Steam Boat Landing


Chap. 0204 An Act to incorporate the Newburyport, Boston and Haverhill Steamboat Company.

BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, arid by the authority of the same, as follows :

Section 1. John Porter, John Wood and Micajah Lunt, with their associates and successors, are hereby made a corporation, by the name of the Newburyport, Boston and Haverhill Steamboat Company, with power to build, purchase, hold, convey, hire and employ one or more steamboats, with such apparatus and appendages as may be found necessary for steam navigation and the transportation of merchandise and passengers, between Newburyport and Boston, and in and about the harbor of Newburyport, and on the Merrimack River, for the term of twenty years.

Section 2. The capital stock of the said corporation shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars, to be divided into shares of one hundred dollars each, and for the purposes of such steam navigation, this corporation shall have all the powers and privileges, and be subject to all the duties, liabilities and restrictions, set forth in the thirty-eighth and forty-fourth chapters of the Revised Statutes. [Approved bi/ the Governor, April 9, 1S46.1

Charles William Morse (son of Charles C. and Sarah (Jackman) Morse was born in Haverhill April 21, 1851. 1888 and 1889 he was the treasurer of the Haverhill Steamship Company. (87)

The City of Haverhill a side-wheel steamer that belonged to the Haverhill, Newburyport and Boston Steamboat Company, in 1902 also had a regular route to Boston. (Built in 1902 in East Boston by Robert F. Keough and measures 121 x 24 X 10.7 and weighed 343 gross tons.

Haverhill Steamboat Express Company was incorporated March 30, 1877. Received total abatement from taxes in 1884.

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Merrimack Valley steam boat Company incorporated in Dec 30, 1879 (Name Change from Frederickton Steamboat Company). Officers in 1888: Treasurer: Benj Page, Directors: J. H. Farnsworth, James E. Gale, Eben Mitchell, Ezra Kelley, H. C. Tanner, Dr. James R. Nichols,  and Charles W. Chase.

The Merrimac Valley Steamboat Company, owned by E.P. Shaw of Newburyport, would carry passengers to visit to the hotels and cottages that were being constructed along the beach.

The first steamship to travel the Merrimack River and transport passengers between Haverhill and Newburyport began operating in 1829. Travel by steamship became popular among residents of the Merrimack Valley. One of those ships, a stern-wheel drive 200-ton steamer called the “Merrimac,” was built in 1892 at Ring’s Island in Salisbury for the Merrimack Valley Steamboat Company.

The ship traveled between Haverhill’s Chase’s Wharf, also called “steamboat landing,” and the mouth of the river (Salisbury’s Black Rocks) twice each day. During the ship’s lifetime, it transported thousands of people from the Merrimack Valley to the seashore. The cost of a ticket was 25 cents.

The Merrimac was put out of service in 1915, when speedier cars provided a quicker means of transportation.

advertises the Merrimack Valley Steamboat Company which leaves Haverhill for Salisbury Beach from June 17 to July 1 daily at 9 a.m. and returns at 6:45 pm. From July 1 to September 8 the times are 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Merrimac River Steamboat Company: George Ward Cook President

J. D. Shepard was the Salem agent of the line, and a 
side-wheeler, called the "Merrimack," was the first 
steamer. She originally had run on the Merrimack river 
from Newburyport to Haverhill, and was about 150 feet 
long. Mr. Thomas Swasey of Marblehead, a member of 
the 23rd Massachusetts Infantry, says that during the 
Civil War this steamer was used as a transport on the 
Southern coast and rivers, and that she drew so little 
water « that a heavy dew would float her." When it 
was desired to land the troops the " Merrimac's " bow 
would be run up on the beach, the men would jump 
ashore, and then the steamer would back off.

During the summer of 1855, the side-wheeler " Law- 
rence," 146 feet long, originally built to run on the 
Merrimack river between Newburyport and Haverhill, 
plied between Salem and Boston,...

