Part 1 out of 2
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Clare Boothby
and PG Distributed Proofreaders
[Transcriber's note: The non-standard spellings of the original text
have been retained in this etext.]
JOHANNA S. WISTHALER.
"Travel is the great source of true wisdom."
To my amiable traveling companions,
Mr. S.R. James and family,
Miss Sarah E. Campbell,
this volume is affectionately inscribed
It has been the aim of the author: to combine a detailed narrative of her
trip by water to the White City with a faithful description of the ever
memorable Columbian Exposition as far as possible consistent with the
scope of this work. Every opportunity has been embraced by the writer to
incorporate the historical events, scientific facts, and natural phenomena
most appropriate to the subject.
The author also acknowledges her indebtedness to the Lake Shore & Michigan
Southern Railway Co. as well as her obligations to the Winters Art Litho
Co. in Chicago. She wishes to express her gratitude to the first-mentioned
corporation for having presented her with a map illustrative of the route;
thus enabling the reader to trace the numerous towns and cities--on the
Erie Canal and three Great Lakes--whose history and attractions have been
depicted in this book.
The Lake Shore Route--selected by the Government to run the famous Fast
Mail Trains--is the only double track line between Chicago, Cleveland,
Buffalo, New York, and Boston.--During the existence of the White City,
the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Co. placed in service special
trains for the purpose of facilitating railway transportation between the
eastern cities and the "Queen of the West." The "Exposition Flyer," which
accomplished nearly 1,000 miles in twenty hours from Chicago to New York,
an average of about fifty miles per hour, was certainly one of the fastest
trains in the World.
To the aid of the Winters Art Litho Co. the author owes her capability of
furnishing this volume with a novel illustration of the World's Fair.--A
gold medal was awarded to this firm for the excellence in their water
color fac-simile reproductions and advancement in legitimate lithography.
The credit of improvements in materially reducing the number of printings,
and still maintaining excellence in results, was conceded to them by the
Judges.--This company kindly permitted the author to use their copyright
of the revised and most correct Bird's Eye View of the Exposition Grounds
extant, which gives the readers a very adequate conception of that
marvelous creation that--while existing only for such a brief period--has
accomplished its mission in the highest degree, and has opened a new era
in the annals of modern progress.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y., December, 1893.
CHAPTER I _Voyage on the Erie Canal_
Departure from Schenectady, N Y
Amsterdam, Canajoharie, Little Falls
Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Lyons
Palmyra, Rochester, Lockport
CHAPTER II _Sojourn in Buffalo and Visit to Niagara falls_.
City of Buffalo
Mill's Dry Dock
Niagara Falls, American Horseshoe and Central Falls
CHAPTER III _Voyage on Three Great Lakes_
Dunkirk, Erie, Conneaut
City of Detroit
Lake St Clair
River St Clair
Port Huron, Sarnia
Sand Beach Beacon Saginaw Bay, Tawas City, Alpena
Rock-bound on Gull Island Ledge
False Presqu'ile, Cheboygan
Straits of Mackinaw, Mackinaw Island
Beaver Island, Northport
Frankfort, Manistee, Muskegon
South Haven, Life Saving Service
Michigan City, White City
CHAPTER IV _Stay in Chicago and Visit to the World's Fair_
_A Round Trip on the Exposition Grounds_
_Visit to the Midway Plaisance_
Diamond Match Co, Workingmen's Home
Congress of Beauty, California Nursery and Citrus Tree
Electric Scenic Theater, Libbey Glass Works
Irish Village and Donegal Castle, Japanese Bazaar
Javanese Village, German Village
Pompeii Panorama. Persian Theater
Model of the Eiffel Tower, Street in Cairo
Algerian and Tunisian Village, Kilauea Panorama
American Indian Village, Chinese Village
Wild East Show, Lapland Village
Dahomey Village, Austrian Village
Ferris Wheel, Ice Railway
Cathedral of St. Peter in miniature, Moorish Palace
Turkish Village, Panorama of the Bernese Alps
South Sea Islanders' Village. Hagenbeck's Zoological Arena
Irish Village and Blarney Castle, etc.
_Visit to the Exposition Structures_.
Manufactures Building and on Manufactures
U.S. Government Building and on the Development of the
Fisheries Building and on Fisheries
Agricultural Building and on Agriculture
Live Stock Exhibit, Dairy and Forestry Buildings
Palace of Mechanical Arts and on Machinery
Electricity Building and on Electricity, the "Golden or
Mines and Mining Building and on Minerals
Transportation Building and on Railroad, Marine, and
Ordinary Road Vehicle Conveyances
Palace of Horticulture and on Horticulture
Liberal Arts Building. Educational Exhibits
_Chicago, its Growth and Importance_
Woman's Building and on Women
Art Palace and on Art
Foreign and State Buildings
Financial Account of the World's Fair
Statistical Table of International Expositions
Experience, this greatest of all teachers, will undoubtedly have convinced
many of my readers that the most delightful voyage is only capable of
maintaining its charms when made amidst congenial fellow-travelers. The
grandest scenes can be fully enjoyed and duly appreciated when viewed
through an atmosphere of physical comfort. Thus, in order to demonstrate
the accuracy of the assertion:
Voyaging with Mr. James and his family was
attractive and enjoyable to me in every respect,
I must make the reader acquainted with my amiable traveling companions, as
well as with their floating home, the beautiful steam yacht "Marguerite."
Her owner, _Captain S. R. James_, is a stately, fine-looking, accomplished
gentleman, and quite a linguist. To me it was a source of unusual pleasure
to discuss French and German literature occasionally during our voyage
with one who has given so much attention to these languages.
Mr. James was styled by the Buffalo Courier "a typical New Yorker;" but he
impresses me more as a typified English gentleman of the thorough school,
and this impression is confirmed as I reflect upon his conduct to those
fortunate enough to be associated with him in any capacity.
I trust the reader will pardon me if I warmly eulogize MR. JAMES, his
lovely WIFE and their FOUR sweet CHILDREN, together with Miss SARAH E.
CAMPBELL, the very amiable sister of Mrs. James--who were my traveling
companions on this eventful trip; for, certainly, I was extremely
fortunate in my _compagnons de voyage_, whom I have thus introduced to the
reader. They abandoned their lovely home for the purpose of undertaking
the gigantic enterprise of making a canal and lake voyage to the White
The reader may well judge that sailing on a yacht presents innumerable
novelties and advantages not attainable by any other conveyance. Since the
parties on board a pleasure-boat concentrate all their thoughts to the
expected enjoyments they cast aside all irksome forms and strait-laced
habitudes, delivering themselves up to the free air to live less
conventionally than at home. The preferableness of such an existence,
freed from all unnecessary ceremonies, is still more perceptible when the
trip is of long duration and having, moreover, for its terminus the
World's Columbian Exposition, a place where the wonders, beauties, and
evidences of nature's power and man's skill are gathered from all lands.
The great anticipations we had of our unique voyage were justified in
every respect. For it offered us the opportunity to store our memories
with that which will never die, and to adorn them with pictures whose
colors will never fade.
All this will be revealed subsequently to my courteous reader, who is
cordially invited to follow me now on board the steam yacht, which formed
our home for six eventful weeks.
What first strikes the observer on approaching the "Marguerite," are the
graceful lines which run from the sharp, slightly bent stem to the
well-rounded stern. So beautiful is her form, and so majestically does she
rest upon the water, that you will have no difficulty to recognize her,
even at a great distance. You observe that she is painted with taste, and
all the mouldings are gilded; you also perceive that the railings are of
oak wood, surmounted by finely polished brass, and the deck of narrow deal
planks is as white as snow. There is nothing wanting to make her equipment
harmonize with the requirements of the present era. She has a length of a
hundred feet, a width of about fifteen, with a draught of five feet eight
inches; being fitted out for both steam and sail navigation.
Now, dear reader, let us go below. If you consent, we will first visit the
engine-room, since it contains the most essential part of the working
machinery. A force of from eighty-five to ninety horse-power is developed
to propel the boat. The engine is of the triple expansion type; the
diameters of the cylinders being 6-1/2, 10 and 16 inches respectively.
Are you not pleased with this piece of machinery, so elegantly finished
and neatly polished? From it you can conclude that the yacht is capable of
running with considerable speed, amounting to thirteen miles an hour, if
Let us descend to the cabin next; can anything be more tasteful and
convenient? Is it not luxurious? And, although small, does not its very
limited space astonish you when you view so many comforts? This is the
dining-room. What can be more complete! Just look at this side-board, with
its sumptuous outfit in silver and crystal. _A multum in parvo._
The kitchen is admirably arranged; the spacious refrigerator making it
possible that a considerable amount of all sorts of provisions and
delicacies can be kept on board for some time.
Let us peep into the cozy staterooms. Are they not nicely furnished?
Glance at the large and comfortable berths, which can be extended so as to
form double berths, as in a Pullman car. All the rooms receive light,
either through side-windows or from the upper deck. Every facility for
enjoying open air exercise is offered by the main deck running the whole
length of the ship. The portion pertaining to the stern is especially
commodious, and constituted our dining-room on pleasant days. Even when
the weather was unfavorable, the awnings which inclosed this delightful
place formed an excellent shelter, giving the impression we were living in
a large tent.
Thus, you observe, that nothing is omitted to secure comfort. Do you see
this electric bell? Well, all the staterooms are provided with such bells,
which are connected with the steward's pantry.
Now, let us go forward. These two doors form the entrance to the
pilot-house; please, step in. Here is the steering wheel, and by means of
these brass tubes the steersman communicates with the engineer. Look up
to the ceiling. It is decorated with multitudinous charts and maps. Before
we leave this room do not forget to glance at the mariner's compass in its
elegant brass case.
Close by is the entrance to the fore-castle, which contains the men's
berths. The crew occupying them consists of the captain, the engineer, the
cook, the steward, and the seamen.
There not being accommodation for more female servants, Mrs. James was
attended by only one maid. She, however, could easily spare larger
retinue, because this excellent girl has assisted her mistress in
performing the manifold domestic duties for more than fourteen years, and
during this long period Mrs. James has learned to value her for her
dexterity in all female occupations. She is also a faithful guardian of
the children for whom she tenderly cares.
Flattering myself that I have given my kind readers a satisfactory,
introductory description, I shall now advance with the narrative, and
proceed on our journey, traversing the longest artificial waterway ever
constructed by human hands; and sailing on the unsteady billows of the
great lakes, which contain the largest amount of sweet water on the globe,
in order to visit the World's Fair, the grandest and most complete
exposition that human eyes ever beheld.
