Cruise and Social History: 4th of July – Beginning of the 20th Century – the Lake Michigan steamer TASHMOO…

Social History: 4th of July – Beginning of the 20th Century – Great Lakes steamers on Independence Day… the LAKE STEAMER TASHMOO…

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4th of July – 1901 – Detroit, Michigan – Excursion steamers Tashmoo and Idlewild at wharves…

800px-SS_TashmooThe Tashmoo was the first ship constructed in 1900 and was launched on December 31, 1899. It was built by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company in Wyandotte, Michigan for Detroit’s White Star Line. The Tashmoo was nicknamed the “White Flyer” and, because of the number of windows on the ship, the “Glass Hack.”

The Tashmoo’s regular route was from Detroit to Port Huron, Michigan. It made several stops along the way, including at its namesake, Tashmoo Park.

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“Tashmoo at the dock, Star Island House, St. Clair Flats,” c. 1900-1901. The Detroit River excursion steamer SS Tashmoo, a sidewheeler, stopped at Tashmoo Park on the St. Clair Flats on trips between Detroit and Port Huron. A high point in the boat’s eventful 36-year life was the night in 1927 that she broke free of her moorings in a winter storm and headed downriver on her own. Her end came in 1936, when she hit a submerged rock and sank.

tashmooAfter a race between the City of Chicago and the City of Milwaukee in September 1900, a Chicago–newspaper boasted that the winner (the City of Chicago) was the “fastest on the lakes”. A paper in Detroit, Michigan subsequently listed nine vessels that could have easily beaten the City of Chicago. The list did not mention the Tashmoo. A. A. Parker, the president of the White Star Line, offered $1,000 to any ship that could beat the Tashmoo in a race. The president of the Cleveland Buffalo Transit Company accepted the challenge on behalf of his ship, the City of Erie. The course was 82 nautical miles (152 km; 94 mi) long and went from Cleveland, Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania.

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4th of July – 1912 – Detroit , Michigan . Daily river excursion steamers. Sidewheelers Tashmoo, Owana and City of Detroit III at White Star Line dock…

5782883725_9a234073e8The Tashmoo fell behind at the start of the race but quickly regained ground. It was forced to slow after going out of sight of the shore because the “wheelman was not used to steering [only] by compass.” The Tashmoo was later forced to slow again due to an overheating condenser.[5] The City of Erie eventually beat the Tashmoo by 45 seconds, but the Tashmoo had been catching up to the City of Erie before the finish. A. A. Parker offered the owners of the City of Erie $10,000 for a rematch, but they refused the offer, although they later admitted that the Tashmoo was the faster ship.[5] End of service

On December 8, 1927, the Tashmoo snapped its moorings during a gale and starting drifting up the Detroit River. It collided with a ferry and was found further upstream, stopped by the Belle Isle Bridge. Two tugboats pulled the Tashmoo away from bridge, but the cables broke again and the ship once again headed for the bridge. The ship was 10 yards (9.1 m) away from the bridge before the tugboats were able to get the Tashmoo secured again. The ship was eventually repaired.

On June 18, 1936, the Tashmoo struck a submerged rock as it was leaving Sugar Island. The ship was able to dock in Amherstburg, Ontario and be evacuated before it sank in 18 feet (5.5 m) of water. It was eventually scrapped. It was entered into the National Maritime Hall of Fame in 1985.

More wonderful photos on the 4th of July – in the early 1900s…

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4th of July – 1904 – The Jersey Shore – Steeplechase Pier and bathers, Atlantic City…

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4th of July – 1905 – Coney Island , New York – Surf bathing…

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4th of July – 1905 – The New Jersey shore. “Boardwalk and beach, Asbury Park…

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4th of July – 1907 - Detroit - Band concert on Grand Canal, Belle Isle Park…

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4th of July – 1910 –  The Jersey Shore . “Steel Pier, Atlantic City “

 

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

2 comments

  1. When the Great Depression hit the United States in 1929, the White Star Line’s business took a tremendous hit. Dozens of pleasure steamers were laid up, including the Greyhound . The steamship line was renamed the White Star Navigation Co., but the slight name tweak didn’t change the company’s luck. Many Detroiters were losing their jobs and just didn’t have the money to go to the park anymore. Businesses stopped chartering the boats for cruises. Things were looking bleak for the Tashmoo. Yet she managed to weather the Depression.

  2. When the Great Depression hit the United States in 1929, the White Star Line’s business took a tremendous hit. Dozens of pleasure steamers were laid up, including the Greyhound . The steamship line was renamed the White Star Navigation Co., but the slight name tweak didn’t change the company’s luck. Many Detroiters were losing their jobs and just didn’t have the money to go to the park anymore. Businesses stopped chartering the boats for cruises. Things were looking bleak for the Tashmoo. Yet she managed to weather the Depression.

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