The first side-wheel steamer named the Augusta was built in 1828 in New York City and weighed 218 tons. The next passenger steamer named Augusta was built in 1852 weighing in at 1,310 tons.
This ship was part of the Baltimore Steam Packet, or the Old Bay Line. Their president, Capt. John M. Robinson, was also the president of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and the Old Dominion Steamship Company.
There were several more steamers named Augusta built during this time, including the Confederate Steamer Augusta that was captured on the Coosa River on April 14, 1865.
The S.S. Augusta was a 1,330- ton steamer built by William H. Webb in 1853 for the New York and Savannah Steam Navigation Company. Converted by the Navy to a warship during the Civil War, she undertook a special trip at war's end.
As the U.S.S. Augusta, she carried the assistant secretary of the Navy Gustavus Vasa Fox and a number of other American dignitaries to Russia to thank Czar Alexander II for his support during the war.
Returning to civilian duty, she was renamed the S.S. Magnolia, a passenger steamer owned by the Ocean Steamship Line. The vessel left Savannah for New York on Sept. 27, 1877, and sank two days later in a severe storm.
The passenger steamship the City of Augusta, which weighed 2,869 tons, was built in 1880 by John Roach & Sons at his Delaware River Iron and Shipbuilding Works in Pennsylvania. At 323 feet long, the Augusta was one of the largest liners in the Ocean Steamship Company fleet.
The City of Augusta was capable of carrying both 100 passengers as well as 3,000 tons of cargo. On one of its trips to Savannah, the City of Augusta ran aground off Tybee Island. Her passengers were taken off by a tug and a revenue cutter and brought to Savannah.
In 1906, the City of Augusta was purchased by the Eastern Steamship Company, which was part of Charles Morse's steamship empire. The City of Augusta was put into service on their Maine steamship runs, until it was scrapped in 1924.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.