Keystone State

1849                                          Keystone State                          1861

Wooden Great Lakes sidewheel passenger and package freight vessel

Built at Buffalo NY by Bidwell & Banta
Launched Nov 11, 1848

288’ LOA, 35’ beam
1 deck, coal-fired boilers, vertical beam engine,

Enrolled at
278’10” x 34’9 1/2 “, 14’4”, 1354 9/95 tons     to:
C. M. Reed,

Entered service May 1849

Did not operate 1857 through 1860 as a result of the Panic of 1857.

Foundered Nov 10, 1861 in storm off Port Austin MI, Lake Huron.  All 33 aboard lost.  Enroute from Detroit MI to Milwaukee WI.  She was on her first trip after five years layup.







2 thoughts on “Keystone State

    • Through the years many lost vessels were reputed to have gone down with vast treasures aboard. On the Great Lakes this was especially true back before the railroad was completed along southern Lake Erie between Buffalo and Michigan, when all the immigrants and other travellers headed west had to cross Lake Erie on passenger and passenger/package freight steamers. I am not aware of any fortunes found yet

      I didn’t know the Keystone State was one of the vessels with this reputation. She was lost in November, when there weren’t many passengers aboard. (All aboard were lost and as I recall the total, including crew, was something like 33 people.) I expect the dollar values lost were the vessel and her package freight cargo.

      There may be a fortune down there somewhere, but nobody has found it yet.

      Sterling Berry

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