The Steamer D. MURCHISON – Part II

07 Jun



—  Capt. Smith, of the steamer D. Murchison, reports that there had been a rise of about twenty-five feet in the river up to the time he left Fayetteville Tuesday morning, and that it was still rising slowly.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Thursday, March 29, 1883]

Express Steamboat Co.




ON and after April 1st and until further notice the Steamer D. Murchison, Capt. J. C. Smith, will leave Fayetteville every Tuesday and Friday at 7 o’clock A. M. and Wilmington every Wednesday and Saturday at 2 P. M.

Steamer Wave, Capt. W. A. Robeson, will leave Fayetteville every Wednesday and Saturday at 7 o’clock A. M. and Wilmington Monday and Thursday at 2 o’clock P. M.


Agents, Fayetteville, N. C.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, April 12, 1883.]

Collision on the River. -– Saturday night, in rounding one of the bends on the Cape Fear, the steamers Murchison and Wave came into collision, but without material damage to either. On arrival at Wilmington the colored stewardess, Lottie Hollingsworth, was found dead in the cabin, but whether from heart disease with which she was afflicted, or in consequence of the collision, is not yet known here.

[Fayetteville Observer – Wednesday, January 23, 1884.]

A Mule Commits Suicide

Wilmington Star – May 9, 1884

— Capt. Jeff Robinson and his carpenters came down on the steamer D. Murchison, yesterday, for the purpose of making necessary repairs upon the steamer Wave, which will be hauled up on Capt. Skinner’s marine railway to-day.

[Wilmington Star – June 19, 1884]



— The main shaft attached to the wheel of the steamer D. Murchison has been out of order for some time past, and a new one has been ordered to replace it and will probably arrive in a few days, when she will be laid up for a short time and the Wave will run her schedule.

— On one occasion during the trip of the steamer Wave between this city and Fayetteville – the first since the late disaster – she made 14 miles in one hour and seven seconds. Her machinery is in perfect order, she runs smoothly, draws less water and makes better time than before the accident.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Tuesday, September 2, 1884.]



— The steamers Wave and D. Murchison arrived from Fayetteville yesterday. The latter was due on Saturday, but did not reach here until yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock. It seems that she and the Wave got stuck on the shoals near Elizabethtown, and stayed on them about ten hours, finally getting off some time during Sunday, and then the Murchison had a good deal of trouble before she finally got over all the shoals. The steamer Murchison will not return to Fayetteville at present, but will go on the marine railway for a general overhauling and repairs, repainting, &c.; and in the meantime the Wave will run her schedule.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Tuesday, September 9, 1884.]

— The steamer D. Murchison came off the ways Thursday evening and yesterday started up the river on a trial trip, with a flat in tow, expecting to go as far as Elizabethtown.  She has been in the hands of the carpenters, painters and machinists for some weeks past, during which she received a thorough overhauling, and is now almost as good as new.  Particular attention has been paid to the improvement of the ladies’ cabin.  Her wheels are also new, and much of the old machinery has been replaced.  We congratulate Capt. Smith on the fine appearance of his boat and hope he will soon have plenty of water to test her in her new toggery.

[Wilmington Star – October 18, 1884]

Fire on the River

A flat-boat loaded with cotton and naval stores, in tow of the steamer D. Murchison, just arrived from Fayetteville, caught fire and burned to the water’s edge about a mile above the city, yesterday at 11 a. m.  the freight on the flat consisted of 124 bales of cotton, 4 barrels of spirits of turpentine and 178 casks of rosin.  The four casks of turpentine, 25 bales of cotton, and a few barrels of rosin were thrown overboard and saved.  The rest of the cargo was burned with the boat.  The loss on freight was fully covered;  Messrs. Williams & Murchison, the consignees, having insurance to the amount of $6,000, in the Hartford of Connecticut, Phenix of Brooklyn, and the Home of North Carolina, with Messrs. Atkinson & Manning.  The flat-boat was not insured.

The officers of the Murchison claim that the fire was caused by sparks from the smoke-stack of the steamer Cape Fear; the officers of the latter boat, however, say that they smelt something burning before they reached the flat, and as they passed called to the hands on board that something was on fire, and almost immediately afterwards saw one of the bales of cotton in flames.