During the seasons of 1900 and 1901, William Stop- 
ford & Co. ran the propeller " O. E. Lewis " (previously 
mentioned) between the Willows and Boston, and in 1902 
and 1903, the ^propeller « City of Haverhill." She also 
called at Gloucester, and was a fine new steamer, built at 
East Boston in 1902, of 343 tons, 121 1-2 feet long, and 
24 feet beam, and originally was intended to run between 
Haverhill, Newburyport and Boston, but after a few trips 
it was understood the enterprise was bought off by the 
Boston & Maine Railroad. The same might be said of 
nearly all our coastwise steam lines unless controlled by...

The steamer " Merrimack," built in Haverhill, William 
Haseltine, master, made her first trip from that town to 
Newburyport, Tuesday, April 8, 1828. For several years 
she carried passengers and merchandise, during the sum- 
mer months, from Haverhill and other towns on the river 
to Newburyport.

In 1831, the steamboat M Mechanic " made excursions 
in the bay and to Haverhill ; 3 and about the same time 
the steamboat M Fanny " was advertised to leave New- 
buryport for occasional trips to Boar's Head, Isles of 
Shoals, Portsmouth and Boston. 

In 1834, a small, well-built boat, named the " Essex," 
owned by Michael Pearson and George Fitz of Newbury- 
port, carried passengers during the summer months to 
Plum Island and Haverhill. 5 She was propelled by horse 
power, and was in service on the river for several seasons. 
In July, 1835, the steamer u Citizen " was advertised to 
make excursion trips from Ferry wharf to Portsmouth 
and Boston. 

John Porter, John Wood, Micajah Lunt and their asso- 
ciates were incorporated April 9, 1846, by the name of 
u The Newburyport, Boston and Haverhill Steam Boat 
Company," with power to build and employ one or more 
steamboats for the transportation of merchandise and 
passengers between Newburyport and Boston and on the 
Merrimack river. 1 On the thirtieth of June following, 
the side-wheel steamer "Lawrence," just completed, com- 
menced her daily trips between Newburyport and Haver- 
hill. She left Central wharf at one o'clock P. M. for 
Haverhill, returning the next day, leaving Haverhill at 
half-past eight o'clock in the morning, and stopping, on 
the way up and down, to take passengers at the usual 
landing places. 2 She was sold in 1848, and employed in 
the transportation of passengers between Norwich and 
New London, in Connecticut, and in 1855 ran between 
Salem and Boston, as before noted.

John Burrill, John Huse, John N. Wills and their 
associates were March 3, 1847, incorporated by the name 
of "The Merrimack Steam Navigation Company," and 
authorized to build or employ one or more steamboats to 
be used in the harbor of Newburyport or on the Merri- 
mack river. 8 June 16, 1848, a new steamer, named the 
" Lawrence," made her first trip from Newburyport to 
Haverhill, and thence to Lawrence. 4 She was a small 
boat, drawing only fifteen inches of water, and was em- 
ployed on the river for one season only.

In the summer of 1849, the steamer "California," built 
in Waterville, Maine, Eleazer R. Walker and Albert Rus- 
sell, owners, and A. Fuller, master, made two trips daily 
between Newburyport and Haverhill; and at the same 
time the steamer " Sarah," Capt. Isaac Shepard, was ad- 
vertised to take merchandise and passengers from New- 
buryport to other towns on the river. Both these 
steamers were sold in September of that year to be taken 
to Boston and thence to San Francisco.

In July, 1850, the Newburyport Daily Herald an- 
nounced the arrival of the steamer " Narragansett," John 
B. Tuttle, master. She was in active service on the river 
for two or three months. On the fourteenth of August, 
the steamer " Merrimack," built under the supervision of 
David M. Coffin, in the yard owned by John Currier, jr., 
began to make regular trips between Newburyport and 
Haverhill, under the command of Capt. William Pritchard. 
July 25, 1854, she was advertised for sale by a committee 
appointed for that purpose, consisting of Micajah Lunt, 
William Graves and Mark Symons. In June, 1855, she 
was sent to Boston and sold at auction. She also ran 
from Salem to Lowell Island in 1851. 

