Steamboat Photos, Page 8


Gordon C. Greene life preverver and couple; a late 30's early 40's Rhett and Scarlett.


Two of my favorite steamboat photos of the CITY OF SAVANNAH which had sharp, clear, uncluttered lines and was maintained immaculately. From the LaCrosse collection.


Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1135;

Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana, Howard Ship Yards, 1889; homeport or owner's residence St. Louis Missouri; original price $13,000.
The St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Company chartered her to the Lee Line to run out of Memphis in September 1895.
She was acquired by Captains A. E. and L. P. Cummins to run Memphis-Vicksburg.
She sank at Shiloh Landing, 60 miles above Vicksburg on September 18, 1897, and was raised.
She burned at the Memphis, Tennessee wharf March 9, 1898. The WARREN was chartered to replace her, and then the CUMMINS got the Ouachita for the trade


Detail inside an oval vignette from the upper right quadrant of a 1906 Detroit Publishing photograph taken at New Orleans with a nice stern angle of Captain Cooley's AMERICA.

paddlewheel boat

The towboat CHEROKEE worked for the Louisville district of the U.S. Engineers and is evidently pushing quarter boats to a sight along the Ohio River to house and feed crews working on an engineering related project.

I like the windmill on the wharf boat in the left foreground. Perhaps the windmill provided power to pump water out of the river for a kitchen or rest rooms.


4 of the pix I took in ought-six of the steamboat PORTLAND moored on the Willamette River next to Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon. The interior of the pilot house is especially tantalizing . . . could live there easily.

While under steam on the Columbia River PORTLAND experienced misadventures in 2008 and on Friday the 13th of July, 2012. Both of those events were documented below on The Old Salt Blog where videos of the 2012 accident can be viewed.


"Privateer Royaliste, the Sternwheeler Portland and the Very Bad Friday the 13th"
July 18, 2012
by Rick Spilman

Correction: Based on local news reports, we originally posted that water pressure from the steamer Portland's paddle-wheel damaged the Royaliste. We were incorrect. The Portland (as seen in the posted videos) clearly backed into the ketch, which was tied up alongside the dock.

Friday, June 13th, should have been a great day at the first St. Helens Maritime Heritage Festival for both the 55' privateer ketch Royaliste and the 186' historic stern-wheel steamer Portland. Both ships were making debuts of a sort. The Royaliste has been undergoing extensive restoration for several years and her first public re-appearance was last Friday. Likewise, the sternwheeler Portland, built in 1949 and owned by the Oregon Maritime Museum, was carrying its first passengers down the Columbia River since a mechanical failure nearly sent it plummeting over the Bonneville Dam in 2008.

Unfortunately, things did not go well when the vessels crossed paths. The Royaliste was at the dock when the Portland came backing down. The sternwheeler's rail struck the ketch's starboard side, opening several seams in the ketch's planking. (See the video). The Royaliste immediately began taking on water and was saved from sinking by portable pumps provided by U.S. Coast Guard and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office marine unit. According to its Facebook page, the Royaliste has made it back to its home port in Schooner Creek and is being kept afloat by pumps pending the arrival of the insurance surveyors.

The steamer Portland has had a troubled past. The Oregon Maritime Museum bought the Portland for $1 in 1991. The steamer was originally intended to be a stationary exhibit for the museum, but after restoration, the Portland was put into service giving occasional tours of local waters to museum members and guest. This came to an abrupt halt when the Coast Guard learned that the vessel was carrying passengers and yet had never been inspected.

For the next seven years the Portland remained stationary while upgrades were made to meet Coast Guard safety requirements. In 2008 the vessel was put back in service. In June of that year she participated in the first stern-wheeled steam boat race on the Columbia River in 56 years.

The race did not go well. Outside Cascade Locks, the Portland's steering locked up and it plowed into the bank, damaging the paddle wheel. Without power or steering, the boat drifted helplessly towards the Bonneville Dam. Until a tugboat arrived to pull it to safety, there were fears that the stern-wheeler and her passengers would go over the dam.

Thanks to Robert Kennedy, Alaric Bond and Melanie Sherman for passing along the news.

KootenayLakeNasookin 1913

The Nasookin returns to Gray Creek nelsonstar.com

By Greg Nesteroff
The Nelson Star
October 06, 2011

Malcolm Metcalfe's earliest childhood memory is of being in the pilothouse of the SS Nasookin during the grand old ship's final days.

Once the largest sternwheeler on Kootenay Lake, it was by then a car ferry plying between Gray Creek and Fraser's Landing three times a day. Metcalfe's namesake grandfather, Malcolm MacKinnon, was its captain. Metcalfe recalls sitting on a shelf behind the ship's wheel.

"I remember my grandfather trying to get me to put my hand on this cord that came down from the ceiling and had a big tassel," he says. "I wouldn't touch it. So he pulled it, and of course it was the whistle. I screamed bloody murder."

That whistle blast is forever emblazoned in his memory - the only thing he can remember from that far back, much less with crystal clarity.

