The steamer Frank E. Kirby waited yesterday morning and got what she has been
looking for ever since the new steamer Columbia has been placed on the Bois
Blanc island route. The two boats were stimulated with all the ginger in their
makeup and the race which resulted is described by those who saw
it as second only to the memorable speed test between the Tashmoo and the
City of Erie June 4, 1901
In yesterday's affair, as in all races of this kind, there are two stories as
to how it occurred. Those aboard the Columbia say she was taken unawares; that
she had 100 tons of water in her ballast tanks, the trim tanks were partially
full and the shelter cloths were down; in fact, that they had no idea there was
to be a race until they saw the Kirby swing out from her dock and take after
The Columbia had a considerable of a start, over a half mile, but this was
reduced to 200 feet by the time Smith's coal dock was reached. In the meantime
the shelter cloths had been rolled up, the word had been passed to the engineers
and firemen that the Kirby was coming, and from that point down to Amherstburg
it was nip and tuck, neither side making gains, and when it came time to check for Lime Kiln crossings the Kirby was about 200
feet behind the Columbia, which had shown a phenomenal burst of speed and
demonstrated the statement of the builders that the
|Columbia was a smarter boat than some
people gave her credit for.
The crew of the Kirby
claims they gained on the Columbia until compelled to
check for an upbound steamer and the dredges on the Lime
Kilns. The run from Mamajuda to the end of Ballard's
reef course was one of the prettiest ever seen in these
parts and, as a passenger aboard the Kirby said, the
swells from the boats seemed to roll up mountain high.
When the Kirby passed the Columbia at the Amhersburg wharf, the latter's crew
waved brooms and ropes and yelled to pull down the pennant "Flyer of the Lakes."
Upon returning from Put-in-Bay last evening, the mate of the Kirby announced
that they would wager their salary for two months on beating the Columbia in
another race. The running time of the Columbia was a little over fifty minutes.
Her schedule is an hour and 10 minutes.
Yesterday was the end of the Columbia's season running to Bois Blanc park and
she will be put into winter quarters.