Ticonderoga (steamboat)

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Ticonderoga (steamboat).jpg
Ticonderoga at Shelburne Museum, Vermont, 2011
Flag of the United States.svg United States
Owner: Champlain Transportation Company
Builder: Shelburne Shipyard
Launched: 1906
Out of service: 1950
Status: Museum ship
General characteristics
Displacement: 892 tons
Length: 220 ft (67 m)
Beam: 59 ft (18 m)
Installed power: 2 × coal-fired boilers
Propulsion: Vertical beam steam engine, side-paddle-wheel
Speed: 17 mph (27 km/h) (14.77 knots)
Crew: 28
Ticonderoga (Side-paddle-wheel Lakeboat)
"The Ticonderoga" -- the last sidewheel steamboat in New England still in operation.jpg
Postcard showing Ticonderoga
USA Vermont location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location Shelburne, Vermont
Coordinates 44°22′31.6″N73°13′56.4″W / 44.375444°N 73.232333°W / 44.375444; -73.232333 Coordinates: 44°22′31.6″N73°13′56.4″W / 44.375444°N 73.232333°W / 44.375444; -73.232333
ArchitectChamplain Transportation Company
Architectural styleOther
NRHP reference # 66000797
Significant dates
Added to NRHP15 October 1966 [1]
Designated NHL28 January 1964 [2]

The steamboat Ticonderoga is one of two remaining side-paddle-wheel passenger steamers with a vertical beam engine of the type that provided freight and passenger service on America's bays, lakes and rivers from the early 19th to the mid-20th centuries. Commissioned by the Champlain Transportation Company, Ticonderoga was built in 1906 at the Shelburne Shipyard in Shelburne, Vermont on Lake Champlain.

Steamboat Smaller than a steamship; boat in which the primary method of marine propulsion is steam power

A steamboat is a boat that is propelled primarily by steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels. Steamboats sometimes use the prefix designation SS, S.S. or S/S or PS ; however, these designations are most often used for steamships.

Paddle steamer Steam powered vessel propelled by paddle wheels

A paddle steamer is a steamship or steamboat powered by a steam engine that drives paddle wheels to propel the craft through the water. In antiquity, paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans.

Shelburne, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Shelburne is a town in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. Located along the shores of Lake Champlain, Shelburne is a suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state of Vermont. Shelburne's town center lies approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of Burlington's city's center. The population of Shelburne was 7,144 at the 2010 census.


The other is the Eureka, built as the Ukiah for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in California, renamed after a post-World War I reconstruction, and passed on to NWP owner Southern Pacific in 1942. The Eureka remained in service until SP's ferries were discontinued in 1958, and it was donated for museum display, where it remains to this day at the Hyde St. Pier in San Francisco. Unlike the Ticonderoga however, the Eureka is still afloat.

Ticonderoga measures 220 feet in length and 59 feet in beam, with a displacement of 892 tons. Her steam engine, handmade by the Fletcher Engine Company of Hoboken, New Jersey, was powered by two coal-fired boilers and could achieve a maximum speed of 17 miles per hour (27 km/h) (14.77 knots).

Ship measurements consist of a multitude of terms and definitions specifically related to ships and measuring or defining their characteristics.

Beam (nautical) width of a ship at its widest point measured at its nominal waterline

The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point as measured at the ship's nominal waterline. The beam is a bearing projected at right-angles from the fore and aft line, outwards from the widest part of ship. Beam may also be used to define the maximum width of a ship's hull, or maximum width including superstructure overhangs.

Displacement (ship) Ships weight

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight based on the amount of water its hull displaces at varying loads. It is measured indirectly using Archimedes' principle by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship then converting that value into weight displaced. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, metric tonnes are more used.


The ship's crew numbered twenty-eight, including the captain, pilots, mate, deckhands, engineers, and firemen to operate the boat. The purser, stewardess, freight clerk, bartender, hall boys, cook, waiters, scullion, and mess boys attended to passengers and freight arrangements.

