Urania, probably near Leschi Park.
|Owner:||Anderson Boat Company|
|Builder:||John L. Anderson|
|Out of service:||1914|
|Fate:||Upper works burned, machinery salvaged, hull scuttled|
|Length:||85 ft (25.9 m)|
|Installed power:||steam engine|
|Notes:||Partially rebuilt in later career to carry four automobiles.|
The steamboat Urania was a vessel that operated on Lake Washington in the first part of the 20th Century. Built of wood, the vessel burned and sank in 1914. In 2002, the wreck was found and photographed by divers.
Urania was built in 1907 on Lake Washington, for Captain John Anderson, to join his fleet of steamboats on Lake Washington, operating under the name of the Anderson Steamboat Company. She was 85 feet (26 m) long. “Urania” was the Greek name for the muse of astronomy and astrology Captain Anderson named his vessels after classical gods, starting with Xanthus and Cyrene. Urania was similar to but slightly smaller than another Anderson vessel, Fortuna, built in 1906. Captains Wells Green and C.R. Hall were two of Urania’s masters.
Partial conversion to auto transport
In 1913, Urania was reconstructed to allow four automobiles to be carried sideways across her foredeck. The reconstruction required removal of a portion of her upper deck.
Loss by fire
On February 12, 1914, Urania burned near Houghton, and became a total loss. Her steam engine was salvaged and she was scuttled in the lake west of the Houghton shipyard in about 150 feet of water. A leading authority states that Urania was transferred to Puget Sound in 1917; if so, this cannot be the same Urania as the vessel described in the SCRET report, as the webpage shows the burned Urania before scuttling.
Discovery of wreck
In 2002, divers of the Submerged Cultural Resources Exploration Team (“SCRET”) found the wreck of Urania, noting that she lies upright on the bottom, her hull substantially intact, but her upper works completely destroyed of course by the fire.
- Report on discovery of wreck of Urania by Submerged Cultural Resources Exploration Team (accessed 2008-02-14)
- Newell, Gordon R., Ships of the Inland Sea, at 215, Binford and Mort, Portland, OR (2nd Ed. 1960) states that Urania was only 58 feet long. This must be a transposition of numbers. All photos of Urania show a vessel that is easily 85 feet long.
- Newell, Ships of the Inland Sea, at 220.
- Newell, Gordon R., ed., H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, at 292, Superior Publishing, Seattle, WA1966
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steamboats of Lake Washington.|
- Submerged Cultural Resources Exploration Team page describing dives to wrecks of Urania, Elfin, and Acme, including period photos of vessels and photos of sunken wrecks