This week’s theme Transportation is wide open!
My third great grandfather Johann Schuttler came to America during the 1849 Gold Rush to live with his Schuttler relatives in Chicago and work at Peter Schuttler Wagons. Peter Schuttler Wagons are classified in wagon lore as “Wheels that Won the West.” The company steadily grew and enriched Peter Schuttler when they were awarded a government contract during the Civil War to build artillery and commissary wagons. Johann became the company’s foreman. During the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Johann used his Schuttler wagon, filled with mattresses and blankets, to drive his family out of Chicago where they watched the fire from the prairie. They returned a few days later on that wagon to discover that their house miraculously did not burn while those surrounding it were in ashes.
Steamships transported my immigrant ancestors to America, with the exception of the last one that used an airplane to cross the Atlantic.
The SS Anna Catharina, sailing under a Prussian flag, conveyed the Gerbings from Hamburg to Quebec City in 1852. The voyage likely took around 90 days.
The SS Jenny, also sailing under the Prussian flag, conveyed the Eckebrechts from Bremen to New York in 1866. I tried to locate history on this ship and kept on finding links to stories about a haunted ship of the same name, sailing under St. George’s cross for England. This is clearly not the ship from Germany.
The SS Scheidam, of the Netherlands-American Steamship Line, sailing from Rotterdam to Castle Garden, New York conveyed Elisabeth Scheid Bold and her daughter Rosa Bold in 1880.
The SS St. Laurent, owned by Compagnie Generale Transantlantique, sailing under the French flag, conveyed Anne Marie Aloisia Heinzen from Le Havre, France to Castle Garden, New York in 1885. The St. Laurent was built in a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and operated up until 1902 when she was scrapped in Italy.
The SS Lombardia, sailing under the flag of the Kingdom of Italy, conveyed Angelo Ferraro, Carmen Ferraro, his three oldest sisters, and Filomena Napolitano in 1903 and 1904 from Naples to Ellis Island, New York in a voyage that took approximately 2 weeks.
The SS Giulio Cesare, also sailing under the flag of the Kingdom of Italy, conveyed Cesidio Marcella from Naples to Ellis Island in 1923. It was commissioned by the Italian Societa Anonima di Navigazione and built by a British Company. In 1936 it was transferred to Lloyd Triestino. In 1942 she was chartered to the International Red Cross in Geneva. In 1944, while off the coast near Trieste, it was sunk in an allied air attack.
The MS Vulcania, an historical Italian luxury ocean liner, sailing under the Italian flag, conveyed Serafina Merlenghi and her youngest son from Naples to Ellis Island in 1948. The liner is known for being the first liner offering private balconies for tourists. It was used to transport troops in the 1930s for Italy and re-patriated Italians from Africa. She conveyed Italian immigrants to South America in 1940, including Italian statesmen, nobility, and opera singers to Argentina and Brazil. The liner also was used by the Italian government to transport troops to North Africa in 1941 and transported American troops at the end of WWII.
When the Vulcania was returned to the Italia Line, she made numerous voyages from Genoa-Naples-New York. It was on one of those that Serafina traveled to the United States to live with Cesidio in Philadelphia. The MS Vulcania hit a rock off France in 1972 and sank on her way to be scrapped by a Taiwanese company. You can read more about this liner here at Wikipedia.
The photo on the right is a brochure photo used to advertise the MS Vulcania.
Coincidentally, Serafina’s and Cesidio’s son was a passenger on the doomed SS Andrea Doria in December 1955 before she was hit by the MS Stockholm and sank near Nantucket.
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