The Steamer EVELYN

17 Feb




The steamer Wilmington is scheduled to sail for Charleston tonight to begin running between that city and Sullivans island.

Captain L. D. Potter, of the Wilmington-Southport Steamboat company, will be in charge of the steamer Wilmington on the trip to Charleston.

The Wilmington will be operated this summer by the Marine Construction and Towing company, of Charleston which concern recently chartered the vessel for the Charleston-Sullivans island run.

Captain Potter expressed regret over the fact that it is necessary to move the Wilmington, but he explained that the revenue from the steamer on the Wilmington-Southport run did not justify its operation on Cape Fear river.

The “steamer” Evelyn for some time has been plying between this city and Southport.

[ND – April 27, 1925]


Passengers and Crew take to Lifeboats When Flames Envelop Ship

     The steamer Evelyn, which recently replaced the Wilmington in the freight and passenger service between the city and Southport, burned to the water’s edge when off river buoy No. 16 yesterday afternoon.  The passengers and members of the crew were landed on the fish factory wharf without injury with the exception of Captain Blizzard, the last man to quit the ship, who was painfully burned.

     Only a charred hull bobbing on the river surface is all that is left of the gallant little craft whose decks have been trod by nearly every person in the city of Wilmington.

     The Eevlyn was carrying only three passengers on the trip up the river.  They were M. B. Cavanaugh, Miss Sallie Darby, and Miss Carrie DuBose.  The blaze was not attended by any undue excitement and the passengers and crew members were quickly put ashore in the lifeboats when it became apparent that the vessel was doomed.

     First indications of the fire came when the steamer, ploughing her way up stream, was off river buoy 16, wisps of smoke later were observed curling from the engine room windows.  A few moments later and the interior of the boat was a mass of flames.  Efforts were first made to extinguish the flames by a bucket brigade and through the use of fire extinguishers but the efforts of the crew were unavailing and the work abandoned as plans were made to lower the boats and put off from the doomed ship.

     This work was accomplished without mishap.  The three passengers were the first to enter the boats.  Then members of the crew piled aboard until all others were safely in the boats.  His refusal to quit the ship until the others had been taken care of resulted in his sustaining painful burns.

     The stack fell soon after the fire had spread throughout the ship although those aboard the craft remained cool and calm at all times, crew members working heroically to halt thhe spread of the flames until it was seen their efforts were without effect.

     The Evelyn was a 90 foot craft with a draft of seven feet.  She had engaged in the passenger and freight service between the city and Southport since the Wilmington was taken off that run and was frequently used as an excursion boat.  The loss is partially covered by insurance.

     Announcement was made last night by the owners of the vessel that the Wilmington-Southport business would be taken care of Monday and carried on as though nothing had occurred.

[ Wilmington Morning Star – Wilmington, NC — Sunday, October 31, 1926 ]

NOTE:  I guess it would be inferred from the 1927 WMS article regarding the renovation of the WILMINGTON into an automobile ferry, that the Steamer WILMINGTON was still in the Cape Fear area at the time of the burning of the EVELYN, but just not in service any longer.



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