The burning flat was made fast to the shore, but before it was entirely consumed the lines parted and the boat drifted down stream, lodging on the opposite side of the river just above Point Peter.  It was towed up the river again by the tug Marie, and subsequently the “Atlantic” fire engine was sent up on a lighter to extinguish the flames.  The “Atlantic” was brought back to the city about 6 p. m.

[Wilmington Star – November 26, 1886]

Steamer D. Murchison, which has been lying at her wharf for some weeks undergoing repairs, putting in a new boiler, &c., is now running regularly.  The large amount of freights compelled her to leave before the work was entirely completed.  The carpenters, however, will continue to work upon her as she runs.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, March 3, 1887]

—The steamer Murchison brought down a party of about thirty ladies and gentlemen from Waddell’s Ferry.  They spent the day at Carolina Beach and left at 8 o’clock last night for home on the Murchison.

[Wilmington Star – August 25, 1887]

The First Shipment.

The steamer D. Murchison, which left yesterday afternoon for Fayetteville, carried up as a part of her freight a shipment of Western bacon for parties at Pilot Mountain station, on the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railroad.  The shippers were Messrs. W. I. Gore, Son & Co.; of this city.  This, we learn, is the first shipment of Western produce from Wilmington to that portion of the State.  We trust it is but the forerunner of a large trade with that section—a trade that will assuredly spring up with the extension of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Railroad to this city.

The time has been when all merchandise from Northern markets for Western North Carolina passes through Wilmington.

[Wilmington Star – December 30, 1887]

The Steamer D. Murchison.

The steamer D. Murchison, Captain James Smith, which for several weeks has been undergoing repairs at her wharf, in this city, left for Fayetteville yesterday afternoon at 2 o’clock.  Her stern wheel has been renewed, the after cabin rebuilt, the engines overhauled and repairs made generally throughout her dimensions.  The repairs done make her about as good as a new craft.

[Wilmington Messenger – February 16, 1888]

The steamer Murchison has been treated to a brand-new set of furniture.  She is now all complete for the perfect accommodation of passengers.  We learn that last week she made the run from Fayetteville to Wilmington, including stoppages for wood, in ten hours, and expected to do the same when she left here Tuesday morning.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, April 5, 1888]

The steamer Murchison, Capt. Smith which was compelled to return to her wharf on Friday last, having broken her crank pin and knocked out the cylinder head, has been repaired and left on Tuesday to begin her regular trips.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, May 31, 1888]

Steamer D. Murchison.

The crank pin of the steamer D. Murchison broke Friday morning while the boat was on the way down the river, causing the cylinder-head of one of the engines to blow out.  The accident occurred near Prospect Hall, in the upper part of the river.  The Murchison returned to Fayetteville, where her machinery will be repaired.  She is expected to resume her trips to this city next Tuesday.

[Wilmington ? – June 1, 1888]


Steamer D. Murchison

An opportunity to visit Carolina Beach or Wrightsville this season is offered by Steamer D. Murchison to parties not less than twenty or over fifty. A round trip for one fare, meals included. Leaves Fayetteville every Tuesday at 8 o’clock AM returning leave Wilmington about 7 o’clock P.M. after the arrival of the Steamer Sylvain Grove. Select your party and apply to the Captain for a day, as but one such party will be carried at one time.

WILLIAMS & MURCHISON. Agents Wilmington.

A. B. WILLIAMS. Agent Fayetteville

[The Fayetteville Observer – June 14, 1888.]

Steamer Murchison Sold.

The steamer D. Murchison, of the Express Steamboat Co., of which Messrs. Williams & Murchison are the agents in this city, has been sold.  The purchasers are the Cape Fear & People’s Company, represented by the steamer A. P. Hurt, and the Bladen Steamboat Company, represented by the steamer Cape Fear.  The price paid for the Murchison is $12,000.  She will continue to run on the Cape Fear between Wilmington and Fayetteville as a passenger and freight boat, under the command of Capt. James C. Smith, her days of arrival and departure here being the same as heretofore.

[ ? – January 11, 1889]

Sale of the Steamer D. Murchison.

The steamer D. Murchison has been sold by the Express Steamboat Company, to the Cape Fear and Peoples and Bladen Steamboat Companies, for $12,000.  The steamer will continue her regular schedule on the Cape Fear river, and will make her first trip under the new management to-day.

[Wilmington Messenger – January 12, 1889]

The Cape Fear Steamers.

