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Capt. Lawrence Dahlmer - A Michigan Bear

May 5th, 2013

Capt. Lawrence Dahlmer - A Michigan Bear

Capt. Lawrence Dahlmer was the first child of Capt. Axel B. & Sophia M. Dahlmer and was the older brother of Capt. John A. Dahlmer. He was born in Leelanau, Michigan 23 Apr 1887 and died in Gloucester, Ma 10 Feb 1979. Here, from the Gloucester Daily Times, is an article about him and the little steamer, George E. Fisher he brought her 2,000 miles down from Lake Erie to Gloucester in 1914 when he was only 21 years old.

ROUGH TRIP OF OVER 2000 MILES
“All fears and anxiety which have been entertained for the safety of the little steamer George E. Fisher of Dunkirk, N.Y., which left Lake Erie several weeks ago for this port, to join the local fleet of gill netters, were set at rest this morning, when the craft arrived in port safe and sound, after a rough, hard passage of 2000 miles. The steamer which is about the size of the steamer Margaret D., is in command of Capt. Lawrence Dahlmer, brother of Capt. John Dahlmer of the Margaret D..

The young navigator is but 21 years old, but he has lots of nerve and sailed his craft to her destination. On account of the draught of his craft, Capt. Dahlmer was unable to come through the Erie locks, thereby necessitating his taking the river and Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Atlantic ocean, and down the Cape Shore and across the Bay of Fundy.

When the steamer left the lakes, she had a crew of three men, besides the engineer, but on reaching Gaspee, Quebec County, the crew left and Capt.
Dahlmer was necessarily delayed until he secured a crew which were sent from here. The little boat reached the Atlantic ocean and continued along the coast, arriving at Yarmouth, N.S., where she put in about a week ago.

It was supposed that Capt. Dahlmer would proceed directly here, but he remained in Yarmouth several days. His delay in reaching here, naturally caused much anxiety, friends of the skipper and crew not knowing that the boat had not started. When she put in here this morning, their anxiety was quickly turned into joy. The steamer is owned by Mrs. A.B. Dahlmer of East Gloucester, and will fit out for gill netting right away.
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Mrs. Annie B. Dahlmer was my grandmother and, at the time the family was living at 12 Rocky Neck Avenue on Rocky Neck in East Gloucester.
I am still searching for another picture of the boat after she was rigged for gillnetting. I also understand that uncle Lawrence re-named her and I would like to know the new name and anything else about her fishing out of Gloucester. And who are the folks aboard her in the picture. Could it be uncle Lawrence and one of my cousins?

gloucester paintings

If you have more information on this subject please comment below or send me an email to: fishinlagoon@cfl.rr.com

