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Chautauqua County Historical Society - Member Activities - Chautauqua County - New York - USA

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE STEAMBOATS

CITY OF BUFFALO
(1890 - 1929)

Chautauqua County, New York, USA

City of Buffalo


History

In March of 1890 construction started on the steamer "City of Buffalo". She was built at the boatlanding near the roundhouse of the Chautauqua Lake Railway in Jamestown, NY under the the eye of Captain J.W. Pierce of Evansville, Indiana. She was 125 feet long with a 24 foot beam. The hull below the water line was wood, above it was steel plated (probably to ward off the many logs floating in the Outlet.)

She was launched June 18, 1890 and began regular runs in July. She was the first Chautauqua Lake steamboat to have electric lights, so she was put on the night run from Lakewood NY to Chautauqua.

In the Spring of 1900 the "City of Buffalo" had a complete overhaul which included a new boiler and engine. Once back to her regular runs, the Jamestown Journal reported the following: "The adjustments of the engine is not perfect and the pounding is noticable. The eagle on the pilot house took a flight to the deck Tuesday as a result of the violent shaking of the steamboat." In 1901 this item appeared: "Up to last year the steamer "Buffalo" was one of the most popular boats on Chautauqua Lake, but after putting in a new engine last year she shook so badly it was small pleasure to be one of her passengers." Subsequently her hull was stongly braced which stopped some of the vibration.

As with the other boats, the "City of Buffalo" was given new life when the Chautauqua Steamboat Company was sold to A.N. & S.B. Broadhead on November 8, 1913. She was completely overhauled and received a new engine. She commenced regular runs from then through the season of 1925. The company stopped all operations after that.

In 1927 she was sold to Glenn Solomonson and Alfred Lindquist who operated her for two seasons. Her upper cabin was removed and a small cabin was built forward on her upper deck. The hope was that she could be operated as a dance boat, but it met with little success.

Like the "City of New York" she was sold to the operators of Celoron Park. On the evening of September 1, 1929 she was burned before a crowd of 25,000 people. Her hull was towed up lake and sunk in deep water above Long Point.


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from the McClurg Museum - Westfield, New York
©2007 - Chautauqua County Historical Society, Westfield, NY