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Tashmoo Trippers: 1900

Tashmoo Trippers: 1900

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1900. "Excursionists on steamer Tashmoo." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Tashmoo Park

Many of these folks are heading for Tashmoo Park, an amusment park in Algonac, MI. The steamer stopped there during trips between Detroit and Port Huron. Tashmoo Park made the news this summer when a diver found a message in a bottle from 1915.

A Jaunty Rake

"A hat's not a HAT till it's tilted." Lots of style in this photo. Sharp!

Lifeboats may be somewhat overrated

No doubt many Shorpyites are aware of the story of the SS Eastland.

A Great Lakes steamer roughly contemporary with the Tashmoo, she was marginally stable to begin with, and became critically topheavy after the post-Titanic legislation requiring "lifeboats for all" put a batch of boats on her top deck.

She capsized that same year while loading passengers in Chicago and over eight hundred died.

I think there have only been two major shipwrecks in which there was enough time that all the passengers were (or could have been) evacuated by lifeboat - the Titanic, and the Andrea Doria*. The Lusitania, Empress of Ireland, Estonia, Dona Paz and others sank so fast that boats were almost irrelevant to the loss of life.

Tell the passengers that, though.

* Now need to include the Costa Concordia!

Skinny & Pointed

The bow sure seems skinny and pointy to me. I'm more accustomed to ferries having a blunt shape at each end.

[This is an excursion steamer, not a ferry. - Dave]

White Line

This is Detroit. Where are the black passengers? Were they prohibited from boarding in 1900?

[This was back before the Great Migration. Not that many black folks in Detroit. - Dave]


The last voyage of the Tashmoo, as related in John Howard's link, shows why riverboats and small-lake steamers didn't need a full complement of lifeboats. Despite incurring a "Titanic" wound to the hull, the captain and crew were able to reach a wharf where all passengers were safely debarked before the vessel settled on the bottom.

And the Band Stood Around

There's a 16 member band gathered on the dock. I spy a couple horns resting on the ground and a large bass drum and cymbal. As only part of the crowd is paying the band any attention I'd guess that the band just arrived and is getting ready to begin playing.

Lovely day

Great collection of bikes, too.

Do you think the group of white-coated boys is a band, or a bunch of porters? They have a lot of onlookers.


Several of the men are wearing kerchiefs around their necks. There's one above the word "Tashmoo" in the caption with another one almost directly over him. Another on the top deck, almost all the way to the right with his arm on the railing. Are they to keep their collars clean? Absorb sweat.

I'm also intrigued by the two women below and to the right of the pilothouse in their print dresses. They look so out of place.

A looker

The woman seated on the top deck, toward the front, holding the umbrella (seated) is BEAUTIFUL !!!

Hissy fit

The lady on the right of the woman throwing the fit is thinking "OOOOOOH, I guess we shouldn't have mentioned the number of lifeboats on board!"

Re: lifeboats

The Tashmoo was rated for 3500 passengers, but according to the Ship Inspection Regulations of 1900, a vessel of her size (1344 tons) was required to carry only six launchable lifeboats.


Commenters claiming to see excursionists on cellphones will be escorted overboard, posthaste. Four so far!

So many people

And only a handful seem to be aware of the photographer.

Bee in her bonnet

Perhaps that lady is the origin of the expression. Great photo!

Tashmoo's date with doom

According to the story, Tashmoo went into service in 1900. Wonder if this photo was the first cruise?

What's that lady doing?

I've been enjoying Shorpy's new submittals every day for a few months, and I would say this one is probably my favorite to date. So many intriguing faces and expressions, making me wonder what each person's life was like that year, that moment. So many great hats! The coal(?) carts, ice blocks melting on the dock, bicycles, parasols, buildings, boats... this is one wonderful, busy picture. The lady on the top deck below the pilot house is either stretching or throwing a fit. I love it. Hats off to Dave and anyone else who contributes to finding, restoring, and posting these great pictures.


Amazing photo, so much detail. It would be interesting to know the capacity of the lifeboats compared to the number of passengers.

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