7) STEAMBOATIN' JAMIESONS 2:17

Steamboats were first introduced to our North West waters in the 1830s with the arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company's trading vessel "The SS Beaver"

 

Steamboat travel played an integral part in the development of the Pacific Northwest.  One-hundred-fifty years ago, the most practical means of transportation along the Pacific coast and inland river system was by steamboat. Sidewheelers, sternwheelers, paddlewheelers all, perhaps you’ve been fortunate enough to have seen one (or casinos disguised as steamboats) plying our Northwest waterways.

 

The Jamiesons were five brothers who came from Brodick, Scotland in the 1850's to pursue careers as steamboat pilots. Although a popular means of transport, steamboat travel was fraught with peril and within seven years, each of the brothers had met untimely fates.

Steamboat travel in the 1850s was still in its infancy and frought to a certain degree of peril.  Within the short span of 7 years, each of the 5 Jamieson Brothers would succumb to an untimely demise.


 

There were five Brothers Jamiesons, the pride of the great Northwest
When it came to steamboat pilots, the Jamiesons were best
There's stories told of Captains bold who plied the Northwest chuck
The Steamboatin' Jamiesons had the hardest luck!

 
It's said the trouble all began in 1854
The first of the fated Jamiesons was standing on the wharf
Canemah town heard a frightening sound with a great horrific roar
The "Gazelle" was flung to "Kingdom Come" and that left only four

 

Four Steamboat Jamiesons, pride of the great Northwest
When it came to steamboat pilots, the Jamiesons were best!

 

‘Twas on the steamer "Portland", Willamette River run
That poor Mother Jamieson, she lost another son
The Portland stalls above the falls and amidst the ship's debris
Was the lifeless frame of Robert J. and now there's only three

 

Three Steamboat Jamiesons, pride of the great Northwest
When it came to steamboat piloting, the Jamiesons were best!

 

"The Best Swiftwater Pilot" Smith Jamieson was hailed
As he skippered on the Fraser, New Westminster up to Yale
He'd come as far as Union Bar when the boiler up and blew
There Smith, he met his maker, with Jamiesons at two

 

And then in 1861, late one August night
The folks around Victoria beheld a horrid sight
As the "Cariboo" was splintered through and scattered o'er the foam
The a mighty hand reached down to call the last two brothers home

 

The Steamboatin' Jamiesons, the pride of the great Northwest
When it came to steamboat pilots, the Jamiesons were best
There's stories told of Captains bold who plied the Northwest chuck
The Steamboatin' Jamiesons had the hardest luck!
Yes, the Steamboatin' Jamiesons had the hardest luck!

 

Music & lyrics by Bruce Coughlan (SOCAN)
From Tiller’s Folly: Ghosts of the Mighty Fraser CD (1999)

 

Bruce Coughlan: lead vocals
Laurence Knight: electric bass
Mike Sanyshyn: fiddle
Victor Smith: whistle
Craig McGregor: acoustic guitar
Shawn Soucy: drums, percussion
Chris Stevens: 5-string banjo
Gord Maxwell: vocals
Peter Padden: vocals


Produced by Laurence Knight
Engineered by John Ellis & Craig Stauffer
Recorded and mixed at Magic Lab Studios, Surrey, BC
Mastered by Craig Waddell at Gotham City, Vancouver, BC.
Re-mastered by Joby Baker, Baker Studios, Victoria, BC.