VOYAGE ON THE ERIE CANAL FROM JULY 22ND, 10.40 A.M., TILL JULY 29TH, 1.30
Finally, the 22nd of July, the day appointed for our departure, had
arrived. Great was my satisfaction to find the auspices predicting fine
weather; and, indeed, it was as beautiful as if Heaven smiled on our
enterprise. When taking leave of my neighbors, it was not at all with a
sad sentiment, for I had been well aware that I was going to undertake a
trip which but few mortals are so fortunate as to participate.
Accompanied by my dear parents I went to Dock street, where the
"Marguerite" lay all ready for leaving the flourishing city of
My mother, whose domestic duties recalled her to the hearth at home, was
compelled to leave me, while my father remained on board the yacht,
anxious to enjoy my company as long as circumstances would permit.
Therefore, he gladly accepted Mr. James's kind invitation to accompany us
on our journey for a short distance.
Three intimate friends of Mr. James and his family were also invited
guests on the boat. These temporary traveling companions were Dr. A.
Veeder, Lawyer Charles Hastings and Congressman S.J. Schermerhorn, three
well known and highly estimated gentlemen from Schenectady.
At 11.40 A.M., Mr. James gave orders to haul in the lines attaching the
boat to the shore; and a gun-shot at departing announced to the numerous
spectators that the "Marguerite" was on the point to set out for her
unusual, but most interesting trip.
We had been sailing only a very short distance, and were just facing the
buildings of the General Electric Company, when our attention was
attracted by a photographer who seemed to be very desirous of taking a
photo of the yacht and her passengers; for he aspired to gain the most
favorable posture, apparently quite a task under the circumstances. How
well he succeeded in his endeavors, the readers can judge for themselves
by glancing at the frontispiece of this book.
Resuming our journey, we soon had opportunity to admire the beautiful and
fertile Mohawk Valley, once the home of one of the tribes composing the
Five Nations. Arendt Van Curler, the noble founder of the "Place Beyond
the Pines," pronounced this picturesque region the most beautiful the eye
of man had ever beheld, at a time when the country was yet in its infancy.
Though great changes have taken place since that remote date (1642), the
grandeur of the scenes spread before us evidently showed that the country
has lost little of its beauty, even at the present day, nothwithstanding
the white man has established in many places his smoking factories and
At the second lock Mr. Schermerhorn, who owns a beautiful residence near
this place, in the Township of Rotterdam, joined our party, whereupon we
continued sailing on the smooth surface of the canal with accelerated
At 2.40 P.M., after having passed five locks, we approached _Amsterdam_,
an enterprising and prosperous city of over 20,000 inhabitants, located in
the midst of romantic scenery. We halted at Port Jackson for a few
minutes, since this was the terminus of the voyage of Mr. Hastings and my
When parting with me, my father said:
"This short tour has sufficed me to perceive how delightful your voyage
promises to be in company with this amiable family. Thus I leave you,
feeling very happy that so many pleasures and enjoyments are awaiting
I answered his kind words with a hearty parting kiss, as a token of my
The two gentlemen, after having abandoned the yacht, ascended the bridge
that spans the canal at that point; and bidding us farewell once more,
they pursued us with their eyes until the graceful lines of the
"Marguerite" had become invisible in the distance.
Continuing our voyage, I was in perfect rapture with the ever varying
magnificence of the luxuriant Mohawk Valley. In the afternoon the sky
became overcast and the quietude that had been prevailing was interrupted
by a thunder-clap, which gave us the signal to prepare for a shower. After
the expiration of a few minutes the full-charged clouds poured their
deluge upon mother earth. This natural phenomenon, however, was only of
short duration; but sufficient to render the atmosphere most delightfully
pure and refreshing. It was now a redoubled pleasure to view the many
hills and dales, adorned in every shade of verdure, varying with romantic
forest scenes; all mingling into one inexpressibly rich garniture in which
Nature had royally clad herself in order to give us greeting on our way.
As we reached Fultonville, a suburban village of Fonda, about twenty-six
miles from Schenectady, Dr. Veeder and Congressman Schermerhorn parted
with us, wishing us a pleasurable voyage.
The "Marguerite," gliding along, neared the vicinity of Sprakers when
suddenly the "heaven grew black again with the storm-cloud's frown," and a
flash of lightning illuminated the sky with crimson radiance. It is for a
moment as if the horizon was in flames, a spectacle glorious to behold.
Another minute and a peal of thunder reaches our ears. Then the dark,
heavy clouds discharge their contents in copious abundance.
"In grateful silence earth receives
The general blessing: fresh and fair
Each flower expands its little leaves
As glad the common joy to share."
While it is still raining,
"The sun breaks forth, from off the scene
Its floating veil of mist is flung.
And all the wilderness of green
With trembling drops of light is hung."
A magnificent rainbow, spanning the boundless arch on high, embellishes
this superb panorama.
As the sunset was bathing all summits in soft, crimson light, and the pale
lustre of the orbed moon appeared in the east, we arrived at
This small town, noted for its fine stone quarries, was chosen for our
abode over Sunday, and busy hands carried out the order to safely moor our
craft near the bridge pertaining to the main street.
When taking a long walk about the town, I found that, although inferior in
size, it is a very desirable place for summer residences; being
beautifully situated on romantic slopes crowned with elegant and tasty
Canajoharie is regularly and appropriately laid out with wide, well kept
and adequately lighted thoroughfares, and many citizens reside in spacious
and architecturally ornamented houses. It is a recognized center of trade,
from which agricultural products of all kinds are shipped.
In the first historic record, dated 1757, the place was styled "Fort
Cannatchocary," and mentioned as a prospering settlement. Incorporated as
a town in 1788, its population has been rapidly increasing since then,
and now is estimated to amount to more than 3,000.
It was a glorious morning, the 24th of July, as we left Canajoharie. The
sun rose up into a cloudless heaven and poured a flood of gorgeous
splendor over the landscape, as if proud of the realm he shone upon.
When I entered the pilot-house I found Mr. James, in the absence of the
captain, busy steering the yacht, and in the course of our long voyage I
often had opportunity to admire his abilities as a navigator. On many
occasions I observed that he was very cautious in all his proceedings;
that he took nothing for granted, and was only convinced of a fact when
properly certified by ocular demonstration.
Engaged in a French conversation with the dexterous commodore, the time,
as well as the vessel, was rapidly gliding along; the latter being
assisted by a little breeze that rippled the surface of the water. So,
after a three miles' ride, we approached _Fort Plain_, which boasts of
numerous factories, and also the largest spring and axle works of the
world. The Clinton Liberal Institute, one of the leading military schools
of the State, occupies a commanding position, overlooking the valley. The
site of old Fort Plain, of revolutionary memory, is within the village
Having passed Cox and Mindenville, a route of nine miles brought us into
the proximity of the busy town of _Little Falls_, which has a population
of about 10,000. It is romantically situated, and many elegant dwellings
stand upon steep acclivities, commanding views of grand and attractive
sceneries. The chief products of the numerous manufactories are knit
goods. Little Falls is also one of the principal cheese markets of the
Empire State. The Mohawk river supplies the place with abundant
water-power, having at this point a fall of forty-five feet in half a
Still proceeding on our voyage, the town was soon out of sight. The sun
shone with the clearest splendor from the zenith, beautifully illumining
the smiling valleys, wooded hills, sparkling brooks and dimpled lakes,
which makes this landscape scene so attractive. We were unable to leave
our seats on the stern-deck; for everything around us seemed to have
assumed the character of enchantment, and--had I been educated in the
Grecian mythology--I should scarcely have been surprised to find an
assemblage of Dryads, Naiads and Oreads sporting on the plain beside us.
After having viewed Mohawk, eight miles from Little Falls; Herkimer, a
town of about 5,000 inhabitants; Ilion, with a population of nearly the
same number, and Frankfort, four miles from Utica, we reached the latter
"The sunset gorgeous dyes,
Paled slowly from the skies,"
having achieved forty-two miles that day.
_Utica_ contains approximately 47,000 residents. At the time of the
revolution it was a frontier trading-post and the site of Fort Schuyler,
built to guard the settlements against the French and Indians.
We made arrangements to remain in this city over night.
A long walk through Utica made us acquainted with a regular and handsomely
built city, which rises from the south bank of the Mohawk River to an
elevation of 150 feet. Among the stately buildings are six large hotels,
the handsome city hall, the postoffice and the bank edifice. There is also
a State Lunatic Asylum. Utica, being in the center of a great dairy
region, has become the most important cheese market in the United States.
Genesee Street is the principal thoroughfare lined with large blocks of
The city has not yet attained its centennial; but during its history of
less than a century it has experienced a wonderful growth, especially
during the last fifty years.
At 7 o'clock the next morning we resumed our voyage, sailing on the
so-called sixty mile level; having thus the delightful prospect not to
be detained by going through numerous locks.
We were also _in limine_ of the far-famed lake region, and soon traversed
one of the finest portions of New York State.
Passing the hamlets of York Mills, Whitesboro and Oriskany, the
"Marguerite" advanced near to the city of _Rome_ towards 10 o'clock A.M.
In its vicinity the famous battle of Oriskany was fought; and Fort
Stanwix, which was besieged by the British in 1777, occupies a site now in
the center of the city of Rome. The latter is laid out with wide streets
well shaded with maples and elms. In the resident portion, a very high
artistic taste has been displayed in the erection of dwelling houses.
Although this thriving city of almost 16,000 inhabitants has not so many
points of interest as its namesake, the ancient metropolis of the glorious
Roman empire, whose wealth of antiquities is perfectly marvelous and whose
relics of classical and papal times are alike almost innumerable; still it
possesses one interesting feature that ought not to be left unmentioned:
It was here that cheese was first made in factories.
Other important manufactures are merchantable iron, brass and copper,
locomotives and agricultural implements.
Greatly favored by the clemency of the weather, we sped through this
beautiful region, which is a never ending source of interest to the
tourist, sailing past New London, Grove Springs, Higginsville, Dunbarton,
State Bridge, Durhamville, Lenox Basin, Canastota, New Boston,
Chittenango, Bolivar, Pool's Brook, Kirkville, Manlius and Lodi. At the
latter place the bed of the canal suddenly widens considerably, being
about twice its average width. Entering that portion of the grand
artificial waterway, we found its waters so shallow that we could plainly
discern its rocky bed.
We entered the city of _Syracuse_ when the last streak of daylight had
faded from the west and the blush on the waters was followed by the
reflection of the far blue arch and its starry host.
Opposite the city hall, a magnificent structure, the "Marguerite" was made
fast to repose after a fifty-five miles' course that day.
Syracuse, situated in the heart of New York State, has been appropriately
named the "Central City." Its wonderful growth for the past twenty years
entitles it to rank amongst the foremost cities of the East. It has a
population of nearly 100,000, and is one of the leading manufacturing
towns of the country. For a long period Syracuse practically controlled
the salt product of the United States; in fact, it was that which first
gave the place its importance. The existence of the vast salt springs of
Onondaga was known to the Indians at an early date, and the secret was by
them imparted to the Jesuits in 1654. The State took possession of the
springs in 1794; and laws were passed for the conduct of the manufacture.
