G&M Line "City of Benton Harbour" Passenger Liner Postcard
Starting in 1874, Henry Graham and J. Stanley Morton began operating a steam line out of St. Joseph, Michigan. Their collaboration would become the Graham and Morton Transportation Company. Through vigourous competition, they won the war to become the major carrier out of St. Joseph. Goodrich stopped service to the Twin Cities in 1880. The company grew fast and over the fifty plus years of its existence became the second largest line on Lake Michigan behind only Goodrich. In 1924 G & M merged with Goodrich. Like most other ports along Lake Michigan, St. Joseph saw a huge drop in traffic during the early years of the twentieth century and this was exacerbated by the Great Depression. The route between Chicago and St. Joseph did survive until the 1950s. From the original G&M vacation brochure, "The steamship "City of Grand Rapids," the latest ship acquired by this Company, is a most excellent example of modern marine architecture. A propeller, having a monstrous triple expansion engine developing 4,500 horsepower and a speed of 20 miles per hour, is 310 feet in length and 48 feet in breadth, built entirely of steel, and having two freight decks and three passenger cabin decks. The hull is divided into seven water tight compartments, any one of which is large enough to float the ship. The freight decks are covered with an asphalt composition which has a tendency to lessen the sound of trucks when handling the freight, while the social hall and toilet rooms are covered with asbestos and the cabins are all laid with the finest of carpets so that the sleeping passenger is not awakened by any ordinary movement around the steamer. This ship has 210 staterooms and 26 parlours, fitted with electric lights, call bells, running water, hair mattresses and woven wire springs, giving sleeping accommodation for 650 people, the largest capacity of any ship sailing from Chicago crossing Lake Michigan. A magnificent mahogany finished dining room with seating capacity for 100 people, as well as two private dining compartments, are located in the forward end of the main cabin, where one seated at a table can enjoy the cool breezes off the lake through the large windows. This wonderful ship, together with the sister ship, "Puritan," which is equally well fitted with modern equipment, will make two trips daily between Chicago, Grand Rapids, Holland, Macatawa Park, Ottawa Beach and Saugatuck."