Initially, Ticonderoga served a north-south route on Lake Champlain. Daily, she docked at Westport, New York, where she met the New York City evening train. The next morning she carried travelers and freight northward to St. Albans, Vermont. In addition to passengers, Ticonderoga transported local farm produce, livestock, and dry goods on a regular basis, and during both world wars ferried U.S. troops between Plattsburgh, New York and Burlington, Vermont. Over the years she also operated on the east-west run from Burlington to Port Kent, New York and had a brief career as a floating casino.

Westport, New York Town in New York, United States

Westport is a town in Essex County, New York, United States overlooking Lake Champlain. The population was 1,312 at the 2010 census.

St. Albans (city), Vermont City in Vermont, United States

St. Albans City is the county seat of Franklin County, Vermont, United States. At the 2010 census, the city population was 6,918. St Albans City is surrounded by "St. Albans Town", which is incorporated separately from the city of St. Albans. The city is located in Northwestern Vermont in Franklin County. It lies 29 miles north of Burlington, the states most populous city which is located in Chittenden County.

Burlington, Vermont Largest city in Vermont

Burlington is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the seat of Chittenden County. It is located 45 miles (72 km) south of the Canada–United States border and 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal. The population was 42,417 as of the 2010 census. It is the least populous municipality in the United States to be the most populous incorporated area in a state.

When more modern ferries made her obsolete, Ticonderoga managed to persist in operation as an excursion boat for several years; however, by 1950 the steady decline in business threatened her future. Ralph Nading Hill saved Ticonderoga from the scrap heap when he persuaded Electra Havemeyer Webb to buy her for her growing museum. [3] While the Shelburne Museum attempted to keep her in operation, the steamboat era had passed making it difficult to find qualified personnel to operate and maintain the aging vessel.

Ralph Nading Hill was a Vermont writer and preservationist.

Electra Havemeyer Webb American antique collector

Electra Havemeyer Webb was a collector of American antiques and founder of the Shelburne Museum.

Shelburne Museum Museum of art and Americana in Shelburne, Vermont

Shelburne Museum is a museum of art, design, and Americana located in Shelburne, Vermont, United States. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum grounds. It is located on 45 acres (18 ha) near Lake Champlain.


In 1954 the Shelburne Museum decided to move Ticonderoga overland to the museum grounds. At the end of the summer season the boat paddled into a newly dug, water-filled basin off Shelburne Bay and floated over a railroad carriage resting on specially laid tracks. The water was then pumped out of the basin, and Ticonderoga settled onto the railroad carriage. During the winter of 1955 Ticonderoga was hauled across highways, over a swamp, through woods and fields, and across the tracks of the Rutland Railway to reach her permanent mooring on the Shelburne Museum grounds.

Much of her interior was restored to its original grandeur. The dining room and stateroom halls retain their butternut and cherry paneling and ceilings their gold stenciling. The barbershop, captain's quarters, dining room, and promenade deck contain furniture and accessories used in the Ticonderoga and other Lake Champlain steamboats. [4]

Ticonderoga was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 under the name Ticonderoga (Side-paddle-wheel Lakeboat). [2] [5]

See also

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  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. 1 2 "Ticonderoga (Side-paddle-wheel Lakeboat)". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2008-12-22. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
  3. Strum, Richard M. (1998). Ticonderoga: Lake Champlain Steamboat. Shelburne Museum. ISBN   0939384248.
  4. Shelburne Museum: A Guide to the Collections . Shelburne: Shelburne Museum. 1993.
  5. Bradford, S. S.; Rettig, Polly M. (2 December 1974) [21 May 1963]. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: The Ticonderoga / The Sidewheeler Ticonderoga". National Park Service . Retrieved 2012-09-18. and
    "Accompanying 2 photos, exterior and interior, undated". National Park Service . Retrieved 2012-09-18.

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