Tracing the time line for steamer “Wauwinet”: How did it come to be on the bottom of Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

Scott Mackay

Box2105@mindspring.com

8/23/17

 

In his 1794 map John Peters shows Eagle Lake as "Young’s Pond" and indicates it is mostly owned by Edward Brewer

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In 1855, A.L. Higgins called Eagle Lake "Great Pond" on his map.

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<1876> The "Island Bell" made its first run between Nantucket and Wauwinet on 17 July 1876. She held 60 passengers.

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<1876> Merchant Vessels of the United States for year 1887, government-printing office 1888

"Wauwinet" Steam Propeller 43' length, 11' breath, 2' depth. 12 horsepower, built 1876, New Bedford MA.

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<1877> Merchant Vessels of the United States for year 1887, government-printing office 1888.

"Edith" Steam ship 48' length, 12' breath, 2' depth, built 1877, New Bedford MA.

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<1877>"Argument settlers; what has happened on and around Nantucket". THE INQUIRER AND MIRROR PRESS NANTUCKET, MASS. Copyright by Harry B. Turner. JUL 16 1917.

Paddle-wheel steamer "Edith" operated between town and Wauwinet.

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<1878> Nantucket Today, August 2013, "Serene Splendor" by Lindsay Pykosz

In fact, it became so popular that a second mode of transportation was established to shuttle guests to and from town. A little steamer called "Wauwinet" arrived on the island in 1877 under the command of Captain J.C. Small of New Bedford. At 47 feet long and with a vertical engine with 16 horsepower, she was built in New York with intentions of being used on the Erie Canal. With an original capacity of 80 persons, she later was changed considerably to meet demand.

“A railing will be placed around the top of the house on deck, and seats placed there for patrons,” reads the *Oct. 6, 1877 issue of The Inquirer and Mirror. “A large three-fan propeller is to take the place of the one now in use, which will tend to increase the speed of the vessel. Before the season for summer travel again rolls around, we may expect to see her in fine condition for the business for which she is intended. We learn, from a reliable source, that Capt. Charles E. Smalley, master of the yacht Lillian, which has been on the route to the Head of the Harbor for two seasons past, has been tendered the command of the "Wauwinet". We hope he will accept.”

*Oct 6, 1877 date was confirmed by finding the actual article in the Inquirer & Mirror paper. This supports researcher’s comments about the Harry B Turner’s 1917 article below giving the wrong date.

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<1880> REYNOLDS HISTORICAL GENEALOGY COLLECTION - THE ESSEX INSTITUTE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS

VOL. LV — 1919. Newcomb & Gadss Printers, Salem, Mass.

The steam-tug "Wauwinet," purchased in Boston by Edward P. Shaw, arrived in Newburyport in tow of steamer "Florence," July 23, 1880. She was rebuilt by Capt. Joseph M. Coffin, provided with a new engine and boiler, and sold to the Pentucket Navigation Company in July, 1881. The next year she made daily trips from the foot of Canal Street, in Lawrence, to Haverhill, Newburyport, and the sea.

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History of Newburyport, Mass: 1764-1905, Volume 2, By John James Currier

The steam-tug "Wauwinet," purchased in Boston by Edward P. Shaw, arrived in Newburyport in tow of steamer "Florence," July 23, 1880. She was rebuilt by Capt. Joseph M. Coffin, provided with a new engine and boiler, and sold to the Pentucket Navigation Company in July, 1881. The next year she made daily trips from the foot of Canal street, in Lawrence, to Haverhill, Newburyport, and the sea.

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<1883> Motor yacht "Coskata" provided transportation from town to Cedar Beach House on Coatue which opened 1883.  "Coskata" was built from the steamer "Island Bell" and ran between Coatue and Wauwinet a few seasons.

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<1883> The Green Mountain Railway: Bar Harbor's Remarkable Cog Railroad by Peter Dow Bachelder

In early April, Clergue purchased the excursion steamer Wauwinet, then docked at Newburyport, Massachusetts.  Prior to its arrival in Bar Harbor, "Wauwinet" served in various capacities in Massachusetts, including as a tug in Boston Harbor. Built c.1876 in New Bedford, the vessel was taken to Newburyport in 1880, where it underwent a thorough rebuilding, including the installation of a new engine and boiler.  In July 1881, the flat-bottomed stern-wheeler was sold to the local Pentucket Navigation Company. During 1882, "Wauwinet" made daily trips along the Merrimac River, from Lawrence to Haverhill, Newburyport, and the ocean.

