Victoria’s great Steamboat Era
The steam powered side wheeler Isabel was one of the many stern- and side-wheelers built in Victoria in the last half of the 19th Century. She was launched in Victoria on July 25, 1866. Her scantlings were 146’ x 24’ x 9’. She was wooden-hulled and owned by Captain Edward Stamp (1814–1872). Stamp was a Master Mariner who had captained a steam transport during the Crimean War. In 1865 he formed the British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber and Saw Mill Company to serve his logging rights on Burrard Inlet.
Isabel was sold to the Starr Brothers in 1870 and put on the Puget Sound route running to Port Townsend where she connected with the Alida destined for Olympia. She ran in opposition to the Eliza Anderson. She was later relieved on this route by the North Pacific. In 1872 she was sold to Robert Dunsmuir who operated her on the Victoria – Nanaimo – Comox route. In her later years she was refitted as a tug. She was eventually replaced by the Joan and laid up in Victoria Harbour, until 1894 when her machinery was removed and the hull converted to a barge.
Over the years Isabel was commanded by a succession of captains: Captain Chamber (1866); Captain Pamphlet (1868); Captain Devereaux (1868-1870); Captain Dan Mossison (1870); Captain Starr; Captain Clancey; Captain Pamphlet; Captain Ramsey, Captain Landbourne, Captain Robisnson, Captain Wilson, Captain Brown, Captain Burr, Captain F. Revely; Captain J.P. Bendrot; and finally by Captain J.E. Butler.
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