Although numerous companies are now engaged in this industry, it
constitutes a comparatively small factor in the commercial interests of
the city, inasmuch as it possesses at the present time over five hundred
industrial establishments; giving employment to not less than twenty
The city is handsomely laid out, containing many fine public buildings and
When I came on deck the following morning the rain fell in heavy showers.
A cloud appeared to open directly over our heads, and let down the water
almost in one body, but at 7.15, as the violence of the rainfall had
somewhat abated, we departed from Syracuse, sailing past Geddes, Bell'isle
and Canton, where we struck another shallow place in the canal. As we
approached Peru the mists were rolling away, which gradually, as they
became thinner, received and transmitted the rays of the sun; illuminating
them with a golden radiance, increasing every minute in splendor, until
Therefore, it was a redoubled pleasure to glance at the green plains
studded with yet greener woodlands; the little mountains raising their
crests, and the lovely lakes gleaming like floods of molten silver.
Thus we journeyed along past Weedsport, Centerport, Port Byron, Montezuma,
Pitt Lock, Clyde and Lock Berlin.
Nearly midway between Syracuse and Rochester, forty-nine miles from the
former city, we halted, choosing _Lyons_ for our night's lodging. The
town, having a population of almost 6,000, is the seat of Wayne County,
which produces more dried fruit than any other county in the State. The
oil of peppermint forms an important product of manufacture, there being a
score of peppermint distilleries yielding annually more than 100,000
pounds of this costly oil.
Thursday, the 27th of July, as the tints of a bright morning reddened the
eastern sky, we pursued our journey, greatly delighted with the cool and
refreshing atmosphere. Speeding along we passed Arcadia; Newark, a
thriving town, numbering about 4,000 inhabitants; and Palmyra, seven miles
beyond, with broad and well shaded streets.
Two miles south of _Palmyra_ Joe Smith, the founder of Mormonism, claimed
to have dug from a hill, which now bears the name of Mormon Hill, the
golden plates constituting the first Mormon Bible.
Sailing by the villages of Lower and Upper Macedon, Pittsford was reached;
a beautiful town of more than 3,000 inhabitants and one of the oldest
settlements in that part of the State. Here is located the famous
"Pittsford Farm," which is one of the finest stock farms in the East. It
is at this place that Shetland ponies, Jersey cattle and Angora cats are
raised in great numbers. Uncountable varieties of water-fowl can always be
seen at this point.
Having passed Brighton, we arrived at _Rochester_ long ere the first gold
dye of sunset was stealing into the vast blue arch on high, having
traveled forty-two miles that day.
Near the center of the city destined for our nightly abode, a multitude of
curious spectators had assembled in order to view the handsome yacht. I
made the observation that during our entire voyage the "Marguerite,"
wherever she made her appearance, was universally admired.
The important city of Rochester is situated on the Genesee River, seven
miles south of its entrance into Lake Ontario. It is one of the leading
manufacturing cities of the country, having more than 150,000 inhabitants.
In 1802 it was founded by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, a representative
pioneer of the Genesee River Valley. In 1834 it received its charter as a
city, and has since increased in population and importance with marvelous
rapidity. The fertility of the surrounding country and the splendid
water-power furnished by the Genesee River, together with unexcelled
transportation facilities, have contributed largely to its growth.
Both in the latter part of the afternoon and evening, we deserted the
yacht for the purpose of admiring the various beauties and points of
interest, which give this town such a far spread reputation.
We received the conviction that Rochester, in fact, deserves its fame.
Covering an area of about seventeen square miles, it is laid out chiefly
in squares, with streets from sixty to one hundred feet wide, shaded by
beautiful trees. It abounds in handsome and tasteful residences, which are
for the most part surrounded by carefully tended lawns and gardens. Its
fire-proof office buildings and warehouses, are a credit to the city; only
few, even in the metropolis, are equal to them in magnificence.
In the center of the city are the upper Falls of the Genesee, a
perpendicular cataract of ninety-six feet, over which Sam Patch made his
last and fatal leap.
To the prominent public institutions of Rochester belong the State
Industrial School, two large hospitals, an Institution for Deaf-Mutes, and
charitable organizations of every description. The principal business
thoroughfare, Main Street, is in the heart of the city, and crosses the
river over a handsome iron bridge.
The manufactures of Rochester are extensive and varied. In early years
flour was the chief product, giving it the title "Flour City;" there being
no less than eighteen mills within its limits. Rochester might be also
appropriately styled the "Flower City," for its nursery trade is hardly
surpassed by that of any other place in the world. The suburbs are highly
cultivated, having 4,000 acres of fruit trees, and nurseries containing
from 250 to 500 acres.
Other important industries are cotton and paper mills; oil refineries;
boot and shoe, clothing, furniture, perfumery and tobacco manufactories.
A feature that attracts thousands of visitors daily, is the great Powers
Art Gallery, the private property of Mr. D.W. Powers, occupying the
greater part of the two upper floors pertaining to the Powers Building.
In fact, a plentitude of resources makes the city interesting to the
The next day, when "morn was blushing in the sky," we bade farewell to
Rochester; and, sailing on the other sixty-mile level, we continued our
journey through a charming region past Greece, Spencerport, King & Adams,
Cooley's Basin, and arrived at the attractive village of Brockport.
Beautifully situated in the midst of a country teeming with abundance and
inhabited by a prosperous and contented population, it contains many
features of interest. Here is located a State Normal School, and also
several extensive manufactories of agricultural implements.
Passing Holley, Hulberton and Hindsburg, we came to Albion, the capital of
Orleans County. The latter village is nicely laid out with wide streets
and shaded by large trees. It contains many handsome residences and public
Having proceeded more westward, beyond Eagle Harbor and Knowlesville, we
caught sight of the pleasant town of Medina, about midway between
Rochester and Buffalo, noted for its quarries of dark-red sandstone.
Located in the midst of a fine fruit country, it has the reputation of
being one of the best fruit markets in the State. Speeding through the
thriving villages of Middleport, Reynall's Basin and Cataract Springs, we
neared a deep ravine, through which the Erie Canal passes, following a
natural waterway. Here we met the most remarkable drop of the canal, in
its chain of five continuous double locks, resembling a flight of stairs.
Entering these, the "Marguerite" gradually rose higher and higher; and
when quitting the last of them, she had been lifted up to an elevation of
sixty feet by these five locks, and if we had not observed the busy hands
working for our ascent, we might have been inclined to imagine that an
invisible cloud was slowly carrying us to unknown regions on high.
We made _Lockport_ our resting-place for the night; since the sun had
wheeled his broad disk already down into the west and the heavens were
brightened only by the parting smiles of the day.
Going on shore, we visited Lockport, a prosperous city with about 20,000
inhabitants, which is the center of a large paper and pulp industry.
A five hours' journey on Saturday morning, July 29th, past Pendleton,
Picardsville, Martinsville, Tonawanda and Lower Black Rock, completed our
charming trip on the Erie Canal, which has from Schenectady to Buffalo a
length of 323 miles.
The construction of this great artificial waterway, in all nearly 350
miles long, having an elevation of about 500 feet above tide water, made
by seventy-two locks, was commenced in 1817, and its completion took place
in 1825. Although this immense undertaking has caused an expense of
$50,000,000, the State of New York has made an excellent investment with
that sum of money; since by means of the Erie Canal the domestic trade
between the large western inland towns and the eastern seaports,
especially the metropolis, is considerably facilitated. This traffic will
receive a still greater importance, and can be more advantageously carried
on, when the plan of utilizing the electric current for the driving power
of canal-boats--a project recently tested by experiments--has been
Prior to 1857, this waterway was used for both trade and passenger
transportation. Since the introduction of railroad communication, however,
the canal has been the medium of conveying merchandise only; wherefore,
our interesting trip on the steam-yacht "Marguerite" is one of a few
exceptions to the ordinary routine of the Erie Canal.
SOJOURN IN BUFFALO AND VISIT TO NIAGARA FALLS, FROM JULY 29TH, 1.30 P.M.,
TO AUGUST 2ND, 7 A.M.
It was a bright and sunny day; the atmosphere being purified by a strong
but refreshing breeze. As the noonday sun poured his brilliant rays on the
towering hills which adorn the luxuriant banks of the canal, it was
announced that in the distance there could be discerned the dark line
which indicated our approach to the verdant tract encompassing the
thriving city of _Buffalo_, the terminus of our voyage on the Erie Canal.
While the boat was speeding along, this point upon which our attention was
chiefly fixed, became more cognizable with every minute. Rising upwards to
our left we could perceive domes of the most graceful proportions,
towering structures, for number and form beyond my power to describe. On
the other side, there lay spread before us, in vast expanse, the unrivaled
water front which skirts the city of Buffalo, extending two and one-half
miles along the shore of Lake Erie and two and one-half miles along
As we entered the harbor of Buffalo, which is considered the largest and
finest on the lake, we were soon made acquainted with scenes and incidents
that have no common fascination; in fact, one must be surprised at the
tremendous amount of activity displayed here. The scores of huge grain
elevators, having a total capacity of 8,000,000 bushels, and the mammoth
warehouses lining the water fronts reminded one of New York and Brooklyn.
Large steamers and sailing vessels, of every description, are being loaded
and discharged; powerful steam-hoists in operation on the docks; immense
quantities of freight and merchandise in process of transfer to and from
the railroad cars; and bustle everywhere; while hundreds of pleasure-boats
and small crafts, of every conceivable variety, may be seen as far as the
eye can reach. There we saw the trim and dainty shell, with its arrow-like
prow, darting through the quiet coves; the saucy catamaran shooting, half
submerged, out before the wind; the cozy little steam-launches, all ready
to take their passengers to some suburban pleasure-ground; excursion
steamers, with flying banners and bands of music going and coming, and
mammoth propellers destined to carry thousands of tourists to the El
Dorado on Lake Michigan's blue waters.
It will not be difficult to understand why Buffalo has attained commercial
supremacy in Western New York, if you add to this never ceasing activity,
betokening business, the enormous canal traffic; for it is here where
innumerable canal-boats are weighted with the rich products of the west,
carrying a large floating population of boatmen's families.
Before selecting our mooring place in Buffalo Creek, which can be
navigated for about one mile, we sailed to the breakwater, a solid wall
several feet high, having a length of 4,000 feet, which was erected at the
expense of some millions of dollars for the protection of the city from
being flooded by the unruly waters of Lake Erie.
