~ Kansas ~
1870 - 1924

Reg. No. 5848

Built as CHAMPLAIN by A. C. Keating at *Cleveland. in 1870. Her wooden hull measured 135.16 length, 26 feet beam, 11.50 depth with 437.92 gross tonnage.

On June 15, 1887, the CHAMPLAIN, Capt. Edward Casey in command, was bound to Cheboygan from Chicago with passengers and a cargo of general merchandise. At about midnight, while between Norwood and Charlevoix at the mouth of at the mouth of Grand Traverse Bay, a fire suddenly erupted which could not be contained and 22 lives were lost. At the time of the disaster the CHAMPLAIN, now seventeen years old, had already been reduced to an A2 rating.

Following the disaster the smoking hull of the CHAMPLAIN was towed to Charlevoix, and later to the Milwaukee Shipyards where she was rebuilt for the Northern Michigan line and renamed CITY OF CHARLEVOIX on April 21, 1888. Very little remained of the original vessel and, following rebuild, her new measurements were 165.33 length, 23.33 foot beam, depth 12.33 feet with 710 gross tonnage. Another rebuild at Chicago in 1895 increased her dimensions to 185.42 length, 33.25 beam, 12.50 depth with 835.20 gross tonnage. As CITY OF CHARLEVOIX she stranded in thick, smokey weather three miles north of Charlevoix on September 7, 1894; stranded on reef at Northport, MI, October 4, 1903.

Renamed KANSAS at Duluth, MN, March 14, 1904. Was anchored near the old watch case factory at Manistee when a fire broke out, sweeping the midship and aft portions. The suspected cause was faulty or aged wiring on the automatic pumps. As the oldest vessel owned by the company she was not worth the cost of repairing and was "junked" the following year.

(*Some sources say she was built at Cleveland)


Marine Record, 15 Dec 1887
Warsaw Daily Times, 18 June 1887
Chicago Tribune, 18 June 1887
Buffalo Evening News, 11 May 1904
Ludington Daily News, 28 October 1924
Charlevoix Courier, 18 October 2013
"Commemorative Biographical Record of the counties of Sandusky & Ottawa, OH" - J. H. Beers & Co. - 1896. Biography of C. S. Keating.
Merchant Vessel Lists - 1904, 1920, 1925

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