"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 750, 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.


built at the plant of 
the Lake Union Dock and Machine Works, 
Seattle, Washington. 
Back stamped with date 31 March 1935. 
Ready to enter service for the Skagit River Navigation Co. 
She was named after an old Seattle-Tacoma mailboat 
of the 1870s and is the first steamboat built on 
Puget Sound in many years. She will be under command 
of Capt. H.H. MacDonald, who designed her.

off to Elliott Bay for US steamboat inspections.
165' x 40' x 7' 
she draws two feet four inches of water light, 
and five feet loaded. 
Her paddle wheel is 18' in diameter; the 
steam engine is 500- HP with capacity for 
cargo tons of cargo. 
Both original photos from the archives of 
the Saltwater People Log©

A new sternwheel steamboat, the 2nd SKAGIT CHIEF was launched by Lake Union Dry Dock in February; replacing the HARVESTER, sunk the previous year by the runaway PRESIDENT MADISON. Link to that stormy day here
      Anna Grimison, president of the Navigation Co., and the only woman head of a steamship firm on the Pacific coast, was mistress of ceremonies.
      The steamer was christened with a bottle of Skagit River water by Mrs. Grimison's six-yr old niece, Carol Sylliaasen. 
      Designed for the Seattle, Stanwood, Mt. Vernon, and La Conner route, the shallow-draft vessel was fitted with 'spuds' (heavy upright beams which could be lowered to the riverbed) to enable her to hoist herself over shoals & to make difficult turns in the River.
      Of 502 tons, with dimensions of 165' x 40.' x 7'. The SKAGIT CHIEF was fitted with the engines from the former Columbia River steamer G. K. WENTWORTH of 1905.
      SKAGIT CHIEF, one of the last two Puget Sound commercial sternwheel steamers, was sold by the SRN & T Co to the Portland Harbor Marina which planned to convert her to a floating restaurant on the Willamette River. 
      The sternwheeler was taken in tow by the MARTHA FOSS late in October. On the mourning of 29 Oct., while proceeding through calm seas off the Grays Harbor entrance, the old river packet quietly sank. There was no warning and  the crew of the tug were not aware of her foundering until they felt the drag on the towline and had to disengage it to prevent damage to the tug. There was no one aboard the CHIEF at the time of her loss. 
      There we are from birth to death 1935-1956.

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