A formal transfer was made yesterday of the steamer D. Murchison to the Cape Fear and People’s and the Bladen Steamboat Companies, who, as announced several days ago in the STAR, have jointly made the purchase.  This is practically a consolidation—all the steamboats of the two lines now being under one management, with Maj. T. D. Love, agent at this port and Col. W. S. Cook agent at Fayetteville.  The price paid for the Murchison is, as has been stated, $12,000.

With this new arrangement no change will be made in the running of the boats.  They will have the same days as heretofore for arrival and departure, and the Murchison will still be under the command of Capt. Smith, a most careful and efficient officer, under whose management the Murchison has acquired a popularity with the public that any one might envy.

[Wilmington Star – January 13, 1889]

— The river steamer A. P. Hurt is laid up at Fayetteville for repairs and repainting. The steamer D. Murchison has taken her place on the line, and arrived here yesterday under command of Capt. Sandy Robeson, formerly in command of the Hurt.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Wednesday, June 5, 1889]

— Fayetteville Observer:

—– Capt. J. C. Smith, a well-known and very efficient steamboat man, has recently relinquished his command of the Murchison, being succeeded by Capt. R. H. Tomlinson, and will have charge of the new ferry boat to ply between Point Peter and the city wharves of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley railroad at Wilmington.  The boat is in construction at Wilmington, Del., whither Capt. Smith goes to remain until it is completed, and bring it around to Wilmington.

[Wilmington Star – September 24, 1889]

Steamer D. Murchison.

The steamer Murchison was delayed in her arrival yesterday from Fayetteville, and some apprehension was felt, as it was known that she left that place at noon Tuesday last.  Between 4 and 5 o’clock, however the boat came in, all right, with a good freight and several passengers.  The delay was caused by the steamer running aground on a new sand bar formed in the channel near Sugar Loaf.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – September 27, 1889]

The Cape Fear and Its Pleasant Travel.

The steamer Murchison has recently been overhauled , painted inside and out, its state-rooms renovated, and the craft put in thorough order from the water line to the smokestack-tip – and she will soon be “walking the waters like a thing of life” under the efficient command of Capt. R. H. Tomlinson.  The same “heroic treatment” is in store for the Cape Fear, she having already modestly gone into retirement in view of the new “rigging” about to be donned.

You may gird us all about with the iron rail, intersect us and network us; but the fondness is still within us for the good old-time river riding – the dolce far niento of travel – with its charming glimpses of still life gracing every curve of the picturesque stream.

[Fayetteville Observer – June 11, 1891.]

Almost a Water Spout.

Capt. R. H. Tomlinson, of the Murchison, came in Tuesday morning, and reports a fearful downpour of rain at Hawley’s Ferry Monday night.  He says the rain came down in sheets resembling very much his idea of a water-spout.  So great was the rain that he found it necessary to tie up the boat for a couple of hours.

[Fayetteville Observer – July 2, 1891.]

A Little More of a Very Good Thing.

The unmarred success and unalloyed enjoyment of the Cape Fear river excursion given last month by the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Cornet Band very naturally emboldens the corps to repeat that very excellent thing.  The second excursion of the season will take place next Thursday evening, 23rd inst., on the handsome steamer Murchison, Capt. R. H. Tomlinson commanding, with the concomitants of nice refreshments and delightful music.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 16, 1891]

Wilmington Star - October 19, 1892

Wilmington Star - October 19, 1892

— The steamer D. Murchison left here yesterday afternoon for a point above Elizabethtown, where she will meet the steamer Lisbon and a transfer of freight will be made.  While the low stage of water continues the Lisbon will run in connection with the Murchison.

[Wilmington Star – November 2?, 1892]

Accident to the Steamer D. Murchison.

The steamboat D. Murchison, from Fayetteville, arrived here yesterday afternoon in a disabled condition.  Monday night, on her way down, she ran into a lot of drift wood, near the mouth of Black river, about fourteen miles from Wilmington, and broke her wheel and rudder.  Capt. Robeson, in command of the boat, came to the city yesterday on the steamer Lisbon, and sent the tug Pet up to the scene of the disaster to tow the Murchison to the city.  The Murchison brought a full freight of cotton and naval stores.  She will be taken off the line for a few days until the necessary repairs are made.  Mr. Madden, the agent here, telegraphed to Fayetteville for the steamboat A. P. Hurt, and the latter was expected to arrive here this morning.

[Wilmington ? – January 12, 1894]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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