Gardenia, 1888

Jan. 18, 2021

Gardenia, 1888

A large genus of Old World tropical trees and shrubs of the madder family, having showy, fragrant, white or yellow flowers.

Builder:  East Deering, Maine

Length: 117'

Beam: 20' 2"

Draft: 6' 6"

Displacement: 245 tons

Cost: $15,600

Commissioned: 1888

Decommissioned: 19 September 1919

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: Steam engine; 130 BHP; coal-fired boiler; single propeller

Performance & Endurance:


Deck Gear: 

Complement: 15

Armament: None

Tender History:

The Gardenia was originally the privately-owned steamer George W. Beale that was purchased by the Lighthouse Board in 1888.  She was renamed Gardenia and commissioned that same year.  She worked as an inspection tender in the 3rd Lighthouse District, working in New York harbor.

She extinguished a fire aboard the tug Whistler while at New Haven, Connecticut.  She was laid up in 1917 and was acquired by the Navy and commissioned as the USS Gardenia on 13 September 1917 in New York for service during World War I.  She was assigned to the 3d Naval District, where she served as harbor control and guard ship from her base at Rosebank, Staten Island until May 1919. 

She was returned to the Lighthouse Service on 1 July 1919.  She was condemned and sold on 19 September 1919.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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