Wm.W. Dyers Amazing Navy Career

December 7th, 2012

Wm.W. Dyers Amazing Navy Career

Wm.W.Dyer was born in South Portland, Maine He enlisted in the US Navy in Portland Maine 4 Oct.1916. After 95 days he was promoted to Boatswain’s Mate 1st. He was promoted Chief Boatswain’s Mate after 239 days while serving on the USS Yankton.
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USS Yankton - Boatswain Wm.W.Dyer as assigned Oct.1916. Jun.1917 he achieved the rank of Boatswain (Temp) He served on the ship until Dec.1918. She was a steel-hulled schooner built in 1893 at Leith, Scotland, by Ramage & Ferguson. She was acquired by the US Navy in May 1898; renamed Yankton; and commissioned on 16 May 1898 at Norfolk, Virginia. In World War I she headed for Gibraltar to join the Patrol Forces protecting Allied shipping from German U-boats, and she came under hostile fire during combat.
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USS Louisiana (BB- ) Boatswain Wm. W. Dyer was assigned Dec.1918 for 22 Mo – During the First World War Louisiana (BB-19) , a Connecticut Class Battleship was assigned as a gunnery and engineering training ship, cruising off the middle Atlantic coast until 25 September 1918. At that time she became one of the escorts for a convoy to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning on 24 December, she saw duty as a troop transport, making four voyages to Brest, France to carry troops back to the United States. . Bill Dyer and Mary A. Dahlmer were married in Gloucester on 2Apr.1920.
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USS Hanibal (AG-1) – Boatswain Wm. W. Dyer was assigned Oct.1920 for 35 Mos. To USS Hannibal. She was classified as a "miscellaneous auxiliary" in July 1920, with the hull number AG-1. Recommissioned some months later, she resumed her survey service early in 1921, primarily operating in the Caribbean. This work continued through the next two decades and lasted into World War II .
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USS Chwink (AM-39) – Lt. Wm. W. Dyer was assigned Oct.1925 for for 24 months. The first USS Chewink (AM-39/ASR-3) was a Lapwing-class minesweeper in the United States Navy. She was later converted to a submarine rescue ship. Chewink was launched 21 December 1918 by Todd Shipyard Corp., New York City; sponsored by Miss M. Sperrin; and commissioned 9 April 1919, Lieutenant (junior grade) J. Williams in command. She was reclassified ASR-3 on 12 September 1929. WW Dyer was promoted to Lt.Cmdr, 1st class before reporting to his next duty station
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USS Bushnell (AS-15) - Lt.Cmdr.Wm.W.Dyer was assigned to the Bushnell Feb.1927 for16 months. She had been launched 9 February 1915 by Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Company, Seattle, Washington and commissioned 24 November 1915. She was assigned to the Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, as tender to L-class submarines in January 1916 and arrived on the east coast in February. In September 1920 she assisted in salvage operations on the submarine USS S-5 (SS-110) sunk off the Delaware Capes. Up until August 1931, Sumner cruised with various Submarine Divisions on the Atlantic coast, in the Caribbean, on the west coast, and in the Hawaiian Islands
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USS Lark (AM21) - Lt.Cmdr. Wm.W. Dyer was assigned Aug.1928 for 18 mos. The minesweeper operated from Gloucester, Massachusetts, along the U.S. East Coast, with winter deployments in the Caribbean, until 1931. During that period she transited the Panama Canal twice, on a voyage to Hawaii for Fleet Problem V in 1925. On 2 February 1931 she departed the Massachusetts coast for the Pacific Ocean, arriving at Oahu 25 April. She operated out of Pearl Harbor for the next 10 years, making periodic cruises to Samoa.
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USS Grebe (AM-43) - Lt. Cmdr. Wm.W.Dyer was assigned to the Greebe in July of 1930 for 47 months. She was a Lapwing-class minesweeper in the United States Navy. She was built by the Staten Island Steam Boat Co., was launched 17 December 1918 It served in many capacities until it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1943. At Portsmouth, NH she decommissioned 12 May 1922. Grebe was recommissioned on 15 November 1922 On 16 December she sailed for St. Thomas, capital of the Virgin Islands, where she served as station ship until 1931. . Lt. Cmdr. Wm.W.Dyer was assigned to the Greebe in July of 1930 for 47 months. During that duty he was promoted to Commander. Grebe's finest moment came in 1930. A hurricane laid waste large parts of the Dominican Republic and killed thousands in September. Carrying trained medical men and emergency supplies Grebe was the first ship to reach devastated Santo Domingo. She remained there for two weeks, helping unload other ships and clear debris.
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Towing USS Constitution
Grebe then returned to Boston, Massachusetts. There on 12 July 1931 she took in tow historic USS Constitution. A long campaign had resulted in restoration of the famed ship to its original condition, and Grebe was to spend the next three years as her tender and towing ship as they visited every major American port, East and West Coast. Millions of Americans thrilled to their heritage touring "Old Ironsides" in New York City, Norfolk, Key West, Galveston, Guantanamo, Los Angeles, Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, and the Panama Canal Zone.
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Transfer to the Pacific Ocean
On 12 May 1934 Grebe relinquished her duties with Constitution, entering the Philadelphia Navy Yard for overhaul. After a brief tour of duty at Norfolk, Virginia, 21 August to 14 September, she sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, towed for fleet gunnery practice until 12 October, then sailed to San Pedro, California, arriving 19 November. Operating there until mid-1940; she performed a variety of tasks, including towing for target practice, participating in fleet problems, minesweeping exercises, training squadron details, and harbor service. Her tour there was interrupted by two voyages, the first to Pearl Harbor 6-31 May 1935 for fleet problems and the second to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Norfolk, Virginia, 26 December to 7 May 1939 for gunnery exercises.
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Sixteenth Naval District – Philippine Islands. Cmdr. Wm.W.Dyer was transferred to the 16th.ND in Jan.1939 for 30 months. Pre-WW2 records are difficult to access at this time but we assume his duties were administrative in nature either at the Subic Bay Naval Base or the Cavite Navy Yard on Luzon. We hope to add more to this segment of Bill Dyers navy record as more data becomes available.
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First Naval District, Boston, Ma. Cmdr.Wm. W. Dyer transferred to Boston Naval Yard in 1940 as Asst. to Yard Commander.
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First Naval District, Boston, Ma. Cmdr. Wm.W.Dyer retired at the reserve rank of Lt.Commander in 1945 after 30 years service to the United States Navy.
Wm.D. Hubbard, 7 Dec.2012

Great Lakes Gillnetting 1900s on John Smith with Captain Jack

December 5th, 2012

Great Lakes Gillnetting 1900s on John Smith with Captain Jack

This narrative is taken wholly unedited from a letter dated 11-23-54 from Louis Kimball of Monterey, California to Mary Dahlmer and Bill Dyer. The Dyers were friendly with the Kimbals when Bill was stationed on the West Coast. Louis Kimball was a friend of Capt. John A. Dahlmer and the letter is a narrative of a fishing trip they made on the gillnetter, “John Smith” which was owned by Axel B. & Sophia Dahlmer and moored to a pier behind the Dahlmer home in Charlevoix, Michigan.

The crew consisted of “Captain Jack (John A. Dahlmer) head fisherman; Charlie, the engineer; James Nolan, shore boss; Eddie Weiderman, who Capt. Dahlmer’s brother in law and married to Annie Dahlmer’s sister, Mary A. Dahlmer and a big Swede fisherman, Sven). The original letter was hand-written in 1954 from which this copy was typed by James Russel Moody for Bill Dyer in 1976. The original is in the possession of Wm W. “Buzzy” Dyer who provided me with a copy. I found the photo of “John Smith” on a Great Lakes website of fish tugs. When fising vessels first became powered by steam they were referred to as “fish tugs”. The term was in common useage on the lakes and on the coasts.

