Nominee (1848)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Nominee was a 212 ton sidewheel steam paddle boat built at Shousetown (hull) and Pittsburgh (engine), Pennsylvania in 1848. She was known as the "religious and temperance boat" because her captain, Orrin Smith, would allow no bar to be run nor would he do any traffic on the Sabbath. The Nominee ran principally on the Upper Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers.

The Nominee was known as a fast boat and apparently often proved it. "Although her owner, Orrin Smith, was a strict Sabbath observer and follower of the Maine Law, the Nominee was a fast boat and led the Die Vernono all the way, disappearing around the bend at Catfish Creek as the latter reached Dubuque.". "The West Newton and the Nominee, both crowded with passengers, arrived at St. Paul Tuesday night, at about the same minute, in a strife all the way up. The old Nominee tucked up her petticoats and the way she did leg it through, kept the West Newton at the top of her speed. We regret that this competition is reaching to such a pitch-". Steamboating On the Upper Mississippi by William J. Petersen.
Final Voyage

"While upbound, about 16 miles below LaCrosse, the steamer Nominee struck a snag in the channel, tore a hole in her hull and sank in 18 feet of water. According to the La Crosse Chronicle (5/21/1890), The steamer's upper works were "taken away", but her hull and machinery were not recovered until May 1890 when the engines, shafts, pittmans, doctor and steam drums were raised."
" man was drowned in attempting to save his trunk which was on the lower deck. No blame is attached to anyone; the boat was exactly in the channel. Her passengers were brought up by the steamer War Eagle."La Crosse Republican & Leader 10/11/1854

The wreck of the Nominee posed a hazard to navigation in Coon Slough during periods of low water and was removed in 1890 by the Army Corps of Engineers. This means that it was eliminated as a hazard, not necessarily that it was removed from the river.

The Lady Franklin and the Reindeer also sunk at Coon Slough.
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