Ticonderoga: More than Just a Steamboat

Steamboat Ticonderoga

steamboat-ticonderogaThe steamboat Ticonderoga is one of the side paddle wheel passenger steam propelled boats, equipped with a very special sort of beam engine. This kind of steam propelled vessel served as freight and passenger transport in some of the US’ largest bays, including lakes, rapids and rivers and it was particularly popular between the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The steamboat Ticonderoga was built by the Champlain Transportation Company in the year 1906 on Lake Champlain, more specifically in the Shelburne Shipyard in Vermont.

The Eureka is her twin vessel and it has been in service all the way up till the year 1958, when certain types of ferries stopped being used and were replaced by more efficient, economic, efficient, and faster ones. Eventually, she was donated to a museum and presently she is stationed in the city of San Francisco, at Hyde St. Pier in San Francisco, still afloat.

The Ticonderoga is quite large, about 230 feet long. She boasts a handmade steam engine, manufactured by Fletcher Engine Company, in New Jersey, Hoboken. She used to be fueled by 2 whole coal boilers and could reach speeds of up to 17 miles an hour. Roughly 15 knots an hour.

During her many years of life, the Ticonderoga also served the lake routes between Burlington and Port Kent, in New York. She was even turned into a floating casino for a brief period of time. As newer vessels came along, the Ticonderoga steamboat started becoming somewhat obsolete but she still operated as a boat for excursions for a decade or two. Around the 1950s decade, the future of the Ticonderoga was rather unknown and seemed grim, due to the economic crisis. However, luckily, Ralph Nading Hill rescued Ticonderoga from going to scrap and he convinced Electra Havemeyer Webb to purchase her for Webb’s museum.