that the newspaper was strongly abolitionist, so reference to the "nigers" quitting would confirm that there were a good many freed negros employed along the Lakes at that time.] On Thursday, October 6th: "left Clevaland for Toledo 6 AM run back for Capt Walch left at 8 arrived Put in bay at 3 PM". [This indication of Captain Walch missing the boat literally coupled with the time that Orin is spending running things suggests that the captain was probably involved in other pursuits. A bottle perhaps?] On the 10th: "arriv Clev unload our freight and went on the railway vessel leakt bad". Tuesday, the 11th: "shipt rudder went home at 8 PM on freight train". [This is the first time home since September 7th.] By Thursday, the 13th, he was back at it again on the way to Ogdensburg. On the 17th: "put patch on boiler fired up at 12 P blowd patch off". [What do you do when you can't patch the boiler?] By the next day, they must have gotten the boiler fixed since they "finished loading at 6 PM -- cold and froze". On the 20th in Oswego: "froze ice 3/4 inch thick". On Tuesday, October 25th: "company with Bay State (21) arrived in Clev 1/2 p 6 PM". [The Bay State was also a Northern Transit Co. vessel comparable in size to the Granite State.] On the 26th: "snowed all night workt all night". Trips now included Detroit on the 28th: "stopt at the Smelting works took off 20 tons fire brick workt til 1/2 p 12 A". On the 29th: "took on 2000 bushels wheat and 900 bbls flour". On the 30th: "took on 20 cords wood and left for the Canal at 5 PM". [This and subsequent notes indicate that the Granite State was a sizable vessel, but they conserved capacity by limiting wood to just enough to get to the next stop. For example, at Dalhosa on November 1st just 13 1/2 cords and on the 2nd at Clayton 9 cords and back at Clayton on the 4th 12 cords.] For some reason on November 7th: "took passengers off Bay State at St. Anthony". [This apparently was on the Canal south of St. Catherines.] On Wednesday the 9th: Arrived in Cleveland 1/2 p 1 AM -- workt til 9 PM then turned in been up 67 hours and slept til 5". [This man was in his prime at age 37, but it had to have been a tough life.] The next day: "left for Toledo 25 m to 3 A out 5 miles turn back very foggy took on the Akrons (22) freight and left 5 m to 5 PM -- sent a letter home with 10 dollars". [About time. Mary Ann probably could use the money.] A few more trips back and forth Cleveland to Toledo, Oswego and Clayton and finally on Wednesday, December 7th: "finished laying up went home at 1/2 p 5 P". However on the 8th: "Gov Cushman (23) went out". [This must have been one of the last vessels on the lake that year.] On the 9th: Paid Olmer $50 -- at home all day" and on the 10th "went down to the lake". [One would think that he would have been ready to hole up beside the fire.] On Sunday, the 12th: "at home all day had a load of wood delivered". The snow continued since on the 15th: "good slaying" and on the 16th "went to a dance last night". The last entry is on Tuesday, December 20th: "Wind still W light and snowing".
APPENDIX A VESSELS MENTIONED 1. Scow FREDERICK 1854, Black River (Lorraine) Ohio, by C. Hunter, 61 tons, wood, A. Frederick, owner. 2. Prop OWEGO 1853, Cleveland, by R. Calkins, 482 tons, wood, owed by Erie RR, registered Dunkirk, NY, packaged freight and passenger propeller driven steamer, Buffalo - Chicago -Duluth run, sunk 1857. (This doesn't appear correct based upon Lilly's notation in 1859.) 3. Prop PORTSMOUTH 1853, Buffalo, by Bidwell and Banta, 523 tons, wood, owed by Erie RR, lost on Lake Huron 1867. 4. JERSEY CITY 1855, Cleveland, by Geo. Washington Jones, 633 tons, wood, for S. D. Caldwell, registered Dunkirk, NY, cost $25,000. 5. Schooner CHIEF 1852, Clayton, NY. 6. Prop OLEAN 1856, Cleveland, by Quayle and Martin, wood, owed by Erie RR, packaged freight and passengers, cost $24,000. 