The Steamers Killoquah 1879 – 1929
1879 No. 1
1891 No. 2
1927 No. 3
1929 No. 4
1902 – 1927
destroyed in 1927 fire
In 1876, when William West Durant joined his father in promoting the Adirondacks as a vacation spot for the wealthy, he found that Dr. Thomas Durant had already made progress. Dr. Durant started a buckboard or stagecoach company from the terminus of the Adirondack Railway in North Creek, two and four-horse teams travelling along the 30 miles of dusty bumpy rutted roadway to Blue Mountain Lake.
At the Blue Mountain Lake House or the Transportation Terminal, passengers found a fleet of rowboats waiting to take them to other cottages on the lake or on to Bassett’s Carry for the trip to Raquette Lake.
Horse-drawn carts carried the luggage while the travellers walked along the three-quarter mile boardwalk to the Lower End of the carry. Again, another fleet of rowboats was waiting to continue the journey to either Bennett’s Cottage on Long Point or Kenwell’s Landing. There they would be met by boats owned by their host, or continue on with their guides.
By 1879 William West Durant had launched the “Blue Mountain Lake and Raquette Lake Steamboats” to replace the rowboats. Purists objected to the noise and steam – too much like the over-populated cities they were attempting to escape.
He started with the Irocosia and Toowahloondah on Blue Mountain and the Killoquah and Utowana on Raquette Lake – each canopied and carrying about 20 passengers, often loaded with a summer’s worth of baggage and the guides’ boats strapped on top. Some 20 years later the steamers would connect with the Marion River Carry Railroad and the Raquette Lake Railway.
In 1902 he launched the much larger Adirondack and Tuscarora, double-decked steamers holding close to 300 passengers each. But as Hochschild relates in his book mentioned below, the Tuscarora was the most impressive of them all – 75 feet with twin screws.
The great Raquette Lake fire of February 1927 destroyed the Adirondack, the Sagamore and the Killoquah No. 2, along with the Raquette Lake House, the general store and most of the village.
1 Hochschild, Harold K., Adirondack Steamboats on Raquette and Blue Mountain Lakes,
Blue Mountain Lake, NY: Adirondack Museum, 1962.
2 Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection
Jackson, William Henry. 1902-1920. Touring Turn-of-the-Century America.
In Detroit Publishing Company Collection from the Library of Congress, 1880-1920.
[Online] Available HTTP: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/detroit/dethome.html. [August 15, 1999]