Capt. Axel B. & Sophia M. Dahlmer lived in Charlevoix, Michigan on Round Lake. In addition to the dwelling, the property had a large net house and a pier with private wharf where Capt. Axel moored his boats.

William Dahlmer Hubbard,
Melbourne, FL – 5 Dec.2012

The Dahlmer Captains And Their Boats

June 18th, 2012

The Dahlmer Captains And Their Boats

The Dahlmer Captains & Their Boats
A biographical history of Dahlmer captains and their boats on the Great Lakes and out of Gloucester, Mass. 1846 to 1960’s by William Dahlmer Hubbard June 5, 2012

Part 1 - The Dahlmer Captains

Axel B. Dahlmer was born in 1846 in Helsingborg, Sweden which, then as now was the country’s largest seaport. Like many young men from Helsingborg, he shipped out as seaman or cook on merchant vessels at an early age according to ships manifests and shipping news of the time. I have yet to find the date he came to the US but have learned that he was living in Leelanau, Michigan in
1863.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, he journeyed from Leelanau to New York City and enlisted in the US Navy on 5 Jul 1863. He served as a seaman aboard the USS City of New York. She was of British registry, leased to the US Navy which classified her as an "auxiliary cruiser” - an armed square rigger with auxiliary steam power. She served as transport; ferrying union troops and supplies between New York, Baltimore and ports of the Chesapeake. Later, she carried troops and supplies to other union ships blockading the Atlantic ports of the Confederacy. Axel was honorably discharged on Aug.12, 1865. His military ID was #1656788638.

Axle married Sophie Marie Kuehemun in 1870. She was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1854 or 1856. She had come to this country 2 Aug 1873. They made their home at various times in Leelanau and Charlevoix, Michigan and later established their home in Dunkirk, New York.

Axel shipped out on and eventually captained steamers on the Great Lakes. At one time he skippered the fast steamer William Maxwell for the Booth Fisheries Co of Chicago, freighting fish from their buying centers around the great lakes. He skippered and owned a number of fishing tugs, as they were known at the time including, John Smith, Geo. E. Fisher and Rough Rider. Axel died in Dunkirk, NY in 1905 when it was noted he had been a ship captain, Master Mariner and boat owner. Sophia died there in 1932. Both were later interred in the Dahlmer family plot in Calvary Cemetery in Gloucester.

John Andrew. Dahlmer was born in Allegany County, NY on 29 Jan 1876, the first son of Axel B. and Sophia M. Dahlmer. He was a steamer captain for Booth Fisheries among others and followed his fathers’ footsteps as captain of their steamer, William Maxwell. At various times he fished on and eventually purchased fishing tugs John Smith, Geo. E. Fisher and Rough Rider from his father.

John married Anna “Annie” Gordon on 28 Jun 1898 in St. James, Beaver Island, Mich. She died in Gloucester on 17 Nov 1938. They had 15 children between 1899 and1923. They lived variously in St. James and Charlevoix, Michigan before moving their family to Gloucester, Mass in 1910. He died in Gloucester on 6 Jan 1951. He was a member of the Master Mariners Association of Gloucester.

In 1909 John had the gas powered 63’ gillnetter Margaret D built in Ashtabula, Ohio. She was named for and christened by my mother, Margaret V. Dahlmer. They brought the Margaret D and the Rough Rider to Gloucester in 1910. Both fished there, according to local records in the season of 1910. The Rough Rider was later sold to Boston interests.

Lawrence B. Dahlmer was born in Leelanau, Michigan 23 Apr 1887 the second son of Axel B. and Sophia Dahlmer. He married Margaret in 1929.
He fished with his father on the Great Lakes and in 1914 at the age of 18 skippered the gillnetter, Geo. E. Fisher to Gloucester, Ma.

The epic trip was over 2,000 miles down the St. Lawrence River, around Nova Scotia and down the cape shore to Gloucester. His first crew deserted in Gaspe and he had to round up a new crew. He was near two weeks overdue when he arrived in Massachusetts. He quickly outfitted the boat for gillnetting and joined the new Gloucester fishery. He he took title to the boat about 1915 and fished the vessel alternately gillnetting, seining and dragging and sometime before WW-II change her name to Lousam, He sold her to his nephew, Capt. Ralph (Eber) Dahlmer before the war.

Lawrence sometimes hired others to skipper Lousam while he pursued a career in the US Merchant Marine. He was listed as 2nd.Mate of the freighter, Matincook when she arrived in New York on 1 Oct 1925 and is listed as her 3rd.Officer on 20 Sep 1927. Lawrence was a member of Master Mariners Association and in retirement skippered several yachts in Gloucester including Blue Waters and Ben Pine’s American. He died in Gloucester, Ma. 10 May 1979.

Ralph W. “Eber” Dahlmer was the third son of Capt. John A. and Anne Dahlmer. Born in St. James (Beaver Is) Michigan on 26 Sep 1904, he died 2 Jul 1979 in Gloucester. He married Helen Elisabeth Avard who was born 8 Jun 1904 in Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada. She was a registered nurse and died 1 July, 1994 in Gloucester. Eber attended the one-room schoolhouse on Rocky Neck in Gloucester and later fished on his father’s and other boats out of Gloucester and Cape May, New Jersey.

