The Frank Sessoms

10 Apr

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The steamer’s, Frank Sessoms, importance was that she was entirely built upon the Cape Fear.  Many other vessels had been built locally, but their boilers and steam engines were built by companies from other parts of the country.  The Sessom’s boiler and machinery were built by the Wilmington Iron Works, of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Capt. Black’s New Boat Leaves on
Her First Trip up Black River—
The Lisbon to Run on the
Northeast River.

Capt. D. J. Black’s new steamboat, Frank Sessoms, made her first trip yesterday on her run up the Cape Fear and Black Rivers to point Caswell and Clear Run.  She left here at 4 o’clock with a number of passengers and a good freight list for the merchants in Bladen, Pender and Sampson counties.
Capt. Black kindly showed the MESSENGER reporter over his new boat and we must say he has every reason to be proud of it.  He designed the boat himself and she was built under his directions.  As we have heretofore mentioned, the length of the steamer is 100 feet and the width is twenty-two feet.  Her freight compartments will carry 500 barrels of flour, and she has ample accommodations for fifty passengers, and room for 300 on excursion trips.
On the upper deck aft there is a ladies’ saloon ten by twelve feet in size, and forward on the same deck is a gents’ smoking and lounging room twelve feet by twelve feet eight inches in size.  Both rooms have heaters, and the boat has waterworks, lavatories, and conveniences to add to the comfort of passengers.  In the ladies’ saloon there are six comfortable berths, and between the saloon and the gents’ smoking room there is a saloon eight by nine feet with sleeping room for six men.  Adjoining it is another room about the same size containing one single and two double berths, suitable for a family or a party of several travelling together.  The captain’s cabin near by is a commodious room furnished with a desk, berths and other conveniences.  The dining room is ten by twelve feet and is well lighted and comfortably heated.  All the rooms and saloons are nicely carpeted and furnished.  The wheelhouse on the hurricane deck is a nice room and it also contains two double berth.  The engine room is large and conveniently fitted with berths for the crew.  Besides the captain the crew consists of the engineer and five other men.
The new boat carries 150 life preservers, and besides two good sized life boats on the hurricane deck there is a large yawl boat on the main deck capable of holding forty people, so that there is ample provision for saving life in the event of an accident.  The yawl boat is one picked up by a ship at sea with thirteen people who had deserted a wrecked vessel.
All in all the Frank Sessoms is a nice boat, and Capt. Black tells us that she will make from ten to twelve miles an hour.  All the machinery is brand new, and was furnished by the Wilmington Iron works.  The boat will make trips to Clear Run, which is in Sampson county, 100 miles from Wilmington.
The people of Black river section will be proud of the new boat, and as everybody will want to take a trip on her Capt. Black expects to bring down lost of folks during Welcome Week.
The steamer Lisbon, which has heretofore been making trips to Point Caswell and Clear Run, is to be run on Northeast river as high up as Shaken, in Duplin county, 150 miles from Wilmington.  She is to be in charge of Captain C. P. Moore, [Moore – name misspelled) and will make two trips a week.  She will make her first trip up the latter part of next week.

[Wilmington Messenger – November 16, 1894]

Capt. Black’s New Boat.

The new steamboat Frank Sessoms, Capt. D. J. Black, left here late last evening on her first trip up Black River, with a large freight and some fifteen or twenty passengers.  Her destination is Mill Creek, one hundred miles above Wilmington.  Her captain says she will make two trips each week hereafter, leaving Wilmington every Tuesday and Friday.
A brief description of the Sessoms has heretofore appeared in the STAR.  Captains Sherman and Driver, two of the oldest steamboat men on the river, say that she is the best boat of her class ever on the river.  She was built in Wilmington, under the personal supervision of her owner and master, Capt. D. J. Black; even her machinery, which was turned out by the Wilmington Iron Works.

[Wilmington Star – November 16, 1894]

The Frank Sessoms to Run
on the Cape Fear.

Mr. R. R. Love, agent, gives notice that on and after next Friday the steamer Frank Sessoms will make regular trips up the Cape Fear river.  The steamer is nicely fitted up for the accommodation of travelers and the carrying of freight, and will be in command of the popular and experienced Capt. Robeson.  See advertisement.

[Wilmington Messenger – January 23, 1895]


Editor Star:–Those who came down on the excursion Thursday from Black River on the steamer Sessoms, praise the kind treatment of Capt. Black and Mr. Frank Sessoms who were in charge.  On the return Thursday evening the freight deck was converted into a pavilion, and many shook the fantastic to the lively music rendered by Mr. J. M. Corbett’s string band, until Long View, their destination, was reached, when the ever thoughtful and clever Frank Sessoms started the ball rolling by giving a complimentary supper and ball in his large hall to all hands, who enjoyed themselves until the “wee sma” hours of daybreak.  After the dance they parted well pleased with their trip.

[Wilmington Star – August 17, 1895]

The steamer Frank Sessoms has been taken off the Cape Fear and put on Black river to assist in moving the great bulk of freight that has been accumulating faster than the regular boats on that line could move it.  We congratulate our steamboatmen on their increased volume of business.

[Wilmington ? – February 1, 1896]

The Cape Fear Transportation Company
Gets Control of the
Black River Steamboat Company.