In the meantime, the steamer " C. B. Stevens," built 
in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1851, owned by Nicholas 
Varina, Samuel Stevens, Thomas Buntin and others of 
Newburyport, made her first trip from Newburyport to 
Haverhill June 23, 1852, Charles B. Stevens, Captain, 
and on July 26, 1853, the Newburyport Herald announced 
the sale of this steamer at auction in Boston. The 
steamer " Lawrence," a new and commodious boat, much 
larger than any before employed on the river, was char- 
tered and run, at a pecuniary loss, for several months, for 
the purpose of stimulating trade and developing the re- 
sources of the Merrimack valley. The steamer "Silver 
Star," Thomas McKinney, master, made excursions to...

In 1878, Captain E. E. Stimpson and Christopher C. 
Cook of Haverhill purchased the " City of Frederick- 
ton," a stern-wheel beat, built in the province of New 
Brunswick in 1872. She made her first trip to Haver- 
hill June 24, 1878, but having a foreign register, was un- 
able to obtain a license to carry freight or passengers. In 
April, 1880, she was sold to Hon. Edward P. Shaw, 
taken to Black Rocks, and converted into a restaurant. 
Her engine and boilers were transferred to the steamer 
«' City of Haverhill," built in Newburyport by John T. 
Fillmore for the Merrimack Valley Steamboat Company, 
which was organized in December, 1879. The steamer 
" City of Haverhill " was launched March 25, 1880. The 
last named steamer made her first trip from Haverhill to 
Black Rocks June 18, 1880. She was about one hundred 
and seventy-five tons measurement, and was propelled by 
a stern wheel. In 1895 she was sold, and was lost on her 
way to Key West, Florida. 

The *« Merrimack," a stern-wheeled steamboat, about 
two hundred tons register, built in 1892 by Lemuel Mar- 
quand, at Ring's Island, Salisbury, for the Merrimack 
Valley Steamboat Company, was in active service during 
the summer months, making two trips daily from Haver- 
hill to Newburyport and Black Rocks, until about 1912. 
She was then laid up in Newburyport for a long time, and 
finally, in 1915, burned for the old iron, etc., in her hull. 

The steam-tug " Thurlow Weed," built in Albany, 
N. Y., in 1862, was purchased by Newell Boyd of Ames- 
bury, Sargent & Holden of Haverhill, and others. She arrived in Newburyport June 5, 1864, and for twenty-five 
or thirty years was employed in towing vessels in the 
harbor and on the river. In 1875, the steam-tug " Mat- 
tie Sargent," built in Philadelphia in 1871, was pur- 
chased by Newell Boyd, Sargent & Holden, John O. 
Davis and others. She was commanded by William Rob- 
inson for one or two years, and afterwards by Capt. John 
O. Davis and Capt. Clemens E. Davis. During the sum- 
mer months the barge « Queen of the Merrimack," built 
for Newell Boyd and others at Salisbury in 1870, made 
frequent excursions from Haverhill and other towns on 
the river to Black Rocks, in tow of the steam-tug " Mat- 
tie Sargent." Subsequently, the Haverhill Steamboat 
Express Company was organized for the purpose of tow- 
ing vessels and carrying passengers to and from Haver- 
hill and other towns on Merrimack river. The above- 
named steam-tugs, with the barge " Queen of the Merri- 
mack,'' and steam-propeller " General Bartlett," built in 
East Boston, were purchased by the new company and 
used in transporting passengers and merchandise for sev- 
eral years. The " General Bartlett " arrived in New- 
buryport June eighteenth, and made her first trip to 
Haverhill June 24, 1879, under the command of Capt. 
John O. Davis.

The "Startled Fawn," built in Philadelphia in 
1875, for the transportation of passengers attending the 
Centennial fair in that city, was purchased by the Pen- 
tucket Navigation Company, and made her first trip July 
15, 1879, from Newburyport to Haverhill. She was 
afterward employed in the development of travel and the 
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