Preparation For, And Arrival of the City of Fayetteville

13 Apr


A Jacksonville Firm Building a
Modern River Steamboat to be
Run Between Wilmington and Fayetteville.
She Will Cost $28,000.

The Jacksonville Times-Union, of Thursday, says:

“At present the Merrill-Stevens Engineering Company is engaged in the building of three steamboats, the largest of which will be the Fayetteville, to cost $28,000.  This boat will have a steel hull and will be a stern-wheeler.  She will be engaged in the passenger business on the Cape Fear river, running between Fayetteville and Wilmington, N. C.

“The steamer will be 125 feet long, and will have a beam of 24 feet.  She has been designed here, and with a special view of having speed and a light draft.  While also built for freight, she is especially designed for a passenger trade.  She will be owned by the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company.  The engines will have a horsepower of 400, and the boilers will be water-tube boilers.

“There are to be twenty staterooms, and they will be fitted up in handsome style and finish.  The electric lighting system will be very complete.  The boat will accommodate about 200 passengers and will be thoroughly modern in all respects.”

[Wilmington Messenger – June 22, 1901]

The Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company.

We are informed that Messrs. C. H. White & Co., bankers, of New York, and Mr. E. W. Cooke, general manager of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company (and who is also chief engineer of the Cape Fear Power Company), who have acquired control of the steamboat company, are pushing the work connected with it rapidly, and will have their first steamer the “City of Fayetteville” (which has heretofore been described by us) on the river before May 1st.

The company contemplates operating four steamers, and will add one after another as fast as the business demands them, which it is expected will be as fast as they can be constructed.

Mr. Cooke, who was in Wilmington yesterday, told the Wilmington Messenger that “The City of Fayetteville” will be an exceedingly handsome and commodious boat, with a speed of fifteen miles an hour.  It is the purpose to make the trips between the two cities quicker than has ever been attempted before, the trip  down from Fayetteville to be made in fourteen hours.  She will leave Fayetteville at 6 p.m., and arrive in Wilmington at 8 a.m., and leave Wilmington at 5 p.m., and arrive in Fayetteville at 8 a.m.

“The City of Fayetteville” has been described in these columns before, but it will not be amiss to repeat a few of the details:

She will be a stern wheeler 140 feet long and 30 foot beam.  She will have accommodation for fifty passengers.  There will be over 100 electric lights on the boat and electric call bells for all apartments.  Each state room will be supplied with running water.  There will be a “Directors” room, which it is said, will be luxurious in its appointments.

Mr. Cooke, while in New York recently, contracted with Lord & Taylor for handsome furnishings for the steamer.

A feature of “The City of Fayetteville” will be a powerful search light, which will play along the beautiful river banks at night.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, February 20, 1902]

Work at the River.

Work is progressing on the piling at the wharves of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company, and it is probably that the pile driver will be brought to bear this week on the huge under-pinning set in the earth.  The opening of the street leading to the wharf will make the distance up to town not more than that from the other landings.

[Fayetteville Observer –  Thursday, July 3, 1902]


A Remarkable Wharf.

Work on the wharf of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company is about complete, and one can now form some idea of the remarkable features of this splendid piece of engineering.

From the top of the river bank to the low water mark, an inclined wharf, 140 feet long and 100 feet wide, has been constructed at an angle of 30 degrees.  Down this incline two steel cars, such as are in use on the Alpine railways, will run.  The platform of these cars is 9 by 10 feet, and each has a capacity of five tons and when coupled together ten tons can be hauled up or down at a time.

These cars are run on steel rails and are attached by steel cables to a Lambert hoisting engine of 45 horse power.  Two floating piers will be placed on the water attached to the wharf in such a manner that they will rise and fall with the river.  Between these piers is an open space of 20 feet to permit the cars to run along side the steamers and freight transferred directly from the boat to the cars.  These cars will also transport passengers to and from the boats.

This inclined wharf is a remarkable piece of work, and is so strongly constructed that I will stand the assaults of the fiercest freshets without the slightest injury.  At the top of this incline is a platform leading to the main warehouse, the cold storage warehouse and the station house, all of which buildings have been completed and are models of their kind.  The big hoisting engine is also inclosed in a well-constructed building.  The station house has two waiting rooms, one for white and the other for colored passengers, and will be heated by steam pipes.  The company’s flag is size 14 by 18 feet will float from the eminence on a 70 foot pole.  The lowest stage of water at the dock is 7 feet with a splendid basin for maneuvering the boats.

The work was planned by Mr. E. W. Cooke, General Manager of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company, and was constructed under the supervision of Mr. Ed. Nelson, Mr. Cooke’s assistant engineer, and Messrs John K. Strange and D. S. McRae.

The company has just had constructed a road to connect with the highway leading to the centre of the town which the city is now having put in good shape.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, September 25, 1902]

“City of Fayetteville” Should Reach Here
by Monday.

The steamer “City of Fayetteville” left Jacksonville, Fla., Monday afternoon and is expected to reach Wilmington Saturday.  She will reach Fayetteville probably Monday, and here she will be furnished by Lord & Taylor, of New York.

