I had the great fortune to leave work today just as the glorious steamship Katahdin passed the eastern shore of the island. She gave a hearty bellow from her great horn as she passed by in all her splendor. I followed in her wake for a short time enjoying the magnificence of this, one of the last great steamships, here or anywhere in this beautiful country.
The Kathadin or, “The Kate,” as she is affectionately called was built just over 100 years ago, in 1914, at The Bath Iron Works. She is the oldest vessel still afloat built at Bath and one of only a few surviving early lake boats in Maine. After a full restoration by The Moosehead Marine Museum, she still proudly tours Moosehead Lake in the summer months, delighting all who see her and offering cruises to passengers several times each week.
As we headed toward Mt. Kineo, I marveled at the passing of time. Here we were, over 100 years later, and Katahdin was still making the same trek she was built for in 1914. It is a testament to the character of the people inhabiting these great North Woods of Maine. They are truly stewards of this land they call “God’s Country,” and of all it’s wonderful history and tradition.
According to the National Register of Historic Places:
“Katahdin is a bluff-bowed steamer, 102 feet long, with a beam of 28 feet and a hull depth of 9 feet. Her hull is steel, with two wooden decks. Her typical draft is 3 feet 9 inches. Her original configuration included enclosed passenger spaces on two decks, with an open area at the stern on the lower deck, and surrounding the enclosed area on the upper deck. The pilot house is located at the front of the upper deck enclosure. The main passenger entryways are located on the lower deck on either side of the pilot house. She was shipped in sections to Greenville, where final assembly took place. Her primary use when launched was to deliver tourists and supplies to the Mount Kineo Resort from Greenville Junction, but she also offered cruises on the lake.”
For more information about the Moosehead Marine Museum or to book a cruise or private event, visit Katahdincruises.com.