Original Photo from archives of the S.P.H.S.©
|Robert E. Peary and the ROOSEVELT|
After Peary's return to New York, the vessel was sold to Puget Sound interests and brought to the northwest via the newly opened Panama Canal. One of the first noteworthy events the ROOSEVELT participated in was the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, on 4 July 1917. She led the flotilla of vessels through the canal that day.In 1923 the ROOSEVELT was owned by the Washington Tug and Barge Company of Seattle. She was employed in towing three former WW I wood hulls, which were serving as barges, loaded with lumber from Puget Sound to San Diego. They were towed one at a time. One loading on Puget Sound, one unloading in San Diego, and the third at sea. The ROOSEVELT would bring an empty barge to the Puget Sound mill, take the loaded barge in tow to San Diego, and on arrival, the other barge was now unloaded and ready for the return trip. She was able to make two round trips per month and hauled 2,500,000-board feet of lumber each time south bound. She was the best tugboat on the coast for this form of ocean towing.
|Mammoth log booms towed from the Columbia River|
down the Pacific Coast to San Diego, CA.
Saltwater People Historical Society archives.
In 1931 the ROOSEVELT was dispatched to Cape Flattery to tow the schooner VIGILANT into Puget Sound, after her race from Hawaii with the COMMODORE. Extreme weather produced violent seas and several of the ROOSEVELT's pilot house windows were smashed; however, she accomplished her task.
|Seattle Tug ROOSEVELT|
and the Schooner VIGILANT
A 1932 Seattle Times page from the scrapbook of
PNW Captain W. C. "Pappy" Beachum (1906-1980).
From the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©
On 3 May 1934 the motor ship CHILDAR was outbound across the Columbia River bar when she was battered onto Peacock Spit on the north side of the entrance. The USCG Cutter REDWING succeeded in towing the stricken vessel from the grip of the breakers. They could not cross the Columbia River bar to return Astoria or Portland due to the exceedingly high breakers, so both vessels proceeded north. The next morning the ROOSEVELT took over the tow and brought the stricken CHILDAR into Esquimalt, BC.
The last voyage of this famous tug was in 1937. She was sold to the California Towing Co in San Francisco. She set out on her final trip towing the former USN collier JUPITER from Puget Sound to the East Coast for scrapping. The tow yawed excessively and the tow line damaged the ROOSEVELT. She also experienced engine problems with her old power plant. After departing the Panama Canal the ROOSEVELT became totally disabled, turned the tow over to the New York tug RELIEF, and returned to the Panama Canal. She was laid up, and the crew finally sold her equipment, as they had not been paid. Finally, this former Artic exploration ship rotted away."
Written by Captain Ed Shields
About the Boats,1994