INQUEST.—Coroner Conoley held an inquest on Monday last over the body of J. F. Stidham, an Engineer, who fell into the River from the steam Boat Spray some two weeks ago and was drowned. Verdict of the Jury “accidental drowning.” The deceased was but a short time in this place; he is said to have been a man of unexceptionable integrity—much respected by those who knew him.—Wilmington Herald, March 2.
[The North Carolinian – Fayetteville, NC – March 5, 1853]
STEAMER “SPRAY” FOR SMITHVILLE,
THE Steamer “SPRAY,” Capt. J. W. Sterett, will leave for Smithville, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, at 9 o’clock. Returning same days, will leave Smithville at 3 o’clock, P. M., landing both ways at Orton wharf.
Passage 50 cents in all cases.
Freight 25 cents per barrel, other articles in proportion.
Apply to Capt. Sterett on board or to
A. H. VANBOKKELEN,
No. 2, South Wharves.
February 16th, 1853 139-ly
THE STEAMER “SPRAY,” commanded by Captain STERETT, well known to this community as a most skilful seaman and polite gentleman, is now making regular tri-weekly trips between this place and Smithville. The “Spray” is a handsome and swift boat. A Smithville correspondent speaks of her as follows:
“As far as the traveling public between this place and Smithville is concerned, we commend them to the steamer Spray, and its polite and skilful Captain, and we sincerely wish we could procure for it, the transportation of the mails.”
[Wilmington Journal – Friday, March 18, 1853]
EXCURSIONS TO OAK ISLAND.
STEAMER “SPRAY” will make excursions every [<<sailing ship image] Saturday during month of May to Oak Island, visiting Fort Caswell, and landing at Smithville and Orton.
Tickets $1; children under 12 years, half price.
May 5th, ’53.—[206-tf] A. H. VanBOKKELN.
[Wilmington Journal — Friday, May 6, 1853]
The steamer Spray, built in 1852, was the second vessel constructed by Pusey, Jones & Company of Wilmington, Delaware. It would be the first of this company’s vessels to be brought to the Cape Fear river. Others would include the A. P. Hurt, Governor Worth, and D. Murchison.
I know of two sets of artifacts remaining of the Spray.
The Fayetteville Transportation Museum, in Fayetteville, NC, has several items recovered from the wrecked remains, on display. These include lamp parts, a door knob & lock, etc. *A note upon the display mentions that the iron hull of the Spray was “banded” much like the bands upon a barrel.
One of the inclined steam engines of the Spray is on display, outdoors, at the headquarters of the Underwater Archaeological Branch located at Fort Fisher, NC (just south of Wilmington, NC). I seem to recall other Spray artifacts in a small building nearby.