Upper Willamette Transportation Line

The Upper Willamette Transportation Line was a line of four inland steamboats that operated from the fall of 1859 to the summer of 1860 on the upper Willamette River in the state of Oregon.

Upper Willamette Transportation Company
Industryriver transport
FoundedNovember 1, 1859 (1859-11-01)
FounderTheodore Wygant (1831-1905)
DefunctJune 30, 1860 (1860-06-30)
HeadquartersOregon City, Oregon
Area served
Upper Willamette River


As of November 1, 1859, businessman Theodore Wygant (1831-1905) was the agent in Portland, Oregon for the steamers Elk, Onward, Surprise, and Relief.[1] Wygant formed these steamers into the Upper Willamette Transportation Company, and starting November 19, 1859, advertised, stage of water permitting, steamers of the line would depart for Corvallis twice a week, and, for Eugene City, once a week.[1] This arrangement was advertised until June 30, 1860.[2]

In 1860, the steamers of the line were competing against two powerful companies on the Willamette River, the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and the People's Transportation Company.[3]

Steamers of the line

All vessels of the line were wooden-hulled sternwheelers, built in the 1850s at Canemah, Oregon.[4]


  1. "UPPER WILLAMETTE Transportation Line". The Oregon Argus (advertisement). 5 (48). Oregon City, OR: D.W. Craig. Mar 10, 1860. p.3, col.3.
  2. "UPPER WILLAMETTE Transportation Line". The Oregon Argus (advertisement). 6 (12). Oregon City, OR: D.W. Craig. Jun 30, 1860. p.3, col.5.
  3. Corning, Howard McKinley (1973). "Paddle-Wheels and Smoke Plumes". Willamette Landings -- Ghost Towns of the River (2nd ed.). Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society. p. 122. ISBN 0875950426.
  4. Affleck, Edward L. (2000). "Part One: Chapter Two. Columbia River Waterways — List of Vessels". A Century of Paddlewheelers in the Pacific Northwest, the Yukon, and Alaska. Vancouver, BC: Alexander Nicholls Press. pp. 12, 22, & 26. ISBN 0-920034-08-X.
  5. William L. Adams, ed. (Nov 24, 1860). "These Offices … THE STEAMER ELK BLOWN UP.— On Saturday afternoon last, the steamer Elk exploded her boiler …". The Oregon Argus. 6 (33). Oregon City, OR: D.W. Craig. p.2, col.3.
  6. Mills, Randall V. (1947). "Chapter 9: As the Sparks Fly Upwards". Sternwheelers up Columbia -- A Century of Steamboating in the Oregon Country. Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska. p. 117. ISBN 0-8032-5874-7. LCCN 77007161.
  7. "Early Steamers on Willamette River described". The Oregonian (recollections of Edwin T. Hatch). 36 (30). Jul 29, 1917. Section Two, p.14, col.2.



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