Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS

Volume 17, Issue 1.................................................................. March 2007

UPDATED: December 23, 2006

















Phoebe ordinarily didn't emit much smoke. However, when it was "necessary to show admirers that the boat was, indeed, a steamboat," a couple chunks of old rubber tires tossed into the firebox did the trick. From the collection of Steve & Ellen Wikstrom.

Although Phoebe came equipped with a head, it. was removed while the boat was on Skaneateles Lake. The plumbing connection was disconnected to ensure compliance with water quality standards to protect the lake as a drinking water supply source for nearby Syracuse, NY. "

At the end of each voyage, steam pressure remaining in the boiler was used to steam clean the engine and remove any excess grease and oil. When Phoebe was cleaned-up and the fires banked, the day would, at times, be finished by cooking hot dogs and kabobs in the fire box.

"On occasion, Phoebe was called upon to host groups of businessmen (One group included over 20 insurance salesmen!), or to function as a Committee Boat for sailboat races at the nearby Skaneateles Country Club. On another cruise it carried 36 Guernsey dairy farmers, their wives and families for an outing on the lake. And on the morning of July 25, 1970, Phoebe entertained groomsmen before the wedding of Gary & Karen Kappesser."

When Arve Wikstrom was killed in an airplane accident in 1976, the boat was put up for sale. It was bought by a Mr. Cordingly who intended to haul it to Lake Tahoe in California. But when he found out it would cost $10,000. to do so, he sold it a few months later to the City of Kingston, ONT, Canada where it had originally been built 62 years earlier.

Return to Kingston

1976-1983 With major funding from the Canadian Department of National Museums, Jack Telgmann and members of the Frontenac Society of Model Engineers acquired Phoebe on behalf of the City of Kingston, Ontario and returned it to Kingston as a Canadian National Treasure.

He put the boat through its paces in the Thousand Islands Region of the St. Lawrence, and in 1982, Phoebe was the lead boat in the opening ceremonies in Ottawa at the celebrations of the 150th Birthday of the Rideau Canal.

Shortly thereafter, the boat was put in storage in a boathouse behind the 1849 Pump House Steam Museum in Kingston, a building restored in 1973 by the Frontenac Society as a present for the city's 300th Birthday. And there it remained for 15 years.

Pump House Steam Museum in Kingston, Ontario

continued on page 13