Archiver > SHIPWRECK > 2005-04 > 1114275732

Subject: Keystone State (Stmr.), 1861
Date: 23 Apr 2005 11:02:12 -0600

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Surnames: Ritt
Classification: Query

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The steamer Keystone State was built in 1849 by Bidwell & Banta in Buffalo, NY. It was a wooden sidewheel steamer designed to carry passenger & package freight.

On or about 10 Nov 1861 it foundered with all hands (33) on Lake Huron, in a gale. She was last seen off Port Austin, MI, in heavy seas enroute from Detroit to Milwaukee.

Although most of my research indicates Gen. C.M. Reed, Erie, PA, as the owner at time of loss, the Detroit Tribune reported that the steamer was purchased a few weeks earlier by Messrs. M.L. Ritt, G. Ritt, and F. Handel, of Buffalo, NY. It also reported, that one of the owners' brothers (Ritt) was a clerk on-board and went down with the others.

I'm attempting to determine ownership at time of incident, and any other information that is available as to the names of the persons that went down with the vessel.

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