Shortly before WW-II he purchased the Lousam from his uncle, Capt. Lawrence B. Dahlmer. He fished Lousam during the war years and sold her after. He was captain of the Superior after the war out of Gloucester and also Cape May, New Jersey until she was sold in 1951. He also worked as engineer on several other Gloucester fishing vessels. He died 14 Jun 1979 in Gloucester.

I will add Captains Ronald and George Dahlmer and their brother-in-law Captain Edward J. Weiderman and his son, Capt. Axel B. Weiderman at a later date when more information is available. Capt. Edward Weiderman married John A. Dahlmers’ sister Mary and they made their home in St. James and Charlevoix, Michigan. He brought his family and boat to Gloucester in 1910. They moved to Pt. Judity, R.I. shortly after WW-II

Part - 2 - The Great Lakes Gillnetters

The steam tug Anspach was built in Detroit in 1879. She is the earliest vessel we have found that was either owned or commanded by Axel B. Dahlmer. The term steam tug came into official use as steam replaced sail on US waters. Any boat was termed tug if it pulled or pushed in its’ operations. Both Beeson’s List of Great Lakes Shipping and the Annual List of Merchant Vessels in the United States adopted the term and used it well into the 1900s. Anspach is listed by Beeson’s as under the command of Capt. Axel B. Dahlmer when he brought her to Charlevoix, Mich. in 1896 after having a new boiler installed. Her dimensions were 5gr.tons x 45' length, 12' beam and 5' draft.

John Smith was a steam tug built in 1876 purchased by Capt. Axel.B. Dahlmer in 1900 and documented to him in Frankfort, Mich. Her dimensions were 14 gr.tons x50' length x11' beam x5' draft. Eventually ownership was transferred to Anne Dahlmer She was sold by Capt. John A. Dahlmer in Dunkirk, NY before the MARGARET D. was launched in 1910.

Geo. E. Fisher was a steam tug built in Detroit in 1883 and purchased by A B. Dahlmer in 1908. She was documented to Dunkirk, NY with dimensions of 14 gr.tons x 50' length x 11' beam and 6' draft. Fished on the lakes by the family until she was sailed to Gloucester by her then 21 year old Captain Lawrence B. Dahlmer. Her name was changed to Lousam and she operated as a gillnetter or dragger until 1946 when she was purchased and skippered by Capt. Ralph Eber Dahlmer.

Bager was a steam tug owned by James Gordon of Beaver Island (father of Annie Gordon Dahlmer). in command of Capt. John A. Dahlmer in Jun 1903 when he had a new boiler installed, as noted in the "Beaver Beacon". She was a steam tug at that time.

L. Q. Rawson was a steam tug skippered by Capt. A.B.Dahlmer in 1904. Built in 1896, she was documened in Charlevoix, Mitch with dimensions of: 14 gr.tons x 52' length x 14' beam in 1904.

L. W. Knapp was a steam tug skippered by Capt. J.A. Dahlmer in 1908. She was then listed to him in Beeson's Marine Register at Dunkirk, NY as blt. in 1895 with dimensions: 17 gr.tons x 57' lengthx 14' beam.

Part 3 - The Gloucester Boats

Rough Rider - Document #202482 was one of the first gasoline powered vessels built in the US. She was a gas tug built in 1904 in Manitowoc, Wis.
Purchased in 1909 by Capt. Axel B. Dahlmer of Dunkirk, NY she was listed in Beeson's Marine Register as: 10 gr. tons x39' length x10' beam. She was fished by the family until 1910 when Capt. John A. Dahlmer sailed her to Goucester. She went gillnetting from that port until she was sold down to Boston in 1911.

The Margaret D was built for Capt. John A. Dahlmer in Ashtabula, Ohio in 1909. At her launching she was christened by my mother, Margaret V. Dahlmer. Capt. John sailed her to Gloucester that year or early in 1910 to join the newly established gillnet fishery. The earliest record we find for her in Gloucester is in several listings in the Gloucester Daily Times for daily fresh fish landings in 1910 for both Margaret D and Rough Rider. She was one of the larger gillnetters out of Gloucester, often landing double the amount of fish than the smaller boats. She was documented #120651 at 31 gr.tons X 63’ length X 15.2’ beam and 7.2’ draft. She was lost in fog on Milk Island off Rockport, Ma in March 1913. Family lore has the date of her sinking as Good Friday 13th. which I cannot confirm.

The steam yacht Orion was purchased in Chicago by Capt. John A. Dahlmer in 1912. She had been launched as the yacht Sultana in 1893 in Wyandotte, Michigan. She was brought to Gloucester from the Great Lakes and immediately rigged for fishing as a gillnetter to replace Margaret D. Her documentation was changed in 1922 when the steam boiler was replaced by a gas screw engine of 100 HP. Her doc.# was116583 and dimensions from launching in 1896 till she was sold in 1921 were: 96.7’ length X 17’ beam X 8.9’ draft. With the change to gas power, her gr. tonage was changed from 83 to 73 tons. She fished alternately a gillnetter a seiner and an eastern-rigged dragger and provided the Dahlmer family 20 years of fine and very profitable fishing until she was replaced by Superior in 1922. It was as a seiner that she brought local fame to her captain, often referred to as “The Mackerel King” in the local press.

