Stern-wheeler is sittin' by the dock of the Sound, ca. 1885
Anticipating the 1883 completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad's transcontinental line to Puget Sound, the stern-wheeler's owner sent the ship across the Columbia Bar en route to its new Puget Sound service.
Take a tour through local history
The Seattle Times Historical Archive is a searchable database of Seattle Times newspapers from 1900 through 1984. The archive reveals pages as they were originally published, with stories, photos and advertising.
Local news partners
LAUNCHED IN Portland in 1871, the slender stern-wheeler Emma Hayward gave its first 11 years on the lower Columbia River dashing between Portland and Astoria. It was, according to the "H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest," the favorite passenger boat on that run.
Anticipating the 1883 completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad's transcontinental line to Puget Sound, the stern-wheeler's owner, the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co., sent the ship across the Columbia Bar en route to its new Puget Sound service. It reached Seattle on Oct. 24, 1882, and soon after began daily round trips between Seattle and Olympia; the most important stop was Tacoma, where passengers connected with the Puget Sound terminus of the Northern Pacific.
Here, the Emma Hayward rests in the slip between Seattle's Ocean Dock on the right, for the larger oceangoing vessels, and its City Dock on the left, for the Puget Sound mosquito fleet of buzzing smaller steamers. Most of the latter were home-ported in Seattle, despite Tacoma's alluring railroad.
These Oregon Improvement Co. docks were added to the waterfront in 1882-83. Taking notice of the dainty tower on the Ocean Dock, here to the far right, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, for Dec. 9, 1883, included it in its list of then-recent waterfront improvements. "Not the least of these is the placing of the fog bell above the Ocean Dock warehouse," the paper said. "The neat little cupola erected for this bell enhances the fine appearance of the building considerably."
In 1891, the Emma Hayward returned to the Columbia, where it was repaired a year later to serve as a river towboat until 1900 when — quoting McCurdy once more — it was abandoned.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard's blog at www.pauldorpat.com.