Discovering that the patch inscribed "Latona" and pasted above the caption had a loose end, Paul Dorpat lifted it and found the letters "ene" written on the photo card, but in a different hand.
I FIRST enjoyed this vessel’s profile in an old clipping long ago. Pioneer Sophie Frye Bass recounted that the “handsome Lake Union steamer” Latona so pleased Seattle developer James Moore (of the theater) that he named both the boat and his new addition on the northeast end of the lake for the Roman goddess.
Recently Carolyn Marr, librarian at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry, surprised me with the original print. It is about the size of a cellphone. A handwritten caption on the flip side of the photo’s card stock is signed by the pioneer dentist-developer E.K. Kilbourne. Marr assured me it was his hand. Kilbourne describes how (in late 1888) he bought the Latona on Elliott Bay from James Colman (of the dock) and brought it first up the Duwamish and Black rivers to Lake Washington, then carefully through “David Denny’s ditch” (the Montlake log canal) and towed it to Lake Union. Like Moore, Kilbourne had his own addition on the north shore of the lake, and the Latona was splendid for carrying buyers and commuters back and forth.
Discovering that the patch inscribed “Latona” and pasted above the caption had a loose end, I lifted it and found the letters “ene” written on the photo card, but in a different hand. A magnified look at the vessel itself revealed that it is not the Latona but the Cyrene. “Cyrene” is signed on the bow.
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The Cyrene was also built for Colman on the Seattle waterfront and brought up the rivers to the big lake. There it stayed and worked for many years running excursions and routine trips between Leschi and Madison Park.
Marine historian Ron Burke reminds me that we are left with no known photograph of the Latona. It may be that when we find a photo or sketch of the Latona it will look much like the Cyrene.
Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard’s blog at www.pauldorpat.com.