Background on the Lake Washingon Steamers:
Based on our research and video documentation, we believe Target #1 is the remains of the passenger steamer Elfin.
Elfin at dock in Kirkland.
The Elfin is located straight out from Houghton (present day Carillon Point) in 125 feet of water:
Chart showing locations of Targets 1 & 2.
The small passenger steamer, Elfin, was built at Pontiac in 1891 by E. F. Lee for Captain Frank Curtis. She was 55 feet long with a beam of 13 1/2 feet. When the Elfin was launched in April 1891, the Lake Washington steamers Kirkland and Mary Kraft came just offshore to greet her. On July 4, 1891, the Elfin carried its first passengers. Captain Frank Curtis was the commander, and the crew consisted of his sons, Al Curtis and Walter Curtis, mate and deckhand respectively, and Irving Leake, engineer. The Elfin could run 12 miles per hour, carry 35 passengers, and transport 2 1/2 tons of freight. The Elfin carried passengers and freight between Kirkland, Yarrow Bay and Madison Park. The schedule of six round trips a day started at 7:10 a.m. from Northup’s Landing (renamed Yarrow Bay), Kirkland, and Houghton on the east side of Lake Washington to the foot of Seattle’s Madison Street on the west side of the lake, for a fare of 10 cents each way. During the first year or two of operation, the most passengers she carried in one day was 180. During the first half of 1892 the Elfin averaged 1,070 passengers a month. In 1896, the Elfin was repowered and a pilot house was added to the upper deck. The Elfin burned and sank off Houghton on December 2, 1900. At that time, fire was a major risk for small wooden vessels powered by steam. Their skippers were often tempted to push the boilers in these ships to obtain more speed, which increased the risk of fire.
Based on our research and video documentation, we believe Target #2 is the remains of the passenger steamer Urania. Target #2 is also located off Houghton (present day Carillon Point), a little west and north of Target #1 (see location chart above).
The Urania was built in Seattle in 1907. She was 85 feet long and carried passengers on Lake Washington between Kenmore, Juanita and Madison Park. The Urania burned and sank off Houghton on February 12, 1914.
Urania on the lake.
Urania after the fire.
Target #3 is located on the west side of the lake, north of Leshi. It rests in 210 feet of water. Target #3 is 60 feet long and rises approximately 5-10 feet off the bottom. Based on our research and video documentation, we believe the site is the remains of a turn off the century passenger steamer, either the Acme or L .T. Haas.
Chart showing location of Target #3.
The Acme was built in Seattle in 1899. She was 60 feet long and carried passengers on Lake Washington between Leshi, Madison Park and Bothell. She was owned and operated by N. C. Peterson. The Acme burned and sank off Leshi in 1908.
Acme on the lake.
The L. T. Haas was 60 feet long and carried passengers on Lake Washington between Leshi Park and Maydenbaer Bay. The L. T. Haas was owned and operated by Carlson Brothers. Like the Acme, she burned and sank off Leshi in 1909.
L. T. Haas– 1902.