The Superior was designed by Jacob Story and built for Capt. John A. Dahlmer in 1932 at the Story Shipyard in Essex, Ma. Her keel was the last laid down by famous Essex Shipwright, Arthur D. Story. At the time, the Gloucester Daily Times noted that she was considered by many to be one of the finest vessels ever turned out by that famous yard. She was powered by a 350 HP heavy duty Superior diesel. She was documented #231833 at 110’ length X 19’ beam X 10’ draft.

Superior was often rigged for Redfish dragging, a fishery conducted mostly on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in which Captain Dahlmer had had much success. In a short time he and the new dragger became high liners in that, as well as the Mackerel fishery. During winter season in the mid 1930s she went seining for mackerel out of Cape May, New Jersey where the Dahlmers maintained a home those same years, Capt. Ronald and Capt. Eber Dahlmer also skippered Superior.

Always alert to new ideas to improve fishing and crew safety In 1934 John Dahlmer had a whaleback focasle added to the bow of the vessel as shown in the photo below. The new feature, soon adopted by other New England vessels, it covered the forward hatchway and provideed added storage space and shelter for the crew when working on deck in heavy seas.

At the outbreak of WW-II the U.S. Navy recognized the perils to shipping from German submarines lurking off our shores to interdict convoys of supplies from the US and Canada to Great Briton. With no navy ships to spare, the navy began to draft civilian-owned ships into what became the North Atlantic Sea Defense Command. The need was imperative for wooden-hulled ships to form a submarine patrol in the nearshore waters. Superior was one of the first Gloucester ships to be enlisted. She was joined by the schooners Gertrude L. Thebaud, Blue Waters and Effie Morrissy among others.

The civilian ships were manned by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary and Active Reserve. They and similar vessels patrolled our coastline from Calais, ME to Key West, FL. They served between 1941 and 1945. As the submarine peril declined off our shores by 1943, a number of those volunteer ships were utilized in doing hydrographic surveys and in supplying weather stations along the coasts of Newfoundland and Greenland. Superior served in that capacity also.

At war’s end, Admiral Ernest J. King, chief of Naval Operations acknowledged the fine service provided by those private ships, loaned to the US Navy at a crucial time in the early stages of WW-II. Several people have told me but I have yet to confirm that my uncle, Capt. Ronald Dahlmer who was in the Navy during the war served some time on Superior.

In 1945 Superior was returned to the Dahlmer family by the NAVY. The photo below is dated 3/30/1945 taken in Gloucester after she was returned to the family. She left shortly thereafter to fish out of Cape May, New Jersey and that my uncle, Capt. Ralph Eber Dahlmer was her skipper. On 5 Jan 1951, the day before Capt. John A. Dahlmer died; my step-grandmother sold her to Capt. Roy C. Amero of Gloucester. The last record I have found for her was an undated Gloucester Times article advising of her sinking with Capt. Amero and the the crew saved by a nearby Boston dragger.

Notes

1. As steam and then gas power replaced sails on fishing vessels they were referred to as steam or gas tugs in the “List of Merchant Vessels in the United States” where most of the details here were found. Fish tugs - the hardworking little fishing boats of the Great Lakes were designed to meet the requirements of a challenging environment, the Great Lakes fish tug is a form seen nowhere else.

2. I am currently seeking information my uncles, Captains Ronald & George Dahlmer and their Texas boats after WW-II. Also, Captain Edward Weiderman of Charlevoix, Mich who married John A. Dahlmer’s sister Mary on 3 July 1901. They moved their family and boat from from Charlevoix to Gloucester in 1910. The Weiderman’s moved to Rhode Island soon after WW-II. Ed and his son Axel both fished out of Pt. Judith, RI. Axel sold his vessel and retired in 2006 and died in 2008.

This article is copyrighted by the author. No part may be copied or reprinted without the express and written consent of the author. Any direct descendant of Axel B. & Marie Dahlmer has my permission to copy this article for their own personal, non-commercial use and enjoyment.

If you enjoy this blog, please leave a comment below.



Wm. Dahlmer Hubbard
© June 5, 2012 in Melbourne, Florida.

Captains Edward And Axel. Weiderman

June 10th, 2012

Captain Edward Weiderman was Captain John A. Dahlmer's brother-in-law, having married his sister Mary A in XXXX, The Weiderman's lived in Charlevoix, Mich and Edward fished out of that port. In 1912 he brought his family to Gloucester, Mass. along with the Dahlmers and other MIchigan men. We do not know if he brought his own boat at that time or, if he skippered Rough Rider for Capt. Dahlmer. The family lived in East Gloucester among the other expatriates from Michigan. We have record of his gillnetter, "Mary A" which he was fishing in 1936 according to a fresh fish landings report from the Gloucester Daily times. His son, Axel was a year or two older than I and I well remember him at Point Grammar School in E. Gloucester and at family gatherings.

Shortly after WW-II Edward moved his boat and family to Rhode Island and fished out of Pt. Judith. I spoke on the phone with Capt. Axel Weiderman in 2002. He advised he had recently sold his boat was looking forward to retirement and living in Pawtucket. I lost track of him back then and was unsuccessful in reaching him in 2011. He had two daughters and, I think, a son but letters sent to them have received no reply.

If anyone has contact with the family, I would very much like to hear from them and be able to add more information here about both Captains Edward and Axel Weiderman

If you have information about the Weiderman family, please leave a message here or contact me at: fishinlagoon@cfl.rr.com.

