Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Was the first steamboat on Lake Erie. Launched in Aug. 23, 1818, the "Walk-in-the-Water" had a long first trek up the Niagara River from Buffalo to Lake Erie. She was the first steamboat on Lake Erie, Huron and Michigan and the third on the Great Lakes over all. She received her name from the Indians. Her maiden voyage carried 29 passengers. Their fare was $8.00 to Erie.

As I mentioned in an earlier post the waterways were very important in transportation during the first half of the 19th century. Even today the waterways still play an important part.

"Walk-in-the-Water" was 338 tons, length of 135feet and width of 32. The width of the beam was 8 feet and 6 inches. She had a short life. In Oct. 1821 leaving Cleveland she ran into a typical gale. The boat began to leak, she turned back for Buffalo. One of the anchor ropes broke and she began to drag on the anchor. She grounded on the beach south of Buffalo harbor. All were safe.

I mention "Walk-in-the-Water" for another reason. In 1832 the Lancaster Presbyterian Church built their present house of worship with timbers salvaged from "Walk-in-the-Water". Interestingly enough the church was organized in 1818 six months before the launch of "Walk-in-the-Water".

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