Calumet, 1894

Nov. 18, 2020

Calumet, 1894

A photo of the Calumet

Later-Tioga, WYT-74
Signal Letters: GVDR (1895)
                         NRKZ (1935)

Calumet is a peace pipe of the North American Indians; it is also the name of several cities and towns in the United States.

Builder: David Bell and his Sureties (Bell’s Steam Engine Works), Buffalo, New York

Length: 94' 6"

Beam: 20' 6"

Draft: 9' 6"

Displacement (gross tonnage): 123 tons (1895); 170 tons (1933); 190 tons (1945)

Cost: $38,500 (contract dated 27 October 1892)

Commissioned: 18 October 1894

Decommissioned: 14 October 1946

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: Fore-and-Aft Vertical Compound-Reciprocating Steam Engine; 1 “Ward pattern” boiler; single propeller

Performance & Endurance:
        Max: 13 knots (1945)
        Cruising: 11 knots, 225 mile range (1945)

Complement: 2 officers, 9 enlisted (peacetime); 5 officers, 15 enlisted (wartime)

Armament: 1 (1898)

Cutter History:

The Calumet, an iron hull, steel plated harbor cutter (third rate), was built at Buffalo, New York, and accepted for service by the Revenue Cutter Service in October 1894.  She was assigned to duty on the Great Lakes and served out of Chicago where she was laid up during the winter months (referred to in period documents as “winter quarters”) and actively patrolled during the shipping season. 

During the Spanish-American War she “cooperated” with the Navy, serving as a part of the North Atlantic Squadron, and performing patrol duties along the coast from 24 March 1898 to 17 August of that same year.  During this time she was under the command of First Lieutenant William H. Cushing, USRCS.  Third Lieutenant William G. Blasdel served as her executive officer, First Assistant Engineer Andrew J. Howison served as the Calumet’s chief engineer and he was assisted by Second Assistant Engineer Urban Harvey.  During the war she was armed with a single gun of unknown caliber.  After the war she remained in service along the east coast.

Temporarily transferred to the Navy again during World War I on 6 April 1917 Calumet was assigned to the Third Naval District under the command of Commander, New York Division, United States Coast Guard.  Again she operated on vital coastal patrol duty, guarding against the possible approach of enemy ships. Calumet was returned to the Treasury Department 28 August 1919 and she remained in service out of New York.  In November 1921 she was ordered to tow the Chattahooche from Philadelphia to Baltimore which she accomplished without incident.  She was then decommissioned on 17 December 1921 at the Coast Guard Depot for a refit.  Upon completion of repairs and restoration Calumet was recommissioned at the Depot on 17 July 1922.  She then steamed back to New York.  She underwent another refit at the Depot from 11 June to 25 September 1930.

With the launching of a new cutter-tug with the name Calumet in 1934, the original cutter Calumet’s name was changed to Tioga in 1934.  During World War II, she was assigned to the 5th Naval District and was based out of Baltimore.  At this time she was designated as a WYT and given the hull number 74.  She was decommissioned on 14 October 1946 and was sold on 22 March 1947.

It was reported in late-2008 that she was a derelict tied up in Homer Harbor, Alaska.  She was at that time named the Spanky Paine.

Harbor Cutter Calumet, circa 1900


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

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Cutter History File

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers and Cadets, and Ships and Stations of the United States Coast Guard, February 1, 1933.  Washington, DC: Government Printing Officer, 1933.

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).