T.M. Richardson

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T.M. Richardson and barge.jpeg
T.M. Richardson with passenger barge
Name: T.M. Richardson
Route: Yaquina Bay
Completed: 1888, at Oneatta, Oregon
Identification: US registry #145490
General characteristics
Type: inland steamboat
Tonnage: 36.38 gross; 24.53 regis. tons
Length: 64 ft (19.51 m)
Beam: 14.5 ft (4.42 m)
Depth: 5 ft (1.52 m) depth of hold
Installed power: steam engine, 125 NHP.
Propulsion: propeller

T.M. Richardson was a steamboat built in 1888 at Oneatta, Oregon, which served on Yaquina Bay from 1888 to 1908.


T.M. Richardson was built in 1888 at Oneatta, Oregon by Capt. James T. Chatterton. (b. 1851)[1] The boat measured 64 ft (19.51 m) long, 14.5 ft (4.42 m) beam, 5 ft (1.52 m) depth of hold, 36.38 gross tons and 24.53 registered tons. T.M. Richardson was driving by a steam engine which generated 125 nominal horsepower[2] In 1890, T.M. Richardson was licensed to carry only about 100 persons.[3]


From 1888 to at least 1895, Captain Chatterton used T.M. Richardson for ferrying and towing on Yaquina Bay, in Lincoln County, on the central Oregon coast.[1] In 1890, Richardson was employed on the water route between Newport and Yaquina, making the trip twice a day.[3] In 1893, T.M. Richardson was also used to tow rock scows for government engineering works.[4]

On April 5, 1893 the Tacoma steamship Alice Blanchard with a cargo of 271 tons of wheat and 100 tons of coal, was sighted in distress off the Yaquina bar. The only steam tug then in Yaquina Bay, the Resolute, was then under repair and unable to assist. Some fishermen did board the Alice Blanchard and succeeded in drifting the vessel over the bar. T.M. Richardson and another Yaquina Bay steamer, Volanta and then went to assist the Alice Blanchard the vessel went aground on the south jetty, about 300 feet (91 m) from the tramway then being used for jetty construction. Every rope fastened to the vessel by the steamers parted and the vessel settled in the sand.[4]

On September 19, 1903, T.M. Richardson stranded on a bar in the Yaquina River while en route to Newport. Two surfmen from the U.S. Life-Saving Service station at Yaquina Bay reached the Richardson in a small boat. They were able to take off all 28 passengers, as well as the mail and express items. At high tide the vessel was refloated.[5]

In 1904, T.M. Richardson was the only steamboat in service on Yaquina Bay, although there were three or four gasoline launches operating on the Yaquina River.[6] The rail terminus from the Willamette Valley was at Yaquina, and with no roads to cover the six mile (10 km) distance to Newport, the only effective access was by water. T.M. Richardson continued to be used on this route, often with a barge lashed alongside, to carry additional passengers or baggage.[7]

In 1904, Newport, Oregon was a small resort community with a year-round population of about 300 people. The county seat for Lincoln County was at Yaquina, Oregon, about three miles (5 km) up Yaquina Bay. In 1904 T.M. Richardson spent most of its time running between Newport and Yaquina.[6]


In 1908, T.M. Richardson was replaced by a new vessel, the Newport (72 ft (21.95 m), 81 gross tons). The Newport-Yaquina route was also purchased by Jack Fogarty and Capt. Jacobson from Capt. Chatterton.[8]



See also[edit]