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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

In the Stacks With Jamie Kramer: Salome M. Bean

SalomeBean4.jpgSalome M. Bean was born to David Bean and Anna Martha Truemner in Ontario, Canada on August 14, 1864.  In the 1870s, her family settled in Tuscola County, Michigan. She married August C. Schmoock on June 25, 1902, near Akron, Michigan.  August was born in Denmark on August 3, 1864, to parents William Schmoock and Louise Otto.

After their marriage, Salome and August settled in Bay County for a short time. According to the 1902 Bay City Directory, they were making their home at 605 11th street. August worked for well-known architects, Pratt & Koeppe, as a draftsman. They raised two children—a son and a daughter. Their first child, a daughter, Lucille Martha Louise Schmoock, was born in their home on April 11, 1902. Son, Waldemar C. Schmoock, was born on July 26, 1906.

By 1903, they had moved to Detroit. They remained there until their deaths.

Above Image: Left to right - Ethel De Forest, Salome Bean, Myrtle Belieu








Image 1: Salome Bean (2nd to left)  &August Schmoock (closest to the building). Photo is titled “Fishing at Quanicasse"




Image 2: Salome Bean and August Schmoock are closest to the camera.




Image 3: Salome Bean




11:22 am est 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Did You Know? The City of Bangor

by Sam Fitzpatrick

The City of Bangor was originally a 327.5-foot-long steel steamer built in Frank W. Wheeler’s shipyard formerly located in West Bay City just north of the railroad bridge. The ship was built for the Eddy-Shaw firm of Bay City and in 1906 transferred to the Lake Transit Company to haul coal, grains, and iron ore. The ship was named in honor of Bangor, Maine. 

The engines in the ship were also built at Wheeler’s yard and could haul the ship along at a steady 15 mph. The boilers, built by the Wickes Brothers in Saginaw, were 63 tons each making them the largest to be put inside a Great Lakes freighter at the time. Being quite large, they could not be transported by rail, so they were towed by a barge from Saginaw to West Bay City.

The ship was launched in March 1896. Because of the size of the ship, 12 oak timbers spaced 12 feet from one another were used to roll the ship from the side into the Saginaw River. These oak timbers were greased with 600 pounds of tallow. 

The deck interiors were quite lavish and the finest on the lakes. The cabins were trimmed with birch and sycamore. In 1905, the ship was extended to 445.5 feet for more capacity. 

In 1926, it was sold for a third time, to transport new cars from Detroit to other Great Lakes markets by the Nicholson Universal S.S. Company. This new system had yet to be perfected. The new cars were loaded onto the City of Bangor by a ramp then elevators transferred the vehicles to the lower decks. Every available spot on the ship was used to hold cargo, including the upper deck.

The City of Bangor’s End

Her career ended abruptly when it became grounded while en route to Duluth, MN on November 30, 1926. During a harsh winter storm, the City of Bangor was rounding the Keweenaw Peninsula when the icy waves proved to be too harsh. Hoping to make it to Eagle Harbor, the crew decided to turn around to Bete Gris. The steering gear broke, causing the ship to aimlessly wander. The storm was so bad that icy waves were smacking the ship causing the Bangor to be covered in ice. The ship then slammed into a reef by Keweenaw Point, not far from shore, with a 20-foot hole in the bottom. 

Launching lifeboats and managing to reach the nearby shore, the crew started fires and waited out the storm. With the lack of population in the area and no ships out due to the storm, the men made their way by foot in waist-deep snow to Copper Harbor. After a few hopeless days, the crew was spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel that was out saving another ship by Horseshoe harbor. The men were taken to an Inn that could not accommodate the 31-man crew, and then to a nearby barn for shelter. 

The R.J. Kappahan Contracting Company was hired for $35,000 to chop the cars free from the ice. Most of the brand-new 200-plus Chryslers were removed by chopping through the 10-inches of ice by men working in 15-degree weather. Once freed, they were hauled by tractor to shore and then driven to Copper Harbor to store for the remainder of the winter. The ship, however, was deemed a total loss. The following spring, the City of Bangor was taken apart by scavengers and the scrap was sold to T.L. Durocher of Detour, Michigan. 

City of Bangor

Other City of Bangor Incidents

Although this final accident sealed the City of Bangor’s fate, it was one of a few other incidents recorded: 

  • On December 2, 1915, the ship became stranded along the rocky shores of Isle Royale while loaded with coal headed north from the lower lakes. Fortunately, the increased weight prevented the ship from becoming further stuck along the rocks. Within three days, the ship was salvaged and returned to its route to Duluth, MN.
  • On May 22, 1918, in South Chicago, the City of Bangor struck the concrete dock of the Wisconsin Steel Company and damaged the starboard side. 
  • On May 26, 1918, the City of Bangor was headed to Superior, Wisconsin, in heavy fog conditions on its way to load iron ore. Five miles east of the Superior Entry Canal it found itself off course, veering close to the southern shore of the lake. The propeller struck the bottom and lost all four blades. The ship had to be towed to the harbor and repaired. 

Ship Specs

Hull Number: 113

Breadth: 44.8

Depth: 23.5

Gross Registered Tonnage: 3,690

Registry Number: US 127131

Engines: Triple expansion 22”, 35”, 59” diameter 44”


12:10 pm est 

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