Mayville, NY Lake Steamer CHAUTAUQUA Boiler Explosion, Aug 1871


About half past seven o'clock last Monday evening our citizens were startled and shocked by the report that the steamer Chautauqua had exploded her boiler at Whitney's Bay, about six miles from Mayville, while on her return trip from this place.
The explosion took place about six o'clock, while the boat was taking on wood at Whitney's dock, some six miles from Mayville, on the western shore of the lake. Very many of the passengers were rested upon the upper deck near the pilot house, and immediately above the boiler. The explosion came suddenly, and without any previous warning, and in a moment the boat was torn to atoms.
The steamer at the time of the explosion was fastened to the dock. The bow was pointing toward the shore, and the whole force of the explosion seems to have been toward the bow. The steamer is a total wreck. The boat lies beside the dock, the bow pointing toward the shore. All the boat forward of the paddle boxes and above the hull is entirely destroyed, the hull is ruined, but not entirely blown away. Where the boiler stood there is a gap torn through the hull, the paddle boxes and after cabins remain but in a totally ruined condition. The wreck is covered with broken timber, and it was with some difficulty that we could make our way over it. The force of the explosion seems to have been immense - the after cabins are entirely riddled and the whole front part of the boat is literally torn away. No vestige of the boiler could be found on the boat - a piece of the boiler weighing six or eight hundred pounds was found in the woods many rods away. The engines remain on board the wreck.
The direct cause of the accident must for the present be a matter of surmise, as the boat is a complete wreck, and pieces of timber and iron are scattered for rods around. There were about thirty passengers on board at the time of the accident, nearly every one of whom were more or less injured. The list of killed and wounded at last account stands as follows:
MRS. E. C. COCHRANE, of Buffalo, killed.
HENRY COOK, of Mayville, son of Edward Cook, the well known barber of this city, killed.
MRS. HOPKINS and MISS JULIA HOPKINS, of Westfield, killed.
MISS IDUCA EELLS, youngest daughter of D. P. Eells, of Cleveland, killed.
MRS. S. H. BARTHOLEMEW, of Portland, N. Y., killed.
CAPTAIN MURRAY, Jamestown, thigh broken.
MAJOR W. CAMERON, Jamestown, wounded in the head.
JOHN BEMUS, of Bemus' Point, badly scalded.
CALEB NORTON, of Bemus' Point, scalded.
JOHN BROWN, of Bemus' Point, severely scalded.
WILLIAM SMITH, of Jamestown, fireman on the Chautauqua, badly scalded.
BENJAMIN GARFIELD, of Bemus' Point, scalded in the face.
ALVIN PLUMB, of Westfield, leg broken.
CORNELIUS SHAW, bartender, Jamestown, scalded.
ALBERT SOUTHWICK, Ellery, slightly wounded.
MRS. LEER, child and nurse, of Cleveland, each badly scalded in the face.
JOTHAM BEMUS, of Bemus' Point, slightly injured.
FRED JOHNSON, pilot, Jamestown, scalded.
W. P. MILLER and DAVID L. CRAWFORD, of Pittsburgh, wounded slightly.
ALFRED CREDEL and C. W. AUCHUTZ, of Allegheny, slightly wounded.
It was at first reported that the injuries of CAPTAIN MURRAY, the owner of the Chautauqua, were of a fatal character, but we trust that such is not the case. A coroner's jury, we impaneled at Mayville yesterday afternoon, and an inquest will be held immediately up the bodies of the killed.
(Clipped from Chautauqua papers and Buffalo Express.)

The Forest Republican Tionesta Pennsylvania 1871-08-22