Fleetwood (steamboat)

Fleetwood (steamboat)

The steamboat "Fleetwood" operated in the 1880s and 1890s on the Columbia River and later as part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet.


"Fleetwood" was built in 1881, at Portland, Oregon, for Captain U.B. Scott and his associates L.B. Seely and E.W. Creighton. [Timmen, Fritz, "Blow for the Landing", at 29, Caxton Printers, Caldwell, ID 1973 ISBN 0-87004-221-1] "Fleetwood" was propeller-driven, 111' long, and rated at 135 tons. [Mills, Randall V., "Sternwheelers Up Columbia", at 193, University of Nebraska Press (1977 reprint of 1947 edition) ISBN 0-8032-5874-7] [Newell, Gordon R., ed., "H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest", at 43, Superior Publishing, Seattle, WA 1966]

Operations on Columbia River

Capt. Scott successfully ran "Fleetwood" on the Astoria and Cascade routes on the Columbia River, in opposition to the would-be monopoly of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, then under the control of Henry Villard. "Fleetwood" outran the monopoly’s steamers by two hours on the Astoria run, and built up so much business that Captain Scott had to replace her with the crack sternwheeler "Telephone." [Newell, Gordon R., "Ships of the Inland Sea", at 99, Binford and Mort, Portland, OR (2nd Ed. 1960)] Captain Scott trimmed up "Fleetwood" ‘s appearance a bit, not entirely to the liking of historian Newell:Cquote|The resulting striped paneling along her house, ginger-bread work on her cabin roof, and high-pointed pilot house roof crowned with a gilt ball, all gave the sturdy little "Fleetwood" an unfortunate resemblance to a forest cottage in a Grimm’s fairy tale book. [Newell, "Ships of the Inland Sea", at 100] Other masters of "Fleetwood" on the Columbia River included Capt. William H. Whitcomb, a member of a prominent Northwest marine family, and, on Puget Sound, Capt. Henry Carter. [McCurdy, at 346 and 406]

Transfer to Puget Sound

In 1888 [Newell, "Ships of the Inland Sea", at 99, gives 1886 as the year transferred to Puget Sound] , Capt. U.B. Scott sold "Fleetwood" to Capt. Z.J. Hatch, who transferred the vessel to Puget Sound. [Mills, at 193] . "Fleetwood" was brought around to Puget Sound by Captain Messegee for her new owner Capt. Hatch. On the way up, Captain Scott’s fancy trim work on the deckhouse caught fire, fortunately the crew were able to extinguish it and "Fleetwood" rounded Cape Flattery and reached Neah Bay just 24 hours after leaving the Columbia Bar. Once on Puget Sound "Fleetwood" ran against another boat transferred up from the Columbia River, "Emma Haywood". "Fleetwood" was advertised as a “fast time” steamer, leaving Horr’s Wharf at Olympia at 6:00 a.m., stopping at Puget City, Steilacoom, and the Northern Pacific Railway wharf at Tacoma , and reaching Seattle’s Yesler wharf at noon, then returning on the same route, arriving back in Olympia at 7:00 p.m. [Newell, Gordon R., and Williamson, Joe, "Pacific Steamboats", at 197, Bonanza Books, New York, NY 1958 (reprinting time-table)]

In 1889, "Fleetwood" made record time on a trip from Olympia to Seattle to carry a steam fire engine to the aid of that city during its great fire. [McCurdy, at 43] When Captain Scott expanded operations up to Puget Sound, he bought back "Fleetwood" and put her on the Seattle-Tacoma run with the new and eventually much more famous propeller steamer "Flyer". [Newell, "Ships of the Inland Sea", at 100-101] On September 7, 1890, "Fleetwood" engaged unsuccessfully in an impromptu race between Tacoma and Seattle with the then brand-new and very fast sternwheeler "Greyhound". [McCurdy, at 396]


In 1898 [Newell, "Ships of the Inland Sea", at 207, gives the date of abandonment as 1905] "Fleetwood" was abandoned on the beach in Quartermaster Harbor where for many years she was visible as she slowly rotted away. [McCurdy, at 43] [Newell, Gordon R., and Williamson, Joe, "Pacific Steamboats", at 197 (showing photographs of "Fleetwood" in operation and as she gradually decayed on the beach)]



Gibbs, Jim and Williamson, Joe, "Maritime Memories of Puget Sound", at 129, Schiffer Publishing, West Chester, PA 1987 ISBN 0-88740-044-2 (publishing photo showing both "Fleetwood" abandoned on beach and her location relative to the floating drydock at Quartermaster Harbor.)

External links

Historic images from University of Washington on-line collections

* [http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/viewer.exe?CISOROOT=/transportation&CISOPTR=450 steamer "Fleetwood" in operation, apparently on Puget Sound]
* [http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/prosch_washington&CISOPTR=102&CISOSHOW=57&REC=18 "Fleetwood" in operation, apparently circa 1895 near Seattle]
* [http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/viewer.exe?CISOROOT=/curtis&CISOPTR=295&CISORESTMP=&CISOVIEWTMP=&CISOMODE=thumb once speedy steamer "Fleetwood", abandoned and rotting on beach at Dockton, 1908]

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