While the tanks of the yacht were being filled with the limpid water of
the lake, we ascended the stairs leading to the top of the protecting
wall; for we all were anxious to become acquainted with the nature of the
billows that were to carry us many miles westward and nearer to our far
It was a glorious sight unfolded before our eyes. We glanced at a huge
sheet of water, about 268 miles long, varying from thirty to nearly sixty
miles in width, with an area of 9600 square miles, whose elevation from
tide water is judged to be 564 feet.
This majestic spectacle, as animated as it was, imparted to us an adequate
conception of a boisterous inland sea. The surface of the lake was in wild
uproar; the advancing and retreating waves were beating themselves into
angry foam, and dashed their spray pearls almost to our feet; their
opulent azure hue being dimmed by the violent agitation. The inexperienced
eye has no idea of the imposing impression caused by the extremely
subitaneous changes to which these waters are subjected. The wide bosom of
the lake that sometimes lies motionless and glassy, without a breath of
air to cause the slightest undulation, in a very short time may be
scourged by a sudden gale. The wild gambols of the waves, accompanied by
the roar of the disturbed elements, may well cause the timid to fear; for,
as the swell lifts, you would think the bases of the earth are rising
beneath it; and, again, when it falls, you would imagine the foundation of
the deep had given away.
Though the billows before us now were beaten by a powerful breeze,
breaking with angry roar upon the barrier upon which we stood, yet not the
slightest feeling of fear found place within our hearts. On the contrary,
as we left the breakwater in order to return to Buffalo, I felt my heart
palpitating with joy as I thought of the pleasing prospect to be tossed by
those grand waves.
Having chosen a place at the foot of Main Street for our stay, the orders
to secure the "Marguerite" were instantly carried out; and immediately a
multitude of curious beholders had gathered around the yacht, viewing her
with evident expression of admiration.
Since it was yet early in the afternoon we decided to go on shore, in
order to view the points of interest in this important city.
A ride in the electric railway, traversing it in every direction, made us
acquainted with a good portion of Buffalo, which contains a population of
nearly 300,000, being the third city in size in the Empire State. It is
handsomely laid out with broad and well shaded streets. One hundred and
three miles are paved with asphalt, and 133 miles with stone. We saw many
fine residences with attractive grounds, and numerous public squares.
Delaware Avenue, the leading street for elegant mansions, is about three
miles long, and is lined with a double row of trees.
The city possesses a superb system of parks and pleasure grounds, designed
and laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of Central Park in
New York City. It comprises three sections, situated respectively in the
northern, western, and eastern parts of Buffalo, which, with the
connecting boulevard, afford a drive of nearly ten miles.
Main Street, the principal trading thoroughfare, has many substantial
Of the prominent public buildings, the city and county hall deserves being
mentioned in the first place. It is an imposing structure, of Maine
granite, in the form of a double Roman cross, with a tower 245 feet high,
surmounted by four statues. This magnificent edifice is fronting on
Franklin Street, and was completed in 1880 at a cost of nearly $1,500,000.
Other handsome buildings are the U.S. custom house and postoffice, at the
corner of Washington and Seneca Streets; the Buffalo library, on Lafayette
Square; the State arsenal, in Broadway; the Erie County penitentiary, one
of the six penal establishments of New York; the general hospital, in High
Street; and the State asylum for the insane, an edifice which cost about
$3,000,000, located in Forest Avenue, adjoining the Buffalo Park.
The city is also adorned with several handsome churches and theaters.
Buffalo was first settled by the Dutch in 1801, and became an important
military post during the war of 1812. It was burned by a combined force of
British and Indians in 1814. Its city charter was granted in 1832, and
since then its growth has been very rapid.
As regards its live-stock trade, Buffalo ranks third among the cities in
the Union, and its iron and steel works are next in importance to those of
Pittsburg. The shipment of Pennsylvania coal, which finds a depot here,
has been greatly increased in recent years; about 1,500,000 tons being
distributed annually. The lumber trade is also large, but has been partly
diverted to Tonawanda, ten miles below Buffalo.
The industrial works comprise four blast furnaces, large rolling mills,
machine shops, car shops, iron ship-yards, stove foundries, tanneries,
flour mills, and manufacturing of agricultural implements.
Early on Monday morning, I abandoned the land of dreams in order to appear
on deck in good season; since arrangements had been made for going into
dry-dock that very morning.
Reader, have you ever been there? I hear you answer negatively. Well, that
is just what I expected; for it is a rather unusual and rare experience
for ladies, even in the eyes of a shipwright, a man who is constantly
employed in that place, that a boat enters the dry-dock with her
passengers on board.
It was partly a matter of necessity, and partly of circumspection, that
caused us to abide in the dry-dock for a few hours.
In consequence of the numerous low bridges that span the canal, the spars,
rigging, and smoke-stack belonging to the complete equipment of the
"Marguerite" would have made her journey on that artificial waterway
absolutely impossible; therefore it was necessary to replace these parts
in their appropriate positions.
The picture in the frontispiece gives evidence of that fact; as the
"Marguerite" presented a very different picture completely rigged.
Now, on the point of sailing on the Great Lakes, it was requisite to dress
the yacht in her proper array, with her high tapering masts; the cords of
her rigging stretching from spar to spar with the beautiful accuracy of a
picture; and so equipped, as to give her the appearance of a majestic,
white winged sea-bird resting gracefully on the water.
For the purpose of bestowing upon her such an outfit, as well as for
having her bottom examined, she was docked in Mill's dry-dock. The latter
motive, I must add, was effected by a mere act of precaution; since no
components of the propelling machinery had been injured or damaged.
But Mr. James, our ever thoughtful commodore, wished to be assured that he
could direct the "Marguerite" on her westward course with everything
pertaining to her in complete order.
These docks may be in communication either with a wet dock or a tidal
harbor. I observed that the dry-dock we entered had a pontoon gate,
floated in or out of place as desired. There being no tides in the lakes,
this style of gate--less liable to leak under continuous pressure--is
invariably used; for the only method of emptying the docks here is by
pumping, for which purpose a steam-engine and pumps, with a well and water
channel leading to it, were employed.
We scarcely had made our entry into it, ere many busy hands worked to give
the keel of the yacht a secure rest on wooden blocks which were fastened
down to prevent them floating. They were of such a height as to permit the
shipwright getting under the vessel's bottom. Then side shores were put in
to keep the boat in an upright position. This being accomplished, I could
notice that the pumping machinery was brought into full operation. Soon I
found that the level of the water became lower and lower, and after the
expiration of about one-half hour the dock was almost dry.
The sides of the dock generally consist of stone steps--called altars--for
the purpose of fixing the lower ends of the shores, and also for the
convenience of supporting the workmen's scaffold.
Mr. James and family, including myself, left the yacht to the crew and
workmen, while we further explored the city of Buffalo in carriages,
thoughtfully provided for us.
The day after our entering dry-dock, August 1st, was eventful, as it was
arranged we should make an excursion to view one of Nature's greatest
wonders--_Niagara Falls_--a sight unlike any other on the surface of the
globe. The indescribable grandeur of the whole overwhelms the soul--to
contemplate that tremendous torrent which never stops! No rest in the ages
of the past--no promise of a moment's stay in all the years to come--but
on, on, with resistless force!
Our thoughts become like the mists that rise above this awful scene, and
we are mute--Pigmies of an hour! To feel that after what we are becomes a
little dust, that solemn roar will echo in the ears of millions now
Though I had read diverse descriptions portraying the grandeur and
magnificence of Niagara Falls, still I was aware that they had failed in
conveying a clear and succinct outline of their wonderful proportions and
great sublimity. My conclusions that, in older to be properly appreciated
these gigantic cataracts must be visited, were confirmed, and, _re vera_,
when once viewed the recollection of that glorious sight will linger long
An hour's ride in the cars brought us to the village of Niagara Falls, a
splendid manufacturing point, having all modern improvements and
unsurpassed railway facilities of various kinds. The village was
incorporated in 1848, and has about 4,000 inhabitants.
The average annual number of visitors to this beautiful place is estimated
to be 400,000.
At the station of Niagara Falls, Mr. James engaged vehicles which afforded
accommodations for all of us--a party of ten--including the steward, who
accompanied us, carrying a bountiful repast.
The drivers of Niagara Falls are excellent _ciceroni_. We drove through
the handsome village to Prospect Park, a property owned by the State of
New York, and included in the Niagara Reservation, which the State
acquired by purchase in 1885. All the unsightly buildings, heretofore
obstructing the view, have been removed, and a terrace was erected for a
distance of half a mile, affording uncountable attractions to the visitor
with its venerable trees, comfortable seats, and delightful views.
The main entrance is a tasty structure at the foot of Cascade Street. The
point of land at the brink of the falls is called _Prospect Point_. Since
it commands a fine view, which is the feature of the park, our drivers
advised us to abandon the carriages and to step nearer to the long stone
wall running for some distance along the edge of the gorge.
Standing on the platform, I glanced at the mighty volume of water; here
precipitated over a huge rock 163 feet high with a thunderlike roar that
can be heard, under favorable circumstances, a distance of fifteen miles.
For a long time we remained there, spell-bound by the wonderful panorama,
plunged into a reverie of rapture. Mrs. James, reminding me the carriages
were waiting for us, brought me back to consciousness.
The spectacle is so sublime and overwhelming that the mind, unable to
grasp it, cannot adjust itself at once to a scale so stupendous, and the
impression fails. But, gradually, as you remain longer, the unvarying,
ponderous, unspeakably solemn voice of the great flood finds its way to
the soul, and holds it with a fascination which is all pervasive and
cannot be shaken off.
In a car, moving on an inclined plane, we descended to the water's edge.
These cars are raised and lowered by water-power, by means of a three-inch
cable 300 feet long, running over steel wheels.
At the foot of the stairway, tickets may be obtained for the trip on the
"Maid of the Mist," that steams up to the Horseshoe Fall; then back to the
Canadian side, and finally returns to her starting point.
The view from below presented to us new charms which we could not obtain
before. In the first place the enormous height of the cataract may be
better realized from beneath; then the emerald and opal translucence of
the waters, as they pass in their swift career, was here especially
effective; since the sun, shining through the mists of spray from a
station in the heavens most advantageous for our prospect, crowned the
entire scene with iridescent diadems. This fall is known as the American,
separated from the "Horseshoe" or "Canadian Fall" by a large island,
standing on the verge of the cliff over which the cataract pours, and
dividing the river in such a manner as to form from its waters the two
above named falls.
After a lovely ride through the beautiful woodland we viewed Goat Island,
having an area of 61-1/2 acres and a circumference of about one mile. A
strip about ten rods wide and eighty rods long, has been washed away on
the south side since the first road was made in 1818.
This island was, in ancient times, one of the favorite burying-grounds of
the Indians, and yet preserves traces of their funeral rites.
