S.S. Greater Detroit - 1924-1950 - William Moss, artist - Anchor Raised 11/15/16!
Signed by artist, William Moss
Print number 213/750
Measures 26" x 33" overall
Professionally matted and framed
Shipping available upon request.
THE S.S. GREATER DETROIT 1924 ‐1950 ‐ THE FLAGSHIP OF THE DETROIT & CLEVELAND NAVIGATION COMPANY
The Steamer GREATER DETROIT, known as the "Leviathan of the Great Lakes" was scheduled to leave Detroit, Michigan daily at 5:30 P.M. on an overnight trip across Lake Erie and to arrive at the dock in Buffalo, New York at 8:00 A.M. On August 29, 1924, she completed her maiden trip into Buffalo Harbor.
The Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company was so proud of the Steamer GREATER DETROIT that when they issued new stock certificates in 1925 the image of this vessel was engraved at the top of the certificates. The vessel could not only carry some 2,127 passengers, but provided 625 staterooms and made allowances for the storing of 103 automobiles on the main deck.
The GREATER DETROIT had a double bottom steel hull with sixteen water tight compartments. The gross tonnage was 7.739 and the vessel was powered by the largest Corliss type engine ever built and capable of speeds up to 21 knots.
The 1930 route for the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company saw their vessels servicing the ports of the lower Great Lakes. At 96 feet wide the GREATER DETROIT and other side wheelers could not pass through the Sault Ste. Marie Canal into Lake Superior nor the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario.
In 1936 the Grand Fleet was comprised of the GREATER DETROIT and the GREATER BUFFALO, the CITY OF DETROIT III, the CITY OF CLEVELAND III, the EASTERN STATES and the WESTERN STATES. The GREATER DETROIT was considered the 'Flagship of the Fleet'.
The GREATER DETROIT was painted all white for the 1950 season and in December was laid up at the D & C dock at the foot of Third Street in Detroit. On May 9, 1951 the D & C Company announced the suspension of service on the Great Lakes. The D & C fleet sat at the dock waiting for the end.
The GREATER DETROIT and the EASTERN STATES were idle from 1951 to 1956. Near the end the public was invited on board to purchase whatever they wanted -- serving pieces from the dining room, carpets and runners from the halls, chairs, bedding, and even the murals that graced the staircases.
The GREATER DETROIT was burned on Lake St. Clair in December 1956.
The bow anchor was lowered to keep the GREATER DETROIT from drifting, and when it came time to burn the vessels there was no steam on board to raise the anchor. The chain was cut and the anchor has laid on the bottom of the Detroit River until raised on November 15, 2016.
Information collected from: http://www.glmi.org/GREATER%20DETROIT%20HISTORY%20%20b.pdf
About the artist, William Allen "Bill" Moss, 1943 - 2014, The 'Artist Of Detroit'
Bill developed an interest in drawing Great Lakes vessels, for he sketched the cross river railroad car ferries, the freighters, the Bob-Lo Boats, the Georgian Bay passenger liners, and his first love the magnificent Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company over night boats. When the Dossin Great Lakes Museum opened in 1960, he used the original blueprints to construct a four foot model of the steamboat City of Detroit III for the museum’s collection. This highly detailed model, with interior lighting, still graces the entry of the Dossin Museum on Belle Isle. Bill produced a number of detailed acrylic paintings of Great Lakes vessels and hosted a one man show at the Dossin Museum in 1981.
As the lake vessels he loved were taken out of service Bill’s interest turned to capturing Detroit’s past in a number of original paintings, and earned the title “Artist of Detroit”. These memories were released as a series signed and numbered limited edition prints. One could see his passion for Detroit’s history as he captured the skyline of Detroit the with the Bob-lo Steamer Columbia in the foreground, while his ‘Detroit’s Traditions’ depicted the foot of Woodward Avenue. He produced portraits of the Old City Hall, the Hudson’s Building with Santa arriving, Music Hall, and a number of stadium views.
He captured the glory of the ‘old red barn’ Olympia Stadium and each limited edition print was personally autographed by ‘Mr. Hockey’ Gordie Howe. His view of Joe Louis Arena even shows a freighter passing by on the Detroit River. A limited number of the prints were autographed by the Red Wing’s team captain Steve Yzerman. Bill added a special remarque, a pencil sketch, showing the Captain holding the Stanley Cup over his head, the only time Yzerman won the trophy in Joe Louis Arena.
In 1992 his view of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald was used by the Great Lakes Maritime Institute and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in a project called ‘A Link in the Chain’. The anchor from the Edmund Fitzgerald was recovered from the bottom of the Detroit River in a live underwater special on WDIV Channel 4. The resulting sale of specially marked prints funded the raising of the 10,000 pound anchor and it’s installation as the main feature in the Dossin Museum’s side court yard on Belle Isle.
In 1995 he was commissioned to produce a painting of the Kern’s clock as it was suspended above Woodward Avenue of the WTVS Channel 56 production of ‘DETROIT Remember When’. The artwork was used on the cover of the VHS tape that was produced, and the later versions that graced the jacket of the DVD production. Bill and his artworks were also featured in the program’s production, and the production is still being aired on Channel 56.
1999 was a busy year for Bill as Erik Smith of WXYZ Channel 7, interviewed Bill about his love of ‘Old Detroit’ in a production of “From the Heart”. The Detroit Historical Society and the R. L. Polk Company used Bill’s artwork in their annual calendar. This historical calendar featured the street views, riverfront, hockey and baseball stadiums, and churches of his home town.
Bill moved to Tennessee after the passing of his parents to live on the family farm where he worked as an architectural consultant creating detailed renderings of proposed churches and buildings across the country. He continued to produce a number of limited edition prints and could be found at local summer artist markets, and his work was on exhibit in multiple galleries. One feature that Bill tried to place in his artwork was a view of a vintage corvette, a reminder of his love of antique automobiles.
Even though his health was failing, he was always looking to promote the maritime heritage of Detroit. His last project was the use of his view of the ‘Steamer Greater Detroit passing under the Ambassador Bridge’ by the Great Lakes Maritime Institute. The Maritime Institute’s volunteer dive team discovered the anchor of the Steamer Greater Detroit in the Detroit River. The dive team worked to clear the 6,000 pound anchor, and negotiations were opened with the Wayne County/Detroit Port Authority to have the artifact rest near their building on the Detroit riverfront.