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Walk-in-the-Water Steamship

The Walk-in-the Water was the first steamship on Lake Erie. It was built at Black Rock, below Buffalo, and launched on May 28, 1818. The vessel made seven trips to Detroit, Michigan, in her first season, each of nine or 10 days in length, traveling eight or 10 miles an hour. She had a tonnage of about 300 and could accommodate more than 100 passengers. Cleveland, Ohio, got a look at the Walk-in-the Water on August 25,1818, two days out of Buffalo on her maiden voyage. The city greeted the vessel and its Captain Job Fish, once an engineer for Robert Fulton. The Walk-in-the-Water ran sucessfully through the seasons of 1819 and 1820, and up to November, 1821. In that month a gale overtook her near Buffalo and she was driven ashore on a sand beach. Passengers and crew escaped with a drenching and the loss of baggage, but the first steamer on the lake was damaged beyond repair.