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Eastland Memorial Society

EASTLAND, US. 200031, Twin Screw Day-excursion Passenger and Freight Steamer  built in 1903 by the Jenks Ship Building Co., Port Huron, Mich as Hull #25. Launched May 6, 1903 as a) EASTLAND for the Michigan  Steamship Co., South Haven, Mich. 280'loa-38'w-22'8"d ; 1961 GRT, 1218 NRT. Powered by two 1,750 ihp triple expansion  steam engines and four coal-fired Scotch boilers. Built for passenger and fruit-express service between Chicago, III and South Haven, Mich. Sold to the Lake Shore Navigation Co.,  Cleveland, Ohio in 1907 for service to Cedar Point.  Transferred to the Eastland Navigation Co., Cleveland in 1909. Sold to the Chicago-St. Joseph Steamship Co., St. Joseph, Mich in 1915 for service to Lake  Michigan ports. Rolled  over in the Chicago River on July 24, 1915  with  a load of Western Electric Company passengers. Eight hundred and ten persons were drowned in one of the  worst losses on the Great Lakes.  She was raised and rebuilt at the Chicago Ship Building  Co. as a training gunboat for the U.S. Navy in 1917. Renamed b)  WILMETTE in 1917 for  the Illinois Naval Reserve conducting training  exercises on Lake Michigan. She participated  in anti-submarine training tactics for both World Wars.  Laid up in 1946, she was broken up at Chicago in 1948.   - Picture credit: The Dowling Collection, UD-M Library-