James Rees and Sons, Pittsburgh PA

Most recent update: May 16, 2016.


James Rees, a Welshman, established this shipyard, which was originally a machine shop and engine works called Rees & Thorn.  In 1878, they began building ships.  It is claimed that they built not only the first steel-hulled boat in America - the "Francisco Montoya", in 1878 - but also the first boat with electric light throughout - the "Kate Adams", in 1882.  It is also notable for building many knockdown (KD) boats for service in South America.  The yard closed in 1930.  It was located at Duquesne Way (now Fort Duquesne Boulevard) and Fancourt Street (later Fourth Street and roughly where Stanwix Street is now).  See the site from the air on Google here.  If anyone can add to the table below, which is clearly far from complete, please e-mail me at timcolton@aol.com.

Hull # O.N. Original Name Original Owner Vessel Type Tons Built Disposition
  na E. A. Woodruff Corps of Engineers Snag Boat   1876  
    Helena Fort Benton Tptn. Co. Steamship   1878 Sank 1891
    Francisco Montoya Magdalena Steam Nav. Steamship   1878 For South America
    Buckeye State Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Steamship   1878  
? 76049 J. B. O'Brien   Towboat  61 1878 Later S. S. Prentiss
    Victoria   Steamship   1880 For South America
    Venezuela Zulia River Navigation Steamship   1880 For South America
    Benner U.S. Government Medical Boat   1880  
      Saratoga Lake Steam Catamaran   1880  
      U.S. Government Launch   1880  
      U.S. Government Tug   1881  
      U.S. Government Tug   1881  
      U.S. Government Tug   1881  
  3188 Boaz   Tug 623 1882  
    Rober Carliator   Steamship   1882 For South America
    De Castro   Steamship   1882 For South America
    Chattahoochee Chattahoochee River Trade Steam Packet 436 1882  
    Will S. Hays W. H. Brown's Sons Steamship   1882  
    Kate Adams Memph. & Ark. Packet Steam Packet   1882 Burnt 1888
    Chickasaw Memph. & White R. Packet Steamship   1883  
    Tenafly     134 1885  
  161543 Voyager   Towboat 99 1885  
    Mary Disston Anclote River, Florida Steamship   1885  
  Mexico Tres Hermanos Thebaud Brothers Steamship   1885  
  na Charles R. Suter Corps of Engineers Snag Boat   1886  
    Eugene Arkansas River Packet Co. Steamship   1887  
    Ethel Tippecanoe Lake, Indiana Steamship   1887  
    Baltimore A. Booth & Sons Towboat   1887  
  na Missouri Corps of Engineers Snag Boat 510 1888  
    Storm Conneaut Lake, PA Steamship   1889  
    Bailey Gatzert Seattle-Tacoma Steamship   1890  
    Georgia Oaks Lake Coeur de Lion, ID Steamship   1891  
    Lize Kranewski and Peasant Steamship 35 1893  
  92348 M. D. Wayman   Towboat 242 1891  
  92509 M. Dougherty   Towboat 43 1893  
  96228 Harry No. 2   Towboat 48 1893  
  145653 Troubadour   Yacht 15 1893  
  157405 Dowling & Sons   Towboat 45 1894 Later E. F. Jackson
    J. N. Harbin Arkansas River Packet Co. Steamship   1895  
  na Beta Corps of Engineers Dredge 600  1896  
  77307 J. K. Davison   Dredge 259  1898  
    Will H. Isom N. American Tptn. Steamship   1901  
    Vesta Vesta Coal Sternwheel Towboat 142 1902  
  na Swan Corps of Engineers Snag Boat 264 1902  
  Mexico Hidalgo Thebaud Brothers Steamship   1904  
  Nicaragua Jas. Deitrick U.S. & Nicaragua Co. Steamship   1904  
  202543 Henry A. Laughlin Jones & Laughlin Steel Sternwheel Towboat 151 1905  
  na T. P. Roberts Corps of Engineers Towboat 206 1906  
  202126 Scimitar II   Steamboat 256 1906 To CoE 1921
    S. S. Brown Memphis and Vicksburg Steamship 643 1906  
  205738 B. F. Jones, Jr. Jones & Laughlin Steel Sternwheel Towboat 91 1908  
  220723 Chatham   Freighter 27 1908  
    Oregon Foreign Christian Miss. Soc. Mission Steamer   1909  
  Brazil Olivia Brazilian Owners KD Riverboat 160 1912  
  Brazil Itacoatiara Brazilian Owners KD Riverboat 160 1913  
  Brazil Campinas Brazilian Owners KD Riverboat 160 1913  
  Brazil Aracaju Brazilian Owners KD Riverboat 160 1913  
  Brazil Gaiola Julio Guimaraes KD Riverboat  160 1913 Now Benjamin Guimaraes, still active
  212813 Idlewild West Memphis Packet Co. Steam Packet 260 1914 Now Belle of Louisville, museum in Louisville KY
  212008 G. W. Cobbett   Sternwheel Towboat 191 1915 Scrapped 1952
  212522 Aliquippa Jones & Laughlin Steel Sternwheel Towboat 191 1915 Scrapped 1952
  na Nolin River Corps of Engineers Dipper Dredge 210 1915  
  214180 A. Gallagher   Ferry 10 1916  
  Brazil Parahyba   KD Riverboat 160 1916  
  215523 Early Bird   Towboat 10 1917  
  217232 W. H. Clingerman Carnegie Steel Sternwheel Towboat 234 1918 Now W. P. Snyder. Jr., museum in Marietta OH
  218194 Victory   Sternwheel Towboat 240 1919  
  218203 Waren Elsey   Sternwheel Towboat 240 1919  
  218584 C. S. 1   Towboat 17 1919  
  218994 Homestead Carnegie Steel Sternwheel Towboat 234 1919  
  na Evelyn Corps of Engineers Towboat 30 1920  
  na Monallo Corps of Engineers Derrick Boat 470 1921  
  221138 Relief   Towboat 30 1921  
  221494 C. S. 2   Towboat 40 1921  
  na Capt. Chas. D. Harris Corps of Engineers Sternwheel Towboat 335 1921  
  Colombia Ayacucho Soc. Colombiana de Tptes Steamboat     Burnt and sank 1961