Crossing the first bridge, from which we had one of the grandest views of
the rapids, we reached Bath Island, some two acres in extent. A second
bridge conveyed us to Goat Island, where we witnessed a most charming
panorama. Descending the stairs, we stood next to the Little Fall, beneath
which is the famous Cave of the Winds.
From the farther point of Luna Island, attainable by a little bridge, we
saw the most desirable near view of the American Fall and Rapids; here,
too, we enjoyed a fine spectacle in the perspective of the gorge below.
It has often been remarked by strangers that this island trembles, which
is undoubtedly true, but the impression is heightened by imagination.
Not far from Luna Island are the famous Biddle Stairs. Shortly after their
erection, in 1829, the well known Sam Patch, whose diving propensities
made his name illustrious, performed his noted, bold feat in 1830. Midway
between the foot of these stairs and the Canadian Fall he built a
scaffold, ninety-six feet high, from which he made his successful leap
into the river.
Proceeding a little further, we stood in full view of the Horseshoe
Fall--so-called because of its crescent shape--which contains by far the
greater body of water; the fall being more than 2,000 feet wide and 154
The site of the old Terrapin Tower is the best point from which to
perceive the shape of the fall.
From the south side of the island the Three Sister Islands are accessible,
affording the finest views of the rapids. These islands offer, from their
location, a delightfully cool retreat in the warmest summer days, with
attractive and enchanting scenery.
In order to have a comprehensive glance of Nature's grandest wonder known
to man, in its climax of sublimity, we took a ride back through Prospect
Park, across the New Suspension Bridge, below the American Fall, to the
Canadian shore. This splendid drive was continued through the Queen
Victoria Niagara Falls Park, opened to the public in 1889.
Following the example of New York State, the Ontario Parliament had passed
an act to reserve the western side of the Falls vicinity--the Canadian
Reservation--covering an area of about 154 acres, and beautifully laid
Here we had the most imposing view; a finer panorama cannot well be
The concussion of the descending waters with those in the depths below
occasion a spray that veils the cataract two-thirds up its height. Above
this everlasting and impenetrable foam, there rises fifty feet above the
fall a cloud of lighter spray, which, when the rays of the sun are
directed upon it, displays solar rainbows, grand in their magnificence.
It was here on Table Rock, formerly one of the most celebrated points
about Niagara, that Mrs. Lydia Huntley Sigourney wrote her spirited eulogy
on Niagara, which commences with the musical rhymes:
"Flow on forever, in thy glorious robe
Of terror and of beauty. Yea, flow on,
Unfathomed and resistless. God hath set
His rainbow on thy forehead, and the cloud
Mantled around thy feet. And he doth give
Thy voice of thunder power to speak of him
Eternally,--bidding the lip of man
Keep silence,--and upon thine altar pour
Incense of awe-struck praise."
Three miles below the falls is the Whirlpool, a vast basin formed by the
projection of a rocky promontory on the Canadian side, against which the
waters rush with such violence as to cause a severe reaction and rotary
motion; and in it logs and trees are frequently whirled around for weeks
Geology has accepted as a matter of certitude that within the memory of
men now living, the Falls have receded 100 feet, and authorities in that
science have stated the fact, that the retrocession--estimated from one
inch to one foot per year--began near Lewiston. The whole waters of the
lakes there foamed over this dam several miles in width.
The name "Niagara" is supposed to belong to the vocabulary of the Iroquois
language, meaning "Thunderer of Waters."
The first white visitor to Niagara Falls was Father Hennepin, a priest and
historian, accompanying Chevalier Robert de la Salle on his discoveries.
He published the first description of "this wonderful Downfall" in 1678.
There exist now three distinct cataracts, which are known as _Horseshoe_,
_American_, and _Central Falls_. The weight of water descending over the
cadences in a single hour, is computed to be 100,000,000 tons.
The magnitude of the great waterfalls, and their fame as a natural wonder,
had, heretofore, to a certain degree, excluded from thought the idea of
their marvelous utilarian properties; but the recent development of
electrical science, and the far-reaching enterprise of to-day, have now
combined to subject to the uses of mankind a portion of the power of the
falls, developed at such a distance from the great cataract as not to
interfere in any way with the natural beauty of the scenery.
As the western sky was dyed with the tints of sunset, we hastened to reach
our floating home; since we expected two friends of Miss Campbell on board
the yacht--a gentleman who holds a prominent position in Buffalo, Mr. J.B.
Seitz, and his charming wife. We returned with the exhalting sentiment of
having visited a temple of nature, to whose shrine thousands from all over
the world annually pay their tribute of praise.
Arriving on board the "Marguerite" that--though still in dry-dock--was not
laid dry any more, we perceived a striking contrast between the close and
saturated atmosphere prevailing here, and the pure, balmy air at Niagara
Our thoughtful commodore, desirous of giving us the opportunity to inhale
the refreshing sea-breeze, ordered our departure for the breakwater as
soon as circumstances permitted; intending early on the following morning
to commence our lake journey. The obscurity was fast increasing as we
neared the high stone wall, and the scenery around me made the verses of
Whittier resound in my ears in which he described the "Evening by the Lake
Side" so beautifully with the words:
"Yon mountain's side is black with night,
While broad-orbed, o'er its gleaming crown
The moon, slow rounding into sight,
On the hushed inland-sea looks down."
VOYAGE ON THREE GREAT LAKES, FROM AUGUST 2ND, 7 A.M., TO AUGUST 22ND, 9
As the warm rays of the morning sun were lighting up the scene with a
radiance, glorious to behold, we bade farewell to Buffalo which, being
already in some distance, soon became entirely invisible.
Indescribable was our amazement when we viewed once more the waters of
_Lake Erie_, whose raging billows had betrayed to us, only a few days ago,
the unruly nature of a boisterous inland-sea.
Now, as we were gliding on its surface, the lake presented an appearance
quite novel to us; being almost motionless, a true emblem of tranquillity
and peacefulness. Only now and then a gentle zephyr rippled its level
which, reflected in the sunbeams, appeared like an undulating mass of
silver. The cloudless heavens, clad in their brightest hue of azure blue,
and illumined by the golden sun, painted a great variety of fine images of
light and shade on the limpid waters beneath. The sky seemed to reflect
the water and the water the sky, both gleaming in the sunshine.
On our right, the lake made the impression of stretching into endless,
unlimited space; on our left, however, we could distinguish romantic
hills, decorated by massive groves, with crossing and intersecting
promontories, and fair valleys tenanted by numerous flocks and herds, that
seemed to wander unrestrained through the rich pastures. The luxuriant
landscape was intercepted here and there by undulating slopes, covered
with sand, whose light color contrasted with the verdure of vales and
Speeding along, we came abreast of _Dunkirk_, a lake-port town in
Chautauqua County, N.Y., situated on a small bay in Lake Erie, forty miles
southwest of Buffalo. The town, which has a population of over 5,000,
occupies an elevated and favorable position on the lake. Its industries
comprise oil refineries, and the manufacture of flour and iron-work.
After proceeding on our voyage for some hours, we viewed--located in a
natural bay--the harbor of _Erie_, the capital of Erie County, Penn. The
port is protected by a breakwater three and one-half miles long.
The principal shipments that leave this harbor, are coal, iron, and
petroleum; an important trade being carried on with the Canadian
The streets of the city are spacious and laid out with great regularity.
To its prominent buildings belong the postoffice, the opera house, the
city hospital, the court house, and the orphan asylum. Erie contains
nearly 20,000 inhabitants, many of whom are engaged in iron manufacture.
The large supply of water required for the factories is obtained from the
lake by powerful engines, which force it to a tower 200 feet high, whence
it is distributed through the mains. The chief industries developed here,
are petroleum refineries and leather factories.
It was at Erie, that Commodore Perry equipped the vessels which in 1813
defeated the British fleet on Lake Erie. In the year 1795 the town was
laid out, and in 1851 it received a city charter.
Still fascinated by the attractions of the everchanging landscape along
the southern coast, we had forgotten that _fugit hora_; for we were
greatly surprised to perceive the approaching twilight, indicating the
parting day, and the white beams of the young crescent just beginning to
steal over the lately flushed and empurpled scene.
Therefore, the "Marguerite" was cabled to the dock, about two miles from
the village of _Conneaut_.
A fresh and palpitating evening air invited us to a walk along the coast
of the beautiful inland-sea. Adopting an unfrequented path through a vast
plain of sand, we found the charming scenery enhanced by a solemn
stillness. All nature slumbered.
Here, witnessing a magnificent prospect in this lovely solitude, we
experienced one of those seasons when the atmosphere is so surcharged with
luxury, that every pore of the body becomes an ample gate for sensation to
flow in; and one has simply to sit still and to be filled.
Seated near the shore, we delivered ourselves up to the exquisite
loveliness around us; and when returning on board the yacht, the
impression of the superb panorama tarried with me, even into the realm of
Morpheus; so that I rose on the following morning with the remembrance of
When I came on deck, the air seemed to be sweet with perfumes; the water
sparkled brightly, and the blue sky hung cloudless over the placid mirror
of Lake Erie.
Thus, favored by the weather, the majestic steam-yacht resumed her voyage.
After the lapse of two hours the harbor of Ashtabula came in sight, and at
about 10 o'clock we approached Fair Point. The noon-tide of the summer day
was past, as we were made acquainted with the fact, that the rising towers
and pinnacles, to be discerned in the distance on our left, pertained to
the beautiful "Forest City," next to Cincinnati the largest and most
important city in the State of Ohio.
_Cleveland_ is built on both sides of the Cuyahoga River, which is here
crossed by several bridges. It is located chiefly on a plain from fifty to
100 feet above the lake, of which a magnificent view is thus obtained.
Leaving East River Street, where our floating home was destined to remain,
I undertook an excursion through the greater portion of the city; not
solely for the purpose of viewing the regular streets, generally from
eighty to 100 feet wide, and lined with maple trees, but with the design
to see a friend--Miss Lina Uhl--a teacher in one of the thirty public
schools; holding a prominent position as the president of a teachers'
association in Cleveland. She is the niece of Mr. C.F. Hild, from
Having previously informed her of my intention to visit her native city, I
was already expected, and very cordially received at her hospitable home.
After I had spent some very pleasant hours there, my friend accompanied me
on my return to the dock. _En route_ she made me acquainted with many
points of interest, which are so numerous in the "Forest City." Thus, she
called my attention to the charming Euclid Avenue, a street several miles
long, considered to be one of the most extensive and picturesque within
the limits of the United States. Here Cleveland's aristocracy built their
substantial mansions and luxurious villas, encircled by tasty, park-like
gardens. Of special interest to the visitor is the monument erected in
memory of James Abram Garfield, the twentieth president of the Republic,
born in Orange, Ohio, in 1831. Being in office but a short time, he was
shot by a disappointed office-seeker, Charles J. Guiteau, in 1881. This
sad event, which forms a thrilling incidence in the history of the Union,
is comparable with the recent death of Carter Harrison, mayor of Chicago,
whose assassination by Prendergast, under similar circumstances, on
Saturday, 8.30 P.M., October 28, 1893, created a profound sensation and
Monumental Park, near the center of the city, contains ten acres, divided
into four squares by the extension of Ontario and Superior Streets.
