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Old 05-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
Rattlesnake Gal
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Arrow The Legacy of the M/S Mount Washington

The Chateaugay



The Chateaugay was designed and built in 1888 in Shelburne, Vermont by the Harlan and Hollingsworth Company of Wilmington, Delaware at a reported cost of $101,000. It was to be used as a passenger excursion boat. The vessel was made of iron mined from Mt. Chateaugay in upstate New York and was the first iron-hulled steamboat on Lake Champlain. It was 203 feet long and was powered by a 1,000 horsepower Fletcher steam engine that could propel her along at about 20 mph. Chateaugay served Champlain Transportation Company’s fleet on and off for 51 years.



Eventually Chateaugay was replaced by the famous Ticonderoga and was reserved only for special excursions.


From the McDude Collection



In 1917 she was taken out of service during World War I.

Ticonderoga runs aground in 1919 on a reef off the north end of Isle La Motte. The Chateaugay returns to service for one season while the Ticonderoga is repaired.


At Port Kent



Chateaugay was pulled out of storage and converted into automobile ferry in 1925.


Chateaugay to the far left


Chateaugay Steamer and Chateaugay Automobile Ferry




Deck of Chateaugay ferry

She was pressed into flood disaster work in November 1927 during The New England Flood. Roads and railways had received a huge amount of damage and could not be used and the lake was the only way to reach people. Chateaugay was loaded down with food, medical supplies, building materials, clothing, refugees, mail and what ever else they could put on her. She navigated the lake without hitting any debris from the flood.


Chateaugay with paddlewheel decoration and later decorated to disguise the fact she was a sidewheeler.

Her machinery was removed in 1939 and sold for scrap. The Lake Champlain Yacht Club rented the steamer Chateaugay for $300 to use as their clubhouse.
It was moored at the foot of King Street in Burlington, Vermont.

December 23, 1939 a fire broke out in the railroad station and destroys the S.S. Mt. Washington, which was moored at The Weirs pier for repairs.
Ending her 67-year rein on Lake Winnipesaukee.




Click here for the history thread about the first Mt. Washington.

Click here for the Lavallee Era history thread.

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 05-08-2009 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Add photo
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Smile The Legacy Continued

Within days, the owner, Leander Lavallee started the search for a new ship to replace the original Mt. Washington.
On December 28, 1939, he purchased the side-wheel steamboat, Chateaugay from the Vermont Transportation Company for $20,000.



April 1940 the replacement ship was stripped down and the hull was cut into 20 pieces, like a loaf of bread, put on railroad flatcars and shipped to Lakeport, NH. General Ship and Engine Works of East Boston, MA did the moving of the new Mt. Washington II and the rebuilding. The new deckhouse would be manufactured entirely of steel to conform to American Bureau of Shipping standards for fireproofing.




From the Carguy Collection

Captain Lavallee wished the new boat to be another steamboat rather than a motor vessel. They purchased the power plant from the 140’ ocean yacht Crescent III, which was located in Long Island, NY. The power plant was built by Herreshoff Manufacturing and consisted of two three-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, size 10, 16 and 25-inch diameter by 13 Ĺ -inch stroke, two water tube boilers; two propellers and the necessary shafting. The equipment cost was $25,000 and was reconditioned by Bethlehem Steel Corporation before being shipped to New Hampshire.

August 12, 1940, the steamer Mt. Washington II was launched in Lakeport with a large, enthusiastic crowd on hand to wish her well. After the launching the Mt. Washington II was ballasted down and was ready to be towed to The Weirs for final outfitting. When the vessel reached The Weirs Channel Bridge it was realized that she lacked about 6 inches of clearance. A large number of people gathered on the bridge were invited to board the boat by dropping down onto the upper deck. Some 500 people accepted the invitation and the Mt. Washington II settled down and was able to proceed under the bridge without further trouble.


Courtesy of the Byron Carl Hedblom Collection





From the McDude Collection

The remaining work was done at The Weirs, which was mostly painting and installing the stack. Work was quickly finished and a few days later the new S.S. Mt. Washington II, which had by now cost $150,000, embarked on her maiden voyage. Things did not go smoothly for the new ship. She took nearly twice as long to complete the normal route than the first Mt. Washington did. Part of the problem was the oil burners were not adjusted correctly and the propellers were not immersed far enough into the water. The Chateaugay was a typical shallow-draft side-wheeler and the newly fitted screw propellers were continually breaking water, dissipating the engine power, making foam instead of providing thrust. This problem was overcome by installing plates over each propeller to prevent the water surface from breaking. These measures helped, but problems continued to plague the new ship.



By 1941, World War II and the cost of fuel oil, supplies and their limited availability and the inadequate income of the very short first season took its toll. The company went into bankruptcy April of 1942. After the bankruptcy, the steam engines were commandeered for the war, laying up the Mt. Washington II for the duration of the war.

The Mt. Washington II was valued at $64,000 at the time of the bankruptcy. It was then sold to General Ship and Engine Works for $30,000.

In 1946 after World War II ended the new owners of the Mt. Washington II, Carl and Byron Hedblom, who were also the principal owners of General Ship and Engine Works, rebuilt the vessel adding two Enterprise diesel engines with 615 horsepower each. They upgraded her with electrically powered auxiliaries. A new pilothouse was built one deck higher to improve visibility and passenger space. Finally there was a slight name change from S.S. Mt. Washington II to M.V. Mount Washington. The II was dropped and the full spelling of Mount was implemented.


Winnipesaukee Steamship Company Flag - The Danish Flag with a Superimposed W for Winnipesaukee.
Courtesy of the Byron Carl Hedblom Collection



From the Webmaster Collection




From the McDude Collection

Since resuming operations a few other changes have been made to the ships appearance.
In 1951 a canopy was added over the third deck, which opened this area for the first time to passengers.
The stack was also raised to accommodate the new canopy.


