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Early history of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin

"1856" wreck of the S.S. Toledo,   pp. 56-57

Page 56

" i" Wreck of the S. S. Toledo
The Toledo, one of the finest steamers on the Great Lakes at that time,
was built in Buffalo, New York and was operated by the American Transportation
Copany. It was one.hundred and seventy feet long and carried a load of
freight and passengers on all trips. Often times migrating Americans bound
for the middle wept and the north west traveled on the Toledo.
She had sailed up the Lakes and around the Laes at the time of the tedy
and docked at Port Washington, Wisconsin, at Blakes' Pier, which was owned
and operated by Bornm Blake. There were eighty-one passengers and crew
aboard on what had been an eventful voyage.
The Toledo had dropped some passengers and freight, taken on a deck
load of cord wood to be used for fuel on this propeller driven ship, and
was headed for Chicago; out into the open Lake again. It was about twenty
rods off shore, a brisk wind on this brisk fall day suddenly arose and lashed
the lake into a menacing fury. There was but a slight indication of a storm.
These winds were so terrific that the ship could not get further out into the
lake but blew it into shore. Horrified spectators ashore, realizing the
danger to the vessel saw the frantic crew attempting to get down the ship's
anchor. The chain fouled and could not be released before the steamer struck
the dock.
The lake bottom was sand, but the storm was so furious, waves to high
and destructive, that the Toledo, "Pride of the Lakes", simply went to pieces
like a strawberry box pounded with a hatmer.
Folks ashore were helpless to aid those aboard, and out of the ship's
company, only three were saved. One of the three, Samuel Welch, a deck  and,

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