Reeling Up The Nets

May 11th, 2012

I'm sure the above is a familiar sight to anyone familiar with Gloucester's history but, look again. This isn't Gloucester. It's a picture from Charlevoix, Michigan taken in 1903. Gillnets were introduced to the Great Lakes before the Civil War. Anyone who would like to see what Charlevoix looked like arount the time the Dahlmer's were living there might loke to go to the Charlevoix Historic Soc. website at: http://www.Chxhistory.com/ then scroll down and click on Historic Photos. In the early 1900s Charlevoix was one of the largest fishing ports on Lake Michigan.

An Updated and Expanded Story of the Michigan Bears

May 4th, 2012

I have been re-writing "The Michigan Bears". The story first appeared in Gloucester Magazine in 1969 but I have retained the copyrights to it. The updated and expanded version will soon be available free as an eBook and will be downloaded here and available on your Kindle. It will be illustrated with my paintings and photographs

The Dahlmer Captains and Their Great Lakes Gillnetters

May 4th, 2012

The Dahlmer Captains and Their Great Lakes Gillnetters

This list of Dahlmer boats and their captains is in the order of when each boat was first acquired by the family. It is not complete and I hope to add pictures and more data on these old boats as time goes by. We may well find additional boats too. I am greatful to my cousins, Ruth Dahlmer Olson and Larry Dahlmer and to my brother Jay Hubbard for much of the research done on this subject to date.

THE DAHLMER BOAT ANSPACH was a steam tug built in Detroit in 1879 and purchased by Capt. Axel B. Dahlmer and brought to Charlevoix, Mich. in 1896. Her dimensions were 5gr.tons x 45' length, 12' beam and 5' draft.

JOHN SMITH was a steam tug built in 1876 and purchased by Capt. A.B. Dahlmer in 1900 and documented in Frankfort, Mich. Her dimensions were 14 gr.tons x50' length x11' beam x5' draft. She was sold by Capt. John A. Dahlmer in Dunkirk, NY before the MARGARET D. was launched in 1910

GEO.E.FISHER was a steam tug built in Detroit in 1883 and purchased by A B. Dahlmer in 1908. She was documented to Dunkirk, NY with dimensions of 14 gr.tons x 50' length x 11' beam and 6' draft. Fished on the lakes by the family until she was sailed to Gloucester by her then 21 year old Captain Lawrence B. Dahlmer. She operated as a gillnetter or dragger until 1946 when she was purchased and skippered by Capt. Ralph Eber Dahlmer. She was renamed LOUSAM by Capt. Eber.LOUSAM X GEO.E.SMITH, AUG.1946 AT DOCK IN GLOUCESTER

BADGER was a steam tug owned by James Gordon of Beaver Island (father of Ann Gordon Dahlmer). in command of Capt. A.B.Dahlmer in 1898. Capt. JA Dahlmer purchased her in Jun, 1903 when he had a new boiler installed, as noted in the "Beaver Beacon". She was a steam tug at that time.

L.Q.RAWSON was a steam tug purchased by Capt. A.B.Dahlmer in 1904. Built in 1896, she was documened in Charlevoix, Mich with dimensions of: 14 gr.tons x 52' length x 14' beam in 1904.

L.W. KNAPP was a steam tug purchased by Capt. J.A. Dahlmer in 1908. She was then listed to him in Beeson's Marine Register at Dunkirk, NY as blt. in 1895 with dimensions: 17 gr.tons x 57' lengthx 14' beam.

ROUGH RIDER - Document #202482 was a gas tug built in 1904 in Manitowoc, Wis. Purchased in 1909 by Capt. A.B.Dahlmer of Dunkirk, NY she was listed in Beeson's Marine Register as: 10 gr.tons x39' length x10' beam. She was fished by the family until 1910 when Capt. J.A.Dahlmer sailed her to Goucester. She went gillnetting from that port until she was sold down to Boston in 1911. The picture at the head of this blog is the Rough Rider in Manitowoc Harbor in 1905 shortly after she was built there. Capt. Dahlmer brought her to gloucester and fished her the winter of 1911-1912 and sold her in Boston in 1912.

Note that early powered fishing vessels were referred to as steam or gas tugs in Beeson's Registry and in th List of Merchant Vessels in the US where most of the details here were found. Fish tugs- the hardworking little fishing boats of the Great Lakes. They were designed to meet the requirements of a challenging environment, the Great Lakes fish tug is a form seen nowhere else.

Capt. Axel B. Dahlmer was born in 1846 in Helsingborg, Sweden. Like many young men in Helsingborg, he shipped out as seaman on coork on merchant vessels at an early age. I have yet to find the date he came to the US but have learned that he enlisted in the US Navy as a Seaman in Jul. 5, 1863, served aboard the USS City of New York and was discharged and was discharged Aug.12, 1865. Military ID #1656788638. The City of New York was of British registry but leased to the US Navy which classified it as an "auxilliary cruiser) - being square rigged with a steam engine also. n At that time, 1890, he listed his home as Leelanau, Leelanau County, Michigan. He worked on and eventually captained steamers on the Great Lakes. He owned a number of fishing tugs, as they were known at the time, and noted above. He married Sophie Marie Kuehemun in 1870. She was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1854(or 1856). They settled in Dunkirk, NY. Axel died in 1905 when it was noted he had been a ship captain and boat owner. Sophie joined her son's family in Gloucester and died there in 1932. More to follow.

