Interesting interview

Transcription of newspaper article from the Mining Journal (Marquette, Mich.), Nov. 27, 1886, regarding an interview with James McMillan with the Detroit Evening Journal regarding the expansion of the Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic Railway Company (DSS and A)., Electronic reproduction of: Transcription of newspaper article : Mining journal (Marquette, Mich.), Nov. 27, 1886., Sources: The Mining Journal Marquette. Mi. November 27, 1886 An Interesting Interview The following is taken from a lengthy interview, had with Mr. James McMillan by a reporter of the Detroit evening Journal. Upper Peninsula readers will find it of great interest. After giving the details of the formation of the syndicate for the building of The DSS and A, it says: This syndicate consists of Calvin S. Brice, George I. Seney, F. P. Alcott and General Thomas, of New York; Francis Palms, George H. Hammond, William B. Moral, John S. Newberry, Hugh   McMillan, and James McMillan, of Detroit and C. R. Cummings of Chicago, and ten millions of dollars were subscribed to carry out these projects.   The DM and M road was bid in by Mr. Hugh McMillan for this syndicate, the sale being part of the scheme for the reorganization of the road. It is proposed to have the ''Soo" branch completed by July next and the bridge finished by November. F.P. Alcott George I. Seney and James McMillan have been constituted a committee to h and le the money and complete arrangements. The cost of building will be about $20,000 a mile. The Michigan Central will build a gigantic ferry intended to run across the straits of Mackinac all season. It will carry 50 cars and will give Michigan through connection with the Pacific coast via the Northern Pacific, MB and O, DM and M and MC rail roads, as well as with the Canadian northwest, via the CPR, which reaches the "Soo" by November next. Mr. McMillan will hold a conference shortly with Mr. Hickson of the Gr and  Trunk with a view to having the Gr and  Trunk pushed through to the "Soo" also.  "I cannot say that Detroit merchants have been over quick to take hold of this new project for increasing their trade in the upper peninsula," said Mr. James McMillan, this morning. "Still, I have been spoken to by many of them, and there is a decided interest in the plan. Then, again, several Detroiters have put money into the work - Hammond, Palms and ourselves, for example. The trouble all along has been that the MH and O has worked in the interests of Chicago and against Detroit. Now things will be changed. Then, again, there has been trouble in getting freight up there in the winter; but this will be obviated by the new railroad ferry across to St. Ignore. For some time I have been trying to get Mr. Ledyard and Mr. Hughart to build a boat that could get through in the winter; but until now, they have not see their way clear to do so." The boat will be built on the principal developed by Capt. James Millen, of Parker and Millen, while superintending the transit of the present ferry Algomah across the straits two years ago, when the ice was piled mountains high. It was found that the ferry would run one-third of her length into and on top of a deep floe of ice, and that her engines were totally unable to pull her off or send here further through. In such cases it became necessary to blast the ice from under the boat in order to free her. It has under these circumstances that Capt. Millen conceived an idea that facilitated matters greatly. When a floe of ice was met which was impassable by ordinary means, a stake or anchor was set firmly into the ice some distance ahead.  p.2 An Interesting Interview - November 27, 1886  The ferry was then turned around stern on to the lloe, and a hawser got over the stern, carried out over the floe and hitched to the stake or anchor. It must be understood that these ice floes are composed of great chunks and cakes of ice stuck, but not frozen together. When the ferry was in position her engines were started and the boat moved away a few inches from the floe, but as the hawser tightened, came to a st and still. The engines, however still run and the screw revolved hurling circling currents of water back against the floe. These currents loosened the cakes and pushed them away from the bow of the ferry, leaving a comparatively clear passage in front. The ferry then went ahead, the slack of the hawser was taken in, and another push was made. Capt. Millen at that time drew the plans from which the plans of the new Michigan Central boat will be modeled. The principle of the thing is simply this: A large, double-ended ferry, with boilers, and a screw wheel at each end, the stern wheel to have one-third greater power than the bow wheel. When running through comparatively clear water or smooth ice the bow wheel will pull and the stern wheel will push, giving the boat unusually great power. Its crushing power will be immense, and it will walk through ice two or two and a half feet thick with perfect ease. When she meets the great floes, so common in the straits, the two screws will show their power. It is expected that the front screw will push the boat back adn the rear screw will push the boat up against the floe, while the powerful currents circling ahead from the front screw will wash a passage in the floe and allow the ferry to run through. Such, at all events, is the theory. It is estimated that under the most adverse curcomstances the boat will be able to make the passage in one day where nine days has been on uncommon trip in bad times heretofore.
Abstract/Description: Transcription of newspaper article from the Mining Journal (Marquette, Mich.), Nov. 27, 1886, regarding an interview with James McMillan with the Detroit Evening Journal regarding the expansion of the Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic Railway Company (DSS and A).
Subject(s): Railroads
Marquette (Mich.)
Duluth, South Shore, and Atlantic Railway Company
Date Created: 1886-11-27