The Steamers in Lake Washington today:
Target #1 is located straight out from Houghton (present day Carillon Point) in 125 feet of water. It's 55 feet long and rises approximately 10 feet off the bottom. Based on our research and video documentation, we believe the target is the remains of the passenger steamer Elfin.
When SCRET divers visited the remains of the Elfin, they found an empty, charred hull, sitting upright on the bottom. As the Elfin burned, her cabins were destroyed, allowing the hull to rise higher in the water. The fire continued to burn as the vessel rose in the water, destroying the interior of the vessel and leaving only an empty hull.
SCRET diver Mark Tourtellot on stern of Elfin 2002.
The entire hull of the Elfin is still substantially intact, from bow to stern. This made identification of the vessel relatively easy through comparisons of the hull with historical photographs of the Elfin.
Bow of Elfin - 2002.
When SCRET divers visited the remains of the Urania, they found an empty, charred hull, sitting upright on the bottom. The remains of the steam engine were removed from the hull before it was sunk.
Like the Elfin, as the Urania burned, her cabins were destroyed, allowing the hull to rise higher in the water. The fire continued to burn as the vessel rose in the water, reducing the remains to a charred hull. This hull is also substantially intact from bow to stern, which assisted in the identification of the vessel.
Bow of Urania showing frame for upper deck—2002.
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.
When SCRET divers visited Target Three, they found an empty, charred hull, sitting upright on the bottom. The bow is relatively intact and rises about 7 feet off the bottom. Burnt froming for the upper deck rises from the hull about 10 feet from the bow. As you move toward the stern, the hull becomes buried in the silty bottom and then reappears, with the stern section rising only two feet above the bottom. The hull contains the remains of a small steam engine and propeller shaft, making this site unique.
Bow of Target #3: 2002.
Cleat on forward deck of Target 3 – 2002.