Steamboats 1870-74


Built: 1870, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Type: Sternwheel wooden hull packet. Mountain riverboat.
Size: 190′ x  33′ x  6′.
Engines: 15’s – 5 ft.
Boilers: Three boilers
Capacity: Could carry 200 tons and 30 cabin passengers, drawing only 20 inches, un-ladened.

Operating on the Missouri, Yellowstone and Osage Rivers, the FAR WEST earned a place in history in 1876, under the able command of Captain Grant Marsh. He had taken General Alfred H. Terry and Custer’s columns to the Little Big Horn and while waiting with supplies, the FAR WEST crew received the news that Custer and his command had been wiped out two days before.

Later, on June 30, the wounded of Major Reno’s 7th Cavalry detachment were loaded onto the Far West, and Marsh traveled all day and night carrying the wounded to the hospital at Fort Lincoln, making the run from Fort Pease, Montana, to Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, 710 miles in 54 hours  ~ the fastest trip ever made by a steamboat on the Missouri, despite the ever-shifting sandbars and the numerous snags that made navigation on the Missouri River extremely hazardous.

On July 5, the FAR WEST reached Bismarck, and four days later, Captain Marsh headed the Far West back up the Missouri to the Little Big Horn with supplies and horses for the soldiers left there.

In this scene, the FAR WEST is pictured in the early morning at the mouth of the Rosebud, as George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry breaks camp before the campaign.

The Far West was snagged and lost on the Missouri River at Mullanthy Bend, seven miles below St. Charles, on October 30, 1883.


More boats to be added …