Great Ships of the Niagara Historical

Great Ships of the Niagara Historical (HM1UWM)

Location: Tonawanda, NY 14150 Erie County
Country: United States of America

N 43° 0.981', W 78° 53.54'

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Inscription

Niagara River Greenway

Three Centuries of Commerce
The first great ship to pass by this spot was the Griffin built by Robert de La Salle in 1679 near Cayuga Island just around the bend behind Grand Island. She sailed up the Niagara River past this point on her way to Buffalo whence she set sail across the Great Lakes, being the first commercial ship to sail these inland waters. The Erastus Corning, a 216 foot 3-masted bark, was built here at Tonawanda by F.N. Jones in 1867 with a capacity to haul 50,000 bushels of cargo. "Mr. F.N. Jones, ably assisted by his Foreman - Mr. John Humble - has achieved the triumph of naval architecture on the inland waters, in building the bark Erastus Corning, the largest and finest vessel that ever sailed fresh water. She was built at Tonawanda and was launched Wednesday April 24th." Buffalo Daily Courier May 6, 1867 By the mid 19th Century, hundreds of lake ships began visiting Tonawanda Harbor, most bringing in lumber from the extensive Great Lakes watershed. By the 1890s, Tonawanda Harbor was the 2nd largest lumber port in the world. The 20th century saw the addition of even larger lake freighters hauling iron ore and more lumber to the Tonawandas. Lumber hookers, the most frequent lake vessels to visit Tonawanda in the late 19th Century, played a major role
in making this harbor the 2nd largest lumber port in the world for two decades. First conceived by Tonawanda interests in 1906, giant steel lake freighters topping 600 feet in length regularly hauled iron ore and pulp logs to Twin City industries through the first half of the 20th Century. Lost Vessels Any ship that caught fire in this vicinity was considered a great threat to the extensive lumber piles stretching along the shores on the Niagara River. These floating torches were usually guided to the far Grand Island shore where they could safely burn and sink to the river's depths. The maritime relics on display nearby in Niawanda Park were all removed from the river's bottom in the 1970s. Their exact tales of destruction are lost now, but they could well have witnessed an event like the loss of the Embury at Tonawanda in 1903 as recorded in the Buffalo Times. Narrow Escape of Crew Gallant conduct of Capt. E.D. Curran and crew. Blazing vessel was laden with 250,000 feet of pine lumber and deck load of laths - beached on Grand Island last night - loss about $35,000.
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Details
HM NumberHM1UWM
Tags
Placed ByHistorical Society of the Tonawandas
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 8th, 2016 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 671749 N 4764786
Decimal Degrees43.01635000, -78.89233333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 0.981', W 78° 53.54'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 0' 58.86" N, 78° 53' 32.4" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Riverwalk, Tonawanda NY 14150, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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