From the Carguy Collection

Byron Hedblom retires in 1972, selling the company to the Winnipesaukee Flagship Corporation.

At the age of 78, Byron Hedblom comes out of retirement to oversee a project to lengthen the Mount Washington. On October 31, 1982 the Winnipesaukee Flagship Corporation had the vessel cut into two sections at the Center Harbor dry dock, then added a 100 ton, 24’ new section to extend The Mount Washington’s length to 230’. This increased interior seating capacity by 100.


Byron Hedblom oversees the Grand Opening
Photo Courtesy of the Byron Carl Hedblom Collection
Laconia Evening Citizen describes the scene
"A blast from the Mt. Washington's whistle, the two halves of the boat's 205-foot hull were separated with clockwork precision."


From the DRH Collection


From the JG1222 Collection

April 30, 1983 the Mount was re-commissioned the M.S. Mount Washington at the shipyard in Center Harbor. With the new length of the Mount all the docks had to be lengthened to accommodate the larger vessel.

From the Mee-n-Mac Collection

To this day, The M/S Mount Washington continues to be an iconic attraction for Lake Winnipesaukee and New Hampshire. Continuing the tradition that started with the first steamship, S. S. Mt. Washington in Alton Bay in the spring of 1882.



Be a part of history and book your cruise today!


Chateaugay gallery part I
Chateaugay gallery part II
Chateaugay gallery part III

Sources of information:
Farewell Old Mount Washington by Edward H. Blackstone
Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee by Paul H. Blaisdell
The Boats and Ports of Lake Winnipesaukee by Bruce D. Heald
And various websites historical in nature

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 05-13-2009 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Add photos and links
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Smile Related Flood Story

Excerpt from The story of the New England flood of November 1927, Mail Story of the Flood.

"The very heavy rainfall of Nov. 3 and 4 did not attract much attention here and we did not realize the serious conditions until trains were being annulled and no trains arrived or left the station during the afternoon of Nov. 4. We awoke on the morning of the 5th to find ourselves cut off from the world completely. Fortunately, the Chateaugay (Champlain Transportation Co. steamer) had not been laid up although it had stopped making regular trips. The manager of the Lake Transportation Co. agreed to put the steamer into service until the crisis was over. On the morning of Nov. 5, the boat service was begun and transfer clerk went to Port Kent where he got in touch with chief clerks from Albany. Arrangements were made to have mail for Burlington and vicinity dispatched via Port Kent, and trucks were engaged to transport mail from Port Kent Station to steamer dock. Registered mail was exchanged with Rouses Point & Albany Trains 1, 3 and 6. For 18 days this service continued without interruption until the Rutland Railroad was in running order."
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
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Smile History of the Mount

Rattlesnake Gal,

This is great! Very interesting.

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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Question Length of Chateaugay & Mount

Funny thing, in all of my research most books and references to the length of the Chateaugay is 203', not 205', except for the write up with this picture.



Click here to see it larger in PhotoPost

Anyone have an extra long tape measure?

This ad indicates the vessel is 203'


Click here to see it larger in PhotoPost

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 05-07-2009 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Add photo and link
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Smile 1940 Article About the Move to Lake Winnipesaukee



The article states Chateaugay had been moved from New Jersey to Lake Champlain, but we know that Chateaugay was built in Shelburne, VT in 1888.

Article courtesy of McDude. He passed it along to me knowing that I have been working on the history of the Chateaugay for quite a while now. Thanks McD!
Sorry it took me so long to put together.

Article in PhotoPost for larger viewing
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default

Great Thread!!! Love the history.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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Question Chateaugay Pilot House



I don't suppose that the old pilothouse from Chateaugay is around in Moultonborough anymore.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:30 AM   #9
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Default Doubt it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
I don't suppose that the old pilothouse from Chateaugay is around in Moultonborough anymore.
I'm sure it would violate many of their myriad of zoning/building codes.

Super interesting info tho.... thanks!
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:05 AM   #10
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Question Where Are the 500 People?



It doesn't look like there are 500 people on board the Mt. Washington II just after the launch.
Perhaps it is an urban legend?

Wow! Look at the crowd and the boats!

Click here for PhotoPost picture for larger viewing.

An excerpt from Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society The M/S Mount Washington
To the boys of the town, the perfect fillip to the day came when the boat, for which a six-inch clearance had been expected under the Weirs bridge, had to stop, and they were invited to jump on to provide ballast. It took but a few minutes to get the necessary "ballast," the flags were put on again and then the boat received a tumultuous welcome at the home dock at Weirs.

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 05-08-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: add excerpt and link
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Many Thanks To Wendy!

This morning I received permission from Byron Hedblom's Eldest Granddaughter, Wendy Lubetkin to post historic photographs from Byron Hedblom's fantastic memorial website.
In turn she may be asking for use of some of our photos, which sounds like a great deal to me.

Be sure to look through the above post for the new additions!

More history of the Mt. Washington will be added to their site soon.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:32 AM   #12
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Default Mount Washington Launch

I am acquainted with man, now in his mid 80ís, who was one of those who jumped onto the Mount from the Weirs Bridge the day of the launch. He and his brother were in their teens and rode their bikes to the Weirs to await its arrival. Whether there were 500 people or fewer, I donít know, but he says there was a sizable crowd. The two youths were more than happy to oblige when asked to board the ship and they jumped down from the bridge. It was exciting for them to take part in making history that day.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:32 PM   #13
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Thumbs up incredible

this is incredible, and I just printed it all out to share with visitors to the camp
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