The Portland waterfront was a busy place in 1899. Sailing vessels were still the answer for long voyages, but there were plenty of steam powered tugs and sternwheelers for river transport.
Tags: 1890s Portland Portland_Harbor ship steamer sternwheeler
Neat old picture. I assume steam was used at some point to propel water craft by propellers as opposed to wheels. Does anybody know approx. when that happened?
Buzz on 14th June 2017 @ 7:29am
Three sources of energy. Wind, Fossil and Wood.
L.E. on 14th June 2017 @ 7:33am
Buzz, I think Fulton was experimenting with steam engines by 1807.
The Beaver was the first steam engine on the Columbia in the 1836's. She was brought to Fort Vancouver under wind power and then converted to a steam engine at the Fort. Dr. McLoughlin was not impressed with her.
L.E. on 14th June 2017 @ 7:52am
interesting question Buzz...no idea on when the screw method of propulsion was developed. it is interesting to me that in addition to the commercial tour paddle wheeler operating on the Columbia we have one in Portland that was purpose built as a operating tug still operating as a living museum, and the Port of Cascade Locks paddle wheeler replica built by Nichol Boat Works in Hood River that is also operating. I believe the only one of the three that is steam powered is the Portland as some of our steam locomotive volunteers also work on it. it is running on selected weekends this summer!!!
this is absolutely a GREAT picture of Portland's waterfront. one of the ships is starting to drop their sails. in addition to steam tugs, there is a steam ferry, not a bridge in sight........just WOW Arthur; who took the photo and how did the Museum get it?? .
Arlen Sheldrake on 14th June 2017 @ 8:16am
Just had a great sight traveling down Highway 14 this morning. Both paddle wheel tourist boats were heading upriver toward Hood River. A memorable site after seeing today's HHR photo and another occasion to say I am so lucky to live where I do.
L.E. on 14th June 2017 @ 1:14pm
WOW, that means all THREE Willamette/Columbia Rivers paddlers were running today.....after hearing the distinctive whistle I find out the Portland was out for a shake down run and trip to the gas store in preparation for their monthly runs..... and I agree L.E. that would be a great sight to see two on the Columbia....I love it when I get to see one, even that Mississippi River boat one.
Arlen Sheldrake on 14th June 2017 @ 4:11pm
I just noticed another energy source. There are power poles up on the left hand bank. Portland was one of the first cities in the nation to get electricity. It came from the Falls at Oregon City.
L.E. on 14th June 2017 @ 9:44pm
This was apparently a relatively well known photo by H.A. Hale that appeared on a picture postcard.
kmb on 14th June 2017 @ 9:54pm
Thanks Arlen for pointing out the Stark Street ferry, I missed it among the other interesting vessels ~
Kenn on 15th June 2017 @ 10:41am
Are we looking north or south in this photo?
I am not sure what the hill on the right side of the photo is?
As kmb's link says, the main shipping channel was at one time on the east side of Swan Island.
L.E. on 15th June 2017 @ 10:59am
This is looking north, Portland was on the west side of the river.
One of the first chores of the Corps of Engineers was to decide which side of Swan Island to dredge the main channel, The choice made was logical as using the east side would make a jog at the north end of Swan. There is a book of the Corps of Engineers activities at the Hood River Museum.
Kenn on 16th June 2017 @ 8:44am