The WAVE – Part I

03 May

The new iron steamer Wave, one of the four boats intended for the Peoples Daily Line between Savannah and Augusta, is now ready to leave Norfolk, Va.  The Clyde, the second steamer of this line, will be ready to leave Norfolk, about the 20th inst.  Two more boats, which are unnamed, are on the stocks at Norfolk, and by advices received will be ready to leave Norfolk about the middle of August next.  The stockholders of the line are prominent merchants of Augusta and Savannah.  M. A. Cohen, Esq., is the President of the Company, which is a chartered one.

[DAILY CHRONICLE & SENTINEL – Augusta, GA – July 6, 1870]

We are glad to learn that the new iron steamer Wave, for the People’s Line, has just been completed, and was to have left Norfolk, Va., on Saturday.  Three more iron steamers are in the course of construction in that city for the same line, and when they are completed will form a daily line between Augusta and Savannah.

The river measured four feet and nine inches at the toll-bridge yesterday.

[DAILY CHRONICLE & SENTINEL – Augusta, GA — July 14, 1870]

Some time ago we gave an account of the organization of a steamboat company, under the title of The People’s Daily Line of Steamers, whose stockholders are among our most prominent merchants.  The Swan, Katie and Carrie, well known steamers in our waters, will run in conjunction with the four new steamer now nearly finished, the Wave, Clyde, Isis and Vestra, making ten trips each week between Savannah and Augusta.  A large floating warehouse will be provided for convenience in discharging freight in bad weather, and which will afford facilities with railroads in housing and delivering all goods intact.

The aggregate capacity of the steamers is 1,300 tons weekly, which, with the reduced rates of the freight, and other considerations, offers greater facilities to the merchants of this city and the interior than they have ever had on our river.

The facilities for carrying passengers are ample, and everything has been done that will conduct to their comfort.

[DAILY CHRONICLE & SENTINEL – Augusta, GA – August 27, 1870]

We were informed yesterday that Mr. John A. Moore had purchased four Savannah River boats.  The boats are the Wave and the Clyde – both new boats, which have been on the river a short time – and two boats now at Wilmington Delaware, which have not yet been brought to this city.  The price paid was forty thousand dollars.  The boats are all light draft vessels, built to do business on the Savannah in summer as well as winter.  They were constructed for a stock company composed of merchants and planters living in this city and between here and Savannah, Messrs. Branch, Sons & Co., of this city, were the largest stockholders in the Company.

[Daily Chronicle & Sentinel – Augusta, GA – June 2, 1871]

NOTES:  On the 17th of August, 1871, the boiler of the steamer R. E. Lee exploded killing and injuring several persons.  The steamer was under command of Capt. William W. Skinner, 1st cousin of Capt. Samuel W. Skinner.

Local Dots.

—  The steamer Wave, of the Express Line, is on her way here from Augusta.  She will probably arrive in a few days.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, November 1, 1871]

The steamer Wave, formerly plying between Augusta and Savannah, on the People’s Line, having been purchased by the Wilmington (N. C.) Express Steamboat Company, arrived in Savannah Friday on her way from Augusta to her point of destination.

[Daily Chronicle & Sentinel – Augusta, GA – November 5, 1871]


— The steamer Wave, purchased for the Express Steamboat Company to run regularly between this city and Fayetteville, arrived here yesterday.  The Wave is a new iron hull, stern wheel steamer, having only run for three or four months on the Savannah river before she was purchased by the above company.  She will be in command of Capt. W. W. Skinner.  Her carrying capacity is 300 bales of cotton or 600 barrels of rosin.

[Wilmington Star – November 12, 1871]

THE CAPE FEAR RIVER is still high, though the freshet has abated.  ‘four boats, The Wave, North State, Governor Worth and Cumberland, have been up to Averasboro, 26 miles above here, and have brought down all the produce and naval stores ready for shipment in that section.  An immense quantity of rosin is thus thrown into market that has been awaiting shipment.  We still hear of much loss from timber floating away.  Persons from here have gone down the river to tide water region and near Wilmington to gather saw timber that has floated off.  There is said to be much profit very often in recovering rafts and parts of rafts of timber that thus get scattered along the banks and swamps in the low country.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, N. C. – Thursday, February 22, 1872]



Spring and Summer Schedule.


The following schedule will be run by the “Express Steam Boat Company,” commencing on Saturday, 27th inst., and continue thereafter until further notice:

The Steamer Wave, Capt. W. H. Skinner, will leave Fayetteville every Wednesday and Saturday at 7 o’clock a. m., and Wilmington every Monday and Thursday at 2 o’clock p. m.

The Steamer D. Murchison, Capt. A. Garrison, will leave Fayetteville every Tuesday and Friday at 7 o’clock a. m., and Wilmington every Wednesday and Saturday at 2 o’clock p. m.

