Its fun to see an action shot of the Bailey Gatzert. This is dated June 19, 1917, and the captain is running the rapids at the Cascades of the Columbia rather than passing through the locks.
Category: [Cascade Locks]
Tags: 1910s Bailey_Gatzert Cascade_Locks Columbia_River ship steamer sternwheeler
Gives a good view of how wild that water ran through there.
She was one of the larger sternwheelers plying the Columbia at this time, so probably was easier for her to shoot the rapids. Just think of all the cord wood she went through going up and down. Cord wood was a very lucrative business during the sternwheeler era on the Columbia.
There was a song composed called "The Bailey Gatzert Waltz" of which I had a copy and I think I or my Dad took it to the museum.
Charlott on 3rd September 2014 @ 7:15am
Looks like they poured the wood to the fire to make this run.
I was just reading some history about George Gilmer who was on the "Harvest Queen" in the 1880's when she made one of the first runs through the Cascades Falls.
l.e. on 3rd September 2014 @ 7:19am
Neat picture. The RPM's of those paddlewheels had to be very high. They had to be of husky design and well built to keep from flying apart. With steam they had plenty of power. The paddlewheelers I've seen today appear to be rather sedate old girls on a Sunday stroll compared to the old timers.
Buzz on 3rd September 2014 @ 7:46am
Boat had to be faster than the water to have control, wonder what the water speed would have been.
Kenn on 3rd September 2014 @ 4:23pm
From a history timeline: In 1917 "Capt. Geer takes Bailey Gatzert and 125 passengers down over Cascade rapids. "
You might enjoy reading this about the trip. Also a model of the Gatzert.
In 1917 she returned to the Puget Sound area for service between Seattle and Bremerton.
l.e. on 3rd September 2014 @ 4:27pm
Boy, Kenn I never thought that it was going downstream. But if you are right it has to really be hauling on. Used to have a jet boat in Alaska. Going upstream through the rocks where we had good steering wasn't bad, but downstream trying to dodge rocks going wide open could get scary.
Buzz on 3rd September 2014 @ 5:56pm
The date doesn't match exactly, but here's an account from 1949 of this 1917 voyage:
Judge Wilson remembers another vessel which passed over the Cascades rapids safely. This time it was the Bailey Gatzert, which went through that treacherous piece of water on June 27, 1917. As the judge explains it, there was no race on at the time. The Gatzert came up-stream from Portland to The Dalles while the water was rising. When the Gatzert was unloaded, then reloaded at The Dalles and started the return journey downstream, the water had risen so high that the valves at Cascade Locks could not be opened. This left the Gatzert on the upper river with no way to get back.
Captain Archie Geer, who commanded the Gatzert, telephoned the head office at Portland and explained the situation. Captain Geer wanted permission to take his boat over the rapids. His request was okayed, with the understanding that he would first notify the passengers and allow those who did not want to make the trip to get off. Captain Geer so informed his passengers, telling them that anyone who did not care to stay on the vessel would be provided with rail transportation to Portland. There was only one passenger, an elderly lady, out of the hundred who wanted to get off that boat. Captain Geer, another one of those wonderful Columbia river pilots, took the vessel over in grand style and all passengers enjoyed the thrill.
Arthur on 3rd September 2014 @ 11:30pm
Well, that makes it easier to understand. He knew the water was high enough that he wouldn't have to make any quick turns.
Buzz on 4th September 2014 @ 6:48am