Wissahickon, 1904

July 31, 2020

Wissahickon, 1904

The name, Wissahickon, comes from the Lenni Lenape tribe of the Native Americans living in the Delaware Valley in pre-colonial times.  Their use of the words "Wisaucksickan" ("yellow-colored creek") and "Wisamickan" ("catfish creek") evolved into the contemporary word Wissahickon.  Also a small stream in southeastern Pennsylvania which rises in Montgomery County near Lansdale and flows south some 40 miles to empty into the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

Builder: Spedden Company, Baltimore, Maryland

Length: 96' 6"

Beam: 20' 6"

Draft: 9'

Displacement: 182 tons

Cost: $69,800

Commissioned: 3 December 1904

Decommissioned: 8 May 1935

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: Reciprocating steam engine; 1 Babcock & Wilcox watertube boiler; 500 SHP; single propeller

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 12.0 knots
        Cruising: 10.0 knots; 680 mile range (1945)

Complement: 11 (1945)

Armament: None

Electronics: None

Cutter History:

Wissahickon was a 182-ton, 96' 6"-foot harbor tug, one of two Winnisimmet-class tugs built by the Spedden Company in Baltimore, Maryland, the other being WinnisimmetWissahickon was launched on 11 June 1904 and was commissioned on 3 December 1904.  She was first assigned to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before being transferred to Baltimore in 1916.  She was transferred to Navy control on 6 April 1917 and was returned to Treasury Department control on 28 August 1919.  On 1 January 1923 she was transferred to New York harbor, where she remained in service until she was decommissioned on 8 May 1935.


Donald Canney. U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).