NEW STYLE OF PROPELLER Detroit Free Press
April 27 and 30, 1862
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Detroit Free Press, April 27, 1862

NEW STYLE OF PROPELLER - Many of our citizens along the docks on Friday evening were taken somewhat by surprise on seeing a steamer approaching the city from up the river propelled by an engine with walking-beam working the contrary way, taht is, athwartships the decks, and not fore-and-aft, the usual way. On her arrival at Brady's dock, she proved to be the new propeller Water Witch, built recently at Newport,* on the River St. Clair, and intended for the Lake Superior route. Her propelling shaft is governed by a walking beam, which is geared to it in connection with her machinery, and moving in the manner above described. It is decidedly a new and novel get-up on the lakes, although not altogether so East, where the experiment has in one or two instances been successfully carried into operation. The revolutions of the wheel are more rapid and of greater force than those at present in use, and work otherwise to a better advantage. The Water Witch is an excellent model for running, and is in every way well adapted for the route which she is intended for.

*Now Marine City, MI

Detroit Free Press, April 30, 1862

THE WATER WITCH - The new propeller Water Witch, at present lying at Brady's dock, was yesterday visited by many of our citizens, including several of our leading shipwrights. By the latter she was pronounced - as we have already intimated - to be built strong and substantial, and of a model in advance of all others that have as yet made their appearance at our docks. One excellent feature of her hull is a water-tight bulkhead built of solid oak timber, inlaid with India rubber lining, some thirty feet abaft her stem. The complete destruction of the boat forward of this bulkhead would by no means prevent her from proceeding on her voyage, and in ant event there is a portion of the hull which cannot be submerged. A new invention is that of her capstan and windlass, which can be worked together or separate, being connected on an entirely new plan. Her pony engine is in advance of all others we have yet seen. Of her speed it is stated that one and a half cords of wodd propelled her from Newport to this city in three and a half hours running time. Her cabin accomodation are not wanting in any respect. She was modeled and constructed throughout by Capt. J. L. Wolverton, and, we believe is the eighteenth or twentieth steamer he built in his day. Her officers are: Capt. Sweeney, commander; Mr. Belman, mate; Mr. McIntyre, 2d do; Mr. Rouse, engineer; Mr. Stonebraker, 2d do; Mr. Gordon, clerk; and Mr. Adams, steward - all men of good experience.

NOTE: WATER WITCH's powerplant, also known as a "cog-wheel engine" was the only one known to have been installed on a large (164 ft., 458 t.) vessel on the lakes. It made her one of the fastest steamboats on fresh water, able to make the reckless speed of 18 mph! She disappeared in a gale somewhere off the mouth of Saginaw Bay, November 11, 1863.