"The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down." A. Whitney Brown.

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San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 650, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

16 January 2017


Southbend to Nahcotta, WA.
RELIABLE, ON 111423, 

was built in 1902, Astoria, OR.,
for the Willapa Bay Transportation Co (Capt. A.W. Reed.)

Photographer unknown.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"Despite the challenge and weather of Washington coast north of Long Beach (served by a fleet of Columbia River steamers,) hardy vacationers flocked to hotels and summer cabins at Westport, Moclips, and Pacific Beach aboard doughty little sternwheelers like the HARBOR BELLE and HARBOR QUEEN and the steamer FLEETWOOD docking at Westport and Cosmopolis.
      Sternwheelers like the ALLIANCE and DOLPHIN were sailing every week from Portland to Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, North Cove, South Bend, Willapa and Bay Center. The steam launch JESSIE would ferry you to South Aberdeen for a dime.
      In 1908, popularity of Washington beaches and resorts led to daily runs between Portland and tiny South Bend on the Willapa River, requiring two steamers and a short train ride.
ON 201668
Passenger and freight steamer built in 1905 at Astoria, OR
for the Willapa Bay Transportation Co.
G.t. 116 / N.t. 79
72.3' RL x 18.2' x 6.2'
Converted to a towboat in her later years.
In this original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 
she is seen near Nahcotta, WA.
Click image to enlarge. 
ON 111423

Built in 1902 at Astoria, OR.
Seen on her South Bend route.
Photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Returning home, excursionists would board one of the Willapa Bay mail steamers, SHAMROCK or RELIABLE at South Bend, crossing to Nahcotta midpoint on the Long Beach Peninsula. Here trains would carry passengers to connecting OSN steamers docked at Ilwaco, for the relaxing river ride back to Portland. Fare: $4.25.
      In addition to carrying passengers, mail, and freight, the stubby steamers offered weekend cruises to view a wreck or whales. 
      The most festive outing occurred on June 1908, when the steamers rendezvoused for a viewing of the Great White Fleet as it passed off the coast." 
The Atlantic Fleet entering Puget Sound
Romans Photo / Asahel Curtis 1908
Click to enlarge.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Above text from: Steamer's Wake. Faber, Jim; Enetai Press. 1985.

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