The above are both substantial iron boats, recently repainted and refurnished and offering the best accommodation to travelers.

The proprietors tender their thanks for the very liberal patronage extended to their line of boats and beg leave to assure the public that the comfort of the patrons of the line in the future shall be a speciality on the part of the commander of each boat.

J. D. WILLIAMS & CO., Agents

Fayetteville, N. C.


Wilmington, N. C.

[The Eagle – Semi-Weekly – December 10, 1872]

THE Steamer D. Murchison of the Express Line is laid up for repairs and painting.

The Steamer Wave of the same line went up river yesterday after naval stores which are said to be in abundance about Averasboro awaiting shipment.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Semi-Weekly – March 22, 1873]

STEAMER WAVE of Express Line goes off this morning (Saturday) for Wilmington on first trip after having been thoroughly repaired, repainted and generally overhauled.  She presents a very fine appearance in her new dress and does much credit to her gentlemanly commander.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Semi-Weekly – May 17, 1873]

COLUMBUS COUNTY AND THE LOWER CAPE FEAR.—Last Monday, 22nd September, we left here for Superior Court at Whiteville, Columbus county.  We went down the river on the steamer Hurt, which is now in charge of Capt. A. H. Worth, one of the most gentlemanly and obliging captains that has ever been on our river.  He understands his business well and is a favorite with the people along the river.

Through freight and travel between Fayetteville and Wilmington is not so large now as formerly, but way freight and travel have increased.  For the whole 112 miles of river and country for several miles on each side, the merchants, farmers and people have no other way of shipment or channel of trade except these river steamers.  At all the landings freight is put on or off once or twice a week or oftener.  Each steamer gets from one to a dozen passengers each trip at way stations.  Very often, too, there is a large number of through passengers.  At least 50 turpentine stills and 50 country stores along in this river country ship by these steamboats.  Freight charges have increased somewhat too since the steamboat lines have been consolidated.  Nearly all the rosin, spirits and cotton bought in the Fayetteville market are sent by the boats.

There are now eight steamboats on this river running to Fayetteville and owned by Fayetteville men, viz:  the Hurt, North State, Murchison, Governor Worth, Wave, Lee, Cumberland and Juniper.  The last two are now undergoing repairs and will not be running for a few weeks.  Heavy groceries for this town and vicinity still come by the boats, but most of Fayetteville goods and travel is now by the railroad to Raleigh and North.  Merchants here who are large stockholders in the boats ship by the river, and the freight by this route is said to be cheaper but takes one or two days longer.

These eight steamers cost $150,000 or more, averaging near $20,000 apiece.  Some of them cost $30,000 while others cost $12,000.  The boats make each two trips a week from Fayetteville and back at a cost of $75 to $100 per trip.  The time usually 12 to 16 hours from here to Wilmington, 112 miles, and fare $4, including bed-room and meals.  Altogether this is the most delightful and cheap route of travel in North Carolina or in the Southern country.  The boat officers are very polite and the table fare is good.

Columbus county is low and swampy and thinly settled.  The recent immense rains have flooded the country… {The majority of the rest of the article is about Columbus county, Whiteville, its people, businesses, Scuppernong wine, politics, and railroads, etc.}

We came up Thursday evening on the steamer North State, Capt. T. J. Green commanding, and there is not a more pleasant boat on the river.  It has most obliging officers and certainly affords first rate accommodations of every kind.  To pass off the time we beat an influential Methodist friend of ours the best two out of three at euchre.

[The Eagle – Fayetteville, NC – Semi-Weekly –  Saturday, September 27, 1873]


The steamer Wave, which has recently been undergoing repairs, has been changed into a strictly freight boat, the cabins and other accommodations for passengers having been removed.  She has now commenced running regularly again under command of Capt. Robeson.

[Wilmington Star – November 18, 1874]

River News.

The boats arriving from Fayetteville yesterday report a sudden rise in the river at that place of from 34 to 40 feet, caused by a heavy rain on Wednesday night.  It is presumed that the freshet extends to the other rivers, in which case we may expect quite an influx of naval stores which have accumulated during the prevalence of low water.

The boats report heavy fogs on the river.

The steamer Wave broke her eccentric on the downward trip, which delayed her arrival somewhat.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Saturday, January 1, 1876]

Express Steam Boat Company.


THE STEAMERS of this line will, until further notice, leave Fayetteville as follows:

Steam. MURCHISON, Tuesdays and Fridays, at 8 A. M.

Steam. WAVE, (for freight only) Mondays and Thursdays, at sunrise.