The Wilmington Dispatch of Monday afternoon says:

While in Jacksonville, Fla., the past week, a representative of the Dispatch had the pleasure of seeing the steamer City of Fayetteville, which was built there for the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company.  Much has been said in the papers about the steamer and not a few people have begun to doubt the boat’s coming to the Cape Fear.  The City of Fayetteville is no myth.  The boat is completed and lying at a dock at Jacksonville.  We cannot learn the cause of the delay in bringing her to Wilmington, but she is ready.

The steamer is new and very handsome.  She is elegantly furnished and her appointments throughout are luxurious.  In speaking to the Dispatch man about the boat, Captain Lund, of the Clyde’s City of Jacksonville, which plys up the St. Johns, said the City of Fayetteville was the finest river boat he had ever seen.  It is to be hoped that the steamer will eventually be brought to the Cape Fear.  A trip on her from Wilmington to Fayetteville would be splendid.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, December 18, 1902.]


City of Fayetteville Drawing

City of Fayetteville Drawing from Marine Engineering June 1902

The several page article includes text and drawings of the Profile of Steamer, Midship Section, Saloon Deck Layout, Engine & Foudation, couple of pictures of workers, probably not actually working on the City of Fayetteville.

[“Stern Wheel River Steamer“, Marine Engineering – Vol. 7 – June 1902 pp 280 – 283.]

From Monday’s Daily.
Arrived at Wilmington Yesterday.

A telegram was received here today from General Manager Cooke, stating that the steamer “City of Fayetteville” would leave Wilmington tonight at 12 o’clock, and would reach Fayetteville tomorrow afternoon.

The City of Fayetteville reached Wilmington from Jacksonville, Fla., yesterday morning at 10 o’clock.  A dispatch from Wilmington last night says:

The steamer City of Fayetteville, built by the Merrill-Stevens Engineering Company, of Jacksonville, Fla., for the Wilmington & Fayetteville Steamboat Company, arrived this morning at 10:20 o’clock, in tow of the tug Cecilia, of Charleston.  The new boat is one of the largest and very finest that ever plied the Cape Fear and is admirably adapted to freight and passenger traffic, in which she will be used.  She is fitted with her own electric light plant and a powerful search-light will be of great use and convenience in following the dark channel at night.  Her accommodations for passengers are superb.  In the first and second decks are state room accommodations for 300 first and second-class passengers.  The rooms have all modern toilet attachments and are heated by steam.  The steamer will be elegantly furnished during the next few days at Fayetteville after which she will go into commission on the river.

Mr. A. A. Lisman, of Mt. Vernon, N. Y., president, and Mr. E. W. Cooke, of Fayetteville, general manager of the company, were here to meet the boat.  The officers in charge are Capt. H. B. Fromberger, master; Capt. Lucins L. Moses, Chief engineer; James B. W. Maudesley, assistant engineer, and E. Nelson, mate.  The captain and crew are all from Jacksonville and came up with the boat.


From Tuesday’s Daily.

City of Fayetteville will be Here Tonight

We received the following telegram this afternoon:
Wilmington, N. C. Jan 6 – 2:40 p. m.

The Observer, Fayetteville, N. C :

The Steamer City of Fayetteville sailed for Fayetteville this morning at 8:30 o’clock.
Mr. Brunson is local editor of that excellent paper the Evening Dispatch of Wilmington.

The steamer is expected to arrive here at 10 o’clock tonight, but as it is her first trip, we hardly think she will reach here before 11 or 12.

The Wilmington papers have long and glowing accounts of the new boat.  The Star prefaces a long article as follows:

“Those who have borne with fortitude the disappointment that always followed the almost semi-weekly announcements in the newspapers since last Spring that the steamer City of Fayetteville was all but over the bar at Southport, on her way to Wilmington, will find especial satisfaction in the official announcement now that she is here.

“The magnificent new steamer, which really has every appointment of the finest Mississippi river boat, arrived Sunday morning at 10:20 o’clock from Georgetown, S. C. in tow of the Charleston tug Cecelia, and tied up at the Clyde steamship wharf.”

The steamer will remain here ten days for the purpose of being fitted out.


From Wednesday’s Daily.
Arrived Here This Morning


The City of Fayetteville has arrived.  This much talked of and anxiously expected boat drew up at her splendid new dock this morning at 9 o’clock.

President Lisman and Mrs. Lisman, General Manager Cooke and Secretary S. H. MacRae made the initial trip up the Cape Fear on the steamer.

A great number of people have visited the boat today, and everyone was delighted and surprised at her magnificence.

The hoisting machinery and alpine cars of the dock work splendidly, and there were few too timid to make the delightful descent and ascent on these novel cars.  Comfortable steps also lead from the wharf to the steamer’s side, but only a few preferred them to the cars.

The City of Fayetteville left Jacksonville, Fla., on Christmas Eve, and reached Wilmington Sunday.

