Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Explore Shipwrecks - Daniel Lyons
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The Daniel Lyons was launched at the height of the ship-building era in Oswego, New York.  She was the first three-masted vessel built by the renowned Goble & MacFarlane Shipyard, and she served as a model for several nearly identical vessels that followed.

She was built for owners Daniel Lyons and George Goble.  She was 143 feet long, 26 feet wide, and 11 feet deep. She cost $27,000 to build.


Cummings, M.J.
A similar vessel. No photos of the Daniel Lyons exist, but the M.J. Cummings was nearly identical. The Cummings was also built by George Goble.

Photo: Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University


The Daniel Lyons was a canaler, designed to carry the maximum amount of cargo through the Welland Canal locks with only inches to spare. Canalers had bluff bows, flat bottoms and sterns, short bowsprits , and highly-canted jib booms jib booms . They sailed the longest routes on the Great Lakes. The Daniel Lyons and other canalers participated in the grain trade, picking up corn and wheat in Chicago and Milwaukee and hauling it to Buffalo, Oswego and Kingston. For their return trip from Lakes Erie and Ontario, canalers hauled coal to heat the cities and power the factories of the Midwest.

The Daniel Lyons’ first master, Irish-born John Blackburn, began sailing with his uncle at the age of ten in the Irish coasting trade . Captain Blackburn commanded the Daniel Lyons from her launch through the 1876 shipping season. The Daniel Lyons appears to have led a rather uneventful career, with the possible exception of surviving the raging storm of October 27-28, 1873, which claimed six Oswego vessels and their crew. In 1877, Blackburn stepped down to become harbormaster of the Port of Oswego, and Captain Michael M. Holland took command of the Daniel Lyons.



Read the tale of the Daniel Lyon's final voyage


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