Return to Ships of John Gregory
The Inter Ocean, June 2, 1883
The tug Mariel (named after a place in the West Indies) was measured, and inspected yesterday. Her tonnage, new style, is eighteen—that, is net.Her gross tonnage is about thirty-six. She is owned by Singer & Talcott.
The Mariel was John Gregory’s last boat that he built, was inspected and measured in June 1883. The Mariel had a 140 HP Fraser & Chalmers engine installed along with a 125 lb boiler that was built by National Boiler Works. Both were new in 1883. Seen here in 1915.
The Inter Ocean, April 19, 1884
The return of the tug Mariel to Chicago from Cuba was announced yesterday. The owners of this craft, Singer, Talcott & Co., own an asphalt mine on Mariel Bay, in Cuba, and are working it and bringing the asphalt to this country in large quantities. The intention was to use the tug Mariel towing scows, etc.m, from the mine. When she arrived there, however, it was learned that an American tug could not work in Spanish waters (might have been known before), and as a consequence she is brought back here to Chicago. A tug will be built by the firm there in Cuba, and registered under the Spanish flag.
Such a “wild goose chase” as the Mariel has made has never before been recorded in the whole history of navigation and common sense. It will no doubt be called a “pleasure excursion,” and the Mariel will be known thereafter as “the American Goose.” The distance to the mine and back is about 5,000 miles. The friends of Singer, Talcott & Co. are going to present the firm with a bound copy of the navigation laws of the various nations.
Port Mariel, Cuba
Chicago Tribune, April 20, 1884
The little steamer Mariel, belonging to Horace Singer, of Lemont, that went through Joliet last fall for Havana, Cuba, where Mr. Singer’s family used it as a pleasure-boat, has returned and passed north through Joliet locks last night.
Inter Ocean, August 27, 1884
THE MARIEL SEIZED.
Customs officers yesterday took possession of the tug Mariel, which belongs to the Singer & Talcott Stone Company. and she will be held in seizure until the United States Court grants the necessary petition. The seizure was brought about through the refusal of the tug’s owners to pay a fine of $500 which was assessed against her July 1 last by Collector Spalding for carrying passengers on the lake. A number of other boats were timed at the same time for the same offense, but their owners, in order to avoid the trouble which has befallen the Mariel, took the pains to petition Secretary Folger for a remission of the fines. Instead of remitting the fines, the Secretary reduced them to $20 each. The owners of the Mariel refused even to take this precaution, but showed an inclination rather to fight tbe Collector’s decision in the court in order to get a judicial opinion upon the validity of the passenger law. They will carry the case before Judge Blodgett at once, and the question will then be settled forever.
Inter Ocean, August 28, 1884
THE PASSENGER LAW.
The Treasury Department has decided the case of the steamer Lucille (US No. 140712) charged with violating the law against miscellaneous vessels carrying passengers, and the decision is somewhat different from what it was reported to be a few weeks ago The following letter from Secretary Folger explains itself:
- Washington, Aug. 7.– Collector ot Customs, Chicago, Ill.-Sir: Your letter of the 16th is received, submitting the application of Thomas Lynch, part owner of the freight steamer Lucille 116 17/100 tons, for remission of a fine of $500, incurred under sections 4.465 and 4.499, R S., by carrying July 4 last thirteen passengers without permit. It appears that the passengers carried consisted of the family of the petitioner and a few friends; that no fare was charged, and they were not passengers in the ordinary sense of the term; that the vessel is new and safe, and that there was no intention to violate the law. You recommend remission, and the Supervising Inspector General of Steam Vessels recommends redaction to a small sam. In view of all the facts the department decides to reduce the fine to $20, and you will accept that sum in full satisfaction for the offense. Very respectfully,
Charles J. Foroke.
Secretary of the Treasury.
As there are a number of other cases of the same kind pending the decision is an important one, because the same action will probably be taken in each case. The tugs, Wolf, Monitor (US No. 90163), Mariel, and Hackley (US No. 75671) were fined on the same day with the Lucille, and the owners of each boat have also filed application for remission of the fines, Their offense was fast similar to that of the owners of the Lucille.
They simply took out members of their families and some few friends besides. Collector Spalding was instrumental in having the fines reduced.
Inter Ocean, August 10, 1884
The Mariel Matter.
Mr. Singer, owner of the tug Mariel, which was seized by the government, Tuesday to satisfy a fine of $500, which was assessed against her for carrying passengers, explains why he did not ask for a remission of the fine. The tug was built in 1883, and when her original papers were issued she was given the right to carry fifty passengers. The local inspectors refused to renew this permission this season, because they found that it was not lawful to do so, and Mr. Singer asked for a reclassification of the Mariel, so she could carry himself and friends whenever he desired. He wanted to comply with any order or law which would give him the right to do this, and he filed a written application to change the character of the tug. Just before the Fourth of July he made arrangements to take his family and some friends out on the lake, and had prepared as elaborate luncheon for them.
He informed Captain Green that he intended to take the party out. Knowing that it would be a sore disappointment to his friends to give the scheme up, he went out. After the fine was imposed he consulted District Attorney Tuthill about the matter, and that gentleman said that it would be hard for anybody to adjudge him guilty of the violation of any law, and he concluded from the conversation to let matters take their own course. Mr. Singer had a long conversation with General Damont yesterday and he will probably leave the matter in the General’s hands and withdraw the court proceedings which he instituted. The Mariel will be bonded and Mr. Singer will make an application for remission of the fine of $500 which was entered against her.
An unprecedented storm dropped 5 1/2 inches of rain on Chicago on Aug. 2, 1885, with all that water finding its way to the river and threatened to enter the city’s intake cribs in the lake which could cause a cholera outbreak that has the potential to kill 90,000 Chicagoans. However, a shift of winds pushed the contaminants away from the city’s water intakes and the potentially dangerous water never got into the drinking water. Thus was created an Urban Legend that forced the city to reverse the direction of the Chicago River.
