Steamboats


Contributed to Tremont Historical Society by Nathan Pitts in memory of his mother and father
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The steamer "Gov Bodwell" joined the Maine fleet in June of 1892. 140 grt, and 101 ft long, whe was powerful....and fast, showing her stern to competitors from the beginning. Eventually she ended up running the route from Rockland to N Haven, Vinal Haven, Stonington and Swan's Island. She would overnight at Swan's Island and return the next day. She often bucked heavy storms in order to maintain her winter schedule. One stormy winter night she was groping her way into Burnt Coat harbor and fetched up on Spindle ledge. There are a couple of pictures of this wreck that are quite common but I happened on two others the other night that I had not seen before. I have no idea who the last two photos were taken by but assume they were taken at the same time. She was eventually salvaged and rebuilt, continuing the run for another 8 years. She caught fire at the Swan's Island dock in 1932 and was towed to the Minturn shore where she burned to the water line.

5Cimbria
6Penobscot A1Jessie
sVinalhaven in the ice in Swans Island.
c002 Lighter "Ajax" in frozen Stonington harbor, Feb 28, 1923 corCity of Rockland
monhegan Monhegan has always struck my fancy because she had a very pretty bow when viewed in profile. That is what caught my eye here. If that is indeed "Monhegan" then this is the Cobb and Butler yard in Rockland and the date is 1903. The arrangement of windows and freight door are not perfect but very close, closer to Monhegan than any other steamer I have looked at. Cobb and Butler built both schooners and steamers so it is a possibility. Here is a picture of Monhegan on her launch day. See what I mean by a "pretty bow"d yard Blanchette Photo

Rockland Historical Society Hi Charles, we have come to the conclusion that this is not the Cobb-Butler yard. The building is the wrong size and facing the wrong direction. The Cobb-Butler yard had especially small buildings close to the water. The ship on the right looks very much like the Monhegan, but not exactly. The Monhegan had a pilot house by this time in its construction. Also, the next ship launched in the Cobb-Butler yard was not started until after the Monhegan was launched. Thanks for sharing your photo!

cobb Here is a picture, courtesy of Rockland Historical Society, of the launching of schooner "Ruth B Cobb" in 1905. This is from a different angle but you can see the buildings are different from this picture. I thought that steamer was "Monhegan" but on looking closer I can see some minor differences from her. Still puzzling over where this was. 007 Steamer Boothbay. She served east Penobscot Bay, Eggemoggin Reach and points east for a long time. She was known to be excellent in the ice! pelican  Here is a photo from the PMM of the launch of the dragger "Pelican" in june 1939 at Snow's yard. The steam tug on the ways is John Snow's tug "Sommers N Smith".The Building in front of the tug resembles the building in your photo above as the whole general layout of yard and ways looks a lot like it. Here is hoping we may get some Rockland area expert's ideas on this subject. morse
Launched at the McKie yard in East Boston on March 2, 1904, 214 ft long, 50ft across the paddle boxes, 780 grt. She was named for James T Morse, Treasurer of the Eastern Steamship Co. She took over the Bar Harbor line from the old " Mt Desert" when that beloved ship became too small to handle the summer traffic. The captain and crew transferred from the MT Desert directly to the Morse who made her first trip on the line on June 10, 1904. At times she ran through Stonington and at other times her route took her through Eggemoggin Reach, so both my parents knew her well from a very young age.
She had an enviable record considering where she spent her life in Maine. The Penobscot Bay region is noted for dense fog in the summers. She was operated only by "dead reckoning" or in layman"s terms she ran from landmark to buoy to buoy, maintaining courses known by experience, for given amounts of time to get from one point to the next. Approaching Stonington from the west required running some courses for less than one minute! This was a very "dicey" area to run through in a dense fog as she did often. She ran aground on Crotch Island in Stonington one time but was refloated and back in service in a few days. That she had very few problems like that was testimony to the skill of her captain(s) and crew!
The Morse ran her last regular season in 1931. She was sold and went south to New York in 1933. She was renamed "Yankee" and died in Aurthur's Kill, NY in 1941!

