L'il Millie has many sisters that have graced the waters of the Snake River above the Hells Canyon dam before her.
The "Gold Gatherer"
The "Gold Gatherer" is another stern wheel steamboat built on the Snake River above Hells Canyon:
The Gold Gatherer is a seventy-foot steam scow built in the interior of Idaho to run between Huntington (Oregon) and Salmon Falls on Snake River. She was used by her owners in prospecting and washing out gold from the sands along the stream, and formed the basis for an extensive suit against the Oregon Short Line Company, whose bridge across the Snake River would not permit the Gold Gatherer to pass down. (E.W. Wright, Finest Steamers in the Northwest Appear on Puget Sound Waters, Lewis & Dryden's Marine History oh the Pacific Northwest. New York: Antiquarian Press, Ltd., 1961 [This book was written in 1895 and events referred to in this chapter generally took place in 1889., p. 367.
"...In 1890 came the Gold Gatherer, a husky, unlovely scow shoved along by a stern wheel, but the Gold Gaterer was not built to entice passengers. Her owners planned to use her to dredge gold-bearing sand from the banks and work up and down the Snake from Huntington, panning all the remote bars. That the railroad bridge at Huntington was without a draw -- when it was built no one had expected any kind of steamboat to come puffing along -- had been overlooked, and Gold Gatherer's stack would not go under the bridge. there were words, very ponderous words, about it when the boats owners sued the railroad. No one sems to remember how the suit came out, and mabe it did not matter, but the Gold Gatherer kept at her job for some time, keeping alive a western tradition of enterprise..." (Steamin' on the Snake., U. S. Forest Service Wallowa - Whitman National Forest.)
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