Thistle, 1890

Sept. 8, 2020

Thistle, 1890

Any of numerous weedy plants, chiefly of the genera Cirsium, Carduus, or Onopordum of the composite family, having prickly leaves and variously colored flower heads surrounded by prickly bracts.

Builder: John C. Froehlich & Company, Baltimore, Maryland

Length: 60'

Beam: 15' 4"

Draft: 7'

Displacement: 32 tons

Cost: $9,000 (purchase price)

Commissioned: 13 May 1890

Decommissioned: 1912

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: Keel condensing steam engine; Marine return flue coal-fired boiler; 45 IHP; single propeller

Deck Gear: None

Performance & Endurance:


Complement: 6 (1907)

Armament: None

Tender History:

Thistle was built in 1890 as the private steam tug Cynthia.  She was purchased for use as an engineering tender and commissioned as Thistle on 13 May 1890.  She was assigned to the 5th Lighthouse District and was based out of Baltimore, Maryland.  She was driven ashore at Black River, New Jersey, during a storm in 1903 but was repaired and returned to service.

She was condemned in 1912 and sold.


Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.