Press enter after choosing selection

The New Steamer Ann Arbor

The New Steamer Ann Arbor image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Front the Detroit Free Press of Tuesday we clip the following descriptioti of the new steamer Ann Arbor, a brief inention of which was made in our columns last week. The steamei was built f or the transportaron of the cars of the Toledo and North Michigan railroad across Lake Michigan from the terminus oí that road at Frankfort, hut. is the article below shows, it could be converted iti an emergency into oue of the inost formidable war vessels on the lakes. The article will be of .special interest to our readers: The New Vork Times of Sunday coutains i description ot' the .steamer Ann Arbor, recently launched from the yards of tlie Craic; Ship Building Company, of Toledo. This vessel, as readers of The Free Presa are aware, is built fot the Toledo, A nu A,rloi & North Michigan railroad, and is t he tirst of a series to be eonstrueted. A full description, with Ulustratlona, has appeared in this paper. Tlie most interesting part of the Times' sketch is the statement that the new vessel has been duly inspected by a representativa of the Navy Department, and that those in naval circles in a positlon t know declare that, had the new vessel been intended exclusively for war purposes, she could not have been better designed. It is asserted that in two hours' tiiue she can be conveited in all respects into a barbor defense ram, and with a rapid-flre batterywell pro tected by steel abielde, can justly be expected to silence anj crufttfie1 British are able to send through the Weiland or St'. Lawrence river CHuala. The lunes sas: The coal bunkers of tlie Ann Arbor ,?ill hold 1,200 toua of coal. This coa! mpply will euable hertotake the lakes md keep tlu-in for fully Mxty iajx of íontinuoussteaming without recoaling. Stowage room below docks oiakes it ile to iucrease tiie coal suppiy to í,000 tons. Alongside her longitudinal backing s an open and spaoioúa run fore :t tul if t, aifordíng sufflcient bevthiug room tor 600 liammocks, The coal bunkers iré placed on R longitudinal line arniditiip. The open fúre-and-aft spuce oDg the sides has its decks some four eet ubove the water line. and gun orts marked off can be cut througFi if eaired in a day'a time for the mountig of broadside rules. It is hardly eeaied tikely anumg those well posted iat there will ever be any necessity r opening porta from the main-deck jace, as tliere can be placed on the pper deck a battery toopowerful to be pposed by any vesael tlie Brltish are ow able to erowd through to the akes. The battery of the Ann Albor can lie made up of as lieavy ordinance rifles as ie Navy Department maydesire. This s a statement that cannot be applied ;o the greater íuimber of the numerous íerchant steamers now on the lakes. 'lie majority of the hike véasela have xtremely liítht spar decks, ín fact so iglit as to appioach to wliat one oidiíarily flnds entering into the constrHC,ion of a hurricane or flylng deck. On ocb ligia decks it is recognized by ordnance men tliat only the lighteist ypes of rapid-flre íí1S can be placed. f it be desired to mount Üve-inch and ix-inch rilles on the biíí propellers, recoursewill have tobe had to the lower lecks. which are at a amall hight above he water line. To convert tne majorty of these propellers into war ships vill reqnire considerable time, and even wheu completad their unwieldileaswill rei'der them anything but uick-maneuvering craft. These statements apply equaUy well o the merchant steamers hatling from 'anadian ports. Among naval officers t has been perceived for some time ;hat in the event of a sndden outbreak }1 uar a few high-speed, qnick-maneuvering gun boats, titted witli efficiënt rapid-iire batteries, can inilict irreparable damage upan lake shipping, to saj nothing of hike ports. The fact that England is able to send into the lakes at any time nearly seventy-live gunboats has for the last íive years been a matter seriously underconsidevationat Washington, and what witli the recent building of ' three ('anadian revenue cutters, possessing in every particular the essentials of gunboats, the conditions have been deemed worthy of nioitthiin ordinary attention. With the advent of the Aun Arbor and live more vessels of i similar type, the defense of the lakes isnow deemed as well-nigh assured. With the powerful battery that the new vessel i.s able to inount, it will lie ncxfc to impossible for any gun vessel to withstand lier, and the quick-manenvering qualities afforded by the three screwa she canies niiike it possible for the new ship to run entirely axaand any one of the big propeller type of craft wblch the Canadiaiis have ü n view t convert into war vessels. The fitting mi of the Aim Arbor with ;m exprens view to lier future n time oï hostil iti8 disposed to a great extent of the raanydisadvantages underwhich the United States has suffered by reason of the treaty of 1817. [Jnder tliis treaty the war ships on the lakes have b(en restricted to for the United stales and one for Great Brita


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News