s112 Steamer "Camden" .This photo is dated Sept 1907 so she was brand new in this photo. I believe the scene is at the steamboat wharf in Belfast, ME. s113 Steamer "Boothbay" approaching the dock at Sargentville. That is Little Deer Isle over top and behind her. Do not recognize the schooner. Also do not recognize the fine steam yacht but Sargentville area, in the early part of the last century had some splendid summer homes on Eggemoggin Reach so she likely was owned by someone there. s114 This is the cute little steamer "Anna Belle" approaching the dock at Isleboro, Maine. Likely in the 1920's. J T Morse and Indian Head
J T Morse at Sargentville
City of Rockland
Goldenrod in the Penobscot River at Bucksport. See Ft Knox over her bow. Not sure what happened to the picture of "Electronic" but that was the only picture of her that I have seen. I have known her as she was later in life as the "North Haven". Electronic was built in S Portland in 1913 for the Cape Breton Electric Company of Cape Breton, NS. She ran between Sidney and N Sidney until the company went bankrupt in the late 20's. Col Basil Stevens of the Vinalhaven and Rockland steamboat co purchased her in 1931. She was renamed "North Haven" as she went into service in Penobscot bay. On Memorial day 1942 she made her last run and it was the last run of a steamboat in Penobscot bay. She was sold south to NYC eventually, repowered with a diesel at some point and was reported to be still running into the 1960's, a long lifespan for one of these boats. In this photo I think she is at the steamboat wharf in her namsake North Haven, early 1930's.
City of Rockland in the river at Bangor, ME Castine
Catherine
Fannie G.
Islesboro
Marine Rail
Verona
Wiwurna
Schoodic at Grindstone Neck
From Winter Harbor
Same battenboard building on wharf
Steamer Belfast
Boothbay leaving inner harbor at Blue Hill, ME
Steamer Bay State, a full sister to the ill fated Portland, and operated on the opposite route with Portland for years. Steamer Catherine at the wharf in Stonington  You can get a much better look at the "tower" here. I was scared of that place when I was a little kid. My dad used to refer to it as "spook tower". Cimbria at dock in Bar Harbor Cimbria Oct. 1899
Steamer Boothbay at Blue Hill, ME

Steamer Cambridge at Winterport, ME in the Penobscot river. Beautiful steamer Camden at Belfast, ME. Look how heavily she is loaded with passengers on the various decks.   Steamer Frank Jones entering SW Harbor
Frank Jones in Castine
Tug Cheektowaga in ice 2-19-1923
"City of Richmond". She was built in Athens, NY in 1865, for service on the James River in VA. In 1881 she was brought to Maine by the Portland, Bangor and Machias Steamboat Co, as a running mate for "Lewiston". She was used on the run Portland to Bar Harbor via Rockland. In 1882 she was purchased by the Maine Central RR and transferred to the Mt Desert to Machiasport run. In the first picture she is shown in full profile,location unknown to me. Now one that is a bit "unusual" to say the least. This is the little steamer "Day Dream". She was built at Green Point, NY in 1880....as a yacht! She was 88ft by 13.5 ft beam. At some point between her construction, and 1900 she was placed in the regular freight and passenger business between Stonington and Isle Au Haut. She was replaced by "Vinalhaven" in 1900. Both photos show her in Stonington harbor. The Crotch Island Quarry is visible to the west of her and some of the stone derricks are easy to spot against the skyline. She was eventually scrapped.
Cottage City
The 2nd picture shows her at Bar Harbor, date unknown. Notice the outside frame, very popular in that era, to add strength to the hull. She was replaced by the "Frank Jones" in 1892. So these photos are likely between 1881-1892. 3 cute little steamers, left to right, "Nellie Kane", "Little Buttercup" and "Queen City" at the Oaks Shipyard at Brewer ME. Not sure of date, think 1920 or before due to style of vessels and cabins etc. A llie Ryan, So Brooksville, ME.Collected vast amounts of steamboat lore.
Kron Princess Cecilie Close up shot of Norumbega alongside the huge liner. think this was taken when Boothbay sank and was raised by the salvagers Allie was a very modest man who made a very small amount of money the hardest possible way, by clamming, fishing, raking blueberries and so on.but colected massive amounts of steamboat lore.