Duwamish (fireboat)

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Duwamish (fireboat)
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Originally the Seattle fireboat Duwamish was built with a ram bow.
Location: Lake Washington Ship Canal, Chittenden Locks, Seattle, WA
Coordinates: 47°39′56.71″N 122°23′38.76″W / 47.6657528°N 122.3941°W / 47.6657528; -122.3941Coordinates: 47°39′56.71″N 122°23′38.76″W / 47.6657528°N 122.3941°W / 47.6657528; -122.3941
Built/Founded: 1909
Architect: Richmond Beach Shipbuilding Co.
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: June 30, 1989[1]
Designated NHL: June 30, 1989[2]
NRHP Reference#: 89001448
File:Duwamish fire boat.jpg
Duwamish fireboat at the Hiram Chittenden Locks, Seattle, WA.

The Duwamish reigned as one of the most powerful fireboats in the United States several times over her 75-year working life.[2] She is the second oldest vessel designed to fight fires in the USA, after the Edward M Cotter, in Buffalo, New York.[3]

She was built in 1909 in Seattle for the Seattle Fire Department in Richmond Beach Washington.[4] She was powered by "double vertical (compound) marine steam engines" capable of driving her at 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h).[3] She was equipped with three American LaFrance steam piston pumps rated at a capacity of 3,000 US gallons per minute (0.189 m3/s) each. She was originally designed to ram and sink burning wooden vessels, as a last resort, and was equipped with a ram bow for doing so. After an upgrade in 1949, the pumps delivered a total of 22,800 US gallons per minute (1.438 m3/s).[5][6] This capacity was only exceeded in 2003 by the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Warner Lawrence, which delivers 38,000 US gallons per minute (2.397 m3/s).[citation needed]

Duwamish is 120 feet (36.6 m) long with a 28-foot (8.5 m) beam and a 9.6-foot (2.9 m) draft.[4] Her registered gross tonnage is 322 short tons (292 t). Retired in 1985, Duwamish was purchased by the Puget Sound Fireboat Foundation, which is maintaining and restoring the vessel.[7] The Duwamish is active in the local Sea Scouts organization, a program of the Boy Scouts of America.[citation needed] The vessel is moored at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. Visitors may board the vessel when volunteer staff is available.[7]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.[2][8]

It is a city landmark.[citation needed]

See also


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "DUWAMISH (Fireboat)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftps.cr.nps.gov%2Fnhl%2Fdetail.cfm%3FResourceId%3D2076%26ResourceType%3DStructure&date=2009-12-29. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "An excellent example of a typical fireboat found in any major American port city through much of the 20th century. While earlier tugboats modified for fireboat use and employed as auxiliary fireboats may exist, DUWAMISH (1909) is the second oldest surviving fireboat built specifically as a firefighting vessel in the U.S." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Delgado (1988). "Duwamish Fireboat: National Historic Landmark Study". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nps.gov%2Fhistory%2Fmaritime%2Fnhl%2Fduwamish.htm&date=2009-12-29. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "National Park Service - Maritime Heritage Program: HISTORIC SHIPS TO VISIT". National Park Service. 2006-08-17. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nps.gov%2Fmaritime%2Fships%2Flists%2Fstat_2pa.htm&date=2009-12-29. "Built: 1909, RICHMOND BEACH SHIPBUILDING CO, RICHMOND BEACH, WASHINGTON. Length: 120, Beam: 28, Depth of Hold: 9.6, Gross Rons: 322. Hull: STEEL. Preservation Status: GOOD CONDITION, 85% ORIGINAL FABRIC, LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES, REF. NO. 89001448, DESIGNATED A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK, 6/30/89." 
  5. "Fireboat Duwamish history". Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fireboatduwamish.org%2Fparent%2Fhistory.htm&date=2009-12-29. 
  6. "Fireboat Duwamish the boat". Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fireboatduwamish.org%2Fparent%2Ftheboat.htm&date=2009-12-29. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Charlotte Hsu (2006-08-18). "A new life for an old boat?". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fseattletimes.nwsource.com%2Fhtml%2Flocalnews%2F2003207463_duwamish18m.html&date=2009-12-29. 
  8. James P. Delgado (July 9, 1988) (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration: Duwamish / Fireboat Duwamish. National Park Service. http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/89001448.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-22  and Accompanying 10 photos, exterior and interior, from 1988 and 1929PDF (1.46 MB)

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