She left Wilmington yesterday morning, and steamed leisurely up the Cape Fear, attracting much attention at each landing place, where crowds had assembled to greet the new boat.  The boat’s journey from Florida was a most interesting one, but not without its drawbacks:

The tug towing her broke down and was obliged to give up the trip at Charleston.  The tug Cecilia was chartered at Charleston and she sailed with her on December 30th.  That night the weather forced them into Georgetown harbor and there they waited for favorable weather.  She crossed the Georgetown bar at noon Saturday.  When about 20 miles out a thick fog settled over the ocean and the wind shifted around to the southeast and began blowing a small gale.  The sea soon became very rough.  The conditions were most unfavorable for a boat of the City of Fayetteville’s class and considerable uneasiness was felt.  It was decided that the best thing to do was to keep on the trip.  The Fayetteville got up steam and worked her wheel at full speed, which steadied her.  After a very stormy run they crossed the Cape Fear bar at 10 o’clock Saturday night without a mishap.

The City of Fayetteville was built by the Merrill-Stevens Engineering Company, at Jacksonville, Fla., for the Fayetteville & Wilmington steamboat Company, and was launched last spring.  She is undoubtedly one of the handsomest river boats in southern waters, and is probably better equipped and will be more luxuriously furnished than any river boat south of the Potomac.

The officers of the Fayetteville & Wilmington Steamboat Company are:

President, A. A. Lisman, of New York.
Vice-President and General Manger, E. W. Cooke, of Fayetteville.
Secretary, S. H. MacRae, of Fayetteville.
Treasurer, John K. Strange, of Fayetteville.
The steamer’s officers are:
Captain, H. B. Fromberger.
Mate, E. Nelson.
First Engineer, L. L. Moses.
Second Engineer, J. H. Mawdesley.

The purser and stewardess are yet to be selected.  Besides the officers, the boat’s crew will consist of 2 pilots, 2 firemen, 2 cooks, 4 waiters, 4 deck hands and a stewardess.

The new boat is 140 feet long, 30 feet wide and draws only 16 inches of water light.

The saloon deck has 14 first-class state rooms, with sleeping accommodations for 30 upper and 20 lower cabin passengers.  All the state rooms open on promenade decks 6 feet wide and extending two-thirds around the boat.  On this deck are the dining room; smoking room; ladies cabin; ladies’ and gentlemen’s toilets; purser’s room and stewardess’ room.

On the lower or main deck are two after rooms for colored passengers; two rooms for deck passengers, one for men and the other for women, with folding beds; crew’s quarters in the forecastle for 12 men; engine and boiler rooms forward and the engines cased in the after part; a freight room 30×50 feet, with a large space on the bow.

She has an electric light plant, supplying 120 incandescent lights distributed all over the boat, and a 13-inch electric searchlight.  Her wheel is 12 feet in diameter, with 45 revolutions per minute, giving a speed of over 12 miles an hour on 150 pounds of steam.

General Manager Cooke says the boat’s schedule will be as follows:

Leave Wilmington Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, arriving Fayetteville the morning following, and leave Fayetteville Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, arriving Wilmington the next morning.  She will lay over in Wilmington Saturdays and Sundays to run excursions on the river.  She will stop for passengers at the principal points along the river.  She will carry through freight to a large extent, and will be run in connection with the Clyde Line and Merchants & Farmers Steamboat Company, of which the Highlander is the principal boat.  Mr. T. D. Love will be her agent in Wilmington.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, January 8, 1903]

Between Three Boat Lines.

The three steamboat lines that ply the Cape Fear between Fayetteville and Wilmington, to-wit:  The Cape Fear and Peoples Company, of which Col. W. S. Cook is General Manager, which owns the Hurt and Hawes; The Merchants & Farmers Steamboat Company, of which Mr. Oliver Evans is President, which owns the Highlander and Driver; and The Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company, which owns the “City of Fayetteville,” of which Mr. A. A. Lisman is President, and Mr. E. W. Cooke General Manager, have formed a traffic arrangement; and Col. W. S. Cook has been made the agent at Fayetteville, and Mr. T. D. Love the agent at Wilmington for the three lines.

There was a meeting Friday of the stockholders of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company, at which the following stockholders were present:  Messrs. H. W. Lilly, W. L. Holt, W. M. Morgan, R. P. Gray, A. A. Lisman, S. H. MacRae, L. A. Williamson, E. H. Williamson and E. W. Cooke.

The meeting was for the purpose of reviewing the financial condition of the company, and to take preliminary steps for the operation of the line, pending the annual meeting of stockholders in February.

Under the new arrangement all the boats of the several lines will use the splendid new wharf of the Fayetteville and Wilmington Steamboat Company.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, January 15, 1903]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

1 Comment

Posted by on April 13, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “Preparation For, And Arrival of the City of Fayetteville

  1. Neill Lindsay

    January 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Dear Bill,

    Enjoyed our discussion on the above. Please feel free to come by any time. Thank you again,
    Neill Lindsay


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