Besides a fountain, and other attractive objects, the park is adorned by a
statue of Commodore Perry, erected in 1860 in commemoration of his victory
on Lake Erie in 1813. It is of Italian marble, eight feet high, and stands
upon a granite pedestal twelve feet in altitude. The most noteworthy
buildings are the postoffice, the city hall, the county court house, and
the Cleveland medical college. The Union Railway depot, an immense
structure of stone near the lake shore, is one of the largest of the kind
in the United States.
Cleveland was founded in 1796, and named in honor of General Moses
Cleveland of Connecticut, who then had charge of the surveying of this
region. It was an important point in the war of 1812, incorporated as a
village in 1814, and as a city in 1836. The number of its inhabitants is
estimated to be more than 200,000. The "Forest City" has an extensive
trade in copper and iron ore, shipped from the Lake Superior mining
regions, as well as in coal, petroleum, wool, and lumber, received by
railroad, canal, and lake transportation. A sojourn of at least one week
is requisite in order to acquaint one's self with all the attractions of
Cleveland, with its unrivaled position and manifold beauties of scenery.
In fact, our honorable President can be proud to share his name with this
delightful place; and, in return, the "Forest City" may consider it an
honor to be the namesake of Grover Cleveland, the present leader of the
On Friday morning, as soon as the dawning day dispatched its first rays
over Cleveland, we resumed our voyage on Lake Erie. The flakes of light
were falling every moment faster and broader among the spires and towers
of the city of which we gradually lost sight. They were only discernible
as long, gray shadows on the elevated lake shore. The mists were couched
in quiet masses, iridescent with the morning light, upon the breasts of
the remote hills, over whose leagues of massy undulations, they melted
into the robe of material light, fading, lost in the increasing lustre,
again to reappear in the higher heavens, while their bases vanished into
the unsubstantial and mocking blue of the lake below. The dispersing
wreaths of white clouds gradually gave place to the pale azure of the
horizon. The level of the beautiful inland-sea was bathed in the glorious
sunlight and the whole heaven--one scarlet canopy--colored the limpid
waters with an exquisite, roseate tint; thus giving a redoubled splendor
to this fine panorama.
While the midday sun was sending forth his warm rays, we came abreast of
Marblehead, and speeding along we reached Green Island at 1 o'clock.
Having passed Barr Point Lighthouse we chose our halting place on the
Canadian shore near _Amherstburg_, a small village pleasantly situated on
the Detroit River.
As the yacht was fastened to the dock, the heavens were yet illumined by
the parting day; which gave us opportunity to admire the superb spectacle
on the opposite shore. Its southwestern extremity was adorned with
numerous verdant islands of various size and form; some stretching for
miles in length--the largest containing a circumference of fourteen miles;
several so small that they seemed destined for a race of fairies; others
in clusters; and some like beautiful vestals, in single loveliness, whose
holy vows ordained them forever to live alone.
The last streak of light had faded from the west, and a pale lustre
kindling in the eastern portions of the sky, became brighter and brighter
till the white falcated moon was lifted up above the horizon; while
uncountable stars appeared to reflect their brilliancy in the waters
below. This delightful scene around us, so perfectly filled and satisfied
our sense of beauty that we reluctantly gave up our comfortable seats on
the stern-deck, notwithstanding an advanced time of night.
On the following morning the sun rose in his clearest splendor. As soon as
that flood of luminous rays which constitutes day, was flowing on the
crystalline sea, we departed from this romantic country scene in Canada.
Sailing along, we approached the terminus of our voyage on Lake Erie,
which is considered the most dangerous of all the Great Lakes as to
navigation, owing to its comparative shallowness--its mean depth, being
about ninety feet--and the consequent liability to a heavy ground swell.
The peculiar features of this body of water are its inferior depth and the
clayey nature of its shores, which are generally low; on the south,
however, bordered by an elevated plateau, through which the rivers have
cut deep channels.
Though the lake possesses but a small number of good harbors, the amount
of traffic on its waters, and on the connecting railways is enormous.
This inland-sea, presenting us only sights of utmost quietude and peace,
has been the scene of a naval engagement between the British and
Americans, September 10, 1813, in which the latter were victorious. The
view we enjoyed was not in the least adequate to remind us of warfare; on
"The sun in heaven shone so gay:
All things were joyful on that day."
It was yet early in the morning when we neared the city of Detroit, having
almost reached the head of _Detroit River_ which separates the United
States from Canada. Being about one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide,
and five and one-half fathoms deep, the river flows with a pretty swift
_Detroit_ is the most important city of Michigan, opposite the Canadian
Eighteen miles north of Lake Erie, it stretches with its suburbs about
five miles along the river, and the central part extends for about two
miles back from the shore. Approaching the city, we were more and more
delighted with its attractive appearance. The streets, from fifty to 100
feet wide, are for the most part ornamented with rows of trees. A number
of avenues, having an unusual width, diverge from the Grand Circus, a
spacious park semi-circular in form, which is divided into two quadrants
by Woodward Avenue. Connected with the former is the Campus Martius, a
public place about 600 feet long and 250 feet wide. Detroit comprises many
magnificent structures. One of the chief public buildings is the city
hall, facing the Campus Martius, with fronts on four streets. It counts
among the finest edifices of the kind in the west. Built of sandstone, it
is designed after the Italian style of architecture, surmounted by a tower
180 feet high. Its cost amounted to $600,000. Other prominent structures
are the opera house, the office of the Board of Trade, the custom house,
and the Roman Catholic cathedral.
The commercial facilities of the city are very extensive. The Detroit
River is a connecting link in the great chain of lake navigation, and
affords the best harbor on the inland-seas. Detroit is not only the center
of a great railroad system; more than 350 vessels are owned here, and
numerous daily lines of steamers run to various points of the lakes. Its
manufacturing industries are very important and consist of iron, flour,
tobacco, cigars, lumber, and bricks. The extensive Pullman Car Works are
situated here; also one of the seven pin factories in the United States.
Settled by the French, early in the eighteenth century, Detroit passed
into the hands of the English in 1763. It was then besieged for eleven
months by the Indian chief Pontiac; ceded to the Americans in 1783, but
not occupied by them till 1796. As a city, it was incorporated in 1824;
and its present population is estimated to be 235,000. It was the capital
of Michigan from 1837 till 1847, when that honor was transferred to
Having traversed Detroit River, we entered _Lake St. Clair_, a sheet of
water eighteen miles long and twenty-two miles wide. This small lake has
many extensive sand-banks covered with a depth of water varying from six
to ten feet. Previous to 1858, much inconvenience was experienced in
navigating it, owing to the insufficient depth, but the governments of the
United States and Canada have dredged a canal through the bed of the lake,
comprising a width of 300 feet. Since then, this channel has been deepened
so as to enable vessels drawing fifteen feet to pass with safety from lake
to lake in stormy weather.
After the expiration of a few hours we reached _River St. Clair_, whose
luxuriant border exhibited a magnificent panorama.
Afar off westward, the uplands wore a tinge of tenderest blue; and in the
nearer distance, on the low shores of the river, superb summer residences,
tasty villas, and elegant hotels, built in every style of architecture,
lay interspersed between romantic hills and tufted groves. The horizon was
of a fine, golden tint, changing gradually into the deep blue of the
None of us ventured to leave the deck fearing to miss some of those
unrivaled sights constantly offering new attractions.
This trip on River St. Clair--though having an extent of thirty-three
miles--seemed but short to us; and the fine spectacle displayed on the
charming western bank may be reckoned among the most delightful scenes we
beheld on our long, enjoyable voyage.
As we approached the terminus of the river, a sudden rush of the awakened
wind was heard; and out of the blue horizon a troop of narrow, dark, and
pointed clouds were advancing, covering the sky, inch by inch, with their
gray masses gradually blotting the light out of the landscape. Horizontal
bars of black shadow were forming under them, and lurid wreaths wrapped
themselves about the crests of the hills. The wind had grown more violent
as _Port Huron_ came in view. Waving curtains of opaque rain, swinging
from the overburdened clouds, dropped down upon the surface of the river.
The black swaying fringes, sweeping irresistibly along the water, churned
the surface into foam.
The sudden and unfavorable change of the weather determined our commodore
to abide at _Port Huron_, a prosperous city in Michigan. It commands a
very advantageous situation, located on the west bank of River St. Clair,
and at the southern extremity of Lake Huron.
Being the county seat of St. Clair County, it is also a point of great
importance in the railway system, and the terminus of several lines of
The city, with a population of nearly 14,000, has a large lumber trade,
ship-yards, dry-docks, saw and flour mills.
Founded in 1819, Port Huron was incorporated as a village in 1835, and as
a city in 1857.
Since the yacht lingered here until Monday, August 7th, we were enabled to
become familiar with its broad streets, regularly laid out and well
shaded; some adorned by beautiful private residences. The heavy, black
clouds that had shrouded the whole sky ever since we made our entry in
Port Huron, were yet concealing the golden disk of the summer sun. The
atmosphere, however, which had previously a disagreeable, wet chilliness
in it, gradually grew clearer and warmer so that we left the dock with the
intention to undertake our voyage on Lake Huron, but when nearing the
place where this sheet of water, covering an area of 23,000 square miles,
communicates with River St. Clair, we discovered that the swell on the
lake level was yet quite considerable, whereas the wind which had blown a
gale all the preceding day, was gradually dying away.
Still, we found it advisable to wait until the foaming waves of the
enraged element had been appeased. In consequence of this decision we
concluded to moor the yacht as near the entrance of Lake Huron, as we
conveniently could, ready for an early departure; for which we considered
the town of _Sarnia_, opposite Port Huron, the most favorable locality.
Romantically situated on the Canadian shore, Sarnia affords a splendid
north and west view. Its handsome streets and neat structures are quite
attractive to the stranger; and not these alone but also the residents who
are generous and hospitable. We observed this fact, even during our short
stay, when receiving the visit of Mr. Clark and his amiable lady, who
presented us with a bouquet of fragrant flowers, a kind gift that we
Long ere the east became purple with the morning light and the pinnacles
of Sarnia were bathed, one by one, in the glory of its burning, we
departed from the pleasant city, and the white sea-bird "Marguerite"
spread her light wings over the surface of Lake Huron, whose
waves--although the wind was quite fresh--did not run as high as I
anticipated; for I had been informed that on the previous day the tide
from the lake into Detroit River amounted to eight miles an hour.
