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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Copper Harbor in Keweenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Life on the Astor

 
 
Life on the <i>Astor</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
1. Life on the Astor Marker
Inscription.  Market demand drives the cost of Lake passage. In 1844, cabin passengers aboard the Astor pay $10 to travel from Sault Ste. Marie to Copper Harbor (about $210 today). Conditions are cramped, dirty and made worse by rough seas.

”Too much dirt to suit our appetites”
Aboard the Astor, Charles Titus found “the eating was done in the little cabin where eight persons, by tight squeezing, could get around the table… [But] after being tossed about on the lake for nearly a week, [we were] crowded and jammed, sometimes too sick to eat, and when well enough, not able to relish the food placed before us, as we found too many hairs and too much dirt to suit our appetites.”

In 1844, the American Fur Company employs W. Stafford as cook aboard the Astor at fifty cents a day (about $10.50 today).

”Heaving Up Jonah”
Of his 1843 passage aboard the Astor, Charles Titus recalls: “The swells caused a very unpleasant motion to the vessel, which rendered many of the passengers sick.”

Another traveler, George M. Cannon, records his experience on
Life on the <i>Astor</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
2. Life on the Astor Marker
(Copper Harbor in background • rightmost of three related markers at this location)
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May 15, 1846: “Our boat seemed to labor with the heavy swells, and her timbers writhed and cracked as she rode over and between them, and considerable water came into the hold… A majority of the crew were sea-sick, and as they expressed it, ‘heaving up Jonah.’”

”Such was our sleeping arrangement”
When the first night came… they commenced stowing us away for sleep… [T]he officers and one passenger found places in the forecastle with the crew, and the rest occupied the cabin which had two compartments, one for the ladies and the other for gentlemen.

For me there was a buffalo [robe] spread on the cabin floor, and I congratulated myself upon being so fortunate.

Charles H. Titus, Astor passenger, 1843

Creature Comforts
No pains will be spared to make the passenger as comfortable as we can… Improve her cabin arrangements to the greatest possible extent… for though most people are willing to put up with ordinary food, they are generally more particular about their sleeping comforts.
Ramsey Crooks, April 1, 1844
 
Erected by Michigan Historical Center.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1844.
 
Location.
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47° 28.071′ N, 87° 51.947′ W. Marker is in Copper Harbor, Michigan, in Keweenaw County. Marker can be reached from Fanny Hoe Creek 0.1 miles north of U.S. 41. Marker is located along the boardwalk in Astor Shipwreck Park, overlooking Copper Harbor to the north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Copper Harbor MI 49918, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "You will call her the John Jacob Astor." (here, next to this marker); "The Astor will never leave Copper Harbor." (here, next to this marker); Shipwreck (a few steps from this marker); "A Rallying Point for Copper Adventurers" (a few steps from this marker); The Copper Harbor Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); The Estivant Pines (approx. 1.1 miles away); Fort Wilkins State Park and Historic Complex (approx. 1.1 miles away); Copper Harbor (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Copper Harbor.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The John Jacob Astor Shipwreck
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 47 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 8, 2021