Berlin City (1856)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

On July 3,1857. TheBerlin City and the Peral (built in Oshkosk in 1856; 105 feet long, 19 feet beam) were among the best known and the fastest boats engaged in the Fox River trade at the time. These two were rivals and were engaged in a race across Lake Buttes des Morts. The Berlin City was crossing a bar at the head of the Lake Butte des Morts when her boiler exploded. Her upper works in front of the boiler were blown to pieces and a few holes were blown in her hull: she sunk upon the shoal water of the bar. Many passengers and crew were blown overboard and badly scalded, lucky the water was shallow. The Pearl put back to the wreck to pick up survivors. Five people lost their lives.
After being raised and repaired she was sold to Tom Wall, Reuben Doud, and John Lynch.

September 9, 1858 The Berlin City ran upon a rock on the Fox River near Appleton. She sank in eight feet of water. She later was raised and repaired.

July 8,1861. The side-wheel steamer Berlin City stranded at Oshkosh.

July 12, 1861. The Berlin City was damaged by a tornado.

November 26, 1870. The Berlin City had been running on the Fox River for three seasons between Oshkosh and Berlin. She also had made runs between Oshkosh and Green Bay.
Final Voyage

November 24, 1870. The wooden, sidewheel steam paddle Berlin City was discovered to be on fire by the night watchman. The fire was probably caused by the fire kept underneath the boilers (to keep them from freezing when not in use) and the wind sending sparks back to the stern of the boat.
During the day, the Berlin City had been anchored in the Fox River near the boat yard since she was to be overhauled starting the next day. Unfortunately, the Phoenix steam fire engine could not reach the boat out in the river with a stream of water. Therefore, a boat was sent out and the crew cut the anchor chain and the Berlin City drifted to shore. The fire was extinguished after several hours work, but she had burnt to the waters edge.

Possibly, the damaged machinery and equipment was later salvaged.

"The whistle was pulled up by George Clark, of Omro, while fishing clams on the site of the wreck." Trail Of The Serpent. The Fox River Valley Lore & Legend.
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