As I was pacing up and down the deck, I viewed an inland-sea 270 miles
long, and 105 miles broad, with a picturesque coast line on our left. The
purity of its waters was discernible by its limpid appearance and savory
taste. The fine deposits of sand and clay extending at different places
along the shore to a distance of twenty miles inland, by their contrasts
added to the scenic beauty, exhibiting a variety of magnificent views.
The luxuriant coast bordering on the southern extremity of the lake and
skirting the peninsula of Michigan and southwestern Ontario--though
comparatively flat--is not void of charming features; being lined with
numerous pretty villages imbosomed among gentle slopes that were covered
with the richest verdure. These hamlets, situated in the quiet valleys and
shaded glens, alternated with extensive fields and orchards exuberant with
Speeding along on the wavy surface of the lake, we gained sight of the
breakwater of _Sand Beach_ when the noon-tide of the day had not yet
We first visited the village of Sand Beach, and returned at nightfall to
the breakwater, which is five miles distant from the former; here the
yacht was cabled to the dock. Near our halting place there stood a lofty
tower, whose illuminating apparatus threw a radiant, vari-colored light on
the dark surface of Lake Huron.
Upon expressing a desire to visit the Light Tower, Mr. James, who never
left any of our wishes unfulfilled, immediately made arrangements with the
keeper; and, accordingly, we were invited to intrust ourselves to his
He informed us that the structure rested on a foundation consisting of a
concrete mass, nine feet below the water line. Having ascended four
flights of iron-wrought winding stairs, we reached the top of the circular
structure; it having a diameter of twenty-four feet at its base, and
rising to an elevation of fifty-seven feet.
With great interest we inspected the revolving lights, exhibiting an
ingenious piece of machinery, the invention of Finisterre and Barren in
Paris, and representing a value of $1,800. This apparatus for rotating
lamps is far superior to that for a fixed light.
The characteristic of the latter is to constantly illuminate the whole
horizon, requiring all the rays to fall simultaneously on the navigable
track, whereas the demands made of a revolving light, are not nearly so
great; only each point of the horizon being lighted at successive periods.
When the dark intervals occur, the rays from the flame which are then
pointing toward the obscure spaces, have their direction so altered
laterally as to pass into the adjoining bright places; and so increase the
power of the luminous flashes. A revolving light, though supplied by a
flame of the same strength as a fixed, will thus necessarily be raised to
a higher degree; for it does not lose its power by diffusing the rays
constantly over the whole horizon, but gathers them up into a number of
separate beams of greater intensity.
The lights made to revolve by means of clockwork, were fed with mineral
oil, a refined kerosine; and the refraction was caused by highly polished
This visit to the Sand Beach Beacon was quite instructive; since we viewed
there a practical application of an important principle in optics, based
on the reflection of light.
On Wednesday morning, the first beams of the new-born day had just
appeared, when the yacht continued her voyage on Lake Huron. After a
course of nearly twenty-two miles, we approached _Saginaw Bay_--the
largest indentation on the western lake shore--comprising a width of
thirty miles and a length of sixty miles.
The passage across this bay, feared by many experienced navigators on
account of the heavy ground swell, did not give us any cause for anxiety
at first. Gradually, however, the sea became quite rough, and the enraged
waves dashed their spray pearls even upon the deck of our sailing home.
"The soft, wild waves, that rush and leap,
Sing one song from the hoary deep:
The south wind knows its own refrain,
As it speeds the cloud o'er heaven's blue main."
The strong breeze springing up in the forenoon, increased at midday. A
line of low waves, first creeping sinuously into the bay, and tossing
their snowy crests like troops of wild steeds, rolled higher and higher
with the noise of many waters; and to escape the wrath of the angry sea,
we stopped at the harbor of _Tawas City_, located near the northern
extremity of Saginaw Bay. It is a thriving country town, with about 1,000
inhabitants, largely engaged in lumber trade.
The wind continued to lash the fierce billows during the day until
evening; so we decided to remain in Tawas City until the dawn of the next
Guided by the pale light of another aurora, we resumed our voyage, finding
the surface of Lake Huron still in uproar.
During this forenoon, we had occasion to witness a prospect quite novel to
us. Glancing to our left, on Michigan's sylvan shore, we saw the bickering
flames of a ravaging forest fire; dyeing all the surrounding air and
landscape crimson, while dense clouds of smoke hung over the burning land
like a pall upon which the sun-rays were reflected with weird effect. It
was, indeed, an unusual sight, exhibiting strange beauty and splendor.
In a short time we experienced the disagreeable consequences of this
conflagration in the woodlands, caused by the extreme dryness prevailing
in these regions for several weeks. For, as we reached _Alpena_ in
Michigan, at about noonday, we found the atmosphere completely saturated
with smoke, and intermixed with particles of burnt material.
The reader can easily imagine that this impure air had a very unpleasant
effect upon our eyes, irritating them so as to materially interfere with
our comfort. This was the reason why we did not duly appreciate the
attractions of Alpena, a town with about 12,500 inhabitants, regularly
laid out with nice, broad streets, containing many handsome buildings and
We had an ardent desire to bid farewell to the city as quick as possible;
wherefore our captain received the order from Mr. James to guide the yacht
forward on her course, even before the dawning of the next day, if such an
early departure could be effected with safety.
In compliance with these commands, we were on our way long ere the blush
of day tinged the eastern sky. At first, disregarding the smoke and mist
which became denser every minute, our navigator was soon aware that
"So thick a haze o'erspreads the sky,
He cannot see the sun on high:
On deck the captain takes his stand,
So dull it is, he sees no land.
'Dear me,' he says, 'I know no more
How far away we are from shore.'"
The fact is--that on account of the dense pall of smoke and mist,
overshadowing everything--our pilot lost his reckoning, and only kept the
yacht slowly moving through the water until we could find our way, when
suddenly--we ran aground upon a rocky ledge, causing us all great
"No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was as still as she might be.
Her shaft and screw received no shock.
Her keel was steady on a rock."
Having lost all presence of mind, our pilot, without any meditation,
abandoned the yacht in one of the small boats, for the purpose of
obtaining assistance from the unknown shore. Before we were conscious of
his proceedings, he had disappeared through fume and haze. Almost
instantaneously we detected that the mariner's compass had vanished with
Thus, we were destitute of the most important instrument for navigation.
Wishing to give our deserter opportunity to find his way back to us, we
caused the whistle to resound at short intervals.
This interesting adventure was, of course, thoroughly discussed. We were
all convinced that the unforeseen event might turn into a perilous one,
should a wind arise to roughen the surface of the water.
Our conversation was interrupted by an involuntary cry of pleasure which
burst from the lips of Miss Campbell, whose keen eyes had revealed to her
quite an uncommon spectacle in the hazy distance. Following her direction,
we spied, through the fluctuating light of the foggy morning, the outlines
of a steadfast boat speeding along on the calm sea. Eight oars, managed
with the accuracy of clockwork by eight strong and skillful hands, were
hurrying toward our rock-bound craft.
As the shape and dimensions of the capable boat became discernible, it was
evident she belonged to the United States Life-Saving Service, coming to
our rescue. This conjecture was correct, for the robust crew soon lay
alongside of us; which was a matter of intense relief to the whole party.
With their assistance, the yacht was soon afloat again; and, guided by the
Thunder Bay crew, we sailed to a favorable place of anchorage between
Sugar and Gull Islands. Here the yacht remained to await our fugitive
pilot, who was restored to us by the kind services of the life-saving
crew, a few hours afterwards.
We were informed that we had been aground two miles from the shore, in the
vicinity of Thunder Bay Lights on _Gull Island Ledge_.
During a heavy shower in the afternoon, we received a visit from several
very pleasant ladies, relatives to the captain of the Thunder Bay
When expressing our regret that their excursion was not favored by
pleasanter weather, they assured us they were only too glad to view the
tremulous skeins of rain refresh the languishing earth. In fact, this
rainfall was a duplicated blessing, as it not only cleared the atmosphere
from its smoky shroud but helped to check the ravages of the extensive
forest conflagration, then threatening the city of Alpena with
An awakened breeze, which had freshened since the violent shower, caused
our floating home to roll considerably.
Not desirous of being rudely tossed by the wanton billows, we weighed
anchor and returned to Alpena, the only safe harbor within reach before
Early the next day we continued our voyage on Lake Huron, entering its
northern portion, which differs greatly from the nature of its southern
The northern and northeastern coasts are mostly composed of sand- and
limestones. Where metamorphic rocks are found, the surface is broken and
hilly, rising to elevations of 600 feet or more above the lake; in this
respect unlike the southern shore, which is low and flat. Of the many
islands--whose number amounts to about 3,000--we could admire the beauties
of but few; for most of them dot the Canadian coast line.
As the wind increased rapidly, it was deemed advisable to take harbor at
_False Presqu'ile_, where we arrived at 9 A.M. Although this small body of
land appeared very insignificant, inhabited by only twelve families, we
decided to remain there, until wind and waves would prove more favorable.
We had no motive to regret that resolution; for we experienced that this
solitary tract not only afforded us enchanting views of lovely scenery; it
was also the abode of noble-hearted mortals. Immediately after our arrival
a very amiable gentleman, introducing himself as Mr. W.A. French, a
wealthy lumber merchant of this place, visited us on board; giving us a
cordial welcome. Not satisfied with a kind reception, he and his pretty
wife presented us with all sorts of provisions, indigenous to this
locality; thus evincing the abundant supply of delicacies at their
disposal, notwithstanding their residing in such solitude.
The time passed with marvelous rapidity in the pleasant company of our new
friends. When the gloom of the growing twilight reminded us of the fading
day, we could hardly realize this fact. We wished to stay there another
day; but when the following morning rose fair and beautiful in the clear
heavens, the wind had changed to the southeast, which was disadvantageous
for our mooring place; and it might have been dangerous for us to remain
in that harbor, should the breeze become violent.
Leaving False Presqu'ile, we pursued our voyage under the most favorable
After a course of several hours, we reached _Cheboygan_, a town situated
on the northern shore of the Michigan Peninsula, thirteen miles from the
Straits of Mackinaw. Lumber trade is carried on especially in this place,
which contains about 7,500 inhabitants.
Resuming our trip the next forenoon, a short course brought us to the
terminus of our voyage on Lake Huron; when reaching the _Straits of
Mackinaw_, whose blue green waves divide the State of Michigan.
Extending nearly nine miles in circumference, and rising at its highest
point over 300 feet above the waves, we beheld the famous _Mackinaw
Island_, which has filled an important place in the history of
exploration. Here was the meeting place of the daring French _voyageurs_
and _aventuriers_, before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Many wild
and thrilling incidents in the lives of Marquette, Hennepin, and La Salle
occurred on this island; and over at Point St. Ignace, in plain view,
Marquette was escorted to his burial place by a hundred canoes of plumed
and painted Ottawa and Huron warriors in 1677.