More to follow on the Margaret D., Orion and Superior - Bill Hubbard - 3/9/2012

If you have more information on this subject, please submit it here or send me an email to: fishinlagoon@cfl.rr.com

© All of the text and the pictures used in this blog are under standard U.S. copyright by the author, William D. (Bill) Hubbard. It is illegal to copy any part of this blog without the express written consent of the author.

The Michigan Bears

May 4th, 2012

The Michigan Bears

The Michigan Bears
by William D. Hubbard

The fishing method of gill netting originated long ago in Norway but arrived in Gloucester only in 1910 and by a most roundabout route. In the hazy, humid pre-dawn of August 14, 1910, five small boats slipped out of the harbor at Charlevoix, Michigan, and began a voyage destined to shape the future of every man aboard. The little fleet, not a vessel over 35 feet in length, would sail more than 2,200 miles eastward in the next 24 days. While the men headed out across Lake Michigan, their wives and children left the waterfront and returned to lakeside homes and farms to await the return of their men in the spring.

The acknowledged leader of the expedition was Captain Albert Arnold whose Mindoro led the group. With Arnold aboard Mindora as crewmen were Oliver (Cy) Tysver, Herman Tysver and Gerry (Mike) Shoares. The Hope, Weasel, Prince Olaf and Eagle followed, skippered by Jack Genet, Ed Weiderman, Sam Halberson and John Nordrum. In all, some 20 pioneer fishermen left Charlevoix that day bound for America’s most famous fishing port, Gloucester, Massachusetts. There, these inlanders would introduce gill netting to the skeptical Yankees.


The men from Michigan were all experienced in Norwegian-born gill netting. Many of their fathers had set these nets in the Skagerrak and North Sea before immigrating to the American Midwest in the early 1800’s. Although the U.S, Fish Commision sponsored successful tests of the gill nets in Ipswich Bay in 1880-81, and Gloucester’s own Captain George Martin took the Northern Eagle netting in the winter of ’81, the locals remained chary of new ways. It remained for the tough little crew from Michigan to prove that gill netting was a viable fishing method and to write another page of Gloucester’s prominent fishing history.


Fishing on the Great Lakes in the seasons just prior to 1910 had gone from bad to worse. Always a tough way to make a living, it became nearly impossible when the whitefish failed to school in their usual locations.


While facing bleak prospects for the coming season, Arnold and the other men learned of the Fish Commission experiment. Bill McInnis, the young Midwestern salesman for Cape Ann Net & Twine Co. who sold them their gear, was popular with and respected by the Lake’s fishermen. On several trips to Charlevoix, he urged them to follow up on the Commission’s experiment by putting their proved netting methods to work off Gloucester. Also Booth Fisheries Co., a Chicago fish processing firm, had recently opened a plant in Gloucester. They too urged the men to try it. It was either stay at home with little hope of a good catch or gamble their skills in new waters.


The little fleet passed south of St. Ignace and through the Straits of Mackinac late the first day. Good weather held and they sailed south, entering lake St. Clair and the Detroit River and on into Lake Erie. At Buffalo, New York, they entered the barge canal and proceeded east to its juncture with the Hudson River at Troy. From there it was a fast passage downstream to New York City and their first taste of salt spray as they ran out through Hell Gate and into Long Island Sound.


When the little boats left the sheltered waters of the sound at Montauk and entered the North Atlantic, Captain Arnold set a course ENE across Nantucket Sound for the outer cape. (The Cape Cod Canal was under construction but would not open for shipping until 1914.)


On September 27, they rounded Race Point, slipped into the shelter of Provincetown Harbor, and put ashore for the night. Mooring their boats on the edge of the beach, everyone enjoyed a night ashore only 20 miles from Gloucester. But rising the next morning in anticipation of a quick passage to Cape Ann, those Michigan lads has quite a surprise – the five little vessels they had moored at bayside last night were now over 100 feet from the nearest drop of water! It took a little thought and the endurance of some good-natured ribbing from the Provincetown folks before they realized they had just experienced the effects of the ocean tides.


On arrival at Gloucester next day, they lost no time in rigging their gear and preparing the nets for the winter’s fishing. Each gill net was 50 fathoms long by two fathoms deep, a fathom measuring six feet. Nets were made of flax twine and had six-inch mesh openings, or six-inch “mash” in local parlance. Fifty round glass floats buoyed up the top edge and as many bricks held down the bottom of the net. Three nets were strung together to form a “gang”. The end of each “gang” was moored by a 14-pound trawl anchor, and a flag buoy marked each end on the ocean’s surface.


The “mash” opening was designed to allow a fish to swim only part way through before being stuck. On attempting to back out of the opening, its gills became caught in the twine, providing the name “gill net”. Six-inch “mash” was latter increased to eight when the cod and Pollack of Ipswich Bay proved to be larger than the fish of the Great Lakes. Regulating the openings allows for smaller fish to swim through and escape and while the while the larger fish are caught.


Albert Arnold cleared $12 a week in the Mindoro in the winter of 1910-11, an average figure for the five boats. By spring, the new venture was deemed a success and the men headed back to Michigan to pack up and move families and households to Gloucester before the next season.


