Friday, August 19, 2016
Walk-in-the Water Featured on U.S. Postage Stamp
Former Sandusky resident Glenn Everett donated this envelope to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. It featured the first day of issue of the U.S. postage stamp that contained an image of an early Great Lakes steamboat, Walk in the Water, and was dated March 3, 1989.At that time, a book of twenty stamps cost $5.00. Five steamboats were included in this series of stamps.
In our historical files was a card that provided information about the stamp. Below is a transcription:
The U.S. Postal Service commemorated the Walk-in-the-Water, first steamboat on Lake Erie, when it issued a booklet of 25 cent stamps on March 3, 1989, picturing historic steam vessels. Built in 1818 at Black Rock, N.Y., she was 145 feet long, with a 27-foot beam, displacing 388 tons. She had two masts for sails in case her wood-fired boiler failed. Noah Brown, her builder, liked the wonderfully descriptive name given her by the Indians.
When the Walk-in-the-Water proved she could maintain a two-day schedule between Buffalo and Detroit with stops at Erie, Pa., and Cleveland and Sandusky, Ohio, she revolutionized transportation in this rapidly developing wilderness area. Soon other steamboats were being built. The Walk-in-the-Water sank in a storm near Buffalo in October ,1821, but her engine was salvaged and used in another steamboat, the Superior, and eventually was used to power the first steam –operated sawmill in Saginaw, Mich.
This first day cover was designed by Glenn D. Everett, a native of Sandusky and veteran Washington correspondent, who suggested that the Walk-in-the-Water be honored on a stamp.
To learn more about this historic steamer, read In the Wake of Walk-in-the-Water: The Marine History of Sandusky, Ohio, by Gordon Wendt (Commercial Printing Co., 1984.)