Just across, on the most northern point of the Lower Peninsula, stood old
Fort Mackinaw, the scene of the terrible massacre of the whites by the
Indians under Pontiac in 1763.
On this island were fought two battles in the war of 1812. It was here
that Schoolcraft wrote his celebrated History of the North American
Indians, and the Legend of Hiawatha, which Longfellow, visiting him here,
afterward expanded into a poem.
The island's varied scenery, and its history and traditions, have been
portrayed in vivid word pictures by Marion Harland in a book, bearing the
title "With the Best Intentions," by which she has recently added to her
Having crossed the strait at its narrowest part four miles in width, we
caught sight of the beautiful waters of _Lake Michigan_, the only one in
the group of the North American great lakes which extends entirely within
the territory of the United States, having a maximum breadth of eighty
four miles, and a depth varying from 700 to 1,000 feet. Its length amounts
to 345 miles from the northwestern corner of Indiana and the northern part
of Illinois to the Straits of Mackinaw.
We followed the same route which more than two centuries ago was taken by
Jacques Marquette who, in the spring of 1673, with Joliet for his
chieftain, and five other Frenchmen, embarked at Mackinaw in two frail
The disposition to pause for an instant, and to reflect upon the character
and circumstance of our luxurious voyage as contrasted with that of these
few adventurers in their fragile birch canoes--a little over 220 years
ago--is almost irresistible.
On that occasion it was a journey of extreme peril--with no friendly
populous havens at which the necessary commodities could be obtained.
Those densely wooded shores afforded no hospitable refuge to these hardy
men, and their destination or return was a question of great uncertainty.
We pushed along with the marvelous propeller and, surrounded with every
comfort, had the assurance of each evening anchoring in some safe
harbor--encountering cheerful voices, and seeing glad faces--with the
possibility of daily finding everything we wanted, in profusion. There
was the postoffice, with its rapid service at our disposal, or the
electric telegraph, by means of which we could communicate with every
part of civilization, ever within our reach--and the climax of modern
genius in the magnificent structures of the Columbian Exposition awaiting
us--the marvel of the nineteenth century, with its unparalleled
aggregation. The thought is overwhelming! And could these explorers have
seen in a dream--what we witnessed in reality--it would have seemed to
them an impossibility that so short a time could have brought about such
The eastern lake shore was richly garlanded with forests displaying a vast
multitude of verdant hues, varying through all the shades of green. Over
the whole the azure of the sky cast a deep, misty blue; blending toward
the rocks of lime- and sandstone, seemingly embracing every possible tint
and shade of color.
Having achieved a course of sixty miles, the yacht cast anchor in the
excellent harbor of St. James on _Beaver Island_, a large tract of land
covering an area of 3,700 acres. Vessels of various kinds and shapes lay
moored in this spacious inlet. Being wind-bound, we tarried for two days,
which gave us opportunity to become acquainted with the features of the
island. We were informed that it is identified with the history of
Mormonism; since it was first settled by adherents of that sect, who
robbed the ships entering this port, and who led the lives of pirates.
After their leader was killed in one of the numerous combats which ensued
with the attacked sailors, they abandoned the place; but the habitation of
the Mormon chief is still existing, probably the only vestige left here of
the followers of Joseph Smith.
At 1 o'clock A.M., on Wednesday, August 16th, we departed from Beaver
Island. The pilot had guided the "Marguerite" on a course of about
forty-five miles southward, when we approached _Northport_, Michigan, a
place noteworthy for having not a single of those maleficient institutions,
commonly styled beer-saloons.
We lingered two hours at the dock of this town. The white fields of
blinding mist floated along the winding valleys of the low lake shore; and
from the dark clouds curtaining the sun, the rain fell continuously. Thus
the landscape on our left bore a gray and dim tincture.
Before the darkness of evening had gathered about us, the yacht was made
fast to the dock of _Frankfort_, on the Michigan coast, a small place with
a population of about 1,000, romantically situated. Taking our departure
from the town on the following morning, we observed that the fog, covering
the surrounding landscape with a thick, impenetrable veil, increased in
density until it seemed as if from moment to moment additional tints of
sombre gray were united to the haze. In fact, after a while we were unable
to discern the outline of the coast, having to pursue our way with great
After the lapse of four anxious hours, we had the great satisfaction to
hear the welcome sound of the fog-horn of _Manistee_, the county seat of
Manistee County, in Michigan. It is situated at the mouth of the
same-named river, which is navigable for vessels, drawing ten to twelve
feet of water, for the distance of one and one-half miles to Manistee
Lake. Largely engaged in lumber trade, the city has a score of saw-mills
and about as many shingle-mills, the latter of which produce annually
450,000,000 shingles, the largest number made at any one place in the
world. In consequence of the discovery in 1881 of a bed of solid salt,
thirty feet thick, extensive salt factories are being built. The
population of the city has rapidly increased in later years, comprising
about 14,000 residents at present. The surrounding district is especially
adapted for fruit-growing; and sportsmen are attracted to the Manistee
River and its tributaries by the abundance of the otherwise rarely found
Since we expected company on board the "Marguerite" in the evening--Mr.
Wilkinson, a citizen of Milwaukee, who intended to make us acquainted with
his wife, we went on shore immediately after dinner to view the city, so
as to return in time to meet our visitors.
Manistee made the impression of a flourishing business town. The
comparatively long trading thoroughfare is a broad street nicely laid out,
and adorned with numerous stately buildings and spacious stores.
Not long after our departure from Manistee, which occurred early on the
following morning, a sudden squall threatened us; and a few minutes later,
a terrific flash and peal broke almost simultaneously upon us, followed by
a violent shower. Fortunately, it lasted but a short time. The tempest
gradually ceased; the irregular and blinding flashes became fewer and the
thunder rolled less loudly. Gradually the scene changed to one of peaceful
beauty so that the rose light of the radiant sun-ball appeared in the
heavens; casting a new glory on the picturesque scenery of water and
The surface of the lake had become calm; and speeding along, we enjoyed
the lovely weather which was not destined to continue. For, toward midday
a fresh breeze rippled the waters that by degrees were transformed into
towering waves, shaking their foamy crests, and tossing us angrily from
side to side; and we were not sorry when we reached the harbor of
_Muskegon_, about six miles from Muskegon City, situated on the same-named
river which here, four miles from its mouth, widens into Muskegon Lake. It
is the best harbor on the east side of the great lake. The city has daily
steamboat navigation with Chicago; and saws and ships enormous quantities
of lumber. Its principal manufactories are a number of foundries, machine
shops, and boiler works. The present population is estimated to comprise
While admiring the lovely scenery enhanced by an enchanting sunset, from
the deck of the yacht, our attention was distracted by approaching
footsteps. In the uncertain, fading daylight, we perceived a gentleman
accompanied by a lady--curiously regarding us--whom we invited on board
Mrs. and Mr. Wickham were the names by which this fair couple was
introduced. That they spent the evening in our company, was very
acceptable to us--as we but rarely had visitors on our pilgrimage. They
greatly admired our floating home, and as the moon arose to bathe us with
his silvery light, they took their departure.
The young archer--morn--broke his arrows on the remote hills, walking
golden-sandaled down the lake, when we continued our voyage.
The still waters were soon lashed into fury again by an unfavorable wind,
increasing toward midday to such a degree that we were glad to take refuge
in the harbor of _South Haven_, where we lingered until the dawn of
Opposite the mooring-place of the "Marguerite" stood an edifice whose
interior we all longed to view. Having so unexpectedly become acquainted
with the Life-Saving Service on the occasion of our adventure near Thunder
Bay, we were anxious to learn more about that noble institution. In the
afternoon we set out for the South Haven Life-Saving Station whose
captain, an obliging gentleman, gave us very satisfactory explanations. He
first called our attention to the splendid qualities of the life-boat:
such as its power to right itself if upset; the capability of immediate
self-discharge when filled with water; its strength; resistance to
overturning; speed against a heavy sea; buoyancy; and facility in
launching and taking the shore.
We then inspected the diverse apparatuses utilized for rescuing the
A very clever contrivance, especially appropriate for saving invalids,
children, and aged persons is the metallic car, a small covered boat,
which can hold three or four persons who, entering by a comparatively
small aperture, are shut in and drawn ashore, safely protected from injury
even though overturned by the surf.
For projecting a line over a stranded vessel a howitzer is used; and in
this way a communication is secured to the shore. The cork life-belts worn
by the men, are of the plan first designed by Admiral Ward.
It is safe to say that the United States Life-Saving Service is chief
among the life-boat societies of other nations, both as regards the extent
of coast embraced, and the amount of work done. The whole support of this
service is provided for by annual grants from Congress. Besides its vast
coast line, it guards the shores of its great lakes. Since the
sea-bordering portions of America in many places are destitute of human
habitations, the constant employment of surfmen is required for the
express purpose of looking out for vessels in distress and manning the
surf-boats. It also necessitates the erection of houses of refuge
provisioned so as to afford shelter and food to shipwrecked sailors for a
considerable time at places, where without such provisions those who
escape the sea, would probably perish from hunger and exposure.
The shores of the United States lakes and sea comprise over 10,000 miles,
embracing almost every variety of climate and formation of land. This
great extent of sea-board is divided into twelve districts with in all 244
stations. Of these 182 are on the Atlantic, forty-nine on the lakes, and
twelve on the Pacific. Many of the stations are closed during the fine
months of the year; their crews being disbanded till the winter gales
again summon them to their heroic and dangerous work. That they render
noble service in this way, may be gathered from the annual reports.
The official statement of 1893 shows that the disasters to shipping in
that year amounted to 427 cases; that on board of vessels thus endangered
there were 3,565 persons of whom 3,542 were saved.
After we had thus enriched our knowledge referring to this humane
institution with its present effective system, we proceeded to the
neighboring shore of Lake Michigan, here forming a beautiful beach. The
polished and print-less sand studded with small, shining pepples spread
before us in vast expanse; and the magnificent waters of the lake
glittered in the sun-beams as though they were sown with diamonds. When
the surf came in, and the white fringe of the sliding wave shot up the
beach, the light color of the sand was deepened to a silvery gray. As much
as we marred and defaced its fine-grained, bright surface, it was ever
beaten down anew by the advancing and retreating waves. We had hardly
deserted this lovely spot, when our foot prints were washed away by the
ever returning sea.
On Monday at an advanced hour in the evening we departed from South Haven.
Since the glories of the sunset, with its witchery of rose and gold,
promised a fine night, we decided to continue our voyage as far as
The panorama we witnessed during that nocturnal trip was as magnificent as