"My mother tells me I was two years old at the time. I told her that story, not the other way around. That's by far the earliest memory I have as a kid."

Metcalfe has a photo of himself with his grandfather, taken on that voyage, looking out the ship's front window.

He also has another memorable souvenir: the Nasookin's original wooden wheel. His grandfather received it when the ship was refitted as a ferry in 1933.

The modifications included removing an entire cabin deck, lowering the wheelhouse, and substituting a smaller steering wheel to fit the new dimensions.

The old wheel, which is 8.5 feet (2.6 metres) in diameter and weighs something like 150 lbs. (68 kilograms), sat in an attic at Capt. MacKinnon's Procter farmhouse.

He gave it to his daughter and son-in-law in the early '60s, who cleaned and varnished it, and in turn gave it to Metcalfe a little over 20 years ago. In all, it's been in the family's hands for nearly 80 years.

"We had houses in West Vancouver with high ceilings so the wheel stood proudly in our house," Metcalfe says.

However, when they moved to their current place, its much lower ceiling couldn't accommodate the wheel. Metcalfe and wife Linda had to decide what to do with it. They could give it to one of their children, but neither had met Capt. MacKinnon, who died nearly 30 years before they were born, nor had they spent much time in the Kootenays.

"So we thought that wasn't really appropriate. If I gave it to any of the rest of our family, same problem. Most of my cousins have moved all over."

Metcalfe started looking for a long-term home for the wheel where it would be well cared for and people could see it. Over several months "we sniffed around and found two or three options, but none really made sense."

Then by chance, they met one of their son's friends, who grew up in Gray Creek - the Nasookin's former terminus.

"Next thing I know I got a phone call from her mother, who was an active part of the Gray Creek Historical Society. Then Tom Lymbery called me. He knew my grandfather and sent pictures that showed him in Gray Creek with the boat."

Metcalfe explained his requirements for the wheel, and the society agreed to abide by them.

"I was absolutely thrilled to give it to them," he says.

The handover took place last month, and the wheel will be unveiled tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in its new home at the Gray Creek store, where it will hang from the ceiling.

Lymbery's father Arthur founded the store in 1913 - the same year the Nasookin launched, with MacKinnon at the helm.

The store also took phone messages for the boat. According to Tom Lymbery, MacKinnon would wait a few minutes if someone phoned to say they would be late for the last sailing - unless the call came from Kuskanook, where there was a beer parlour.

The Lymberys have other pieces of the Nasookin, including the freight door and a small cabin door. The wheel was made of "very good quality wood," Metcalfe says. "I believe it's solid oak. It's very hard and very strong. I assume it was all hand-cut and put together piece by piece. It's a remarkable piece of work." Metcalfe, 67, was close to his grandfather, for shortly after he was born, his father went overseas with the air force.

Metcalfe lived with his grandfather and mother on the farm at Procter for about a year and a half, and he "was the only man in my life," until his father returned from war.

"He and I were always special friends until he died when I was seven, which was pretty traumatic for me," Metcalfe says.

Metcalfe grew up in Trail and worked for West Kootenay Power before moving to the Lower Mainland.

Capt. MacKinnon skippered the Nasookin until it was taken out of service in 1947. Part of its superstructure is now incorporated into a North Shore home.



Moored at the Beardstown, Illinois levee on the Illinois River a mini-towboat with a great old old skiff to match. Wish I had such a boat to restore. I took these photos while driving north along the Illinois River en route to Peoria in the late 1990s.


Dave Thomson on the barge in front of the PORTLAND sternwheel.


The Str. PORTLAND was built at Portland, Oregon, in 1947 by Northwest Marine Iron Works for the Port of Portland as a sternwheel towboat to replace the previous Steamer Portland which was built in 1919.

The hull was steel constructed and it supported wood upper decks; cabin deck, texas deck and wheelhouse.

She was decommissioned in 1981. Operated by two independent river tug boat companies, Western Transportation and Shaver Transportation, she served her entire working life as a Portland Harbor tug.

In 1989 she was adopted by the Oregon Maritime Museum as it's premier exhibit and still serves the Portland waterfront in that capacity. She is fully operational and periodically steams-up.

Length: 186.1'; beam: 42.1'; depth of hold: 9'; draft: 5.5; gross tonnage: 928; net: 733. Engines: 26" dia - 9' stroke; boiler pressure: 250 pounds.

Oregon Maritime Center & Museum
113 S.W. Front Ave.
Portland, OR 97204
Phone (503) 224-7724
Open 11 am - 4 pm, Fridays & Saturdays


In the 6th photos of the Chart Room you can see on the right a framed giclee of Blaser's NOCTURNE hanging on the wall.

Michael hasn't been able to locate these pix with his internet provider so I cobbled together the best of the 15 or so pictures together for him, the others were superfluous to me.

I looked at a video of the boat moving on YouTube and it looked like the paddlewheel is not really pushing the boat along, but just turning with the current so there must be a couple of big propellers under the stern of the boat doing all the actual work.


With the exception of images credited to certain institutions,
most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
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