Schooner Passage: Sailing Ships and the Lake Michigan Frontier

Overview

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, schooner trade was a well-developed system of maritime transport for commodities such as grain, lumber, and iron. The schooner trade was as critical to the development of the Great Lakes region as covered wagons were to the Far West and paddle wheel steamers were to the South.

Schooners sailed the Great Lakes in large

numbers and played a formative role ...

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Overview

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, schooner trade was a well-developed system of maritime transport for commodities such as grain, lumber, and iron. The schooner trade was as critical to the development of the Great Lakes region as covered wagons were to the Far West and paddle wheel steamers were to the South.

Schooners sailed the Great Lakes in large

numbers and played a formative role in the

shaping of pioneer life throughout the region. The schooners that traveled the Lake Michigan basin succeeded in bringing a range of shoreline communities and four separate states into one coherent region. Although schooners successfully competed with steam vessels for more than a half-century, wooden sailing ships could not match the scale of the giant steel bulk carriers that began to emerge from shipyards in the twentieth century. The Mary A. Gregory—one of the last schooners left—was torched, sunk, and buried in Lake

Michigan in 1926. Schooner Passage is a

history of these magnificent sailing vessels

and their role in maritime trade along Lake

Michigan.

Theodore J. Karamanski shares with the reader the stories of the men and women who sailed on the schooners, their labor issues and strikes, the role of the schooner in the maritime economy along the Lake Michigan basin, and the factors that led to the eventual demise of that economy in the early twentieth century. Karamanski has put together historical accounts from newspaper clippings, historical society archives, and government documents to provide one of the few available histories of schooners.

Schooner Passage will interest scholars and students of Great Lakes and American history as well as the general reader interested in nineteenth-century western expansion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814329115
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Great Lakes Books Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore Karamanski is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University of Chicago.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 9
Acknowledgments 11
Foreword 15
Introduction 17
1. The Evolution of the Lake Michigan Schooner 25
2. The Maritime Frontier: Schooners and Urban Development on the Lake Michigan Shore 43
3. Before the Mast and at the Helm: Captains and Crews on Lake Michigan Schooners 77
4. Schooner City: The Life and Times of the Chicago River Port 127
5. Lost on Lake Michigan: Wrecks, Rescues, and Navigational Aids 173
Epilogue: Schooner Twilight 209
Works Cited 241
Index 255
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    Sailing Ships of New England

    If you're interested in the history of ships, this book is great. I also just picked up Sailing Ships of New England which I also recommend. It's full of wonderful illustrations and is an equally great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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