Despite the Gloucestermen’s misgivings about the effects of undertow and tides, the inland fishermen had proven that gill netting would work. Soon, local captains put their trawl tubs and jigs ashore and rigged up with the floats, gangs and leads of the gill netter. Many a struggling fisherman on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan heard of the success of the men from Charlevoix and headed east that summer. With boats and families, they left their homes in Charlevoix, Bear Island, Mackinaw, St. James and Manistee and headed for Cape Ann. The Lasleys and Joneses ad Places were joined by Dahlmers, Lafonds and more Tysvers, all bound for Gloucester and a new future. Most settled on Rocky Neck and in East Gloucester near the bustling piers and wharves of the inner harbor.

My grandfather, Capt. John A. Dahlmer had the "Margaret D" built in Dunkirk, NY. At her launching in 1910, she was christened by her namesake and my mother, Margaret Dahlmer. She followed in the wake of the Bears boats and fished her first winter out of Gloucester until she was wrecked on Salt Island, Rockport, MA on Good Friday, 13, 1914. Grandfather never begain a trip on Friday the 13th again. Later, grandpa brought the Yacht,"Orion" to Gloucester and had her converted to seining and dragging in 1913. In 1932, his last vessel, "Superior" was launched in the Story Yard in Essex, MA and became a hi-liner in the Redfish industry, making many trips to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. As grandfather got older, she was captained by my uncles, Ronald, Eber, John and George Dahlmer. After Pearl Harbor, the US Navy took "Superior" and used her to deliver gasoline and supply to weather stations along the coasts of Newfoundland and Greenland during WW-II. After the war the navy returned her in pretty beat-up condition and she was sold south shortly thereafter. The navy did pay grandfather $1/year and gave him a nice certificate attesting to his contribution to the war effort. The painting above is of the gillnetter "Margaret D". She was named for my mother who at age 4 christened her at her launching in Dunkirk, New York on Lake Erie.

If you have more information on this subject, please send me an email to: fishinlagoon@cfl.rr.com or, comment below.

© All of the text and the pictures used in this blog are under standard U.S. copyright by the author, William D. (Bill) Hubbard. It is illegal to copy any part of this blog without the express written consent of the author.

ANNAs UMBRELLA

April 28th, 2012

"Anna’s Umbrella or Sophia’s Adventure"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My brother Jay and I have spent a lot of time recently searching old records to find out more about our great, great, grandfather and grandmother, Axel B. & Sophia Dahlmer. Jay has done much of his research reading old newspaper clips in search of Dahlmer data. Here’s something he sent me recently. A little something we didn't know about Sophia and great aunt Anna.
.
Back in 1910 our Great Grand mother made national headlines. The attachments and many others apparently captured the
imagination of newsmen at great distances from Dunkirk, NY Chicago Buffalo and New York. To put the trip in perspective
Dunkirk to Chicago is about 700 miles--a good long train ride back then. It probably took 2 or 3 days. “
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New York Sun, 1910
Also printed in the Syracuse Daily Eagle
From: Fultonhistory.com
UMBRELLA WAS THE WOMAN’S CLUE.’

Nabs Alleged Wife Deserter When She Sees Him With Daughter's Rain Stick.

CHICAGO. NOV. 24.—An umbrella, a Christmas gift from a mother to her daughter, wee the means of identification bv which a man wanted in the East for wife desertion was arrested yesterday at the post office The girl to whom the umbrella was given ran away from her parents resi-
dence at Dunkirk. NY two months cago with R. J. McGihon . a hotel keeper' of Fredonia. The mother of the girl.. Mrs. A. B. Dahlmer. learned that McGihon was to come to Chicago this week from. Raymond. Washington. This information came through a telegram which McGihon sent to her daughter, who a few days before had left McGihon and retumed to the parental roof;
.
The daughter. Anna Dahlmer. 21 years .old. remained at home three days and disappeared again last Saturday. One hour aHer shehads gone the telegram was received. The mother opened it and read:

“-Am- leaving Raymond for Chicago..
Write me there, general delivery.”

The telegram was signed "Frank Blake.” Almost distracted over the second dissappearance of her daughter. Mrs. Dahlmer decided to come to Chicagoand if possible, cause the arrest of the man. She had never seen McGihon and there was no photograph of him to be found. Not withstanding this obstacle, which would have deterred a trained detective from undertaking the task. Mrs. Dahlmer came to Chicago to search for McGihon She went to the post office in the morning and obtained permission from Inspector Stuart to stand near the men s general, deliverv window. After waiting patiently for four hours she saw a man approaching the window! carrying an umbrella which Mrs. Dahlmer recognized as one she had given her daughter last Christmas. A policeman was called and McGihon was placed under arrest.

Fredonia Censor Wed Nov 30, 1910

R . J . McGihon was brought from Chicago by Chief West last Friday and is now in Fredonia lock-up awaiting his examination before Justice Drake Thursday morning. He deserted his wife and children, which is a criminal offense in this State. He will probably be held for the Grand Jary. Mrs. Dahlmer of Dunkirk, whose daughter he sent for to meet him in Chicago, went to that city and, watched at the P. O. general delivery till she spotted McGihon and had him arrested.

B. J. McGihon has gone away and sold his business to Henry Rider of Westfield.

 

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