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Old 05-07-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
Rattlesnake Gal
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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 -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 03:07 PM. Reason: Add photos and links
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