HomeDCS_Website.html
PreviousLake_Washington_Wrecks.html

Seattle Tennis Club

Wrecks

Lake Crescent ProjectsLake_Crescent.html
West Coast RelicsNorthwest_Wreck_dives.html
Lake Washington RelicsLake_Washington_Wrecks.html
Contact / PurchaseThe_Warrens_movie.html
HomeDCS_Website.html

Barge / Scow history



    Barges as we know them were derived from what is called a scow.


large scow lake washington


There were varieties to scows; barks, schooners, sloops, or just unrigged but they always kept to the tradition of the squared out bow. The scow was usually flat bottomed, flat sided, and often, in addition to being flat bowed, flat sterned and used to haul freight. These box like vessels were very pragmatically designed to serve the ports, rivers, bays, piers, and shores of Lake Washington. It was assumed that these great scows and barges made their appearances as early as the 1850’s to haul coal on the lake for Dr. R.H. Bigelow’s claim on the Black River.


barge lake washington


    Barges of the 19th century were developed after the advent of steamboats allowing them to be towed easily around the lake. The sailing scow was on its way to becoming obsolete in the water commerce arena but the basic square hull design would continue to be used in the form of unrigged barges.  Barges with their deeper draft transported heavy freight on lakes and deep rivers, as well as larger waterways. Later, when more settlers arrived to the area around Lake Washington to develop the timber industry, barges would be used to carry the lumber from the lake to awaiting trains for export.


barge lake washington


    The most common barge design had the typical square-ended hull at the bow and stern, built of planks and often used as work platforms, or coal and lumber transports. Some barges and scows were often used as floating storage, or ferry transportation on the lake. Some of the larger barges used for storage were called wharf boats, and even some were used as houseboats.


barge lake washington diving

    The “tow-barge” or consort system of shipping that developed during the Civil War (1860’s) involved the steamer to propel the barge or barges along the waterway moving in tandem from port to port. The benefit of this system was the towing steamer could increase its total cargo moved with little increase in fuel consumption.

    There are probably hundreds of these scows and barges, big and small, littered along Lake Washington's depths. It was far easier and cheaper to sink them than to dismantle them.

 
VIDEO CLIPDiving_Lake_Washington.html
VIDEO CLIPDiving_Lake_Washington.html
lake washington wrecks

The barge in the background and the Gazelle in the foreground may NOT be the wrecks described and shown here, but do look a lot like them.

Released FilmsThe_Warrens_A_Lake_Crescent_Mystery.html
In the WorksBlack_dragon_documentary.html
About DCSabout_DCS.html
Tides & Currentshttp://www.dairiki.org/tides/
Other ClipsNorthwest_diving.html
PortfolioDCS_Films_Portfolio.html