7. Prop NORTH AMERICA 1857, Cleveland, by Quayle and Martin, 397 tons, wood, B burned St. Clair Flats 1858. 8. Scow CALIFORNIA Lost on Lake Erie, 1859. 9. Tug PETER SMITH TBD. 10. Scow PRICE 1843, China, Michigan, by Thompson Bros., 102 tons, wood. 11. Prop EQUINOX 1857, Buffalo, by F. N. Jones for western Transit Co. (NYC RR), 620 tons, wood, passenger and freight liner costing $29,000. Lost 1875 on Lake Michigan with 25 persons. 12. LADY OF THE LAKE 1846, Cleveland, 320 tons, wood, wrecked by boiler explosion on Lake Erie, March 26, 1859, sunk off Fairport, Ohio. 13. Scow BURK No listing. 14. Prop VERMONT 1851, Cleveland by Sanford and Moses for Northern Transit Co., 255 tons, wood. Sunk Lake Erie 1878. 15. Prop PRAIRIE STATE 1852, Ohio City (suburb of Cleveland) by Presley and Stevens for Northern Trans. Co. of Ogdensburg, NY, 352 tons, wood, cost $12,000, south shore of Lake Erie for ports-of-call. 16. Scow RICH No information. 17. Prop GRANITE STATE 1852, Ohio City,by Moses and Quayle for Northern Transit Co., Ogdensburg, NY, 355 tons, wood, sailed Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. 18. Scow ARCTIC 1853, Ashtabula, sunk in collision on Lake Huron. 19. Prop JEFFERSON 1853, Buffalo by Bidwell and Banta for Northern Transit Co., 344 tons, wood, Lakes packaged freighter. 20. Brig MAYFLOWER 1844, Cleveland by W. E. Turner, for Boyd and Simmons of Ogdensburg, 219 tons, wood, cost $6000, rebuilt 1857. 21. Prop BAY STATE 1852, Buffalo by Bidwell and Banta for Northern Transit Co., 373 tons, wood, passenger and packaged freighter, cost $12,000. Sunk 1862 on Lake Ontario. 22. AKRON No information. 23. GOVERNOR CUSHMAN 1857, Cleveland by Luther and Moses for D. Scott of Cleveland for $17,500. Rebuilt 1865. Boiler exploded 1868 on Lake Ontario. Eleven lost. COMMENTARY on APPENDIX A A number of conclusions may be drawn from the foregoing list of vessels that Orin Lilly either sailed on or encountered in the late 1850s. First, everything was built of wood which is not surprising since wood was still plentiful. The Great Lakes steel industry was several years in the future. Second, sailing vessels, which while they still existed were rapidly being replaced by propeller driven steamers, were modified to accept steam propulsion or reduced to being used as barges. Third, the average life of a vessel was less than ten years. Fourth, boiler explosions were a fairly common problem much as was the case on the river steamers of that era. Bulk freight such as ore or grain wasn't being carried yet. All of these vessels carried "packaged" freight, e.g. barrels of flour, meat or other agricultural products from the lake ports to the East and manufactured goods from the eastern ports on the St. Lawrence back to the Midwest. Most of the vessels were owned by subsidiaries of the dominant railroads and continued only as long as water transport was cheaper than rail. Several ship builders seemed to build most of the vessels. Bidwell and Banta seemed to have the Buffalo market sewed up with Quayle and Moses being pre-eminent in the Cleveland area. Moses, however, apparently partnered with whomever was available. Life was rough. Orin Lilly apparently survived boiler explosions, groundings, malaria and wicked Lake Erie weather, however; and lived to be 68 before he died in 1890. Interestingly, his sons didn't quite follow in their father's footsteps, but were involved in technical occupations. George worked for the Illinois Central RR as Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings. His brother, Henry, also started with the railroad in construction and moved on to build a number of buildings in Cleveland. APPENDIX B "BLOW-UP' The following is a verbatim copy of a news report appearing in the Painesville Telegraph for Thursday, March 31, 1859: BLOW-UP. - The "Lady of the Lake." Capt. Sisson, a Propeller owned by Chamberlin & Crawford, Cleveland, and running in the Ogdensburgh line bound for Dunkirk, came down to Fairport on Friday