Gordon Miller Sailing into History

The Beaver

In March 1836 Beaver sailed into the Columbia River. At Fort Vancouver her paddle wheels, boiler and engines were assembled. and she became the first steamer to work in the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

For almost fourty years she served the Hudson’s Bay company forts from Puget Sound to Alaska, gradually shedding her rig and relying on her engines alone. In 1862 she became Her Majesties Hired Survey Vessel Beaver. Her rig was removed and cabins were added, and she served the navy until 1870. She ended her days privately owned as a tug, towing ships, servicing logging camps, and carrying freight and passengers, until the night of July 26, 1888, when she ran aground at Prospect Point at the entrance to Vancouver Harbour.