The Cape Fear Transportation company, which owns the line of steamboats plying on the Cape Fear river between Wilmington and Fayetteville, on yesterday bought out the Black River Steamboat company, or rather Capt. D. J. Black, owner of the steamers Lisbon and Frank Sessoms, which run on the Cape Fear and Black rivers between Wilmington, Point Caswell and Clear Run.  Col. W. S. Cook, of Fayetteville, general manager of the Cape Fear Transportation company, came down Wednesday evening and was here when the purchase was consummated.
The Cape Fear Transportation Company owns the steamers D. Murchison and A. P. Hunt, [Hurt – misspelled] which run to Fayetteville, and the steamer E. A. Hawes, which runs to Point Caswell and Clear river.  The A. P. Hunt [Hurt – misspelled] is laid up at present, and the D. Murchison makes regular trips between here and Fayetteville.  We understand that the E. A. Hawes will continue the run up Black Run, and the Lisbon and Frank Sessoms will be laid up for the present.
Capt. Black has been steamboating for thirteen years, and is exceedingly popular with the people wherever his boats touch.  He is always genial, clever, and accommodating, and will be greatly missed.
Capt. Black had the steamer Frank Sessoms steamed up yesterday, and was taking on a cargo for Fayetteville, but when the sale was made, the fires were drawn and she was left in the hands of her new owners.

[Wilmington Messenger – July 10, 1896]

Excursion Yesterday on the Steamer
Frank Sessoms.

The steamer Frank Sessoms, Capt. Ward, arrived yesterday at 3.30 P. M. with an excursion from Mill Creek, Long View, Point Caswell, Heading Bluff, and other points up Black River.  There were about seventy-five people on board.  They had a delightful trip down the river.  Excellent violin music was discoursed by Messrs. H. S. Devane and son, and the excursionists danced nearly all the way down.
After spending an hour or so in the city, the Black River people boarded the Wilmington and went to Carolina Beach to spend the night.  The free dance at the big pavilion was greatly enjoyed, the visitors being reinforced by a number of Wilmington people.  The last rain left the beach at 11 P. M., but many of the excursionists stayed over and will come up early this morning.  They will visit Wrightsville Beach to-day and leave for home at 8 o’clock to-night.  The committee of arrangements is composed of Capt. J. D. Black, Messrs. John Hawes, J. A. Dew, John D. Beatty, Jesse Lucas and John Zibelin.

[Wilmington Star – August 19, 1898]

Sale of the Steamer Sessoms.

The Sessoms left her wharf in Campbellton Monday night for her last trip down the Cape Fear.  She was sold in this city that day by Col. Cook, Manager of the Cape Fear River Transportation Company, to Marks Moses, of Georgetown, S. C., who will use her as a freight boat on the Santee river.  She will be towed to Georgetown from Southport this afternoon by the tug Marion.
The steamer Frank Sessoms, a seventy-five ton boat, was built in Wilmington in 1896, and has since been plying the waters of the Cape Fear.
It is not improbable that the Sessoms will be replaced by a fine new modern steamer of light draught.

[Fayetteville Observer – Daily Edition – July 12, 1899]

The Sessoms Off.

The Wilmington Star of this morning says:
The tug Marion left at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon with the steamer Frank Sessoms in tow for Georgetown, S. C.  The details of the Sessoms’ purchase by Mr. Marks Moses, of that town for use as a freight boat on the Santee river, were given in yesterday’s Star.  As the Marion steamed down the river yesterday with her tow, the steam contingent of the harbor craft blew a farewell salute, which was responded to generously by both the Marion and the Sessoms.

[Fayetteville Observer – Daily Edition – July 13, 1899]

Purchased by M. Moses, of Georgetown,
S. C., Yesterday—Will be Towed to
Destination by Marion.

The steamer Frank Sessoms, of seventy-five tons burthen, which has been employed as a freight boat plying between Wilmington and Fayetteville, N. C., by the Cape Fear River Transportation Company, was sold yesterday to Marks Moses, of Georgetown, S. C., the consideration being $3,000, according to the record of the sale seen yesterday at the Custom House.
The Sessoms will be used by her new purchaser as a freight boat on the Santee river, and in charge of Capt. Daggett, of Charleston, S. C.  The tug Marion, Capt. Edgar D. Williams, will tow her down to-day if nothing prevents.
The Sessoms was built here in the year 1896 and has been on the river in the capacity stated above since that time.  Capt. Ward, now of the steamer Buck, was her master until a few months ago when she was sent to Fayetteville to undergo repairs.  She arrived here yesterday preparatory to her trip to Georgetown.
The principal owners of the steamer are Messrs. D. McEachern, Mayor W. S. Cook, Capt. W. A. Robeson, Col. A. H. Slocumb and Mr. Jno. Thomson, of Fayetteville.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – July 14, 1899]

News of Interest.

The Wilmington Star of this morning says:
Capt. Ward, of the Buck, who assisted in piloting the steamer Sessoms to Georgetown, has returned.  He says the trip was a pleasant one, and the Marion towed her into the port without the slightest accident.

[Fayetteville Observer – Daily Edition – July 15, 1899]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

1 Comment

Posted by on April 10, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “The Frank Sessoms

  1. bgibson135

    January 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Loading for a Trip Up the River (Georgetown, SC)

    Boarding the Frank Sessoms
    *I had not seen this photo before.

    A Busy Waterfront (The MERCHANT, FRANK SESSOMS, & LOUISA of GEORGETOWN at Georgetown, SC)


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