[Carolina Gazette – Thursday, January 20, 1876]

OVERBOARD.—A passenger on the steamer Wave, last Saturday night, fell overboard while the boat was in motion, and was drowned before help could be given him.  He was a Mr. Porter, of Bladen County, and lived near Little Sugar Loaf.

[North Carolina Gazette – Fayetteville – Thursday, June 1, 1876]

A Sad Case of Drowning.

A young man by the name of Alexander M. Porter, aged about 22 years, was drowned off the streamer Wave, on her upward trip on Sunday morning last, about one o’clock , near Kelley’s Cove, some fifty miles up the river.  Mr. Porter, who resided at Little Sugar Loaf, Bladen county, where he kept a little store in connection with his farm, had been in Wilmington on a trading expedition.  He had been drinking considerably during the day, and soon after dark lay down on the deck and went to sleep.  At the hour mentioned, he got up and commenced walking about, when, dazed and bewildered, as he probably was at the moment, after waking from a sound sleep, he unconsciously walked overboard.  The fireman, who was standing nearby, clutched at this clothing as he fell, but could not retain his grasp, and the unfortunate man immediately disappeared in the darkness and was seen no more.  Capt. Robeson backed his boat and made every possible effort to find and rescue him, but without avail.  His body was recovered Tuesday morning, and from a severe cut on the head, it is evident that he must have gone under the wheel and been struck by the boxes, in which case he was so stunned that his death was no doubt almost instantaneous.

Deceased was well known among business men here, and was generally liked by those with whom he was in the habit of trading, and he is also said to have been much esteemed in the neighborhood in which he lived.  He leaves no family.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Thursday, June 1, 1876]

— The steamer Wave, while on the way up the river Tuesday night, struck on a stump, which went through her bottom.  Capt. Robeson, getting clear of the dangerous projectile, placed a blanket in the hole made by it and returned to Wilmington.  He then discharged his cargo, and yesterday the steamer was hauled upon Messrs. Cassidey & Ross’ ways to undergo repairs.

[? – June 27, 1876]

THE STEAMER “ WAVE. “–  Capt. W. A. Robeson’s Steamer, “ The Wave, “ of the Express Steamboat Co.’s line, swung loose from her wharf last Monday morning, and glided down the river – as handsome a craft as has rested on the bosom of the Cape Fear in many a long day.  The “ Wave “ was formerly run entirely as a freight-boat, but for the past few weeks she has been on “the ways,” being repaired and re-modeled; and now, with a bright dress of paint and new cabins and state-rooms, presided over by the clever and courteous captain , the “ Wave ” can offer as pleasant accommodations to the wayfarer between Fayetteville and Wilmington as any of its popular competitors for public favor on the river.

[North Carolina Gazette – Thursday, June 21, 1877]

— The steamer Wave is now at Fayetteville, where she is to be thoroughly overhauled.  She will be supplied with new engines from the works of Pusey, Jones & Co., Wilmington, Delaware, and her cabins are to be enlarged for the accommodation of passengers.  It is claimed that with her new engines the Wave will be the fastest boat on the river.

[Wilmington Star – May 24, 1878]

— The steamer Wave, which has been absent at Fayetteville for some weeks past, where she has been undergoing thorough repairs, has put in her appearance again in a new and handsome dress, which is decidedly becoming and sets her off to great advantage.  Among her improvements is a handsome lady’s cabin, neatly carpeted and upholstered, a smoking room, and a general overhauling of the rooms in general, which have been put in fine condition.  Her cabins are also to be provided with new and handsome furniture.  There are two state rooms, both fixed up in good style, a reading room, a promenade deck for the ladies, and other conveniences, besides which the promenades on either side of the upper deck have been considerably widened.  She has been furnished with a  splendid new engine, and newly painted throughout, white and yellow being the predominating colors.  “Long may she Wave!”

[Wilmington Star – June 22, 1878]

Wilmington Morning Star - July 4, 1878

Wilmington Morning Star - July 4, 1878


—  The new boiler for the steamer Wave has arrived, and the boat will be detained here for a week or two in order to have the old boiler removed and the new one placed in position.  The capacity of the new boiler is nearly fifty per cent. greater than that of the old one.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Tuesday, March 18, 1879]

Local Dots.

—  The new boiler for the steamer Wave will be put in at the wharves of the W. & W. R. R., where it has been unloaded from the cars.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, March 19, 1879]


—  The steamer Wave has received her new boiler and has been overhauled and otherwise improved.  It is expected that she will resume her trips on the river next Tuesday.  It is now claimed that she will be the swiftest boat on the line between this city and Fayetteville.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Saturday, March 22, 1879]

River and Marine.

—  The steamer Wave left for Fayetteville yesterday afternoon with a full freight.

[Wilmington Morning Star – March 28, 1879]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on May 3, 2009 in Uncategorized


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