Chicago Tribune, October 10, 1885
Yesterday morning a party of twenty men, guests of Singer and Talcott (Stone Company, 210 Market street), started from the foot of Franklin street, on the tug Mariel to take a trip up the river, through the canal to Lemont and Lockport, with a view to considering the sewage condition.Most of the party were from Joliet and Lockport. After a short run out into the lake the boat started on her way up the river. The trip as far as the Stock-Yard branch was uneventful. When that point was reached the friends of the passengers were assembled on the banks to watch the boat commence her perilous voyage to the south. At first, handkerchiefs were waved in the air and fond farewells were exchanged. Soon, for obvious reasons, the handkerchiefs were put to less romantic but better use. As the boat passed the place where the pumping machinery stirs up the water so that the full force of the aroma could be appreciated, a small urchin on the bank shouted out,
- Hey, scully, look at der man in de plug hat. He’s goin’ to be sick.
The prophecy was correct.
- Somebody smoke, for heaven’s sake
ejaculated one of the group in the bow. His behest was not obeyed, as no one was willing to remove his handkerchief from his nostrils long enough to light a match. Soon the tug overtook a propellor which was stirring up the black, slimy fluid with his screw.
The stench was unendurable. “I’m a prohibitionist,” gasped a clerical-looking man, removing his handkerchief long enough to speak, “but give me some brandy.” It was the original intention to go to the Stockyards, but by unanimous consent the plan was given up. The water itself presented the most disgusting sight that could be imagined. The sewers were continually pouring their contents into the stream, and, as there was absolutely no current, the refuse matter floated on top. There was a black, greasy scum upon the surface, dotted here and there with dead dogs, cats, old shoes, rotten apples, etc. The tug finally cut her way through the slime and reached the pumping works on Ashland avenue, where the party landed and inspected the surroundings. The reporter left them here and they pursued the even tenor of their way down the canal to Lemont, intending to return by train.
The bubbling Chicago River
The sewage situation kept getting worst as Upton Sinclair wrote in his book The Jungle, twenty one years later was amazingly similar to the Tribune reporter’s:
- Bubbly Creek’ is an arm of the Chicago River, and forms the southern boundary of the Union Stock Yards; all the drainage of the square mile of packing-houses empties into it, so that it is really a great open sewer a hundred or two feet wide. One long arm of it is blind, and the filth stays there forever and a day. The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo all sorts of strange transformations, which are the cause of its name; it is constantly in motion, as if huge fish were feeding in it, or great leviathans disporting themselves in its depths. Bubbles of carbonic gas will rise to the surface and burst, and make rings two or three feet wide. Here and there the grease and filth have caked solid, and the creek looks like a bed of lava; chickens walk about on it, feeding, and many times an unwary stranger has started to stroll across, and vanished temporarily. The packers used to leave the creek that way, till every now and then the surface would catch on fire and burn furiously, and the fire department would have to come and put it out. Once, however, an ingenious stranger came and started to gather this filth in scows, to make lard out of; then the packers took the cue, and got out an injunction to stop him, and afterwards gathered it themselves. The banks of ‘Bubbly Creek’ are plastered thick with hairs, and this also the packers gather and clean.
It took the City another decade (8 September 1920), before they reacted by filling in this portion of the river,
Chicago Tribune, July 23, 1886
June 24 the canalboat Iceland, loaded with ice and in tow of the tug Mariel, collided with the canalboat Messenger in tow of the tug Welcome, while she was passing from the Illinois & Michigan Canal into the Chicago River. The Iceland was sunk, and yesterday her owner began a libel against the tug Welcome and others to recover $1,000 damages.
The Mariel (Canadian No. 130772) was sold to Canadian firm of S. S. Marie of Ontario in 1912. However, the Mariel was still listed in the 1914 edition of the Ship Masters’ Association Directory recorded as William Nicholson of Duluth, Minnesota. She was last listed in the Canada List of Ships, 1940.
The Sault Daily Star (Canada), April 26, 1912
The tugs Commodore and Mariel, of the Ganley Tug Line, are being fitted out for the season at the Government dock, and will be placed in commission immediately. The crews of the several tugs operated by the company will be announced Monday.
Sault Daily Star (Canada), April 16, 1918
Tug Mariel Makes Trip from Richards’ Landing to Kensington
Sunday will probably see the first of the big boats arriving in the Sob, opening navigation for the season of 1918.
The tug Mariel, Captain Shipman, went down as far as Kensington from Richrd’s Landing yesterday, opening navigation to St. Joseph’s Island. The Captan reports the channel clear from the Sault to Sister Rock.
The Ottawa Citizen, November 1, 1920
Six of Mariel’s Crew Drowned.
Havana, Oct. 31.—Six men of the crew of twelve on the tug Mariel were drowned yesterday trying to reach shore after the Mariel foundered in the high sea which was running. The others succeeded in swimming ashore.
The Sault Star, July 2, 1921
The tug Mariel was here this week loading ties for Playfair & White if Wiarton.
The Sun-Times (Owen Sound, Ontario), June 28, 1927
The tug Mariel, in charge of Capt. W. G. Sinclair, arrived in the harbor on Saturday with a raft of hardwood logs for Mr. C. E. Whicher of Colpoy’s. He reports having encountered stormy weather on the trip, in which a quantity of logs were losy out of the boom.
1894, Mar 26 Owned Walter H. Singer, Chicago, IL.
1897, Jan 29 Owned White Line Towing Co.
1912, Sep 26 Owned S.B. Shipman, Soo, ONT; C1300772.
1941 Out of Registery.
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