Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Steam Boat Launch

Submitted by Dick Palmer

Lyons Republican, Friday May 19, 1820

From the American Journal

On Thursday last, a novel and interesting scene was presented to
the inhabitants of Ithaca and a concourse of strangers and citizens
of the vicinity. It had been previously announced that the Steam Boat
building on the bank of the Inlet near the village, would be launched
at one oĆ­clock. Every thing was in readiness. The day was exceedingly
favorable. It seemed that May had assumed her brightest smiles, and
put on her fairest garments. The banks were lined with spectators;
ladies and gentlemen, young and old, the pride and strength and
beauty of Ulysses, all in anxious expectation.

The word of caution is given, the workmen proceed to remove the
fastings; when by inadvertency the bow is first started, and whiled
from its slider upon the ground near the edge of the water. But the
clouds of disappointment and regret which now shadowed every
countenance, were of short duration. The obstructions were soon
removed; the vessel was again started, gliding with ease and safety
into the water, and the name she is to bear The Enterprise of
was announced amidst the firing of cannon, and the loud;
long, and hearty cheers of the spectators:

When we look back for a few years, to the wild, uncultivated,
and unpromising state of this section of country, such a scene as
Thursday presented, is calculated to fill the mind with astonishment,
and to excite reflections which are peculiarly grateful and pleasing.
From the present scene of improvement, we are irresistibly carried
forward to future prospects; and the interesting enquiry suggests it
self what may a few years hence produce! And reverting again to the
present, we acknowledge the full force and comprehensiveness of the
substitute which was proposed for the name of the steam boat who'd
have thought if of Ithaca.

The Enterprise is acknowledged by all who have examined her, to be a
most elegantly modeled vessel. She is about 90 feet by 30 upon deck;
120 tons burthen; and her engine is of 24 horse power. She will be
completed, ready to run, by the first of next month, when we shall
take occasion to give a more just and particular description of her.

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