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<1883> Green Mountain Cog Railway is being built 1883.

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<1883> Bar Harbor's Gilded Century: Opulence to Ashes by Lydia Vandenberg, Earle G. Shettleworth.

In 1883 steamer "Wauwinet" is on Eagle Lake in Maine. Captain is “Capt. Goodwin”

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<1883> THE STORY OF THE ISLAND STEAMERS By Friends Intelligencer, Volume 40, 1883-1884

A little steamer "Wauwinet", from Newburyport, has been placed on Eagle Lake.

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<1885> Kittery to Bar Harbor: Touring Costal Maine by Erika J. Waters

1885 steamer “Wauwinet” still in operation on Eagle Lake

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<1886> Francis Marion Crawford, Bar Harbor, (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1894).

Excerpt in Ruth Ann Hill’s Discovering Old Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, p133                 

In 1886, the Green Mountain Cog Railroad was established to carry tourists up Green Mountain, now named Cadillac Mountain.  The railroad company built two wharfs, one near the Lake House and one at the railroad base station on the lake’s east shore.  These wharves serviced the small steamboat “Wauwinnet” that carried excursions from the Lake House to the railroad (Figure 26).  The railroad base station comprised at least four buildings up to 200 feet from the waters edge (Figure 27).  The railroad lasted just six years, and these buildings fell into disuse.  The Lake House hotel reportedly burned by 1894.

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<1887> NHA.org

In 1887 the yacht "Lillian" captained by C.E. Smalley, makes two trips per day to Wauwinet.

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<1888> Green Mountain Carriage Road opens.

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<1889> Road to summit is dynamited by “railway people” in an attempt to stop competition.

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<1890> Green Mountain Cog Railway ceases operation in 1890.

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<1893> W.A. (William Augustus) Milliken, a coal, wood and hay supplier purchases the “Wauwinet” at auction on 17 Jan 1893.

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<1896> Coal and Coal Trade Journal, Volume 28, Page 353.

W.A. (William Augustus) Milliken, born 25 Nov 1850 in Mt Desert Maine, died 8 Jun 1896 at age 45. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Winter Harbor, Maine.

William was the son of Capt. Cornelius Westcott Milliken (1821-1849) and Clara S.  Foster (1829-1853). Survived by his wife Celestia Alberta Smallige Torrey (1853-1933). Predeceased by brother Maynard Hall Milliken (1852-1888). Maynard’s wife was Charlotte M. Reed and they had 4 children: Ralph Waldo b. 17 may 1875, Clara Adele b. 8 Aug 1878, Mattie Ethel b. 18 Mar 1881, George Maynard b. 28 Aug 1881.

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<1917> >"Argument settlers; what has happened on and around Nantucket". THE INQUIRER AND MIRROR PRESS NANTUCKET, MASS. Copyright by Harry B. Turner. JUL 16 1917.

 The "Wauwinet" was operated in the summer of 1890 under command of Capt. C. E. Smalley, but was also a financial failure. The Wauwinet route has also had numerous naphtha and gasoline launches in service, but the "Coskata" was actually the last steamboat Operated there.  The "Wauwinet" some years afterwards was in service on Eagle Lake, N. H., near Mount Washington.

<Researcher's opinion is there are two errors here: 1) Was probable not summer of 1890, but more likely 1879 or 1880. 2) Not Eagle Lake, NH near Mt. Washington, it’s too small and too far inland, more likely Eagle Lake, Maine near Green Mountain (which like Mt Washington, had a cog railway on it).>

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<1918> Green Mountain renamed to Cadillac in 1918.

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<2009> Acadia Maritime Cultural Resources Inventory, 2009, by Price, Daniel, Chasse, and Stallings.

2007 Divers visit the "Wauwinet" in Eagle Lake as part of a shipwreck survey at Acadia National Park. It’s at about 100' depth.

<2017> Find a photo of “Wauwinet” at Eagle Lake on page 76 of this document:

http://me-barharbor.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/133

or here on page 8:

http://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1070&context=mainehistory

And, more details about the “Wauwinet” at Green Mountain here on page 18:

http://mdihistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2003-The-Green-Mountain-Railway_ocr.pdf