Heather, 1903

Jan. 26, 2021

Heather, 1903

A low-growing Eurasian shrub, Calluna vulgaris, growing in dense masses and bearing small evergreen leaves and pinkish-purple flower clusters.

Builder:  Moran Shipbuilding, Seattle, Washington

Length: 178' 6"

Beam: 28' 6"

Draft: 14' 11"

Displacement: 831 tons

Cost: $118,567.58

Commissioned: 10 June 1903

Decommissioned: 6 September 1940

Disposition: Transferred to the War Department

Machinery: 1 vertical condensing fore & aft compound steam engine; 2 Scotch-type boilers; single propeller; 750 SHP

Performance & Endurance:


Deck Gear: 

Complement: 24

Armament: None

Tender History:

The Heather was a steel and wood-hulled coastwise tender that entered service in 1903.  Although built as a steamer, she could rig sails for propulsion if needed.  She was assigned to the 13th Lighthouse District and operated out of Seattle.

She was re-engined with a single diesel in the late-1930s.  She was loaned to the War Department on 1 September 1940 and was permanently transferred on 6 September 1940.  She kept her name in Army service but was given the hull designation of FS-534.  She was sold to a foreign buyer after the war and was last noted as working off the China coast in the 1950s.


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