St. John River Steamboats

  2016 Steamboat 200th Anniversary

  In 1802 the chief land surveyor for New Brunswick, Douglas Campbell claimed, "Ten miles of road fit for any kind of wheel carriage is nowhere to be found in New Brunswick".
  Transportation throughout the province was primarily on the waterways powered by muscle or sail. Weather dependent, it could sometimes take five days to move passengers or freight between Saint John and Fredericton, a distance of only ninety miles.
   During the early 1800's a new technology, the steam engine, had been installed in the first commercial boats. New Brunswick quickly realized the benefit steam powered boats would have in the development of the province. 
   On May 20th, 1816 the first steamboat in New Brunswick, the General Smyth, plied its way from Saint John to Fredericton. This boat was the fourth in North America and was the beginning of 130 years of steamboat use throughout the provincial inland and coastal waters. These craft were critical in moving people, food, equipment, resources and the products of New Brunswick.

  Below is a listing of the seventy-four known boats as they appeared chronologically on the river between 1816 and 1946. Click on the name to find out more details and some of the interesting stories surrounding each one. 
  Much of this information is from the three books on the steamboats of the St. John River as listed below.
     For a list of other steamboat stories see Steamboat Stories

     For a list of steamboat historians see Steamboat Historians

     For a list of steamboat firsts see Steamboat Firsts  

     For a list of steamboat disasters see Steamboat Disasters

     For a map of the region see St. John River Steamer Stops 

     For an alphabetical listing see Alphabetical Steamboat Listing.
     General Smyth  1816-1824        Saint George  1825-1835         St. John  1827-1832
     John Ward  1831-1843               Woodstock (1)  1832-1838       Fredericton  1836-1849
     Novelty (1)  1836-1844               Water Witch  1836-1840           Meteor  1838-1848
     New Brunswick  1839-1850      Experiment  1842-1843            Reindeer  1845-1860
     Madawaska  1846-1854             Carleton  1847-1854                 City of St. John  1847-1863
     Forest Queen  1848- 1867         Rowland Hill   1848-1849         Anna Augusta  1850-1867
     Union  1851-1863                       J.D. Pierce  1852-1856             John Waring  1852-1861
     Woodstock (2)  1852-1860        Ben Beveridge  1853-1855       Bonny Doon  1853-1863
     Magnet  1853-1867                    Richmond  1853-1861               Colonel Fremont  1854-1862
     Lawrence  1855-1867                B.F.Tibbets  1855-1856             Tobique  1860-1871
    Antelope  1861-1875                  Gazelle  1861-1872                    Heather Bell  1861-1865
    Sunbury   1863-1879                   Highlander   1864-1876            Olive  1865-1876
    David Weston  1866-1903          Fawn  1867-1886                       Rothesay  1867-1876                  
    Ida Whittier  1868-1878              May Queen  1869-1918             City of Fredericton  1872-1875
    Andover  1873-1874                   Star  1873-1902                          Prince Arthur  1877-1878
    Soulanges  1877-1893               Florenceville  1879-1893           Royal  1881-1881
    Novelty (2)   1881-1887              Oscar Wilde  1883-1890            Belleisle  1885-1892 
    Acadia  1886-1891                     Clifton  1887-1905                      Brittain  1890-1890
    Springfield  1890-1907              Olivette  1893-1898                    Aberdeen  1894-1908
    Hampstead  1894-1916              Victoria  1897-1916                   Majestic  1902-1942
    Beatrice E.Waring 1903-1906   Crystal Stream  1903-1907        Queen  1904-1904
    Champlain  1904-1922              Pokanoket  1904-1906               Elaine  1904-1916
    Hampton  1906-1930                  Premier  1907-1933                    Sincennes  1909-1911 
    D.J.Purdy  1912-1923               Oconee  1913-1923                    Dream  1922-1922                      

    D.J.Purdy I  1924-1946             Westchester  1930-1938
    Reference  books: 
     "The Early Steamboats of the St. John River"  by Captain Donald F. Taylor 1980
     "Steamboat Days On The St. John 1816-1946"  by Dr. George MacBeath & Capt. Donald F.
             Taylor 1982
     "From The Splash Of The Paddlewheel" by Captain Donald F. Taylor 1985