The first Katahdin, a wooden hulled steam vessel, began plying the waters of Moosehead Lake in 1896. While towing a raft of logs near Sand Bar Island, her steam engines caught fire on May 13, 1913.
Work on a replacement began almost immediately. Hull # 63 was built for the Coburn Steamboat Company by Bath Iron Works and was shipped to Greenville in sections by railroad. It was assembled at the Coburn Steamboat Company’s shipyard on Moosehead Lake.
The second Katahdin is 115 feet long, 26 feet at the beam, and draws seven and a half feet of water. Registered for 500 passengers and weighing 250 tons, its launch took place on August 20, 1914 as it was towed into Moosehead Lake by the steamer Moosehead.
The “Kate” would haul booms of more than 6,000 logs in the spring, then serve as a passenger vessel from June through the end of summer. Most passengers were guests traveling from Greenville to Mount Kineo. She was later powered by Fairbank Morse diesel engines. The Katahdin was eventually modified to haul pulpwood. When Scott Paper Company bought the Kate, her engines were replaced. She hauled 6,000 cords of pulpwood in the historic “Last Log Drive” on July 12, 1975.
In 1977, the vessel was given to Moosehead Marine Museum and subsequently restored to operation. She began sailing as a cruise vessel in 1985 on a regular schedule and was substantially restored in the 1990’s.
Durward J. Ferland, Jr. KINEO: Splendor and Silence. Greenville, Me. Moosehead Communications. c1996.