and lay in port until Saturday afternoon, when she left Fairport and had past the end of the piers not more than three-quarters of a mile and blew up and sank in a very few moments in water about 18 feet deep. There were 19 men on board, officers and hands, one of whom, Peter Miller was killed and one, the Cook, has not been found. Four others are more or less injured. The first Engineer, Mr. Stoddard, was thrown out into the Lake and but slightly injured. The second Engineer was passing down the stairs to oil the machinery at the time of the explosion and is dangerously injured; his leg was broken, besides being badly burned and bruised. He was found hanging on the ladder. The Fireman's shoulder was dislocated, and he was otherwise injured. Two others sustained light injuries. Most of the men were forward at the time of the accident, which accounts for no more being hurt. The craft had on board 1070 bbls. Flour, 100 do pork, 83 tierces hams and shoulders, 200 sacks wheat, 60 bbls. highwines and several bbls. eggs. The freight, we understand, was insured. About 100 bbls. Of the Flour have been saved, some of the highwines, most of the hams, and some bbls. Of the eggs. The craft was some thirteen years old which fact may give some clue to the cause of the catastrophe. COMMENTS on APPENDIX B Basically this news report confirms Orin Lilly's account of the boiler explosion with additional detail. This establishes that Sisson was the captain of the Lady of the Lake and apparently Orin had sailed under Sisson previously as indicated by the letter received on February 5, 1859. Since the news report indicates that the vessel was thirteen years old which may have contributed to the "catastrophe", it may be noted that records indicate that the vessel was closer to being fifteen years old. The average life of a steam vessel on the Lakes at that time was 10 years, so the observation was probably partially correct. Certainly, some of the problems which Orin noted on other vessels indicates that maintenance was an ongoing problem with older boats. The cargo at that time consisted of "packaged" goods which apparently aided salvage. The barrels of flour, pork, eggs and so forth, would float and could be salvaged relatively easily whereas sacks of wheat could not. The reference to "tierces" of hams and shoulders is interesting in that a "tierce" was "a cask of tierce [equal to 1/3 pipe or approximately 42 gallons] capacity for wine or other commodities (as salted meat)". "Highwine" is another archaic term for "distilled spirits containing a high percentage of alcohol". The fact that the cargo was apparently insured may provide a clue as to why Orin was spending a good portion of time in mid June at Spauldings law office. It may be that he was required to provide depositions regarding the condition of the vessel or the salvage operations. He certainly was intimately involved in both. This, however, does not explain why he was unemployed from mid June until August 5th, unless he just wanted to work on his house. FUTURE RESEARCH The mystery of Orin Lilly's time ashore during mid summer 1859 is worthy of further investigation. It would appear that it will be necessary to research the owners, Chamberlin & Crawford, Captain Sisson and Spauldings law firm. The entire picture at that time is fascinating. The abolitionist sentiments of the Painesville Telegraph suggest that Lake trade during the Civil War might be quite interesting. Was Orin Lilly involved with any military endeavors or was Mary Ann Sullivan Lilly's brother, Henry, the only family participant in the War? The real mystery, of course, is what happened to Dennis Sullivan after he purchased the property outside of Euclid. Gladys Lilly Harvey obviously was able to research the family back that far, so records should exist which would permit further research into both the Lilly and Sullivan families. Bill Harvey November 13, 1997 Onsite File Index