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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USED Towboat Putah

  • Laid down in 1942 at Berkeley Steel Construction Co., Berkeley, CA.
  • Launched in 1942
  • Acquired by the US Army Engineers in 1942
  • Christened, commissioned and placed in service as USED Towboat Putah in 1943
  • Assigned to the US Army Corps of Engineers District, unknown
  • Retired from US Army service, date unknown
  • Sold in 1954 to John Wayne's production company for use in the movie Blood Alley .
  • Sometime after the film was completed, John Wayne sold Putah to Frank Parisi, a Sacramento businessman
  • Parisi renamed the sternwheeler Mansion Belle and offered river cruises along the Sacramento River and through the Delta
  • In 1957 Mansion Belle involved in an accident, she apparently rammed into a cottage and lost 10 blades from the stern wheel
  • In 1959 Mansion Belle made a voyage to Oregon for the "Oregon Centennial."
  • In 1961 the sternwheeler was offerings cruises on the Sacramento river down to Walnut Grove an back
  • In 1964 Mansion Belle made her way down to Southern California, running cruises out of Marina del Ray
  • In 1966 the sternwheeler operated out of Long Beach providing harbor cruises
  • In 1991 the boat was purchased by Channel Star Excursions and renamed the Spirit of Sacramento offering dinner cruises
  • On 3 February 1996 the Spirit of Sacramento suffered a fire while in her moorings at the K Street landing in Sacramento completely destroying the old sternwheeler
  • In 1997, William Barker purchased the damaged boat with the intentions of restoring it to its glory days and renaming it "The Duke."
  • Final Disposition, Because of continued vandalism of the boat Baker soon abandoned her. Eventually, the paddlewheeler left abandoned, tied up along the Sacramento River
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement unknown
    Length 99'
    Beam 25'
    Hull Depth unknown
    Draft 4'
    Speed unknown
    Crew unknown
    one diesel-electric engine
    one propeller

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    83k Sacramento Corps of Engineers floating plan model of USED Putah at the California State Fair in 1953.
    US Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library
    John Spivey
    140k Abandoned river steamboat Spirit of Sacramento (Ex-USED Towboat Putah) abandoned on the banks of the Sacramento River, date unknown
    John Spivey
    45k Abandoned river steamboat Spirit of Sacramento (Ex-USED Towboat Putah) abandoned on the banks of the Sacramento River, date unknown
    The Nauticapedia, photo by George Schneider
    John Spivey

    There is no history available for USED Towboat Putah at NavSource

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 May 2023