The steamboat Ticonderoga
is America's last remaining side paddlewheel passenger steamer with a vertical beam engine. Commissioned by the Champlain Transportation Company, the Ticonderoga
was built in 1906 at the Shelburne Shipyard on Lake Champlain.
measures 220 feet in length and 59 feet in beam, with a displacement of 892 tons. Her steam-powered engine is fed by two coal-fired boilers and could achieve a maximum speed of seventeen miles per hour. Her full crew numbered twenty-eight, and included the captain, pilots, mate, deckhands, engineers and firemen to operate the boat. The purser, stewards, freight clerk, bartender, hall boys, cook, waiters, scullion and mess boys attended to passengers and freight.
Initially, the Ticonderoga
served a north-south route on Lake Champlain. Daily, she docked at Westport, New York, where she met the New York City evening train. The next morning she carried travelers and freight northward to St. Albans, Vermont. In addition to passengers, the Ticonderoga
transported local farm produce, livestock and dry goods on a regular basis; and during both World Wars, ferried U.S. troops between Plattsburgh, New York, and Burlington, Vermont. She also operated on the east-west run from Burlington to Port Kent, New York, and had
a brief career as a floating casino.
When more modern ferries made her obsolete the Ticonderoga was saved from the scrap heap by Ralph Nading Hill, a devoted Vermont historian, who persuaded Electra Havemeyer Webb to buy her.
In 1955, the Ticonderoga was hauled on specially laid tracks across highways, over a swamp, and through woods and fields to reach her permanent mooring on the Museum grounds.
Much of the boat's interior has been restored to its original grandeur. The Captain's quarters, dining room, and promenade deck contain furniture and accessories used on the Ticonderoga and other Lake Champlain steamboats. The Ticonderoga was named a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
Restored Historic Vessel, Restoration Exhibit
[Diagrams of] Hurricane Deck · Salon Deck · Main Deck · Engine Deck
[Photo caption reads]
The Ticonderoga departing Burlington harbor.