Lighthouse Tenders

Steamboat U.S. Greenbrier


The U.S.L.H.S. GREENBRIER at Charleston, West Virginia in 1924

Steamboat GREENBRIER celebrated in a special 8 x 10 print taken 11 June 1924, evidently to celebrate the maiden voyage of the boat built by the Charles Ward Engineering Works of Charleston, West Virginia. Charleston is the city on the shore of the Kanawha River in the background of this photo. The boat was photogenic and was often captured by shutterbugs along the Ohio. A nice looking boat with lots of character. The initials U.S.L.H.S. stood for United States Light House Ship (actually Light House Tender).

Sternwheel Lighthouse tender
Built Charleston, West Virginia by Charles Ward Engineering Works, 1924
Assigned to the U.S. Lighthouse Service (1925-1939)
Transferred to the U. S. Coast Guard (July 1, 1939-September 1, 1947)
Last owned by H. Lee and H. E. Rosher; Charles G. Smith Company (March 1948)

Captain Leslie Hill (Master, 1924 - Spring 1938)
Captain Arthur J. Schletker (Master, 1938)
Ran on the Ohio, Tennessee and Kanawha rivers
Fred Way's Steam Packet Directory Number 2444:

GREENBRIER tended the government lights on the Ohio River and tributaries. In 1929 when there was a celebration of the Ohio River locks and dams she carried U. S. President Herbert Hoover from Cincinnati to Louisville. In 1939 she became a U. S. Coast Guard boat and in World War II she had an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the roof. She ended her career as a landing boat on the Intracoastal Canal.

old paddlewheel steamboats

Dated 1943 of young lady standing near a seated old gent with the lighthouse tender GREENBRIER behind them.

U.S. Greenbrier

Four of the U.S. GREENBRIER, lighthouse tender that came in a cache of steamboat photos taken by a chap who traveled the rivers, working on boilers in boat yards and repairing boilers when a boat was stranded somewhere and couldn't move under her own steam until she was fixed up.


Photo of the Greenbrier seen in Paducah, Kentucky, 1938 from

Tennessee Valley Authority, Information Office.
National Archives & Records Administration.
Southeast Region (Atlanta) (NRCA)
5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, GA, 30260
Cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 280831
Kodak Negative File, compiled 1933 - 1976 ARC identifier: 279689

On the back the 8 x 10 is rubber stamped Nov '29 so this must have been when President Hoover (possibly the gent in the white hat on the main deck, far right) was aboard the boat from Cincinnati to Louisville to celebrate Ohio River locks and dams.


Visitors day.


Other Lighthouse Tenders


Lighthouse Tender OLEANDER (right) with steam propellar barge TUSCALOOSA, somewhere on the Mississippi River. La Crosse Collection.

Oleander (1903-1926)

Sternwheel Lighthouse tender
Way's Packet Directory Number 4292

Built in 1903 at Dubuque, Iowa
Captain Thomas B. Good (master) for the U.S. Lighthouse Service
Operated on the Mississippi River

Had horizontal steeple compound engines which were different than anything on the river. In 1909 took U.S. President William Howard Taft down from St. Louis to Memphis. Replaced by the WILLOW when she retired in 1926.

In 1930 Captain Russell Warner bought her and stripped off the cabin. The steel hull was eventually acquired by the Ohio River Company and was used at Huntington, West Virginia as a coal fueling barge with a steam hoist aboard.


detail of the GOLDENROD



With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.