John Lynch (1877)
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Service History


The John Lynch was built in 1877 as a stern wheel steamer and ran from Oshkosh to New London. In 1883 she was purchased by L.B. Reed to run from Oshkosh to Fremont with a stop at Tusten on Lake Poygan. In 1885 the Lynch was sold to Clark & Lefevre and ran the same route.
According to Captain LeFever, during her lifetime she was repaired and rebuilt so many times that there was little left but the name of the first boat. Although, during the previous winter the John Lynch was overhauled and the lower deck remodeled making her the most valuable she has been since her rebuilding. The vessel was valued at approximately $8,000.
Final Voyage


On May 2, 1902 about eleven o'clock at night, the steamer John Lynch burned to the water's edge in Lake Poygan near the mouth of the Wolf River, about three miles east of Tusten and twenty miles from Oshkosh. There had been a crew of eight on board and all escaped the burning vessel.

"The hull of the steamer John Lynch which was burned in Lake Poygan several weeks ago was towed to this city (Oshkosh) Sunday by the tug H.O. Warren and now lies moored at the Light Street dock. It is found that the wreck is more complete than originally thought and what will be done remains to be determined...To repair the boat will be to rebuild her, for there is but little material left to work with and she is but a charred mass of boards with a semblance of a hull. The bulkheads or strengthening timbers were also badly attacked by the flames and it will cost almost as much to repair her as to build a new boat." The Daily Northwestern, June 2, 1902.
Today


Considering the degree of fire damage to the vessel it is doubtful if it was rebuilt. The engines and boilers were "badly burned and broken and lie under the rubbish of the smoke stacks, charred timbers and the upper deck" and it is questionable if they were salvaged.
The last known location of the remains of the John Lynch was at the Light Street dock in Oshkosh.
 
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