Editor's Note: The following text is a verbatim transcription of an article written by George W. Murdock, for the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman newspaper in the 1930s. Murdock, a veteran marine engineer, wrote a regular column. Articles transcribed by HRMM volunteer Adam Kaplan. For more of Murdock's articles, see the "Steamboat Biographies" category.
City of Kingston
The “City of Kingston” was a 246 foot, iron hull, stern-propeller steamboat constructed for the Cornell Steamboat Company of Rondout in 1884 at Wilmington, Delaware. She was constructed to replace the ill-fated “Thomas Cornell,” which was wrecked in the spring of 1882, was the first stern propellered steamer built for hauling freight and passengers on the Rondout line, and was capable of making 19 miles per hour.
The “City of Kingston” proved unsatisfactory for service on the Rondout line due to the necessity of many landings, and while she made good time while under way between stops, too much time was consumed in endeavoring to bring her into the dock.
Despite this deficiency, she remained in service here for five years and was then sold, in October, 1889, and was taken to the Pacific coast for service on Puget Sound. She left New York on November 22, 1889, for her long journey to the west coast.
An April 24, 1899, the Northern Pacific Oriental liner “Glenogle,” outward bound, collided with the City of Kingston” inward bound from Victoria. This accident occurred during a light fog at 4:35 o’clock Sunday morning off Brown’s Point. The “City of Kingston was struck on her starboard side, aft of her boiler room, and was cut in two by the liner’s iron bow. Three minutes later her hull was resting on the bottom of Puget Sound and her upper works, divided in two parts, was floating about the bay.
At the time of the accident the “City of Kingston” was the property of the Northern Pacific Railroad and was valued at $150,000. Confusion reigned aboard the stricken vessel but finally the 12 passengers and 60 members of her crew were gotten aboard the “Glenogle” without any loss of life. Thus the career of the namesake of this old Colonial city was brought to a close.
George W. Murdock, (b. 1853-d. 1940) was a veteran marine engineer who served on the steamboats "Utica", "Sunnyside", "City of Troy", and "Mary Powell". He also helped dismantle engines in scrapped steamboats in the winter months and later in his career worked as an engineer at the brickyards in Port Ewen. In 1883 he moved to Brooklyn, NY and operated several private yachts. He ended his career working in power houses in the outer boroughs of New York City. His mother Catherine Murdock was the keeper of the Rondout Lighthouse for 50 years.
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